What to Wear Under a Wetsuit: Best Options

When gearing up for your next underwater adventure, have you ever wondered about the best attire to wear under a wetsuit? Is it just a matter of throwing on any old undergarments, or is there a science to it? Let’s dive in and explore the options together!

Proper wetsuit layering ensures optimal comfort and performance while exploring the depths. Proper undergarments can enhance Insulation, flexibility, and protection, allowing you to enjoy your time in the water. So, what are the best options for what to wear under a wetsuit? Let’s find out.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the proper undergarments is essential for comfortable and effective wetsuit layering.
  • Base layers provide comfort, Insulation, and ease of movement in the water.
  • Thermal rash guards add warmth, protect the skin, and prevent irritation during underwater activities.
  • Neoprene shorts enhance flexibility, coverage, and Insulation for a more comfortable experience.
  • Wetsuit vests offer extra core insulation and protection while allowing ease of movement.

Base Layers for Wetsuit: Enhancing Comfort and Insulation

Proper attire underneath a wetsuit can make all the difference in comfort and Insulation. Base layers are the key to enhancing your overall experience in the water. These undergarments provide a protective barrier between your skin and the wetsuit, keeping you warm and ensuring ease of movement during your underwater adventures.

Various base layers are available, each offering unique features and benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the different materials and fabrics commonly used:

  • Merino Wool: Known for its excellent insulation properties, merino wool base layers are perfect for colder water temperatures. They are naturally breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant, making them popular among divers seeking warmth and comfort.
  • Synthetic Fabrics: Polyester and nylon blend base layers are lightweight, quick-drying, and provide excellent moisture management. They are designed to wick sweat away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your dive.
  • Compression Fabrics: Compression base layers are made from a blend of spandex and polyester, providing a snug fit that supports the muscles and improves blood circulation. These base layers offer added compression benefits, reducing muscle fatigue and helping you maintain energy levels during long dives.

When selecting a base layer for your wetsuit, consider the water temperature and the level of Insulation you desire. Opt for thicker base layers in colder conditions and lighter ones in warmer waters. Ensure that the base layer fits well and allows unrestricted movement, enhancing your overall performance underwater.

Wearing appropriate base layers for your wetsuit can enhance your comfort, Insulation, and flexibility throughout your dives. Whether you choose merino wool, synthetic fabrics, or compression materials, these base layers provide a comfortable and enjoyable underwater experience.

Thermal Rash Guard: Adding Warmth and Protection

A thermal rash guard is a game-changer in enhancing your wetsuit attire. It provides an additional layer of Insulation and offers crucial protection and comfort during underwater activities.

A thermal rash guard is a buffer between your skin and the wetsuit, preventing irritation or chafing from extended exposure to the neoprene material. Its smooth and lightweight design ensures ease of movement while keeping you warm in colder water temperatures.

One of the key advantages of incorporating a thermal rash guard is its ability to retain heat. The advanced thermal properties of this garment help trap body heat and maintain a comfortable core temperature, even in chilly waters. This added warmth allows you to stay in the water longer, extending your underwater adventures without feeling cold or uncomfortable.

Moreover, a thermal rash guard acts as an extra layer of protection for your skin. It creates a barrier between your body and any potential irritants, such as salt water, harsh weather conditions, or marine debris. Safeguarding your skin reduces the risk of rashes, abrasions, and other skin-related discomforts, allowing you to focus on enjoying your dive.

“A thermal rash guard is a must-have for any avid diver. It keeps you warm and protects your skin from the elements, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable underwater experience.” – Sarah Johnson, experienced scuba diver.

Consider thickness, material, and fit factors when choosing a thermal rash guard for your wetsuit. Opt for a thickness that suits the water temperature you’ll be diving in, ensuring appropriate Insulation. Additionally, look for high-quality materials such as neoprene or poly fleece, known for their excellent thermal properties.

Remember that selecting the correct size and fit is crucial for maximum effectiveness. A well-fitted thermal rash guard will offer superior warmth and protection without hindering your movements. It should fit snugly against your body to ensure proper Insulation while allowing unrestricted swimming and diving flexibility.

Incorporating a thermal rash guard into your wetsuit attire will enhance your warmth, protection, and overall comfort during underwater adventures. This versatile garment’s advantages make it a valuable addition to any diver’s gear.

Thermal Rash Guard for Wetsuit: Key Benefits

   Rash Guard Key Benefits

  • Enhanced Warmth: Trap body heat, extend dive time, and stay comfortable in colder water temperatures.  
  • Protective Barrier: Prevent irritation, chafing, and skin-related discomforts caused by the wetsuit material.  
  • Flexibility and Freedom: Allow unrestricted movements while swimming, diving, or participating in water activities.  
  • Superior Insulation: Helps maintain a comfortable core temperature for optimal comfort in different water conditions.  
  •   Quality Materials: Choose from neoprene or poly fleece for excellent thermal properties and durability.  

