One of the main products you need to go surfing—a wetsuit—has long been made out of neoprene, a non-biodegradable, usually petroleum-based material that requires lots of resources to make and can itself be harmful to the Earth. But neoprene helps give wetsuits their insulating properties, which makes for longer surf sessions in chilly water and lets surfers attempt point breaks at down-right cold locations where surfing wasn’t possible before.
Now, surfers can feel better about zipping into a warm wetsuit since some of the newest aim to lessen that load on the planet by mixing more-sustainable materials with neoprene that’s created from limestone instead of oil. Choose from any of these superb suits to keep your surf sessions longer while lightening your carbon footprint along the way.
The Best Insulated Wetsuits That Are Also Better for the Planet
1. Rip Curl Flashbomb Heat Seeker 3/2 Chest Zip E6
This revolutionary suit covers you during extra-crisp predawn missions by retaining heat—and creating it, courtesy of Flex Energy neoprene, which activates to generate added warmth as you paddle. Stretchy mesh panels help absorb solar heat while matte panels on arms and chest reflect wind chill.
2. Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Front-Zip Short-Sleeved
This redesigned winner’s stretchier pattern allows effortless freedom of movement, and a reconfigured front zip makes entries and exits hassle-free. It also remains one of the most sustainable wetsuits, utilizing natural rubber on the exterior fabric and a noticeably softer arm and leg lining that are both 100 percent recycled.
3. Volcom Modulator 3/2 Chest Zip
Don’t let this suit’s smooth and simple look fool you. The premium details are there, with minimal seams of toasty, thermal-lined warmth for colder waters—not to mention a limestone-based neoprene for a gentler (petroleum-reducing) eco-impact.
4. Matuse Dante w/ Hydrasilk 3/2
Credit Hydrasilk, a silly smooth next-gen nylon, for what’s easily the softest wetsuit we’ve ever worn. Its hydrophobic properties block both water and wind absorption, keeping you drier and warmer. Also Fair Trade Certified, it uses a limestone-based rubber containing recycled rubber tires and neoprene.
5. Picture Dome 3/2 Front Zip
Taking sustainability further with manufacturing and material alternatives, the Dome’s face fabric and lining are made from recycled fishing nets, and water-based glue secures an EicoPrene foam base, derived from limestone and recycled tires. Performance isn’t sacrificed, as it remains among the stretchiest suits.
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