Dakine Cyclone, Mission, and Quantum Wetsuit Review
For board sport enthusiasts, Dakine is one of the most recognizable brands on the scene today. From their legendary leashes to their impressive line of Gore-Tex snow jackets, it was only a matter of time before they released a line of wetsuits. Dakine’s wetsuit division includes three models: the budget-friendly Quantum, the mid-tier Mission, and the premium zip-free Cyclone.
Dakine appeals to a wide audience with these models, but surfers are nothing if not creatures of habit, and brand recognition alone is not enough to make most jump ship from their preferred wetsuit brand. With three different price points in every thickness one could desire, the first question that most people ask is, “what do I get when I pay for more?” I am here to answer all your questions, o humble reader and aim to make your transition easier. Let's dive right in.
Quantum 5/4/3mm Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit
On first impression, the Quantum wetsuit feels lighter and stretchier than other suits of its caliber. The seams on the Quantum are taped throughout the core, glued, and triple-blind stitched. There is no liner present in the suit. Instead, it has a slightly higher pile 3mm neoprene called FLX_THERM throughout the arms and in parts of the chest. The critical taping and thinner arm panels sacrifice some warmth but increase flexibility, reduce paddle fatigue, and help your overall performance while surfing.
The Quantum is a good budget buy. It would be a great option for surfers looking for a more affordable, good-quality hooded suit. It is also suitable for hardy surfers in colder climates looking for maximum flexibility.
Mission 5/4/3mm Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit
The Mission, as I am sure you guessed, is middle of the road in terms of price and quality. For roughly $100 more, you get the FLX_THERM neoprene throughout the entire suit and a fleece liner. The higher-quality FLX_THERM neoprene, while slightly heavier, is more durable as it is resistant to stretching out over time. The Hexotherm liner runs through the core to just above the knees. Hexotherm is a plush and very comfortable liner. It’s got a good loft and kinda feels like a cozy sweater when it’s dry.
The Mission also features glued, critically taped, and triple blind stitched seams. The upgrade is worth it in my opinion as the Mission offers quite a bit more warmth without sacrificing performance.
Cyclone 5/4mm Hooded Zip Free Wetsuit
I went out and purchased the 5/4mm Cyclone when Dakine launched their wetsuit division and have been able to use and abuse it for the last few months. Over the years, I’ve been a PsychoTech faithful but wanted to try something new. Being a fan of Dakine products and enticed by the idea of a zip-free 5/4mm I decided to take the plunge and test this suit out in the water. Let’s take a deeper look at the Cyclone.Materials & Tech
The Cyclone features full taping throughout the interior of the suit and a burly seam weld on the exterior of the suit. Similar to the Mission, it has the light gray Hexotherm lining through the core and thighs and features the FLX_THERM, this time in 4mm neoprene throughout the majority of the suit. The Cyclone is also a true 5/4mm and maintains its thickness through the arm panels. All of these features lead to a suit with minimal leak potential, maximum warmth, and high durability. The Cyclone is notably heavier and stiffer than its sibling suits, but that is a trade-off to keep you warm on the coldest of days.Fit
The weight of the Cyclone feels like something of a paradox. On land, it feels overly thick and rigid like a diving suit and is rather cumbersome to take on and off, but once it’s in the water it feels like a second skin and has a similar weight as any other 5/4mm. I bought this suit to be my nuclear option, so I would have no excuses if it was firing on the coldest days of the year. With how well it fits, I have worn it on warmer days and was surprised that it did not hinder my paddling or surfing performance. I was sweating like a pig, but I could still do everything I wanted to do.Zip Free Entry
This suit fits me so well because of its zip-free entry and oversized chest panel. Not having a zipper running the length of your chest is really nice and makes paddling feel as effortless as can be in a 5/4mm. The Cyclone is currently one of the few zip-free hooded 5/4mm on the market and that is pretty neat. When zip-free is done right it is just as easy of an entry as a chest zip with so much more flexibility and performance in the water.
Unfortunately, due to the design of the chest panel ending below my peck and the fit on my chest, I experienced significant flushing in this suit from day one. If my chest entered the water on the left side of the opening with any sort of force, my suit would immediately fill with water no matter how tight I pulled the cinch-cord. This is not something that I have experienced with the other zip-free wetsuits I own and it might not be an issue with everyone’s body type, but it is something worth mentioning.
The Cyclone is one of the few 5/4mm zip-free wetsuits on the market and that is not to be overlooked. I would recommend this suit to folks in the PNW / East Coast that want the maximum warmth a 5/4mm can offer or to the ice water surfers that live in higher latitudes and colder climates.
Dakine’s new wetsuit division has something for everyone. If you are wanting to try something new I do believe it is worth your hard-earned cash. The Mission is the suit I would recommend most from their current line. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the Cyclone and is slightly heavier than the Quantum, you get a high-quality and durable suit at a good price. Grab one of these suits while you can! Don’t hesitate to call our support team at 888-546-6176 or email us at email@example.com.