Top 6 Best Hooded Wetsuits | 2020 Reviews (XCEL, O’Neill)

Options for wetsuits are rapidly growing as surfing is not the only sport that requires a wetsuit. Diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding, among others, need wetsuits to counter the cold.

There are many features that users must consider before buying the best hooded wetsuit. It can be overwhelming, especially for first-time wetsuit shoppers who just want to end up with the wetsuit of their dreams.

As this is an essential piece, shoppers are advised to be familiar with specific parts and use this as a reference in selecting their wetsuits.

Top 6 Best Hooded Wetsuits in Review

Whatever watersports you are into, wetsuits will always be an essential piece in every activity. The protection that wetsuits give will always be the top feature because it is the suit’s primary function.

With the many brands out there that provide the best hooded wetsuits, it is often quite a headache to pick the best among them. That is why we have provided you a list of the best hooded wetsuits in the market and will leave you to decide which one fits you.

  1. Men’s Infiniti Hooded Full Suit by XCEL
  2. Superfreak F.U.Z.E. Hooded Wetsuit by O’Neill
  3. R4 Yulex 5.5/4mm Hooded Wetsuit by Patagonia
  4. 5/4 Furnace Ultra Hooded Fullsuit by Billabong
  5. Flash Bomb 5/4mm by Rip Curl
  6. Ultra Hot Combo 5/4mm by Hotline

#1. Men’s Infiniti Hooded Full Suit by XCEL – Best Overall wetsuit

XCEL Infiniti Hooded 5/4 Wetsuit Large Black

Specifications:

  • Water Temp Rating: 48 degrees & up
  • Thickness: 5/4 mm
  • Neoprene Type: 100% stretch
  • Seam Construction: Sealed and Taped
  • Zipper Style: Chest Zipper

Xcel is known to be the 4-peat winner of the Wetsuit of the Year by SIMA (Surf Industry Manufacturers Association). Their Infiniti Hooded full suit gives justice to their continued success.

It was recently upgraded to having Thermo Lite, and it is strategically placed in the back and chest for that ideal warmth and comfort. Heat in the chest area is essential because most of our organs are located here.

The outer sleeves have an S-seal seam that is ready for various conditions. Also noticeable in the wetsuit is the glide skin collar that prevents flushing and the dope dye that does an eco-friendly anti-fade. Above all, the wetsuit engineered its design to fit like a second skin.

ProsCons
Has Thermo Lite feature for added thermal protectionCan sometimes restrict mobility
Can sustain water temperatures 48 degrees and up
Zipper on the chest for easier in and out

#2. Superfreak F.U.Z.E. Hooded Wetsuit by O’Neill  – Most flexible wetsuit

O'Neill Wetsuits Mens 5/4 mm Superfreak F.U.Z.E. Zip Full Suit with Hood

Specifications:

  • Water Temp Rating: 48 degrees & up
  • Thickness: 5/4 mm
  • Neoprene Type: Ultra Flex
  • Seam Construction: Ulta Flex Taped Seams
  • Zipper Style: Front Upper Zip Entry

O’Neill prides itself on being a trusted brand by athletes. They started in 1952 and have been making waves in the surf culture since then. Colliding authentic heritage with modern performance has brought them to create the Superfreak F.U.Z.E. 5/4 Hooded Wetsuit.

We want to mention three things about this wetsuit – drain holes, F.U.Z.E. Closure, and UltraFlex Neoprene.

In this wetsuit, the drain holes are found on the chest and upper arms. Between the two drain hole areas, the chest area is quicker in draining out, thus maintaining body heat.

It’s important to note that once the chest gets cold, it is difficult to have it warmed again, so this wetsuit gets a plus in the body temperature department.

Front Upper Zip Entry (FUZE) is a sturdy zip that will not rust with seawater, so expect this to last long. Plus, this closure prevents water from getting into the wetsuit.  Now, this is ideal for winter surfing, where the water gets icy.

The UltraFlex Neoprene is a material we love because it is flexible and stretchy, making it comfortable to wear for an extended period. It does not restrict any movement, and it reduces wind chill.

ProsCons
UltraFlex Neoprene lessens mobility restrictionsThe front zip is a little tough for athletic bodies
FUZE technology for faster in and out of the suit
Has drain holes to keep water out of the suit

#3. R4 Yulex 5.5/4mm by Patagonia – Best Eco-friendly wetsuit

patagonia wetsuits

Specifications:

  • Water Temp Rating: 38 degrees & up
  • Thickness: 5.5/4 mm
  • Neoprene Type: 100% stretch
  • Seam Construction: Sealed and Taped
  • Zipper Style: Chest Zipper

When you go to Patagonia’s website, you will see an odd banner statement ‘business unusual’. Why unusual? They are in the business of mitigating extinction threats of all earth’s life forms by solely operating under the green premise of environmental consciousness.

