Since the beginning, Patagonia has been committed to doing things differently than most companies. So when Patagonia started to make wetsuits, it was no big surprise that they quickly focused on finding alternatives to the traditional petroleum-based neoprene and harmful production methods found in the wetsuit industry.
Patagonia first revolutionized the wetsuit with the introduction of their natural rubber, Yulex back in 2012. Now for 2018, Patagonia has updated their entire line of suits to be more flexible, comfortable and environmentally-friendly than ever before.
Unlike most wetsuit companies today, Patagonia chooses to make only one series of suits they call the R series. This series is available in a wide range of thicknesses to cover any surfable water temperatures and are all built with the same materials. Most notably, all of Patagonia’s suits are created using their environmentally friendly neoprene-alternative called Yulex.
What is Yulex?
Yulex is a natural rubber derived from a plant called the Hevea tree found around the rainforests of Guatemala. Patagonia has been experimenting with Yulex since 2012 but in 2016 switched their entire line of wetsuits over to this material.
The Hevea trees are first tapped at about 7 years of age and can produce for up to 30 years. The white liquid rubber material that drains out of the tree is the raw material needed for the production of Yulex rubber. About one liter of this white liquid rubber is used to make a full suit. Overall, this is a much more sustainable answer to neoprene as the Hevea trees are a renewable resource and Yulex’s production methods carry a much smaller carbon footprint.
New For 2018
Added Flexibility – Patagonia made some important tweaks to the Yulex formula resulting in easily the most flexible series of suits they’ve ever produced. These new 2018 suits are a huge step up in flexibility, making them easy to paddle and more comfortable to wear.
Improved Fit -The fit has also been re-designed to allow for more room in the chest and shoulders than years prior. These suits now fit completely true to size.
All Patagonia’s Suits are Now Eco-Certified -The Hevea tree plantation in Guatemala where these suit’s natural rubber is sourced from has been Forest Stewardship Council Certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This is important because it means that no rainforests were clear-cut to make these suits and it’s been determined that the harvesting of this natural rubber does not result in any additional harm to the local environment.
Solution Dyed Fabrics – Not only is Patagonia’s rubber more environmentally friendly but their suit’s liners are too. By dying the liners black during the manufacturing process (as opposed to afterward) Patagonia is able to save about 100 liters of water per wetsuit and cut down on CO2 emissions. Black also looks cooler than the colored versions of years past.
Water Based Glue – Patagonia has now switched to what they call AQUAa Glue which as you may have guessed, is h20-based and free of the potentially harmful and irritating Volatile Organic Compounds that are found in certain types of glues and sealants.
Patagonia makes a suit for just about anywhere on the planet and has a wide range of options in Men’s, Women’s and now even Youth sizes. On top of all the environmental and performance features listed above, Patagonia’s suits also carry easily the best warranty in the business with their “Iron Clad Guarantee”.
These suits fit really true to the size chart. However, if you have any questions about the sizing, materials or just Patagonia suits in general, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-546-6176, send an email via email@example.com or leave a comment below.