Women’s Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Review

Women’s Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Review

Rip Curl has been supplying neoprene for surfers worldwide for over 40 years. In this review, we will be diving into one of their staple models, the women’s Dawn Patrol wetsuit. Over the years, it has been a popular suit for the ladies charging colder waters for a reason. Its ability to keep you warm in the chilly temps without hindering technical performance has proven its worth time and time again.

Wetsuits Reviewed

*indicates slightly different construction

Highlights and Features

  • E5 Neoprene & E4 Thermoflex Lining
  • Sealed/Taped Seams
  • More Narrow Fit
  • Simple All-black Design

Women’s Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuit

The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 5/4mm wetsuit inside out showing the liner and taping.

Neoprene and Lining

The Women’s Dawn Patrol wetsuit uses Rip Curl’s signature E5 neoprene. The E5 neoprene is an updated version of the original E4 offering 30% more stretch, a lighter feel, and 10% extra warmth. E5 neoprene is used throughout the suit to ensure absolute warmth and a high-performance feel.

The lining of this particular suit is what shines out in the lineup. Rip Curl made sure to equip the Dawn Patrol with a high-quality liner to keep surfers warm in the most bitter temperatures. The E5 Flash liner is designed to keep water out while navigating the lineup. You’ll even notice a dryer feel to the suit's interior when peeling it off due to the quick-drying and water funnel elements that the liner provides. This liner has a soft, felty feel, making it super comfortable while wearing for long periods of time.

Seams and Durability

Each detail of this suit, even down to the stitching, keeps performance in mind. The Dawn Patrol wetsuit is finished with E5 taping over the seams to provide balanced strength and flexibility where each cut of neoprene meets. The taping method also helps keeps water out and ensures less leaking, while duck diving bigger swell.

All interior seams are taped at high-stress areas such as the shoulders, inner thighs, and knees to provide extra strength on the parts of the body necessary to execute maneuvers. The bright red E5 taping matches the plushy red lining on the suit's interior, making it easy to spot and repair if necessary. As a lady making her way through the cold swell, you’ll feel confident that this suit won’t bust when going for big turns, deep barrels, or long nose rides. Another thoughtful part of the suit design is the paneling and simple exterior. The Rip Curl Dawn Patrol utilizes larger cuts of neoprene to lessen the number of seams. This notable characteristic, paired with the simple neoprene exterior and the lightweight zipper, makes for a durable wetsuit.

A close-up look at a surfer zipping their wetsuit shut.

Fit and Cut

As a woman who has been able to try on many different brands and models of wetsuits, I will say that Rip Curl has a unique fit compared to most brands. Being a more athletic build and average height, I found this particular suit to fit narrow in the shoulders. Usually, I am a size 8 in other brands, while in Rip Curl, I felt the most comfortable in a size 10. For reference, I am 5’7” and 135lbs. Still, once I found my correct size, I thought the suit felt great, and I could have complete mobility in my shoulders and hips. The wrist and ankles are snug but not too tight, allowing protection from flushing if caught on the inside.

Since this suit has a narrow cut, the chest zip entry can be challenging to get on and off. Look at the back zip option if you aren’t used to using a chest zip suit or have limited shoulder mobility. The Women’s 5/3 Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Back Zip is a great choice for women with a curvier build or someone who is simply looking for the Dawn Patrol with a more accessible entry system.

Hoods are often one of the more uncomfortable features of a suit. However, Rip Curl has been able to construct a pretty comfortable hood. While there isn’t any extra liner on the hood to prevent extra brain freeze during duck dives, this simple design allows the fit to feel less claustrophobic.

A surfer completing a bottom turn with evergreens behind the waves.

Flexibility and Warmth

The Women’s 5/4 Rip Curl Dawn Patrol is well known for the endless warmth it provides while surfing water in the 45 - 55 F degree range. Rip Curl’s E5 Flash liner holds heat in while keeping water out. If your suit flushes, the liner simply repels the water, keeping as much warmth inside as possible.

While this suit keeps you plenty warm, the flexibility can feel a bit lackluster. By no means will you feel heavily restricted in the water, but the thick neoprene paired with the E5 flash liner makes for a stiffer suit compared to similarly priced wetsuits. The Dawn Patrol doesn’t feel as stretchy when dry, but it will loosen up once you spend some time in the water. Over the years, I’ve surfed in many different wetsuits, and for the price, the warmth and durability make up for any lack of flexibility.


The Women’s Rip Curl Dawn Patrol is a mid-range wetsuit topping out at $319.95 for the 5/4 hooded model. This type of suit is an investment in your cold water surf experience. Arguably one of the most durable suits on the market, the Dawn Patrol is worth every penny in my eyes. This suit will keep you warm when you need it, last you multiple seasons with the proper care, and still give you enough mobility to rip out there. Lastly, Rip Curl is one of the very few brands that offer a 3 year warranty on all stitching for wetsuits and a 1 year warranty on materials.

Customer Feedback

"Nice warm wetsuit for CA winter. I've never had chest zip wetsuits before so it's a bit tricky for me to put it on/take it off at first but it's manageable."

Cleanline Customer

Staff Feedback

"Growing up surfing in warm water, it was very important for me to have a wetsuit that kept me warm throughout my long surf sessions in the cold water of the North Coast. The Rip Curl Women's Dawn Patrol makes sure of that, containing E5 flash lining with a fuzzy and comfortable material which helps your wetsuit to dry extremely quickly. Along with the E5 lining, this wetsuit also contains Rip Curl's E5 neoprene creating a stretchy and more comfortable wetsuit. Overall I would strongly recommend this wetsuit to all types of athletes looking for a well made cold water wetsuit."

Sophi at Cleanline Surf
A model wearing the Rip Curl Dawn Patrol 5/4mm wetsuit.

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Final Thoughts

Is the Women’s Rip Curl Dawn Patrol worth it? Is it going to keep you warm in the coldest conditions while still allowing you the freedom to rip? Is this a good suit for women? The answer to all of those questions: is yes. The wetsuit is one of the best values for your money due to the high-quality construction and plushy, warm interior while lasting through the season, even in the roughest conditions. The Dawn Patrol is to the point with its simple exterior and exceptional warmth. If it doesn’t sound like this wetsuit will work for you, but you still need to find something, check out our Women’s Wetsuit Fit guide to better understand what brand will work best for you.

If you have any questions about fit or any other details on the suit feel free to give our team a call at 888-546-6176 or shoot us an email at support@cleanlinesurf.com.