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What Do You Wear Underneath A Wetsuit?

What Do You Wear Underneath A Wetsuit?

When it comes to using a wetsuit for watersports, one question often sparks debate among water enthusiasts: Should you wear a swimsuit under a wetsuit? The topic raises concerns about comfort, hygiene, and the practicality of layering garments. In this blog post, we'll delve into the arguments for and against wearing a swimsuit under a wetsuit, helping you make an informed decision for your next water escapade. We'll talk about water temperature, UV protection and the different styles.

What Do You Wear Underneath A Wetsuit?


You have to think about your comfort level when considering whether to wear a swimsuit underneath a wetsuit. Your wetsuit is designed to fit snugly against your skin, providing an extra layer of insulation against cold water and reducing water circulation. Wearing a swimsuit underneath can potentially introduce additional seams and materials that might cause discomfort or chafing to you. You also might find that your swimsuit moves around and bunches up underneath your wetsuit which might cause you further irritation and discomfort. You'll need to be sure that your swimwear is made of lightweight material otherwise that combined with a tight wetsuit may limit your freedom of movement. The best thing might be to wear a pair of swimwear briefs or bikini bottoms and a sports bra underneath your neoprene wetsuit. You could also look into sports underwear rather than something that covers your entire body. If you are worried about the seams chafing, you could also consider a rash vest. This will add an extra layer between you and your wetsuit to help protect against seams rubbing your skin.


Hygiene is another crucial aspect to consider. Wetsuits are typically used in environments where water quality varies, including at the beach, oceans, wild swimming spots and lakes. By wearing a swimsuit under your wetsuit, you create an additional barrier that helps maintain cleanliness. This layer can minimize direct contact between your skin and the wetsuit, reducing the chances of bacteria or other contaminants being transferred. So if you are particularly worried about the water you are swimming in an extra layer will only help.

Keeping You Warm

Wetsuits are designed to be worn directly against the skin, this will help with the thermal insulation and will give you extra warmth during your swim or watersport activity. Wearing a swimsuit beneath a wetsuit may actually work against what the wetsuit is trying to do, as the swimsuit may create pockets of trapped water, compromising its insulation. So although you are wearing another layer, you might find yourself getting colder more quickly when swimming in colder water. This may be less of an issue during warm water swims. You should try both options in colder temperatures and warmer temperatures.


There are pros and cons to the actual practicality of wearing a wetsuit. For those engaged in water sports or activities where quick changes might be needed, wearing a separate swimsuit underneath your wetsuit could be quite time-consuming. Wetsuits are designed to be put on and taken off easily, and adding an extra layer can slow you down the process. However, some people prefer the convenience of wearing a swimsuit as it makes it easier for changing in public and popping to the loo. For some people, they don't like to show too much bare skin or perhaps they want to cover up sensitive parts, an additional layer for example, a pair of bikini bottoms or a lightweight bathing suit might be an excellent choice.

UV Protection

Many wetsuits will offer UV protection from the sun's harmful rays. It's best to have a look at what sun protection your wetsuit offers. If not, you could add an extra layer underneath which will give you that extra sun protection against uv rays. There are a number of different options available, depending on what wetsuit you buy.

What Do You Wear Underneath A Wetsuit?

Alternative Options

If you find yourself torn between the two options, there are alternatives worth considering. Some wetsuits are designed with built-in liners, eliminating the need for a one-piece swimsuit altogether. These liners provide additional comfort, hygiene, and thermal insulation. Alternatively, you can opt for wetsuits made from neoprene materials with antimicrobial properties, which can help minimize bacterial growth and maintain cleanliness against the skin. If you are considering wearing both, you should consider what's the best choice, do you want a thicker wet suit which can offer extra insulation in colder waters? Or for warmer swims you can also consider thinner wetsuits. You can also look at tri suits as these are designed to be worn in and out of the water for a long time and may be a good idea 

Your Preference

Ultimately, the decision of whether to wear a swimsuit under a wetsuit is a matter of personal preference. There's no wrong answer. Factors such as body shape, body temperature, sensitivity, the temperature of the water, and the specific activity you're engaging in can all influence your choice. It's important to consider your comfort, hygiene concerns, and the practicality of your intended water activity. Experimentation is a good option, as what works for one individual may not be suitable for another. If you do decide to wear a swimsuit underneath your wetsuit, we’ve got a whole range of fantastic swimsuits for you to choose from. Our swimwear offers a comfortable fit, high-quality material, all from a UK-based company where customer service is at the forefront of mind.