As winter temps in the south drop faster than the governments ideal adoption rate for their Covid App, 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? One of the other pressing questions is ‘which wetsuit should I buy?’ This Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits should make all of those questions a little easier.

Today’s Winter Wetsuits Buyers Guide covers suits below $300 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 if you’ve missed them, we have posted buyers guides for the $300-$500 price bracket (full of gold) and also one for over $500 if you have the cash to splash. 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.

Xcel

Axis

$299

Buy Now

Another one that just slips in under $300, the Xcel Axis looks good, but what’s your $300 getting you?

You’ll be running 3/2mm of limestone-based Neoprene that has some fluff on the chest for warmth, along with the engineered fit that Xcel has perfected. GBS Seams, back zip entry and a 12-month warranty. Seriously, even if you don’t buy one, go try one on.

Another good suit for the Sydney to Gold Coast area if you’re always warm and just need something for wind chill or to stay toasty.

Billabong

Furnace Absolute

$299

Buy Now

I often wonder if the argument could be made that Billabong own the mid-tier part of the wetsuit market? Sure, they make top end suits that are amazing but I feel like it’s their mid-tier offerings that really set them in their own space.

What you can get from Billabong for less cash is really quite impressive. In the 300-500$ guide the other day their suit was the standout based on value for money, and this suit – The Billabong Furnace Absolute – is pretty good for $300. You should definitely have this suit in the spinner when choosing final boss suits. I’ve been playing video games.

ZION

Wesley

$299

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…

The Wesley suit from Zion is a nice alternative to the rest of the list if you’re chasing something different. 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% Japanese limestone based neoprene // Bamboo Charcoal Interior // Easy Access Chest Zip //  Interior wrist and ankle grips to prevent the awkward slide and the all important Tradie-Approved keystash


Need Essentials

UPTCZW

$290

Buy Now

Need Essentials have become the go-to company for people wanting a bargain suit that still works well. This suit is their Ultra-Premium Thermal Chest Zip option, which is pretty crazy considering it’s only $290 for a 3/2.

In reality, it’s more like a 3.5/2.5 suit if you look at their website specs. It’s got all the bells (but no whistles because you don’t need those) – liquid seams, thermal lining and stretch rubber and is real warm.

If you’re in Victoria or South Oz (12-16 degrees C), or are generally a sook when it comes to the cold, then lean toward this as a bargain option. If you’re WA, NSW, or QLD (18 degrees C +) then the $200 non-liquid tape Need suit might be a better version for you

ISC

Tuxe

$269

Buy Now

A new comer to our lists of Wetsuit Buyer Guides but ISC have been around for a couple of years. Old mate who started ISC did the suits at Billabong for about 20 years, and so you can rest assured that ISC use great quality rubber and panelling/seams (a huge thing that many DTC wetsuit brands sometimes skip).

This Tuxe suit from ISC has all the bells and whistles you need in a full suit for winter – stretch, taping, rapid dry lining, GBS seams, etc etc. Really need to test one of these suits as they’re a nice price alternative if Need Essentials doesn’t cover what you want.

Peak

X-Dry

$239

Buy Now

Remember Peak? Don’t see them as often as years gone by, I think the last noticeable moment was with Kerrsy riding for them and now they have Banting repping them. They’re still out making some amazing suits and given they’re basically Rip Curl suits but a season or two older you’re always going to win here.

This one, the X-Dry, is a 3/2mm Chest Zip 100% Sealed Front Zip wetsuit featuring lightweight and flexible X-Stretch neoprene in the arms, shoulder and knees, thermal mesh chest and back panel, a key pocket and X-Dry fast dry lining.

Not sure what else to write. Solid back up suit if you’re flush, great suit if you’re stuck for pennies. Win.


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.