Warmest hooded full suit and favorite winter gear

Jul 4, 2006
47
46
18
New England
Any feedback on the Feral 6/5/4? Ordered one but it's stuck in USPS system and hasn't moved in weeks. Really enjoyed my cold/leaky xcel today.
I've had the Feral 6/5/4 out in about 5 surfs now; coldest was probably 20 degree air/42 degree water. Also using brand new 7mm boots and gloves (vissla) at the moment.

First impression is that the wetsuit material is super silky. It feels comparable to wearing spandex type material that is just more willing to conform to my body than my old Xcel drylocks. The stretch is fine; it's still got some heft which is expected in a 6/5/4 but for me, warmth is 100% the priority over flexibility in the winter. I can surf with a suit that is a little stiff (or in this case, a bit extra elastic), but nothing makes my limited surfing ability worse any faster than getting cold. The comfort is honestly fine, probably the best overall comfort I've had between this, drylocks, and an older flashbomb.

I was a bit worried about the lack of smoothie anywhere on the suit but after being out in strong winds the other weekend, the wind was a non-factor - I probably surfed 2.5 hours and was only getting slightly chilled in my feet; body was holding up just fine during a strong Noreaster. The wrist and ankle cuffs stay put and do their job, no issues with the suit rolling up.

The only downsides I've noticed so far (and these are minor complaints) is that I get just the smallest amount of sloshing/water infiltration between the zipper and my collar bone, just when laying prone and paddling. The suit has been warm enough for this to not be uncomfortable, but its just something I've noticed. Having the chest synch cord really pulled tight has helped with this a bit. The other slight issue is that there is just a bit of material bunching behind the knees. This is one thing the xcel suits do really well with their molded angles behind the knees. Its a little annoying when walking around but once I'm in the water and focused on paddling/surfing, it hasn't been anything I've paid any attention to.

A pleasant surprise has been how fast the suit dries out. The wetsuit material just doesn't really absorb much water at all; my old drylock would honestly take a good 4-5 days to really dry out (95% dry, still always a little moist), and the Feral suit is 95% dry after roughly 12 hours.

All in all I'm very happy as things currently stand. The only thing left to see is durability, and given how elastic the suit properties are, as well as the lack of reliance on glued, welded seams (which were always the first thing to fail on my drylocks), it feels set up to last at least a solid two seasons, which is the minimum I'd like to get from my winter suits. Especially given the price, I feel like it was a good buy.
 
Mar 1, 2010
104
58
28
How does the Hyperfreak compare to the Psychotech in terms of warmth? I love my Psychotech and am considering a cheaper HF as a backup/second wettie.
wonder if these oneill's will keep me warm through winter here in the NE.. i sit perfect in there size chart now.. in between for xcel and rip curl.. if it fits me better might make up for the lack of warmth compared to having space in the other suits..
 

VaB

Michael Peterson status
Nov 14, 2004
2,970
504
113
Virginia Beach, VA
wonder if these oneill's will keep me warm through winter here in the NE.. i sit perfect in there size chart now.. in between for xcel and rip curl.. if it fits me better might make up for the lack of warmth compared to having space in the other suits..
how far north are you? I would say probably. I think they are pretty warm. Probably comparable to excel. Better than rip curl.
 
  • Like
Reactions: live4swell
Mar 1, 2010
104
58
28
how far north are you? I would say probably. I think they are pretty warm. Probably comparable to excel. Better than rip curl.
Long island ny.. went into a local shop yesterday.. that oneill rubber feels insane. they have no stock like everybody else. they were saying late january at the earliest. i'm thinking right now a pyscho tech 5.5/4... havent updated my suits in years.. all my cold water suits are pretty shot along with my boots too
 
Nov 25, 2020
94
55
18
For the northeast folks, I talked to the people at brave in point and they told me everyone at the shop wears and loves techopbutter suits, they stretch a bit and are not the warmest but they feel the comfort /price/warmth combo is the best out of the middle pack
 
  • Like
Reactions: live4swell
Jul 11, 2006
63
1
8
North East - Isurus 5:4 hooded. warmest and last longest. worth the extra bucks. Much better than Technobutter and the rest. XCEL feels super stiff after wearing these (ISURUS) for 4 years or so.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mundus

VaB

Michael Peterson status
Nov 14, 2004
2,970
504
113
Virginia Beach, VA
got a new psycho-tech for xmas. air 40s, water in 50s; very warm and flexible. For cold temps i'll go with that over an Isurus. Cold water and nicer days, isurus will do well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Havoc
Jan 14, 2015
39
10
8
wonder if these oneill's will keep me warm through winter here in the NE.. i sit perfect in there size chart now.. in between for xcel and rip curl.. if it fits me better might make up for the lack of warmth compared to having space in the other suits..
I have a 5/4 hooded Psychotech, surfed all winter in NJ, suit was plenty toasty
 
  • Like
Reactions: live4swell
Mar 1, 2010
104
58
28
I have a 5/4 hooded Psychotech, surfed all winter in NJ, suit was plenty toasty
great just what i wanted to hear.. can't find one anywhere though.. hopefully in the next couple weeks places will have some inventory. if anybody sees any in stock let me know.. looking for a M psycho tech 5.5
 

