HomeScuba DivingWhat to Wear Under a Wetsuit

What to Wear Under a Wetsuit

If you are looking for what to wear under a wetsuit, look no more there are several options. Let’s find out the undergarments you can wear under the wetsuit.

what to wear under a wetsuit in cold water

You know all about the discomfort of wearing a wetsuit. It’s tight and itchy and doesn’t breathe at all.

But what can we do to make our experience with this uncomfortable piece of gear more breathable? 

We could try different brands or use baby powder to keep us dry under the suit [joking], but a more straightforward solution will not cost us any money.

You just have to wear something under your wetsuit that is already tight fitting so it won’t be as constricting.

I always wear my swimsuit under my wetsuit because it’s made from lycra which is stretchy and moisture-wicking, so I’m never uncomfortable in or out of the water.

The most popular choice is wearing underwear or board shorts, sports briefs, bikinis, or compression shorts with an elastic waistband; they provide additional coverage and protection from rubbing against your skin while preventing chafing.

As it can occur when the wetsuit rubs against your skin, wearing undergarments will help to prevent this from happening.

Additionally, these undergarments will keep you warm and provide some insulation in the water.

However, wearing something under your wetsuit is highly beneficial for men and women.

Now you know that wearing a wetsuit can make all the difference in your performance. But think about what you wear underneath it.

Wearing the right clothes can help keep you warm and comfortable in the water. Here are a few things that you should always wear under your wetsuit.

In this article, I have listed different undergarments for men and women based on sport type, so it will be easy to find out what you need to wear under your wetsuit.

What to Wear Under a Wetsuit [Based on Sport]

Here is what to Wear Under a Wetsuit based on scuba diving, Surfing, and Triathlon.

Scuba diving – you will want to wear a swimsuit, full-body swimsuit, or a rash guard under your wetsuit to protect your skin; this helps keep you warm.

For Surfing – it is best to wear a swimsuit, bikini, or board shorts under your wetsuit to help you stay warm and avoid getting chafing.

Triathlons – bike shorts, One-piece swimsuits, speedos underneath swimsuits, and sports bras are common choices to wear under wetsuits for Triathlons.

In addition, if you are going scuba diving or Surfing, you will also want to wear a wetsuit bootie for warmth and protection.

If you are just going to be in the water for a short time, you can also just wear swim shorts or trunks.

Whatever you choose to wear under your wetsuit, make sure it is tight enough to have no excess material. This will help prevent the wetsuit from getting waterlogged and making you too heavy to swim.

The old saying goes, “Ladies first,” so I will list some of the undergarments women can wear under a swimsuit.

What do Women Wear Under a Wetsuit?

What do Women Wear Under a Wetsuits

This is a question that many swimmers have pondered over but never asked.

What do women wear under wetsuits? Can you just go nude? Do you have to wear a swimsuit? A bikini? Board shorts? Lace panties and a camisole???

Well, it’s all about personal preference!

However, you wonder no more! I am here to tell you all about what women can and may wear under wetsuits.

One-piece Swimsuit

Ekouaer Retro Vintage One Piece Pin Up Bikini Monokinis...
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Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Most women wear one-piece swimsuits under the wetsuit when swimming. This allows them to move around quickly and not feel constricted while swimming.

A One-Piece Swimsuit is a one-piece of fabric, usually made from nylon or polyester, covering the wearer’s body from the neck to the ankles.

The material is stretchy and traditionally fastened by a zipper extending from the neck below the navel.

You can wear a One-Piece Swimsuit under wetsuits because it stretches and is also made from moisture-looking material, which is not constricting. This means you will never feel uncomfortable in or out of the water.


Wear Bikini Under a Wetsuit

Some women prefer to wear bikini bottoms under their wetsuits. This is an excellent option because it allows you to move around quickly and prevents chafing from happening to your body.

Just make sure that the bikini bottom fits snugly against your skin so there is no movement while in the water.

If you choose to wear bikini bottoms, make sure they are made from a stretchy and moisture-wicking material. This will help to keep you cool and comfortable while wearing your wetsuit.

Bikinis can be worn underneath a wetsuit. I do not recommend them because they are not as moisture-wicking as One-Piece Swimsuits.

It means you may feel more uncomfortable in the water while wearing a bikini under your wetsuit.

Also, there are some privacy concerns with wearing a bikini under a wetsuit.

