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Winter wetsuits

The Sunset Surf tried and tested reviews section.





O’Neill Mutant 5/3 mens wetsuit Review


West Pulse Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review


Bodyglove Matrix mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review


O’Neill Psycho II Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review


Snugg Silverback Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review


Xcel Infinity Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review


Gul Nitro Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review


Alder Plasma Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review


Rip Curl Ultimate Fireskin 5/4/3 wetsuit review


O’Neill Mutant 5/3 mens wetsuit Review

June 19th, 2009 No comments
ONeill Mutant 5/3 wetsuit

O'Neill Mutant 5/3 wetsuit

Well winter is in full swing pretty much, and although the sea has yet to drop a few degree’s its still starting to feel pretty chilly out there. I imagine most people will be looking to the winter suits now, and as with years gone by, the suits available today boast some impressive features / specifications..
The Mutant is no exception to this – its feature packed, and O’Neill have obviously spent time thinking up this suit. I like the modular idea they have, allowing you to either have a hooded or non hooded suit at the flick of a zip!
Putting the suit on via the top entry is pretty easy – the neoprene stretches so much that it’s not too tight, although getting the suit off takes some practice.
Once on the suit feels so very light, almost summer suit light. My initial thoughts were that whilst it was nice and light, it wasn’t going to be able to keep me warm enough – WRONG! A combination of super liquid seams, the top neck seal the O’Neill firewall and good arm and leg seals make the suit virtually water proof. Once in the water I was able to withstand long periods without even thinking about being cold, certainly the warmest suit I have reviewed in the winter to date.
The traditional problem spots on super stretch wetsuits has been the knee pads, but like many other manufacturers, O’Neill have invested time and effort in toughening these up, and whilst only time will tell, initial impressions are that they will last, and are improved over earlier suits.
Because of the top entry and the seal system they have developed there is no anti flush system, but because the neck seal doesnt have any velcro to tighten the suit up, it fits and seals extremely well – flushing wasn’t an issue.
The smooth skin chest did the job, and dispite a freezing northerly wind my core was kept lovely and toasty warm.
Its a very comfortable suit to wear, and for me anatomically fits extremely well, which allows me to concentrate on whats important – surfing, not being cold or getting flushed each time I duck dive.
To date, like for like and in the same price bracket the competition is the Xcel Infiniti – the Xcel has a formidable reputation and our previous reviews on these have testified to the quality of the suit. So how does the Mutant compare with the Infiniti? Well I would certainly say its right up there with it and possibly performance and spec aside the modular aspect of the suit could sway the balance.
The suit certainly lives up to the hype – it’s a superb suit, very warm, very light, and the modular bits make it a very versatile suit. It’s not a cheap suit, but then you get a lot for your money.
Overall I would happily recommend this suit to anyone, O’Neill have been in the wetsuit business for a long long time, and its great to see them continuing to push the boundary’s of wetsuit innovation, the O’Neill brand has become extremely popular, but the Mutant still has its roots very much in pure surfing rather than surviving on just a well known brand.
Completely Sunset Surf recommended – you won’t go far wrong here
 
 Press Release
O’NEILL RELEASE THE MUTANT WITH HOOD
BE PREPARED FOR ANY CHANGE IN CONDITIONS WITH THIS COMPLETELY NEW CATEGORY OF MODULAR SUITS.
This mutated two-headed monster is designed not just to be modular, but is also completely unrestricted, bone dry, Velcro-less, and easy on/off. We have seen the future, and it’s scary. Free-floating Zippers and shoulder Fluid Seam Seals minimize bulk and flush
HIGHLIGHTS:
100% Stretch (70% Ultraflex DS™ / 30% Fluidflex™)
Interior Fluid Seam Weld (100% Sealed)
Patent Pending Modular Closure System
Detachable Crew Neck and Hood Closures
LSD (Lumber Seamless Design)
Firewall Chest and Lumber Panels
Krypto Padz (Ergonomic Neoprene Knee Panel)
External Key Pocket with Loop
FEATURES:
Wind Resistant Smooth Skin: Chest & Back
Strategic Seamless Paddle Zones
Plasma Interior Wrist & Ankle Seams
Glued & Blind-stitched Seams
Style code for 5/4/3mm :2213
Sizes: S-3XL,MS,MT,LS,LT.
SRP: £260.00
Web: www.oneill.com
UK/Eire: +44 (0) 1730 811460
France : 0800 916 652
Germany : +49 (0) 8152 988776
Email: wetsuits.uk@oneill.com

