If you are heading to the beach this summer, you will want to ensure your children are safe and well protected when in the sea. We have taken a detailed look at the best kids wetsuit to ensure that your little treasure’s have an awesome time when at the beach.
From budget wetsuits to high performance neoprene, you will be able to find the right wetsuit for your kids needs.
O’Neill produce excellent wetsuits and this full length 2mm wetsuit is perfect for smaller children in the Summer.
The neoprene is very flexible, unlike cheaper wetsuits, so it makes it nicer for children to wear all day.
Does My Child Need A Wetsuit?
Getting your little ones a wetsuit is a great idea for maximising your experience when at the beach. Whether you’ve got a young grom (kids who love surfing) who wants to spend hours surfing/bodyboarding in the water, or a little beach bum who wants to splash in the shallows, getting the right wetsuit for your children is essential.
The one thing a holiday in the UK cannot guarantee us is the weather and with that comes a cold sea to play in! Getting your kids kitted out in wetsuits is one way of making a breezy day on a UK beach more bearable for all. If you’re heading out to the beach all day the last thing you will want is moaning “its cold” from the little ones. Choosing a suitable wetsuit for children will allow that little bit more relaxation for the parents! Looking for adult wetsuits? Check out best wetsuit guide.
A wetsuit is not exclusive to the beach. The rise of stand up paddle boarding has turned our lakes and canals into areas to explore. You can now get inflatable kayak’s and canoe’s that mean you don’t need to have roof bars and a big car in order to enjoy water sports. So if you are thinking of getting a kids wetsuit but are worried about how much they will use it, then don’t be too concerned, as I am sure you can find plenty of ways in which your children can increase that price per wear value.
Within this guide we have looked at the best children’s wetsuits on the market and taken a closer look at why you might want to choose one.
Our Top Picks for Kids Wetsuits
Quiksilver Boys 4/3 Session Wetsuit
This is a premium wetsuit option, so expect high performance, but a slightly higher price.
This wetsuit from Quiksilver is advertised as “anywhere, any place, any season”. This is because the 4/3 Everyday Sessions Back Zip Wetsuit can be used throughout the seasons due to it’s thicker neoprene. Thanks to the StretchFlight material you get extra warmth, comfort, and flexibility. Across the chest section it has a thermal fleece lining that helps to keep the warmth locked in.
As you would expect from a higher quality neoprene, it has excellent flexibility throughout, so if you want to buy this specifically for surfing, you will experience a pleasant paddle, as the shoulder section is not restricting. It could also be used well if you want to get a high quality wetsuit for paddle boarding or water skiing.
This wetsuit has Quiksilver’s Bluesign certificate so which aims to ensure it’s eco-friendly. Overall this is a great wetsuit for older children as it offers great performance and will keep you warm all year round.
Saltrock Shortie Girls/Boys Wetsuit 3/2mm
Having watched the UK surf market grow over the last two decades, I have paid close attention to the development of Saltrock and how it has become part of mainstream surf culture in the UK. Saltrock has produced some of the best kid friendly wetsuit ranges I have seen and this one is custom made to keep kids happy while at the beach.
Part of the attraction to these wetsuits is the recognisable Saltrock emblem. These wetsuits look cool and have fun features which is everything you would want from a child’s wetsuit. Another good feature of the Saltrock wetsuit is that you can get this design in both boys and girls.
Saltrock have put together a 3 / 2 mm double lined wetsuit that is 100-percent neoprene. It comes with mesh panels across the chest and back that will help add to the warmth of this website. There are no underarm seams so your child will find it very comfortable and won’t experience any chafing. It has an anatomical design to it, with a specific paddle zone, therefore your children will be able to paddle with ease in this wetsuit and also enjoy playing out of the water.
Xcel Boys Comp 3/2mm Chest Entry Wetsuit
This wetsuit from Xcel is aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 16 years of age. It is a high-performance wetsuit that is aimed towards people looking for higher performance when in the water. So if you have a budding surfer or paddle boarder who is passionate about spending lots of time in the water, then this is a good children’s wetsuit to consider.
It is a summer wetsuit so is 3 / 2 mm in thickness, it comes with durable and knee pads so anyone learning to surf can overcome the troublesome “knee-stage” when learning to pop up on their board. It is also a chest zip entry wetsuit, which I have always found to be beneficial as there is more flexibility across the shoulders which makes for an easier paddle.
