Originally posted on https://scuba-donkey.com/blogs/news/how-to-select-the-best-childrens-wetsuits
If your family is the kind that’s always heading out on a new adventure, your kids are going to need wetsuits. A good wetsuit can keep kids warm when they’re running in and out of the water and can provide protection from UV and wind damage. But finding good children’s wetsuits can feel like a challenge.
With children’s wetsuits, you need to pay special attention to the fit and the type you want. Read on to learn more about how to find a good wetsuit for your kids.
If you’re swimming in warm water, a two- or three-millimeter suit will be enough to keep most kids warm. If your child is cold-natured, it may be a good idea to get them the thicker suit. For water between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, a five-millimeter suit will work well, and for water between 50 and 70 degrees, you’ll want to look for a six-and-a-half-millimeter suit.
Buying wetsuits for kids is hard because while you want to make sure it’s not hanging off them, you also want to give them some room to grow into it. You need to make sure it fits snugly on their skin; otherwise, water will move through it easily and get rid of the insulating properties. You also want them to be able to move around freely, though.
Have your child cross their arms across their chest in the suit; if it’s tight, go up another size. If you see folds in the suit, especially around the crotch or armpits, you need to go down a size. If you’re ordering a wetsuit online, take their measurements and use a sizing chart to figure out the appropriate size for your child.
Most wetsuits come equipped with zippers, but where they’re located is important. It can be hard to get in and out of wetsuits with awkwardly placed zippers, and you don’t want to try to wrestle your kids in and out of suits like that. But at the same time, certain zipper placements will provide better insulation than others.
If you’re planning to swim in colder water, look for chest zippers; they’re harder to get into, but they provide better insulation. Back zippers are better for warm water swimming. They’re easier to get into, but the insulation isn’t as good, which is fine in climates like the Caribbean.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
You want to look for a suit that’s as stretchy as it is strong to make sure your kids have room to grow and move. One of the things that will give these super stretchy suits integrity is solid seams. The seams are one of the best things to look at to determine the quality of a wetsuit.
You want seams that feel solid and have blind or flat locked stitching. You want to make sure the seams don’t stick up and aren’t itchy. And wetsuits that are reinforced by glue or a second piece of fabric at the seams are generally good quality.
There are three main types of kids’ wetsuits: shorty suits, Farmer John suits, and full suits. Shorty suits, as the name might suggest, have short sleeves and legs. These are the most popular style for kids’ wetsuits.
Shorty suits offer the warmth of a wetsuit since they insulate your child’s core. But because they have short sleeves and legs, they also make sure your kid won’t overheat in warm climates and give them the freedom to move around. They’re great for UV and wind protection (though you do need to be sure to sunscreen the rest of your child).
FARMER JOHN SUITS
Farmer John suits are a sort of compromise between a shorty suit and a full suit. They get their name from the farmer’s tan they can cause because they have long legs and short sleeves. These are great for kids who are going to be going on a variety of ocean adventures.
Farmer John suits are warmer than the shorty suits, so they’re also good for cold-natured children. But because they have short sleeves, they still offer good freedom of movement. If you’re going to somewhat chillier climates or plan to flip between surfing and scuba diving, these are a great option.
Full wetsuits offer coverage from wrist to ankles. They have long sleeves and legs and offer the most insulation for your kids, so they’re the best option for cold climates.
Even if you’re going to a warm climate, if you’re planning on going scuba diving, Even warm seas get cold more than a few feet down, and your kids will get chilly after a few minutes. These also offer the best wind and UV protection of all the suits.
FIND THE BEST CHILDREN’S WETSUITS
Shopping for children’s wetsuits is a matter of finding the right balance of things. You want to find something warm enough to keep them comfortable but light enough to keep them moving comfortably. You also want to make sure it’s snug enough to keep them insulated while still allowing them room to grow into it.
If you’d like to find the best children’s wetsuits, check out the rest of our site at Scuba Monkey. We have suits for men, women, and children, as well as a variety of accessories. Check out our kids’ suits today and find the best suits to keep your kids adventuring all year round.