Patagonia Wetsuits, Again

Its almost impossible to find any info online about Patagonia wetsuits. It’s so hard, that a random customer created a wetsuit web site for them. The site is bare bones, but allows you to view a 360vr of both the outside and inside. It also offers some info on the materials. Like the Matuse tops, these suits also mostly avoid petroleum and benefit from a resulting closed cell structure. A big thing missing from the site though, is a review. Everyone wants to know, are they worth the price? Do they rash you? How is it holding up?

I estimate the guy has $400 or so in the wetsuit and $400 to $800 dollars of billable time in making the site. That’s either some serious brand loyalty or a very sneaky guerilla marketing campaign. Given Patagonia’s stellar reputation and the fact the the photos on the site are pretty bad, I’m going with the latter former. EDIT: I fully ment the former here. Sorry!

via patagoniacs

156 Responses to “Patagonia Wetsuits, Again”

  1. Patagoniacs Says:

    Patagonia WetSuit mystery…

    I’ve read on 70 percent a post about the Patagonia wetsuit. In this post, it is mentionned : I estimate the guy has $400 or so in the wetsuit and $400 to $800 dollars of billable time in making the…

  2. Pierric Says:

    Hello, I answered on my blog (patagoniacs about the last question).
    as far as I know, this is not a real viral marketing campaign, organised by Patagonia. Only people who like the brand …
    Merry Christmas.

  3. warm jet Says:

    I got on the waiting list for a 3/3 full suit months ago.
    I’ve heard good things but they might be too warm so I’m hoping when they get their 2/2′s (eQual to a normal 4/3 I’m told)
    There’s talk out there about the rubber splitting on the cuffs but this was explained to me as customer mistreatment.
    The rubber is super soft high Quality Japanese smoothy, for the most part, and can’t just be ripped on like any other.
    A little care has to go into putting on the suit.
    In Japan all the surfers use a plastic bag on their foot before putting through, as not to tear the soft material.
    In my opinion a wetsuit just can’t be soft enough.
    I’m all about the comfort and flex as well as the enviroment.
    Hopefully I’ll get my suit someday and I’ll have some mo info.

  4. Pierric Says:

    and Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog and to Rob ! Thanks for posting good and interesting news !
    Wish you all the best for 2007 !

  5. Ali Mills Says:

    Hey Rob,

    I’m the random customer who created My name is Ali []. And, neither I nor the site have anything to do with Patagonia []. I’m simply a customer who appreciates Patagonia’s products, values, and leadership, and I thought it’d be helpful for Patagonia and their surf customers if I shared what I’ve learned about the wetsuit since buying one last September (2006). The easiest way for me to do that was in the context of a simple (aka. bare bones) web page. Basically, I saw the opportunity to support a company that supports active people and the earth we’re active in and moved to give that company (Patagonia) my support.

    My comments follow:

    “A big thing missing from the site though, is a review.”

    I didn’t post a review on the wetsuit because I didn’t feel that it was appropriate. It’s clear by the dearth of information that the suit isn’t being marketed. The fact that the suit can’t be bought online or in any US store besides Cardiff [] suggests that Patagonia isn’t even ready to mass produce it. My take (and this is only my opinion) is that the suit is still in the “beta” or “prototype” phase. I didn’t feel that it was appropriate to write a public review on a prototype. I do of course have opinions about the suit, and I sent a letter to Patagonia expressing them. The one thing I will say is that the suit feels stiff to me. I’m used to zipperless wetsuits, though, and it’s possible that all zippered suits would feel stiff. I’m never worn a zippered suit.

    “…are they worth the price?”

    That’s a good question. I paid $470 for the suit; at that price, I don’t know if it’s worth it. I imagine that time will tell. I can say that it’s kept me much warmer than my year old 4/3 suit while surfing in the San Francisco area this winter. The suit also does a great job of not flushing – what I consider the most critical job for a wetsuit.

    “Do they rash you?”

    The zipper rubs my neck. I haven’t rashed up because of it, but I do notice the zipper while paddling and it’s not comfortable. The wool lining, however, doesn’t rash me. It, surprisingly, isn’t really itchy either. I fear that the wool lining will absorb odor really quickly, though. In the time I’ve had my suit, the wool lining has already started to get stinky.

    “How is it holding up?”

    My suit isn’t holding up very well, but it’s a long story. I’ll make it short. I heard about the suit last summer, and I started researching it. After not finding any information online, I called Patagonia’s Cardiff store [] in September, talked to a super helpful sales guy, and decided to order the suit without ever seeing one. By the time the suit arrived, there still wasn’t any information online, so I decided to make a web page about it. But, since I don’t have a digital camera it took me until December to borrow a camera, talk my girlfriend into helping me with a photo shoot, Photoshop the images, and make the web page. So, it wasn’t until December 11th (my birthday) that I first wore the suit. Two days later, on December 13th, I took a head+ wave on the head that broke my 2 month old 6’6″ Merrick in half and tore a 4″ gash in the left bicep of my suit. One wave took out my new board and blew out my new suit. Well then, to answer the question of how my suit is holding up, it’s holding up poorly. It blew out the second day I wore it. To be fair, I suspect that the wave I took on the head would have blown out any suit. In addition to the blow out, I noticed the rubber splitting on the cuffs of my suit in the same way “warm jet” reports. My attitude on the splitting cuffs and the blown out suit are that it’s a prototype and the kinks will be worked out. I’ve since sent the suit back to Patagonia. I have been assured that it’ll be repaired or replaced.

    “I estimate the guy has $400 or so in the wetsuit and $400 to $800 dollars of billable time in making the site. That’s either some serious brand loyalty or a very sneaky guerilla marketing campaign.”

    Funny… I guess that I have serious brand loyalty. I spent $470 on the suit and about $800 of billable time making the site.

    “…the fact the the photos on the site are pretty bad…”

    I agree! The photos are pretty bad; sorry about that. I took them with a borrowed camera in poor light. My goal in making was to help Patagonia and it’s customers by sharing information about the wetsuit. I could go back and clean up the images, the Photoshopping, the preloading, and add a discussion thread, but I don’t think any of that is really necessary. The images and Photoshopping serve the purpose, and other people’s discussion threads and blog comments seem to be working really well in place of a discussion thread on the site. On slow machines, the preloading bums me out, though. I may go back and address it.

    “There’s talk out there about the rubber splitting on the cuffs but this was explained to me as customer mistreatment.”

    I strongly disagree that rubber splitting on the cuffs is customer mistreatment. It’s bad design for a surf wetsuit. Surf wetsuits are not freedive wetsuits. Surf wetsuits need to be strong and withstand a pounding. It’s essential that they be durable. Freedive suits, on the other hand, don’t need to be nearly as durable. They just need to withstand swimming and getting in and out of the water. I’m comparing surf to freedive suits because the wrist and ankle cuffs (gaskets) on Patagonia’s surf wetsuit are based on the design of freedive suits which aren’t lined and are much more susceptible to wear and tear. To get into my freedive suit I have to lube up with soapy water. I can’t image the surf community being OK with lubing up to get into a wetsuit. And, plastic bags? Come on, this isn’t bouldering… Personally, I’d experiment with lining the gaskets with the same silicon that’s on the knees of the suit. Again, my take on take on the wetsuits is that they’re in the prototype stage, so I expect there to be kinks in the suit. This is one of those. My expectation is that this kink and all others would be worked out by the time the suits are marketed and sold online.

    Whew! There you have it.

    Have fun!


  6. rob70 Says:

    Whoa. Ali wins the award for the longest comment ever made on 70. Thanks for taking the time to post your experience with the suit. It’s good to hear Patagonia is taking care of you on this. This kind of customer care seems pretty standard for them.

    I fully agree with your Beta comment. Most people I’ve talked to are cautiously waiting for a review just like this one, and/or version 2.0.

    Personally, I’ve taken a great interest in non patroleum based suits. I’m stoked there are companies trying to solve this problem and I really hope they can work through the durability problems and give us a greenish suit that is reasonably water tight, holds up for a year or two and does’t smell bad when I eat lots of Sugar Smacks and pee in it.

  7. warm jet Says:

    O.K.! I got my suit finally.
    1st thing in reply to Ali; The customer mistreatment is a comment about people being careless about pulling hard on the soft rubber when suiting up!
    I have one issue so far and it’s really a non so far; On the cuffs inside where the soft rubber meets the wool it’s glued and stitched yet not taped at all. This might be something they should do!
    NOW! MY REPORT! This is THEE most comfortable and best fitting suit I’ve ever owned!
    I have the 3/3 which is sooo warm I can’t wait to get it into some low 50′s. So far I’ve been in 55/ 56 degree am sessions with cold offshores and I’m super warm and cozy.
    One of my concerns was the weight and flex issues.(when I 1st heard of the suit)
    No more concerns! The suit is actually light and very flexy. (I would compare the flex to the oneil 3/3 yet I won’t be in 50 degree water in a 3/3!
    For the AM session man, putting on the suit is like slipping on a terricloth bathrobe.
    The water penetration is next to nothing and the little that makes it’s way is warmed by the wool instantly! The wonderful smoothy blocks any wind issues!
    Granted I just got it, but this is the best suit I’ve ever owned.
    I hope they make some simular bootys in the future!
    I’m being careful with my suit when dressing because I respect the damn thing as a
    a labor of love! Plus, what’s the damn hurry? I don’t think people should be getting new suits every year, especially when we don’t know what happens to all the wasted old ones?
    ps.( A wave ripped your suit apart Ali? A wave with teeth? hmmm!)
    Remember a reason for the comfort and flex is the super soft rubber. I’ll take that over the odds of a wave tearing my suit!

