As a big and tall guy, there is nothing I enjoy like being in the waters. But I must confess; I’m not too fond of the cold that comes with it, and that’s part of the reason I always shop around big and tall wetsuits.
While there are so many wetsuits for average body sizes, it’s always a challenge for us big guys to find our fit. Smaller wetsuits just won’t cut as they constrict your body, interfering with joint movements.
Plus, water temperatures do vary at different places at different times of the year. So, you cannot wear the same wetsuit all year round.
This buying guide shall enlighten you on the various types of wetsuits that exist to help you choose accordingly. Moreover, I’ll share a sizing guide and other buying considerations.
But first, let me explain how wetsuits keep you warm.
In a rush? Check out my most recommended wetsuits for big and tall guys on Amazon below!
5 Best Big and Tall Wetsuits (Plus Size Wetsuits)
How Does Wetsuits Work.
Wetsuits are made of a synthetic rubber material known as neoprene. Usually, the suit traps a thin water layer between the neoprene and your body, which gets heated by your body to keep you warm.
For that reason, it’s essential to buy a wetsuit with a comfortable fit to prevent the cold water from flushing out the warm water.
Buying Guide for the Best Wetsuits for Big and Tall Guys
The market has so many wetsuits, which makes the decision harder. You can, however, have an easy time if you consider the factors discussed below:
a) Wetsuit Size
It’s essential to get a wetsuit that matches your body size and height. And when talking about the body size, I’m suggesting the chest and waist measurements.
Below is a reference sizing chart for the best mens wetsuits.
|Wetsuit Size||Height (inches)||Chest (inches)||Waist (inches)|
b) Type of Cut
Essentially, wetsuits come in two types of cuts; full and short.
Full-length wetsuits cover your whole body, including your arms and legs.
Short-length or shorties don’t cover your lower arms and legs.
In general, full-cut wetsuits are best for colder waters, while shorties are best for warmer waters.
c) Wetsuit Thickness
Wetsuits come in different thicknesses to match different water temperatures. Usually, thicker wetsuits are associated with colder waters.
Below is a table you can use to match yourself with a wetsuit that fits your area temperature.
|Wetsuit Thickness(mm)||Water Temperature (oC)||Water Temperature (0F)|
|6/5mm+||Less than 6 oC||Below 430F|
d) Zip Entry for Tall Wetsuits
The zip entry design is essential for ease of wearing and taking off a wetsuit.
In general, there are three types of zip entries to consider:
- Chest Zip: Wetsuits with a chest zip entry have a small flap that runs across your chest and creates a smaller opening. They offer the best seal against cold but are time-consuming to wear and take off.
- Back zip: Wetsuits with a back zip entry have a more extended zip on their back, which offers a larger opening. As a result, they are faster to wear and take off but don’t offer as much seal as chest zippers, thus best for warmer waters.
- Zip-free: Wetsuits with a zip-free entry don’t offer any zip restrictions. So, they are watertight and warm.
e) Type of Stitching for Big and Tall Surf Clothing
Wetsuits are built by closely knitted neoprene layers, and the stitching comes in different styles, which include:
- Overlock stitching: This style is the most basic but is, unfortunately, the least efficient at keeping water out. So, you won’t find this stitching on high-end wetsuits but expect it on cheap wetsuits, especially summer options.
- Flat-lock stitching: This stitching feature two overlapping neoprene layers. The stitching is entirely breathable, making the wetsuits best for the summer.
- Glued-and-blind stitch (GBS): GBS stitching is the most high-end form of stitching, where the wetsuit is watertight. As a result, the stitching is best for winter wetsuits.
f) Type of Seam
The seams are essential in keeping water out and keep you warm. Note, however, that wetsuits seams come in different designs, promoting different performances.
Here are the most notable seam types:
- Glued seams: Wetsuits with this seam type are glued together before stitching. That increases the seams’ strength and water tightness.
- Fully-taped seams: Here, the wetsuit tapes are glued on their inside.
- Liquid taped seams: Here, the seams are 100% waterproof as they feature a liquid rubber seal on their inside.
g) Wetsuit Technology for XL Wetsuit
Wetsuit technology has changed a lot over the years. Now, there are a lot of warmer wetsuits, all thanks to technology.
One great wetsuit technology worth considering is the FAR Infrared technology. Wetsuits with such technology provide warmth even when the waters are icy.
The technology also improves your circulation and metabolism and relieves you from joint aches and stiffness.
This technology lets you wear the thinnest wetsuit in cold waters and still feel warm.
The wetsuit is not the only consideration when you go scuba diving. As a matter of fact, the accessories dictate the kind of wetsuit to buy.
Here are the most typical wetsuit accessories:
- Wetsuit boots: These are more important for the winter, which means they go in handy with hooded and full wetsuits.
- Wetsuit hood: Unless you get a hooded wetsuit, a hood is essential to explore the cold waters.
- Boots (wetsuit boots) are worth getting for all wetsuits as they keep your feet warm and protect them against foreign objects.