If you plan to wear a bikini under your wetsuit, make sure the top of your bikini doesn’t come off when taking off the wetsuit, as it seems to be a common problem with most bikinis.

Board Shorts

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  • 【PREMIUM LIGHT WEIGHT DIVE SHORTS】- 2mm thickness...

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Board shorts are another great option for women who want to wear something underneath their wetsuit.

They are loose-fitting and comfortable, plus they provide extra coverage if that’s what you’re looking for.

Board shorts are a type of swim trunk or bathing suit shorts that extend to just above or below the knee.

They are often made from quick-drying synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon, making them ideal for use in and out of the water.

Board shorts can be worn under wetsuits because they are made from moisture material that is not as tight or constricting as a swimsuit, bikini, or briefs.

Compression Shorts With Elastic Waistband

Champion Women's Absolute Bike Short with SmoothTec...
  • Sleek 3-inch waistband resists chafing, supports and...
  • Silky soft fabric stretches for ease and mobility....

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These athletic shorts look similar to board shorts but have an elastic waistband making them ideal for swimming or other sports activities.

Compression shorts are perfect for athletes or anyone who wants to add support while wearing a wetsuit. They fit tightly against your skin, which prevents any rubbing from happening.

They are usually made with polyester fabric, making it fast drying, so you feel comfortable inside and outside the water.

So you can comfortably wear the compression shorts under wetsuits without being too tight on your skin.

Sleeveless Vest

NeoSport Women's 2.5-mm XSPAN Vest (Black with Powder...
  • Should fit snug, but not too tight
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Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These vests are perfect for wearing under-wetsuits because It provides excellent coverage and helps regulate your temperature while you’re in the water.

They also have a high neckline that protects your skin from chafing when wearing a wetsuit or rash guard.

If you decide to wear one of these, then make sure it is made out of polyester fabric; this will keep you warm while swimming in colder temperatures and help with preventing chaffing at the same time.

Full-body Skinsuit

Seaskin Mens 3mm Shorty Wetsuit Womens, Full Body...
  • Seaskin shorty wetsuit men is specially designed for...
  • The womens wetsuit should fit snugly and tight to the...
  • Heavy duty YKK front zipper wetsuit is easy for exit...

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A full-body skinsuit is perfect for men and women who want to wear something under their wetsuit.

It covers your entire body from head to toe, making it a great choice if you’re looking for extra warmth while swimming.

Full-body skin suits are made out of stretchy neoprene material, making them comfortable to wear and keeping you warm while in the water.

They are popular among triathletes because they provide insulation against cold weather conditions and help reduce drag while swimming.

If you choose to wear a full-body skinsuit, then make sure it is made from moisture-wicking neoprene and lycra-type material so you stay dry and comfortable while wearing it.

If you want to try the full-body suit, I recommend purchasing the 1mm thickness, which most people prefer. This allows great flexibility and mobility, even when you’re wearing it over another outfit.

Skinsuits also make slipping on or taking off the wetsuit much easier because they fit nicely on the skin.

Rash Guard

O'Neill UV Sun Protection Womens Basic Skins Long...
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Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The rash guard will keep you slightly warm, so if you are swimming in temperature water, the rash guard might add slight thermal protection to your activities.

Rash guards are made from nylon or Lycra material which allows them to stretch, perfect for wearing under wetsuits. They also provide coverage, so look no further if this is what you want.

The main thing about Rash Guards is that they have long sleeves, but some have short sleeves. You can wear either depending on your preference and comfort level.

If you prefer to wear a rash guard under your wetsuit, make sure that the rash guard is made from polyester or nylon fabric.

These fabrics will dry quickly and provide extra warmth while swimming in the water.

Sports Bras

Women's Comfort Workout Sports Bra Low-Impact Activity...
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Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For women, whether you are wearing a wetsuit or not, it is always recommended to wear one.

Sports bras provide support while exercising in the water and keep your breasts from bouncing around, which can be painful at times.

Since my girlfriend has experienced this pain before when swimming without a sports bra, I know that. (Yes, guys, women don’t only wear them after puberty)

The material of these bras should stretch but return to its original shape because it will help prevent chafing under your armpits, which could lead to skin irritation over time.

If you choose to go with a Sports Bra, make sure it fits appropriately against your chest, so there aren’t any gaps. This will prevent water from entering inside the suit.

The sports bra provides more support than a tank top or regular bra would, so it is a good idea to invest in one if you plan on swimming or Surfing often.

