What Do You Wear Underneath a Wetsuit?

Because a wetsuit is so tight-fitting, many people often ask, do you wear anything under a wetsuit?

While you don’t need to wear anything underneath your wetsuit, there are a couple of reasons to do so, and keeping warm isn’t typically a part of this.

By design, Wetsuits keep you warm and do so by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the inside of the suit.

Topview of a man wearing a black wetsuit

Chaffing and rubbing are one of the primary reasons to wear something beneath your neoprene wetsuit. (Read What to Wear Paddle Boarding)

In our guide, you can learn more about wearing a wetsuit for water sports and what to wear under a wetsuit for extra warmth while keeping you mobile.

Can You Wear a Pad Under a Wetsuit?

Women can wear a pad beneath their wetsuit if they follow a few simple steps.

Place a pad under bikini bottoms or shorts to hold the pad in position.

When you enter the water, the pad will soak with water, and any blood will disperse yet won’t stain.

Once you exit the water, the pad will begin to catch the blood, yet not as effectively.

Once out of the water, make sure to go to the nearest bathroom before removing your wetsuit. The sticky part will be ineffective, and the pad will most likely disintegrate.

Can You Wear Swim Shorts Under a Wetsuit?

While many people wear nothing underneath their neoprene wetsuits, many feel more comfortable doing so.

Men can quickly wear swimming trunks or Lycra cycling shorts, and women can wear a one-piece swimsuit or wear compression shirts to avoid rubbing and chafing. Here’s a few reasons divers find wearing something underneath wetsuits can be better. (Read What to Wear Kayaking)

More Insulation & Protection

The main factor in having something to wear under a wetsuit is that extra layers keep bodies warmer in colder temperatures. It works in cold water to keep the body warm and out of it.

Rather than wearing thick wetsuits, limiting mobility, and drain energy, experienced scuba divers wear thin layers for extra insulation.

Besides water’s coldness or warmth, the air and wind temperature above water are essential factors to consider when determining whether to wear a rash guard or one-piece swimming costume for women under a wetsuit.

Sportspeople also experience different temperatures during one activity. Picking the right material and sort of underwear (full-body, one-piece, or two-piece) which can keep your body at a comfortable temperature during your day is essential.

Some can offer UV protection and add secondary protection against bites, stings, cuts, or scrapes. (Read What to Wear Hiking in Winter)


Many go nude when scuba diving or taking part in water sports, although it can be uncomfortable because of the constant rubbing of material against wet skin. After wearing a wetsuit for extended periods, skin can begin to chafe and feel sore with no wear under the wetsuit.

The usual areas suffering from chafing are the neck, armpits, back of the knees, and crotch. Anti-chafing gel or creams can help, yet wearing diving shorts, a bathing suit or Lycra rash guards beneath is more convenient.


Scuba divers may have to change in a public area, such as on a boat or beach.

Girl wearing a blue wetsuit

Wetsuits are extremely hard to put on and take off, so you can’t do this covered in a towel.

Wearing a bathing suit, wearing a rash guard, or another garment beneath your suit can help stop you from exposing yourself as you change.

What Do You Wear Under a Wetsuit in Cold Weather?

What to wear under your wetsuit in cold weather is the thing of many debates.

To clear this up, here are some recommendations of what you can wear under your wetsuit to keep you warm in cold or warm water where you need an extra layer of protection for all your diving or watersports requirements. (Read What to Wear When Hunting)

For Men

Diving Shorts for Men

Male bicycle shorts or diving shorts serve as an extra layer in colder temperatures and help get in and out of your wetsuit. For best results, you’ll want to use diving neoprene shorts that offer a 4-way stretch.

Male Rash Guard

You need to keep your upper body warm, and you can find a variety of undershirts. Rashguard or compression shirt presents a great option as the first layer in colder waters. Depending on the temperatures, you can select one with long sleeves.

Full-Body Jumpsuit for Men

If you want full coverage, you can pick a full-body jumpsuit to keep you even warmer.

Often, these are made of ultra-thin neoprene offering natural insulation and comfort without the bulk. (Read How Long To Stay In Sauna)


If diving in warm waters and don’t need extra layers but want added protection, you can select diving briefs. Some briefs are thin, lightweight, Lycra, and comfortable.

For Women

Diving Shorts

Diving shorts are popular for female diving undergarments for more warmth.

Sleeveless Vest

Female divers can wear compression shirts, though some prefer sleeveless tops for more shoulder freedom.

Full-Body Jumpsuit

Women can opt for a buoyant and lightweight jumpsuit under their neoprene wetsuits and come in various thicknesses and fabrics for added full-body warmth.

One-Piece Swimsuit

Women who prefer minimal coverage for more freedom can wear a one-piece swimsuit. Although, like any recommended undergarment, they can’t be any regular swimsuit.

Is It Easier to Put on a Wetsuit Wet or Dry?

Unless you have a skin suit, dive skin, or another type of skintight clothing you wear under the wetsuit, the recommendation is you and your wetsuit are either wet or dry. Trying to get a damp body into dry wetsuits or damp wetsuits onto dry skin is nearly impossible. (Read Blister Bottom Of Foot)

If wet or sweaty, cooling off and towel dry before trying. You can even damage your suit by trying too hard.

An easy solution for feet through legs is to place your foot in a plastic grocery bag before you slide it in.

Once feet are through your suit, gather material around the ankles and work it upward to your waist so you have no gaps between your body and your suit.

Pull the wetsuit up around your chest and slide your arms in the sleeves. Starting at the wrists and work extra material up your shoulders to eliminate air pockets between your wetsuit and armpit.

Read more: Find the Best Snorkel Mask.

What Do You Wear Underneath a Wetsuit

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