3 of Our Favorite Wetsuits

Lots of surfers take pride in spending as little as possible on a wetsuit. What do you get if you spend more? In the best cases, exactly what you pay for.

Nov 29, 2012
Outside Magazine

The author testing wetsuits.    Photo: Eric Hansen

Eric Hansen testing wetsuits.

Last summer, I tested a handful of pricier suits in Iceland. A novice, I rode a sporty Fish Q82 by Nature Shapes and a lazy What I Ride longboard by Robert August. A handful of locals swore that their island has a half dozen excellent breaks but unfortunately a high-pressure zone hung over the country for most of my three months there. Thorlaksöfn, a beginner-friendly beach break just south of the capital, was no Mavericks. That said, the weather proved excellent for testing. Sea temperatures ranged from 45 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjusted for windchill, air temps ranged from 25 to 70 degrees. Summer in Iceland was not unlike winter in California.

Ultimately, three suits struck me as excellent values: the 3mm Matuse Scipio ($569, matuse.com), the 5/3mm Axxe Bohemian V ($1057, axxe.jp/us), and the 6/5/4mm O’Neill Heat FSW ($379, oneill.com).