Patagonia R3 Wetsuit Review – Lighter & More Flexible

Patagonia R3 Wetsuit Review

Well, I finally broke down and got myself a new Patagonia R3 Hooded Wetsuit(the new Fall 2013 model), even though my old R3 was still in perfect condition. My old suit has been with me for 2 years and has seen at least 150 (or more) sessions, and I just couldn’t wait any longer for it to wear out before I snagged myself one of the new models. I found a few differences that I thought worthy of talking, telling, and reviewing.

The new suit seemed to fit slightly larger than my old suit, but it is definitely lighter and quite a bit more flexible. The new fluid seam welding makes the suit more watertight. The hood and neck seemed to be less restrictive and quite a bit more “relaxed”. I also really like the new zipper (much easier to engage) and the new zipper stop tab was also an improvement. The only “negative”, if you will, was that I don’t think the new model is quite as warm as the original. In my experiences, it’s always been a trade-off, lighter generally equals more flexibility, but not more warmth.

Patagonia R3 Hooded Wetsuit

All in all I was REALLY stoked with my new suit. (All my bro’s in the lineup were asking questions…) Now I use my old R3 for those truly “cold” conditions (air temp 45-55 and water temp 44-50). Ill use my new model for those, what I call , “tropical” days (air temp 50-60 and water temps 50-60).

I hope my experience and opinions will help you to make good decisions for your Patagonia wetsuit purchases. Please feel free to call me if you ever have ANY questions on sizing or about Patagonia Wetsuits in general.

P.S. I still own the original Patagonia R4 for the severely bitter cold winter days of the Pacific Northwest. (when the dry sand is frozen SOLID!!!)

-Josh Gizdavich
Owner of Cleanline Surf

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Josh is the owner and founder here at Cleanline Surf since 1980. He has been surfing and wearing wetsuits in the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest for 40+ years.

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6 thoughts on “Patagonia R3 Wetsuit Review – Lighter & More Flexible

  1. thanks for your info on the r3, I just purchased a r4 for the northeast! im still learning and I haven’t received the suit yet! please tell me I made the right decision because I saved for a while to be able to buy the r4 with r4 boots and im not that experienced but im in it for life! no doubt about that! any good advice is appreciated!

    • Mike,
      Yes my friend, you have made an EXCELLENT and thought through choice on your new wetsuit purchase. The Patagonia R4 is in my opinion one of the BEST wetsuits ever made! (45 years personal experience wearing them) The R4 is warm and REALLY durable. Great job saving your coin and buying once (the best), instead of twice or thrice! Hope you are getting great waves this fall, and yes, this gear will keep you “in it” for life. How addicting is riding a wave?!?!?

      Good Surfing to You,
      -Josh and the Cleanline Crew

  2. Josh,
    Thanks for all the info, its very helpful.
    I’m a novice surfer with a 8 year old Oneal 3.2. I love the suit for SoCal in the summers but freeze in the winter.
    I just moved to Santa Barbara from the Rockies and on a friends advice I bought the 13′ R3. I love the suit, but it’s really warm, and I’m afraid I should have gone with the R2.
    Water temperatures here yearly are 56-64.

    Any thoughts between the R2 and R3 for central coast surfing?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Tim-
      I Would suggest keeping your R-3 for those really cold winter days (especially at the Ranch when the north winds are blowing) but getting yourself an R-2 for about 70-80% of your every day surfing. I wear the R-3 here in Northern Oregon when the water temp is around 50 degrees.
      Sorry my response was delayed, but the surf has been pumping now for a couple weeks. Hope this helps, please feel free to call if you have any questions.
      Good Surfing-
      Josh and the Cleanline Crew

  3. Hello Josh, I am looking for the suit for what you describe as truly cold- (air temp 45-55 and water temp 44-50). Now, that the R3 model has gone lighter, it sounds like that is not the best solution. What would you propose as the best solution since your version of R3 is no longer available? Thanks!!

    • Bob-
      First of all, so sorry for the delayed response (surf has been pumping for a couple weeks now) but I would definitely recommend the Patagonia R-4 (sorry we are low on sizes).
      A couple other good opinions would be the Rip Curl “Flash Bomb” – voted best wetsuit two years in a row and the new O’neill “Pyrotech”. In my opinion these are the best three cold water suits on the market today. But, in case you didn’t realize we still have the old R-3 in stock which was the suit I was describing for these conditions. It is on sale for $431 ($143 off!). Please feel free to call me if you have any questions whatsoever.
      Good Surfing & Happy Holidays!
      Josh & The Cleanline Crew

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