Their wetsuit R4 Yulex 5.5/4mm is by far the most eco-friendly you’ll get in the market. They are almost petroleum-free, and they also did unusual changes to production and glue methods and made sure that these wetsuits bring the slightest hint of environmental burden.

Let’s dive further into this Central American material, Yulex. It is derived from Hevea (a tree found in the forests of Guatemala) and incredibly shares the same flexibility and warmth with Neoprene.

They started experimenting in 2012; then, in 2016, they pushed to go all out and use this natural rubber in all of their wetsuit lines. Since then, they are enjoying a cult following of individuals who believe in minimized carbon footprint.

Serious reconfiguration and improvement have been implemented to the flex and flexibility to sustain its fame. Tweaks have been made to achieve their most pliable Yulex formula to date. This upgraded version makes paddling so much easier.

As for the fit, the new R4 Yulex is designed to have more space in the shoulders and chest areas compared to previous years. They are comfortable and true-to-size.

ProsCons
Can withstand water temperatures from 38 degrees and upNot very flexible compared to other wetsuits
Fabric made from recycled polyester and spandex
Expensive
Front zip design for easy in and out of the suit
Fair Trade Certified

#4. 5/4 Furnace Ultra Hooded Fullsuit by Billabong – Best value for money

Billabong Mens Furnace Ultra 5/4mm Hooded Chest Zip Wetsuit Black Q45M03 Wetsuit Size - MT

Specifications:

  • Water Temp Rating: 37 degrees to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Thickness: 5/4 mm
  • Neoprene Type: Airlite Stretch
  • Seam Construction: 100% welded and sealed
  • Zipper Style: Chest Zipper

Committed to being the leading brand in beach fashion and surf culture, Billabong brings us 5/4 Furnace Ultra Hooded Fullsuit in the myriads of wetsuits in the market. It sports a sleek design with a subtle logo at the sleeve, chest, leg, and back. But aesthetics are just a part why they’re gaining positive feedback and reviews.

Enthusiasts from all over agree to the company’s claim that they are the warmest in the market. It could be true as it has a Drymax entry mechanism that keeps heat in and water out. But the most valuable material in the warmest wetsuit in the world is Graphene.

It is excellent in conducting heat, making it noticeably warmer compared to most liners. Aside from being a heat conductor, the material is lighter than hollow fibers by 50% and sturdier than steel by a massive 200%. Even so, carbon fibers are being combined to ensure warm, light, and durable wetsuit.

The wetsuit is also one of a kind because of the seams that are externally sealed and welded. They are supposed to give extra longevity and, once again, warmth. Another trailblazing feature is minimal paneling for that ultimate performance.

ProsCons
Utilizes Furnace Graphene liningNet very flexible compared to other high-end full suits
Seams and internally weldedVery expensive

#5. Flash Bomb 5/4mm by Rip Curl – Best All-around hooded wetsuit

FLASHBOMB HEATSEEKER 6/4 Hooded Fullsuit Wetsuit

Specifications:

  • Water Temp Rating: 37 degrees to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Thickness: 5/4 mm
  • Neoprene Type: 100% stretch
  • Seam Construction: Blind-stitched and glued
  • Zipper Style: no zipper

Rip Curl envisions itself to be the leading company in surfing. It came true with their hot item, The Flash Bomb. Shortly they realized such a high commodity needed to have a retrofit. They went quiet for a while, and now this award-winning Rip Curl creation is back to ready to serve all aficionados.

One of the Flash bomb upgrades includes a classic orange (and yes, fuzzy) E5 flash lining where it dries as quickly as 15 minutes. You can imagine how good this will be for patrol sessions in the break of a winter dawn.

You may have seen the lining before in other Rip Curl’s suits, but the improved version has placed the padding throughout its insides.

Another upgrade is the mesh skin of the chest and back. It acts as wind resistant and generates warmth in the core. The internal lightweight tape is used, and the team did an excellent job of having an external seam.

ProsCons
Neoprene material is exceptionally stretchy and allows mobilityIn and out of suit takes some time because of the zip free entry
Fast-drying wetsuit
Construction not sustainable enough
Zip free

#6. Ultra Hot Combo 5/4mm by Hotline – Best budget hooded wetsuit

Hotline Wetsuits Men's UHC 5/4mm Full Suit Hooded Black

Specifications:

  • Water Temp Rating: 32 degrees to 52 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Thickness: 5/4 mm
  • Neoprene Type: 100% stretch with Nylon blend
  • Seam Construction: Blind-stitched, triple-glued, GT Taped
  • Zipper Style: extra-wide chest zipper

Hotline started its humble beginnings in the ’70s at Pleasure Point, a popular Surf Spot in Santa Cruz, California. Many years later, they’re still prudent in their business and don’t engage in great marketing.

But the company is considered to be a big name in wetsuits, and the Ultra Hot Combo 5/4mm is their most acclaimed piece. Fans appreciate its durability, for we can see some of them still wearing the Ultra Hot Combo purchased 3 to 4 years ago.