West Pulse Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review

June 19th, 2009 No comments
West Pulse 5/4/3 wetsuit

West Pulse 5/4/3 wetsuit

For a lot of people, I think West is probably a bit of an unknown. They are not big in the UK at the moment, although fast picking up pace. The are a big operation in Australia, and are currently pushing their products in the US and the UK market. West are one of the few, perhaphs the only manufacturer to offer a LIFETIME warranty on their suits, which covers any manufacturing defect for the life of the suit. Now we think that has to say something about the confidence they as a manufacturer have in their own suits. The pulse is the budget market of the West suits and at £120 for a Winter suit with a host of features and a lifetime warranty, we would like to know where you can get better for your money! So on paper its all good, but are the suits any good in the water……..
Out the water.
The suit feels thick, possible due to the fact that the majority of suits we have tested have all been 100% superstretch neoprene which does tend to make them lighter. However the suit is really easy to get on with its regular length zip. The fit is nice on the arm and the legs and having superstretch neoprene around the arms makes it a nice flexible suit where you want it.
In the water.
We really were suprised by the pulse. For a suit that has stitched seams and no back-up system, it relies on good fit, good manufacturing and good anatomical shape to work. And work it does! The tester was really suprised at how well the pulse performed. In the water, it kept our tester really warm, the thermal mesh on the chest lining and the flash panels on both chest and back help to keep the cold away from the wearers body. You do feel like you have a thick suit on, but as mentioned above, because the arms are made up of superstretch neoprene it is still nice and flexible. Obviously as you would expect the suit eventually lets a small amount of water through the seams, but in our test situation, this was actually a welcome relief, as the tester was getting really hot! A key point to mention is that although the suit does let minimal water through the seam, with a good fit, its a minor problem as their is no where for the leaking water to go. The wrist and arm cuffs are a good fit and keep water from flushing up through. The knee pads are really thick and touch, and you would expect them to last a long time.
Back out the water.
Out of the water, the suit is so comfy and wind resistant that even with a strong wind you don’t notice the cold. Again with the regular length zip its not a problem getting out of the suit.
Overall.
Well, re-reading the review, we did think we were perhaps singing the praises of this suit a little to much, but then if a suit deserves it, why not? Ok its not got liquid seams and its not 100% superstretch neoprene, but West commented that when they are confident that any technical issues surrounding both of those features are resolved to their satisfaction, they will use them. Look out for that suit! Remember too the price £120! This suit really does live up to the good things we have heard about West products. Its good quality, its a great design, and its a great price. If you want more features the other suit in the West range, the edge, will only set you back £175. Keep your eye on West, we feel that very soon they will be an extrememly strong player in the wetsuit market in the UK.
We are also featuring the pulse in our extended wetsuit review, so remember to keep checking back to see how its lasting.
Press Release
RRP £120
 
25% Ultraspan
75% Superlight S-neo
Pyrofibre 75% coverage – chest, shoulders, legs and back panels
GBS triple glue and blind stitch
Pre-bent and contoured arm and leg panels
Thermal mesh
Concealed zip and reinforced base
PKK watertight zip
Forte collar closure
Seamless shoulder and underarm panels
Flatlock seams
Heat taped stress areas
Key pocket

Bodyglove Matrix mens 5/4/3 wetsuit Review

June 19th, 2009 No comments
Bodyglove Matrix Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit

Bodyglove Matrix Mens 5/4/3 wetsuit

A promising suit that is in the middle price bracket.
Out the water.
The suit was anatomically well shaped and fitted in all the right places. It offers a good range of features and the liquid seams sealed the seams well. The cuffs on both the legs and the arms look sturdy and look like they would stand a good test of time. The suit also has the back-up system employed by many of the others, where you have a pull over neck seal which is designed to stop water flushing down the suit, it also has a drain hole at the bottom of the internal back up vest to let water out. The neoprene is super light and soft and well flexible. The suit is really easy and nice to get on especially the troublesome areas – cuffs and ankles.
In the water.
The suit did a reasonable job of keeping our tester warm during a good couple hours of surfing. The suit is extremely flexible and you really dont notice you are wearing a winter suit, this is one of the suits real good points. Its got a good tough pair of knee pads and they are fixed on the suit well. The suit did flush a few times when our tester pulled out of a few waves, but the drain hole in the back-up vest lets the water run out quickly. The wrists let a bit of water in due to their being no specific seals or elasticated o-rings, but the flip side means that you are not restriced in any way. The lack of smooth skin on the back of the suit did mean that after a few hours when the wind got on our testers back it did make it a bit cold. However, this is most likely one of the reasons the suit is so flexible – if your the sort of person who doesnt feel the cold then the advantages of the suits flexability would most likely out weigh the lack of smooth skin panels on the rear.
Back out the water.
The suit was nice and easy to get off, which made changing a no-brainer. And when you got it off you realised what a good job the hollow fibre had actually done in keeping you warm.
Overall.
A nice and flexible suit, stacked full of top of the range features. In practice a few key things for a winter suit like smooth skin panels on the back let the suit down a little. The lack of tight wrist and ankle seals are a mixed bag, on the down side they allow for a small amount of water to seap in, but on the plus side they allow the wrists and the ankles extremely full movement. The hollow fibre provides good comfort and keeps the wearer both dry and warm. At the price its got some stiff competition, but a range of good features help the suit keep it in the running.
Press Release
G-Flex 100% anti snag super-stretch neoprene throughout
SS-1 super-light neoprene throughout
Pre-shaped legs and arms for maximum comfort
Glued and blindstiched construction
Total water barrier with Lycra roll over neck system to totally block out water
New bi-axial heat tape in all areas of the suit for total comfort and durability
G-flex SS1 neoprene, the warmest lightest most flexible neoprene available
Fused kneepads.
This is the top of the range Bodyglove wetsuit, which RRP’s at £210