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Get the Best Wetsuit Top

Whether you go long sleeve, short sleeve, vest, zipper, or pullover wetsuit top, the little added layer of neoprene for your core can go a long way in keeping your comfortable while surfing in the summer.

Having a solid wetsuit jacket allows you to ditch the fullsuit or spring suit sooner when the water and air temperatures haven’t reached their summer peak.

In the summertime, it’s a good addition to your board shorts or bikini, and a step up in warmth from a rash guard. Plus you get the added benefit of easy sun protection.

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Top Picks for Women

Our picks for the best wetsuit tops for women are:

  1. O’Neill Bahia 2/1 Full Zip Women’s Wetsuit Top
  2. Billabong 2mm Eco Peeky Wetsuit Jacket
  3. Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Women’s Wetsuit Jacket
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Top Picks for Men

Our top picks for men’s wetsuit jackets are:

  1. O’Neill Reactor-2 1.5mm Front Zip Men’s Wetsuit Jacket
  2. Rip Curl Aggrolite 1.5mm Wetsuit Top
  3. O’Neill Reactor-2 2mm Men’s Wetsuit Vest

What water temperature do you need a wetsuit jacket?

A wetsuit top is a good choice when the water starts warming up.

When the water temperature hits the high 60s, you can usually get away with a wetsuit jacket and trunks.

It’ll keep your core warm and provide you with some wind protection. It’s especially handy when the water is warm, but the air is chilly or a bit breezy.

Wetsuit tops do have a greater tendency to washout and shift around more than a full-length wetsuit if you’re wiping out frequently or having to duck under lots of waves.

If it’s warm enough, it’s not that big of a deal, but if it’s a bit chilly, it can be annoying.

However, wetsuit jackets are the perfect choice for those small, hot days when you’re longboarding.

How should a wetsuit top fit?

A wetsuit top should fit similar to a fullsuit or springsuit – snug and comfortable, but not so tight that it restricts movement or hurts.

It should be snug enough so that it doesn’t shift around and move too much as you paddle, surf, and duck under waves.

Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets

Some great choices for the best women’s wetsuit top include:

  1. O’Neill Bahia 2/1 Full Zip Women’s Wetsuit Top
  2. Billabong 2mm Eco Peeky Wetsuit Jacket
  3. Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Women’s Wetsuit Jacket

O’Neill Bahia 2/1 Full Zip Wetsuit Top

O'Neill Women's Wetsuit Jacket

This women’s wetsuit jacket from O’Neill features a 2mm neoprene core with 1mm sleeves making it a good combination of warmth and flexibility.

It’ll provide you with sun protection as well.

Features minimal seams and stiching in movement areas to eliminate chafing and irritation.

Goes on with a full-length zipper, which makes getting it on and off easy.

Cinches closed at the bottom to help keep it snug. Also has a key stash pocket.

Billabong 2mm Eco Peeky Wetsuit Jacket

Billabong Eco Peeky Women's Wetsuit Top

A groovy choice from Billabong.

A full front zipper and simple construction makes it easy to get on and off.

Doesn’t cinch up at the bottom or include a key pocket.

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Women’s Wetsuit Jacket

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Women's Wetsuit Jacket

The 2mm Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Jack is another good choice.

Features a full front zipper and lightweight, comfortable E5 neoprene.

Best Men’s Wetsuit Jackets

Some great choices for the best men’s wetsuit top include:

  1. O’Neill Reactor-2 1.5mm Front Zip Men’s Wetsuit Jacket
  2. Rip Curl Aggrolite 1.5mm Wetsuit Top
  3. O’Neill Reactor-2 2mm Men’s Wetsuit Vest

O’Neill Reactor-2 1.5mm Front Zip Wetsuit Jacket

O'Neill Men's Wetsuit Zip-up Jacket

A solid full wetsuit top with a front zipper and 1.5mm neoprene construction.

Excellent stretch and super comfortable to wear.

Keeps you protected from the wind and will extend any summer session.

Rip Curl Aggrolite 1.5mm Wetsuit Top

Rip Curl Aggrolite Wetsuit Jacket

A good wetsuit jack choice from Rip Curl is the full front zip Aggrolite.

Good flex, good warmth, durable construction.

Includes a loop to connect and secure to your boardshorts.

O’Neill Reactor-2 2mm Pull Over Wetsuit Vest

O'Neill Wetsuit Vest

This 2mm pullover wetsuit vest from O’Neill is a good choice for keeping your core warm and your arms totally fee.

Also includes a loop for your boardshorts.

A nice simple wetsuit top that will keep you warm when it’s not too windy.

Can also be worn under a fullsuit if you’re looking to add some additional insulation.

Don’t Be Fooled by a SoCal Summertime Surf

Yeah, it’s hot out, the water’s warm. You head out in your boardshorts or bikini, of course.

Uh-oh, now your cold because a breeze kicked up. Or some upwelling made for some chilly water temps. Or you’ve got a righteous sun burn because you forgot your shoulders or couldn’t reach your back. Or you’ve got a nasty board rash from paddling on your sandy wax.

Need a solution to any and all of the above? Get yourself a wetsuit top, amigo.


Do you have experiences with any of the wetsuit jackets and tops described above? Maybe you’re a fan of something we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!

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