Neoprene Shorts: Enhancing Flexibility and Coverage

Neoprene shorts are a fantastic option when choosing the proper attire for your wetsuit. They provide a range of benefits that enhance your comfort and performance in the water.

One key advantage of wearing neoprene shorts underneath your wetsuit is their added flexibility. The neoprene material stretches and moves with your body, allowing for a full range of motion while diving, swimming, or engaging in other water activities. This unrestricted movement improves your overall experience and helps prevent discomfort or restriction while wearing a wetsuit.

Neoprene shorts are flexible and provide excellent coverage. The longer length ensures that your thighs and lower body are well protected. This coverage helps shield your skin from potential bumps, scrapes, and other irritations while underwater.

Moreover, neoprene shorts offer insulation properties, helping to keep your lower body warm in colder water conditions. The neoprene material acts as a barrier, trapping a thin layer of water that your body warms up, creating a thermal layer that helps retain heat. Insulation is especially beneficial during longer dives or when exploring colder underwater environments.

Incorporating neoprene shorts into your wetsuit attire can significantly enhance your underwater experience. The combination of increased flexibility, improved coverage, and added Insulation ensures you stay comfortable and protected, allowing you to enjoy your time in the water thoroughly.

Wetsuit Vest: Extra Core Insulation and Protection

When it comes to maintaining optimal core temperature and protecting yourself during underwater adventures, wearing a wetsuit vest as an undergarment is a game-changer. This versatile piece of appropriate wetsuit attire offers a range of advantages that enhance your overall comfort and performance.

The wetsuit vest provides extra Insulation to your core, essential in cold water conditions. Trapping a layer of water between your body and the vest creates an additional barrier against the cold, keeping you warm and comfortable throughout your dive.

Moreover, the wetsuit vest offers added protection to your torso from scrapes, cuts, and other potential hazards that may arise during your underwater exploration. Its durable neoprene material acts as a shield, ensuring your body remains safe and protected without compromising ease of movement.

One key benefit of wearing a wetsuit vest is its ability to provide ease of movement. Unlike a full wetsuit, which covers your entire body, the vest allows your arms and legs unrestricted mobility. This enables you to navigate through the water with agility and efficiency, enhancing your overall diving experience.

Whether a professional diver or an enthusiastic beginner, a wetsuit vest is a valuable addition to your appropriate wetsuit attire. Its ability to offer extra core insulation, provide added protection, and allow for ease of movement makes it an essential garment for underwater adventures.

Critical Benefits of Wetsuit Vest:


  • Extra Insulation to your core, maintaining optimal temperature
  • Enhanced protection against scrapes and cuts
  • Unrestricted mobility for ease of movement


  •   It provides additional warmth in cold water conditions It Does not offer full-body coverage.  
  •   Protects torso from potential hazards Requires proper sizing for optimal fit  
  •   Allows for increased mobility and agility  

Proper Wetsuit Layering: The Key to Optimal Performance

Proper wetsuit layering is essential for optimal comfort and performance during underwater ventures. By choosing the right combination of undergarments and base layers, you can enhance Insulation, flexibility, and the overall functionality of your wetsuit.

It’s essential to consider the different layers that can be worn underneath your wetsuit to provide added comfort and protection regarding appropriate wetsuit attire. Let’s explore the critical components of proper wetsuit layering:

Base Layers:

Base layers are the foundation of proper wetsuit layering. These garments are designed to provide an extra layer of insulation and moisture-wicking properties, keeping you warm and dry while ensuring ease of movement in the water. Look for base layers made from materials such as merino wool or synthetic fabrics that offer warmth and breathability.

Thermal Rash Guards:

A thermal rash guard is an excellent addition to your wetsuit layering strategy. These guards provide extra warmth and offer protection against rashes and irritations that can occur during prolonged underwater activities. Choose a thermal rash guard from neoprene or other insulating materials for maximum comfort and performance.

Neoprene Shorts:

Neoprene shorts are versatile for enhancing flexibility and coverage under your wetsuit. These shorts provide added Insulation for your lower body while allowing unrestricted movement in the water. Look for neoprene shorts with a comfortable fit and a length that suits your preferences and needs.

Wetsuit Vest:

A wetsuit vest can offer extra core insulation and protection during colder dives. Wearing a vest as an undergarment lets you keep your torso warm while maintaining mobility in your arms. Look for a wetsuit vest that fits snugly but allows for easy movement.

