The Great Unbiased Wetsuit Review Thread

ron74

OTF status
Sep 3, 2006
204
0
0
New England
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.
So a Patagonia 2mm is just as warm as 4/3??? Holy sh#t! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/computer.gif" alt="" />
 
Sep 11, 2007
31
0
0
Ive been using a hotline that my parents bought me for Xmas just over a year ago. It was a 3/2 front zip with Rasta coloring on the legs. My mom said that surfers are so boring with thier black wetsuits <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/foreheadslap.gif" alt="" /> In just over a year all the seams are starting to leak, and the stitching at the end of the legs and arms are unstringing themselves. It not very warm anymore plain and simple. So i bought a XCEL infinity 4/3 front zip from whiskeymilitia for $150 and testdrove it yesterday. Watertemp 55º, airtemp 60º. The thing was superwarm, almost hot! no water got in through the neck like the hotline, and the frontzip is engineered a little better than the hotline(lower on the chest so that it pulls the wetsuit from chest rather than shoulders). There are no seams below the nea or outside the elbow, so the stitching problem cannot happen. Overall im happy with the buy, especially at the price. Ill update in a year from now. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/00000045.gif" alt="" />
 

Q_Surf

Duke status
May 5, 2003
20,046
313
83
world's largest oregon
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.
+1 for the cell 4/3 and i'll add it's definitely the longest lasting suit i've had too (i've had two)

haven't tried patagucci or mateuse, yet.

****************************************************
HOOD: i wear oneil's 1mm rashy w/ sharkskin hoody attached. effectively makes my 4/3 work like an optional hooded 5/4. the hood, being separate, allows for much better head rotation than a built-in.
 

wildingb

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jul 28, 2008
457
0
16
Mitchs in La Jolla got some new Matuse suits in yesterday while i was in the shop. I am 175 5'9" and picked up the 4/3/2 LS - it felt pretty tight but apparently that is normal. The batwing things felt really fragile, but again apparently they last. I certainly hope this wetsuit lasts for me...

You guys better not all be paid employees of matuse - 500 is a lot for a suit!
 

FishFace

Miki Dora status
Aug 8, 2009
3,944
14
38
Del Mar, CA
I have been wearing body glove suits for the past few years. Mainly because I can get an incredible deal on them but, they have been the best suits I've ever owned. I currently have a 3/2 vapor. Its as warm as a 4/3 and super stretchy. It repels water and has fluid sealed seams. Feels like a dry suit. There is a key pocket in the forearm as well. This vapor is the best suit i've ever owned.
 

saucerboy

Nep status
Aug 10, 2009
600
14
18
Santa Cruz
FWIW, I bought a vintage 3/2/2 from the Matuse site a couple months ago. The other day I noticed that the seam joining the smooth skin and neoprene right around the armpit is coming apart. There is a half inch or so spot under both arms that is separating. On the inside of the suit there are a couple spots where the tape lifting up and starting to peel. It's just a quarter inch or so and only at a place where the tape overlaps but still, it's there.

I've used the suit roughly 20 times since purchasing it. I emailed Matuse yesterday to make sure it's covered under the warranty before mailing it back. I haven't had a response yet. I'll call later. I'm assuming it is and they'll fix. Still a concern that I'm seeing that wear after only two months.
 

nickpheous

Michael Peterson status
Apr 8, 2008
3,361
13
38
Huntington Beach
i'm not sure if you're talking about the same area but on both my 07 and 08 matuse 3/2 there is a small tear right under the arm where the panels meet. its an area where on the inside of the suit it is just stitching, not welded seams. the stitching looks to be pulling apart. i've sent them in, had them repaired and both have come apart after one session. i've repaired it again myself and it seems to be holding up so far. still the best suits i've owned for fit and flexibility.

does anyone have the new 4/3/2 from matuse? one of the improvements is satin seal taping. i don't know what that is. maybe a dumb question but can anyone tell me as the website doesn't describe it. i'm assuming this is something new in place of welded seams <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />
 

saucerboy

Nep status
Aug 10, 2009
600
14
18
Santa Cruz
Yep, that's the spot. I just checked the suit and there is only stitching on the inside, not welded seam. The stitching still seems solid on my suit for now.

How did you repair it, just basic wetsuit cement?
 

VaB

Michael Peterson status
Nov 14, 2004
3,006
571
113
Virginia Beach, VA
Oneill:

VERY DISSAPOINTED. KNEES TURN INTO MUSH IN &lt;1 YEAR.

I'm sure out in california where you wear one wetsuit for most of the year a single year warrenty is great but out here on the east coast, where, especially in jersey we go from trunking it in the summer to a full 6/4 hooded in the winter you only get a few months at each thickness. this means your one year calander warrenty expires after only 3 months of use... maybe 5 months for a 4/3.
 

wildingb

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jul 28, 2008
457
0
16
i'm not sure if you're talking about the same area but on both my 07 and 08 matuse 3/2 there is a small tear right under the arm where the panels meet. its an area where on the inside of the suit it is just stitching, not welded seams. the stitching looks to be pulling apart. i've sent them in, had them repaired and both have come apart after one session. i've repaired it again myself and it seems to be holding up so far. still the best suits i've owned for fit and flexibility.

does anyone have the new 4/3/2 from matuse? one of the improvements is satin seal taping. i don't know what that is. maybe a dumb question but can anyone tell me as the website doesn't describe it. i'm assuming this is something new in place of welded seams <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />
The new matuse i got yesterday has some silver coloured tape over the seams on the inside. Presumably this is the satin seal taping. I'll check under the arms tonight. I haven't had a matuse before so i can't compare the new suit to the older versions. I won't able to review this suit for a while as it is way too warm in SD for a full suit at the moment...
 

wildingb

Legend (inyourownmind)
Jul 28, 2008
457
0
16
Oneill:

VERY DISSAPOINTED. KNEES TURN INTO MUSH IN &lt;1 YEAR.

