As winter temps in the south drop faster than [insert your own analogy of something dropping fast], 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 the winter and pick something up on sale in September? One of the other pressing questions is ‘which wetsuit should I buy?’ These 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 that cost below $300 and runs from most expensive to least. We’ve already dropped the over $500 guide, which you can check out over here. And we’ve also dropped a $3-500 guide, which you can read up here. 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.

Billabong

Furnace Absolute

$299

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Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guide - Billabong

There’s not a lot worth paying attention to under $300 for a full suit, but damn the ones that are, are deadset amazing value! Take this one from Billabong, the Furnace Absolute that sneaks in at $299. 

You’re running a Furnace Jacquard knitted Quick Dry thermal lining, a chest zip entry system with internal GBS barrier. The rest of the suit is external Twin needle stretch Blind-stitch along with machine applied pressure bonded stretch tape.

The price, run of features along with Billabong’s warranty and you’re getting a pretty damn good suit. Great if you’re strapped for cash, or a solid back up if you’re flush with cash. 

Vissla

7 Seas

$299

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Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guide - Vissla

Like I said with the Billabong just before, the suits that do come in under $300 that are worth talking about are deadset amazing. The 7 Seas from Vissla – this one is a 2/2m on – fits the bill brilliantly for anyone needing to watch the wallet (or grab a backup).

This suit is 100% limestone based neoprene that also has fluffy internals for heating and fast drying. Chest zip entry along with GBS seams through-out that are also taped. 

This would be an amazing Gold Coast suit. A 2mm, sealed and quality full suit for $300 with a 12month warranty. Win. 

Xcel

Comp X2

$299

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Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guide - Xcel

Another one that just slips in under $300, the Xcel Comp just looks good. What’s your $300 getting you? 

This suit is another one that’s 2mm all over, has limestone-based Neoprene with some fluff on the chest for warmth, along with the engineered fit that Xcel has perfected. GBS Seams, chest zip entry and a 12-month warranty. Seriously, even if you don’t buy one, go try one on. 

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

 



Need Essentials

Ultra Premium Thermal

$280

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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 option, which is pretty crazy considering it’s only $280 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

PEAK

X-Dry

$239

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Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guide - Peak

Remember Peak? Don’t see them as often as years gone by, I think the last noticeable moment was with Kerrsy riding for 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. 

Need Essentials

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$190

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Need Essentials get two suits in this buyers guide because their product offering is nuts when you look at it. This suit in particular, a 2mm GBS and taped Chest Zip, comes in at $190 – SUB TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS!!

They’ve got a bunch of other suits you can peek as well, but this at sub $200 is a crazy back up for anyone. The other thing I’ll note here is that it was pretty rad to receive this suit in a compostable bag. After some reading on their site and a chat with their founder Ryan Scanlon, it’s clear that Need is working super hard on reducing environmental impact. They’re Bluesign Approved, don’t use any single-use plastic in their supply chain and are a paperless business where it comes to record keeping. Tip of the hat on that aspect.



If reading our Buyers Guide for Winter Wetsuits has been too much, here’s something to give you some extra froth about surfing in the cold (re)watch the below clip of Dylan Graves (from the series, Weird Waves) surfing the Severn River, where meets up with Guinness World Record holder for longest ride on the Severn River, Steve King. Where does Steve find time to surf in between writing critically acclaimed novels? I really loved this run of content of Vans, it was fun to watch it all and get a different aspect on surfing.