Sian Lewis reviews six of the best plus-size women's wetsuits that you can buy right now...


Whether you’re a newbie wild swimmer or are thinking of signing up for your first triathlon, a good swimming wetsuit is a must – it’ll protect you from the elements and keep you comfortable in the water for longer, so you can swim in your local lake or dip in the ocean all year round. Swimming wetsuits use heat-trapping neoprene of different thicknesses to warm up water inside the suit and around your body, stopping you from losing precious body heat. They’ll also make you a little more buoyant in the water, can protect from sharp rocks and some are even designed to make you more visible in open water.

It’s a real pity that it’s not an easy matter to buy plus size women’s wetsuits. Many major brands only sell suits up to a size 16, which is a pretty poor offering considering that 45% of British women and 68% of American women are a size UK size 16/USA size 14 or bigger.

Thankfully, there are some excellent brands making sure that swimmers of all shapes and sizes can be warm and protected in open water. ‘Plus size’ is usually considered to be UK size 18/USA size 14 and over, so that’s what we’ve used as a reference here, although we’ve reviewed some excellent suits suitable for different seasons that go up to a women’s size 32.

Our top six picks of the best plus size women’s wetsuits for cold water swimming perform brilliantly, come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Not sure where to start shopping? You’ll also find key features to look out for when choosing your new swimming change robe in our quick buyer’s guide, including how to find the right fit in a plus size suit.

6 of the best plus-size women’s wetsuits


Lomo Prime Triathlon Swimming Wetsuit

• Material: Neoprene
• Sizes available: 6-32
• Thickness: 4/3/2mm

Reasons to buy: Flexible and warm, very wide range of sizes, great value for money
Reasons to avoid: N/A

Available in a flurry of sizes up to Extra Large and with a range of ‘Medium Wide’ sizes that fit up to a women’s dress size 32, Lomo’s Prime suit is the perfect all-rounder for plus-size swimmers.

Designed with triathletes in mind, this full wetsuit is ideal for swimming for fitness in the great outdoors, and features a well-placed combination of neoprene thicknesses for warmth around your core while retaining flexibility of movement for your arms and legs.

Unlike some suits, the Prime is quick and easy to pull on and off. This reliable suit sits at a good price point too – top marks for Lomo.

Buy Lomo Prime Triathlon And Swimming Wetsuit from

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Yonda Spectre Wetsuit

• Material: Neoprene
• Sizes available: S-XXXL
• Thickness: 1.5-4.5mm

Reasons to buy: Great quality, very comfortable, warm yet flexible
Reasons to avoid: Expensive

We were impressed by the quality of the Yonda Spectre on test – this beautifully made swimming-specific wetsuit really feels like a second skin, designed with very supple neoprene that doesn’t feel bulky thanks to a heat trapping 4.5mm thickness around the torso and a more thin and freeing 1.5mm on the arms and legs.

This is a great premium wetsuit for serious swimmers that should last you for years.

Tri Wetsuit Hire do a great range of plus-size suits, and also offer plus-size wetsuit hire if you’ve got a swimming event coming up or just want to try before you buy.

Buy Yonda Spectre from Tri Wetsuit Hire


Orca Openwater Vitalis Core Wetsuit

• Material: Neoprene
• Sizes available: XS-XL
• Thickness: 1.5mm

Reasons to buy: Great shorty cut, high-vis detailing
Reasons to avoid: Limited warmth

‘Shorty’ wetsuits are the perfect mix of warm wetsuit and easy-to-move-in swimsuit, and are ideal for spring and autumn swims or popping over a swimsuit in summer if you fancy a bit more protection from the sun or from cold water.

Orca’s Openwater suit is available in an extra large size that should fit a size 18 nicely, and has high-vis orange panels under the arms to make you more visible as you swim. If you already own a more technical winter swimming wetsuit, this is a nice second suit to swap to come sunny weather.

