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Best Wetsuits for Aquatic Activity Reviewed

last updated May 27, 2019

Many combat fighters like the idea of training in the ocean. The water is your best training partner as it is volatile and hard to predict. This is a great way to change up your exercise routine when you are starting to get bored with your regular workout. Swimming in the ocean is fantastic for cardio and helps greatly increase your lung capacity. However, spending a prolonged period of time in the ocean can become very cold and it is ideal that swimmers wear wetsuits. The suit will help retain your body heat and also provide a layer of protection against the elements.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 4 hrs of research

icon
O'Neill Reactor
98.2/100 our score
Compression
98
Advanced Features
99
Materials
97
Fit
99
Flexibility
98
O'Neill Reactor
Why is it better?

Superseal neck technology

Very durable

Extra knee padding

Assisted zipper

Long sleeved

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
O'Neill Reactor
Test Winner: O'Neill Reactor
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
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Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
4789
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
4
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Sorting Options
Compression Advanced Features Materials Fit Flexibility By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.2
Compression
98 %
Advanced Features
99 %
Materials
97 %
Fit
99 %
Flexibility
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$89.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Compression
98 %
Advanced Features
100 %
Materials
97 %
Fit
94 %
Flexibility
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$68.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Compression
100 %
Advanced Features
99 %
Materials
91 %
Fit
97 %
Flexibility
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$149.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Compression
90 %
Advanced Features
95 %
Materials
96 %
Fit
97 %
Flexibility
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$199.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Compression
98 %
Advanced Features
96 %
Materials
95 %
Fit
89 %
Flexibility
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$29.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Compression
94 %
Advanced Features
93 %
Materials
98 %
Fit
90 %
Flexibility
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$52.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Compression
91 %
Advanced Features
92 %
Materials
90 %
Fit
92 %
Flexibility
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$56.90
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Compression
83 %
Advanced Features
89 %
Materials
87 %
Fit
93 %
Flexibility
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$30.98
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Compression
89 %
Advanced Features
86 %
Materials
85 %
Fit
83 %
Flexibility
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$49.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Compression
85 %
Advanced Features
83 %
Materials
79 %
Fit
88 %
Flexibility
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$119.00
In Depth Review Top 10
  • O'Neill Reactor O'Neill Reactor
  • Seavenger Odyssey Seavenger Odyssey
  • O'Neill Epic O'Neill Epic
  • Synergy Endorphin Synergy Endorphin
  • Phantom Aquatics Phantom Aquatics
  • Seavenger Navigator Seavenger Navigator
  • Dark Lightning Dark Lightning
  • COPOZZ COPOZZ
  • Lemorecn Lemorecn
  • Xterra Vendetta Xterra Vendetta
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Expert Interviews & Opinions
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top Picks for the Best Wetsuits

1. O'Neill Reactor

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.2
O'Neill Reactor Wetsuit
Amazon Link
Compression
98
Advanced Features
99
Materials
97
Fit
99
Flexibility
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$89.95
Pros:

Superseal neck technology

Very durable

Extra knee padding

Assisted zipper

Long sleeved

Cons:

Zipper is over lubricated

O’Neill is one of the best brands on the market for water sports equipment and is well known for producing good quality products. Over the years they have also started to produce casual apparel that can function both as beachwear or for a summer party. This particular product is no different in that a lot of thought and effort was put into the design process in order to provide consumers with the most versatile wetsuit possible.

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One of the greatest things about this particular wetsuit is the ability to keep the water out of your body. While many people expect water to enter the wetsuit to some degree, this product can keep you virtually dry. This is done by using the superseal neck technology that provides a slight suction seal to your neck area. This was created to ensure that the fabric wraps around your neck nicely and is not loose so that water can enter in from there. The neckline is one of the hardest places to close as it is the hole in the wetsuit and everyone has different sized necks.

2. Seavenger Odyssey

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.8
Seavenger Odyssey wetsuits
Amazon Link
Compression
98
Advanced Features
100
Materials
97
Fit
94
Flexibility
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$68.95
Pros:

Stylish and classy

Reinforced material

Flatlock stitching

Made for mobility

Easy to wear

Cons:

Not insulated enough for cold water

This is a wetsuit that looks very trendy and cool. There are white graphics parts on there that help you stand out compared to the rest of the people in the water. This is a great addition to any athletes closet as it is stylish while delivering top-notch efficiency to protect against the water from entering your suit. The shoulders and knees are made with a different material that adds to the subtle but unique design that helps complete the overall look of your outfit.