Aruka

Kelly Slater status
Feb 23, 2010
9,858
14,887
113
PNW
great just what i wanted to hear.. can't find one anywhere though.. hopefully in the next couple weeks places will have some inventory. if anybody sees any in stock let me know.. looking for a M psycho tech 5.5
 
Mar 1, 2010
104
58
28
had a chance to use my new 5.5/4 psychotech this afternoon.. fun waist to chest+ windswell.. water is about 46 i believe and the air temp was about the same.. wind was a moderate 10-15mph offshore.

first thing i noticed it is so much easier in and out of then my xcel. and a lot easier to paddle in. i was warm the whole session which was about 2.5 hours. the only time i started to get a lil chill was when i sat for a bit. for the most part i was moving and catching a ton of waves.. the flexibility paddling was very noticeable.

the hood is more comfy than my xcel except for the chin area.. that kinda sucks it digs in a bit.
another thing was my sleeves blew up a couple times when i fell off.. came a ways up my forearm.. one time flooded me when i went for a rebound off an oncoming section and my fins came loose and i ate it.. that was pretty cold. that never happened with my xcel.

overall i like it more than my xcel especially bc it fits me better.. the paddling alone makes it worth it. feels like a 4/3 paddling wise. only first time using it so hopefully it holds up
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aruka

PRCD

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Feb 25, 2020
8,449
5,019
113
I pulled the trigger on the Feral 6/5/4. Almost went with the Vissla North Seas at $275 (surfline 20% discount), but then they ran out of my size and curiosity got the best of me. My most recent Xcel suit is failing because of places where the smoothy panels are glued with no stitching; the panels are just separating. Still mostly pinsized holes at max stretch, but its on its way out, even with some cement to plug it up so I can at least keep using it as a backup suit.

Funny about polar bears in the water. Was roughly 52 degrees last weekend and there was a guy out in a shorty. Bigger guy for sure, but air temps were 25-35 degrees. Complete psycho.
Saw a Feral 3+ in the water. Decided I just needed a 3/2 with a hood in the morning and went home and ordered one in XL. I just tried it on. It was too small in the chest. I'm the right weight but the chest/neck/shoulder size was too small. Their XXL looks too big. My chest is 45.5" @6'/210 lbs.

GOing to send it back. Looks like a great suit if your chest is <44".
 

hackeysaky

Miki Dora status
Dec 19, 2002
4,404
107
63
NJ
Have any O'Neil Hyperfreak users noticed excessive leakage through the inseam thigh/crotch stitching? Just had my new-out-of-the-box 5/4 out today and just wading through the shore break saturated my inner thighs and it got worse through the session (legs got cold and heavy, feet turned to bricks with the lack of warm blood supply). Post-session inspection: seams look good, inside taping looks well-adhered, nothing obviously wrong, but I'm thinking maybe the gluing process went awry or perhaps water is leaking through the stitching.
 
Aug 29, 2019
13
6
3
Ok wanted to update this based on a couple of years of use. These are my favourites based on warmth and flex, prioritized in that order. All have lasted so no real separation newer on durability.

Isurus 6/5
Billabong 6/5
7till8 6/5
Carapace 6/5
Xcel Drylock 5/4
O’Neill psychotech 5.5/4
Patagonia R5

The pata R5 is super warm, but the lower legs are too big, hence leak a bit, and it’s noticeably heavy when wet.

Haven’t tried feral, vissla, buell, or some others, but will look at when this quiver starts to fade.
 

rowjimmytour

Tom Curren status
Feb 7, 2009
10,418
4,748
113
52
Rbeach
Ok wanted to update this based on a couple of years of use. These are my favourites based on warmth and flex, prioritized in that order. All have lasted so no real separation newer on durability.

Isurus 6/5
Billabong 6/5
7till8 6/5
Carapace 6/5
Xcel Drylock 5/4
O’Neill psychotech 5.5/4
Patagonia R5

The pata R5 is super warm, but the lower legs are too big, hence leak a bit, and it’s noticeably heavy when wet.

Haven’t tried feral, vissla, buell, or some others, but will look at when this quiver starts to fade.
What is your lication you tried all these suits, water temps, gloves and booties needed etc:shrug:
 

mundus

Duke status
Feb 26, 2018
26,034
8,897
113
Gonna spend the money on an Isrus this winter, my billabong is not totally shot so i will always have a dry suit to get into on 2 session days.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bvendley
Aug 29, 2019
13
6
3
What is your lication you tried all these suits, water temps, gloves and booties needed etc:shrug:
Van Isl, BC Canada, US pnw. Water 4-8C, air -10 to 10C.
Gloves and boots are assorted brands, 3-7mm and 5-7mm respectively. I’ve found xcel boots and O’Neill gloves to be my favourites, and patagonia claws and mitts when windy and below freezing.

Beach and point/reef breaks so a mix of very active and sitting a lot. I generally run cold at 6ft+ and 145-150lbs.

I would say if below freezing, and brisk offshores…I’m reaching for the isurus 6/5 and 7mm xcel booties with patagonia claws/mitts.