Responsibly produced and built to last, the wool lined Patagonia R2 wetsuit is one of the warmest, most durable and fastest drying wetsuits on the market. This review highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the latest R2.
+ WARM: pound for pound, Patagonia makes the warmest wetsuits on the market
+ Durable: if you surf a lot, you will struggle to make a 3/2 steamer last a full winter. I’ve used Patagonias for 1.5 to 2 seasons in some cases. And, in the unlikely event that there is a problem with your suit, Patagonia is excellent about repairing any defects
+ Dries Fast: the merino wool and neoprene Patagonia uses dries much faster than my Rip Curl and O’Neill wetsuits (Matuse wetsuits dry in about the same time as the Patagonia wetsuits)
– Less flexible vs. other wetsuit brands (Rip Curl, O’Neill specifically)
– For my first few surfs, I got a little bit of cold water flush down the chest while duck diving. As the suit stretched from wear, this issue went away
– The first few times I wore the R2, I got rashes from the seams that run down over the armpits. Again, this issue went away as I wore in the wetsuit
– Patagonia suits are more expensive (although not much more, now) but, if they keep you warm for 50% longer, you are actually better off in the long run
– Some surfers feel chest zips are more difficult to get into and out of
Hello and welcome back to Benny’s Boardroom!
From time to time, we are going to do surf hardware reviews and the second most important piece or perhaps the first most important piece of hardware that you have if you live in a place where you can’t wear a board shorts year round, is the steamer wetsuit. I’ve been surfing this winter in the new 2013 model Patagonia R2 Chest Zip wetsuit. This was just released in August 2013 so I’ve been wearing my R2 for about a month (at the time of writing) but that is long enough to give you a couple things that I like about the Patagonia R2 and a couple things that I don’t.
The Patagonia R2 is very, very warm. The R2 is in the same class of warmth as the higher end 3/2 steamer models by O’Neill, Rip Curl, Matuse and the other big wetsuit brands. It is definitely as warm as those brands’ suits, if not even a little bit warmer. I’ve had a 3/2 Rip Curl E-Bomb, I’ve had a 3/2 O’Neill Pshycho 1 and 2, I’ve had a 4/3/2 Matuse Tumo and the Patagonia wetsuits are extremely warm. The marino wool lining passes the tried and true test as one of the most warm and durable materials available.
Importantly, I like Patagonia wetsuits for their durability. So, that’s what really draws me to Patagonia wetsuits and products in general; I am really hard on wetsuits and the Patagonia suits tend to last longer.
As a drawback, and this is something that is acknowledged about Patagonia wetsuits, they are not quite as stretchy and flexible as other wetsuits. However, the latest R2’s are the most flexible of the Patagonia wetsuits I have owned. That would be my first bit of feedback. The second bit of feedback is that, when I started wearing this Patagonia R2, when I would duck dive I would get a little bit of a little bit of cold water flush down the chest. That has since gone away as I’ve worn it more and the neoprene has loosened up a bit but I think it was just a matter of the new neoprene being a little bit stiff. Now the other thing, although it doesn’t bother me as much now, is if you look at the armpits, you can see where these seams run. Those seams run right over the armpit, which is not ideal for a wetsuit as that is where most of your movement occurs. I got some pretty terrible rashes the first few times I wore the new Patagonia R2 wetsuit. That has also gotten better because, again, the neoprene has softened up a bit.
Turning the Patagonia R2 steamer inside out, this neon explosion of color is the inside of the R2 Patagonia Chest Zip. Again, the marino wool lining dries really easy and keeps you really warm and is definitely more durable.
Overall, a great, durable wetsuit. That is the Patagonia R2 wetsuit review, the newest Patagonia and thank you very much for watching Benny’s Boardroom. Of course, if you’ve had a go in the Patagonia R2, let me know what you think. I would be really interested in knowing if people are having the same issues that I have had with it. Regardless, I would still get another one. Thanks very much for watching Benny’s Boardroom.
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Dont believe the hipe ,buy a wetsuit from a wet suit company ,4 hour s to Torquay i know cold . The Patagonia 43 i tried had chest flush constantly, its open both sides , definitely rashy,, legs as well as armpits more heavy than any other suits I've had in the last 10 years . I farm merino sheep i also hunt, fish in Foirdland NZ i don't wear wool where it rains 4 to 5 mts a year i wear polar fleece ,any one telling you a Patagonia out dries a Flashbomb in the middle of a southern winter dose not live where i live .Stick to Oneil or Ripcurl they know cold ,find the one that fits ,I'm using Flashbomb 43 no zip also no seal skin on chest, I've have had thumb tears on zipper suits from both companies in the past pulling on and off . Higher grade neoprene is used on Fashbombs according to sales head at the big Ripcurl shop in Torquay . I have been surfing 35 years, so I've had a few wetties over that time and Ripcurl 43 Flashbombs do it for me ,if you ever surf southwest vicco or south oz count the number of Ripcurl suits in the water . I had a Patagoia r3 early winter 2015 gladly swapped back to Ripcurl Flashbomb after 2 months , lets face it if you surf every surf in your wetsuit you want repeat comfort , they wear out just like a pair of jeans so you are up for a new one every winter where i surf .If you live in a more temperate climate Patagonias may do it , our water vary from 10 degrees to maybe 17 c and 43s are all year round , hope this helps out , Bob
I've had the same issue exact issues as you had, but like you say, all the issues went away after the first couple of sessions. The R2 is truly a wetsuit that needs to be "broken in" after a couple of sessions, but after the initial adjustment its the best wetsuit I've ever surfed and I won't be going back. They are a little more pricey than some of your upper echelon wetsuits, but I promise you they will last 40% longer, so do the math, they aren't 40% more expensive. Just my 2 cents.