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It can be surprising for people who do not partake in water sports that the water can be incredibly strong and hurt you. This is caused by the water pressure and waves depending on the weather on a particular day. Usually, the first point of impact is your joints such as knees and shoulders. To prevent any damage or chafed skin in the area, this particular wetsuit comes with reinforced material on the shoulders and knees. By adding anti-abrasion pads to these joint areas, it can greatly reduce the number of water burns and rashes that you receive.

3. O'Neill Epic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Wetsuits - O'Neill Epic
Amazon Link
Compression
100
Advanced Features
99
Materials
91
Fit
97
Flexibility
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$149.95
Pros:

Tough and sturdy

Reinforced materials

Extra stretchy neoprene

Wind resistant

Insulated against cold

Cons:

Very expensive

This wetsuit is considered to be one of the more luxurious products that O’Neill produces. This is a cream of the crop wetsuit that is recommended to people who are serious about training in the water and want something they can rely on. While it is on the more expensive side, this wetsuit contains a lot of new and innovative technology that can help improve your training and performance. Sticking to the signature O’Neill look, this suit is very subtle in color with a slightly shiny patch on the core of the suit that also has their logo splashed across the chest.

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Because this is a premium product, the wetsuit is greatly reinforced to prevent it from ripping and tearing when there is a lot of water pressure. All the problem areas such as seams and joint areas have been reinforced with extra fabric and padding. This is to elongate the lifespan of your swimwear so that you are not breaking the bank every few seasons. This product was designed to be able to handle rough use and take quite a beating.

4. Synergy Endorphin

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Synergy Endorphin Wetsuit
Amazon Link
Compression
90
Advanced Features
95
Materials
96
Fit
97
Flexibility
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.95
Pros:

Won awards

Hydrodynamic neoprene

Complete mobility

Soft scoop neck

Maximum buoyancy

Cons:

Seams become exposed

It is no secret that athletes enjoy changing up their training, as hitting the fitness center day in and day out can become really boring. If a workout becomes boring, often times it will no longer be challenging either. This can result in decreased performance or a plateau in fitness improvements. One of the easiest changes for combat athletes is to take their training outside into the elements or partake in other sports and activities to get similar exercise.

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This particular wetsuit has a competitive edge over every other product on the market as it was designed for triathlons. This means that you are able to swim, run and bike easily wearing it. This particular wetsuit was designed to be like a second skin on your body and not impede your mobility in any way. Rather than the normal materials, this wetsuit is made with hydrodynamic neoprene which is thinner and more streamlined. This can help increase your speed and reduce the amount of drag while you are in a competition. This wetsuit has such a superior design that it has even won multiple awards.

5. Phantom Aquatics

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Phantom Aquatics wetsuit
Amazon Link
Compression
98
Advanced Features
96
Materials
95
Fit
89
Flexibility
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.99
Pros:

Wind resistant

Reinforced fabric

Customizable neckline

Stretchy and durable

Long neck leash

Cons:

Sizing chart confusing

As mentioned previously, one of the hardest parts to fit for a person is the neckline. Everyone has a different girth when it comes to their neck and it is very hard to standardize sizing for it. However, loose areas in the neck fabric mean that water can easily sneak in and get you wet inside. To prevent that from happening, this wetsuit has a fully adjustable neckline. It uses a Velcro system so that you can adjust and secure the wetsuit against your neck for a perfect fit every time.

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Phantom Aquatics wetsuit is made with materials that can help protect you from the wind. Often times you are training or exercising in the ocean and the weather can change suddenly. Your body can suddenly drop in temperature if the wind is blowing against your wet body with no way to prevent the chill against your skin. This particular product is created with reinforced neoprene that can help insulate your body much better. This will help reduce how cold your body feels when the wind picks up.

