THE SUIT


Matuse has been in the wetsuit game for sometime now. Known for their clean appearance and high-quality materials we’ve been wanting to get our grubby mitts on some tester suits for ages. 2020 saw the neoprene gods shine on us from Mount Fuji and deliver a trio of 3/2mm Dante Hydrasilk to jump around in. If you’re a little confused between Matuse’s mix of Italian suit names (Scipio, Dante), Japanese terminology (Ichiban, Wabi Sabi) and Californian roots (San Diego, bruh), we are too. Maybe they’re just going for a global feel? Anyway, before we get into the Matuse Dante Wetsuit Review here’s what they say about this particular style:

“The next generation nylon, Hydrasilk is a silky-smooth material that creates a hydrophobic (rejects H20) barrier. This barrier minimizes how much water is absorbed into its rubber core and protects against wind, keeping you warmer and drier, while making the suit lighter and longer-lasting. Plus it makes you feel all buttery inside. Each Geoflex wetsuit is petroleum-free, Fair Trade certified, and contains reclaimed rubber tires, recycled neoprene, and water-based glue (solvent-free).”

Let’s see how the suit itself stacks up…

Hydrasilk Jersey

A silky-smooth material that creates a hydrophobic barrier


Fair Trade

A premium is paid for every item that carries the Fair Trade Certified™ label


Wabi-Sabi Seams


Seams around velcro plush panels to prevent thread pull


WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR


The Matuse Dante Wetsuit is actually in the mid-range for Matuse but it presents like a high-end suit. The finish is smoother than a Moonwalking criminal and is a great option for those wanting something with a top-shelf feel that won’t break the bank. Temp range listed on the Matuse site is 13-18 degrees, which is pretty spot on. Think your go-to wetsuit for autumn/spring in Victoria or South Oz, deep winter in New South Wales and West Oz or the suit for lizard-bloods who live Queensland.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF


FIT & COMFORT

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. Fit wise, everything is good except for the over-engineered entry system. It’s a reasonable idea, having kind of a hybrid chest zip/velcro internal bib. The reality though doesn’t offer any better seal and some adds some extra fiddling when putting the thing on. That experience does take away from the general fit rating but, given the rubber comfort, it gets a lovely, trumpet tooting 8.5 out of 10.

PERFORMANCE

Wowsee. For a mid-tier price the performance of the Matuse Dante 3/2mm wetsuit was a pleasant surprise. Plenty of stretch with the Wabi Sabi seams offering enough give in the areas that matter without springing any wikileaks. It’s not quite up there with to major stretch champion Rip Curl E7, but it’s better than most other options on the market. With a sub $500 price tag that makes it even more impressive. Makes me wonder what their top end is like. Nudity level stretch? This is 8.75 out of 10.

WARMTH

Solid warmth, especially considering it doesn’t have any fuzzy peach lining. The Geoflex rubber has great insulation and with the good seals it’s up there. A draw back for me was the entry through. I kept getting flushes through the left shoulder when kicking under the back of waves. Jim also reported general entry leakage during testing. With that colder water cycling through on a semi-regular basis it does take things down on the heater stakes. Still pretty good, but not as good as it could be. 7.75 out of 10.

VALUE

With a most bizarre Aussie RRP of $478.50 the Matuse Dante wetsuit is firmly middle of the road for market pricing. It probably makes more rational sense with you like at US retail at $295. Considering the quality materials and finish, I’d say that represents great value, especially if you’re wanting a reputable brand that’s big into innovation and quality. It’s not as mind-blowing value as direct-to-consumer brands like Need, but it is an excellent suit at a very reasonable price. 8 out of 10.

VERDICT


Rather than rely just on Tim’s verdict, we’re splitting hairs and opinions for every suit tested in 2020. Here’s what the Empire Ave x Lipped rubber fetish enthusiast club had to say about the Matuse Dante 3/2mm with Hydrasilk…

Jimmy said: “Everything you’d expect from a brand that prides itself on premium limestone neoprene. Looks epic in the water as well with the flouro yellow pops on the wrist. Southern Californian cool that’s only let down is the entry system.”

Tim said: “I was really impressed by the Matuse Dante suit. It’s stretchy, polished and ultra comfy. This tease of the middle-tier has me dreaming of what their high-end version is like. Like a Telsa sunbeam of eco energy tech? I don’t know. The only major let down of the Dante is the entry. Good idea, shitty execution. The flushing was annoying and for me presented a reason not to buy. Maybe another body shape would feel better but this tubby-tall tugboat definitely sprung some leaks. I’d love to try other options in the future. Matuse’s solid reputation has been vindicated in the Dante and I’m now horny for more.”

Linc said: “Amazing suit minus that  entry system that felt over designed & under delivered. Could have be great, but fell over ten meters out from the try line. Venting like a spoilt child aside, I loved how awesome this suit looks along with the all the neat little details they add along the way. Was warm up here on the Gold Coast, with no real leaks minus a couple pin holes so if you’re up this way and looking for something different this is an option.”

Overall Rating

  • Ultra Comfortable Rubber
  • High Performance Stretch
  • Eco Considerations in Construction
  • Over-engineered Entry System
  • Flushing Around the Entry
Fit & Comfort 85.
Performance 87.5.
Warmth 77.5.
Value 80.
Buy Now

WHERE TO BUY

If you’ve got $450 Australian spare and we’ve convinced to get a Matuse Dante with Hydrsilk 3.2 then hit the below links and spend up. Like we said, if you’re chasing a ‘feel good suit’ and Patagonia are a touch too much $$, then hit up Matuse.

Buy Matuse Wetsuits from :
– Matuse Wetsuits

Alternatively, we’ve pulled together three Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guides if you’re still a little undecided on what to buy:
*Above $500
*$300-$500
*Below $300

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LIPPED PODCAST

If you’re driving, or reading isn’t your thing, then hit the below episode of Lipped where there’s more rubber talk than a condom convention. Featuring full reviews of suits from Billabong, Buell, Cheer, Matuse, Need Essentials, Patagonia, Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Xcel as well as a look inside the business of wetsuits in 2020.

Plus we crown the Best Overall, Best Performance and Best Value suits for 2020.


Image Credits for this post::
Action Shot of Josh Kerr taken by Simon Williams
Product Shots of the Matuse Dante suit from the Matuse site
Any other shots are self shot by us.