Billabong Furnace Absolute X 5/4mm Hooded Wetsuit Review

One of the best wetsuits under $300 and an ever-popular choice amongst value-conscious surfers, the Billabong Furnace Absolute X packs a wide array of features for the price. We’re always getting questions about this wetsuit and decided to do an in-depth review that highlights its features, some of which you wouldn’t be able to pick up on from a spec list alone. 


The Suit

Previously called the “Absolute X”, the Furnace Absolute X is Billabong’s most affordable hooded wetsuit and consistently one of our best sellers. There are many features of this wetsuit that separate it from the competition in the sub-$300 range.

Starting with the main feature, the “Furnace Lining” is the purple, fuzzy interior panels that boost comfort and help retain warmth. Billabong has this lining placed in areas that are most critical to warmth: the chest, back, and hood. These sections also dry quicker than the rest of the suit. So if you only have a short window to dry the suit in between sessions, those areas will be good to go. 

Billabong Furnace Absolute X Internal Linear

View of the Furnace Lining

Billabong for 2019 has been experimenting with some new neoprene formulas and this suit is made of what they call “Superlight Foam”. Superlight foam is actually made partially from “Upcycled” car tires. This is really interesting as this material is not only eco-friendly but also has a lower level of water absorption, keeping the suit lighter and warmer in the water.

Billabong Furnace Absolute X Welded Seams

Welded Seams

Another one of the more impressive features of the Furnace Absolute X is that it has welded seams. Welded seams are the neoprene-glue like tape that you see on suits around the $350-500 range. This material protects the seam by helping to distribute stress, while simultaneously preventing water from entering the suit. This twofold advantage is why welded seams have become so popular on premium suits. Welded seams can stiffen up a wetsuit and add extra weight, but even with that, I was impressed with the flexibility.

Billabong Furance Absolute X Cuff

Close-up of the cuff on the wrist. This is one of the easiest chest zip suits to get in and out of.

Fit-wise, I think it’s pretty true to size and well proportioned. However, it’s worth mentioning the cuffs on the wrists and ankles aren’t tapered too much. This makes the suit extra easy to get on and off, but it’s more prone to flushing if you get worked. Sometimes it’s the small details that make the largest difference and while it sounds minor on paper, the zipper is excellent. The Furnace Absolute X has an upgraded zipper for this year that’s much sturdier. It’s a heavy-duty zipper that threads smoothly and is much more durable than the small, bare-bones zippers you typically find on suits in this price range.

Finally, as for the durability, I’ve found this to be a pretty durable suit and it’s one that we rarely see come back to the shop for warranty repairs. I think anyone looking for a dependable workhorse suit on a budget or a backup suit should consider the Furnace Absolute X. 


The Final Verdict

Bottom line, this is one of the best suits in its price range and the most suit you can get for under $250. If you need a dependable backup suit or need to stretch your cash, the Furnace Absolute X is money well spent.

Buy the Billabong Furnace Absolute X 5/4mm Hooded Wetsuit Now

 

The Billabong Furnace Absolute X 5/4mm Hooded Wetsuit

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A part of the Cleanline Crew since 2015, Stefan can be found answering any questions you might have about surf gear on the phone, online or in the shop. Always stoked for the next stretch of good surf or shipment of boards, Stefan rides and uses the gear he writes about. When he's not at Cleanline, Stefan is out in the water, on a bike, or playing music.

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