  8. » Blog Archive » Another Patagonia Wetsuit Review Says:

    [...] Warmjet has posted his review of Patagonia’s 3/3 on my Patagonia Wetsuits, Again post. He also has a post with pics on his blog, The Central Shaft. Related Posts: [...]

  9. Tim Says:

    Sonoma Cty surfer here with a 3/3 Regulator Wetsuit –

    I’ve surfed Rip Curl Elasto, O’Neill Psycho 2, and a Body Glove Vapor. I have to give Patagonia the win for fit (subjective) and warmth. I found it to live up to the benefits touted. I have two gripes – the cuffs and the seams in general.

    The Cuffs – Same problem. Splitting and tearing at the seams. I ordered out of the first batch to come into Cardiff, and within a month saw these splits show up. Being all excited about the suit (and after spending 470 on it), I have treated the suit well. Anyone saying “user-error” is completely off… the cuffs suck. Props to Patagonia being super cool about it… they sent me a new suit. Unfortunately, it’s doing the same thing.

    The Seams – Glued and blindstitched. The suit is warm, that wool sure does the trick. However, those seams take it water after a few uses and gets a little chilly up here in Sonoma… maybe I’m too use to “Aquaban” rubber seam tape?

    All around great suit… lots of potential… if they fix my two gripes, I might fork out cast for the 2MM suit as a summer suit. The guys at the Cardiff store claimed “this will be the only suit you’ll need for the next four years”… we’ll see :-P


  10. Julie Says:

    East coast surfer’s wife here… After 16 years of daily surfing, we think Hubby has developed an allergy to neoprene… We are pretty sure it is from the newer blend used to make the super stretch (though this is just my best uneducated guess) since his heavy upper-arm rash did not start until using the Elastomax suit purchased last fall. Rash guards haven’t been enough to keep the distance.

    We decided to search for polartec, and finally settled on (what we think is) the US version: Thermocline. It is really meant for diving, but it has 3 layers: fleece, membrane, and nylon (warmth equivalent to 2mm). Since wearing it under his 4/3, the rash has gone, but I can tell he is somewhat uncomfortable with the bunching and heat.

    He saw info about the Regulator suit on FuelTV, and so I looked it up and eventually landed here. Maybe someone can give some insight, since all I really know is how much time, effort, and money has gone into this “Search for Relief”. While this quest is worth-while, all I can see is dollar signs and disappointment. After all the effort he’s put in to date, I’d hate to see him drop another $500 on a lost cause.

    Any ideas as to whether or not the ingredients in this particular suit would save him from further suffering? I’d love to hear from anyone on the subject, especially if you have experienced the same problem and have found a solution.

    Thanks in advance for your attention!


  11. » Blog Archive » Longest Lasting Wetsuit (Thread) Says:

    [...] The Patagonia Wetsuits, Again thread just won’t die. It seems every few weeks someone finds the thread through a search or a link or written on a surfshop bathroom wall and stops by to leave a comment. 10 comments isn’t many, but add the fact that “patagonia wetsuit” is the fourth most searched term on 70 this month, and the Patagonia Wetsuits, Again thread is in the top 15 of all entry pages (out of about 500 or so) this month alone and you start to see what a hot topic these suits are. [...]

  12. WetSinuses Says:

    Official Info:

  13. pointsurfbaja Says:

    Time to go see John Peck at the Cardiff store and see what’s up. As the reps repeated at the 80′s garment shows and asr’s gotta feel the piece goods.

  14. joe Says:

    Never heard of that brand before. Sounds as nice warm suits. Hopefully they become better available

  15. warm jet Says:

    Yess! This thread will never die!
    As I stated before I got the 3/3 version from the 1st generation.
    Took forever, but it was worth it not only cuz it is the best fitting suit ever for me but
    I have big respect for this company and there ethics with style!
    To be honest my suit has been amazing but a seam did bust on the back.
    very small and i fixed it myself eventhough Pat. offered up a brand new suit.
    I did this because my inside info tells me that the #2 generation is on the way and that’s the one I’ll be trading for!
    Also, I would love to go all Pat. for my suits but in L.A. summer even their 2/2 would be too warm, so i asked my buddy who works there and he says they’re working on a 1/2!!!!!!!!
    WOW! If that works out, this will be the best ! 1mm arms with that wool wil be soooo flexy and warm yet not too…
    I believe they’re committed to this wetsuit thing and I’m glad they are cuz I just hate the major surf companys and their lack of ethics!
    The guy wearing his 3/3 in Sonoma is a great test to the warmth.
    I’ve only got mine into 53 degree so far and my freaken boots were the only problem!
    I wish they would nail that scene as well.
    Big ‘ol hat tip to 70% for the link to my humble opinion !!!
    Oh, the knee pads are the shit as well.
    The pat wetsuit site is now happening with all the info.
    I say spend the dough cuz you will not lose(the guarantee is tops), only gain for you and good things for real non coorperate surfing!

  16. Ray Says:

    Hey Julie, I have the same problem as you hubby. I’m just getting started on finding a solution, having finally reached the point where the rashes are unbearable and getting worse and more often. I believe what I have is allergic contact dermatitis to an accelerator used in thre manufacture of neoprene, perhaps Dibutylthiourea.
    I would gladly trade information with you and others so that we can get a solution. Good luck!

  17. Ray Says:

    Just for clarification, the allergy is not from wearing a Patagonia suit. I’ve gotten them from Ripcurl and O’Neil suits. I’m looking for a suit with different materials.

  18. Says:

    In keeping with the idea that this thread refuses to die….This is the kind of customer loyalty that I continually see as a result of Patagonia products. Creating a website about a single product? It probably happens more often than I realize but still. Loved the response by Ali himself as well as the comment from Julie the “east coast surfer’s wife” who confessed that “Hubby has developed an allergy to neoprene”! Best wishes to everyone at 70.

  19. Max Says:

    Hi all,
    Thanks for your posts… I going to San Diego this summer, coming from France, I’m planning on getting as much surfing gear I can given the low $/€ rate.
    I dig this brand and their products. You all mention these suits being in beta stage. But this August, they would have been out for a while… Any improvement expected?

  20. Max Says:

    Just got back…

    Well, California is great! Apart for the lack of waves… I got myself the Pata wetsuit… Haven’t tried it yet, but the seams look strong. Putting it on wasn’t so easy compared to my old O’Neill… Maybe because it’s brand new…

    I also got a Matuse top… and 2 nice boards… No wave = more shopping.

  21. Jeff Says:

    How do I order one to Canada?

  22. Matt Says:

    Awesome wetsuit! if you have an extra $500.

  23. John Says:

    how much? Does anyone have a price break down? All i have seen is $470 for the 3/3. Are they releasing an 07/08 line?

  24. auguste Says:

    how much it cost for 2/2 ?

  25. namotuman Says:

    just went to the shop on 9/8. the 2/2 is 450+tax. the sales guy had a good narrative on the product. it is a steep price for a fullsuit, but the best suit i’ve had to date is a hotline and i paid over 3bills five years ago for that suit. i’m now using the quiksilver cell and the concept of 3 panels is a great idea, but this concept requires stretchy neoprene and their material really gets cut by the wind (i have the 4/3). fyi, i put my name on a list to be notified for a new front zip model coming out soon……..

  26. - Eco8211friendly wetsuits Says:

    [...] Patagonia’s Regulator (see Ali Mills’s comments) and a review of Body Glove’s Bio Stretch. [...]

  27. - Eco-friendly wetsuits Says:

    [...] Patagonia’s Regulator (see Ali Mills’s comments) and a review of Body Glove’s Bio Stretch. [...]

  28. Baddison Says:

    Great info on the Patagonia wet suit. I splurged and bought one in May. I found it to be very warm and very comfortable. The best wetsuit I have had in warmth, stretch and comfort. Its actually too warm right now in NYC. I cant remember if I bought the thinner or thicker one. Does anyone know how to find that info on the suit itself???

    My problem with the suit is not the warmth of course…… here are my problems ….
    Rashes. I get a rash on the back of my neck and ….on my butt. Not sure what to attribute this to except maybe the zipper and the wool. I have gotten rashes in the past behind my arm pits and neck, but never my butt. Rash guard ointment seems to solve the problem though.

    The other problem is one of the seams beneath my stomach has pulled apart. Note that I dont have a big gut that is stretching it out. This happened after only five or so days of use.

