As winter temps in the south drop faster than price of oil, it’s time for most surfers to start thinking about winter wetsuits. Should you upgrade now? Hold out a little longer and wait until next year? Or get through most of winter and pick something up on sale in September? (lets be honest, they’ll go on sale in June).

One of the other pressing questions is ‘which wetsuit should I buy?‘ This Winter Wetsuits Buyers Guide should make all of those questions a little easier. To help better cover the product (and price) offerings out there we’ve split them across 3 price options and are only taking into consideration 3mm x 2mm options to make it easier to show whats out there.

Today’s Winter Wetsuits Buyers Guide covers suits in the $300-500 and over price bracket and runs from most expensive to least. And to be honest, I feel like this price range is where all the gold sits. You can find some amazing suits that have most of the features the high price suits have but for cheaper. Sure, you’ll be sacrificing somethings but overall, will you notice? I suggest having a real good look through this guide.

And later this week we’ll drop a guide for suits in the sub $300 options and earlier this week we posted a guide for those of you with cash to splash – +$500. Ideally, this will cover everything you’re looking for and help you get a good suit that’ll keep you warm but let you stay flexible too.

Patagonia

R1 Lite

$499

Buy Now

“Offering lightweight comfort in warmer water, the stretchy, neoprene-free R1® Lite Yulex® Front-Zip Full Suit is our most pared-down full-length wetsuit, made from 85% Yulex natural rubber/15% synthetic rubber by polymer content; the high-stretch interior lining is 100% recycled polyester.”

You used to buy Patagonia because you felt good about your purchase, but you can now also feel good AND get a top of the line suit. The R1 Lite might not be the cheapest on the list here, but the R1 Lite has some great features (beyond Yulex) and would be a deadset banger of suit from Sydney to the Gold Coast – plus Patagonia have one of the best wetsuit warranties getting around. If you’re looking for eco-minded wetsuit purchasing, start here.

Rip Curl

E-Bomb

$450

Buy Now

The Rip Curl E-Bomb 3/2mm Zip Free Steamer is basically the Ferrari within the Rip Curl wetsuit matrix, built for hi-fi surfing by any shredder or kook with enough money to pay for one.

If it’s crazy that there are $900 wetsuits out there (tbh, a custom made suit sounds all sort of dreamy), it’s crazier that you can get a Rip Curl E-Bomb for $450. This is hands down one of the best suits on the market, regardless of price. We reviewed it a while back and as Tim said:

“This is for people who want to feel like they’re surfing in a gymnastics leotard and have the skills to do backflips at will. Also great for those who simply want to be as comfortable as a fat man in trackies when heading into the water.”

This is the suit you get if your Sydney, and north of Sydney up to the Gold Coast. Brilliant suit across the board, and for $450 it’s a steal.

Xcel

Infinti X2

$450

Buy Now

The Infinti Series from Xcel used to be the top line run of suits before Drylock came onto the scene, so you can have confidence knowing this suit is going to be pretty good. Haven’t worn it tho, just going of historical info along with the specs this suit has –

*Triple GBS Seams
*Nanoprene Lite Limestone
*Engineered Fit System (Xcel nail this)
*Upper Body has Thermo Dry Celliant
*and more..

$450 is a pretty nice price for it. Well worth a look if you’re not feeling the main brands you normally buy from. But if you’re going to go Xcel, just pony up another couple hundred (easier said than done) and get the Drylock – that suit is magic…


Quiksilver

Highline LTD

$450

Buy Now

“Fashioned in 100% StretchFlight x3 neoprene, featuring WarmFlight® thermal fleece lining on the body and upper legs keeps body heat in and water out, and rounded out with a GBS (glued and blindstitched) seams. This chest zip wetsuit for men joins the squad in the Quiksilver surf collection.”

Traditionally, Quiksilver suits haven’t been the best. But over the last 12 months they’ve undergone some changes and have been pushing innovative ideas out to the masses (you see the Highline Pro?). This continues with the Highline Ltd – it’s not groundbreaking by any means, but it’s a solid suit for the price point and another notch that says Quik is now competing in the wetsuit space. If you’re a Quik die-hard, definitely have a look at this suit – extra bonus with the colours. You’re my boy, blue!

