The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread

Kman

OTF status
Nov 15, 2005
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Hotline released the original "Phoenix" suit a little bit too early. The neck stitching is a common problem. In fact, all unsold Phoenix suits from surf shops were returned so they could resolve this problem.

The "PhoenixX" (two x's) is the solution. It's a great suit, with Hotline's legendary durability. They loosened up the cut in the calves & thighs a touch, put in a different material in the forearms, and fixed the stitching in the neck. They really shot themselves in the foot by releasing the first gen. "phoenix" before solving those problems.

So, if anyone out there has a "Phoenix" suit, take it back to your surf shop and see if they can contact Hotline for you to either fix it or get you a "PhoenixX." You'll know which one you have by the lettering on the cuff -- there is an extra "X" on the newer suits.


-ShShSh
Thanks for the back ground on that. My plan is to take it back near the end of the winter season to have it fixed and and maybe I'll get lucky they'll just replace it with the newer version.

Kevin
 

SouthCoastSurfer

Michael Peterson status
Feb 23, 2007
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Oneill Heat 3/2:

Almost not even worth mentioning.

Xcel 4/3 Front Zip:

The only problems I had with this suit was that the 4/3 seems super bulky compared to other 4/3's I've worn. Also, the suit would shrink everytime I hung it up to drip dry so it was a pain in the ass getting it back on and paddling out .

RipCurl Fireskin 3/2:

Fell apart within 6 months. Seam came undone at the neck and it seemed that something new came unraveled everytime I wore it. Returned it under warranty and was sent a new suit after a 5 week wait - I bargained with the shop owner to trade me for a West 3/2 he had on the rack and he took me up on it.

West 3/2:

Most comfortable suit I've worn to date but after I broke it in it seems to keep me warm less & less. I baby this suit, spray it off in the tub after every wash and hang dry out of direct sunlight. It dries super slow, and the stitching from the top of the zipper to the top of the collar is coming undone. For warmer water (60*+) I can't complain but I'm sure I could say the same about a $100 aleeda suit.

West 4/3/2:

I don't know where the 4mm neoprene is but it isn't doing a very good job that's for sure. I've had to resort to wearing a long sleeve rash guard + booties to keep me warm down here in SD where the water has been 55* for the past three weeks. The pull over section to stop flushing works well for the back but it's pretty tight on my neck to the point where it's initially uncomfortable and the seam that connects the lower back to the rest of the suit has a hole so every surf I get a flush on both the 3/2 and the 4/3/2 as soon as I get into water higher than my waist.

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bricks.gif" alt="" />

I am seriously considering a Patagonia suit but I'd rather buy another surfboard instead. I may go to a Xcel 3/2 front-zip because I've been the most happy with their suits thus far. Plus they've removed the seam under the armpit that gave me a rash every session in the 3/2 FZ I wore 2 years ago. From the look of Matuse's size chart it doesn't look like they have a suit that would accomodate my size.

I'm 6,3" 200lbs and typically wear a L/T wetsuit, and I surf everyday there are waves. Sometimes twice a day if there are good waves on my days off.
 

whitewashkid

Legend (inyourownmind)
Feb 26, 2005
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5. Oneill heat 4/3 - hated it, the neoprene is soft, but the fit is awful. Oneill fit models must have giant redwood legs and tiny narrow shoulders. I would get flushing in my legs but the upperbody felt like it was in a straitjacket. I usually wear a L/T for every other company, but for Oneill, I am too small for their L/T and too big for their M/T
I've got the same suit, and the same problem. I surfed for the first time in almost a year last week. Toasty warm, no flushing really, but I couldn't paddle for shyte! Alot of that has to do with being out of 'surf shape' but it felt like a straightjacket! Recommendations? I'm 6-2 and about 205.
 

pd_cm

Miki Dora status
May 20, 2003
5,323
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SoCal
I don't get cold as easy so I've been wearing this suit:

Rip Curl - E3 Bomb Chest Zip 3/2 Pro Model

Ummmmm can you say FLEXIBLE?????!!!!!

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/applause2.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bowdown1.gif" alt="" />
 

20W-50 and blood

Duke status
Feb 4, 2004
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quick cell.....great fin suit. odd thing though..for soe odd reason i cant figureout..it literally has stripped all teh hair off the sides of my ass cheeks...but it hasnt stripped it off anywhere else..
 

