Best Wetsuits 2020: Billabong Furnace Natural - Stab Mag
Sooo Billabong missed the photo shoot. Frame grabs will have to suffice. Photo: Ben Judkins

Best Wetsuits 2020: Billabong Furnace Natural

Eco-friendly AND performance-oriented? Sign us up.

Words by Michael Ciaramella

Watch the complete 2020 Best Wetsuits test here.

This suit changed the way I look at life as a whole. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Prior to testing the Billabong Furnace Natural, my presumption was that everything “eco” and “recycled” was inherently worse in performance than its climate-killing equivalent. Sounds foolish now that I type it out, but that’s how my subconscious was primed. 

Today, I see things differently.

Lying on the beach in the Billabong suit.
Candid photo. I do this all the time. Photo: Ben Judkins.

To be clear, the Furnace Natural is made from 100% recycled materials, most of them having been scooped up from the ocean itself. On top of that, the suit’s materials are designed to quickly and completely decompose when it finally reaches a landfill (but not a second before!) All of which sounded great when I read it, but it also made me skeptical of the suit’s wearability. Was this thing gonna weigh a thousand pounds? Stand stiffer than a sixth-grader’s tube sock? Literally disintegrate in the brine?

To both my surprise and delight, I experienced none of the above. In fact, the suit was incredibly light, limber, and structurally sound, and the Graphene lining kept me reasonably toasty despite the mid-November chill. The Furnace Natural was easily the biggest surprise in our 2020 Best Wetsuits test, and probably my favorite suit to wear for a number of reasons—not the least of which was my total absence of guilt. 

Official Scorecard
Warmth: 38/50
Comfort: 50/50
Bonus: 5 for eco-friendly
Total: 93/100

Billabong Furnace Natural 3/2 ($449.95)

Billabong's Nobel Prize-winning Graphene lining.

Billabong Furnace Natural 3/2 ($449.95)

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