Nothing puts a damper on an epic surf session more than being cold. If you’re anything like me, being cold means it’s game over. Once the shivers start, it’s time for me to paddle in, regardless of how good the waves are. Although summertime delivers plenty of waves and warm weather, if it’s a dawn patrol session or the wind is up, I tend to get chilly.
Wetsuit jackets are easy to throw on, making them the perfect way to combat the cold. 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 how these wetsuit jackets held up against one another, check out our comparison table.
What Are the Best Women’s Wetsuit Jackets?
Best Overall: Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket
Runner Up Wetsuit Jacket: O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket
Warmest Wetsuit Jacket: Kassia + Surf La Luna 2 MM Jacket
Most Sustainable Wetsuit Jacket: Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Long-Sleeve Top
Most Stylish Wetsuit Jacket: Sisstrevolution Summer Seas Jacket
Stretchiest Wetsuit Jacket: Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Jacket
Most Durable Wetsuit Jacket: NRS Ignitor Jacket
Pros: Created with eco-friendly neoprene, engineered fit.
Cons: No key loop.
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 crated 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 1.5 mm neoprene on the body and 1 mm 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.Check Price on Evo
Pros: Stretchy and comfortable, rated UPF 50.
Cons: Not as durable as some other options.
I don’t know what O’Neill has done to upgrade their suits, 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 chaffing and irritation are wetsuit woes of the past.
Available in three different color options, the 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 performed in comfort and style, but finished just behind Xcel’s Axis jacket due to its lack of sustainable materials.Check Price on Amazon
Pros: Made from recycled materials, comfortable.
Cons: Not as durable as some jackets.
Billabong has been my go-to for springsuits and wetsuit jackets for years and they’re Peeky Wetsuit Jacket solidified my love for their summertime neoprene. At 1 mm thick, it’s plenty stretchy and comfortable and gives that added warmth you need. The Peeky jacket is 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, I worry it will stretch out quicker than other options, but it does seem well made so I’m sure it’ll last a couple of seasons. I love the subtle black print and am excited for how seamlessly this jacket will pair with all my bikinis.Check Price on Amazon
Warmest Wetsuit Jacket
Pros: Stash pocket for keys, made from natural limestone + eco-carbon neoprene.
Cons: Only available in one color.
From the mind of longboard legend Kassia Meador, the La Luna jacket is surf tested and approved. At Kassia + Surf, they take the environment into consideration when creating all their products. As a result, the La Luna jacket is made from premium natural limestone + eco-carbon neoprene and is delivered in sustainable packaging.
Made from a super stretch material, the jacket is nice and flexible, delivering maximum comfort. Double-bind stitch and glued seams ensure the suit won’t fray prematurely and a stash pocket on the left arm allows you to easily store keys and wax. Sporting a subtle lunar print, the suit is stylish and fun while still pairing well with most bottoms.Check Price on Backcountry
Most Sustainable Wetsuit Jacket
Pros: Made from Yulex natural rubber, internal key loop.
Cons: No exciting prints or colors.
At Patagonia, quality and sustainably are the name of the game and the R1 Lite Yulex 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 I know it will be in my closet for many trips around the sun.Check Price on Patagonia
Most Stylish Wetsuit Jacket
Pros: Multiple print/style options, comfortable.
Cons: Not super warm.
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 – I’m personally a big fan of the floral. The front zip jacket features flat lock seams and contrast paneling, so it’s super comfortable. At 1 mm thick, it’s not too warm but adds the extra insulation you need for chillier summer days.Check Price on Evo
Stretchiest Wetsuit Jacket
Pros: Super stretchy, timeless style.
Cons: Runs small.
The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Jacket is a classic wetsuit jacket. At 1.5 mm 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 (I’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.Check Price on Amazon
Most Durable Wetsuit Jacket
Pros: Made from recycled materials, durable.
Cons: Runs big, stiffer than other jackets.
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 2 mm 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.Check Price on Amazon
|Wetsuit Jacket||Price||Overall Rating||Thickness|
|Xcel Axis Long Sleeve Front Zip Jacket||$95||4.5||1.5 mm|
|O’Neill Bahia Full-Zip Jacket||$100||4.5||1.5 mm|
|Billabong Peeky Wetsuit Jacket||$120||4.5||1 mm|
|Kassia + Surf La Luna 2 MM Jacket||$158||4.25||2 mm|
|Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Long-Sleeve Top||$139||4.25||N/A|
|Sisstrevolution Summer Seas Jacket||$105||4||1 mm|
|Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Long Sleeve Jacket||$100||4||1.5 mm|
|NRS Ignitor Jacket||$90||3.75||2 mm|
How We Tested
I live 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, I surfed at some of my favorite breaks and considered how comfortable they were to paddle and surf in, how durable they seemed, and if they kept me warm while in the water.
What Makes a Good Wetsuit Jacket?
Comfort is my number one priority for most clothing items and wetsuit jackets are no exception. I want my jacket to be cozy and comfy so I can wear it for marathon sessions and not have to worry about it bunching or causing chaffing.
If I’m going to be wearing it often, I want something that looks good, so I feel confident wearing it for surfing, diving, and everything in between.
When I buy a wetsuit jacket, I expect it to last a few years and as such, I want one that is well-made so it can withstand the test of time.
Wetsuit jackets are a Goldilocks type of situation where I want them to be warm, but not too warm. I’m looking for something that’s just right.
What Else Should I Consider When Buying a Wetsuit Jacket?
One of the perks of surfing in some sort of neoprene is that they often have a place to stash your key. I’m a big fan of jackets that have either a key loop or a small pocket where I can store my key while surfing.
I 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, I’ve found that a lot of them tend to curl up or ride up at the bottom and I find myself constantly pulling them down. To combat this, some come with loops on the bottom to secure to boardshorts (this is found more often men’s jackets though). Or, you just want to make sure the jacket fits snug through to the bottom of your stomach and you should be good to go.
Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.