Now warmer weather’s in effect your kids will no doubt be bugging and hassling to get out for a float with you. But even on those balmier days there’s a risk of catching a chill – especially if your offspring are only clad in shorts and T. It’s therefore welcome to see a home grown UK brand offering properly designed water wear for children. NCW stock a range of kid friendly kit for going afloat. We got hold of the brand’s 5mm full wetsuit and long sleeve/short sleeve rashvest to check out.

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5mm wetsuit

Simple in design yet packed with performance NCW’s kiddy 5mm is a proper wetsuit scaled down for wee ones. High quality neoprene combined with properly blind stitched, glued and taped seams make it a good choice for chillier kayak sessions or roaming about the beach. Styling is simple with company logo adorning the chest and coloured shoulder panels. The back zip is YKK type and durable/hard wearing. Wrist and ankle seals are tight, without being overly so, and will keep water flush to a minimum. The fit comes up relatively tight – a good thing with all wetsuits. There may be some coaxing needed, however, to encourage your child to wear it. A neat tip we got from NCW owner Mark Graham was to soak the suit in warm soapy water before fitting. This ensures the suit slides easily over skin and getting it zipped up is a quicker process. We asked our model how she felt when wearing NCW’s 5mm kiddy suit and she simply nodded. We take that as a thumbs up! If you’re out afloat and there’s any degree of chop and flotsam then it’d be worth popping a cag over the top of the suit. Wind will cause evaporative cooling to occur quicker. Although there’s no question the suit is warm double lined neoprene does suffer from this effect – an added layer of protection is always a good thing.

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Long and short sleeve rashvest

If thermometer readings rise, and/or you’re heading overseas for kayaking shenanigans, then single layered cover may be all that’s needed. The main protection you’ll be looking for from rashvests is UV. Fortunately NCW kid’s rashies are rated SPF 50. Plus, vibrant orange and yellow colour ways will help parents spot kiddies at the beach. As with the 5mm wetty, sizing, if correct, ensures a snug fit. And the quick drying nature of both rashies, especially in the blazing sun, means chilly feels are avoided.

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All of North Coast Wetsuits kiddy friendly wetsuits and rashvests are worthy choices for kids with a watery activity penchant and/or racing round beaches. Protection against the elements is guaranteed with the 5mm full wetsuit. (NCW also have a 3mm available for when it gets warmer – all bases covered). Both long sleeve and short sleeve rashies offer barriers against harmful UV and to boot none of NCW’s gear will break the bank – another tick in the box.


5mm full wetsuit – £42.95-£47.50

Long sleeve rashvest – £11.95

Short sleeve rashvest – £9.69

Product Links

5mm full

Long sleeve

Short sleeve