Wetsuit for winter swimming

Janice: I want to use my inground pool in the winter for water exercising and I need to know what type of wetsuit would be ok. I live in the south so it doesn’t get very cold for very many days. I would think in the 40’s and 50’s.

Janice, if the pool is not heated then at least a full 3/2 wetsuit. If the water cools down to 40s and 50s – thats pretty cold. I know you meant air temperatues but a small body of water like a pool cools down faster than the sea. Still for active swimming a 3/2 full wetsuit should be enough.


  1. Hello,

    My Mum is wanting a wetsuit for swimming in the winter here in Australia. The Temps can go as low at 8 Degrees C, which converts to 46 Degrees F in the US. Would you suggest a 3/2 for these temps as well?

    many thanks.

  2. Julie, are we talking 8C air or water temperatures? For anything under 12-13C water temp I would say 4/3. Even 13-15C water temp I would recommend a 3/2 only to people who swim actively and then get out of the water. If the water is not to cold then 8C air is OK for 3/2.

  3. If you want to swim in a lake that the ice has just melted, so the water would be 0+1 degrees celcius, what thinkness of suit would you recommend. The water temp would keep rising since I am in Canada, southern Ontario and would not reach plus 10 degrees till late May.
    Let me know your thoughts,
    p.s is there a difference between mens and ladies wetsuits?

  4. I want a wetsuit to swim in barton springs – the water temperature is always 68 degrees. I want a short sleeve one with shorts not pants – what would you recommend?

  5. Tammy, I would recommend a “shortie” it has short sleeves and pants just as you require. They are normally somewhat cheaper than a full wetsuit and can run as low as $50.

  6. What would be the best wetsuit for an open water swim regime in Alaska late winter water temp between 38º-46º F. Were talking-into the water, moderate swim rate, 1-1.5 miles and then out of the water?
    Thanks, Jim

  7. I would like to extend the ocean swimming season to when water temperatures are as low as 62°-65°. What would be the most comfortable suit for swimming? If I use a hood, could I use a shorty? What kind of a hood?

  8. Hi, I’m a newbie so i’m looking for a good price but quality is still important. I’m looking for a 5/3 but could i get some advice about what brands are good and what to avoid?
    I’ve heard good things about o’neill and billabong, what about brands like animal?


  9. Billabong, Rip Curl, O’Neill, X-cel are imho top.. then also body glove, patagonia, quiksilver, hurley… not so sure about animal. It can be a very good wetsuit but maybe not the most advanced.

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