Buy Orca Openwater Vitalis Core Wetsuit from


HEAD Multix Watersport wetsuit

• Material: Neoprene
• Sizes available: S-XXXXL
• Thickness: 2.5mm

Reasons to buy: Versatile sizes and lengths available, bright coloured panels, good price point
Reason to avoid: Limited warmth

We really rated this versatile, entry-level wetsuit on test. HEAD’s Multix is available in both long and shorty lengths and in male and female sizes up to XXXXL (some less curvy female testers found the men’s suit fitted them nicely, so it’s worth trying both for size) and is an affordable, lightweight wetsuit ideal for anyone new to wild swimming who wants added protection as they progress.

The shorty length is perfect for summer, while the long suit should see you through spring and autumn in comfort.

Buy Head Multix from Tri Wetsuit Hire


Yueta Neoprene Wetsuit Zip Top

• Material: Neoprene
• Sizes available: S-XXXL
• Thickness: 2mm

Reasons to buy: Adds instant warmth and protection, easy to zip on and off, good size range
Reasons to avoid: You may need to size up

Struggling to find a summer weight wetsuit that fits? Convert your swimsuit or jammer suit into a DIY version by adding this smart wetsuit top to your ensemble.

A zipped front makes this unisex jacket, (which goes up to a size XXXL, although some reviewers recommend trying one size up from your usual), easy to pop on and off when you need extra protection.

2mm of neoprene provides welcome warmth, and this sleek top is also ideal for protecting your arms and chest from the sun. Want to add bottoms? These leggings are also available in sizes up to XXL.

Buy Neoprene Wetsuit Top from Amazon


Mountain Warehouse Submerge Wetsuit

• Material: Neoprene
• Sizes available: 4-26
• Thickness: 4-5mm

Reasons to buy: Ideal for winter dips, pops of colour, warm
Reasons to avoid: Not very flexible, not swim-specific

It’s nice to see a fun, brightly-hued suit for women with a wide range of sizes available, and Mountain Warehouse’s Submerge is proof that wetsuits don’t all need to be boring and black. The pink arms and shoulder panels of the Submerge will also make you more visible in open water.

This wetsuit is designed as an all-rounder wetsuit rather than a swimming-specific model, so it’s best used for casual dips, watersports and social swims rather than for triathlons and fitness sessions, but where it does excel is in warmth, with a generous 5mm of neoprene keeping you cocooned even in frosty weather.

Buy Mountain Warehouse Submerge Winter Wetsuit from

What we look for in the best plus-size women’s wetsuits

Thickness: Besides being designed with either long or short arms and legs for more or less coverage to suit different seasons, wetsuits are also designed using different thicknesses of neoprene, which you’ll see rated in millimetres. Swimming wetsuits have thinner neoprene around the arms and armpits than surf suits, for ease of movement and to to reduce drag in the water. If you swim year-round, owning a full-length thermal winter wetsuit with 3 or 4mm of neoprene on the torso and a short-sleeved ‘shortie’ wetsuit of 1.5 or 2mm thickness (or alternatively a wetsuit jacket) will keep you comfortable in every season.

Design and seasonality: We recommend a suit with long arms and legs for winter swim sessions – if you like some protection in warmer months, pick a sleeveless, full-leg suit for swimming, which allows the arms free movement but keeps your legs and torso cosy, or a shortie style. While most wetsuits are black (neoprene’s base colour, which offers good UV resistance), some women’s wetsuits also feature bright pops of colour which have the added benefit of making you easier to spot in the water.

Getting the right plus-size fit: Try on wetsuits in person if you can. If you’re of average height, your normal dress size will usually correspond to a good wetsuit fit. If you’re short and curvy, you may get on best with a shortie wetsuit that fits your torso nicely, worn with wetsuit leggings in cold weather. Another good alternative is to buy a full wetsuit that fits you without worrying if the arms and legs are too long – you can just cut these to fit you, as neoprene doesn’t fray. When trying on a suit, don’t forget that wetsuits stretch, often loosen up after 5-10 wears and do need to feel snug all over, so that they trap in heat and warm water. That said, your new suit shouldn’t feel restrictive or like it might impede your movement.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Head to Amazon’s dedicated sailing page for more marine products.