Protecting your wetsuit after a swim or a surf is essential. You haven’t invested large sums of money on a top notch wetsuit, only to rip it on the floor as you get changed. A wetsuit changing mat provides a thick barrier between you and the floor which is essential when you want to protect your baby (The Wetsuit).
Wetsuit mats are an easy surfing accessory to take anywhere with you, and trust me if your changing in the car park or the roadside they are worth it! They come in different formats so be prepared to go down the rabbit hole when you are looking for reviews of the best wetsuit changing mat. Take a look at our top picks for the season.
We like this changing mat from Northcore as it acts as a change mat and bag in one.
It is heavy duty and waterproof, with built in carry handles
Best Wetsuit Changing Mats
Rip Curl Surf Series Change Mat
Rip Curl are a top brand when it comes to surfing, so it’s only right that they produce something to protect the fine wetsuits that they make. This wetsuit change mat provides high quality protection as well as a waterproof bag to carry your gear.
At 1.2m diameter you get a good amount of room in which to change. Big enough for a couple of wobbles anyway! No one ever said getting out of a wetsuit is easy, but the comfortable base on this product certainly helps.
It comes with a toggle cord to allow you to close up once all your wet gear is inside. It also has an easy grip handle, so it is just a case of throwing your wetsuit gear into the bag then driving off. A high quality product at a good price – what is not to like?
Northcore Grass Waterproof Bag Change Mat
Advertised as heavy duty and water resistant, this is one of our favourite Northcore products.
The unique selling point of this changing mat is most definitely the artificial grass., and we really like it for this reason.
However, the artificial grass has more than one advantage. Firstly, you get a comfortable feel underneath your feet, which is important, as you are buying this to add comfort to your changing habits. The 6mm lining means your wetsuit will be well protected, so no more worrying about rips to your wetsuit from unwanted stones on the floor or other sharp objects.
It comes with drawstrings to safely store all of your wet gear away, so you don’t get soaked when transporting everything away. It also makes carrying it around a lot easier.
Another great feature of this change mat is the fact that it can be used when camping too. Don’t you hate it when grass, sand and mud end up in your tent? This changing mat can be doubled up as a front door mat, so when you step into your tent, you can wipe your feet and keep the inside area clean…some might buy it just for that reason!
Dorsal Surfer Changing Pad – Grass Mat
A perfect wetsuit changing mat for open water swimmers who might not require a bag to carry wet gear in.
It provides a solid barrier between the floor, so your wetsuit is safe while changing. It has the added benefit of doubling up as a mat when camping, so you can keep a tidy awning in your tent. The soft grass is well designed and feels nice in between your toes, so you get a very comfy spot to stand on while you change.
It rolls up so makes for easy carrying wherever you decide to get changed. At the price, it’s a strong contender for top surf changing mat.
FCS Wetsuit Changing Mat and Bag
FCS is a brand that we are fairly new, but one that has really caught our eye. The reason for this is because they are churning out good quality surf gear for a reasonable cost.
This portable wetsuit changing mat is a good size to allow you to get changed anywhere. The draw string cord make it so easy to pack away that you will wonder why you didn’t have one before.
It is easy to use and once closed up, fits neatly into your boot or foot well of your car. The waterproof material will ensure your car stays dry and free from all the sand and salt water.
Dryrobe Change Mat
The Dryrobe has taken over the UK changing robe scene, so it makes sense that they have found the perfect partner, with their Dryrobe Change Mat. If you are someone who likes matching outfits, then this is the perfect status symbol ….”look at me in my fancy Dryrobe and changing mat”. You will be the most trendy swimmer on the lake!
All silliness aside, this wetsuit changing mat will serve you well no matter what purpose you need it for. With a waterproof bottom shell it can be used in all weather and all terrain. The top lining of the mat is luxurious under foot, thanks to the lambswool lining. This is perfect if you are still out in the water during the winter months, as your feet can soon spring back to life.
It’s fully machine washable so whenever you feel it’s seen enough use, you can throw it in the washing machine and bring it back to life.
Overall, a good investment for anyone who wants a good dryrobe changing mat.
Stitches & Steel Changing Mat
This wetsuit changing mat really is simplicity personified.
Given the price, I feel it offers great value for money, as you get a top quality changing mat that does everything you need. It’s waterproof, it’s drawstring ready and it will keep your feet and wetsuit protected from the elements. When you put it as simply as I have, do you need any more information?