Cheer

RCYLD

$430

Buy Now

New brand on our radar via Panel Beater…

“This wetsuit has been designed and constructed with meticulous attention to detail and quality you can feel.  Hand made from premium neoprene-free Hevea® rubber and recycled fabrics. A medium pile 100% recycled polyester lining has been used throughout the suit, offering a lighter, warmer, faster drying lining with great stretch.

An anatomical 7 panel pattern has been used in the layout of the suit to maximise uninhibited paddling flow. Our high stretch and highly durable Infinity 2.0™ Taping is featured throughout the suit for optimum paddling range of movement.  It features a silk textured outer layer and is laminated by a heating process rather than glue giving an increase of 20% more stretch than glued taping.  It sits depressed rather than on top of the bonded material for added comfort and prevention of rash.”

Adelio

Connor

$430

Buy Now

Adelio been around since about 2008 and have a pretty solid story behind them, which you can read about here.

I don’t know much about Adelio, but I do know Chippa swears by them, as do a few others. I keep hearing great things about Adelio suits and this one – the Connor – looks fairly amazing, very amazing when you look at the price for it (although it’s gone up from $390 in 2019).

Connor is made from Japanese limestone neoprene, has GBS seams and internal taping on all seams. And there’s thermal fleece lined chest and pack panels to keep you extra toasty (and dry quick) on those chilly days.

They have more expensive ones if that’s what you’re looking for, or even a small step up to the ‘Connor Deluxe’ (which has liquid tape). Overall, well worth a look.


Volte

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$413

Buy Now

Along with Adelio, Volte is a new-comer to our world of wetsuits. I’ve seen them popping up here and there and they’ve just signed Seabass to the team (I think DHobby wears them as well) – which is more than enough to get me to take notice.

Got me taking notice, but then I can’t get any information from them. The site has fuck-all (literally, NONE) information about the suits. The one featured above is a 3/2 with a chest zip entry system, it looks like it’s running GBS seams and it probably has some fur inside of it, but…

Overall the suit looks good, seems good, and at $413 (up from $370) is a seemingly good value suit.

West

Deluxe

$399

Buy Now

WEST is back! Bought, I think, by lord of the West – Mitch Thorson – and with newly minted team rider, Taj Burrow, leading the charge, it’s great to see this iconic brand from the West back in the mix. What’s the new suit all about?

“Our DELUXE wetsuits are designed for our rugged environment. Made from tougher high performance rubber, with over engineered seams and extra joint reinforcement where required. Knee pads are super robust, built with reef engagement in mind.”

All excitement about WEST making a comeback aside, the suit is impressive but I’d say there’s better options out there for the same price. Although if you want to support small/local brands, then you could look at ponying up for a Deluxe Slice of Neoprene from the West.

O’Neill

Hyperfreak

$399

Buy Now

“O’Neill’s Hyperfreak wetsuit, constructed with super light TechnoButter 3 and TechnoButter 3X is the most unique, light weight, fully sealed suit on the market. This exclusive technology allows you to perfrom at the highest level with construction so light, you’d swear you were surfing naked.”

The suit is running TB3-X / TB3 Neoprene along with TB3X Fully Taped Seams, combine that with the minimal seam design and chest zip system that I love from O’Neill and you’re bound to get a solid suit in your hands. We have a review of the Psycho 1, which should shed some light on O’Neill suits if you’ve never worn one before. 


NCHE

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$390

Buy Now

NCHE has been delivering good mid-priced suits for a couple of years, and along with Need Essentials, were one of the first to market during the great wetsuit brand resurgence of 2016.

Their suits are made from N Foam which is sandwiched between a plant-based internal lining composite of charcoal & bamboo and finished with an ultra soft hand feel external layer. It’s running GBS seams and fully taped on the internals, keeping it light and flexible.

Oh, and your suit turns up in a pizza box! Pretty neat, no plastic here people – no pizza with the suit either tho. Ha.