A large item in the ’90s and until now, the Ultra Hot Combo wetsuit, is regarded as well-suited for people who have a prior injury. The helpful feature is the extra zip system room in the chest. It allows recuperating to surfers the most access to zipping up and down their suit. The Neoprene material is also exceptionally stretchy.

Sizing can be an issue as Hotline runs different from other leading manufacturers. They accommodate plus sizes. Most fans consult their sizing chart before placing an order.

We recommend that you try to search the size chart of Hotline suits since their sizes are very different from those of other brands. But Hotline can be a perfect option for bigger guys because they can accommodate body builts up to 280 pounds.

ProsCons
Has a unique zip system made for surfers with prior injurySizing differ from other brands
Neoprene and nylon blend fabric is super stretchy

Top Pick – Best Hooded Wetsuit

Hooded wetsuits are essential for surfers, divers, and many water sport enthusiasts, especially during the cold season. Because of its resistance to cold water and its durability, hooded wetsuits can be a staple. But with all the innovative features of the hooded wetsuits, many brands are now pricing huge because of the high-end technology that the suits have. That is why you have to pick the best one that is the best in overall features, especially with the price.

The best hooded wetsuits for us have to have excellent value for money, especially since it has to take good care of your body while on water. That is why our top pick is the Xcel Men’s Infiniti Hooded Full Suit.

The suit does not only protect the user’s body, but it also creates excellent comfort along with its durability. Compared to other full suits or wetsuits, the Xcel Infiniti has a competitive and reasonable price. The ThermoLite technology provides exceptional warmth to the user, and the suit seals the body enough to allow little water to come inside for heat protection.


Getting the Best Hooded Wetsuit – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

If you want to pick the best hooded wetsuit for your next water sports adventure, you must know the features that make it the best, especially in quality, price, and usability. To help you identify which hooded wetsuit to pick, we have created a guide to read below.

3 Things to Look out for in a Hooded Wetsuit

#1. Zipper variation (back-zip vs. chest-up)

Back-zip wetsuits are considered to be the original design, so we are more accustomed to them. They may be cheaper than their chest-zip counterpart but sometimes can cause challenges on a chilly day where the cold water can seep down the back.

Chest-zip suits are more expensive, but they are beneficial when you are in the cold water. They bring more warmth compared to back-zip wetsuits. But a common disadvantage is the difficulty of getting in and taking off.

#2. Wetsuit thickness

The thickness of the wetsuit is in millimetres. The core is often thicker to keep body heat and allow more mobility in the extremities – both arms and legs. Measurements come in twos or threes, and as always, core’s thickness comes first. A basic rule of thumb is the thicker the wetsuit; the warmer it can be when exposed to cold waters.

Below is a simple reference on the ideal wetsuit for the following temperatures:

  • Low 50 degrees to low 60 degrees Fahrenheit: 4/3 mm, or 4/3/2 mm
  • Low to high 40 degrees: 5/4 mm, or 5/4/3 mm
  • Low to mid 40 degrees and high 30 degrees Fahrenheit: 6/5 mm or 6/5/4 mm

#3. Stitching and seams (blindstitching vs. sealed/taped/glued)

Experts say that stitching seals the deal in shopping for your wetsuit. So, when they say things are not created equal, this holds water too in the wetsuit department. You might encounter suits that have overlock stitching. They are the simplest to make, but unfortunately, they do not secure water that comes inside the suit. It is a red flag in choosing wetsuits.

Blindstitched suits tend to have tight stitching. Its seams are glued and do an excellent job in water seepage prevention.

Fully sealed/taped/glued wetsuits seep little water, so they help you stay warm inside. Some of these suits are taped internally and externally, but this can be pricey. But if you are planning to play in sub 55-degree Fahrenheit, spend some extra bucks and aim to get these wetsuits.


Conclusion

One of the best features of a hooded wetsuit is its capability to protect the user from head to toe. It can even be worn on different water sports activities such as surfing, diving, paddleboarding, and even kayaking. The best part of all the features is its ability to seal the warmth of the body and not allowing the coldness to go inside.

With all the brands and the features that every hooded wetsuit brings, just be sure to stick to your criteria. The only thing you remember is that the best hooded wetsuit will be able to protect you no matter what water temperature you get in, and it will last long.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is the best zipper style for a hooded wetsuit?

The best zipper style for a hooded wetsuit is the chest zipper. It provides easy in and out of the suit and is also readily available to the hands.

Q: Why is my hooded wetsuit smelly?

There are many reasons why a wetsuit could smell, and some of it is the body odor, salt build-up, and improper storage. So, before you store your wetsuit, you have to make sure that you correctly cleaned it, and there are no water droplets on the suit because it could also cause the smell.

Q: What wetsuit is excellent for surfing?

Many wetsuits can be used for surfing. But the first thing you need to remember is that the suit must allow excellent mobility to the user since surfing requires a lot of movements.

Related Resources

Leave a Comment