As winter temps in the south drop faster than comment wars on certain IG posts, 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.

We’ve split up our Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits this year to help better cover the product (and price) offerings out there. As you would have noticed, new wetsuits brands are the new black and there are new brands popping up everywhere.

Today’s guide covers suits in the $550+ price bracket and runs from most expensive to least. Early next week we’ll drop a sub-$350 guide. Ideally, these three guides will cover everything you’re looking for and help you get a good Winter suit that’ll work to your budget, keep you warm and let you stay flexible too.




Buy Now

The most expensive suit on the market right now (that I could find), is it the best suit on the market. No, but it’s damn close and to be fair what is the ‘best suit’ is subjective to your needs. But overall, this is close to the top in my opinion.

The chest zip, which I think is patented by Axxe, is in the top two of CZ systems I’ve ever used (O’Neill FUZE being the other). It’s seriously amazing, comfortable and easy to zip open/close, etc. And this thing is WARM, it’s 3mm all over and would easily get you through a winter at Bells (with boots).

They are crafted one at a time, hand made in a small factory near the beach by Japanese craftsmen who are core surfers. They use three-dimensional cutting and patterns developed over decades to make the best fitting most comfortable wetsuit for performance surfing imaginable.




Buy Now

Finally got my hands on one of these over the last year and the only thats hard to deal with is the price tag. Coming in at $1k in AUD, it’s quite a solid ‘investment’ if you get one. It’s not fully custom, more made to order, but damn it’s nice to surf in.

The split thickness distribution is interesting and the material used is top notch that feels amazing on, and slides on like a fresh pair of socks. The only challenge I had was around the chest zip entry, it’s a fine entry system and works well, but I got a reasonable amount of flushing with duckdives and crazy nose dives. It’s not a deal breaker, and has probably been solved with further iterations (would only take a larger cut on the neoprene panel that sits under the zip to solve, I think)

Is it worth buying? Not at $1k unless you shit $100 bills. At that price it’s a good suit, at $600 it’d be amazing.




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7TILL8 suits are custom made, with Yamamoto #40 rubber. A custom suit is a thing of beauty, they way it fits all the different bumps/curves/twists and turns on your rig. You slide one on and it feels like the Emperor’s clothing. I got one last year, all specc’d up and tailored (full review here) to my specific measurements. Something you can do in person, over zoom or via email – they make it super easy for you commit.

The suit itself feels great on, the fit is amazing but it’s not the warmest or most flexible. It sits in the middle of the field, it’s flexible enough and you won’t freeze. The only real place you’ll notice a lack of flex is taking it on and off. Those first couple of weeks will be a challenge getting in and out unless you’re a Yogi lord. It does become easier as more stretch is worn in on the suit

Rip Curl



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This might be the only suit on this list that I haven’t used yet, but it’s Rip Curl so you know it’ll be tip-top. I have seen one, and the way they seem to have a created a stitchless suit is impressive. Lets get into it though…

The Rip Curl FlashBomb Fusion wetsuit with Fusion Dry Seam Technology features the most technically advanced seam construction we have ever created to create a stronger seal without the need for stitching that can lead to water seepage over time. Built using 100% E7 Flash Lining, it’s the ultimate balance of flexibility, warmth and durability. Experience over 50 years of innovation fused into one wetsuit. No stitch = no leak = no problem.

That’s all the jazzy copy from Rip Curl about the Fusion suit, which sounds fantastic on paper. And by all reports from the people I know who have surfed in one, it’s nothing buy high praise. Be aware though, it’s a wallet killer coming in at $800.




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Matuse has been in the wetsuit game for sometime now. Known for their clean appearance and high-quality materials, we’d been wanting to get our grubby mitts on some tester suits for ages. And we have been fortunate enough to review a couple now and have a lot of good things to say about them.

This one though, The Tumo, is the top end of the bracket in the wetsuit matrix for Matuse and comes with Hydrasilk (feels amazing against the skin), Satin Seal Tape and Hidden Air Chambers (which stores radiant heat from body and improves the suits ability to slow down heat loss). The finish of the rubber on this suit makes it kiss your skin like soft-lipped angels. Seriously, it’s cushy and comfy all over.

If you’d like to read more about the Business of Matuse, hit this link.


Drylock X


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The Xcel Drylock X Wetsuit is good for those wanting a warm, stretchy wetsuit that’s built to last (and are willing to pay for it). While there’s plenty of bells and whistles in the materials, the design itself is rock solid with liquid taped seams, an easy to use chest zip, and great attention to detail finishing. Hello magnet closure!

Like some kind of cosmic cloud suit – this thing is comfy! The thermal lining is soft and cushy, the neoprene has plenty of give, and the cut hugs your curves like a newly-found lover. Given it’s one of the warmer 3/2mms on the market, you’re likely to get away with it in colder waters where other options require a 4/3mm. Paired with boots and a hood you should be able to get away with 12-14 degree water temp – think Bells or Trestles in the middle of winter. If not, give your local concreter a call and see if he can teach you to harden up.