    I have contacted Patagonia and they said I could exchange it or return for a full refund.

    Great customer service of course. I am just hesitant to get another right now. I was very excited to be buying a progressive suit, despite the price tag. But if it does not hold up, I dont want to spend that kind of money.

  29. everyonesurfs Says:

    Seems kinda like the iPhone. It might be best to wait until version 2.0 to spend the money but more than worth it at that time. I’m a huge Patagonia fan, so it definitly going to be my next suit. Thanks to everyone for the reviews…

  30. rob70 Says:

    I hear the v2 front zip is going to be insane. I’ll try to get some inside info!

  31. Kerry (Mo_Fo) Says:

    Best wetsuit I have ever owned. I live up in Ventura and right now my 2 mm is still almost too warm. I wore it down in SD this weekend and I was sweating. I’ve been wearing it a little over a month and it is just now getting broke in to the point where it feels incredibly comfortable stretchy wise.
    If it last the two years it’s guaranteed for, I will have spent less cash than the one year I have been getting out of my psycho 2′s.

    So far, best suit ever. My last 4 wetsuits have been psycho 2′s.

  32. Max Says:

    I’ve finally tried it!
    The water wasn’t so cold, so I can’t really say if it’s really warm. It really felt warm, but the water was around 18 deg Celsius. What I can say though is that it’s very very comfy. I showed it to a friend of mine who runs a surf shop and who sells rip curls suits. He was very impressed by the fabric and very impressed by the quality of the seams.

    I’m very happy with that suit so far, and will try it again soon on the 1st of November in Biarritz. I’ll let you know….

  33. scott Says:

    Just spoke to the dude at the SF Patagonia store and asked him about the fron-zip suit I saw in the November Transworld Surf mag. Said he had not heard anything at all about it. I tried the back zip and loved the way it felt, but I have been using a front zip all summer and love the way it keeps water from flushing. Transworld said to expect the front zip for Winter 07.

    Also asked him about wool stink. Some people have said their Patty wool suits smell like an open grave. Patty guy said that wool doesn’t stink (or at least Patagonia’s doesn’t). Anyone experiencing Patagonia Wetsuit Funk?

  34. rob70 Says:

    The front zip is coming. I’ve heard Nov. 15th, but the tops were about a month late. I’m working on getting some images and further info on the suites from some friends. Stay tuned…

  35. Kerry (Mo_Fo) Says:

    Scott, the one and only time I ever had a problem with “funk” was the time I left my Pad suit in the tub with my booties and had the lid on it tight, overnight. Other than that, I rinse it and hang it dry every evening when I get home. It’s funny, I paid more for it, so I take much better care of it to try and make it last longer.

  36. scott Says:

    The Patty guy also said that some people just smell no matter what the fiber. I have an Orca triathlon wetsuit that I paid quite a lot for and it has some of the softest rubber I have ever felt. I *need* to take good care of that one because it is more delicate. If I dropped $500 then I would definetly take good care of it.

    My wetsuits and booties don’t stink. Guess I’m lucky.

    Can’t wait for that chest-zip!

  37. Max Says:

    OK, so I’ve tried the suit in colder water… The water was 15 degrees (59 F) this WE in SW France and 9 (48 F) outside. I stayed 3 hours in the water until it got too dark to see. It’s warm. I have the R2. It’s not 4/3 warmth, but it’s kind of warmer than a 3/2 suits. And still very comfy. So, yes it’s a very good product.

  38. otisfish Says:

    I have a 2 mil and live in Ventura. It is an excellent wetsuit and really comfortable! So easy to get on and off. On very cold mornings I wear hood and booties and I might get through all winter like this. If not, i will buy a 3 mil—they are THAT good a suit!

  39. (Mo_Fo) Says:

    Yep. I live in Ventura as well and I’m still toasty as of this morning. Paddled out at 6 am as usual and I was very warm (with booties).

    Very toasty. Stoked still.

  40. scott Says:

    Apparently Patagonia are 6-8 months out (according to guy at store) with regards to the front zip. I really liked my RipCurl front zip since it didn’t flush with water like my Oneill Psycho2 backzip did. However, the 7month old RipCurl decided that the inside liquid seams would be better off rotting out so I have RMAd that suit and am back to looking at the Patty backzip suit.

    I really like chestzips, but don’t think I can wait 6-8 months before they come out. What do people think of the backzip and water flushing?

  41. rob70 Says:

    Scott, I think 6-8 months is incorrect. A bro in the store at Patagonia Cardiff told me the suits have hit Reno and are in quality control right now.

  42. scott Says:


    I hope your Patty guy is more in the know than my Patty guy – I want that front-zip! Tell your Patty guy that I am more than willing to put that front-zip through it paces up here in Norcal!

    I’ll keep holding off until December…

  43. Jack Says:

    I got my R3 Fullsuit last week and have been in the water 5 times so far with it in Santa Cruz->Lindamar.

    Best piece of Patagonia gear I’ve ever had. Amazingly warm, lots of mobility.

    Has anyone found images or news on the dates for booties,mitts,front zips or suits with hoods that they can post? Seems like the website isn’t dropping any hints.

  44. hound Says:

    I live here on the east coast and am looking for a new wetsuit. I’m interested in the R2 or R3 suits by Patagonia. Anyone have information on thickness of these and which might be better?


  45. Caer Says:

    The R2, which I have had for about 2 months and have been surfing in Ventura with is a 2mm suit throughout, but keeps you as warm or warmer than a 3/2 and at the same time is much more flexible feeling. I highly recommend it and am anxiously awaiting booties which will hopefully be out soon, sorry no hard dates yet, just heard ‘soon’.

  46. Chase Says:

    Spoke with the Cardiff store and they expect the front-zip suits before X-mas. There’s already a waiting list. They’re not sure what mm thicknesses they’ll receive.

  47. Jack Says:

    HOUND- I would say the R3 would be best for the east coast from June/July until about September, the specs say it keeps you warm in temps from 48-55 Degrees.

    You’d probaly need to wait for the 5mm hooded suits if your in the water allot in the winter or in up in NH & Maine.

    You could call some local shops where you surf and find out what the average water temps are for those breaks during different times of the year.

    There is probaly even a website that does somethings like this on a chart or something, but not a clue where it would be.

    Go to then to Wetsuits for more info on specs and water temps.

    Also the folks at the service center know quite a bit ( 1-888-501-7311) and the San Francisco and Portland Store have been really helpful when I’ve had questions about the suits.

    Good Luck.

  48. rob70 Says:

    If you are wearing a wetsuit in June or July on the East Coast, you must mean the east coast of Greenland or maybe Iceland. New York was in boardshorts until October.

  49. jack Says:

    hound Says:
    November 15th, 2007 at 5:20 pm
    I live here on the east coast and am looking for a new wetsuit. I’m interested in the R2 or R3 suits by Patagonia. Anyone have information on thickness of these and which might be better?


    Water Temps vary a bit from New York->Maine. You may just need board shorts in the summer if your in NY as Rob pointed out, or something like the R2 if your up in Northern New England in the waters of Maine.

    I’d just do some homework by talking to some local shops to figure out the water temps during different seasons and use that info with the website.

    I love my R3 and the waters in NorCal have been in the mid to low 50′s.

  50. rob70 Says:

    Thanks for clarifying Jack. I forget that people surf regularly all the way up to Canada and beyond.

  51. Ben Says:

    My wife and I just went to the SF patagonia store yesterday. She bought me one of their new R3 (3mm) wetsuits. They had a few in stock as they said they got some in stock for the holidays. there were also women’s models I believe. I haven’t got to try the suit yet.

  52. Mo_Fo Says:

    Hmmm… December and I’m still grooving on the 2mm up here in South Ventrua. Water is 55-58ish. I have needed to wear booties for the past couple of months. For the first time I needed to sport a cap for my DP this morning, but it kept my core warm and by 8 am I felt hot.

    I really thought that I would start getting cold by now.

    Wow. Still very impressed. :) Stoked.

  53. liveswithmom Says:

    21 days and a wake-up til Christmas! Any news on the chest-zips?

  54. otisfish Says:

    still in my 2mm in SB and plenty warm. cold water starts late Jan – april or so .Waiting for a 3mm front sip for then.

  55. slute Says:

    front zips out now at cardiff store. look insane. heard more of a performance suit then the back zip. not quite as warm because it does not have all the windproof smoothie rubber as the back zip. different wool lining on the arms and a pull over gasket as well as the gasket that zips.

  56. liveswithmom Says:

    price? Pics? I had seen some earlier pics in Transworld Surf and the front zip looked like it was not as rubber-y as the back zip. That’s unfortunate but I am still stoked about it. I was hoping it would be just as windproof as the backzip.

    I prefer front zips because I tend to get water flushing thru the back of the neck with back-zips.

    I called Patagonia SF and they were like, “We have no clue!”

  57. rob70 Says:

    Pics and review coming when I get more water time in mine. I can tell you though they are pretty windproof without the rubber on the arms. I didn’t feel any wind with an offshore breeze at about 10 knots the other night.