6. Seavenger Navigator

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Seavenger Navigator wetsuit
Amazon Link
Compression
94
Advanced Features
93
Materials
98
Fit
90
Flexibility
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$52.95
Pros:

Easy to wear

Extra strength material

Stretchy armpit fabric

Increased mobility

Short sleeved

Cons:

Groin area can be tight

Seavenger is well known for offering many designs and variations of their wetsuits. Each of them is durable and able to stand up against salt water. This product is no different. The wetsuit features many different colors, making it stand out and easy to spot in the water. The graphics on the wetsuit itself also look very cool and are aesthetically pleasing. The biggest advantage that this wetsuit has is that it is a short wetsuit. They are ideal for training during very hot weather and can keep you cool and comfortable.

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This particular product is created with a blend of Neoprene that is reinforced against wear and tear. The material is much stronger than regular Neoprene and can handle both the water pressure and salt water well. The particular wetsuit also comes with a long leash on the zipper so that you are able to don your equipment easily. It can be incredibly frustrating to not be able to do up your wetsuit and rely on someone to help you with it. Having the leash will allow you to easily pull it all the way up by yourself.

7. Dark Lightning

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.4
Dark Lightning
Amazon Link
Compression
91
Advanced Features
92
Materials
90
Fit
92
Flexibility
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$56.90
Pros:

Extra heating

Very thick material

Workhorse product

Very affordable

Will go with any gear

Cons:

Strong smell of chemicals

People who regularly exercise in the water knows how cold it can become despite it being a super hot and sunny day. Water tends to reflect the heat away while the moisture super cools your body. Together, these two factors can decrease your body temperature significantly. This is why people who anticipate training over a long period of time in the water will wear a wetsuit. This particular product has great thermal properties, which can greatly increase the time before you start to feel cold.

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This wetsuit has a competitive edge above the rest as it comes with a layer of neoprene that is five millimeters thing. Neoprene is a lightweight material that is incredibly insulating and can help keep the heat inside your wetsuit. When you are moving, your body will generate heat. The thick layers of neoprene will trap the heat and ensure it is recycled around your body so you do not end up too cold. Coupled with the fact that the extra thing material makes the garment more buoyant, this is a wetsuit you do not want to miss!

8. COPOZZ

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
COPOZZ wetsuit
Amazon Link
Compression
83
Advanced Features
89
Materials
87
Fit
93
Flexibility
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$30.98
Pros:

Multiple bright colors

Lightweight and comfortable

Multi purpose

Covers entire body

Slim fitting

Cons:

Materials are a bit thin

It is a common occurrence for people who surf and do lots of water sports to receive rashes that are done by the water. The strong rush of water is often too strong for our skin and our body will react by creating a barrier to protect our inside layers. During this time, it is important to have a rash guard or wetsuit to protect your body so that you can continue to exercise comfortably. This particular wetsuit is great as it is multi-functional. It can serve as a thin wetsuit or also a rash guard.

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For people who enjoy diving or snorkeling, one of the most important things to take into consideration is whether you will be visible under water. Wetsuits often come in blue or black, allowing you to blend in with nature and get close to the animals. However, this can also cause problems as your partner may have difficulty locating you in the murky water. As a result, this product is offered in a series of vibrant colors for consumers who would rather stand out against the blue backdrop.

9. Lemorecn

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Lemorecn
Amazon Link
Compression
89
Advanced Features
86
Materials
85
Fit
83
Flexibility
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$49.00
Pros:

Superior stitching

Extra insulation

Great design

Very flexible

Multiple colors

Cons:

Sizes run small

While this is a relatively unknown brand, it is starting to gain attention in the sports equipment world. They have spent a lot of money into research and development of their products prior to creating this wetsuit. One of the biggest advantages it has is that their seams are double stitched in a flatlock pattern to ensure that they are sturdy enough to withstand use in salt water.

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Flatlock stitching is a method where two large swathes of material are overlapped before being sewn. This prevents bunching of the fabric at the seamed area so that nothing can chafe you while you wear the wetsuit. For products that do not have the flat lock stitching, some of the sewn areas may rub against your skin and irritate it over a long period of time. The lack of overlap also means that when a seam rips, your wetsuit more or less needs to be replaced. The double stitching done on top of the flat lock method is to ensure that the sewing is tough and will not rip.