Dorado

Gerry Lopez status
Apr 25, 2007
1,224
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ultimate fbomb, Im a NEast surfer and easy in and out , on the "warmer days " this suit feels like a 3/2 to me , in flex not warmth dead o winter NYC style not sure yet but like I said been warm ..... nothing worse than a winter suit you need to be a yogi to get out of <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/deadhorse.gif" alt="" />
 

rice

Duke status
Jul 2, 2002
24,303
1,793
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CA
I got a new XCEL infinity 4/3 front zip and it is ridiculously warm.

Water has been about 50 lately the suit is just as toasty as could be.

Stoked.
 

tenover

Kelly Slater status
Jan 17, 2003
8,991
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Point Loma, CA
Been wearing the Patagonia backzip 2mm R2 suit all winter, 90% of the time in early morning sessions when the sun isn't up yet. I can't stand wearing booties, so besides my feet being a little chilly during those early morning sessions, I haven't been cold at all. 3 thumbs up for the 2mm Patagionia suits for SoCal winters.
 

goldenarmes

Michael Peterson status
Mar 31, 2005
3,043
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2mm thats good to know....like you i cant handle booties either . might have to check patagonia out.

still as far as bang for the buck goes BOZ is tough to beat. killer customer service and a damn good traditional wetsuit. im really interested in the matuse wetsuits but they are going to have to last a couple seasons. i just finished my 3rd season in my BOZ and it's still holding up well. the only reason i would consider going with a boutique wetsuit would be a significant savings in weight and drying time.
 

ShiverMeTimbers

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Mar 21, 2006
8,116
542
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Gig Harbor
www.peistcharters.com
quick cell.....great fin suit. odd thing though..for soe odd reason i cant figureout..it literally has stripped all teh hair off the sides of my ass cheeks...but it hasnt stripped it off anywhere else..
New category: "stripping hair off of ass cheeks" <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />

If they made a suit that could remove back hair, that would be a selling point (for me, anyways). <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
 

BrownFish

Michael Peterson status
Mar 5, 2005
2,862
227
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the only reason i would consider going with a boutique wetsuit would be a significant savings in weight and drying time.
That is actually a pretty good selling point. My Matuse is so light when wet. I'm honestly shocked when I pick it up verses someone else's wet wetsuit. In my opinion, thats also the advantage of a Matuse over a Patagonia. The wool in the patagonia's take in water, and they are actually pretty heavy when wet. Matuse's are plenty warm without the wool, and the weight savings for a fatass like me is pretty key. Plus they dry out pretty quick, and thats hanging em from the waist, folded over, out of the sun. Just my 2 cents.
 

goldenarmes

Michael Peterson status
Mar 31, 2005
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im just going to see how they hold up. i need 2 seasons minimum out of a $500 wetsuits. plus, it would seem there isnt a size for the taller lankier guys like me.
 

zawa2000

OTF status
Jan 1, 2005
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Home of Bicycle Riding Winos
That is actually a pretty good selling point. My Matuse is so light when wet. I'm honestly shocked when I pick it up verses someone else's wet wetsuit. In my opinion, thats also the advantage of a Matuse over a Patagonia. The wool in the patagonia's take in water, and they are actually pretty heavy when wet. Matuse's are plenty warm without the wool, and the weight savings for a fatass like me is pretty key. Plus they dry out pretty quick, and thats hanging em from the waist, folded over, out of the sun. Just my 2 cents.
I wish the "Senor Eyepatch" people would start using this stuff soon or else I'm going to start boutiqing next fall.
 

Chee-to

Michael Peterson status
Jan 11, 2002
2,351
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im just going to see how they hold up. i need 2 seasons minimum out of a $500 wetsuits. plus, it would seem there isnt a size for the taller lankier guys like me.
Mine has some durability issues. I got it in October and I've blown out both elbows along the seams - one I had repaired and it ripped again. Other than that, it's the best wetsuit I've ever worn - light, flexible, superwarm, comfortable, and quick to dry.

Sizing can be tough for us taller folks. Mine is slightly, although noticeably, short in the body. I can feel it in the neck.
 

burnsey_vi

Michael Peterson status
Jul 24, 2003
2,148
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Shell Beach, Ca.
Been wearing Physco 2's for a long time. I have a 3/2 and a 4/3. They last longer and are more comfortable than any other suit I've had. I'm 5'7" 180 - 185lbs...I wear a Large/Short and it fits well.

