If you are a watersports enthusiast, you know the difference between a swimsuit from a wetsuit regarding comfort and mobility. You understand that the latter gives you what you need to help you perform your sport.
A review like this will help you find out why FERAL is one of the industry’s trusted wetsuit brands. You will also learn how to select the best product for yourself.
If you do not know where to start searching for the right products, this article will give you an idea about some of the best products in the market.
Table of Contents
Top 3 Best FERAL Wetsuits Reviewed
FERAL is undoubtedly one of the leading brands when it comes to wetsuits. It offers various wetsuits made from Yamamoto neoprene.
All the FERAL wetsuits almost have the same construction and features but vary in thickness, hoods, and neoprene number in the areas of the wetsuits. Here are some of their products.
- FERAL Hooded 3MM Wetsuit
- FERAL 4MM3 Wetsuit
- FERAL Hooded 543MM Wetsuit
This FERAL wetsuit’s construction uses both the no. 40 and the no. 30 neoprene. It absorbs a little amount of water because of its Yamamoto neoprene construction, making it an excellent choice for a warmer, lighter, and more durable wetsuit.
It has a strategic seam panel design and comes with a smooth skin hood. It uses seam taping and a chest zip type of entry with a shoulder drawstring. The zipper is waterproof, and the seal in the ankle and wrists areas is silicone tape.
This wetsuit has a thigh key pocket.
If you are going to look at the neoprene construction of the FERAL 4mm3, you will see that it is 4/3. It means that it uses the no. 40 and the no.30 Yamamoto neoprene. Like the 3 mm, it also has a seam taping and strategic seam design. It is a chest zip type of wetsuit that makes it an ideal choice if you want a wetsuit that gives both warmth and mobility.
It also comes with a pocket where you can store your keys. The seal for the ankles and wrists is silicone tape.
This wetsuit is excellent for 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit water temperatures.
This FERAL wetsuit has a hood with varying thicknesses in significant areas of the body. It is 5 mm on the back and chest, 4 mm on the lower legs, and 3.5 on the arms and shoulders. The hood is 2mm with a drawstring.
Like the other FERAL wetsuits, it also has a waterproof chest type of zipper and silicone tape seal in the ankles and wrists. It also comes with an external pocket for storage.
This wetsuit is excellent for 47 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature.
About FERAL and Its Wetsuits
The founders of FERAL are two lifelong friends from Northern California, who are also professional surfers. Their names are Buzz and Alex. Their inspiration for building this wetsuit business was when they grew tired of buying and wearing wetsuits that were expensive but low-quality.
These friends have a professional background in industrial design and engineering that helped them develop the high-quality wetsuits that they have ever wanted. The two friends made their creations available to the public, which they claimed was reasonable.
According to Buzz and Alex, they do all the work themselves. They create wetsuits from scratch and test them themselves before selling them to their customers. Thus, eliminating the addition of labor that will add to the possible price of the wetsuits.
FERAL is proud to say that its wetsuit’s construction is not from just any neoprene but the highest kind, the Yamamoto neoprene. The company describes this material as the highest grade rubber, and the FERAL wetsuits consist of 100 percent of it. It means that FERAL did not use any rubbish materials to incorporate its wetsuits.
According to FERAL, the Yamamoto neoprene absorbs little water that aids in the cloth feel when you wear it. The wetsuits feel warmer, lighter, and more durable.
As for the design, FERAL states that its wetsuits aim to provide comfort and functionality, rather than style and trends. It is because surfers or water sports enthusiasts are always out for some adventure. These people must have something comfortable to wear that will enable them to move freely.
FERAL says that its creations have panels and seams designed to ensure proper fitting and flexibility.
FERAL is proud to say that it makes its products available for customers reasonably because it sells its products directly. Also, according to the company, it does not have any middlemen or marketing agencies to pay. That is why it can provide the best price for its wetsuits.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Wetsuit?
People typically wear a wetsuit when they are out in the waters, whether for scuba diving or performing water sports activities. Many are unaware of the primary purpose of wearing a wetsuit. They just wear them because it is comfortable or less daring than wearing a bikini or swimming trunks.
Many people do not know that wetsuits help make users feel warm and protected when they do their favorite water sports. Wetsuits can do this by allowing a little water to penetrate and using your body heat to warm this small amount of water. This process helps you not to lose your body heat once you go into the waters.