  58. liveswithmom Says:

    Is it just the arms that are not covered in rubber?

  59. liveswithmom Says:

    Well, it was just as easy to pick up the phone and find out some deets:
    1. They only have the R2 available right now and that is going for $530
    2. The chest portion is the only part that has the windproof slickskin
    3. Fully lined like the backzip but the arms integrate the wool into the neoprene. Supposed to make the suit more flexible
    4. No clue on when the R3 will be available or what the price will be
    5. Look to the Patty website for updates (none yet, but she said it should be updated shortly)

  60. liveswithmom Says:

    Just noticed that the Patty website has some pics and specs for the Chest-Zip now. Looks kind of like an XCel style… I want…

    Striped wool lines arms, shoulders and knees for warmth and flexibility; grid wool lines the rest of the suit for maximum heat retention

    Both wool patterns (striped and grid) are blended with recycled polyester to better insulate, wick moisture away from your skin and dry quickly

    Smoothskin exterior on chest, back and hips results in greater warmth by eliminating evaporative cooling in windy conditions

  61. otisfish Says:

    Ok,OK, UNCLE!! My 2mm is now cold. 52F is too cold for the 2mm so I bought a 3mm! hahahaha

  62. Mo_Fo Says:

    Hmmm… 6 am… the car temp gage said 37, and the water temp on the LA County beach web site said the water temp was 51.

    Still in my 2mm. From 6:15ish to 8. No problems.

    My feet were a little cold towards the end.

    Okay, I was in booties and a hoodie as well.

    What can I say? The offshore breezes were cold this morning. :)

  63. otisfish Says:

    I hear ya ,I could get by with the 2 mm but this 3mm is like wearing a down parka!

  64. liveswithmom Says:

    Anyone have a review of the chest-zip yet? Also, anyone with the back zip have any problems with water flushing? Maybe it has to do with my pencil neck, but I seem to have better luck staying dry with a chesty instead of the back zip…

  65. otisfish Says:

    The pat wetsuits have less flushing of any wetsuit I have had in 45 yrs. This new 3mm is so warm in 52 F water

  66. liveswithmom Says:

    Otisfish – is that 3mm a chest or backzip?

  67. otisfish Says:

    back zip. So nice to be warm in cold water and still flexible.

  68. Clive Says:

    Is there any way that these suits can be ordered from the UK?

  69. JACK Says:


  70. liveswithmom Says:

    Talked to SF Patty Dude and he said that the chest-zip wetties had been recalled. Something about the wool lining on the top.

    I guess this means that the 3mm chest-zip is gonna get pushed waaay back. Oh well. Time to get the back-zip.

  71. geno Says:

    The hood, mitts and boots..?
    All lined with wool?
    Any webviews of items, can’t find online info.
    All 3mm? boots too 3mm?

  72. liveswithmom Says:

    Hood, mitts and booties all fully lined. The boots look similar to the Oneill Ninja 3mm without the velcro shin strap at the top. No cinch-down straps over the arch either, just smooth rubber slickskin covering the *entire* boot.

    Split toe design at 3mm. Since they have no velcro straps they felt a bit loose so the Patty guy suggested that I size down from my typical Oneill Superfreak 9s. I went all the way down to a Patagonia 7! Price was $50 for the 7′s and $60 for 8 and up – go figure. All exterior seams appear to be fully rubber taped.

    Hood looks very similar to the Oneill 3mm Squid Lid. Once again, fully wool-lined with the rubber slick-skin exterior.

    Gloves look like gloves. Fully wool-lined with the rubber slick-skin exterior.

    I just bought the boots and will give them a go tomorrow. The lid looked like it would irritate the underside of my neck so I left it. Gloves, now those looked like they would be nice – very flexible. I hate wearing gloves, burn out my shoulders so I left those too.

  73. ct Says:

    I just bought one of the back zips at the SF store and it looks good. But I would dispute the 3mm claim. The rubber might be 3mm but with the wool lining it feels like a thick four mil suit. I will say that, to me, the stitching, glue on the seams and other areas of craftsmanship looks good. Now I just have to wait for the surf to get good so I can see how it well it performs.

  74. ct Says:

    Used the suit on the Sonoma coast today Air 47 degrees, water 51, and I was warm! I think I’ll keep it. As an added bonus the waves good.

  75. geno Says:

    I received the 3mm hood, 3mm gloves and the 5mm boots, all lined with polyester. I wear a 11 1/2 wide shoe and the size 12 boots fit fine no squeeze-cramping.
    Just snowed last nite LOW off the Coast …try em this weekend water 41 South Jersey USA.

  76. Blair Says:

    Is anyone a little uncomfortable with wool rubbing on your genitalia? I am thinking of wearing speedos because it’s a little too sensitive for wool down there. Don’t know if I want to put up with the harassment, any suggestions? Any thoughts, any anecdotes, any canter?

  77. liveswithmom Says:

    Blair –

    I have wondered that myself. I typically go commando in my wettie and whilst trying on the Patty Wettie (I didn’t go commando in the Patty dressing room) I did notice that the wool seams appeared to be a little more coarse than those of say RipCurl or Oneill.

    My bits and pieces were covered but afterwards I did feel slightly itchy down the sides of my legs and back. My guess is that the suit ‘breaks in’ after a few sessions and the coarsness of the seams goes away.

    I’m still waiting for my size to come in now that the chestzip has been delayed until the end of the year.

  78. Blair Says:

    My new suit’s maiden voyage was this morning and although it was a little scratchy, my boys were warmer. I guess that’s most important.
    But I don’t want to get all rashed up, I may have to wear speedies at least for a few break-in sessions.

    Still, I couldn’t help but think that this was how the members of Opus Dei go about their day or even Matt Talbot did, wearing their hair shirts or wool skivies for penance. Silly Cat-licks, scratchy underwear is for wetsuits!

  79. liveswithmom Says:

    Just curious, but has anyone compared the Patty wettie and Nineplus’ Lotus Steamer? I just tried on a Lotus and it was very nice. Biggest differences are: Lotus is almost all slickskin (little patch of neoprene in the crotch and on the knees), Lotus is 3/2mm but does not have the wool lining. Lotus just also happens to be $285!!

  80. Says:

    Wow, so very interesting to read how the comments on this blog entry have evolved. Started out with trying to uncover the mystery of the Patagonia wetsuit to reviewing its effectiveness/comfort. Nice to see a forum develop here.

  81. ct Says:

    Did you try that suit on somewhere in Northern California? I looked at their suits online and they said it was for a little bit warmer water than we get in Northern California, except for a few times in the fall.

  82. liveswithmom Says:


    I talked to the guys at mollusksurfshop here in San Francisco and he said that a bunch of guys have been buying the Nineplus in 3/2 and have been just fine surfing up here. I also spoke to a guy down south at Shelter and he said he is plenty warm in his 3/2 and they are getting temps in the 54/55 range. He also said the closed-cell nature of the slickskin keeps the wind out which allows you to hold on to body heat.

    I’m intrigued, especially with the fuller coverage of slickskin (Patty is just the top half) and the price. The Nineplus was superflexy, just like the Patty wettie. I also think the neck is ‘taller’ on the Nineplus which I think would help create a better seal against flushing. Felt similar to my Ripcurl chestzip neck gasket.

    Nineplus is also Yammato rubber which is the same rubber used in my Orca triathlon wettie – that is some *sweet* rubber!

  83. eric Says:

    Has anyone given the patagonia 5mm split toes a try? We surf water in the 40F range here on lake superior at this time of year and i have found the 7mm xcels to be the weak link in a session…all be it, they are starting to compress and are over a year old now. Anyways, looking for new boots and am interested in the pats….any commentary would be good.

  84. geno Says:


  85. geno Says:

    5mm Split Toes:
    I have used my new 5mm Paagonia split toes past two weekends.
    I’m was a mid 1960′s lake Erie surfer, I know cold water too.

    South Jersey/Atlantic water is still upper 30′s maybe even 40 last Sunday. 40mph winds
    After an hour and a half I was still warm feet. I think they are gerat!
    They seal tight, no seam seepage yet, but they are new! with my wetsuit pulled over em my feet didn’t even get wet for quite a while. My concern here is wood slivers from the boardwalk walkin to the beach.
    Gloves 3mm my hands have not gotten cold yet.
    But our water isn’t 33/34 degrees.

  86. eric@thefreshaspect Says:

    geno…thanks for the DL. Just before reading your post i decided i’d give it a go and order up these boots to give them a try out on the lake, we’ll see how they work.

  87. geno Says:

    I don’t know what is up with the Patagonia web site.
    Last week you could order and view the wetsuits, boots, gloves, hood online and complete the purchase online. Now all that is gone. I had ordered my gloves/boots from the Portland store via a phone call. They were were nice and I had the stuff in a week UPS ground.

  88. ct Says:


    Thanks for the reply. I thought I return the favor and let you know that the
    Nineplus website had hooded five mm suits for half off about a week ago.