C-Skins

Rewired

$389

Buy Now

Seen these guys around a bit, and I don’t know much about them beyond people telling me they’re good suits to wear and considering we’re trying to show you all options in our Winter Wetsuits Buyers Guide, I figured we should include them. I’ve seen KP wear them, and Kmart Jesus too (who is now Rusty Jesus), so one would imagine the suits are pretty good or they pay pretty good. Maybe both!

ZION

Cortez

$380

Buy Now

Zion is another new brand we’re listing this year in an attempt to ensure you’re aware of all the options out there when shopping for a new winter wetsuit. Did you know Zion sponsor Craig Ando and Asher Pacey?! Not a bad duo to have repping ya suits…

Their Cortez suit looks impressive on specs alone. Haven’t seen one, or used one, so beyond what we’re seeing on the screen I can’t comment much more. Get one and you’ll be rolling with :: 100% S-Seal external liquid taped and Japanese limestone based neoprene // Zipperless entry //  Interior wrist and ankle grips to prevent the awkward slide and the all important Tradie-Approved keystash

At $380 you might be better off with the Bong or Vissla options, but if we don’t support upstart brands like Zion then we’ll never get the next big things happening in surf. Spend your money wisely…


Buell

RB1

$350

Buy Now

“While the “Rubber Bones” fullsuit hits function and fun right on the button, the new RB1 flies under the radar, and when used strategically, can lend limitless buckets of spray to any lip that dares get in your way. Without giving up the warmth that Buell Wetsuits are known for, this suit doubles down on flexibility. With its masterful blend of pliable “Ninja Neoprene” coupled with ergonomic, perfectly placed panels, the RB1 is your go-to wetsuit that keeps the crowd gasping as your spray extends to the heavens…”

Don’t know much about Buell beyond they sponsor a few people – Stuey, Sage, and so on – and also create suits for various brands. Think they’ve done Volcom and RVCA previously. Specs on paper look good, and for $350 it ain’t a bad deal. They are based out of the US tho, so warranty, etc might be an issue but if you want a different brand in the water these guys (or Zion, Cheer, etc) are looking pretty nice.

Billabong

Furnace Revolution

$350

Buy Now

“Heritage lines are reborn, backed by modern wetsuit technology. Maintaining core lines, the Revolution Series wetsuits utilize premium wetsuit innovations and materials, creating a suit that delivers both performance and signature style. New for the 2019/2020 season, the Furnace Revolution now features Billabong exclusive Furnace Graphene. Innovative new graphene wrapped yarns combine with carbon fibers for a wetsuit that is lighter, stronger and warmer for longer. Furnace Graphene is 50% lighter than traditional hollow fiber liners and 200x stronger than steel.”

I’ll cut to the chase right now, if you’re counting pennies and want the best suit in this price bracket I’d suggest you click ‘buy now’ on this Bong suit and move on. The specs are pretty damn fantastic for a $350 suit and given how much Bong continue to improve each year over the last 6 years or so and you’re pretty much going to be rolling out in a class A suit for a class B price.

Vissla

7 Seas

$330

Buy Now

Vissla going from $900 to $330 with this little baby is the equivalent of going from the Tesla Model S straight to the Model 3 with no X Wings in the middle.

Running anatomically correct engineered body lines that allow for unrestricted warmth and performance the 7 Seas is also running a few spares in its make up. By spares, I mean Spare Tires – The 7 Seas suit has Carbon Black, one of the key ingredients of neoprene, can now be made from scrap rubber tires. This significantly reduces energy consumption and cuts CO2 emission by 200g per wetsuit. How good!

Extra bonus is triple stitched GBS seams and a 12month warranty from time of purchase. Out of all the suits on offer in this price bracket, this one from Vissla would have to be the go-to for anyone sniffing around this price level. At $330 this thing, an amazing suit in its own right, is just a deadset bundle of value (it won the award for ‘best value suit’ in our 2019 Winter Wetsuit Awards – and you can read the review of the suit here)


If our Winter Wetsuits Buyers Guide hasn’t got you amped to surf in cold water then maybe (re)watch the below clip of Dylan Graves (from the series, Weird Waves) surfing Lake Superior. Dylan links up with lake surfing specialist Burton Hathaway as they connect with the rest of the surfing community in the Great Lakes to experience the biggest winter storm of the season.