Billabong: A Best Wetsuits Finalist Two Years Running - Stab Mag

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Graphene make boy strong. Photo: Danica Taylor

Billabong: A Best Wetsuits Finalist Two Years Running

This Graphene stuff is seriously warm.

hardware // Dec 9, 2020
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In 2020, Billabong shocked the world by making the Best Wetsuits final with a 3/2 made entirely from recycled materials.

This year, they’ve come back with another noteworthy contender in the men’s division — the 4/3 Furnace Chest-zip. For the women’s, it’s the 4/3 Salty Dayz.

Both suits feature Billabong’s Nobel-Prize winning super-fiber, Graphene, which is scientifically proven to get warmer faster and stay warmer longer than typical neoprene. But only one of these suits makes our 2021 Best Wetsuits Final (watch here).


The black and purple fuzzy stuff on the inside of the suit? That’s Graphene. Super warm and exceptionally light. Photo: Danica Taylor.

Men’s submission: 4/3 Furnace Chest-Zip ($439.95)

Mikey says: This suit is inoffensive, easy to wear, and has some seriously next-level tech on the inside. There are a few shortcomings — the main one being that it absorbs a fair bit of water — but all things considered it’s a suit that you’d be happy to wear any day of the week. Hence why it made my top 3.

As fine a day as any for a Graphene-infused romp. Photo: Danica Taylor

Pro: Easy to wear.
Con: Heavy when wet.

Comfort: 43
Warmth: 42
Total: 85 (Finalist — watch the full test here to see if it wins!)

A solid option for a midday surf. Photo: Danica Taylor.

Women’s Submission: 4/3 Salty Days ($259.95)

Cori says: Despite being a generally comfortable wetsuit to throw on for a quick midday session, there seems to be much more focus on visual design (i.e. floral prints, color blocking, fashion collabs, etc.) than actual fit or construction. However, for the price, this could serve as a cute gift for someone just getting into surfing, or wanting to look extra colorful in the water.

The wave isn’t over until Cori says it’s over. Photo: Danica Taylor

Pro: Graphene.
Con: Soaked up water on the ankles and wrists.

Comfort: 45
Warmth: 40
Total: 85


Suited and booted. Photo: Danica Taylor.

Men’s submission: Furnace Carbon Ultra 3mm Split-toe ($48.71)

Mikey says: This boot didn’t particularly stand out to me, but I guess if boots aren’t getting in the way, they’re probably doing a good job. Overall, they let in a bit more water than I would have liked, but the grip was great and they fit well. My general takeaway is that no one really makes a bad surf boot in 2021, Billabong included.

Warmth: 41

Logo hit: check! Photo: Danica Taylor.

Women’s submission: 3mm Synergy HS ($39.95)

Cori says: With vulcanized soles and super light, stretchy uppers, Billabong’s Synergy 3mm boot is a decent all-around item to have in your trunk for those days when you don’t feel like losing complete contact with your pinky toes. On the whole, I can’t think of much to criticize about these beyond the fact that the split-toe design can sometimes cause the toes to get colder faster, and the ultra-light aforementioned uppers detract further from overall warmth even more, by letting water in pretty quickly. But for the price point, they’re a great value.

Warmth: 41

One last slide in the BB rubber. Photo: Danica Taylor.


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