The neoprene within this wetsuit is extremely flexible and features Xcel’s 100% ultra flex technology, therefore you get a fantastic range of movement without feeling restricted. It has triple glued and blind stitched seams so very little water flushing, which adds to the warmth of this suit.
This is a great wetsuit for teenagers who are looking to push their surfing experience to the next level or just have a wetsuit that is comfortable to wear all the time.
O’Neill Reactor 2 Kid’s Wetsuit 3/2mm
The Reactor 2 range from O’Neill is designed to give the highest quality wetsuit for the best possible value. In other words, this is their entry-level range whereby you guarantee that your kids will have a nice recognisable wetsuit and it won’t break the bank when trying to buy it.
These wetsuits will work perfectly for any children from 4 years of age all the way up to 16 years of age.
It is a back zip entry therefore it should be easy to get in. It comes with a windproof smooth skin across the chest which should help keep the wind out on those windy days at the beach.
This wetsuit has a key pocket which is useful if you’re looking to give your kids the key for the day and want to ensure that they don’t lose it.
It features the O’Neill’s “Krypto Knee Padz” which are helpful for longevity of the wetsuit, as any child learning to surf will undoubtedly end up on their knees at some point, this will give the wetsuit good durability and not wear out quickly in those high impact areas of the suit.
There is a good quality neoprene used on this suit so your child will find paddling around in this wetsuit is easy to do. One final feature is the adjustable single collar seal, which means you can adjust how tight the wetsuit seals around the neck. This is very useful as all our little cherubs come in different shapes and sizes, so you will be able to make sure that this is not uncomfortable for your child to wear as you can adjust the tightness to your own desires.
Overall, this is a very good option if you want a branded kids wetsuit suit on a budget.
C-Skins Element Kids Wetsuit 3/2mm
C-Skins is a wetsuit brand that has really taken off over the last few years and they are producing high quality wetsuits at very reasonable prices, so it comes as no surprise to see them as popular as they are during the UK Summers.
The children’s C-Skins Element range is suitable for kids as young as 2 years of age, which I think is excellent, as any parent looking for a wetsuit that will fit a young child can guarantee to find something suitable. The suits are designed for anyone up to 14 so you can kit the whole family out if needed.
This wetsuit is a tale of two halves, quite literally. In the shoulders it has C-Skins “Xtend” neoprene, that has a higher level of flexibility, which is perfect for improving your paddling. Whereas, in the lower half of the wetsuit it has the free flex neoprene, which is more durable but slightly less flexible. This is not something to be concerned about unless you are a high level surfer who needs total flexibility.
This wetsuit is perfect for any young sea lover who wants to improve their bodyboarding, surfing or stand up paddleboarding.
Alder Stealth 3/2mm Kids Wetsuit
Suitable for children aged from 6 years of age all the way to 16 years of age, this wetsuit range from Alder offers good value for money and high performance. They also do this range in both boys and girls so you will be able to find a style that matches your child’s style.
As with nearly all summer wetsuits, the main body has 3 mm neoprene which is designed to keep the torso nice and warm. Across the body there is 2 mm flow flex neoprene, which is more flexible for paddling in the water. Alder also have this range avaliable in thicker neoprene, so if you want to find a kids wetsuit that can be used in autumn and winter then take a closer look at their range.
It comes with Duratec knee pads, which as we have already mentioned in this article, is really useful for anyone learning to surf and looking to keep there wetsuit in good condition. It is glued and blind stitched, which help to keep the wetsuit warm without too much leakage. A solid option if you’re looking to kit your family out with a reasonably priced set of wetsuits.
O’Neill Reactor 2mm Boys Wetsuit
This little beauty is designed to keep young toddlers and older kids nice and warm when playing in the water, it will also allow them to look super cool as they are specially designed for children between 1 and 6 years of age.
One thing I like about this is that the range comes in boys and girls options so there is a good variety of colour options.
The neoprene is part of O’Neill’s UltraFlex material, which means your little one will enjoy a good range of movement when running around or building sand castles. This is great as it means your child is going to feel comfortable in the suit for longer. Wetsuits can be a chour to get in annd out of when wet, so if your child will stay in it all day, you’ve saved yourself some stress.
