Surf Changing Mat
We know all too well about the dreaded, post-surfing changing session. Even after all these years, it seems nearly impossible to slip gracefully out of your wetsuit without covering it in sand.
To aid that problem, the surf community came up with the changing mat.
Of course, with so many surf changing mats on the market, finding one that is high quality without breaking the bank can seem like a challenging feat. Luckily, we're here to help.
Come with us as we explore the best surf changing mats on the market today!
Quick Answer :
#1 Best Overall - Northcore Grass Change Mat / Bag→
#2 Most Durable - Y’us Wetsuit Changing Mat / Foldable DryBag→
#3 No-Leak Design - Ho Stevie! Durable Mat / Waterproof Dry-Bag→
#4 Best Multi-Purpose Surf Changing Mat - SUN CUBE Changing Bag & Poncho→
#5 Most Portable - COR Surf Changing Mat / Wet Bag→
The 5 Best Surf Changing Mats
#1 Northcore Grass Change Mat / Bag - Best Overall
The Northcore Grass Change Mat is the best wetsuit changing mat out on the market, purely for its durability. You'll never have to stress about wear and tear, thanks to its water-resistant, heavy-duty polyester design.
We love the artificial grass atop the mat, which gives you something comfortable to stand on while changing. If you're sick of standing on the hot asphalt of the parking lot while trying to worm your way out of your suit, this wetsuit changing mat solves the problem.
The mat doubles as a bag. It folds together so you can easily store and transport your wetsuit without getting your car dirty. The struggle of keeping your car sand-free as a surfer is something we've blindly dealt with until now.
If you ever find your wetsuit is getting dirty or smelly, simply hand wash it with some shampoo and hang it outside to let it dry. We promise you won't regret this investment!
#2 Y’us Wetsuit Changing Mat / Foldable DryBag - Most Durable
As surfers, we're often looking for the most durable products that can hold up after many years of abuse. Yu's Wetsuit Changing Mat uses high-end PVC fabric that is 100% waterproof and ultra-durable. Very similar to the Northcore Grass Change Mat, you can easily fold this mat up into a dry bag to protect your car from sand and wet clothes.
We love that this company included both a short handle and cross-body strap, giving you more options for transporting it. This can be especially helpful if you often have to carry a ton of gear down to the beach when surfing.
Plus, while it isn't a large changing mat, by any means, you can use it as a bag to carry all of your surf equipment, such as your booties, surf poncho, towel poncho, or six-pack.
#3 Ho Stevie! Durable Mat / Waterproof Dry-Bag - No-Leak Design
Ho Stevie! is one of the best surf companies out there, crafting a long line of high-quality products, including wetsuit changing mats.
The thing we love so much about the Ho Stevie! Durable Mat Waterproof Dry Bag is the fact that it has a no-leak design.
When you toss it in the trunk of your car after a long surf session or throw it in your bathroom before you have to hurry back out the door to get to work, you won't have to worry about it leaking everywhere. Plus, the mat is lightweight and water-resistant, thanks to the neoprene design.
It's almost like having a wetsuit for your wetsuit!
With 29" of space when folded out, you have plenty of space to change.
As you probably guessed, this surf changing mat folds up into a hand-carry bag for you to transport. While the handles aren't as versatile as other surf changing mats, the bag's durability and lightweight design make up for it.
#4 SUN CUBE Changing Bag & Poncho - Best Multi-Purpose Surf Changing Mat
From the outside, the Sun Cube Changing Bag & Poncho look pretty simple.
However, when you consider its multi-purpose use, it's almost like killing two birds with one stone!
Not only do you get a high-quality and compact surf changing mat to change comfortably no matter where you are, but you also get a comfortable surf poncho for slipping out of your wetsuit without unknowingly flashing everyone in the parking lot!
The surf changing mat is made out of high-end 420D Polyester material, which is ultra-durable and comfortable no matter where you place it down.
We love the fact that the sides of the mat raise, keeping sand and pebbles from getting in while it's lying on the ground.
#5 COR Surf Changing Mat / Wet Bag - Most Portable
If you're a traveling surfer that needs an ultra-portable changing mat, the COR Surf Changing Mat is a great choice.
It cinches up into a tiny bag using strong barrel lock closure, allowing you to pack it away in a backpack and take it with you on the go.
You won't ever have to worry about your wetsuit or wet clothes leaking on anything while in this bag.
This PVC wetsuit changing mat uses insanely durable PVC Poly Fabric, which is not only long-lasting but very easy to clean as well.
Considerations Before Buying A Wetsuit Change Mat
When looking for the best wetsuit changing mats, durability and lightweight materials should be your focus. The last thing you want is to have to haul a heavy mat. Add your soaked wetsuit to a heavy bag, and it becomes an absolute hassle to carry around.
Durability is essential for several reasons. For starters, seawater is one of Mother Nature's greatest deteriorators. The sand and moisture will rip through a flimsy bag in a matter of weeks. Having reliable, water-resistant materials like neoprene, polyester, or PVC is key.
You might also consider trying to find wetsuit changing mats with artificial grass built into them. Artificial grass or synthetic grass can provide you with a barrier between your feet and the hot sand or hard asphalt. Plus, synthetic grass has a cool look, and who doesn't want to impress their friends with sweet, new surf gear.
Size comes down to personal preference, though it is essential your mat can fit you at the least.
Plus, when you fold your mat up into a bag, it shouldn't feel bulky. You're already carrying around your board. The last thing you need is a massive, clunky bag to go with it.
Some material is lighter and more compact than others. If you have to walk far after your surfing session, it's best to consider what the lightest thing to carry would be.
We recommend looking for a mat that is around three feet in width. These will be easy to store and carry, though they will give you the perfect amount of ground coverage to change comfortably.
You might be thinking,
Aren't all surf changing mats waterproof?
While most surf changing mats use waterproof materials, not all of them will prevent leaks from getting outside the mat when it's folded up. The last thing you want is to have water leak all over the backseat of your car or run down the back of your dry t-shirt when you're carrying it on your back.
Waterproof material is the most comfortable and functional material. Plus, compared to other types of materials, waterproof material is much easier to clean.
Barrel Lock Closure
You'll find that the best changing mats on the market come with barrel lock closure. The beauty of barrel lock closure designs is that you can pull the strings of your bag up and create a bag in a matter of seconds. Without these, you'd have to fold your wet mat down and carry it under your arm, which wouldn't be the most practical.
Plus, you'd have to have a separate bag to put your wet clothing in, which would be an annoying extra thing to have to deal with.
Mats with drawstrings are easy to carry, especially if you have a bunch of other surf gear you have to carry down to the beach.
On average, a good mat will cost you anywhere from $15 to $30. However, if you're looking for the best changing mats on the market, expect to spend anywhere from $60 to $80.
If you see a wetsuit mat that is more than that, ask yourself why. The overall surf mat design is pretty limited, and we haven't seen any surf mat features that justify that much money spent. All you genuinely need is durable materials and a compact, easy-to-carry design. You might spend a bit more if you want a surf grass mat, but other than that, save your money for more critical surfing accessories.
If you want to enhance your surfing experience by having a place to store your wet clothes, get yourself a high-quality wetsuit mat. If we had to go with one on this list, it'd be the Northcore Wetsuit Changing Mat.
It's the perfect surfing mat for any beach activity with a compact size, easy-storing design, and heavy-duty materials.