10. Xterra Vendetta

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Xterra Vendetta wetsuits
Amazon Link
Compression
85
Advanced Features
83
Materials
79
Fit
88
Flexibility
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$119.00
Pros:

Complete movement

Heat generating

Relatively affordable

Versatile design

Long leash

Cons:

Some have missing stitches

This is a product that is ideal for combat fighters who are training in a triathlon or are planning to go swimming on a hot summer day. To prevent any mobility or flexibility issues, this wetsuit is made without sleeves. When you exercise, your arms are constantly moving and generating heat. This means that having no sleeves will not increase your likelihood of becoming cold. The constant exercising of your arms will prevent you from becoming too cold in the ocean.

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Another advantage of this wetsuit is that it greatly increases your buoyancy. People who are denser are at a disadvantage when training in the water as they tend to sink and require more energy and power to stay afloat. For people who are naturally more buoyant, combining it with a wetsuit that provides more buoyancy is going to be able to greatly improve your performance. Being able to float more easily means less resistance, making you much faster than everyone else. It can also help improve your cardio by increasing your lung capacity as you are moving and holding your breath at the same time.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Compression

Compression is almost a given expectation when it comes to looking for a good wetsuit. This is because wetsuits are naturally tight and should have the ability to help improve your body, not just simply restrict your blood flow. Compression is important for many reasons.

One of the biggest reasons why athletes use compression gear is because it can help improve blood flow and circulation. Often times when an athlete goes training, they are not completely recovered from the previous training session.

During these times, the muscles become inflamed and create areas of low and high pressure. If left alone, the blood will pool in the lower pressure areas because there is simply no push to keep it going. This directly translates to sore and tired muscles.

Selecting a wetsuit with good compression can help improve your blood flow as the compression properties will help push that stagnant blood and encourage it to continue moving. This allows used-up red blood cells to oxygenate with more nutrients and deliver them to the vital areas that need it during your workout.

This will directly translate to less soreness and discomfort in your body and also peak performance in hitting all your fitness goals despite not being completely recovered.

Advanced Features

A wetsuit can have many extra benefits and it is important to take some of these things into consideration when purchasing a product like this. One of the most important ones is wind protection. Many people who have worn fleece can attest to the fact that when the wind blows, it feels like they are wearing nothing because the fleece is so breathable.

Wetsuits can be similar if you have chosen one that is not wind resistant. When purchasing a wetsuit, see if there is any wind protection offered as it can make or break your experience. Because the ocean is so volatile, it could be sunny one moment and stormy the next. During these times, it is crucial for you to be able to stay warm while you try to finish up or make it ashore.

If you do not have an immediate change of clothes coming out of the water and the wind blows, it could feel like you are not wearing anything. Most wetsuits that have wind protection will also come with the ability to retain heat. This allows you to save some money without having to purchase an extra layer underneath. You can simply wear this one wetsuit and expect to be protected from the elements.

Materials

One of the most important things to any athlete is being able to stay in top shape and perform the best during competitions. While having the right sports equipment is important, it is more important to be physically fit. When you are purchasing a wetsuit for your outdoor training, try to find something that is made with neoprene or at least a mixture of it. Wearing neoprene when exercising comes with a host of benefits.

One of the biggest reasons why neoprene is used in wetsuits is that it offers great heat retention. Unlike most fabrics that our clothes are made of, neoprene does not breathe well. This means that when we work out and generate heat, it will stay within the wetsuit. Unfortunately, that also means our sweat will as well.

Having sweat and heat also has an additional benefit is that it will increase your cardio output. Because you are hot, having to sweat will actually greatly increase the amount of fat burning that takes place. This is why you often see people who are trying to lose fat wear a lot of clothes when they exercise. While the neoprene keeps you hot and sweaty, it also keeps the environment out. This creates a win-win situation where you cannot lose by wearing a wetsuit in the ocean.

Fit

People often get distracted by all the features and benefits that come with the product when shopping for a wetsuit. The most important factor when it comes to purchasing one of these products is actually fitting.

Quite simply put, if a wetsuit does not fit you perfectly, it will not work at all. A wetsuit is designed to be able to keep the water out of your body, wearing a product that is even slightly loose will give water the opportunity to enter. At that point, the wetsuit does not work for you despite all the fancy bells and whistles.

When you are purchasing a wetsuit, it should always feel a little tight. It should not be so tight that it restricts your movement and blood flow, however, the material should feel like it’s firmly latched onto your skin. Because wetsuits can be quite stiff, there should be a slight suction feeling against your skin.

