RVCA have long been known for mixing surfing and MMA together and from that has spawned a range of products that are both specific to each sport as well usable for any sport. Finally, after years of making wetsuits for their team riders only, they’ve turned their attention to let us – the public – get in on their wetsuit program too. As expected, things look stealth and are built to exacting standards. Here’s what RVCA say about their latest Balance Chest Zip wetsuit :

“the 3/2mm balance chest zip fullsuit combines premium materials with high-performance warmth. our men’s rvca 3/2mm front zip fullsuit features an interior thermal for heat conduction and gbs seams, taped internally for warmth and comfort.”

We tested the suit to see if RVCA delivered on their promise. Here is your RVCA Balance Wetsuit Review for 2023…

RVCA Balance Wetsuit Review

Solvent Free

All RVCA suits are made with solvent free glue


Keeps the wind off, keeps you warmer


Internal thermal panels for extra warmth


The RVCA Balance Wetsuit is for surfers looking for a suit that is stealthy looking, a suit that isn’t the same brand the majority of other surfers are wearing but a suit that covers what you need in a full suit during Winter in Australia (location permitting – ie, north of Sydney) The RVCA Balance 3/2 chest zip should be warm enough for winters in Australian states like West Oz and Queensland, and summer/spring in colder climates. Solid warranty with the suit, no stress there for anyone tempted to try something new either.

If you’re a brand loyalist and have seen the team wearing suits for years and always wondered how you’ll get one. Now is your chance – lotto win for you folk.



First wear on any suit is a dream, but 20 surfs in and this was still a dream. Easy to get on/off, the fit on my weird mini fridge of a rig worked and once out in the water it was comfortable to surf in for a while. It’s an entry system that anyone that’s used a Chest Zip, with slanted zipper, in recent years would be comfortable getting in and out. It’s not an O’neill or Vissla/Axxe but it’s a reliable setup that didn’t flush and was enough to get in/out of. I did have some rubber bulk up at the ends, but thats because I was running a large fat and they don’t come with super short legs for hobbits like me. My best guess is if your around the right sizing – S, M, L, XL – you’ll have no fit issues like I did. 

Solid 8 out of 10 here.


For a brand that is new to the market in a wildly competitive market space, this is a suit that really amazed me solidly outperforming some other suits we tested this season.  There’s more than enough flex and stretch for paddling around, getting in/out of and general everyday surfing. The suit stayed on when getting flogged, no twisting or water flushes or ankle bulges. It was a suit that after a lot of surfs and continual slams, it kept on keeping on for me. It’s not challenging for a top 3 spot in the rubber market but it’s definitely above a lot of the other brands out there and that’s a huge win for their first run at rubber.

Another solid 8 out of 10.


All the gushing on the fit and performance of the suit is probably equalled out with the warmth aspect. The RCVA Balance wetsuit wasn’t a plastic bad with holes punched in it, but it wasn’t a dry suit either. There were leaks from the get go with it, those irritating little pin hole leaks you get, which after a few surfs you kinda expect but hate if it’s the first surf. The leaks were a little beyond the pin holes tho and most surfs – even on the Goldy – were always a chilly start. Once you’re up and about you don’t notice those leaks, which is fine when you’re surfing in warmer waters (north of Sydney, etc). But I can’t imagine this being a cold water winter suit for anyone south of Sydney unless you’re a Wim Hoff freak of sorts.  You’d still be perfectly fine in winter in Qld, but definitely not for the polar bears. 

7 out of 10.


At $550AUD, this is a suit thats up against Rip Curl’s E-Bomb, Bong’s Revolution and O’neills Hyperfreak Fire and I’d have to recommend those before the Balance from RVCA. If this was sitting at around 450, you’d be looking at some fantastic value. RVCA are running pretty decent warranty – limited 2 yr warranty on stitching, 12 months on all materials, workmanship and liquid seams. Overall, if you’re a big fan of RVCA and you’re happy paying this, have at it and you’ll be stoked. But if you’re looking for more value then hit those three we mentioned above. Good value but not incredible. 

6 out of 10.


This suit was a wild surprise, no word of a lie. Going in with it I wasn’t expecting much at all, but it definitely blew my hair back with its performance. The fit was impressive, the performance was impressive, the area it kinda let me down was warmth/leaks, and I’ll say that the durability wasn’t wildly impressive either. But you can’t win them all and for their first season in the wetsuit game it was an impressive debut.

If you have a similar experience to me, you will feel pin leaks straight away and over time feel the chill in the first ten minutes or so. After that you’re moving enough to stay toasty. It’s not a suit for winter in the south regions of Vicco, etc but I imagine you’ll get away with it in Sydney. 

If it was $100 cheaper this would be an amazing value piece of neoprene wizardry. But at the same price as an e-bomb from Rip Curl, or similar, it’s not quite at the same level yet. I spoke to the team at RVCA about a couple of things and apparently they had already identified and solved for the next season (including the durability issues), which is promising.  

Overall Rating

  • Flex is good
  • Solid comfortable fit
  • Leaky
  • Price is a little much
Fit & Comfort 80.
Performance 80.
Warmth 70.
Value 60.
Buy Now
RCVA Balance Wetsuit Review


If you’ve got $550 Australian spare and we’ve convinced to get an RVCA Balance Wetsuit, then hit the below links and spend up. Like we said, this is for the brand loyal or those with cash wanting something different to try. If you’re north of Sydney it’s still a good suit, unless your a reptile with cold blood.

Buy an RVCA Balance Wetsuit from :
⋅ RVCA Australia
⋅ RVCA Stockists

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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