At 2mm thick, this is the type of wetsuit that your child might wear all day to help protect their skin from the sun but also offer some warmth when they are going in and out of the water to help build a moat for the sandcastle. The seams are flatlock stitched, so it helps to keep water locked inside the wetsuit to add to that level of warmth. This is a back zip entry system which is ideal, as it makes climbing in and out of the wetsuit an easy task for even the most uncooperative of toddlers.
C-Skins Toddler Shorty Wetsuit
The perfect kids wetsuit to ensure your little one is well protected from the sun and has the extra layer of warmth so that you can really maximise your day at the beach.
This wetsuit features 100% Xtend neoprene, which is designed to be flexible and therefore enjoyable for a little one who is having their first taste of splashing around in the shallows.
These wetsuits are purpose-built for young children and the front zip entry makes it easy for them to climb in and out of with a little bit of from mum or dad. You’re probably not going to see many 4-year-olds catching barrels while wearing these wetsuits, but be reassured that you’re getting a very good wetsuit that your kids will enjoy wearing.
The C-Skin kids wetsuits have different colour options, so if you’re looking for a wetsuit for a boy or a girl you will be sure to find a design that you like.
Alder Boys Toddler 2mm Shorty Wetsuit
Brand new from Alder this year, this 2 mm kids wetsuit is designed for toddlers aged from 1 to 5 years of age. The beauty of this wetsuit is that it is designed specifically for younger children, therefore you will be sure to find a wetsuit that matches your little ones shape and size.
At 2mm thick, this wetsuit is comfortable and manoeuvrable. Your kids will have fun just wearing this once their time in the water has finished. The 2mm neoprene thickness will ensure that your kids stay warm when they are in the water for at least up to an hour, so long as you are heading to the beach during the summer months.
Our kids enjoy the smaller pools that form once the tide has gone out. We get the most out of our time at the beach when the kids are splashing around in the shallow sections and this toddler wetsuit is great for this type of play.
What things should I consider when choosing the best children’s wetsuit?
We have taken a more extensive look at wetsuits in our best wetsuit guide, so be sure to click on this if you get lost at any point. In brief, things to consider when choosing the right wetsuit for your child are:
Usage levels: If you go to the beach once a year, then you’re not going to want to break the bank and spend lots of money on an item that your kids will wear for one week of the year and then possibly grow out quickly. However, if you plan on heading to water spots throughout the year, then it could be worth spending that bit extra to get some more performance out of the suit. The benefit of your children having a wetsuit is that they are not exclusive to the beach. As a family we go stand up paddle boarding and kayaking, so heading to a lake means we get more than just a beach wetsuit. We get clothing that will keep our kids warm in multiple settings.
Performance: Wetsuits are designed to keep you warm in the water by sealing in a thin membrane of water that is kept in the wetsuit and heated by your body. This is what keeps you warm whilst you’re moving around in the water. The quality of the neoprene will have a massive impact on the performance level you can expect from your wetsuit. For example, if you buy a cheap wetsuit, then expect the neoprene to be of low quality and therefore not keep your child very warm in the water. As you begin to spend more money, the quality of that neoprene will improve and so will some of the other specifications such as stitching. This will allow your child to stay a lot warmer when in the water. The key point I’m trying to get across here is what level of performance are you looking to get out of your wetsuit? Children under six years of age might not be heading into the water yet to be surfing, stand up paddle boarding and bodyboarding, so the level of performance you need from the suit might be lower. Whereas, an older child who is going to spend over an hour in the water, will definitely want something that is going to keep them warm for the duration of the time in the sea. I would therefore recommend looking to spend a little bit more on your wetsuit so that your kids can have a more enjoyable experience and not have to come in because they are cold. When they’re ready to change out of their wetsuit, make sure you get them a hooded surf poncho towel or kit them out with a Dryrobe.
Thickness: Try not to get too caught up on the numbers attached to the wetsuit, these are indicating the thickness of the neoprene. If your child is heading into the water during the summer months then the lowest millimetre thickness you might want is 2mm, while 3/2mm is probably optimal. The spring and autumn months would require a 4/3mm suit….and any hardcore kids heading out to hit the waves in winter will need a 5/4mm wetsuit to help keep them warm. A wetsuit hood, gloves and boots would also help to keep your kids warm in the water, especially in the colder months.