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The Patagonia Yulex R1 wetsuit jacket

The Patagonia Yulex Regulator Lite top is a great choice if sustainability is your priority. Photo: Christinamae Sheley/The Inertia

The Inertia

Nothing puts a damper on an epic surf session more than being cold. Once the shivers start, it’s time to paddle in, regardless of how good the waves are. And unless you’ve got some way to warm up, it’s unlikely you’ll be paddling back out.

Wetsuit jackets are easy to throw on, making them the perfect way to combat the cold. If you’re heading out to surf in a bikini or swimsuit, having a bit of neoprene on the beach or close by is a great idea. After some testing, we’ve rounded up our favorite wetsuit jackets for women. For more info on what to look for in a wetsuit jacket, check out or Buyer’s Guide. And to see these wetsuit jackets side-by-side, check out our Comparison Table. For men’s options, here’s our guide to The Best Wetsuit Jackets (men’s).

The Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets

Best Overall Wetsuit Jacket: Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket

Best Budget Wetsuit Jacket: NRS Ignitor Jacket

Runner-Up Best Wetsuit Jacket: O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket

Most Stylish Wetsuit Jacket: Billabong Peeky Wetsuit Jacket

Warmest Wetsuit Jacket: Finisterre Nieuwland 2e Yulex Long Sleeve Top

Most Sustainable Wetsuit Jacket: Patagonia Yulex Regulator Lite Long-Sleeve Top

Best Overall Wetsuit Jacket

Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket ($95)

Xcel wetsuit jacket

Pros: Created with eco-friendly neoprene, engineered fit
Cons: No key loop

Thickness: 1.5/1mm

Xcel’s Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip combines performance and comfort into one stylish jacket. The jacket has a black center, with colorful printed sleeves for a fun touch of style. The jacket was created with eco-friendly limestone neoprene, resulting in a comfortable yet stretchy jacket.

The engineered fit ensures the jacket fits true to size and the front zip makes it easy to take the jacket on and off. The Axis jacket sports 1.5mm neoprene on the body and 1mm on the side panels, making for the perfect blend of warmth and flex. Our only gripe was the lack of a key loop, which may or may not be a factor for some.

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Best Budget Wetsuit Jacket

NRS Ignitor Jacket ($70)

NRS wetsuit jacket

Pros: Made from recycled materials, durable
Cons: Runs big, stiffer than other jackets

Thickness: 2mm

Designed with river life in mind, NRS’s Ignitor Jacket is equal parts warm and durable. The jacket’s nylon interior and exterior are made from dope-dyed recycled materials, the neoprene is made from recycled tires, and everything is sealed with water-based adhesives. The full-zip entry allows for plenty of flexibility when it comes to comfort and warmth and the flat-locks seams ensure nothing rubs while paddling.

At 2mm thick, the jacket offers plenty of warmth and can easily be paired with a rashguard for even more insulation. Being on the warmer side, the jacket is a little stiffer than most wetsuit jackets but is also more durable. These jackets tend to run big, so order a size down for the best fit.

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Runner-Up Best Wetsuit Jacket

O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket ($100)

O'Neill wetsuit jacket

Pros: Stretchy and comfortable, rated UPF 50
Cons: Not as durable as some other options

Thickness: 1.5mm

We don’t know what O’Neill has done to upgrade their suits recently, but they hit the nail on the head when it comes to comfort. The jacket features Ultraflex DS material that is super stretchy, allowing for maximum mobility while paddling and shredding, which could explain the comfort. Top that off with flatlock-stitched seams, and chafing and irritation are wetsuit woes of the past.

Available in three different color options, the Bahia Jacket is rated to UPF 50+, so not only does it keep you warm, but it keeps you protected from the harsh summer sun as well. This jacket was a top-pick performer in comfort and style, but finished just behind Xcel’s Axis jacket due to its slight decrease in durability (a natural trade-off for such stretchy and comfortable neoprene).

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Most Stylish Wetsuit Jacket

Billabong Peeky Wetsuit Jacket ($120)

billabong wetsuit jacket

Pros: Made from recycled materials, comfortable
Cons: Not as durable as some jackets

Thickness: 1mm

Billabong has been our lead tester’s go-to for springsuits and wetsuit jackets for years and their Peeky Wetsuit Jacket solidified her love for their summertime neoprene. At 1mm thick, it’s plenty stretchy and comfortable and gives that added warmth you need. It’s also made from recycled neoprene, is topped with a recycled jersey, and is finished with non-toxic water-based adhesive. Because this suit is a little on the thin side, we worry it will stretch out quicker than other options, but it is well-made so we’re sure it’ll last a couple of seasons at least. With a variety of prints and colorways, you’ll be sure to find one that pairs seamlessly with your bikini bottoms or swimsuit.