When looking for the right sports bra, make sure that it has been tested and proven to reduce breast bounce while you are active. This can be found by reading the reviews of other customers before making your purchase.

There are many different sports bras on the market these days, so finding the perfect one for you shouldn’t be too difficult.

Going Naked

If you don’t want to wear anything under your wetsuit, that is perfectly understandable. Some people just feel more comfortable not wearing anything at all.

As I said initially, don’t hook yourself too much on deciding what to wear under a wetsuit because it’s all about personal preferences and what makes you feel comfortable to enable your body for better movements without being hurt.

You must remember a few things if you go naked, though.

The main thing is to ensure the area is clean and free of oils, lotions, or sunscreens before getting into the water.

These products can cause chafing and irritation when combined with a wet suit.

Another thing is the privacy concerns for women because if you want to take off the wetsuit and take on your clothes again, then there will be a problem.

However, if you wear a bikini, this concern will remain. If you can manage, then it’s magnificent to go naked.

So there are some things to think about if you plan on going naked under your wetsuit.. but ultimately, this decision comes down to personal preference.

If you don’t like anything between yourself and your suit, then go right ahead, my friend. It’s time to embrace those tan lines anyway 😉


There are many different undergarments that women can wear under their wetsuits. It all comes down to personal preference.

Just make sure that whatever you choose is made from a stretchy and moisture-wicking material. This will help to keep you cool and comfortable in the water.

What Do Men Wear Under Wetsuits?

Like women, men have many options for wearing underneath their wetsuits.

However, I will only discuss the most popular options for men.

Swim Trunks

Kanu Surf mens Barracuda (Regular & Extended Sizes)...
  • Swim trunk featuring elasticized waistband with...
  • Cargo pockets at side
  • 11Inch inseam

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A swim trunk, also known as a bathing suit or swimming trunk, is a men’s garment typically worn in most competitive swimming sports events at the lower part of the body.

Swim shorts are often made from high-performance materials that quickly draw sweat away from the skin to keep you cool and dry when performing for long periods in hot weather conditions.

They are usually tight-fitting but not constricting, so they can be worn under wetsuits without being too tight on your skin.

Board Shorts

Hurley One & Only Boardshort 22" Fountain Blue 34
  • Solid boardshort featuring fixed waistband with...
  • Patented EZ fly closure

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Board shorts, also known as swim trunks, are a type of men’s swimwear worn in water sports such as Surfing, bodyboarding, and wakeboarding.

Board shorts are typically longer than swim trunks and have a loose fit.

They are made from quick-drying materials like polyester or nylon, so they can be worn under wetsuits without being too tight on the skin.

Rash Guard

O'Neill Wetsuits Men's Basic Skins UPF 50+ Long Sleeve...
  • 87% Polyester, 13% Spandex
  • Imported. Flatlock Stitched Breathable Seams.
  • Pull On closure

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just like women, men can also wear Rash Guards under wetsuits. A rash guard is a shirt made from spandex, nylon, or polyester that helps protect the wearer against rashes caused by abrasion or friction.

Rash guards are popular among surfers, bodyboarders, windsurfers, kitesurfers, and wakeboarders. They wear them to protect their skin from the sun’s rays and prevent irritation from surfing in cold water.

Additionally, the Rash Guard plays a significant role in keeping your body warm.

Full-Body Suit

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A full-body suit is a wet suit covering the entire body from the neck to the ankles and wrists. 

They are made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber material that helps keep the wearer warm in cold water environments.

Full-body suits are popular among divers, surfers, and windsurfers who wear them to help protect their skin, prevent irritation and add thermal protection when surfing on cold water.

Men Briefs

Last update on 2024-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Like women, men can also choose to wear briefs under their wetsuits. 

Men’s briefs are made from various materials such as cotton, nylon, and spandex. Briefs provide support and comfort for the male anatomy and are often tight-fitting so that you can wear them. 


There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to what you should wear under your wetsuit, so choose whatever you make feel most comfortable.

Just ensure that the material does not restrict movement while swimming in the water. A good rule of thumb would be that if it feels uncomfortable, don’t do it.

Now that we know what to wear under a wetsuit let’s talk about the benefits of wearing all those under a wetsuit.

Why Divers Wear Undergarments Under Wetsuits

There are many things you need to think about to have a safe and enjoyable dive when it comes to diving.

One of the most important is what you wear under your wetsuit.

