O’Neill Epic Wetsuit Review
The Epic is one of O’Neill’s most affordable wetsuits and one that we get a lot of questions about. For surfers on a budget, the Epic is a dependable and surprisingly-flexible option. For these reasons, year after year, it ends up on our best-selling wetsuit list. We have reviewed the Epic to highlight why this quality O'Neill suit is always in high demand.
“An undeniably good deal, the Epic is one of our favorite choices for new surfers, groms, or anyone on a tight budget. We've had a lot of history with this model, as it's been a staple of our rental fleet for a decade.”
Highlights and Features
- 100% UltraFlex DS neoprene for unrestricted movement
- Double seal neck closure for a watertight fit
- LSD (lumbar seamless design) to prevent chafing and provide comfort
- Re-engineered covert blackout zip for easy entry and exit
- Numerous colors and sizes are available
Men’s Models Available
Women’s Models Available
- O’Neill Women’s Epic 3/2mm Back Zip Wetsuit - $219.95
- O’Neill Women’s Epic 4/3mm Back Zip Wetsuit - $229.95
Youth Models Available
Neoprene and Liners
The Epic is built using O’Neill’s Ultraflex DS Neoprene, which is solid, especially for the price point. Ultraflex DS is more flexible than expected, decently warm, and durable. More so than most other wetsuits at this price, the Epic’s rubber really holds up to a lot of use and abuse.
The interior blue chest panel makes up the Fluidflex Firewall lining. The thermal jersey ensures that your core stays warm, which is super important in retaining overall body temperature.
You might have noticed a gray-looking rubber material on the chest and back. We refer to that as a smooth skin panel. The benefit is that the paneling acts as a wind barrier to keep the suit warmer. In addition, it also absorbs the sun’s warmth.
Seams and Stitching
The Ultraflex DS neoprene is cut with what O’Neill cheekily calls LSD, or “Lumbar Seamless Design.” This means that the suit is cut with minimal seams and the largest panels of neoprene possible. The seams are the number one area for a suit to have issues with, so by using larger panels of neoprene, the Epic becomes more flexible and durable in the process. Fewer seams also make for a better and more comfortable all-around fit.
The Epic is held together by glued and blindstitched seams. Glued and Blindstitched seams are more flexible, watertight, and durable than the “flatlock” style of seams seen on most of the Epic’s competition. On the inside, O’Neill has also reinforced high-stress areas with tape for an added boost of support.
Fit and Cut
The Epic has O’Neill’s classic cut to it. This is a suit where you can 100% trust the size chart, and in general, is well-proportioned. O’Neill’s wetsuits always tend to fit guys and gals with more developed upper bodies really well. Swimmers, football players, weight lifters, etc. all usually fit best in O’Neill.
O'Neill makes the Epic in men's, women's, and kid's models. The women's version features different logos and an altered cut that better fits women's body shapes. The youth version is extremely popular. In fact, it has been our all-around best-selling wetsuit for the past few years.
Entry and Zipper
The easy-to-use back zip entry on the Epic makes this suit a top contender for new surfers, young and old alike. The generous length of the leash allows for easy navigation by zippering up the suit yourself.
Considering the price, O’Neill didn’t cut corners on the zipper. Even compared to suits almost twice the price, the zipper on this model is miles ahead of its competition. O’Neill’s zippers feel like they were actually designed to be used in the ocean and withstand its abuse.
If you’re looking for a quality entry-level suit, the Epic is a solid choice. O’Neill included high-end design features to ensure you’re covered, whether paddling out for a quick dawn patrol or bodysurfing the beach break. Overall, we’re quite impressed with how well the suit moves with the combination of the UltraFlex neoprene and seamless paddle zones.
Value and Durability
O’Neill’s overall attention to detail and quality standards are visible on their entire line of wetsuits, not just the most expensive ones. That consistency really shines through with their entry-level model, the Epic. The Epic is the least expensive wetsuit O’Neill makes, but by no means is it a “cheap” suit. There are a lot of good features from O’Neill’s top suits that are still found in the Epic.
We’ve used the Epic in our rental fleet for years, partially because of how well these wetsuits last. That being said, if something does happen, you’re also covered with O’Neill’s 1-year warranty. O’Neill, in our opinion, has one of the best warranty departments of any company, and they really do a great, thorough job with their repairs. So it’s nice to know, at the least, this suit comes with a solid backing and customer support on the materials.
“My 13 year loves this wetsuit. It is warm enough for her surfing and flexible enough for springboard diving all year around in NorCal. Versatile and cute suit.”- Beach Bunny
“Bought the LS, 5'7", 172lb, big shoulders, slim pelvis. I got the suit for winter swimming/water running. I have a thinner, more expensive swimming wetsuit, but did not want to pay $400+ for a winter suit. This works great for me. Keeps me warm (water is 52 degrees), not too buoyant, and great fit. Still pretty flexible in the arms too; I can freestyle and backstroke fine for 30mins without chaffing. Seems well made, but I've only worn it 5-6 times so far. And all for a tad over $200! What's not to love.”- David
“I've been very happy with my new Epic 4/3. I had a Reactor 4/3 before and didn't know if this would be warm enough, but it's cozy. Size 6 fits perfectly (120 lbs, 5'3").”- Kate
Also Featured In
- Best Affordable Wetsuits Under $300 For 2023
- 6 Best Back Zip Wetsuits Of 2023
- The 6 Best Youth Wetsuits Of 2023
Overall, the Epic earns its name as it truly delivers for the price point. An undeniably good deal, the Epic is one of our favorite choices for new surfers, groms, or anyone on a tight budget. We've had a lot of history with this model, as it's been a staple of our rental fleet for a decade. If the Epic is above your price range, take a look at the more affordable Reactor II. Needing a warmer 5/4? No worries, check out our review of the O'Neill Ninja, which is made with similar materials as the Epic.
So if you have any questions about the Epic or any O’Neill wetsuit, feel free to give us a call at 1-888-546-6176, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.