I've had Hotlines and they worked great too. Probably still be wearing them if one of my very closest friends didn't own a big surf shop that doesn't sell Hotlines but gives me cost on O'Neill.

I've had Rip Curls and usually had problems with them. But, if this H-Bomb thing turns out to be the real deal and I can surf through winter in a 2 mil, I'm in...



I've had Rip Curls and usually had problems
 

silentbutdeadly

Duke status
Sep 26, 2005
30,305
16,101
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Tower 13
Been wearing Physco 2's for a long time. I have a 3/2 and a 4/3. They last longer and are more comfortable than any other suit I've had. I'm 5'7" 180 - 185lbs...I wear a Large/Short and it fits well.

I've had Hotlines and they worked great too. Probably still be wearing them if one of my very closest friends didn't own a big surf shop that doesn't sell Hotlines but gives me cost on O'Neill.

I've had Rip Curls and usually had problems with them. But, if this H-Bomb thing turns out to be the real deal and I can surf through winter in a 2 mil, I'm in...



I've had Rip Curls and usually had problems
You know what kills me is that I haven't had a suit last nearly as long as my first generation psycho II and I've had a few brands since then including oneill's. That thing got me through almost two seasons with no leaks and the third I was fine except for early mornings. I wore it as a short sleeve full for the fourth year. That suit was about $279 at the time and personally I don't think the newer suits are any more comfortable or flexible; at least not noticeable. That's why I started this thread originally. I haven't posted in a while since I've been out for six weeks with an injury. My suits just so happen to be holding up great right now!

Sounds like all suits have issues and most take care of the customer, just some better than others. When my 400 dollar psycho II fell apart the first year I sent it back and they gave me a new one.
 

Mo_Fo

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Apr 13, 2005
8,210
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I've also been wearing the psycho 2 suits for the past few years. They seem to be lasting for shorter periods of time over the last couple of years. It seems to me that I have had to buy a new 3/2 once a year, yet my 4/3 has lasted me for about 4 seasons now. I rinse my suits almost every surf and hang dry, so I'm good with them. This year I broke down and bought the 2mm Patagonia and I did eventually have to start wearing booties... in mid December. Unfortunately up here in the LA/Ventura county area I have had to slip back into my trusty 4/3 a few weeks ago. Once it dropped below 55 I couldn't hang in the line up very long and enjoy myself. I was grimacing that morning digging my old 4/3 psycho 2 out of the bottom bin. I figured it was going to just be worn out and cold. I was happy to find out how wrong I was. Pretty stoked that that old suit (4/3) was still warm after all these years even after being jaded with that new Patagonia for the past few months.
I gotta admit, I did get a lot of odd looks when I was paddling out in the San Diego area last September/October in my Patagonia suit. While they were everywhere up here back then, I felt like I was the only one wearing one down there. I would imagine that the suits popularity has gone up now that they have proven themselves.
As far as the matuse suit goes, the only two reasons I bought the Patagonia suit over the matuse, was the warranty and where they are made. I know that if in three years my suit starts falling apart; Patagonia will still be around and besides all their warranties are kick ass. I'm looking forward to eventually picking up a 3mm in the next couple of months as well to replace that old 4/3, but I'm not in a rush.
 

dannyja

OTF status
Nov 8, 2006
207
0
0
Santa Cruz
I've had the Phoenixx for about 3 months now. By far the warmest, most flexible suit I've owned. Been out during the winter months in Santa Cruz and haven't been cold yet. Had a seam problem after the first session, tape on the inside busted apart. I took it into the outlet store and they repaired it that day! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Great suit and worth the money.
 

Teahupoo2000

Michael Peterson status
Jan 29, 2002
3,466
0
0
Quiksilver Cell 3/2 Cell 6

Wow...Most comfortable and warmest wetsuit ever. Not bad for the price of 150 Dollars... <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/applause2.gif" alt="" /> Keep them coming quiksilver.
 

iariggs

Nep status
Sep 26, 2007
649
0
16
Queef Reef
I'm alternating between an Oneill Psycho 2 4/3 and a Patagonia 2mm backzip (both comboed with 5mm boots and 1.5 mm gloves)in 48 degree water and not seeing much of a difference, except the price tags. But PATs lifetime warrantee is worth it. My Rip Curl was garbage this year MF elasto model.