When you try on a wetsuit, move around with it on for a few minutes to see how well you can move. After the few minutes, take off the suit and observe your body to see if there are marks. The product is too tight if there are noticeable red rings around your wrist, neck, and ankle area.

Flexibility

For people that are putting on a wetsuit, the feeling is incredibly weird. It feels like everything is constricting around you and it can be quite difficult to move. After you wear it for a bit, you should be able to move around comfortably.

One of the key factors to look for in your wetsuit is how flexible it is. You do not want a wetsuit that has no stretching capability because that means the fabric will simply snap or rip off when the pressure becomes too great. Because we are going to be constantly moving when we are wearing a wetsuit, it is important that the materials have a bit of flexibility otherwise the seams will easily burst.

An easy way to tell if your wetsuit was designed properly is to look to see if there is extra fabric around the joint areas or whether the materials are extra stretchy. If these areas seem looser and there seems to be more give in the material, then that is a well-made wetsuit.

Avoid suits that have very tight armpit or groin areas as they may not be able to withstand the movements that you make when swimming. Wetsuits that do not offer flexibility are a waste of money as you will be required to replace them much more frequently than well-made ones.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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expert tips icon
Bermuda Triangle

There are many mysteries and interesting facts that are associated with the ocean, one of the most popular one being about the Bermuda Triangle. Specifically, the Bermuda Triangle consists of three points: Florida, Bermuda, and the Greater Antilles and makes a rough triangle. People are very interested in that area as there have been more than fifty ships and twenty airplanes that have vanished in that region over the years.

How do wetsuits work?

The reason why wetsuits can protect us so well is that it is actually made of six layers to keep our bodies and the water apart. Without all these layers, our body would not be able to generate enough heat needed to keep ourselves warm while being in the ocean. Some fancier wetsuits are even lined with a layer of thin malleable metal to help reflect some of the heat back towards your body.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

While wetsuits are a great idea to protect yourself from the elements of the ocean, it does not come with no disadvantages. One of the main concerns is that it can be incredibly expensive for a good quality wetsuit. They can also be incredibly restricting, meaning that you have difficulty being completely mobile. Some people can become discouraged as the ocean will demonstrate to them how much higher their fitness levels need to be in order to be competitive while others may be inspired by this challenge. The biggest hassle that turns people off from training in the ocean is the amount of time it takes to prepare and clean up afterward. Apart from packing your bag, you need to drive to a nearby water body in which you can train. If it is an ocean, chances are there is a beach where sand is involved. During the cleanup processes, you have to ensure all the salt water is removed from your body and equipment otherwise the salt may damage the integrity of your stuff. You also need to ensure that you are not bringing some of the sand home, and also prevent damage to your hair and skin. For people that are still getting used to wearing a wetsuit, it can also be quite difficult to take off or put on.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Where can I purchase wetsuits?

a:

These can usually be purchased at large sporting equipment stores, however, they are limited in how much stock they can carry. If you are interested in a specific brand that you cannot find, try searching through an online retailer as they are not restricted to the actual size of their store.

q: Are there wetsuits for kids?

a:

Absolutely! Wetsuits come in all shapes and sizes and can fit children through adults. Just be sure to do your measurements carefully and so where it corresponds on the size chart.

q: Is there a generic size chart for everyone?

a:

Unfortunately no. Each company as their own sizing charts as their products will differ in size from other brands. Every brand that you want to try or every time you purchase a new wetsuit, you will need to measure yourself again.

q: How do you maintain wetsuits?

a:

Wash with cold soapy water. Salt can be very corrosive so it is important that you ensure you get rid of all the salt off your equipment. Wash with cold soapy water to get as much out before washing with warm water. Hang in a cool place to air dry.

q: What is the difference between long sleeve versus short sleeve wetsuits?

a:

There is really no difference and is up to preference. The only thing that you need to take into consideration is the intensity of the sport. The more intense your sport is, the better it is to have full coverage protection. If you are only swimming or snorkeling, short sleeved wetsuits will work just fine.

Sources

  1. The Rookie Tri, To Wetsuit Or Not To Wetsuit , Opinion
  2. Chris Woodford, Wetsuits, Informational