It’s absolutely wild to think Patagonia first started making Yulex wetsuits over a decade ago. For 12 years they’ve been neoprene free while also pushing the boundaries for recycled jersey linings. Thanks to them, other brands like Billabong and Need Essentials have had breakthroughs with these materials too. That’s quite a few barrels of crude oil saved, and a whole lot of limestone not needed breaking down in fossil-fuel powered furnaces either.

While much better for planet earth, the first Yulex suits were both heavy and stiff. They’ve steadily improved over the years though. The latest edition Yulex Regulator is a whole new leap forward, according to Patagonia:

“All-new Yulex® Regulator® wetsuits are now softer, stretchier and more durable—redesigned onsite and tested by the first brand to make Yulex wetsuits.”

We tested the R1 3mm/2.5mm suit to see if Patagonia’s spiel lives up to the promise. Here’s your Patagonia Yulex Regulator Wetsuit Review.


85% Yulex® natural rubber/15% synthetic rubber by polymer content


100% recycled thermal lining for warmth and flex

CZ Entry

Chest zip entry for easy on/off


The Patagonia Yulex Regulator Wetsuit is for surfers who want something that balances warmth, flex and eco considerations. The branding is typically stealth and the jersey lining keeps you plenty warm. Patagonia lists a temp range of 60°–65° F/16°–18° C for the R1 version. I reckon they’re undercooking that by at least a couple of degrees.

Most people should be able to get away with surfing in colder water using this wetsuit, which I’ll explain later. In short, if you’re surfing with penguins and want to help ensure they’ll stick around a lot longer too, this is your type of suit, Happy Feet.



The first thing I noticed about the new Patagonia Yulex wetsuit is the finish. The previous version had more of a coarse handfeel on the jersey. Now it’s smoother than baby Elvis after a sideburn shave. The fit is great in the upper body, although mine had some puckering on the inner leg seams, indicating I need to do some more squat thrusts to fill it out better. This isn’t an issue I’ve had with other brands, so perhaps if you’re chubby thighed you’ll appreciate the cut more than old stick legs here. It didn’t detract from comfort, just more aesthetics.

Happy to give this a 9 out of 10 here.


A definite improvement on previous years’ Yulex wetsuits. I found the Patagonia Regulator a whole lot flexier. The jersey has more stretch and I also note they’ve done away with liquid tape seams, which often creates restriction at key points. Leading the race in this area in recent times for Yulex wetsuits has been the Billabong Natural. This new Patagonia version gets really, really close in the flex stakes while being warmer, so it’s a big win. You’re not doing Bikram Yoga in it, but you’re definitely doing mad cutdowns without feeling like Kung Fu Panda.

A solid 8.5 out of 10 on the WSL shred scale.


This one rings all sorts of winner bells when it comes to warmth. The internal jersey is super cosy and keeps you insulated like gran’s freshly knitted Christmas sweater. The temp range says 16°–18° C. I very comfortably went for a nighttime session in June at URBNSURF Melbourne when the temp was a frigid 13°C (and the air was single digits). Easily lasted an hour and could’ve gone longer, especially if paired with boots and/or a hood. There are a few minor leaks in the legs when you first wade in, so that’s a little annoying, but nothing that isn’t expected in a GBS seam suit. You forget about that after 5 minutes in and just get on with surfing.

9 out of 10 here.


At $750AUD we’re getting up there! Inflation is a nightmare. Thankfully, Patagonia inflated the features on this too, with their Fair Trade Sewn certification and more sustainable materials. For something with an overall balance of brand credibility, warranty, warmth and flex, you’re still getting value for money. If you want a major bargain, though, the Need Essentials Yulex 3/2 without liquid tape is $230AUD! That’s bordering on obscene (while also being sold out). If you love Patagonia for what they do, love some extra warranty, and appreciate the OG status, it’s still worth a buy.

7 out of 10.


Tim Hawken Said:

“I’m so psyched on the updates of the Patagonia Regulator wetsuit. It’s more flexible than previous years, just as warm, and a delight to wear. I have to admit, it’s pretty expensive though! Seems like all of the top brand’s top suits are getting this way. I guess I’ll have to adjust to the new normal, while looking at the silver lining of new and improved performance too. I’d also recommend people try one on, since new models also mean tweaks in fit. Just because you were an MT last year, doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be the same this time around (especially if you’ve been eating pastries like me). Overall, I’m a big fan of this wetsuit and happy to recommend it to those who appreciate quality gear.”

Tim Hill said:   

“I found the Pata suit to be more flexible and supple than I expected. It had great sealing on the ankles and wrists and was super easy to get on and off. Sealing around the suit was 100% water tight, the fit was a little roomy in the knees, but spit on everywhere else. Great feel around the neck and was quite warm. Overall, I think if you are a devoted Patagonia customer you will be pretty stoked with your purchase. If you aren’t a Patagonia customer you would be pretty happy but not blown away and feeling good about your new suit.”

Overall Rating

  • Flexier than before while staying warm
  • Finishing feels better than previous Yulex suits.
  • Sustainability is fuck yeah!
  • Price is up there.
  • Make sure you try for fit
Fit & Comfort 90.
Performance 85.
Warmth 90.
Value 70.
Buy Now


If you’ve got $750 Australian spare and we’ve convinced to get an Patagonia Suit, then hit the below links and spend up.

Buy an Patagonia Steamer from :
Patagonia Australia
Patagonia USA
Patagonia Stockists

Alternatively, we’ve pulled together the Winter Wetsuit Buyers Guides for 2024 if you’re still a little undecided on what to buy. Which you can view here.

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