  89. liveswithmom Says:


    Thanks! I just got a 3/2mm from Shelter delivered in the mail today. Perhaps if it isn’t all blown out this weekend I will give it a go down at Linda Mar. Its a beautiful piece of solid rubber…

  90. liveswithmom Says:

    So I just got back from a session at Linda Mar up here in balmy NorCal. Water temp was brisk 49F – yeah…49. I used my dive watch to measure it. I wore my new Nineplus 3/2 (decided I couldn’t keep waiting for the SF Pat store to get my size in) and was actually quite warm. Only thing I would change would be the wrist and ankle opening – a bit too wide for my tastes.

    I know this is a Patagonia thread so I’ll mention something Patty:

    I’m not sure how those Patty Booties are doing. I was at SF Pat today looking for a size 8 and the only pair they had was a used return (yech). I guess you could say that they are doing well since they don’t have a lot of sizes… I was chatting with another surfer who just bought a wettie. He was a big guy and had just tried on a pair of 3mm and 5mm booties. He was disappointed – said they fit too wide – I have the same problem. Patty could have a great product on thier hands with these booties if they narrowed up the fit a little bit and added a cinch strap… anyone else think the booties fit too wide?

  91. kook Says:

    tried them on today. too wide.

  92. geno Says:

    Split toe boots 5mm.
    I posted last Jan 25th – I got the size 12 – 5mm split toes. I wear a WIDE 11 1/2 to a 12 wide shoe and the size 12 bootie fit me PERFECT. My problem has asways been finding wet suit boots that don’t create cramped feet. I just ordred a second set for back-up since I like em so much. As far as more straps??? Not in my wish list-my wet suit rolls over the top of the boots and seals em in. a strap would create a sore spot/pressure spot with the leg rolled over it.
    My feet even stay dry for the first hour in 40 degree water. I had a super leg flush the other day but my boots didn’t pickup water only a spoon fulll after a couple hours out.
    I bought sight-un-seen, took a chance and since Patagonia is so goood on returns. If you have a narrow foot might as always recommened try em on….

  93. liveswithmom Says:

    I think an arch strap or a heel strap would lock the width down. Or Patty could just make narrower ones – rubber stretches, right? I felt like I was floating around in them.

    Now I heard a different thing about the Patty return policy. When I went the first time the guy told me: if you wear them out surfing, you bought them and we won’t accept a return… when I went yesterday looking for a size 8, they gave me a used pair. I guess Patty’s 100% satisfaction guarantee is 100%?

  94. geno Says:

    They should have given you a used pair for free ! Used PAIR?
    Did you try a size 7

    I’ve wide feet – works out for me-Oneils hurt when I tried them on even the non split toes. I’ve had scuba diving neoprene dive boots which cut off the blood and caused cramps to my legs and feet.

    I’d never again depend on thinking neoprne stretches – if they don’t fit at first – first try on ——– let em go! others makes might fit better.

  95. liveswithmom Says:

    Yeah, tried the 7 but my toes were slightly arched and that had foot cramp written all over it. I had the bright idea of perhaps getting a women’s bootie thinking that they should be cut narrower. Just called Patty guy and he said booties are unisex so no dice on getting anything tighter.

    I have a pair of Oneill Superfreaks that fit fine, but they are starting to leak. I really like the Patty ones, but dangit, I got them narrow feet!

  96. Pobby Says:

    Few questions.

    1. Has it been tested in extreme cold?
    Certainly Norcal and Ireland are cold water, but they are maritime climates and rarely get below freezing. Cold water isn’t the problem on the East Coast. The problem here is that the water is 40 degrees and the air is in the teens.

    2. Does the 4mm come with an attached hood?
    I’ll believe in them when I see one of those Malloys or who have you out at a North East break wearing a Patagonia suit in a snowstorm. Norcal isn’t cold, Nova Scotia is cold.

  97. eric Says:

    extreme cold water trial of R4 booties
    Ordered up a pair of the new R4 booties to give a try here on lake superior. I have been having serious problems keeping my feet warm in 7mm xcel booties + neoprene socks. New booties arrived yesterday, along with some decent waves. Air temp= 16F (-8.8C); water temp=36F; winds from the SW 30knots (windchill factor likely -20C. (Not the coldest we’ve surfed around here). Got in a late afternoon/evening session of about 2.5 hours. Verdict: warm feet from beginning to end, when normally i would have been walking on frozen stumps after and hour and a half. All be it, it was a pretty active session with lots of paddling and having to walk 150yards back up the shore to the put-in, due to the strong current. My feet are a size 10 and i ordered size 10, but the size 9 may have been more appropriate. At rate, killer booties. If they come out with an r4 suit, i would be signing up for one today.
    take it for what its worth. peace

  98. Erich Says:

    Wondering if anyone has surfed winter East Coast, or below Cal 50′s water with the Patagonia fullsuits. Especially would be helpful if someone could post a review if they are especially sensitive to cold water… a.k.a. “a wuss.” I’ve gotten hypothermia a couple times in the past and am now extra sensitive to the cold. Thanks.

  99. Mo_Fo Says:

    I wear a size 10 to 10 1/2 shoe depending on the make. I remember when I use to cram my feet into the Oneill TopOtheLine booties and it would be a size 8. Then the superfreak came out and I could go to a size 9. Cool. I tried on (and purchased) a size 7 last week. They fit perfectly. The rubber is stretching like a glove. I couldn’t believe it. Neither could the guy behind the counter. I’ve worn them a half dozen times in water in the low 50′s and I am stoked with the 3mm. My 3mm superfreaks (only a few months old) were allowing my feet to start gettin cold after I was out there for over an hour. Now I don’t even notice the cold at all. Nada. No cold.
    So great. So worth the 50 bucks. Go small. They stretch out nicely.

  100. Mo_Fo Says:

    Oops. Just read my post. I purchased a size 7 Padagonia bootie.
    Those fit super snug. Perfectly.

  101. liveswithmom Says:


    Wow! Size 10 squeezed into a Patty 7? Hmmmm… I may need to look at them again if you say that the rubber stretched out. I’m an 8.5 and the 7 had me toes just a wee bit arched and I was afraid of cramping.

    Just in case people were still holding out for the Patty Chest Zip: Cardiff called me last week and said that they went back to the design room and the Chesty won’t be out until towards the end of the year…

  102. geno Says:

    You purchased the R-3 split toe booties ???? … with 3mm neoprene?
    They must streath a bit more than my R-4 5mm booties – which do give and flex a bit. I’ve heard and read Patagonia’s neoprene isn’t a stretchable as some other makers stufff?

    I’m not near a dealer to try on a Patagonia full R-2/R-3 Suit

    I’ve been on the wait list for a R3 3-mm back zip full suit
    Any one try on (or use) and compare the flex and give to a R-3 3-mm full suit vs a R-2 2mm full suit?

    I may go with a 2mm R-2 suit ( site PAtagoina says 55-65 degrees F) the Patagoina wool/poly liner keeps my gloves and boots warm ( it seems) hows the wool liner in the 2mm warmth ?

    I have a few thick suits for sub freezing weather spent $220 for a 6/5/4 hooded which stretches but it is and will be a 6mm feeling suit

  103. Mo_Fo Says:

    Yeah, no kidding about the stretch on the R-3 booties. I wear them about every morning right now and they are great. They streatched out nicely and fit incredibly comfortable. Yeah.. size 7. Over 3 sizes smaller than my normal shoe size. Fit like a glove and not tight at all. Snug is the best word to describe it. And so warm.

  104. Nico Says:

    I’ve got a 3mm and a 2mm Patty suit. I live in central Cal and have beem mostly wearing the 2mm suit for part of last winter and all of this winter. Even the other day when the water dropped down to 50 or 51, I was fine in the 2mm with the 3mm booties and hood.

    The 3mm full is too warm for me most of the time. I’m seriously hot in it! It’s a nice suit, but man, I just cook. It feels a little stiff too (like a 5/3) whereas the 2mm feels like a nice soft 3mm normal suit.

    After 1 1/2 winters, the 2mm is starting to show some signs of wear. I called up the Patty guys and they said to bring it on in and they would fix it. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to get fixed, so I’m going to try to hold out a bit longer before sending it in. Will report back on what transpires once I send it in.

  105. liveswithmom Says:


    What kind of ‘wear’ is your 2mm showing? How are the seams holding up? Does the wool smell? Is the wool still a grid or is it starting to get all frayed?

  106. Chum Says:

    I got the 2mm gloves and the 5mm booties for surf here in Oregon. Which is indeed cold water.

    After 3 sessions, my right glove has a big hole in the palm. Not on a seam.
    The booties (which I bought in size 7, and I wear a 9.5) fit perfect and kept my feet really toasty after a 3-hour session.

    I have to say that the booties and gloves are both incredibly flexible, easy to get on, and really grippy (not sure if anybody mentioned that).

    Now, we’ll have to see about Patagonia’s famed warranty/return policy on the gloves. My only other complaint is that the wool doesn’t dry out inside the gloves or booties unless you turn them inside out. Turning them inside out takes around 10 minutes, which sucks when you just want to rinse your wetsuit and go to bed.

