Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Review
Six years ago, Rip Curl first introduced the hooded version of the Dawn Patrol. Impressively, it quickly turned into one of our most popular cold-water wetsuits. Since then, the Dawn Patrol has become a shop staple due to its dependability and warmth.
“The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol is one of the best “value for your dollar” suits available. With the combination of flexible E5 neoprene, strategic interior seam taping, and a toasty warm liner, the Dawn Patrol provides the warmth factor to help extend your sessions.”
In 2019, Rip Curl redesigned the Dawn Patrol and made some serious improvements. If you’re looking for a backup wetsuit or just want to get the most value for your money, the Dawn Patrol is hands down the way to go.
Highlights and Features
- Warm Flash lining
- Soft and flexible E5 neoprene
- Sizing runs small
- GBS seams and strategic taping
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 5/4 Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit - $319.95
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 5/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $279.95
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit - $279.95
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 4/3 Back Zip Wetsuit - $269.95
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 3/2 Chest Zip Wetsuit - $259.95
- Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 3/2 Back Zip Wetsuit - $259.95
Read on to see why the Dawn Patrol is a great value that you can count on for your next cold water session.
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol
Neoprene and Liners
The Dawn Patrol is constructed out of E5 neoprene, providing the stretch and insulation Rip Curl has become known for. E5 is 10% warmer and provides 30% more stretch than the previous E4 neoprene. The neoprene works in conjunction with the toasty liner to keep you warm and comfortable.
The lining of this suit is that orange fuzzy material that has been used on Rip Curl’s best wetsuits, like the Flash Bomb, for years. This material has been so consistently popular because it dries very quickly (as little as 15 minutes in the sun) while adding some additional warmth and comfort.
Flash Lining does add a little bit of weight, though, so Rip Curl applies the lining to the area that needs the most warmth (the core) while leaving it out of the arms and shoulders, keeping those areas lightweight and flexible.
Seams and Stitching
An exciting feature of the Dawn Patrol is that the seams through the body are sealed internally with ¾” E5 Tape over glued-and-blindstitched seams. Most wetsuits in this price range might only have some basic tape in the stress point of the seams. Having the body sealed with high-performance tape is a huge bonus to this wetsuit's overall warmth and durability. The arms, shoulders, and hood are spot taped to keep those areas more flexible.
Fit and Cut
The fit is pretty true to size. Rip Curl, in general, does run a little bit on the small side. The torso of the suit has a bit more of a square cut, but other than that, the Dawn Patrol feels good. The hood has a normal cut and features a hood cinch designed for easy adjustments on the fly to keep the fit nice and snug.
Entry and Zipper
The Dawn Patrol is offered in both back zip and chest zip models. Both are fairly easy to get into, but we recommend going with the back zip if you have issues with shoulder mobility.
The back zip entry features an additional piece of material between the zipper and your back to make for a more comfortable and watertight fit. The chest zip entry requires threading the zipper teeth together, but it is very user-friendly.
Considering the budget-friendly pricing, the Dawn Patrol easily balances flexibility and warmth. The E5 neoprene flexes and stretches during movements to keep you comfortable and unrestricted out in the water. The liner is strategically placed around your core to keep you warmer while helping the suit be more flexible in the arms for easier paddling.
Another important detail of this suit is that it doesn’t have a smooth skin section in the chest. Smooth skin chest panels have become standard on almost every wetsuit from $50 to $500, and are especially common on coldwater suits. Some surfers like smooth skin for its ability to help cut down on wind chill, but to be honest, the lack of smooth skin results in a lighter and more pliable wetsuit.
Value and Durability
With a price tag topping out at $319.95 for the 5/4 model, the Rip Curl Dawn Patrol is one of the best values for your money. We recommend this suit to anyone interested in surfing or looking to get a suit without breaking the bank. The Dawn Patrol has everything you need, warmth, stretch, and durability to keep you comfortable and warm during your sessions.
“The Dawn patrol is a great all around suit for those who want a reliable 5/4 at a great middle of the road price. We recommend them at the shop quite a bit for someone who prioritizes warmth, durability, and affordability.”- Sarah H.
“I bought my 5/4 Dawn Patrol a size up from what I normaly wear. Although I was under the weight requirement, the suit kept me warmer and dryer that any other suit I have worn in my size.”- Michael
“Super warm suit; sizing seems to run a little tight. I typically wear a Small, but I think I'll go Medium next time. That said, I'm toasty warm in this thing.”- Dan
“This was my 1st 4/3 Wetsuit in 53 years of surfing. So far, it is exactly what I expected from Ripcurl. Great warmth. Fits perfectly. Purchasing it from Cleanline was smooth and painless. My wetsuit arrived exactly on the day it was promised.”- Bobby
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The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol is one of the best “value for your dollar” suits available. With the combination of flexible E5 neoprene, strategic interior seam taping, and a toasty warm liner, the Dawn Patrol provides the warmth factor to help extend your sessions. If you are looking for a higher-end suit that is the warmest possible, you should check out Rip Curl’s warmest option, the FlashBomb. If you feel that high-performance flex is your top priority, check out the E-Bomb: Rip Curl’s performance suit option.
If you have any other questions about the Dawn Patrol or any other products, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us toll-free at 1-888-546-6176, or leave a comment below.