O'Neill: Because There Wouldn't Be A 'Best Wetsuits' Without Them - Stab Mag

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Please excuse the folds. Our tester is undersized, and this challenge required a lot of tugging and pulling. You'll need to watch the full test to understand.

O’Neill: Because There Wouldn’t Be A ‘Best Wetsuits’ Without Them

Could this legacy brand have the best wetsuit in 2021?

hardware // Dec 10, 2020
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Frankly, there wouldn’t even be a ‘Best Wetsuits’ without O’Neill. 

If it weren’t for the cunning ingenuity of ol’ Pirate Jack, we’d probably still be wearing wool sweaters and vaseline in the surf. Bad times, those.

However, we won’t let these historical feats influence our mission. We’re here to find the best 4/3 on the market in 2021, and nothing will get in our way. Not even the fact that, while performing this test in O’Neill’s hometown, we received several notes slipped under our door, using a hodgepodge of newspaper cut-outs to present the message: O’nEilL WiNS, oR ELse.

Just kidding. Maybe. Watch the full test here. 

Suits

Men’s Submission: Blueprint 4/3+ mm Chest-zip ($549.95)

Mikey says: This Blueprint stuff is wild. Incredibly warm, protective, and apparently it’s fully sustainable. Love to see brands using low-impact materials to make a high-quality product. The suit definitely comes in at a premium price point, but I think the quality justifies it.

Pro: Warm through the middle, mobile where you need it.
Con: A bit on the heavier side.

Comfort: 43
Warmth:
45
Total:
88 (Finalist — watch the full test here to see if it wins!)

Ladies need smoothie too! Photo: Danica Taylor

Women’s Submission: Hyperfreak 4/3+ mm Chest-zip ($349.95)

Cori says: Having tested out this wetsuit in the hallowed homeland of surf-specific neoprene and the very backyard of Jack O’Neill himself, I had some high expectations for the overall performance of the Women’s Hyperfreak 4/3. Despite the widely-renowned Technobutter technology used throughout, I was surprised to be chilled to the bone just a short time after paddling out in it. However, its qualities of overall comfort and true-to-size fit fall fairly high on the scale, with everything going where it should, balancing out the scale and making up for the not-super-warm factor. I just want to see some of that smoothie tech in the women’s suit! 

Pro: Great to paddle in.
Con: Lacks smoothie panel, hence, cold. 

Comfort: 45
Warmth: 37
Total: 82

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