Patagonia Wetsuit Review

So while we are still enjoying summer here I can’t wait for the fall season in California. Fall for Storm Day means lots of driving around, servicing our retailers and doing sales clinics all over the territory. Its a lot of work but as a rep in this territory I love it, mainly because fall is the best surf season in California, and our stops bring us to a lot of stores that are within striking distance of the coast. Along with POP material and clinic swag my constant companions in the rig with me are at least two of my FCD boards, and most importantly my quiver of Patagonia Wetsuits.

I am really biased towards these suits, one of my best friends, Glen Morden is the designer of these neoprene wonders, as well as the snow sports outwerwear for Patagonia too. Its been really fun to be in the loop with him as he works on new designs etc. That being said  I can really appreciate these wetsuits knowing some of the process that goes into these. The biggest differentiation on these is they are lined with a Regulator Merino wool grid. What that means is you can run thinner, lighter neoprene and still get the same, if not better warmth and have maximum flexibility. The flexibility is huge for me, I surf sporadically like four to five days in a row, then off for at least two weeks. I’m never in what I consider top surf fitness so if a suits not flexible I paddle/surf like crap. I don’t care how good of friends I am with Glen, if I miss a rare set wave because of my suit I won’t use it. Also the wool is great when you are wearing your suit multiple days in a row. The wool dries really fast, and is comfortable when putting on when the suit is still cold and damp. Everyone that surfs knows what a bitch putting on a cold wetsuit is like. The wool eases the pain a little, and they are much easier to get on at 6am.  Plus the durability has been bomber. My R3 has about 100 days now and still looks like its a month old. The suits are about $50-$100 more than their competitors but its worth it for the performance and peace of mind.

R3 Frontzip

This suit is my go to for 75% of the time in Cali. Its 3 mm neoprene with full wool grid in the arms and legs. Think of using it instead of a standard 4/3mm suit. The suit is always plenty warm for Nor Cal. I like the front zip entry too as this is the most flexible option. I’m 6’2″ 200lbs, the Large Tall fits like its tailored. I’ve tried to run the XL and there is too much material in the arm pits and behind the knees. Ive run the R3 in temps from 46 deg. F in New England and its a little chilly at that temp but was still doable. With a hood, gloves etc I was fine for at least an hour and half. All in all this is an extremely versatile suit and a staple if you surf in Nor/Central Cal.

R2 Frontzip

This suit I find myself using more and more. I love the lightness and flexibility. Its also really warm- I use this in place of a standard 3/2mm wetsuit. The 2mm neoprene coupled with the wool gives the suit just a bit more range in colder water. I use this suit all the time in SoCal, and often I will wear this surfing in the afternoon or evenings in Santa Cruz when the suns out and its a little warmer outside. In the fall when OB in San Fran warms up I’m using this suit as my main go-to. I’m generally fine if the water is warmer than 55 degrees and the flexibility is such a bonus if I can get away with it. I run this in size Large Tall as well.

Well thats it for the suits, its almost fall so hope to see you in water sooner than later!


Thank god for still shots, the two prior to this are ugly...

6 Responses to Patagonia Wetsuit Review

  1. snwbdrhoon says:

    Nice post. Thanks. I’ve had some fit issues with the Patagonia suits but their quality and customer service are top notch. As a winter New England surfer, warmth and flexibility are critical.


  2. snwbdrhoon says:

    Nice review. As a New England surfer, warmth, flexibility and durability are critical in the middle of February with winter swells. I’m a big fan of Patagonia suits, boots and gloves once I got past initial fit issues.


  3. considering getting one of these (R4) for hubby….wondering about knees, as they appear to be a single layer of neoprene. how do they wear?


  4. Billy Jay says:

    Got a Patagonia after reading this article on The Rethinker. Amazing Suit!

    Here is a link to the article.



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