Many divers wear underwear or swim briefs when diving, and there are several reasons this is a good choice.

Keep You Warm

One of the most significant benefits of wearing underwear or swim briefs under a wetsuit is that it helps keep you warm.

The insulation provided by the underwear will help keep your body heat in, which can be especially important in colder waters.

Additionally, wearing underwear or swim briefs can help reduce the amount of water that enters your wetsuit, which can help keep you warmer and more comfortable during your dive.

So if you’re looking for an extra layer of warmth and comfort when driving, consider wearing some underwear or swim briefs under your wetsuit.

It may just make a world of difference on your next dive.

Protection against Chafing

Another benefit of wearing underwear or swim briefs under your wetsuit is that it can help protect you from chafing.

Chafing can be a very uncomfortable experience, and it can also lead to skin irritation.

Wearing underwear or swim briefs can help reduce the risk of chafing and keep you comfortable during your dive.

Also, Underwear or swim briefs can protect against friction and chafe while diving.

Additionally, they can help protect against any potential skin irritations caused by the neoprene material of your wetsuit.

Improve Visibility

Finally, wearing underwear or swim briefs under your wetsuit can help improve your visibility in the water.

It is because they will create a bright contrast against the dark neoprene of your wetsuit. This can be especially helpful if diving in murky waters with low visibility.

Wearing undergarments will not only help to keep you warm and protected from chafing, but they can also help you stay visible in the water.

Benefits of Wearing Undergarments under a Wetsuit

There are many benefits to wearing underwear or other undergarments underneath your wetsuit. Some of these benefits include:

– Keeps you warm: One of the main reasons people wear wetsuits is to keep warm in cold water temperatures.

Wearing undergarments helps you stay even warmer and thus makes wearing a wetsuit more comfortable for extended periods.

Because the insulation provided by the underwear will help keep your body heat in, which can be especially important in colder waters.

– Provides extra warmth: Some types of underwear can trap heat better than swimsuits or other clothing items, which can help keep your body warm while swimming in cold waters.

– Keeps hair from sticking out: If you wear a full wetsuit with the hood on, it is challenging to get your long hair tucked away, so it doesn’t stick out through the neckline.

Wearing an undershirt or shirt underneath your suit prevents this from happening so quickly.

FAQs About What to Wear Under a Wetsuit?

What is the best thing to wear under a wetsuit?

The best thing to wear under a wetsuit is a thin layer of clothing that will help keep you warm. Some people choose to wear a thermal layer, while others prefer to wear a wet suit liner.

Are you supposed to wear anything under a wetsuit?

There is no right or wrong answer, but most people wear a swimsuit or something similar underneath their wetsuit. This provides insulation and prevents chafing. Some people also wear compression shorts to help with blood flow and reduce the fatigue they feel during long swims.

What can you wear under a wetsuit to stay warm?

You can wear various things under your wetsuit to stay warm, but the most important thing is to make sure whatever you wear is snug and won’t bunch up. A thermal or long-john top and bottom are ideal, as are nylon pants and a fleece jacket. You can also wear a hooded sweatshirt or sweater.

Can you wear leggings under a wetsuit?

Yes, you can wear leggings under a wetsuit, but they may bunch up. It’s best to stick with snug-fitting clothing like thermal or nylon pants.

What to wear under a wetsuit for open-water swimming

You’ll want to wear something that will keep you warm but won’t bunch up for open water swimming. Thermal pants and a fleece jacket are a good option or wear a wetsuit skirt to keep your legs warm.

Wrapping Up

When choosing what to wear under a wetsuit, there are many different options out there.

I recommend considering your personal preference for finding out what gives you a better comfortable fit and protection.

By wearing the correct clothing items, you can make wearing a wetsuit more comfortable and enjoyable.

Check out our blog post for more tips on choosing the best clothes for swimming in cold weather.

Just remember not to wear all the undergarments at once under your wetsuit. Otherwise, it will feel heavy, so I will advise only wearing those that make sense and make you feel comfortable.

Happy Swimming!!!

I want to thank Angelina (swimming instructor) for helping us to make this list possible for women and men.

Jabran Ali
Jabran Ali
Jabran Ali is a swimming enthusiast, instructor, and testing swimming gears from the past 6 years. In these few years, he has got an extreme level of knowledge and achieved great goals. Now he knows the perfect swimming techniques and sharing his swimming life experience with Sportlia readers.


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