For the surfer looking to get the most bang for their buck, we’ve reviewed a wide range of suits and put together a list of the 6 best mid-range wetsuits available today. If you’re wondering what exactly constitutes a mid-range suit, we’re defining them as any suit between $225-400. These suits borrow features from many top-tier suits out there like liquid fluid seam welds, ultra-flexible neoprene and internal taping without the big price tag. If you’re on a budget, need a backup suit or just want the best value in wetsuits, look no further than these six.
“The Best All-Around Suit for the Money”
The O’Neill Hyperfreak is hands down the best value in mid-range suits and gives surfers many of O’Neill’s best features in a straight-to-the-point suit. By cutting some of the more specialized features of high-end suits, the Hyperfreak gives you everything you really want at an affordable price.
Consistently one of our best selling wetsuits across the different thicknesses, O’Neill has expanded and upgraded the Hyperfreak Series for 2019/2020. The most stand out feature of the suit is that it’s built with Techno Butter 3 neoprene. Techno Butter 3 is the most flexible and lightest rubber out there and standard on all of O’Neill’s top-of-the-line, most expensive wetsuits. If you’ve never owned a suit with Techno Butter before, it’s hard to over-exaggerate how comfortable and flexible the material feels.
Another design feature that sets the Hyperfreak apart is the absence of a smooth skin panel on the chest or the back. Smooth skin is popular for its ability to cut down wind chill, but the Hyperfreak is still plenty warm without it and no chest or back panels allows for even more flexibility in the core.
For this year, the Hyperfreak is available as 3/2mm+, 4/3mm+ as well as two new hooded options in 4/3mm+ and 5/4mm+. If you’re wondering what the “+” is all about it, just means that when designing the Hyperfreak, O’Neill cut the suit on the thicker side. For example, the 5/4mm+ version, in reality, runs closer to a 5.5/4.5mm than a 5/4mm suit. There’s also a youth 5/4mm version for the groms.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with the new Hyperfreak especially if flexibility and weight are important to you. Check out our review for a more in-depth look.
Shop By Model
Hyperfreak 3/2+ Chest Zip Wetsuit – $299.95
Hyperfreak 4/3+ Chest Zip Wetsuit – $319.95
Hyperfreak 4/3+ Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit -$359.95
Hyperfreak 5/4+ Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit – $379.95
Rip Curl E-Bomb
“Most High Performance”
The dependable middle child suit between the Flash Bomb and Dawn Patrol, the E-Bomb is now the ultimate affordable performance suit. In 2019, Rip Curl has streamlined the series to make the E-Bomb as high performance as possible.
The E-Bomb uses Rip Curl’s new E6 Thermoflex neoprene which is actually the most flexible neoprene they’ve ever produced. The E-Bomb is the only suit Rip Curl makes that uses this material throughout the suit and its even lighter and more flexible than the E5 neoprene used on the Flash Bomb. The entirety of the suit is internally lined with E6 Thermo Lining which is the blue material on the inside of the suit. It’s also has been engineered to be lighter and more flexible than the famous E5 lining found on the Flash Bomb.
What’s with the Zip Free Entry?
The E-Bomb is now exclusively built as a Zip Free suit. Zip Free suits naturally provide more flexibility as they lack the rigid zipper fixture that can stiffen up a suit. While it does take some time to adjust to getting in and out of one, it soon becomes second nature and Rip Curl has the design down better than anyone.
The E-Bomb Pro also notably doesn’t have smooth skin or external tape on the seams but that only helps to keep the suit as light as possible. Surfers who want warmth and durability over anything else should still check out the Flash Bomb series, but for those needing the stretchiest, lightest suit possible, the E-Bomb is the call.
Billabong Furnace Comp
“Flexible AND Environmentally Friendly”
The Furnace Comp has been a shop favorite here at Cleanline for it’s all around performance and eco-friendly characteristics. Previously called the Furnace Carbon Comp, Billabong went back for 2019/2020 and totally redesigned this suit to use a totally new material called Graphene in place of Carbon for the internal linear.
Graphene is a relatively new material that was first discovered back in the ’60s but wasn’t readily used until about 15 years ago when it was rediscovered for its practicality in tech applications. Billabong has always been looking forward when designing their liners, and quickly realized Graphene’s potential for wetsuit design. Graphene conducts and retains heat more efficiently than traditional linears while still remaining incredibly strong.
