O'Neill Psycho Tech Wetsuit Review
The O’Neill Psycho Tech has been Cleanline’s best-selling wetsuit of all time. Mainly, the 5.5/4mm Hooded Chest Zip, which is tailor-made for winter surfing in the Pacific North West. The combination of warmth, flexibility, and durability has become synonymous with the Psycho Tech name. A testament to the Psycho Tech’s popularity is the fact that no significant updates or redesigns have occurred in the past five years, and it still outperforms newer suits. Last year, the Psycho Tech received a long-awaited makeover, making an already exceptional wetsuit that much better. Let's take a look at what makes this suit so great year after year.
Highlights and Features
- Warmer and more flexible than previous models
- Produced with Eco-Friendly materials
- Durable seam construction
- Lightweight neoprene
- True to size fit
O'Neill Psycho Tech
Updated Neoprene and Liner
The new 2022-2023 Psycho Tech wetsuit has been completely updated regarding the exterior neoprene and interior liners. Starting with the Technobutter 4 neoprene, the updated rubber builds upon the legendary and beloved Technobutter 3 neoprene. This year’s jersey introduces recycled yarns that are infused with graphene for increased wear strength and heat retention. Furthermore, O’Neill has upgraded to Technobutter 4x in the arms and shoulders, which goes beyond the extreme stretch and soft feel of TB3x.
The inside of the Psycho Tech boasts O’Neill’s new TB4 Firewall throughout the suit. This builds on the previous model by utilizing the recycled graphene fibers at a thicker pile, creating a fire-hot feedback loop. The suit generates heat from the surfer's body movement and then traps and retains that heat when the surfer sits idle: no more freezing during lulls.
O'Neill also introduced the brand new TB4 Air Firewall, which lines the torso and back. The TB4 Air Firewall uses a unique lamination process that starts with TB4 Duraskin on the exterior (smooth skin) to shield against the elements. The TB4 Duraskin is then layered with a core of aerated neoprene and a graphene fiber jersey, resulting in the warmest, lightest, and most durable Psycho Tech to date.
Seams and Stitching
Regarding the new Psycho Tech seams, O’Neill went with the mantra “Less is More.” The Psycho Tech utilizes O’Neill’s signature Minimal Seam Design, which uses larger panels and fewer seams. These minimal panels actually allow the suit to be completely stitchless. The exterior seams are covered in an 8mm silicone-based urethane, while the interior is layered with TB4x tape on both sides. This creates a watertight, durable, and ultra-flexible seam with a low profile for unmatched comfort.
Fit and Cut
O’Neill tends to fit me the best and is the benchmark for comparing the fit of other brands. I’m a broad-shouldered guy, and the combination of flexible neoprene and well-thought-out entry systems always works best for me. O’Neill offers a wide range of sizes, so there is a Psycho Tech for everybody.
As I mentioned earlier, the minimal seam design utilizes larger panels, allowing for a more generous weight range than seen on O’Neill’s size chart. I fluctuate from 190 lbs to 200 lbs and still fit in my Large. It’s nice knowing that if you put on unwanted pounds due to a pandemic or injury, although it will run snug, you’ll still be able to make it work.
The super seal cuffs with plasma wrist and ankle seals keep the suit watertight, and the hood fits snugly and never slides down over my eyes. If you’re ever worried about sizing, call us at the shop, and we will get you dialed!
Entry and Zipper
The Psycho Tech is produced in chest zip and back zip models. The chest zip utilizes O’Neill’s beloved Front Upper Zip Entry (F.U.Z.E.) system. The F.U.Z.E. is a breeze to get in and out and incorporates a 360-degree barrier with drain holes and an anti-flush barrier to keep you dry and warm. The durable RedZone water-resistant zipper is one of my favorite features. The zipper is already fed into the teeth, so you don’t have to fumble around with frozen fingers trying to line it up perfectly. Simply pull the hood over your head and slide the zipper from left to right.
The back zip version features O’Neill’s famous Z.E.N. zip closure: the market's most performance-oriented, anti-flushing back zip entry. The back zip also utilizes the durable and water-resistant RedZone zipper.
No other suit on the market combines warmth and flexibility more than the Psycho Tech. All the new updates for 2022, including the TB4, TB4x, and TB4 Air Firewall, play a role in taking this best-selling wetsuit to the next level. For example, the 5.5/4mm, which has similar flexibility to most 4/3mm suits, is rated for temperatures into the low 40’s F.
The weight difference is perhaps the most significant difference when compared to suits rated for similar temperatures. The Psycho Tech is lightweight due to the lack of a bulky liner. Though comfortable, fuzzy liners tend to be heavier and absorb more water. This limits flexibility and leads to even more paddling resistance once wet. The Psycho Tech is hydrophobic, so it doesn’t absorb water. Meanwhile, the TB4 Firewall and Air Firewall use trapped pockets of air to retain heat and limit weight. When you don’t have to sacrifice mobility for warmth, it allows surfers in cold water to maximize their potential and extend their sessions.
