A good wetsuit can change your surfing experience, and you really do get what you pay for. If you surf a lot, or hate being cold, it’s worth investing in something high-quality. A good wetsuit allows you to stay out for longer sessions, your surfing improves, and you can catch more sunsets. With that said, here’s our roundup of the best women’s hooded wetsuits for 2020.
O’Neill Psycho Tech 5.5/4mm – $499.95
This is the crème-de-la-crème of wetsuits, and not to pick favorites, but this suit is my favorite. The Psycho Tech by O’Neill is known for its Techno Butter 3 neoprene, which is the most stretchy and comfortable rubber out there. This material is not only easy to move around in but also lightweight, and dries quickly.
Aside from this super flexible rubber, there’s a smooth skin panel in the chest and on the back that helps block windchill and absorbs heat from the sun, which really offers that extra oomph in the warmth department. O’Neill describes this suit as “psychotically warm.” It’s a strong statement, but I can’t argue with them, as the first time I wore this suit, the water touching my lower back was actually body temperature. Psychotic? Maybe. Warm as heck? Definitely.
The Psycho Tech also has high-quality, fluid seam welds over all the stitching so the seams are water-tight and durable. This suit fits comfortably and has a flattering, feminine cut. The chest zip entry on this suit is probably the easiest of this whole list to get in and out of, partially due to how stretchy the rubber is.
All in all, the superior flexibility, lightness, and warmth make this suit a staff favorite and my top choice for a hooded wetsuit.
Patagonia R4 Yulex 5.5/4.5mm – $549.00
This is definitely one of the warmest suits available, so if you tend to run cold, the R4 is a great choice. Patagonia uses their trademark Yulex rubber, which is not only warm and durable, but sustainably sourced as well. Patagonia’s rubber is all natural and partially plant-based. So if you’re looking for an environmentally-conscious wetsuit that still performs, Patagonia is the way to go.
This is the most durable hooded women’s suit out there, and while you can expect the lifespan of a typical wetsuit to last you about a year with regular use, the R4 will last twice that or more, especially with their outstanding warranty program. Patagonia’s warranty center will repair their gear long after other warranty programs expire to help keep as many of their suits in the water and out of landfills as possible.
While the Yulex neoprene may not be as stretchy as some other top tier suits, it’s a small price to pay for one of the warmest, most durable, and eco-friendly wetsuit available. Plus, the added forearm strength you gain from getting in and out of this suit can help your surfing and jar-opening abilities–at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
Rip Curl Flash Bomb 5/4mm – $469.95
The Flash Bomb is Rip Curl’s best womens suit and one of the best all-around wetsuits available. The Flash Bomb is lined with their highly-regarded E5 Flash lining. This orange, fuzzy internal liner helps the Flash Bomb to dry super quick, making slipping into it on a cold day a breeze – a tropical breeze.
Besides having that fuzzy lining to keep you warm, the seams on the Flash Bomb are supported with liquid seam welds over the triple glued and blindstiches seams and internal tape through the wetsuit. These features help the Flash Bomb to remain strong and watertight for longer than your average suit.
For the rubber, the Flash Bomb uses Rip Curl’s top E5 neoprene, which is definitely one of the more flexible materials available, making this suit the best of both worlds in terms of warmth and flexibility. If warmth and flexibility are your two main concerns in a wetsuit, I’d recommend a Flash Bomb.
All in all, this is probably one of the most balanced wetsuits on this list. You get a top quality suit and incredible warmth without any major sacrifices in any one category.
Hotline Ultra Hot Combo 5/4mm – $429.95
If you love the idea of a chest zip but find them difficult to get in and out of, the Hotline Ultra Hot Combo saves the day. The UHC uses a unique entry system that extends through the shoulders into the arms, making it much easier to get in and out, while still providing all the benefits of a chest zip entry wetsuit. This one-of-a-kind extra wide chest zip entry system is an excellent choice for those dealing with shoulder injuries or mobility issues since the entry system is much wider and more forgiving than most suits. It also makes for a very watertight seal, and prevents flushing better than almost any other wetsuit.
The rubber is decently flexible and the seams are internally taped for extra durability and warmth. Hotline is a great brand that has an excellent warranty and repair program if you need it.
It’s a high-quality suit at a fair price, and if you like supporting smaller businesses, Hotline is a long-standing, reputable company out of Santa Cruz that deserves your hard earned cash.
Roxy Syncro 5/4/3mm – $189.95
For those with champagne tastes on a beer budget, as they say, the Roxy Syncro might be the wetsuit for you. While it’s not necessarily the absolute best in any one category, it does offer a wide range of high-end features at a really affordable price point.
With the Syncro, you get Roxy’s StretchFlight Neoprene, which is relatively lightweight and surprisingly flexible. For the price, this is the most comfortable and warmest rubber available.
On the inside, there’s Roxy’s “Warmflight infrared heat” lining in the back panel that helps you retain body heat in crucial areas so you can stay warm for the length of your session.
This is the best budget pick for women’s hooded wetsuits and overall an awesome buy for the money. Also, if style is a concern, Roxy suits definitely have a cute and trendy factor.
Billabong Furnace Carbon 5/4mm – $349.95
Billabong has made significant improvements in their wetsuit technology in the past few years, and this is clearly reflected in this suit. New for 2020, Billabong has introduced a new liner called Graphene that they use for the internal liner and hood of this suit. Graphene is a first for the wetsuit world and Billabong adopted it into this suit’s internal liner for it’s surprising strength and heat-retaining characteristics
Billabong is also making improvements to their sustainability factor, as the “Smart Foam” in this wetsuit is made from upcycled car tires. This rubber still is super stretchy and helps to give the suit a lot of flexibility. I’d say this is probably the second most flexible suit on the list, but when you consider its price tag and the fact that it’s eco-friendly it makes it an easy choice for this list.
Overall, the Furnace Carbon is an awesome mid-range choice as it’s a really solid, high quality suit that you can own without blowing your savings.
That’s About It…
Hopefully this list helped and your on your way to a more comfortable surfing experience. We’re surfing cold water and using these suits year-round, so we speak from experience when it comes to our recommendations.
If you need further help deliberating on suit selection, sizing, or fit, feel free to give us a call at 888-546-6176 or email us at email@example.com