    I too am waiting for the hooded front zip (I’m due for a new suit soon, though). But I’m glad Patagonia isn’t releasing them until they work out the kinks. When they do, I hope the suit has slick skin on the top panels for wind this time and that they use a slightly tougher mix of rubber compound.

  107. Ted Says:

    You should get some of those boot and glove dryers made for ski cabins. Or move to Hawaii.

  108. geno Says:

    I never turn my boots gloves inside out, just leave em with the opening pointed down and by morning all the moisture will roll down to the inside fabric on the rim of the opening.

    My wall rack has pegs I balance the boots and gloves on the pegs with the entry opening down, water drips out, rim – might be damp in morning around the opening.

    When I pull em off, they do start to turn inside out, just let em fill with water and hold the entry hole shut and gently squeeze and allow the “slight” hydro pressure inside to return the glove/bootie to normal (right side out), easier than picking and trying to grab the ends of fingers. Or risk damaging pop-out a sealed seam by blowing em up like a ballon.

    My shower room is warm and dry by morning, might depend where you leave em.

  109. Mo_Fo Says:

    I wear my gonia booties at least five to seven times a week, I rinse them just about after ever sesh and at least once a week I turn them almost completly inside out to air them. This is actually REALLY easy to do with these soft rubber booties. Something I would have never done with my Superfreaks that I wore for years before these. It airs them out nicely. Otherwise, that wool will get some funk. I mean, unless yours smell like roses all the time, lol.
    I never had a problem with doing this. In fact I think drying them all the way out and airing them has to be good for the wool. Dark moist wool HAS to collect some funk if you don’t, I believe.

    I’m stoked to be back in the R2 again. I had to lay off it and go with a slightly thicker suit for Jan-mid March here in Ventura.

  110. Nico Says:


    so far all the seams are still holding up fine, as is the wool grid. no fraying, no stink. i’m pretty careful with my suit and always rinse it, hang it in the shade, etc. i turn booties inside out after most sessions so they don’t stink either; i haven’t found it to be too difficult.

    the wear i’m seeing on the 2mm suit is principally in the smoothie under the arms near where the smoothie and non-smoothie armpit panels meet. the best i can guess is that it is from a lot of paddling; basically a chafing action that over time has worn partially through the smoothie to begin to expose the wool grid. a similar wearing is ocurring on the neck flap that closes up the neck of the suit… i have no clue what that is from though.

    there’s a few other minor spots where the smoothie is starting to look a little distressed (on top of the shoulders and just above the knees) that I think are either from sun exposure or paddling again. also, i found the drain holes at the bottom of the back are tearing slightly larger.

    overall, i love the suit but i’m beginning to be a little concerned about the long-term durability. getting 2 or even 3 seasons out of a suit is not unheard of for me, so i expected the Patty suits to go even further without problems. Patty guys said it could all be fixed and that it would take about a month; apparently they do the repairs somewhere in LA. i’ll probably send it in soon and see what happens. will post back here with the results.

  111. geno Says:

    Boots and gloves seem to be tough – I think my sauna in my shower room acts like a drier keeping the humidity down, stuff dries quick in that warm room.
    I’ve ruined scuba gloves flippin em inside out = paranoia… Patagonia gloves arn’t cheap but they work!!!!

    I’m still waithing for my Patagonia suit. 2or3mm whatever XL tall comes in first. Any word you have heard on “tall” suits arriving?

    Speak of a few seasons on a suit my 1989 O’Neill ANIMAL is still in mint shape goin on 20years old. (it’s not a tall and I don’t wear it much) looks good! Kind of a museum piece now

  112. jack Says:

    this may answer some questions…

  113. Nicaragua Surf Says:

    Patagonia needs to do a surfing commercial with that dude and his mom. That would get the word out. haha.

  114. liveswithmom Says:

    Slow postings… How’s everyone’s P Wettie holding up? I’m still holding out for that chest zip which means using my Nineplus (I’m not that keen on it anymore). I see that Wise Surfboards here in SF is having Rep days and the Ripcurl guys will be out touting their new E3′s. I want a new wettie – not sure if I can hold out for the Patty chestzips tho. Website still says Fall 08, but who knows… Seriously, does anyone know?

  115. liveswithmom Says:

    Tried the new Ripcurl wetties today. Very nice. I tried a chest-zip F Bomb and a back zip E Bomb. The diff between the two (other than back vs chest zip) was that the F was a little stiffer with liquid seals inside and outside along with a heaver foam. The E bomb felt much more flexible and didn’t have any hot spots due to the absence of internal liquid seams. Around $300.

    Come on Patty! Bring them chest zips!

  116. liveswithmom Says:

    Whoa! New Patty wetties on display in the November issue of Surfing Magazine! Front zips look the same but the back zips look radically different. Looks like the arms have lost the slickskin so the suit sort of looks ‘sleeveless’. Patty’s website still shows the old model…

    I guess the new backzips are a design improvement. Anyone have a v1 with shoulder/arm issues?

  117. Mo_Fo Says:

    Yup, I know a few people who had their Patty’s fall apart at the shoulder, myself included. I took it back to the shop in Ventura, no questions asked, they switched it out. I guess the problem was people drying their suits using the hangers (the ones that came with the wetty) and the weight of the wet wool pulling on the shoulders stretched out the slickskin. This fix they did should fix that problem. I’m just going to miss that slickskin on the arms and shoulders. I will still probably go ahead and order the new 3mm when it’s released, but I am bummed about that.

  118. Erich Says:

    Has anyone here been surfing in the 40′s degree range with the suits? East Coast drops down that low, and i’m wondering if I should pick up a patty suit for the winter here next time I’m in cali.

  119. matt Says:


    I think people have positive reveiws about these suits because they want to believe they are working even when they are not, given the amount of money they have spent.

    I am very into testing equipment to find the newest technologies. Here is my quick take on the 2mm both front and back zip.

    I purchase the front zip 2m and it plain just did not work. It flushed from the chest on just about every duck dive. The reason it flushed wast there wast not enough overlap of the suit at the pull over section of the neck. I took it back and Patty acknowledged they were accepting these back and had received quite a few back for the same reason.

    I received a back zip in the same exact size. The fit was completed different even though the size was the same. The best way to describe the fit is that is was like putting on a beaver tail suit from 30 years ago. The paneling was just to elementary to get a tight fit through the arms and legs. What this meant is that the arms and legs flushed every time I fell.

    I took this suit back and got a much smaller one (Patty again let me switch it out). The fit on this two was elementary. Some areas fit almost too tight, while the legs were loose. So I sold it and bought a Pshyco II which has been great.

    The Positives: Patagonia is a first class company. They switched out the suits and were very cool about it. They take their pledge of customer satisfaction very seriously. Also, the people that worked at the Ventura shop were A+, very knowledgable and friendly.

    The Bad: The suits are just to early generation. If I were them, i would go reverse engineer the Oneill suits for fit. The limestone and wool materails have promise although, when wet, they seem to be a little heavy. I think in a couple years they will work out the kinks and be worth the money, but now they still have kinks.

  120. rob70 Says:

    Matt, thanks for your time in writing this, but reviewing a wetsuit based on fit alone is kinda pointless. Every body is different. The 2mm front zip was the best fitting suit I’ve owned and I wish it hadn’t had durability issues.

    It did flush a bit due to the length of overlap you mentioned.

    Generation 2 is out this winter, so not sure how much a G1 suit should be be judged on the first versions.

  121. matt Says:

    I wrote the reveiw fairly quickly so maybe my exact meaning didn’t come through as well as it could have. I have tried most suits including Ripcurl, Oniell, Xcel, etc… and I understand that there are differnet fit characterstics – ie suits that fit tall, skinny and those that fit, shorter, squatty guys.

    The issue with patagonia was that the cut of the suit was very elemnentary with just a few pannels and little contour to create any sophistication in regards to fit (the arms are as straight as pipe tubes). Also, the wrist and ankle enclosures were so wide and loose, they were flushing water constantly, while I could not have gone any tighter in the torso. This indicates they just haven’t really figured out how to put the materials together and there are probably very few people these suits would correctly fit.

    Another item I forgot to mention is that the seems are not taped and you will notice the immediate fill of water upon entering the ocean which does not happen with my Psycho II and let’s me know that these are not holding water very well and constantly circulating.

    Patagonia is a very good company and I am sure they will get the kinks worked out, but it is a big price tag for an early stage prototype which is what this suit felt like.

  122. rob70 Says:

    I’ve owned plenty of suits from other companies who’s ankles and writs flush. Sucks, but it’s just a matter of fit, which is again, very person specific. Also, maybe I have muscles where you don’t. Or vice versa. ;)

    I agree on the seams though. I can’t believe they aren’t taped. Even people I know at Patagonia shrug when the subject is brought up. They aren’t sure why either. Taped = warmer. Hands down.

    Again, stage two will be out this winter for both Matuse and Patagucci, so we’ll have to start this whole process again.

