Buying a Kayak Wetsuit: Size, Brands, Type?

Sarah: Hi, there! I have just stumbled upon your site, and you have a lot of really good information about wetsuits! I have a couple of REALLY specific wetsuit questions: I want to purchase a wetsuit for someone else for the holidays. Is it a bad idea to buy it without trying it on, even if I am very familiar with his size? Also, he will not be using the wetsuit for surfing, but rather for colder-weather kayaking and some rafting. We live in the Northeast, so probably in outside air temps down to 45-50 degrees. We also have dinky little waves, so surfing is not so popular:). Unlike with surfing, he won’t be actually going in the ocean water in these wetsuits, but it’s just for protection in lakes and rivers in case he gets splashed or tips over. What are the best wetsuits for those activities?

Also, do you know the brands Cressi, H2Odyssey, or Hyperflex? These seem to be the brands I am finding most often, and I was wondering if they were even worth looking at? Or should I stick with the brands reviewed on your site?

Thank you so much in advance for answering my questions! And thank you for having such an informative wetsuit website out there!


Some kayaks on the Chicago river

Hi Sarah, glad you like the site. To answer your questions:

  1. If you know the size you should be ok, todays wetsuits are pretty stretchy.
  2. There are three options for kayaking. One are kayak specific wetsuits, second one are surfing wetsuits, and last and probably the warmest but also most expensive – the drysuit. There is an article on our website dealing with what kind of wetsuit to get for kayaking with included temperature guide. You can find it here.
  3. Kayak specific brands afaik are NRS, Kokatat, Stohlquist… Neosport and Camaro also make kayak wetsuit and I am sure there are many others. If you are buying without trying you might as well order online.

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