Today, wetsuit manufacturers have been endlessly experimenting with new materials in order to make their suits the warmest, most flexible, and/or fastest drying on the market. Whether it is Patagonia lining their wetsuits with merino wool, Rip Curl adding a quick-drying “flash” lining, or the exceptional elasticity of O’Neill’s new Technobutter neoprene; it seems every brand has developed some unique trait to distinguish themselves from their competitors. However, with these technical advancements comes a steady increase in price. It is to the point that if you’re looking at purchasing a company’s high end 5/4mm wetsuit you should be prepared to shell out $450-$600.
We realize that not everyone is looking for these top tier wetsuits. In fact, more times than not, we are on a budget and looking for an inexpensive suit that will get the job done without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a flat-water SUP user, a novice surfer who is tired of renting/borrowing, or you’re just trying to save a little money; these are our picks for the best wetsuits you can buy for under $200.
It was a good year for surfing wetsuits. Manufactures trimmed some suits down and made major improvements in flexibility, especially in cold water suits. In the hunt for your next wetsuit, this information should be a great starting point and reference to what the masses have chosen. Below is a list of the best selling Men’s and Women’s wetsuits for Cleanline in 2014.
It was not long ago that wetsuits weren’t tailored to be gender specific. Women had to choose the best wetsuit from companies that didn’t even consider the female anatomy when designing their suits. While this is still an issue today, we here at Cleanline Surf support women’s cold water surfing, especially considering a wetsuit at least 5/4mm thick is vital for winters here on Oregon’s northern coast. This is why we have partnered up with Patagonia to exclusively offer the new 2014 Women’s R4 Hooded Chest Zip wetsuit.
For Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 Patagonia has taken their already rock-solid wetsuits to new levels of warmth and flexibility by introducing new materials, and superior construction. The result? Patagonia simply offers the highest quality wetsuits on the market. Would we really expect any less from Patagonia? Here is a break down on their newest line of wetsuits, including which suit will be ideal for your local lineup.
Before we dive into the different wetsuits Patagonia is offering, let’s review what improvements they have made across the board in regards to their new line of wetsuits:
- More Internal Tape – For Fall 2014, Patagonia has fully taped all internal seems as opposed to just the critical points in years past.
- Updated Thickness – The thickness in their suits has changed, most notably in the R3 and R4 where they added an extra millimeter.
- New Poly Lining – Introduction of hydrophobic micro-grid recycled polyester thermal lining, increasing flexibility, while decreasing weight and drying time.
- Better Fit – Completely reworked cut using an anatomical patterning along with high-quality neoprene ensuring their new line of suits fit better and truer than ever before.
- Lower Price – Pricing has dropped significantly due to new construction processes and use of less merino wool. Despite the price drop we think the suits are greatly improved!
Wondering which Patagonia wetsuit to choose? Let’s break ‘em down, starting with the warmest.
As you might expect, hoods are the norm out here on the Oregon Coast. With water temperatures rarely making their way over the low 50’s, a hooded suit is a must. We spend a lot of time sweating it out in dressing rooms so that we can find the best fitting, most comfortable hooded wetsuit for our needs. While hooded suits had been somewhat bulky in the past, wetsuit technology has really come a long way in the last few years. Manufactures have found ways to make a hooded suit lighter, warmer, more flexible, and faster drying.
The new Fall 2014 collection has made its’ way into our hands and we’re ready to talk about it. Again this year, we are not going to into little details like logos and colors. We are getting down to the major reasons why these suits are the best cold water, hooded wetsuits ever made. So in no particular order, here are The 6 Best Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuits for frigid temperatures as the year turns from 2014 to 2015.