THE SUIT


Whenever we drop a needessentials Wetsuit Review it consistently tops our traffic. Why? Because they produce solid, no frills product that gets surfers in the water without dropping their wallet like Pancho at Sunset. We’ve done a needessentials Wetsuit Review every year for the last three years but this latest edition marks a change-over to them using the highest-grade Sheico rubber throughout their entire range. Did it make a difference? Before we dive into the Need Essentials wetsuit review for 2020, here’s what they say about the suit online…

“The needessentials 3mm/2mm Liquid Taped Thermal Chest Zip wetsuit has been developed for water temperatures ranging from 14°C to 20°C. Featuring highest quality, rapid-dry thermal lined limestone neoprene, combined with the best level of seam construction, this is the warmest 3mm/2mm wetsuit we offer.”

Let’s see how the 3/2mm Liquid Taped Thermal version of the suit itself stacks up…

Bluesign Certified

The lowest possible environmental burden, resource-improving production


Japanese Limestone

Highest quality 360° stretch limestone neoprene


Thermal Lining

80% rapid-dry thermal lining

WHAT IT’S GOOD FOR


The needessentials Liquid Taped Thermal Chest Zip (quite a mouthful) wetsuit is all about making your money stretch like a high-end wetsuit. At $300 with the specs of something twice the price, it represents great value in a wetsuit that promises to keep you warm, flexible and comfortable. This is one of the warmer suits on the market, so a 3/2 will get you further than other super-performance options. Think easily winter in NSW, QLD and WA, with some of the more core lords out there getting through a Victorian or South Oz chill up when paired with boots and a hood. For those who like getting murdered up in all-black, the Need 3/2 is also something that will keep you happy. No logos. No colours. No fuckin’ worries.

THE IMPORTANT STUFF


FIT & COMFORT

The fit and comfort of their Liquid Taped Chest Zip suit is a definite improvement on last year. You can notice the extra stretch in the rubber and the liquid taped seams are a touch more refined too. That said, the seam behind the knees felt a bit tight went I first tried it on, so if you just got it fresh out of the (compostable) post bag you might be a little worried. After 2-3 surfs though it eased up a lot, with the whole suit moulding and shaping like a pair of nicely worn work boots. 8/10 here.

PERFORMANCE

A good balance of stretch considering the liquid-taped seams, thermo rubber and general solid construction. This 3/2mm isn’t as wildly loose as performance options like the Rip Curl Limited Edition E7 or Quiksilver Mikey Wright special. However it does offer better performance than other value options like the Billabong Revolution Furnace and even more expensive eco suits such as Patagonia and Cheer. Like wearing a black suit and tie at the Oscars – it’ll do. 7.75/10.

WARMTH

We call me a sausage and put me on sizzle, this thing is a BYO BBQ. The thermo rubber and liquid tape combo means no leaks and plenty of body heat to keep you toasty. If you like strutting around the carpark in winter with your suit pulled down after a surf, this could be your suit Chris Hemsworth. I was so warm after paddles in WA that it was almost a relief to be out again. Consistently ranked by our three testers as one of the warmest suits we reviewed in 2020. 8.75/10.

VALUE

$300 for a warm, stretchy wetsuit that fits well. Are you kidding? For those who only go to the movies on Tuesdays, this will be your all day surf attire. With a warranty of only 3 months, versus 12 months or more for other brands you are taking somewhat of a risk. However, given the solid construction of the thing, we think you’re in pretty safe hands. Considering the COVID-19 economy right now the needessentials 3/2mm wetsuit looks to be more essential than ever. Our Best Value Wetsuit for 2020. 9.75/10.

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 enthusiasts club had to say about the needessentials 3/2mm Liquid Taped Thermal Chest Zip Wetsuit…

Tim said: “It’s really cool to see a ‘cut price’ brand putting so much thought and effort into the development of their suits. The shift to the higher-grade rubber this year was great, with the stretch opening up on past models without compromising warmth. It did feel a touch tight the first surf (maybe I’ve had too many hot chip sangas this winter) but it did loosen up after a few tests. In terms of value this Need 3/2 is by far the best option I’ve used on the market to date. Wrap it around you like freshly-buttered bread on deep-fried potato.”

Jimmy said: Mega improvement on the previous rubber. Toasty warm and with this many seals it’s likely to last as well. If I was shelling out my cash this would be my suit.

Linc said: You can definitely tell these suits are made by surfers from cooler climates, it keeps you that warm. A bit stiff for the first few surfs, but once you have 3 or 4 surfs under your belt the rubber starts to mould to your body and gives more freedom and improved performance. Worth every cent if you are an everyday surfer who cannot justify $600+ for a suit. I love how stealth it is too.” 

Overall Rating

  • Amazing Value
  • Very Warm
  • Takes a couple of surfs to wear in
Fit & Comfort 80.
Performance 77.5.
Warmth 87.5.
Value 97.5.
Buy Now

WHERE TO BUY

If you’ve got $300 Australian spare and we’ve convinced you to get an needessentials Wetsuit, then hit the below links and spend up. Like we said, at $300 with the specs of something twice the price, it represents great value in a wetsuit that promises to keep you warm, flexible and comfortable.

Buy a needessentials Wetsuit from :
⋅ needessentials Australia
⋅ needessentials USA

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, Matuse, needessentials, 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::
Product shots of the needessentials Wetsuit are from the needessentials Website
Any other shots are shot by us.