needessentials have been the big player in the direct to market wetsuit game for a number of seasons now. They promise world-class wetsuits at the best price and that’s generally what they’ve delivered. Their latest delivery, the needessentials yulex suit, is something that’s super interesting – a more sustainable wetsuit at an affordable price ($325AUD!). Here’s what needessentials say about the suit:

Designed and tested in cold water conditions, this suit has been developed for cold water temperatures ranging from 16°C – 22°C  (60°F – 72°F). Featuring the highest quality, rapid-dry thermal lined natural biobased Lexcell™ closed cell Yulex® rubber, combined with the strongest level of seam construction, this is a high performance extra warm wetsuit that is made with the strictest level of environmental sustainability.

Let’s see if it lives up to the promise. Here’s your review on the needessentials Yulex wetsuit. 

Thermal Lining

Rapid-dry thermal lining for extra warmth

100% Neoprene Free

Made from natural biobased Lexcell™ closed cell Yulex® rubber

Supple Quick-Dry Exterior

Reduces overall weight when submerged for long periods of time.


This is the ideal wetsuit for those wanting a more eco-friendly option at a cheaper price. At around half of what you’ll pay for the Billabong Natural Furnace or Patagonia’s R1 3/2.5mm, the needessentials Yulex suit is a screaming bargain with all the same environmental and social considerations.

Yulex rubber, recycled jersey, solvent free glue, FSC and Fair Trade Certified, it ticks all the boxes in that respect. While needessentials list this suit as being good for 16°C – 22°C (60°F – 72°F), I’d personally still be fine at a little colder than that. Pretty cool to see needessentials being conservative with their ranges and over delivering (unlike some brands that do the opposite).

Think a West Oz winter, Sydney North all year, or Californian summers, and you’ll be kissing seals on their snouts knowing no plastic floating around is because of the wetsuit you’re in.



The best fitting and most comfortable needessentials wetsuit I’ve worn. The cut of the needessentials Yulex Zipperless Steamer is spot on and the entry system is easy to negotiate while feeling great on the body. My one tiiiiny nitpick is that the key keeper is inside the zip free entry, making it hard to get the key off until you take your wetty down. Still, that’s minor. 9 out of 10 here.


Wildly stretchy for a 100% recycled jersey wetsuit. I have to hand it to needessentials here. They’ve been able to maintain plenty of flex with the weave and the cut of the wetsuit. It’s not as stretchy as the gold-standard Billabong Natural Furnace, but it is better than the Patagonia (which is crazy to say given they started the enviro wetsuit push!). Ninja kick floaters, look-back tubes, and drop-wallet hacks would be no worries for anyone who likes to get retro and feel free doing it. 8.5 out of 10.


The needessentials Yulex Zipperless Wetsuit is kind of like a car heater. Cold at first, but warms up as things get going. That’s mostly because there are a lot of pinhole leaks in the legs, so you’re starting the session with a little frigid flush. Once that’s done though, the thermal lining kicks in and things are reasonably toasty. Like I said earlier, West Oz or Syndey North in winter and you’d still be pretty sweet. If you’re in Victoria or Tasmania, look at other options. 7.5 out of 10.


needessentials is easily the best value wetsuit maker on the market right now. It’s amazing to see them building more sustainability options into their range too, since that’s not something you usually expect from a cut-price company.

At $325AUD, getting Fair Trade Sewn, 100% Recycled Jersey, FSC-Certified Yulex Rubber and more, in a suit that performs super well is proper impressive. It should have greenies lining up for their fix and still have cash left over to go shopping at their local farmers market. Seriously. Amazing. Value. 9.5 out of 10 here.


Tim Said:

“The needessentials Yulex Zipperless Steamer is the most impressive suit of theirs I’ve reviewed to date. The fit is great, the stretch defied my expectations and it’s warm enough to surf in where I live all winter. The biggest drawback is the leaky seams. If they could sort that out, it would be warmer and lift the entire feeling of the suit when surfing. Perhaps liquid tape next time could fix that, although I’d be reluctant to push for it because I think that would reduce flex (and isn’t wonderful for the environment). Something to consider if they’re looking to tweak things and see what works though. If you’re looking for a wetsuit that’s better for the environment at under $400, this is definitely your go-to. If you’re more about warmth and pure performance, then there are other suits out there that might fit your bill better. Still, I’d highly recommend this to environmentally and fiscally conscious surfers everywhere.”

Lincoln said:

“The fit was outstanding for needessentials. Easily the best fitting suit I’ve ever used/tried from them hands down. The improvements in this suit over previous years is a testament to the work the team at needessentials are putting in. The pinhole leaks were noticeable in cold water. Bummer of a thing to happen, and it might not happen to every suit, but mine has a few too many for a new suit in my opinion. For Yulex, Patagonia has always been where the bar has been set. So it’s been interesting this year trying new suits who have incorporated that more natural rubber. The needessentials suit showed me flexibility can be improved on in this area, not sure how, but it’s more flexible than the ‘gonia one.”

Jim said:

“needessentials continue to outdo themselves! This is a great performing Yulex suit at an incredible price. For surfers north of Sydney it represents unbeatable value.”

Overall Rating

  • Outstanding value
  • Great performance for an eco option
  • Good fit
  • Leaky seams bring down warmth a notch
Fit & Comfort 90.
Performance 85.
Warmth 75.
Value 95.
Buy Now


If you’ve got $325 Australian spare and we’ve convinced to get the needessentials Yulex steamer, then hit the below links and spend up. Like we said, this suits packs in a lot for the price – yulex, performace and more.

Buy the needessentials Yulex Steamer 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 $550
*Below $350

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If you’re driving, or reading isn’t your thing, then hit the below episode of Lipped where we talk all things wetsuits 2021.

First off we chat with the movers and shakers behind the best suits on the market to find out all about the innovations that moved the needle in 2021.

Then from 36.40m Jimmy is joined by Tim Hawken and Lincoln Eather from Empire Ave to look at suits from Billabong, Need Essentials, Xcel, Hurley, Rip Curl, Patagonia and Vissla.

If you want to stay warm, stay flexi and potentially look after the world around us then this is a must listen.