NRS Hydroskins sizing advice? (recommended size seems quite tight)

I’m 175 lbs, 6 ft tall, 41 in. chest, slim athletic build (no beer belly). I’m squarely a Large for tops and bottoms according to NRS Hydroskins sizing guide. I tried the 0.5mm Hydroskins L/S top, pants and shorts and while I can wear them, they’re fairly tight, especially the bottoms. When I asked a female friend who wears them, she said NRS is sized quite small, so that she orders 2 sizes up from their recommended size.

By contrast, I found the hydroskins gloves true to size.

Do you find NRS Hydroskins run tight, and recommend sizing up? If so, size up how many sizes? Is this the case for women’s NRS Hydroskins sizing as well?

And are wetsuits best worn on the tight side or just snug? I’ve seen people wear them both ways, yet one way must be more effective for insulation.

Hydroskin has minimal thickness and thus less insulative quality in the first place. Now if you add a loose fit, which means more water flush through under what is already a minimal insulating layer…

FWIW. I am 5’3" and 150 lbs (in other words, I have a stocky built). I wear size small hydroskin pants. I find them snug but not problematic in terms of mobility. I used the Hydroskin pants when wetwading while flyfishing mountain streams for trout in the summer (when water is usually upper 50s to 65 degree. Beyond 65, should not be fishing for trout if catch and release.) This means a lot of climbing up and down midstream boulders, in between wading through knee to waist high riffles and pools.


I usually go up a size too and they still fit tightly, but you can breathe. My rule of thumb is if can get them on comfortably they end up inside out when take them off, they are the correct size.

I have the top. I had to move up one size.

I haven’t had a chance to wear them yet, so take this with a grain of salt, but I bought some of the Hydroskin shorts and the store clerk told me they loosen up when they get wet, so she recommended a size that’s tight when you first try them on.

When talking hydroskin or similar, bottom line is that once the stuff is wet it can feel harder to get off because it wants to cling. Maybe it stretches, but the clinginess is a noticeable factor as my flexibility has hit the 60’s. Especially over my shoulders or getting it started over my posterior.

But to be warm it need to close enough so that water doesn’t have a lot of open space to flush thru between the garment and your skin.

There are people who will be be between sizes so can make either size work, just with different levels of trouble getting the stuff on or off. I seem to have found that spot since the few extra pounds than earlier decades became a long term resident. I personally buy the size up now if I am getting anything new, it fits tight enough.