Remember, proper wetsuit layering is not a one-size-fits-all approach. When choosing the appropriate undergarments, consider the water temperature, dive duration, and personal preferences. By customizing your wetsuit layering strategy, you can optimize your comfort, performance, and enjoyment while exploring the underwater world.

  Undergarment Benefits 

  •   Base Layers enhance Insulation and flexibility.  
  •   Thermal Rash Guards Provide warmth and protect against irritation  
  •   Neoprene Shorts Enhance flexibility and offer additional coverage  
  •   Wetsuit Vest Provides extra core insulation and protection  

Choosing Appropriate Wetsuit Attire for Different Water Temperatures

When diving in various water temperatures, choosing the proper undergarments is essential for staying comfortable and protected. The appropriate wetsuit attire can make all the difference, allowing you to enjoy your underwater adventures without worrying about feeling too hot or cold.

To help you make the right choices, here are some options to consider for different water temperatures:

Warm Water:

In warmer conditions, you may not need as much Insulation. Wear a lightweight rash guard or a thin neoprene top as your base layer. These options provide protection from the sun, prevent chafing, and offer a modest layer of warmth without causing overheating.

Mild to Cool Water:

For water temperatures that are slightly cooler, opt for a thicker neoprene top or a long-sleeved rash guard. These garments provide better Insulation while still allowing for Freedom of movement. Pair it with neoprene shorts or leggings to cover your lower body and enhance Insulation.

Cold Water:

In colder water conditions, it’s crucial to prioritize warmth and protection. Layering is essential here. Start with a thermal rash guard as your base layer, which offers excellent Insulation and retains body heat. Over that, wear a thicker neoprene top or wetsuit vest to provide additional warmth to your core. Combine this with neoprene pants or a full wetsuit for maximum coverage and Insulation.

Remember, the appropriate wetsuit attire for different water temperatures may vary depending on personal preferences and the duration of your dives. It’s crucial to assess your thermal comfort needs, considering the specific location and climate conditions you’ll be diving in.

By choosing the proper undergarments and layering appropriately, you can ensure optimal comfort and protection throughout your underwater adventures, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the marine world fully!


In conclusion, choosing the proper attire under a wetsuit ensures optimal comfort and performance during underwater adventures. By carefully considering options such as base layers, thermal rash guards, neoprene shorts, and wetsuit vests and understanding the importance of proper wetsuit layering, you can significantly enhance Insulation, flexibility, and protection while enjoying your time in the water.

Whether diving in warm or cold water conditions, selecting the appropriate undergarments based on the water temperature is essential to guarantee maximum comfort and enjoyment throughout your dives. Remember, the proper attire can make all the difference in your diving experience, allowing you to focus on exploring the underwater world without any distractions or discomfort.

So, next time you gear up for a dive, consider what you wear under your wetsuit correctly. Take advantage of the various options available, and enjoy your underwater adventures fully!


What should I wear under a wetsuit?

Under your wetsuit, you should wear base layers such as rash guards, neoprene shorts, and wetsuit vests. These undergarments provide added Insulation, comfort, and protection during water activities.

Why is proper wetsuit layering important?

Proper wetsuit layering is crucial for optimal performance. Layering with base layers and undergarments enhances your wetsuit’s Insulation, flexibility, and overall functionality, ensuring you stay comfortable and protected in various water temperatures.

What are the benefits of wearing base layers under a wetsuit?

Base layers provide added comfort and Insulation. They are usually made of moisture-wicking materials that keep you dry and prevent chafing. Base layers also allow for ease of movement in the water, enhancing your overall underwater experience.

How can a thermal rash guard improve my wetsuit attire?

A thermal rash guard adds warmth and protection to your wetsuit attire. Made of specialized materials, it enhances Insulation, prevents skin irritation, and offers an additional layer of defense against the elements, allowing you to stay comfortable and enjoy your underwater adventures.

Are neoprene shorts necessary to wear under a wetsuit?

Neoprene shorts are unnecessary but can significantly enhance your wetsuit experience. They provide added flexibility, coverage, and Insulation, ensuring optimal comfort and Freedom of movement in the water.

What are the advantages of wearing a wetsuit vest under my wetsuit?

Wearing a wetsuit vest as an undergarment adds extra core insulation and protection. It keeps your torso warm, offers additional coverage, and allows for greater flexibility during your underwater activities.

How do I choose appropriate wetsuit attire for different water temperatures?

For warm water temperatures, lightweight base layers and rash guards are sufficient. In colder water, consider adding thicker base layers, thermal rash guards, neoprene shorts, and wetsuit vests to enhance Insulation and provide extra warmth.

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