2022 O'Neill Blueprint Wetsuit Review
With the current market trending towards producing more sustainable products, O’Neill joined the competition back in 2021 with the Blueprint Series. As we wrap up 2022, O’Neill released a new version of the Blueprint wetsuit that features even more high-tech and eco-friendly materials. Available in both men’s and women’s models, the Blueprint is O’Neill’s most environmentally responsible suit ever produced.
"If you’re a surfer who cares about keeping the oceans clean and wants to do your part in promoting a greener future, get your hands on the improved TechnoButter4 neoprene and toasty warm liner combo, and you’ll quickly realize all the hype."
Highlights and Features
- O’Neill’s most eco-friendly wetsuit
- Made from recycled oyster shells and tires
- Toasty warm interior liner
- Super stretchy neoprene
- True to size fit for men and women
- 20% lighter with 30% less water absorption than competitor brands
Is the high price point worth the investment? Below we will take an in-depth look at the features, fit, and materials that make up each Blueprint wetsuit.
O'Neill Blueprint Wetsuit
Neoprene and Liners
Like all high-end O’Neill wetsuits, the Blueprint uses the buttery soft TechnoButter neoprene, which is insanely flexible and comfortable. New for 2022, the Blueprint features two variations of the updated TechnoButter 4X and the new TB4 Air Firewall. Composed of recycled oyster shells and carbon black extracted from scrap rubber tires using high heat, the Blueprint pushes the boundaries of eco-friendly possibilities.
The arms and shoulders feature the insanely stretchy TB4 neoprene. Recycled yarns infused with graphene are woven into the jersey-looking material for added durability and warmth. TB4 is placed in the paddle zones to enhance performance and limit fatigue. On the inside of the suit, the red-colored TechnoButter 4x internal liner is also used in the arms and shoulders. Lastly, TB4x incorporates recycled graphene fibers, increasing the suit’s overall warmth and strength factor.
The unique TB4 Air Firewall makes up the exterior neoprene and internal liner. It is placed on the suit’s chest, back, legs, and butt. The rubber traps heat in the most critical area of your body through a core of aerated neoprene and a graphene fiber jersey. Lastly, this next-level engineering work of art resembles smooth skin with its special lamination process. It’s tougher than the typical thick rubbery smooth skin and is designed to withstand the wear and tear from making contact with your surfboard.
Seams and Stitching
We’ve already covered an impressive amount of technology; let’s continue with how the Blueprint is held together. The internal taping was upgraded from TB3X to TB4X, which has even more stretch. The blue-colored 0.5mm taping reinforces the seams for a high-quality water seal keeping the suit warmer than ever.
For added durability and eco-friendly practices, all seams feature water-based (Aqua Alpha) glue and are triple glued and blind stitched. This combination allows for the best stretch possible, which is what O’Neill suits are known for.
Fit and Cut
Historically, O’Neill runs true to size. Due to the stretchy TechnoButter neoprene, in most cases, you should aim to be at the mid-high end of the size chart. The Blueprint is pre-stretched, meaning the rubber will slowly mold to the shape of your body without overstretching from use. From experience, both men and women with broader shoulders fit well in O’Neill wetsuits due to the entry design, which we’ll discuss below.
The Blueprint wetsuit truly fits like a second skin and has a snug fit from head to toe. Both the wrists and ankles feature tapered cuffs, which minimizes the chance of flushing on a big wipeout.
Entry and Zipper
Currently, the Blueprint is only available in a chest zip model. O’Neill incorporates the F.U.Z.E (front upper zip entry) zip closure on the Blueprint. This system is well thought out for ultimate comfort and ease of entry. Due to the flexibility of the neoprene, we’ve found that O’Neill wetsuits are easier to get on and off compared to competitor brands. In addition, the entry can drain water quickly: two overlapping layers of neoprene keep water out with drain holes to ensure you stay dry.
Zippers are often overlooked, but O’Neill didn’t miss a beat when designing the Blueprint. The redzone water-resistant zipper is pre-fed, meaning you don’t need to fumble around trying to piece the zipper together. It’s worth noting that the large, durable zipper is easy to grab. Anyone who has spent time surfing in a cold environment understands the value of these features.
How do all of these high-tech features affect your performance in the water? The saying goes, “once you get TechnoButter, you never go back.” It’s tough to beat the flexibility and comfort of this incredible neoprene. Combine that with the sustainable materials that make up the Blueprint, and you can rest easy knowing you’re lessening your environmental impact.
Because the Blueprint doesn’t contain smooth skin panels or exterior fluid seam weld, the suit feels more lightweight and flexible than suits with similar features. Don’t fret about being chilly in the Blueprint if you run cold. The suit is labeled as either 4/3+ or 3/2+, which technically means 4.5/3.5 or 3.5/2.5, respectively. That little bit of extra neoprene gives the Blueprint the warmth factor necessary for duck diving in the chilly ocean water.
Finally, we recommend using the 4/3+ as a summer suit here in the PNW or as a shoulder season option for folks in New England. In general, the 4/3+ is most comfortable in water temperatures ranging around 53-60 degrees F. On the other hand, the 3/2+ is preferred if you surf in an area with water temperatures ranging from 58-65 F.
Value and Durability
With a price tag starting at $569.95 for the 3/2+ model, the Blueprint is undoubtedly in the high-end wetsuit category. O’Neill packed the Blueprint full of all their best features, culminating in the epitome of an eco-friendly suit with competition-level performance. You get what you pay for with the newly released TB4 neoprene and TB4 Air Firewall.
Zippers are often the first component to break down on a wetsuit. Compared to competitor brands, we’ve found that the rugged PK zipper holds up well over time against brutal salt water. The red plastic teeth are designed to withstand the elements while warding off corrosion.
With the improved seam construction and minimal paneling, the Blueprint is designed to hold up over time and use. If the seams wear down within a year of purchase, O’Neill has a reputable warranty program.
Breakdown of Eco-Friendly Materials
Undoubtedly, the Blueprint Series is by far O’Neills most environmentally friendly wetsuit. Take a look at the high-tech features that are utilized.
- Eco carbon black - recycled tires make up the main ingredient in the neoprene.
- Limestone neoprene - in use since 1996, a natural ingredient with less environmental impact.
- Recycled oyster shells in neoprene - replaces calcium carbonate powder.
- AquaAlpha water-based glue - safer than solvent-based glues that are found in other wetsuits.
- Dope-dyed yarn - cuts down on energy consumption and water usage.
- Neoprene from recycled plastic - each Blueprint wetsuit uses 100 plastic bottles.
- BLUESIGN approved fabrics - safe and sustainable work environment.
“Blueprint tech is super flexible for a 4/3+. Fairly light and very warm.”- Socal
Wetsuit manufacturers are increasingly finding creative ways to incorporate eco-friendly materials into their products. Is the Blueprint worth the price? If you’re a surfer who cares about keeping the oceans clean and wants to do your part in promoting a greener future, get your hands on the improved TechnoButter4 neoprene and toasty warm liner combo, and you’ll quickly realize all the hype. The Blueprint has similar features to the widely popular Psycho Tech wetsuit. The big difference is that the Blueprint incorporates more eco-friendly materials.
At the end of the day, the Blueprint isn’t the most eco-friendly wetsuit, but it stands out from the competition with the legendary TechnoButter neoprene. With O’Neill’s true-to-size fit and both men’s and women’s models, there's an option for nearly everyone.
If you have any questions about O’Neill suits or need sizing help, feel free to leave a comment, call us at 1-888-546-6176, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the water!