Buell RB2 Wetsuit Review
The Buell RB2 hooded wetsuit has become my go-to suit for year-round surfing on the Oregon Coast. I wear the hooded 4/3mm, but Buell also offers a hooded 5/4mm and even a hooded 6/5/4 for those facing extreme elements. The suit has an affordable mid-level price range of $344.95 - $375.95, depending on your desired thickness. However, don’t let the price fool you. The new 2022 version of the RB2 is equipped with high-end features you’d expect in a wetsuit costing hundreds of dollars more.
- RB2 6/5/4 Hooded Wetsuit - $375.95
- RB2 5/4 Hooded Chest Zip - $364.95
- RB2 4/3 Hooded Chest Zip - $344.95
Highlights and Features
- Torso and upper legs lined with warm Thermal Barrier
- Flexible "Ninja Limestone Neoprene"
- High-end suit for a mid-level price
- Triple glued and blindstitched seams with external "Sizzle" seam seal
Buell RB2 Wetsuit
Neoprene and Liners
Since the RB2’s inception a few years back, Buell has taken countless measures to improve an already solid wetsuit. New for 2022, Buell has incorporated limestone into the proven reliable “Ninja Neoprene.” This update resulted in each suit having a smaller carbon footprint while simultaneously maintaining the same performance and durability we’ve come to expect. The new neoprene also absorbs 30% less water which keeps the suit lightweight and flexible while in the water. I’ve also found that it significantly cuts down on dry time once out of the water.
The suit is internally lined with Buell’s Thermal Barrier insulation throughout the torso and upper legs. The strategic placing of the liner maintains warmth in your core while maximizing flexibility where you need it most in the arms and shoulders.
Seams and Stitching
All of the neoprene panels in the RB2 are glued together and then blindstitched, creating a watertight and flexible seam. Buell’s “Sizzle Seam Exterior Seal” further enforces the seams throughout the wetsuit. The sizzle seal combined with the glued and blindstitched interior seams makes the suit virtually impervious to leaks. On top of that, all critical seam junctions are reinforced with seam tape for added strength and durability.
Fit and Cut
The RB2 comes equipped with Buell’s high-performance slant-zip entry. The Slant-zip entry gives you a one-sided water seal performance that pushes the limits of a wetsuit’s warmth potential. Slant-zip entries are narrower than traditional front-zip wetsuits making them slightly more challenging to get on and off. However, I believe the pros outweigh the cons as the enclosed shoulder minimizes flushing.
The RB2 does not utilize a smooth skin panel on the chest or back. I prefer wetsuits without these panels as they tend to be more durable and less susceptible to nicks and tears. In fact, the only smooth skin is a fluid rubber seal at the neck, wrists, and ankles, which helps prevent expansion while keeping water out.
Buell suits fit pretty true to size. I am a Large in both O’Neill and Billabong, and the Buell RB2 size Large fits like a glove! For reference, I am 6’1” and 190lbs.
The RB2 has the perfect balance of flexibility and warmth. As I mentioned earlier, I have been using the hooded 4/3 here in Oregon for 6 months now and have yet to get cold. Having the soft thermal barrier insulation in just the torso and upper legs regulates the heat where I need it while maintaining flexibility. While there are more flexible hooded 4/3mm suits on the market, none will keep you as warm as the RB2. The RB2 allows you to get away with a 4/3 when normally you’d wear a 5/4. I have used this suit in temperatures as low as 46 degrees, and as long as you have solid boots and gloves, the RB2 will keep you warm! The option to wear a thinner suit is a huge deal for me because being a bigger guy, the less restriction I have, the better I surf and the longer my sessions beco
“I'm really liking this suit so far. It's been warm and feels well-made. We'll see how it holds up over the course of a full season, but I've been using it for a few weeks, and nothing bad to say about it yet. Way less expensive than the RipCurl or Patagonia suits I've worn recently, and not notably different in quality”- Scott
“Nothing but good with this suit! Suit is super warm and easy to get on and off. Stoked on the Buell brand!”- Ryan
"I have worn the Buell 5/4/3 hooded full suit 3 times the past month while surfing off Newport (OR). The suit is quite comfortable (except for the very tight chin as mentioned in another review), warm, and flexible. The size categories are as advertised. The medium short fits me perfectly at 5'6" and 153 lbs. In contrast I fit al large-short in Excel suits. The key pocket is so simple and so handy. No more hiding a key or pulling off a full suit after 2 hours in 50 degree water. A great suit and an economical price. I will purchase a new suit more often than every 3 years now."- Kim
This Wetsuit Is Also Featured In:
- 5 Best Mid-Range Hooded Wetsuits for 2022
- 6 Best Mid-Range Wetsuits for 2023
- 2023's Best 4/3 Hooded Wetsuits
In conclusion, the RB2 is an excellent suit for the price. The hooded 4/3 is warm enough for me to use in Oregon year-round. The 5/4 is recommended for any NW surfer who gets cold quickly. The 6/5/4 will meet the demands of those crazy enough to surf waters where ice forms in your facial hair. There literally is an RB2 for every cold-water surfer. There aren’t a lot of suits that check all the boxes when it comes to flexibility, warmth, affordability, and durability. The new RB2 is definitely one of them!
If you have any questions about the RB2, leave a comment below, email us at email@example.com or give us a call at 1-888-546-6176. See’ya in the water.