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Warmest Wetsuit Jacket

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 2e Yulex Long Sleeve Top ($135)

finisterre wetsuit jacket

Pros: Sustainably made, no underarm seam
Cons: No key pocket

Thickness: 2mm

The Finisterre Nieuwland 2e Yulex Long Sleeve Top has a retro yet modern look, making for a stylish wetsuit jacket. At 2mm thick, it’s cozy warm and the slight rise on the collar provides a secure seal. The Nieuwland is sustainably made from Yulex natural rubber and recycled polyester, making for a comfortable and flexible top. The top has flatlocked seams throughout with no underarm seam, which our tester greatly appreciated as she tends to chafe in this area. Available in three different color options, the only thing missing from the Niuwland is a key pocket.

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Most Sustainable Wetsuit Jacket

Patagonia Yulex Regulator Lite Long-Sleeve Top ($139)

patagonia wetsuit jackets

Pros: Made from Yulex natural rubber, internal key loop
Cons: No exciting prints or colors

Thickness: 1.5mm

At Patagonia, quality and sustainably are the name of the game and the Yulex Regulator Lite Top is no exception. The neoprene-free jacket is made from 85% Yulex natural rubber that is FSC certified by the Rainforest Alliance and 15% chlorine-free synthetic rubber. Additionally, the jacket is Fair Trade Certified sewn, the water-based glue used for the linings is solvent-free, and the jacket features solution-dyed recycled polyester linings.

The jacket sports flatlock seams for maximum comfort and a corrosion-proof zipper that is sure to withstand the test of time. The jacket also includes an internal key-loop, which is much appreciated. Although Patagonia’s wetsuits take a little longer to break in, the jacket is incredibly well-made and warm, so we know it will be in our closet for many trips around the sun.

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Best of the Rest

Stretchiest Wetsuit Jacket

Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Jacket ($100)

rip curl wetsuit jacket

Pros: Super stretchy, timeless style
Cons: Runs small

Thickness: 1.5mm

The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Jacket is a classic wetsuit jacket. At 1.5mm thick, it provides the perfect amount of warmth, and with a front zip, it can be worn open or zipped up. The jacket runs a little small (we’d suggest ordering a size up), but the E5 neoprene is super stretchy to compensate. In timeless black, this wetsuit jacket will never go out of style and will match all the bikini bottoms and boardshorts in your collection.

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Sisstrevolution Summer Seas Jacket ($105)

sisstrevolution wetsuit jacket

Pros: Multiple print/style options, comfortable
Cons: Not super warm

Thickness: 1mm

Whether you prefer simple or bold styles, Sisstrevolution has you covered with their Summer Seas Jacket. The jacket is available in solid black as well as a retro floral print, so you can keep it mellow or funky – we’re big fans of the floral. The front zip jacket features flat lock seams and contrast paneling, so it’s super comfortable. At 1mm thick, it’s not too warm but adds the extra insulation you need for chillier summer days.

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Roxy Pro Wave Zip-Up Jacket ($100)

roxy pro wetsuit jacket

Pros: Soft and stretchy
Cons: No actual insulation

Thickness: 0mm

Although technically a rashguard, the Roxy Pro Wave Zip-Up made our list because it is incredibly comfortable and adds a little bit of warmth. Made from a blend of 55% recycled nylon, 28% elastane, and 17% nylon, the Pro Wave jacket feels soft against the skin and is super stretchy. The material feels similar to neoprene, but much more flexible.

Although the jacket doesn’t provide insulation in the same way a neoprene jacket would, it takes away a bit of the bite from the cold and provides protection from the wind. It’s a good top for tropical climates – our tester loved it for windy days surfing near her home in Hawaii.

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Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets Comparison Table

Wetsuit Jacket Price Thickness Key Loop?
Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket $95 1.5mm No
NRS Ignitor Jacket $70 2mm No
O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket $100 1.5mm No
Billabong Peeky Wetsuit Jacket $120 1mm Yes
Finisterre Nieuwland 2e Yulex Long Sleeve Top $135 2mm No
Patagonia Yulex Regulator Long-Sleeve Top $139 1.5mm Yes
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Jacket $100 1.5mm No
Sisstrevolution Summer Seas Jacket $105 1mm No
Roxy Pro Wave Zip-Up $100 0mm No

Surfing on Oahu's North Shore in a wetsuit jacket.

Surfing on Oahu’s North Shore in the O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket. Photo: Christinamae Sheley//The Inertia

How We Tested The Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets

Our lead tester Rebecca Parsons lives on Oahu, Hawaii, where it’s typically warm enough to surf in a bikini. But sometimes, the water temp drops a bit or the wind picks up and it can get a tad chilly. Wetsuit jackets are the perfect solution because they add a little bit of extra warmth but can easily be unzipped if it gets to warm. To test these jackets, our tester did her due diligence and surfed in all of the options included here (as well as a few others that didn’t make the cut) at some of her favorite breaks and considered how comfortable the wetsuit jackets were to paddle and surf in, how durable they seemed, and if they kept her warm while in the water. She also wore them while freediving and snorkeling as well to test their multi-sport functionality.

Editor’s Note: We first ran this review in the spring of 2022 and then made some small adjustments to update links at the of 2023. We went back through in May of 2024 and deleted one wetsuit jacket that was no longer available, added two brand new jackets, updated links, and added some additional information to our Buyer’s Guide. 

Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets Ratings Table

Wetsuit Jacket Overall Score Comfort Style Durability Warmth
Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket 4.5 4 5 4 5
O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket 4.5 5 5 4 4
Billabong Peeky Wetsuit Jacket 4.5 5 5 4 4
Finisterre Nieuwland 2e Yulex Long Sleeve Top 4.5 4 4 5 5
Kassia + Surf La Luna 2mm Jacket 4.25 4 4 5 4
Patagonia Yulex Regulator Long-Sleeve Top 4.25 4 3 5 5
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Jacket 4 3 4 4 5
Sisstrevolution Summer Seas Jacket 4 4 4 4 4
NRS Ignitor Jacket 3.75 2 4 4 5
Roxy Pro Wave Zip-Up 3.5 5 4 4 1

Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets Buyer’s Guide

Comfort is our number one priority for most clothing items and wetsuit jackets are no exception. We want our jacket to be cozy and comfy so we can wear it for marathon sessions and not have to worry about it bunching or causing chafing. Our goal is to have the jacket feel like a second skin.

xcel wetsuit jacket

Style meets comfort in the Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket. Photo: Rebecca Parsons//The Inertia

If we’re going to be wearing it often, we want something that looks good, so we feel confident wearing it for surfing, diving, and everything in between. We appreciate solids for their ability to match boardshorts and bikini bottoms. We’re also a big fan or funky, printed jackets, or subtle prints on the arms or chest for a little added flair.

Best Overall Wetsuit Jacket
Best Overall Wetsuit Jacket

The Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket has everything you could want in a good jacket: it’s sustainably made, comfortable, stylish, and stretchy.

Price: ($95)

Check Price on Evo

When we buy a wetsuit jacket, we expect it to last a few years and as such, we want one that is well-made so it can withstand the test of time. Some jackets are cheaply made and stretch out or get holes in them after one season, which is not what we’re looking for.

Wetsuit jackets are a Goldilocks type of situation where we want them to be warm, but not too warm. We’re looking for something that’s just right. Most jackets are between 1mm and 2mm thick, so be sure and check the thickness and consider where you surf and how cold or hot you tend to run before purchasing.

Waxing down a surfboard in a wetsuit jacket.

Prepping for a cozy warm surf. Photo: Christinamae Sheley//The Inertia

What Else Should I Consider When Buying a Wetsuit Jacket?


Most wetsuit jackets are 1mm, 1.5mm, or 2mm thick. Thinner jackets tend to be more stretchy and comfortable, but you sacrifice some warmth. If your main concern is sun protection with a little bit of added warmth, then you’ll do well with a 1mm. But, if you’re focused on warmth, you should probably opt for a 2mm jacket. 1.5mm tends to be the most common thickness and is what you should opt for if you can’t decide.

Key Pockets/Loops

One of the perks of surfing in some sort of neoprene is that they often have a place to stash your key. We’re a big fan of jackets that have either a key loop or a small pocket where we can store my key while surfing (preferably in a location that doesn’t allow the key to dig in while you’re shredding).

Riding Up

We really like wetsuit jackets because they’re a lot easier to take on and off than full springsuits and you can easily unzip them if you get hot. But, we’ve found that a lot of them tend to curl up or ride up at the bottom and we find ourselves constantly pulling them down. To combat this, some come with loops on the bottom to secure to boardshorts (this is found more often on men’s jackets, though). In most cases, you just want to make sure the jacket fits snug through to the bottom of your stomach and you should be good to go.

billabong wetsuit jacket at the beach

A snug fit will help keep you warm and prevent your jacket from riding up. Photo: Beth Parsons//The Inertia


In order to ensure your wetsuit jacket keeps you warm and stays and place, you’ll want a tight fit. A wetsuit jacket should be form fitting, which helps prevent it from riding up. Through our experience and testing, we’ve found that we have the best fit when we order a size down from what we’d wear in a fullsuit. So, if you typically wear a size 6 wetsuit, you’ll probably do well in a size 4 wetsuit jacket. Ultimately, fit comes down to personal preference, though, so if you have the option to try on a jacket in person, that can be helpful.


If you’ve ever worn a wetsuit with fraying seams then you know how uncomfortable it can be. Frayed seams can cause rubbing, chafing, and leaking, which is something we desperately try to avoid. To help prevent your seams from fraying, wetsuits utilize overlock stitching, flatlock stitching, or blindstitch stitching (GBS).

Overlock stitching is the simplest form of stitching where two pieces of fabric are rolled inwards and then stitched together. Flatlock stiching is where the edge of one panel is laid over the other and the stitching goes through both panels, creating a flexible yet durable seam. Finally, GBS stitching is where the panels are glued together and then stitched, resulting in a watertight, flexible, and strong seam. In our opinion, GBS seams are the best bet.

 Return to Comparison Table | Return to Top Picks

Editor’s Note: Water a little cold for just a jacket? We’ve got The Best Women’s Wetsuits of 2024. Just want a little bit of extra warmth? Grab yourself one of The Women’s Best Springsuits of 2023. Simply need some sun protection? The Best Surf Suits for Women will do the trick. Bikini weather? Check out The Best Women’s Swimsuits for Surfing (That Will Stay Put). For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

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