Furnace Natural


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The Billabong Furnace Natural is great for eco-minded surfers who still want an ultra flexible wetsuit. It has all the sustainability bells (yulex rubber, 100% recycled jersey, water-based glue) while still having the superflex whistles. The Graphene helps elevate warmth and looks rad with the purple colour in the fluff.

The way Billabong have taken recycled CICLO® fibres and woven it into their jersey should be a flag-in-the-sand moment for the other brands. It’s the new gold standard for eco wetsuit performance. If there’s one area this suit is let down a touch it’s in the warmth stakes. While it’s definitely still snug enough it’s just not a full ‘Furnace’ like the name suggests.

Hard to beat this suit if you want an Eco suit that can perform alongside the top performance suits (see: Rip Curl eBomb). At $700 it’s not super cheap, but it’s not the most expensive on the market either.




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The O’Neill Blueprint has gone through some iterative changes from the one I’ve used and this one, but I can’t imagine it would have gotten worse. Not with O’Neill’s reputation and history in wetsuits…

Hard to go past these guys when you’re out and about choosing between all the winter wetsuits on offer. O’Neill has been making top quality suits since they started and this updated series of suits – Blueprint –  runs with pretty solid features.

Running with what I think is the best chest zip (Fuze) closure on the market, the Blueprint is wildly easy to get on/off – even with torched shoulders. It’s also got (recycled) TBX3 which is stretchy and oh-so-sweet against your skin. Then there’s jersey tape running on all internal seams to double up on the GBS ensuring there are no leaks here. The big thing to notice here is the Blueprint, like Billabong’s suits, has Graphene running through it…




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It has been 10 or so years since Patagonia first introduced Yulex to the wetsuit world. A decade! The innovation has proven to be one of the biggest positive shifts toward sustainability in surfing since recycled boardshort fabrics. 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 Patagonia R1 wetsuit is a rock solid wetsuit from a rock solid brand. There are some flex limitations, but that’s probably something you’ll only notice if you’ve been in the full performance options form other brands. If you’re a Patagonia fan, you’ll be stoked with the wetsuit no questions asked. It’s super warm, flexible enough and has great sustainability considerations and it’s durability is hard to match.

It’s really epic to see so many eco-considered wetsuits on the market now and that’s all thanks to Patagonia’s pushing the envelope in this area. Hats off.




Buy Now

Feral suits are made from 100% Yamamoto, similar to 7TILL8, is designed with less panels which means less seams (less chance of leaks!). Out of SFO, and owned/ran by two core surfers you’d be hard pressed to find a brand that is that motto of ‘surfer ran’, etc.

I’ve got one, worn it more then a couple of times (and worn their springsuit non-stop) and I can say that this suit feels pretty damn comfy on, but initially it’s a bit of a challenge to get on/off (not unlike the 7TILL8) although once you ‘break it in’ it’s easy enough.

If you’re cold blooded you might not need to go up in thickness or run a thermal layer underneath as there’s no heat fluff on this. And stretch wise it is more than adequate, you’re not getting an eBomb but it’s far from a straight jacket and you’ll be moving around the line up with relative ease.




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New inclusion! This is one of the few brands who I haven’t had a chance to wear/use/wee in, but I kept hearing good things about them. Picture is out of France, B-Corp certified and has been running for over a decade. Their suits are environmentally focused and used a lot of the same materials that Patagonia uses in their suits. You can read up more about Picture here.

This suit, their Dome 3/2, is made from the latest Eicoprene technology, a non-petroleum based synthetic foam derived from a mix of oyster shell powder, limestone, and recycled tires. It also comes with, which I haven’t seen before, increased thickness panels to protect your ribs. I initially thought it might be to keep your kidneys area warmer, as that’s generally the area to get cold first. But rib protection also works…

Not sure on the availability of these in Aus, but you’ll be one of the few if you do get your rig into one. And if you do, lettuce know how it rolls.


Highline CZ


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Straight up, this one of the most impressive suits I used last year. A number of years ago, Quiksilver’s wetsuit program was lagging behind other brands. The biggest issue was they fell apart if you sneezed in one. For the last few years though, Quik have proven they’ve gotten past those durability issues and have delivered solid options. They’re now innovating even more with stretchy jerseys, thinner materials and better thermal linings. Their latest offering is this, their Highline Chest Zip, a full-stretch performance suit to rival Rip Curl’s eBomb.

Full of specs, features and bell-whistles, this the best Quiksilver suit I’ve worn/tested. Hands down one of the biggest improvements from a wetsuit brand in recent memory. Well worth considering adding this suit to your rotation this season. Quiksilver are competitive again in the wetsuit space and it’s great to see.