I'm sure out in california where you wear one wetsuit for most of the year a single year warrenty is great but out here on the east coast, where, especially in jersey we go from trunking it in the summer to a full 6/4 hooded in the winter you only get a few months at each thickness. this means your one year calander warrenty expires after only 3 months of use... maybe 5 months for a 4/3.
I heard the patagonia suits have a lifetime guarantee. so that might solve your problem. I didn't get a patagonia as the wool put me off...
 

nickpheous

Michael Peterson status
Apr 8, 2008
3,361
13
38
Huntington Beach
Oneill:

VERY DISSAPOINTED. KNEES TURN INTO MUSH IN &lt;1 YEAR.
1 year? your lucky. mine disintegrated (knees)in 5 sessions. had it repaired 4 times. still has a big hole in the knee

never again <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cussing.gif" alt="" />
 

VaB

Michael Peterson status
Nov 14, 2004
3,006
571
113
Virginia Beach, VA
1 year? your lucky. mine disintegrated (knees)in 5 sessions. had it repaired 4 times. still has a big hole in the knee

never again <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cussing.gif" alt="" />
Same. Switched to Boz- was a little leaky around the neck and flushed but warm as hell. A very strange combo of keeping me warm but leaky. Warm through a NJ winter. Still, through it all xcel seems to dominate the NE lineups. I'm not saying, I'm just saying..
 

Mr Doof

Duke status
Jan 23, 2002
23,369
5,588
113
San Francisco, CA
About the Boz wetsuit I purchased last year:


Pluses:

Fits great in chest, shoulders, neck, armpits, and arms; no binding at all.

Inexpensive.

Wearing well.

Minuses:

Short legs even on a Large Tall size...I tire of the droopy drawers look, at least until the wetsuit rides up and over the booties. Only then the low crotch goes away. I guess I could just not wear booties.

Tight from the gut down.

Neck flushes more than other hoodless wetsuits I've owned. Ok for now, but come late November...

Had to mail-order...to me, wetsuits are a try before you buy deal.

Verdict:
Unless I go custom with Boz or sell them locally, this one is my last one.
 

tacos

Michael Peterson status
Feb 12, 2006
3,451
316
83
LB —> SF
I have 3/2 Hotline phoenix. I got it back in November and so far I like it. The durability isn't what they are cracked up to be. The stitching around the neck entry (not a seam) started to come undone right away and it feels like it is starting to leak a bit in the butt.

That said, the material is super flexible. I tried on o'neils, quicksivlers, Xcels and a few others before getting this suit and by far it is the most comfortable. And it has kept me warm enough on those offshore 55 degree dawn patrol sessions. Not having any slick skin, thecold offshore winds can be a bit tough. And the wrist and ankles use the old rubber that seems to absorb the water. And there is no antiflushing rubber in those areas either like the other high end suits.

Overall, fit and comfort is a 10, durabililty would be an 8. Warmth I'd say is probably an 8 as well. I like it but I am concerned that it will be a leaky bastard by next winter. Time will tell.
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 &amp; 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.

As for the Freebird, I haven't used one but have heard good things from those who have. It's a price-point suit, but totally taped and front zip. That's pretty damn nice.

I'm still a Hotline fan, but this new Matuse suit I have continues to blow me away. Amazing product, from my perspective. If they made a front zip Matuse, I'd be done. So far, so good. But I'm only one season in. We'll see about durability.

-ShShSh
I know i'm quoting a post that's a bit dated (1/24/08 or something. )

Anyways ShShSh if you're reading this, is the seat or "butt" leak part of the problem that Phoenix has?

The seat seam of my Phoenix leaks pretty bad. I just assumed (without actually checking) that I had a PhoenixX, but I just looked and it's a regular Phoenix.
 

lorcar

Gerry Lopez status
Nov 20, 2008
1,306
0
36
flatMed
Hi everyone.
I am 5'11'' and 154 pounds (basically, slim with arms and legs a bit longer than average, I have had always troubles in buying suits/shirts/etc). I have so far a Ripcurl Classic 4.3, M size that fits pretty well. It was my first wetsuit, and to be honest I haven't used it much. Was thinking to buy a lighter wetsuit now. In a Ripcurl shop few weeks ago I tried the E-bomb 3.2 chestzip, M size (never tried a wetsuit so flexible before!). It was perfect in my opinion, but the neck was a bit tight. So I was thinking that probably the backzip would be better since you can adjust the neck strap. But I thought that the chestzip would block more water, and also the guy at the shop told me that the neck would become a bit looser. What do you think?
Also, I read most of this thread, and read many complaints about Ripcurl durability. So I was thinking to switch to Xcel Drylock 3.2, but I am a bit skeptical of buying a wetsuit I havent' tried on. Also which size should I buy? according to Xcel website, I dont' know which one it would be better, if the M or the MS. Any suggestion here? how do the Xcel fit compared to Ripcurl? Is it that true that they are very heavy as I read here?
thanks in advance
 

Pressley

OTF status
Oct 16, 2009
205
0
0
Santa Cruz
It seems the Ripcurls have gone larger in the legs this year than in seasons past- their chest zips are a great design, it takes about 2-3 sessions to get the hang of entry/exit but the added comfort, flexibility and flush protection is great!

Do yourself a favor and find a dealer that carries West wetsuits. They're excellent, warmer than RipCurls because they use Limestone-based neoprene, super soft and great stretch aaaaand they cost about $100 less for their top line suit (Lotus) Got mine for $289- not on sale. For the price, comfort and performance (they suck less water and are indeed lighter than petroleum-based suits) I don't see how you can go wrong. Try a medium, son.