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This review is for the 2012 Patagonia R4. There is now a 2013 R4 Wetsuit Review if you’re interested.
I have been surfing in the Northwest(Oregon, Washington, and Canada) for over 40 years now, and have spent all those years trying to stay warm and get my suit dry for the evening session. Heating up river rocks by the fire to put under my wetsuit cuffs etc, etc, etc… Wool socks and glove liners underneath my boots and gloves, etc, etc, etc… I could go on etc..! My whole adult life has been spent trying to stay warm in the very coldest conditions the Arctic can throw at the Northwest. Well….The Patagonia R4 has finally solved this problem. This is by far the warmest wetsuit ever built on planet earth.
The picture here is one I took after surfing by myself(too cold for sane people) in 22 degrees Fahrenheit with strong offshore winds. Water temp about 46 deg. This was an arctic front in February and the dry sand was frozen solid! We’re talking about serious conditions. I was laughing because I felt like I had tricked the world. For me, my most important tool is my wetsuit, and the R4 is it. Nothing compares for warmth! And that’s not all! This suit drys in about 1/3 the time of most wetsuits and because of the limestone neoprene it is much much more windproof. It’s also extremely durable(like all Patagonia products!) This suit will be hard to improve on.