  123. matt Says:

    I am going to check out the Matuse when it comes in in mid-october, but I am a little skeptical after my experience with the Patagonia suit.

  124. liveswithmom Says:


    How are the Matuse suits going to be different? I did a quick check of their website and they look the same (the Hoplite 4-3-2). Pricey: almost $500…

    I liked the Ripcurl E-Bomb chesties. $300 was a good price too, but I’d still like to compare it against the Patty…

  125. matt Says:

    I have probably surfed Ripcurl E and F bombs more than any suit and just recently went over to Oniell because I like the fit slightly better and I like the two sided taping of the seams. The front zip E bombs are one of the best suits on the market. I wish however they would tape both sides, but that would increase the cost as well.

  126. liveswithmom Says:

    Last year’s Ripcurl E-Bomb used double-sided liquid tape and rotted out. I spoke to some Wise guys and they were saying that it had to do with their plant in SE Asia. This year’s suit, I think, does not have the double sided liquid tape. I found it to be more flexible and not as stiff as the Psycho II. Although… I think the F-bomb is double-taped…

    I find it funny when wetsuit makers tout how much their suits stretch – wouldn’t arms that stretch over 25% mean that you probably have a dislocated shoulder? Give me a better fit any day! I used to do triathlon and I found the Orca suits to ‘fit’ the best. They used more panels with pre-bent this and shaped that. They just moved better.

    I’m hoping the Patagonia V2′s fit better. I also saw that Nineplus revamped their lineup as well. I may mosey down to Mollusk Surf Shop to see if they have any of the new ones (I bought one last year but found the wrist and leg openings to be too wide).

  127. Kevin Says:

    I just bought the “new” R2 this past weekend in Cardiff. It’s the back zip…is this the same suit as last year or has it been reworked? Anyone have an opinion on waiting for the front zip?. I’m stoked on most of the reviews but for $500 want to make sure that waiting for the front zip is only a matter of preference and it’s not an entirely new suit.

  128. matt Says:

    Lives, I just went and checked my Ripcurl 4/3 E-bomb and you are right, it is taped. As I said prior, these Ripcurls are really good suits, however, I have learned the fit of the Oniell is better for me.

    Also, the suits with more pre-bent panels definitely fit better with less likelyhood of flushing. This was part of the problem I had with Patty wetsuits as the legs and arms were like pipe tubes with no paneling.

  129. matt Says:


    I tried both the front and back zip and they were completely different suits. Personally, the front zip fit better and if they can figure out the flushing from the neck issue, it should be a decent suit. THe back zip just wasn’t that good for many reasons which I wrote about above. A couple of areas to look out for with your suit is 1) do the leg and wrist cuffs fit real tight so as not to let water flush in when gettine worked, 2) does the neck velcro secure tightly around your neck – mine had a gap that let a trickle of water in, and 3) is your suit bunching up around the inter-elbow and behind the knee? Good luck.

  130. Mo_Fo Says:

    I’ve been through two Patty suits so far. The first one fell apart at the shoulders for the same reason that a lot of others have. I used the hanger that they gave me to hang my wet wetsuit and the weight of the wet wool stretches out the slick skin and caused cracking. I do believe that’s a big reason why they stopped putting the slickskin on the arms and shoulders this year.
    Since I had it replaced (no reciept, it was still a little damp and slightly sandy when I brought it into the Ventura shop- no questions asked, just replaced it and asked me to come back if something else happened) I’ve been hanging it over a bar by the waiste since then in my garage and have had no problems.
    Regarding the fit… best fit I’ve ever had. Especially the neck area. I am one of those 195lb guys with a 33 waist and a 17 3/4″ neck… most wetsuits strangle me and are over ample in the waiste area whle constricting my chest and back. This is one of the best fitting wetsuits I’ve ever had. I have room in the chest and my waist is snug, which is great because the back and chest is another area that I usually have problems with. Usually if the chest and back fit, the belly, waist, and leg areas fit loose and that is very uncomfortable.
    I have not had one problem with flushing yet (keep in mind that I have the back zip).

    Now, the biggest reason I wanted to try the Patty is not only the good fit, and how good the suit works, is how they stand behind their product. If I can get a couple years out of my Patty, then I come out ahead on dollars spent. You see Matt, I hve been buying Psycho’s and then Psycho 2′s since they came out. I loved them. really. I always enjoyed the nice fit, the strechyness of the material, how well the seams were done. Great suits. And the first year or two, it seemed that they lasted very well. Then came three bad suits in a row for me. They started falling apart quicker and quicker. I asked my friends if they had the same problem and it seems I wasn’t alone. We were all going through our 3/2 psycho 2′s in one season. I was throwing down $400 a year ($350-$375 plus tax) for a suit that was lasting me one year. So in two years I would spend around $800 for wetsuits. Then along came Patagonia. I know their warrenty from all of their hiking, camping, and climbing gear that I’ve had over the years and I know how well they stand behind their products. I have hicking gear at home that has lasted me over ten years from them. Now if they say that they will stand behind their suits and that they should last two years +… well that means I spend $500 for two years of staying warm vs. $800. That means I save $300. That’s a nice used board right there, that $300. :)

    I agree about the taped seams 150% however. They should do that.

    Thanks for your review though. You should post those comments on their website, they actually appreciate the feedback and you will usually get a response from them.

  131. matt Says:

    Good post MoFo.

  132. Paul Casey Says:

    I looked at two wetsuits this weekend: the Hotline Phoenix and the Xcel Infiniti drylock. The Hotline is triple glued and should be a long lasting, warm suit. The Xcel is very advanced, warm and quick drying. They’re both around $350. No way is it worth 500 bucks for a Patagonia–these suits are light years ahead of pata.

  133. rob70 Says:

    I’m not sure that an extra 150$ on a Iron Clad guarantee is a bad deal. I’m up in the air on my pending 3 mill purchase though.

    2mm patty front zip, light as sin and super warm, but expensive or 3mm xcel or o’niel, standard, tried and true, cheaper, but heavier and not likely to last 2 seasons with much less waranty.

    Tough one.

  134. liveswithmom Says:

    Has anyone tried either the new 08 Chestzip or the 08 Backzip? I was at the Patagonia store here in San Francisco Monday and they still had a bunch of 07 backzips for sale. When I asked about the new ones (front/back zip) coming in, they said: hopefully end of October.

    I put my name down on the wait list…

  135. Matt Says:

    So I just went out and tried on a bunch of suits to get a new winter suit. I tried on the Matuse Hoplite, Quicksilver Cyphera, Xcel, and the Oneill SuperFreak.

    The Matuse suit fit okay, but I just couldn’t pony up the $460 on such an early generation suit (especially given my experience with Patagonia). Also, it just wasn’t quite as comfy as the othere suits and felt a little fragile.

    The Xcel was very nice, but definitely felt heavy and thick with that added insulation material.

    The Quicksilver was very nice and was a close runner up.

    Went with the Super Freak. The fit was insane, and it is all 3.5mm which made it feel light and very flexible. The cost of it still makes me want to puke a little, but oh well, you only live once.

  136. diver Says:

    I am a diver and I scrub boat bottoms for a living, I know not too terribly glamourous but it’s ok. I’ve been wearing Excel suits for the last ten years and love them however after being in the water for 7 hours at a stretch monday through friday I would like to get out of the water not freezing my butt off. Will these new Patagonia suits be able to keep me warm for about 6-7 hours in temps ranging down to the mid fifties? I’d love to be able to get rid of the 9 mil suit I’ve been wearing for years. Any insight into this would be great. Thanks.

  137. Matt Says:

    Diver, no.

  138. liveswithmom Says:

    Patty chest zip available on 5 Nov?

  139. liveswithmom Says:

    meh – wetsuit delivery has been pushed back to first week of December. Man, this is just like last year…

  140. Mo_Fo Says:

    The new patagonia suits liveswithmom? You mean the front zip, correct?

  141. Stemmy Says:

    i don’t see patagonia on the traditional surf / action sports retailer sites like are they not accepted in the ‘core’ market yet? seems like their wetsuits and boardshorts? are legit…

  142. liveswithmom Says:

    Yeah, the new Patty chestzips are delayed – again. They were supposed to come out end of October, then by 5 November and now first week of December. Sort of reminds me of last year… right before they got scrapped…

    Well, I haven’t been in the water for ages so what’s a few more weeks? Man, I hope they don’t get scrapped again, but if they do I will end up saving $250 by buying a Ripcurl. Until then I’ll just have to endure my leaky Psycho…

  143. liveswithmom Says:

    Second week of December and still no chest-zips, wanna know why? FIRE!!! Apparently there was a fire at a Yammamota plant and, well, rubber and fire don’t mix… I talked to a Patty guy and he said that the chest-zip R3s and R4s were impacted by the fire and that Patagonia decided to split their remaining resources to try and bring both the R3 and R4 out sometime around the beginning of the year…

    Will this suit ever be released?

    I did try one of the new R3 backzips on. Fit was pretty good. I tried the small and found that the arms were slightly short and the medium didn’t fit properly.

