My winter suit just died....what should replace it?

It's getting cold ......and it's gonna get significamtly colder. My excel winter suit's seams are now beyond repair (after two years...hmmm..).

I liked the excel - except for the seam issue. Ideally i'd like someting similar but more robust.

What's the best winter suit?

If it's really cold water, I love my Patagonia. I have the R3. Best wettie I've ever had.

 SUPER warm, extra comfy and easy to get on and off.

 Not cheap but quality gear seldom is.

I had a 300$ qucksilver cell,it lasted 2 winters in florida and the seams in the back/shoulder area blew out.So I got a  90$ ripcurl e-bomb and its on winter #4 and still going strong,its not as warm of a suit but is holding up better that the 300$ one.


It's getting cold ......and it's gonna get significamtly colder. My excel winter suit's seams are now beyond repair (after two years...hmmm..).

I liked the excel - except for the seam issue. Ideally i'd like someting similar but more robust.

What's the best winter suit?


The best?

For me, the best is durable. I had this excel wintersuit, super expensive, lasted 1 winter only!!!

All the expensive suits claims warmth, stretch, etc. but not durability. Comfort comes at a price, as most found out already.

Best of for durable is 1. cheap suit, usually well stitched, not glued, or... 2. buy second hand.

i bought a second hand, for 1/3 the price of a new good wetsuit. 

good luck on your search

I’ve got a hotline phoenixx 5/4 that i’ve had for 2 years and there isn’t a thing wrong with it.  Really warm, and flexible, definitely my best suit ever.   I think my next suit will be a hotline again.

I have an Xcel 3/2.  The first year I had it I swore it was the best wetsuit in the world and it kept me warm until the end of November here in New Jersey.  The second season it barely kept me warm til the first of November.  Year 3 it was no better than the cheapest non-glued $99 suit on the rack.

On the flip side I have a BodyGlove 5/4/3 that is 7 years old and is only now beginning to leak.  Still using it as a second suit when I surf a second session.

The super-flexible materials just don't hold up.

I have had an excel infinity for 4 years, after 2 winters I sent it for some seams to be re-taped. This year I glued a few seams with black witch and it seems to be holding well. Its definitely the BEST neoprene ive ever had, warm flexible and durable. But if there was a simple seam re-taping kit you could get it would definitely extend the life of the suit by a season or two.

     I just got a 5/4 ripcurl F-Bomb. The rubber is the softest ever. Easy to get on and off. I don’t feel any temp change when getting in the water. Not inexpensive by any means, but I got a team rider discount from the shop I apprentice at. After having one I think the price is worth it, but I never would have paid retail before I got in it.

Hyperflex in NJ is one I would be happy to throw into the mix as a well made, warm suit that is priced way reasonable.  I also concurr on Hotline and Ripcurl.  Both good suits for already stated reasons. 

Aleeda wetsuits in Huntington Bch. will make you anything you want for about $350.00. Custom fit, custom thickness and they last.

Yes…my Excel might survive a third nor-cal winter; but was looking at the Matuse suites this week. I was told that for 4/3 warmth, you need to go to a 5/4, as they don’t use the thicker rubber in as many places on their suites, as other companies do. Anyone have experience with Matuse ?

hi silver back , the best wetsuits you can buy in the uk are are snugg , made to measure for no extra charge , after care service like you will not get with any of the imported suits and made by british surfers for british winters, 

being custom made you can alter what you want , i don/t like the single lined chest panels on most suits , most you see end up comeing unglued but for me i sometimes slip off the board in the winter when the wax is harder , having doublelined on the chest panel is a bit more grippy and more durable as well

i have 3 snugg suits , two 5/3 mini zips and a 3/2 back zip , the first 5/3 mini zip cost me £225  6 years ago ,its been well used for that time , my son has used it the last 3 winters and i have just got it back from being repaired from snugg ,a new neck peice , two new knees and the seams retaped , £70 and the suit is like new again and i don/t see why it won/t last another 5 years or so , money well spent , pete

A Wetsuit is the most important piece of equipment you own during the winter months.

Buy a brand new top of the line suit each season or at least every two.

Three years? Wow!

I heard of Cheap but that’s like wearing worn out socks and taking off your shoes going through security and not being embarrassed.

