Today, wetsuit manufacturers have been endlessly experimenting with new materials in order to make their suits the warmest, most flexible, and/or fastest drying on the market. Whether it’s Patagonia switching over to Yulex, a more sustainable alternative to neoprene, Rip Curl adding a quick-drying “flash” lining or the exceptional elasticity of O’Neill’s Technobutter neoprene; it seems every brand has developed some unique trait to distinguish themselves from their competitors. However, with these technical advancements comes a steady increase in price. It’s to the point that if you’re looking at purchasing a company’s high-end 5/4mm wetsuit you should be prepared to shell out $450-$600.
We realize that not everyone is looking for these top tier wetsuits. In fact, more times than not, we are on a budget and looking for an inexpensive suit that will get the job done without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a flat-water SUP user, a novice surfer who is tired of renting/borrowing, or you’re just trying to save a little money; these are our picks for the best wetsuits you can buy for under $200.
For Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 Patagonia has taken their already rock-solid wetsuits to new levels of warmth and flexibility by introducing new materials, and superior construction. The result? Patagonia simply offers the highest quality wetsuits on the market. Would we really expect any less from Patagonia? Here is a break down on their newest line of wetsuits, including which suit will be ideal for your local lineup.
Before we dive into the different wetsuits Patagonia is offering, let’s review what improvements they have made across the board in regards to their new line of wetsuits:
- More Internal Tape – For Fall 2014, Patagonia has fully taped all internal seems as opposed to just the critical points in years past.
- Updated Thickness – The thickness in their suits has changed, most notably in the R3 and R4 where they added an extra millimeter.
- New Poly Lining – Introduction of hydrophobic micro-grid recycled polyester thermal lining, increasing flexibility, while decreasing weight and drying time.
- Better Fit – Completely reworked cut using an anatomical patterning along with high-quality neoprene ensuring their new line of suits fit better and truer than ever before.
- Lower Price – Pricing has dropped significantly due to new construction processes and use of less merino wool. Despite the price drop we think the suits are greatly improved!
Wondering which Patagonia wetsuit to choose? Let’s break ‘em down, starting with the warmest.
Looking for a solid women’s wetsuit that will keep you warm on the coldest winter days? We’ve rounded up the 7 Best Women’s Wetsuits for 2014, giving you the run down on the ins and outs of these cold water suits. Over the years women’s wetsuits have come a long way, and now nearly every brand out there offers a wide variety of hooded, and non-hooded options. If you are looking for a new wetsuit to take your mind off the cold and elevate your surfing to the next level this short list will no doubt point you in the right direction.
Roxy Cypher 5/4/3 Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit
Women’s Cypher Wetsuit
Style, Flexibility, and Warmth
The Roxy Cypher 5/4/3 Wetsuit features a chest zip entry to reduce water entering the suit as well as an external Hydrolock Seam Seal which fully seals and strengthens the seams. Too add to the warmth factor the Cypher is lined with a Bio Fleece Thermal layer that adds extra insulation. Top this off with the Fiberlite Neoprene and you’ve got a really great women’s wetsuit. For the fashion sensible this is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing suits we carry. You can tell Roxy went the extra mile with the design on this one. Coming in a tad bit under the $350 range, this suit has both value and style.
We’re proud to announce we have brought Body Glove Wetsuits into our online surf shop and retail stores. We’re starting with a limited run for now, but look for more in stock in the near future. If you are looking for something we don’t show in our online store, we may be able to order it from Body Glove and have them ship it out to you the same or next business day.
“In 1953 we invented the first practical wetsuit, which revolutionized surfing and diving. We came up with the phrase “fits like a glove” and Body Glove was born.”
— Bill & Bob Meistrell
We are excited to put these suits to the test in the near future. Look for product reviews, and previews coming soon.
Last month we asked our Facebook Fans, Newsletter Subscribers, and people visiting our Blog a question:
Which zipper type do you prefer in a wetsuit, Back Zip or Chest Zip?
Not surprisingly the amount of people preferring Chest Zip Wetsuits was more than double the people who preferred Back Zips.
Check out #7 in our Misconceptions About Wetsuits article for more on the Back Zip vs Chest Zip debate.
Why do you like the zipper type you like? Let us know in the comments section below.