Types of Big and Tall Wetsuits (Plus Size Wetsuits)
Generally, wetsuits for big and tall guys come in the following types:
- Full wetsuits
- Hooded wetsuits
- Long John/Long Jane wetsuits
- Short John/Short Jane wetsuits (shorties)
- Spring suit wetsuits
Let’s discuss them below:
1. Full Wetsuits for Big and Tall Guys.
Full wetsuits cover the entire body, including the legs and arms. The only part they don’t cover is the head.
They come in a thickness range of 3/2-5/4mm, making them among the most versatile wetsuits on the market. You can wear them in cool or cold waters.
Overall, there is no better choice for tall surfers and divers than the Lamorecn Men’s Wetsuit Jumpsuit (Amazon Link).
This full-body plus size wetsuit comes in a flexible design to suit all kinds of watersports. You can use it for kayaking, surfing, diving, scuba, or paddleboarding.
It enjoys a comfortable athletic fit with a heavy-duty back zipper that allows you to put it on and take it off quickly.
2. Hooded Wetsuits for Big and Tall Guys
Hooded wetsuits are full wetsuits with a hood that protects and keeps your head warm. Understandably, since 40-44% of the body’s heat loss is via the head, a hooded wetsuit guarantees maximum warmth.
They are generally the best choice for the coldest waters, and there is no better choice for big guys than the Nataly Osmann Camo Spearfishing Wetsuit (Amazon Link).
This two-piece hooded wetsuit for tall man promises to cover your entire body, apart from the hands, feet, and face, thus very warm.
It comes in a camouflage design, which allows you to scuba-dive safely and enjoys a tough neoprene layer that offers protection against biological irritants like jellies and sea lice.
3. Long John Wetsuits for Big and Tall Guys
Long John wetsuits (or Long Jane wetsuits for women) look like full wetsuits â€“ only that they are sleeveless. So, they don’t cover your arms. As a result, they are not the best choice for the coldest water and biological irritants.
The best thing about these wetsuits is that they are adequately padded. Their design makes them comfortable for paddling with.
A perfect choice is the NeoSport Premium Waterman John Wetsuit (Amazon Link).
This long John wetsuit is 5mm thick and comes in a snug fit. It’s built from premium neoprene, which feels soft and stretchy.
Its flat-lock seams promise durability, and its diamond-plate knee pads promise knee comfort.
You can use it for any watersport.
4. Short John Wetsuits for Big Guys
Short John wetsuits (or short Jane in women) are sleeveless short-legged wetsuits best for summer.
These wetsuits, also popularly known as shorties, cover the torsos down to the thighs but not beyond the knees.
For those who like to show their arms, shorties are an incredible choice.
One fantastic shortie for big guys is the Men’s 3mm Shorty Wetsuit (Amazon Link).
This front zipper wetsuit is a fantastic choice for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing.
Its design promise U.V protection and effective protection against biological irritants.
Its front zipper makes it easy to wear and take off, and it enjoys flat-lock stitching that keeps you dry.
5. Spring Suit Wetsuits for Fat Guys
Spring suits are what their name suggests. These wetsuits are designed for the spring weather.
So, they come in a short-legged design to allow you to use them when the waters are not very cold.
Unlike shorties, spring suits cover the arms.
One excellent spring suit for taller guys is the O’Neill Men’s Reactor-2 (Amazon Link).
This spring suit comes in an ultra-stretch neoprene construction with an athletic fit that makes it best for surfing, paddling, diving, and all kind of beach and lake activities.
It enjoys a back zipper design that makes it easy to wear and take off. Moreover, its neoprene rubber layer is wind-resistant, and its zipper has a water-resistant closure.
1. Is It Better To Have A Wetsuit Too Big Or Too Small?
The worst mistake you can make is getting a wetsuit that’s too big, as it’ll be ineffective in keeping you warm. And if it’s too small, you are likely to feel uncomfortable as it’ll restrict your joint movements.
2. Should You Size Up In Wetsuits?
A wetsuit shouldn’t be too baggy to ensure it keeps you warm. So, unless they are too constricting and hampering your joint movement, you shouldn’t size up.
3. How Do You Know What Size Wetsuit To Get?
First, you have to determine the wetsuit height, chest, and waist length to know if it’ll fit you.
Below is a table you can use to match yourself with the right wetsuit size:
|Wetsuit Size||Height (inches)||Chest (inches)||Waist (inches)|
4. What Color Wetsuit Is Best?
Most wetsuits come in black color, and the reasons are apparent. Black has UV-resistant and warmth retention properties, making it best for not just wetsuits but big tall mens swimwear in general.
5. Is It Better To Have A Tight Or Loose Wetsuit?
A wetsuit shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. It should fit snugly. If it’s too tight, it’ll constrict your joints and become uncomfortable. And if it’s too loose, it’ll trap lots of water.
6. Do You Wear Anything Under A Wetsuit?
Deciding to wear or not to wear anything under a wetsuit is a matter of personal preference. But considering that wetsuits are prone to skin chaffing, which could turn out to be uncomfortable, consider wearing something light on the inside.
Closing Thought On Big and Tall Wetsuits:
Now you know how to get the best big and tall wetsuit. You can employ the buying guide I’ve shared to find your wetsuit. While at it, pay more attention to the sizing guide as that’s where most big and tall guys go wrong.