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.
R4: Made for frigid waters 38-49⁰F
The R4 is the pinnacle of warmth in Patagonia’s new line of wetsuits. The suit itself is 5.5mm/4.5mm and is available in a hooded chest-zip as well as a hoodless back-zip. The torso and thighs are lined with the same midweight chlorine-free merino wool we have come to love and expect in Patagonia. The biggest difference in the new R4 is the introduction of a hydrophobic recycled polyester micro-grid thermal lining in the arms, legs and hood. This new lining not only dries fast, but it minimizes weight while maximizing flexibility. Other highlights of the new R4 include seams that are triple glued, blind stitched and fully internally taped, along with a 100% external seam sealing which eliminates leaks. This suit is perfect for those freezing East Coast winters, or for the coldblooded person in the Northwest who has trouble staying warm in other 5mm/4mm wetsuits.
Current Price – $528.95
R3: Made for cold waters 48-55⁰F
The R3 is the perfect year round wetsuit for Ocean enthusiasts from Northern California up to British Columbia or an East Coast surfer who doesn’t surf into the coldest winter months. This particular suit is a 4.5mm/3.5mm and is available in a hooded chest-zip, a hoodless chest-zip, as well as a hoodless back-zip. Like the R4 the torso and thighs are lined with merino wool. Furthermore, the R3 also has the new hydrophobic recycled polyester micro-grid thermal lining in the arms, legs and hood, as well as seams that are triple glued, blind stitched and internally taped on all seams. This keeps your core nice and toasty while maintaining flexibility in the arms and legs for paddling and surfing. As stated with the R4, this new polyester lining is more flexible, lighter, and dries much faster than past Patagonia suits.
Current Price – $508.95
R2: Made for cool waters 55-60⁰F
The R2 wetsuit is where we start seeing more differences in construction and materials in respect to the R3 and R4. The R2 wetsuit is 3.5mm thick in the torso and 3mm thick in the arms and legs. This suit is available in a hooded chest-zip, hoodless chest-zip, as well as a hoodless back-zip. The biggest difference between the R2 and thicker Patagonia suits is the absence of any merino wool. This is because in water temperatures around 60⁰ Fahrenheit merino wool is just too hot and provides too much thickness hindering flexibility. Where the R2 lacks merino wool it makes up for with the same hydrophobic recycled polyester micro-grid thermal lining. However in the R2 the lining is in the torso and thighs instead of in the extremities. Patagonia introduced high-stretch recycled polyester lining in the arms and legs which maximizes freedom of movement for this year’s R2. As with all of Patagonia’s new suits, all seams are triple glued, blind stitched and internally taped on all seams with 100% external seam sealing as well.
Current Price – $388.95
R1: Made for warm waters 60-65⁰
Whether planning a trip to Southern California or Baja in Winter, or hitting the Western Coast of Australia, the R1 is the ideal suit for water temperatures that are not quite warm enough to trunk it. The R1 is the zenith of flexibility in Patagonia’s new line of wetsuits. The suit itself is a 3mm/2.5mm and is available in a hoodless chest-zip, hoodless back-zip, as well as spring suit options. The suit is lined with lightweight, high-stretch recycled polyester lining throughout with 3mm in the torso and thighs and 2mm in the arms and legs. This makes the R1 the lightest suit Patagonia offers weighing in at only 40.8oz. As with all the new suits the R1 has 100% external seam sealing, all seams are triple glued, blindstitched and internally taped.
Current Price – $328.95
Patagonia has become a household name in the outdoors industry over the last twenty years. They have created their own niche in the apparel market by producing quality products with minimal environmental impact. The company’s mission statement is “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Consequently, Patagonia often has to overlook the cheapest ways of gathering resources and manufacturing products in order to adhere to their statement. This regularly leads to Patagonia’s products (not just wetsuits) retailing at higher prices than competitors’ products; a small difference to pay in the preservation of Planet Earth. Despite those higher prices, Patagonia still has one of the largest and most loyal customer bases on the planet. How is this possible? They make a damn good product, and they do it the right way. Their new line of wetsuits for 2014/2015 is no exception.
Hopefully this review gives better insight into choosing the right Patagonia wetsuit for you. It’s important to note that all Patagonia wetsuits are made with high-quality neoprene that meets their rigorous standards for strength, durability and warmth. I wholeheartedly believe that Patagonia’s new line of wetsuits is an improvement from previous year’s models. Good luck, now go take on the elements!
To shop our full selection of Patagonia Wetsuits click here.
Questions or Comments? – Feel free to ask in the comments below and we’ll get back to you!
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