Looking at the rest of the suit, Billabong uses a more environmentally-friendly neoprene that they call “stretch smart foam”. This material is actually partially made of up-cycled tires and while this material may come from a car tire, it’s still super pliable and more flexible than any Billabong suit before. We’ve been so impressed by this suit we had Billabong make us a run of the Furnace Comp’s as a hooded 5/4mm version that’s exclusive to the shop. Check out our full review for more details.
Overall, the suit delivers at an affordable price and I think the added bonusof it being produced with partially recycled materials is cool to
Shop By Model
Furnace Comp 3/2 Chest Zip Wetsuit – $299.95
Furnace Comp 4/3 Chest Zip Wetsuit – $319.95
Furnace Comp 4/3 Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit – $339.95
Furnace Comp 5/4 Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit – $359.95
Quiksilver Highline Plus
“Back and Better”
The Highline Plus is an update of the Highline model that’s been popular for the past few years from Quiksilver. Quiksilver has outfitted this suit with their top F’N Light neoprene. While the name, “F’N light”, doesn’t take itself too seriously, it still lives up to it’s name and is surprisingly light and flexible.
Like most of the suits on this list, there’s an external fluid seam weld covering all of the glued and blind-stitched seams. However, this fluid seam weld is a slight cut above the rest as it’s a little but lighter.Checking out the inside, Quiksilver has added a red thermal lining that they call “far infrared”. This lining helps with warmth and is comfortable as well. We’ve found this suit to run toasty, making it perfect for early morning sessions or when the wind picks up.
The Plus is offered only as chest zip in a few different thicknesses including a 6mm version for the freezing waters. Also worth noting the 3/2mm and 4/3mm version are only available in a unique color way while the hooded versions are blacked out.
“Big Changes to a Cult Favorite”
A long-time best-seller from O’Neill, and the only back zip on this list, the Heat has developed a cult following over the years and for good reason. At its core, the Heat is a simple, no-frills suit that’s known for it dependability. If something’s not broke don’t fix it, and for years the Heat remained relatively unchanged while the rest of O’Neill’s line began adopting different materials.
For 2019/2020 that all changes as the Heat has been given some serious love and now uses O’Neill’s premium, top of the line rubber, TechnoButter 3. This is the same stuff you’ll find on O’Neill suits in the $400-500 price range and has become famous for its flexibility and warmth. Looking at the inside of the Heat, it now also uses a TechnoButter Firewall which is the red corduroy-looking linear on the inside. This material dries quickly, is light and retains heat much better than most linears out there.
Some things haven’t changed and the Heat still has the external fluid seam welds over the triple glued and blind-stitched seams and an easy to use back zip design. We especially like the zipper on this suit, it’s the “Red Zone” zipper found on O’Neill’s most expensive suits and it feels extremely sturdy and smooth. By using an offset teeth design on the zipper, it also creates a tighter seal and does a better job of keeping water from entering through the zipper.
For bigger guys, the Heat is the perfect choice as it’s available in rare sizes like 3XL and 4XL.
“Modern Design, Old School Durability”
This suit is almost priced outside of what we’re calling a mid-range suit, but it’s too good not to mention. For just under $400 the Hotline Reflex is one of the biggest “sleeper” suits we sell. While Hotline is most know for their classic Ultra Hot Combo, the Reflex is their take on a modern performance suit.
Like the Ultra Hot Combo, the Reflex is built to withstand some serious abuse with a thick internal tape covering all the seams, a very sturdy zipper, and what they call the “Ring of Fire”. This Ring of Fire is basically an ultra-stitched circle around the chest entry panel. Chest zip suits experience a lot of stress at the entry panel and this extra stitching helps with the suit’s longevity and keeps you in the water.
The Reflex is surprisingly flexible, noticeably more so than the Ultra Hot Combo but not as much as a Psychotech for reference. If you’ve never worn a suit from Hotline before it’s always a good idea to double check your sizing. Their size chart runs off american sizing (ie: bigger) which can be very different than other companies.
What’s the difference between the Reflex 1.0 and 2.0?
Both suits are exactly the same, except the 2.0 version has a new plush thermal lining in the core for added warmth and comfort.
With a great range of flexibility, durability, and warmth, you can’t go wrong with the Reflex. I would highly recommend this suit to anyone looking for a suit that’s built to last. If you want to take a closer look, check out our full review.
There you have it, the best suits for your money out there. Hopefully, reading this list has helped you find a suit that will leave you with some extra burrito money.
Now all you need to do is go find some surf!
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to write in!