Due to the technology and thicker cut of the Psycho Tech, you can expect to surf temperatures 5 degrees colder than wetsuits of similar thickness. Reference the table below for the general water temperature recommendations.
|Suit Thickness||Recommended Water Temp in ℉|
|5.5/4 or 5/4+||42-50|
|4.5/3 or 4/3+||48-57|
|3.5/2 or 3/2+||56 and up|
Value and Durability
The Psycho Tech ranges from $509.95 to $539.95, depending on the thickness, which puts it closer to the top as far as premium wetsuit prices go. The cost of the hooded 5.5/4mm is on par with several competitors' top-of-the-line wetsuits, including Rip Curl, Patagonia, and Billabong. By far, the Psycho Tech will be the most flexible of those competitor hooded 5mm suits.
The graphene infused into the yarns of the suit adds to its wear strength, while the TB4 duraskin beefs up the suit's exterior smooth skin, making it less susceptible to nicks and tears. Like previous renditions, you should always be cautious when taking your suit off. The soft buttery exterior TB4 neoprene isn’t bulletproof, so either find a soft patch of grass or invest in a changing mat to stand on.
For 2022, O’Neill put a significant emphasis on sustainability. Below I highlighted some of the awesome environmentally-conscious additions to this year's Psycho Tech.
- O’Neill developed a method of including recycled plastics in the neoprene liner. Every Psycho Tech saves more than 1LB/0.5 KG of harmful plastic from potentially polluting the world’s oceans.
- 10% of the neoprene uses recycled Oyster Shells in place of Calcium Carbonate powder.
- One of the critical ingredients in neoprene is Carbon Black. O’Neill now extracts this ingredient by carbonizing scrap rubber tires at high temperatures. Since adopting this method, O’Neill has decreased carbon emissions by 72%.
- O'Neill now uses Dope-Dyed yarn in their Psycho Tech wetsuits. Dope-Dying produces colored yarns without dying, conserving enormous amounts of water. It also decreases carbon emissions by 26% for every kilogram of fabric.
- All Psycho Tech suits come standard with the Eco-Friendly Aqua Alpha solvent-free lamination glue. This glue is entirely water-based and free from toxic solvents and VOCs. The addition of Aqua Alpha reduces solvent usage by 600 grams per wetsuit compared to traditional laminating glues.
"Get this wetsuit, and you won't be disappointed. It has been our best-selling hooded wetsuit for years, and this year the Psycho Tech 5.5/4 Hooded wetsuit has been upgraded with stitchless seam technology which is one of the biggest updates we've seen in a while. This means, all internal seams now feature TB4x Tape giving the suit an even more watertight, and durable seam. On top of this, you get all the usual features of the Psycho Tech like the super stretchy hydrophobic TB4 neoprene, and one of the best and most watertight zipper/entry systems in the industry. O'Neill is always a good choice and this year is no different when it comes to their flagship wetsuit."
“The PsychoTech combines warmth and flexibility to a level that is unmatched. The new PsychoTech carries on with this legacy with all-new TechnoButter 4 and TechnoButter 4x for an even stretchier suit with the added strength of graphene to keep you warmer and in the water for longer. O’Neill has figured out the best way to keep the entries of the PsychoTech comfortable and water-tight. The Z.E.N. Zip entry found on the back zip is one of the best-designed entries on the market. The Psycho Tech is a great option for those in windy climates as the smooth skin panels on the chest, back, and hood help to cut windchill and keep you toasty warm.”
“I’ve had all the levels of O’Neil wetsuits.,This one takes the cake so far. Cleanline as always for the shop to get the new new the best customer service. 6’3” 235lbs XLT fits great. I’m athletic build wide shoulders for sizing reference.”
- Gonza, 5/6/23
“Got 60 sessions in the suit this year so far suit is doing great using for wing-foiling Lake Erie, Lake Havasu, Hatteras NC 33 deg to 55 deg water temps air temps the same best suit ever"
- KTjoe, 5/2/23
Ever since the Psycho Tech was first introduced, it has been at the forefront of wetsuit innovation. The added features for the new 2022 design build upon that legacy, making an already beloved wetsuit that much better. Since the incorporation of TB3 in 2017, we have sold more Psycho Techs than any other wetsuit, with several customers ordering multiple models over that time period. The newly updated Psycho Tech will build upon this cult-like following and keep surfers stoked and in the water regardless of the conditions. Jump aboard the Hype Train!
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 email@example.com. Enjoy the water!