Compared to some of the others on this list, you could nit pick and suggest it’s slightly smaller than the other mates in circumference, however it performs just as well. Worth considering if you want a cheap changing mat.
Owekfifv Surf Changing Pad
It’s fair to say that Owekfifv stands out as a brand you’ve not heard of before, but we thought we’d review as many wetsuit changing mats as we could and present our best findings…so whether you have heard of the Owekfifv Changing Pad before or not, you will know that it’s passed our test.
The good things that comes with this changing mat (besides a good price) are that it’s PVC sidewall is waterproof and durable so any loose water will be locked inside once you’ve pulled the drawstrings shut. This will prevent any drips from spoiling your car.
Another advantage with this mat is that it features an inner pocket that can be zipped shut. So if you are at the beach, it gives you a place to shut away some valuables, or at least protect them from the sand.
Northcore C Mat
We have already looked at a Northcore Wetsuit Changing Mat on this list, however it was their premium model. If you want a budget Northcore Changing Mat then stick to their C Mat series.
These mats come in three different colour options. They are tough, durable and easy to fold away. They come in cheaper than the artificial grass version, so if you want to have the security of buying a branded product without paying top dollar, this wetsuit changing mat does just the job you need it to.
With 1m diameter and built in carry handles, you can have peace of mind when it comes to getting changed after your water sport activity.
Why do I need a wetsuit changing mat?
Anyone who has ever walked barefoot outside will understand the misery your foot feels as you tread upon a stone. Your body lurches forward and you grab your foot as you cry out in pain.
The situation described above unfortunately occurs in car parks around the world. These rogue stones have been sent to us like a plague of locusts. Now I am trying to be dramatic here so bare with me. The point I’m trying to make is that we don’t know where the stones are, because if we did we wouldn’t tread on them.
I may have laboured my point, but the stones, gravel and sharp things on the floor are not helpful for any wetsuit user who is getting changed after a dip in the water.
You will be aware that wetsuits are made from neoprene, which is a stretchy material that is perfect for keeping you warm while you are surfing cold water. Neoprene however does not stand up well against sharp objects, as they can easily pierce through the neoprene’s smooth surface.
The aim of the wetsuit is to form a seal around your body so that you can keep warm. Once we have rips in our suits, the problems will begin to arise. There will be more flushing of cold water in the suit, so your body will feel the cold more. There will also be water pockets formed that make your suit feel heavy.
All these issues can be avoided through protecting the wetsuit when getting changed. One simple method you might already be using is a towel. I can’t knock its simplicity – throw the towel down on the floor and stand on it while you climb out of the suit. It’s maybe the cheapest method of protecting your wetsuit while changing – however it isn’t the best.
A towel does not give 100 percent protection from sharp objects. So while your feet might feel ok, your wetsuit could still get cut by a sharp stone or object. Another issue with the mighty towel is that they aren’t waterproof. If you’ve just finished your open water swim or surf then your wetsuit will be dripping wet. While a towel will do a job it will not protect your car. Do you want sand and salt water dripping onto your car? A wet car will smell and mould will develop if this is a regular occurrence.
This is where the wetsuit changing mat comes in.
What is a wetsuit changing mat?
A wetsuit changing mat is the product you didn’t know that you needed.
For example, you will see some changing mats that look like grass mats – these provide a nice feel for your feet while you change out of your suit. Other mats may act more like bath mats as they have a towel material that has a thicker base that won’t be penetrated by stones – just remember, this still means you need to transport your wet wetsuit somehow.
My favoured option when it comes to good wetsuit changing mats is one that acts as a waterproof wetsuit bag too. For me, a changing mat should not only protect the wetsuit while changing, but provide storage while you are in transit. The beauty of this is that you can get changed on the beach and then have something waterproof to stick your wetsuit in.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I have changed out of my wetsuit and into dry clothes, only to then end up with a wet back and shorts, as my wetsuit dripped through my backpack. This is especially annoying if you plan on grabbing a beer after the surf as you now have to suffer being wet while you enjoy a nice beer!
One reminder though…don’t be that person who leaves the wetsuit in the bag for days (or weeks), otherwise you’ve negated the whole point of buying a wetsuit bag in the first place. Once you’re home, rinse your wetsuit and changing mat out so that you are ready to go again soon!