They weren’t meant to last forever!

Plus the technology is moving at such a fast pace you do yourself a disservice not to keep your equipment current.


O’Neil suits are steamy warm. The guy’s in Santa Cruz value there wetsuits.

Hey Pete - that Snugg suit sounds good. Often thought about checking them out - I might well do so after your testimonial.


Yes - in cold water a good wetsuit is very  important - I have very little interest in being cold.

My previous Excel worked brill, but the seams kept coming apart at the soulder area at the back + I found that the knee pads weren't i the right place for duckdiving.


regarding hyperflex. I bought a 5 mil hood to extend my 4 3, wicked warm as you could imagine but some seams came apart after just one session. Tried tire rubber cement, too liquid. Bought some Loktite stik n seal and cut up a bicycle inner tube, excellent fix, also fixed a torn bootie with it, permanent fix. Recently bought an excel 5 4, hope it lasts a while, dunno after reading some reviews on this thread

matuse seems to suffer from chronic quality issues.

the patagonia is rugged, well built and warm, but I find it too thick and stiff…though I use the R2 in place of a traditional 4/3.

people seem to have very positive things to say about the new Buell suits…Boz too.

the key to making your suit last is care and feeding…I put my suit on with plastic bags on feet/hands so I don’t have to claw and pull on it.

it always gets rinsed and properly dried…rotating between multiple suits is also a good way to make them last.


Around here you invest in a good suit or are too cold to surf. I’ve been using Rip Curl for about the last 10 years.  4-3 hood and booties year round. I also own a Body Glove 5-4-3 for the freezin ass mornings or Spring upwelling days.  I buy Rip Curl because they are warm and fit good.  They stand behind their product.  If I can get about 14 months out of one I’m happy.  The problems I’ve had with them are the liquid tape hardens, cracks and becomes liquid scrape.  I’m told they are working on this.  They have resealed and taped my current suit twice at no cost.  And, in a timely manner.  The  quality and durability of the rubber over the last 10 years has been inconsistent.  I think this may be true for many of the big manufacturers.  My current suit is starting it’s 3rd season.  A first for me since I owned a Hotline.  The rubber is still in pretty good shape. Hotline has a reputation for durability, but don’t fit me that well.  I have had problems with the quality and durability of O Neil and wouldn’t buy one unless it was a nice suit for cheap.  The cost for wetsuits have gone up considerably even though the cost of petro has gone down.  I wonder why?  Maybe it’s the high cost of media hype advertising bullshit.  I don’t mind paying more for something better.  For a guy like me better means warm and durable. If I pay twice the going rate for something, it better be twice as good or I won’t be back.  A lot of guys around here buy 2 suits and rotate.  I may take another look at Hotline, but will probably stick with the Rip Curl. Mike

THe Boz top of the line is reasonably priced and very warm and stretchy.  Mine is a 4/3 and I couldn’t be happier.  Harold will custom cut it for you.  We had low 50’s wate last winter and I was the only one warm among my friends.

Going into a 3rd Winter with an 4/3 O’Neill Mutant - I can’t stress how warm and watertight this suit is, and really soft / flexible.


SUPER warm - I couldn’t pee in this suit for the whole first Winter season, and it’s still gotta be pretty cold for that (might be a Con, I like wetting my wettie!)

Flexible - really stretchy neoprene and no back zip.

Detachable hood / collar - I shave my head, so this is a really nice feature when the wind is up.


Smelliest suit ever! Even though I rinse it after (almost) every session, I still end up washing it with wetsuit shampoo at least once a month to keep the reek to a minimum. It seems as though it stays wet longer too - even when hung in the garage with a fan blowing it stays damp for 3-4 days.

Difficult entry / exit. I feel like I’ve done some serious yoga getting in & out of it.

Stress points in the chest and back where the hood / collar piece attaches - there are tiny holes on all four corners now. Also, the neck area that provides entry / exit has some small tears from constant stretching - they don’t leak though (BUT - after 3 seasons that’s pretty minor, and I would bet the’yve addressed some of this).

    Howzit unclegrumpy, I can only imagine how much a Patagonia costs but my niece has a big job with them and gets a 50% discount for me when I visit so I may just go for one of them.Aloha,Kokua