    Wait, wait, wait…

  144. crack_baby Says:

    Here’s a chirp from a gal; most recently bought a 3/2 O’Neil back zip (closest thing on their site is a Hammer) when a Cali trip in June yielded around 60 degree water. It’s comfy, warm enough in the right conditions, and long lasting but then it’s used infrequently; last time was on the American river in September riverboarding. Usually I’m stuck getting into my zipperless hooded Rip Curl 6/4 which I think I got in 2001. It’s held up well over the years. I paid $375 for it. I won’t go zipperless again. Sometimes I’ve forgotten to cinch the cord before paddling out. One needs to be a contortionist to get in/out of it and sometimes I’ve needed help getting out after a long, energy-draining session. If you’re at all sweaty getting in, good luck! The built in hood is warm (although the chin/neck is blown out now), and I only recently started chafing. I don’t see it on their web site. So I’m searching the options for a replacement, which brought me here.

  145. Mo_Fo Says:

    Hmmmm…. a sweaty, chafed, crack baby. Sounds sexy! :P

  146. pierpont tyler Says:

    I just picked up the new 2mm chest zip, got it straight from the ventura patagonia store, fit great but now its wrapped under the christmas tree, will write another review in 2 weeks!

  147. Liveswithmom Says:

    ! Wow! Good for you PT! I guess they are slowly leaking the wetties out. I don’t think the SF store will be getting the 2mm – too cold up here. So you have to wait until Christmas to wear a wettie you just picked up? Hmmm… I guess you better act surprised on Christmas day…

    Looking forward to the review.

  148. Liveswithmom Says:

    Oh yeah… have a stock of R2 chestzips (MS-XXL) for $510 in stock and some of the R3 backzips (M-XXL) for $490.

    Quick! Someone buy one and come back with a full review!

  149. Liveswithmom Says:

    Welcome 2009 – where’s my @#$%! Patty wettie?! That seems to be the BIG question for Patagonia *yet again*. Wetsuits were said to have hit a production snag late 2007 so suits were pushed back a year, then a ‘fire’ burned down the R3 line in December 2008 and suits were pushed back to first week of Jan 2009, AND now – no one has a clue.

    Patagonia are telling frustrated customers that they ‘expect a shipment of R3s’ mid February…

    Patagonia Cardiff and seem to have a few R2s in stock. My guess is that by the time these things actually come out global warming will have hit Norcal and we can be comfortable surfing in R2s instead of R3s – heck, maybe even boardshorts…

    I’m losing faith…

  150. george Says:

    hi. my two cents (yens?) on pattie wettie from Japan. i live in Japan, a mile from a patagonia shop in kamakura. all patty wetties are subject to custom order here in japan. regardless of custom/regular they cost the same, ~40% more than what they sell in the US. they don’t use Yamamoto rubber any more as they have had enough issues with delivery due dates, a shop staff told me. just ordered a hood-less R4 last week which I should get it by the end of the month. i travel up north of Tokyo ~100 miles weekly (on business and surf) where water temps in mid 40s to low 50s with air temp in 30/40′s. the Yamamoto as well as the new factory have contracts with many wetsuit brands here in Japan. will provide my review on R4 when I get it. have a nice surf:-)

  151. Liveswithmom Says:

    Well, well, well… I got a phone call last week from SF Patagonia saying that they had a run of front-zips come in. So I moseyed on down and tried one on. One word: WOW! I’m 5’8″ about 148 and I tried on a small and it fit perfectly. At first I had forgotten about the second neck gasket and was thinking that the suit didn’t fit properly. But then when I realized my mistake it fit like a glove (with only slight puckering around the armpits). The neck fit nice and tight, same with the ankle and leg openings. I was sold. Plopped down the $530 and walked out a happy man.

    So, how’s it surf? Good question. I went out this past weekend and was impressed. The suit is glued and stitched which means one thing: you can feel water seeping in via the tiny pinpricks from the needle. It wasn’t an outrageous amount, but it was noticeable. The suit paddled well (better than I did coz I haven’t surfed in months and got pooped early). Flushing? Well, I took a few big hits on the head and that was the only time some water got in – and that was hardly any at all! Warmth? The suit was nice and warm. I don’t recall the actual water temp, but it was cold enough that I got ice cream headaches after several duck dives.

    Overall impression? Impressed and happy I waited. Scores out of 10? I’d say an 8. For $530 I would expect some sort of liquid tape to prevent the pin-prick leaking. It’s not a dealbreaker, but geez, I paid a wad of money for this suit! But liquid tape may have made for a stiffer suit…

  152. jefe Says:

    Cardiff Patagonia got a run of R3′s in about 2-3 weeks ago. I gave them a call, went in and picked up my R3 front zip I’ve been waiting on for 3 months.

    I couldn’t be happier. It’s my first front zip. It’s tight and a little tricky to get on and off, but will be all good with a little practice. The double neck gasket can feel a little choking at times…but other than that, I love this suit. Really comfy, flexible and keeps me super warm. Expensive but with Patagonia’s guarantee, it should be completely worth it. So far, I couldn’t be happier.

  153. thegreeenroom Says:

    I have had a 3mm back zip for a year.
    I wear it in Oregon in 45 to 55 degree water.
    I wear a separate hood (oneill 1.5mm) 2mm gloves and 3 mm ATAN booties from France.
    I am beyond stoked.
    Super warm and flexy.
    I bought the new R4 hooded suit today.
    Feels like a full 5mm suit but good stretch.

    When I wore in the water I felt like I was on fire.
    It was SO HOT. Water temp was 48 today and air was 45.
    I was choking hot.
    Don’t need gloves and I had to take off the hood mid session.

    I think a 4mm full suit with a 2mm hood would be perfect for 45 to 55 degree water.

    But I am not disappointed.
    Will be really good for days with snow or cold easterly winds and under 40 degree air temps.
    If you want to be really warm….REALLY warm….get one.
    It’s worth the extra dollars.

    2mm for central or so cal.
    3mm for Pacific NW in summer.
    5mm for Pacific NW cold winter days.
    In my opinion.

  154. austin Says:

    I love my patagonia wetsuit it keeps me so warm in the cold waters of Santa Cruz. I used to have a hotline 4/3 wetsuit and it was a good one with glued seems. it didn’t keep me very warm i used to get cold and had to ware my 5mm booties all the time. I also used to wear thermal rash guard and shorts under it. Now with my Patagonia wetsuit I don’t have to wear my booties any longer it AWESOME. sometimes I get HOT. When I longboard i get really hot. I have a hood but i never wear it because it is fine with out it. I stay really dry in the wetsuit and I’m glad that I bought it. THANKS PATAGONIA for the great suit

  155. matt Says:

    I just bought the R3 back zip and I am disappointed. I definitely could have gone with the R2 since I’m in socal, but I surf central cal, santa cruz, s.f. area on occasion. The wool lining and overall warmth is great, but I find it somewhat stiff, especially in the arms and neck. It just kind of feels like an old school wetsuit. The arms have no articulation or built in flexibility panels. One big problem i have with the suit is the neck fit. Maybe it’s just my body type/shape/etc. but I get irritation and rash in the back of the neck where the velcro closure seam is. I would recommend to anyone thinking of getting one to go to the shop and really test it out when you try it on. Pay attention to the neck area and try getting in paddle position and moving around to see how it fits. I am going to try to exchange for the R2 chest zip.

  156. Alex Hanssen Says:

    I bought the Patagonia R4 hooded suit this January. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. We usually surf in 0 degree celsius water and -10 -20 degree air in the winter. The warmth and stretch of the suit is fantastic. as long as I am able to keep my head out of the water I can last way longer than anyone I’m surfing with. However notice I said as long as I keep my head out.

    I couldnt have been more disapointed with how patagonia seemed to have just thrown on a hood without putting any thought into it. My old suit is an Xcel infiniti and that managed to keep my head much warmer while keeping less water from getting in. There are 3 main problems with the hood.
    1-although the flexibility of the limestone neoprene is great, it seems to only be useful or functional on the “body” part of the suit. It’s so stretchy that everytime I duck dive the hood inflates like a baloon with 0 degree water, only to wash it down into my chest once I pop out the back.
    2-the drawstring for the face is very elastic which is worsening the “baloon effect.” You would think it would tighten the hole around your face and be somewhat water tight but instead stretches too much and gives you a terrible ice cream head ache.
    3-I’m not sure how to explain this but when compared to xcell suits where the chest zipper only exposes one hole on the shoulder, the patagonia has two. so water can pretty flow in one side, into the chest area and out the other. plus xcell suits have a draw string for this hole. patagonia does not. they are relying on the flexibility of the neoprene to keep your “shoulder holes”

    As a side note the zipper on the patagonia suit is tiny compared to other brands. making it next to impossible to zip it up while wearing gloves in the water or on the beach.

    If this suit was developed in califonia where they have “monopoly cold water” it probably worked great and was very warm. but up here in canada where we have “real” cold water, xcel is king, but patagonia would not have to work hard to take over with a few adjustments to their crappy hoods.

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