O'Neill Mutant Legend Wetsuit Review

O'Neill Mutant Legend Wetsuit Review

One of the most unique wetsuits ever made, the O’Neill Mutant Legend has been a staple in our shop for over a decade. Easily the most versatile suit we carry, the Mutant has many cool features and a few that aren’t immediately obvious. We’ve taken a closer look at the O’Neill Mutant Legend with a full review to see what makes this wetsuit so special.

Starting with the name, Mutant; because it can mutate between a chest zip and a hooded chest zip wetsuit. To our knowledge, it’s the only wetsuit in existence where you can detach the hood at the neck. This means the Mutant can be worn with a 2mm hood or a 2mm collar (like your average chest zip).

“If you’re looking for an all-around great wetsuit that can cover a wide range of water temps, the Mutant Legend is our pick. The revolutionary hood-swapping system offers the ultimate functionality, and the extra buttery flexible neoprene will prolong your sessions while reducing fatigue.”

Highlights and Features

  • Comfortable, lightweight neoprene
  • 100% Fluid Seam Weld
  • Interchangeable hood and chest pieces
  • True to size fit

O’Neill Mutant Legend

O'Neill Mutant Legend Wetsuit with the hood piece attached.

Neoprene and Liners

Past versions of the Mutant were built with O’Neill’s UltraFlex neoprene which was their mid-grade rubber at the time. However, back in 2020, the Mutant Legend got a big upgrade and is without question the most flexible Mutant yet. Built with O’Neill’s TechnoButter 3 in the body and TechnoButter 3X in the arms, the Mutant has the same neoprene construction as the notoriously flexible Hyperfreak.

On the inside of the Mutant, you’ll see that the chest and back panels have Technobutter 3 Firewall. This red material retains heat in the core better than most internal panels. The rest of the suit on the inside is lined with a TechnoButter 3X jersey. This jersey looks like corduroy and is the most flexible liner O’Neill produces.

Technobutter 3 Firewall liner on the inside of the O'Neill Mutant Legend Wetsuit.

Seams and Stitching

Similar to the seam construction in O’Neill’s other high-end suit: the Psycho Tech, the Mutant Legend utilizes a durable exterior fluid seam weld for a water-tight seal session after session. Although the seam weld doesn’t cover the exterior chest and back panels because of the smooth skin panels, the Mutant is still 100% welded since the seam weld is placed on the interior chest and back. In addition, the suit is fully glued and blindstitched, allowing for greater mobility.

Fit and Cut

The Mutant Legend fits true to size and wears really comfortably. In the past, the Mutant was slightly harder to enter through the neck hole than your traditional chest zip. However, now that it’s built with Technobutter 3 rubber, it actually seems easier to get in and out than normal slant-zip chest entry wetsuits.

O'Neill Mutant Legend with the neck collar piece attached.

Entry and Zipper

With zippers on the front and the back of the wetsuit, the Mutant, at first glance, isn’t your typical chest zip. This unique entry is what O’Neill calls a Modular Closure system. This design allows you to wear different neck options and offers a range of versatility.

By unzipping the hood in the front and the back and swapping it out for the collar piece, you can wear the Mutant as if it were just a normal chest zip wetsuit. This feature makes the Mutant really versatile.

For example, if you live on the East Coast, where the water temperature really fluctuates, it can be a pain owning a bunch of different-thickness wetsuits. With the Mutant Legend, as the water temperature drops, you can swap the collar for the hood for added warmth and reduced "ice cream" headaches. As the temperature increases, simply replace the hood with the collar, and you're back to surfing without a hood. Between the different options, you can surf comfortably from the mid-60’s down into the 40’s F, all in the same wetsuit.

O'Neill Mutant Legend wetsuit with the two separate attachments: the neck piece and the hood piece.

Additional Benefits of the Modular Closure System

Aside from hood-swapping, the Mutant’s Modular closure system has some other cool, unique benefits.

The first one is that you can re-order either the hood or collar. The neck on a chest zip suit is one of the areas that experience the most wear and, over time, can thin out. However, it’s no biggie with the Mutant, as you can order a replacement collar or hood. You can also fit any size Mutant collar or hood on any size Mutant. So if you have a larger-than-average head, for example, you could purchase an XL hood and use it with your size large Mutant.

Another one of the lesser talked about benefits of this design is flexibility. A traditional slant-zip chest entry has more rubber around the zipper, especially on the right shoulder. The Mutant’s neckpiece is streamlined and simply pulls over your head. Without the excess material on the shoulders, the Mutant’s entry is slightly more flexible of an entry system than a slant zip. Even though there’s less material, it’s still warm, as the neck hole you enter through is tighter than a slant zip, and there are cinch straps on either side to adjust the fit.

Back side of the hood piece attachment on the O'Neill Mutant Legend.

Value and Durability

Durability-wise, the Mutant is one of those suits we almost never have issues with. In particular, the zippers seem to hold up really well, better than most wetsuits. Maybe because the stress load is distributed to two zippers instead of all on one? Either way, the Mutant is built to last.

Staff Feedback

“The Mutant is my go-to, year-round suit for the PNW. I’ve owned and loved both versions. The newer version is slightly thicker and warmer with the handful of upgrades, but equally, if not more flexible than its predecessor. I usually leave the hood or collar attached to the rear of the suit, but the front zipper can be finicky at times to line up just right—however, I've had no issues with flushing.

- Chad

Customer Feedback

“I’ve been using this suit for efoiling in Lake Ontario in May, and it’s been incredible. Very comfortable and warm. True to size. Looks good IMO. Takes some practice getting it off, but other than that, it was a perfect purchase.”

- OhCanada

“O’Neill products, for me, are worth every penny! Consistent quality, comfort, fit, and performance. I’m a wide-shouldered guy and really appreciate the Flexibility of the Materials to get in and out of the Suite and the comfort when it’s on. Perfect spring Suit -- 48 degree water kite foiling the Gorge too.”

- Silverback
Wrist cuffs on the O'Neill Mutant Legend Wetsuit.

Final Thoughts

The Mutant is a long-time shop favorite not only here in Oregon but particularly in New England with the ever-changing water temperature. If you’re looking for an all-around great wetsuit that can cover a wide range of water temps, the Mutant Legend is our pick. The revolutionary hood-swapping system offers the ultimate functionality, and the extra buttery flexible neoprene will prolong your sessions while reducing fatigue. Are you looking for something similar to the Mutant but warmer? Check out the newly updated Psycho Tech, which is one of our best-selling cold water wetsuits.

If you have any questions on the Mutant Legend or any other suits we carry, feel free to call us at 1-888-546-6176, leave a comment or email us at support@cleanlinesurf.com.