Wetsuits offer excellent insulation, too, by not allowing cold water to penetrate the fabric. Most wetsuits are neoprene-made, a type of cloth consisting of closed cells with air responsible for providing insulation and trapping the heat inside the body.
Note that the thicker the fabric is, the more insulation it provides. Thus, it is warmer.
Types of Wetsuits
Wetsuits come in different types so that users will have something comfortable to wear at specific temperatures. Thus, the climate and the temperature should affect the wearer’s decision on the best wetsuit to wear or purchase. The wearer should consider the body’s sensitivity to cold, wind speed, activity level, and air temperature.
The wearer should also consider the manufacturer’s temperature recommendation for its products. What is best for one store may be different for the other.
Here are the different types of wetsuits.
The rashguard is what you would like to wear in summer. It protects you from sand and the sun because of the UV-resistant materials, such as Lycra, used for its construction. Many water sports enthusiasts choose to wear it too under other wetsuits to prevent skin irritation.
Tops or Vests
The neoprene thickness of the tops or vests is between 0.5 to 2 mm. Because it is just a wetsuit top, it is also the best choice for warm climates. Watersport enthusiasts also wear it with other wetsuits to feel warmer. They usually pair it with a bikini or boardshorts.
They can be in the form of neoprene shorts or leggings that one can wear for warm water temp.
Long John or Jane
It is a full wetsuit without a sleeve. It is also thinner, 1.5 to 2 mm than the full wetsuit. That is why it is also ideal to use for warmer water temperatures.
Short John, Spring Suits or Shorty Wetsuits
It looks like a full wetsuit with shorter legs. Some have shorter arms too. It also uses thin neoprene material that one can use in warmer water temperatures.
As the term indicates, it is a wetsuit that should be covering the whole body, limbs, wrists, and ankles. These wetsuits come in different thicknesses to fit various water temperatures.
As mentioned, the thicker the wetsuit is, the warmer it will feel. Manufacturers and stores use millimeters as the unit of measurement to indicate the thickness of a wetsuit. You may see some wetsuits measured with numbers separated by a slash.
When you see this kind of measurement, the first number indicates the torso’s neoprene thickness and the second to the extremities. The second number may also indicate the leg area’s neoprene thickness if the third number is present. If there is a third, this number refers to the arm area.
The first number is the most important consideration because it maintains the heat of your core. It is essential to prevent hypothermia.
Although the thickness of the neoprene in your extremities seems ideal, note that it also affects those areas’ flexibility. Thicker neoprene feels warmer, but it makes the fabric less stretchable, making it difficult to move. For this reason, the neoprene in the extremities is thinner than the one in the core.
Types of Seam Seals
The wetsuit seam seals are essential considerations because they affect the wetsuit’s durability and water permeability. There are three types of seam seals.
Sealed and Taped
It means that it uses glue, tape, and blind stitches. It is the ideal type to use when the water is at 55 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and below.
This type is highly durable because of the blind stitches and glue. It also has its interior seam taped. With this construction, it is almost impossible to permit any water from penetrating.
It is the next seam seal that you would like for a wetsuit if the temperature is below 62 degrees Fahrenheit, but not below 55 degrees. It permits a little water because of the glue and blind stitches applied on the stitch panels.
If the water’s temperature is beyond 62 degrees Fahrenheit, it is the seam seal that you want, because it allows a little amount of water inside. Because there are no additional stitches or glue added to it, it lies flat and feels comfortable on the skin.
Types of Zippers
You might be thinking why zippers become an essential consideration for choosing the best wetsuit. It is because zippers can indicate the wetsuits’ stretchability and water permeability.
These wetsuits may not be zipperless, but the entry points are typically in the neck or chest area, using either a small zipper or a velcro. Most wetsuits that are zipperless use thin fabric.
The zipperless is the best choice if you will wear your wetsuit for water sports that require a lot of mobility, such as surfing and paddling.
The chest zip is the best choice if you are looking for both warmth and mobility. To wear a wetsuit with this kind of zipper, you should enter through a cutout around the neck area, step inside it, pull it, insert your limbs to the right parts, and pull the neck cut over the head. After that, zip the wetsuit in the chest area.
Among the three types, the chest zip is the most challenging to wear. However, it is the best choice if you are looking for both warmth and flexibility. It prevents water from penetrating, and because of it has a zipperless back, it also provides flexibility.
Aside from these advantages, the chest zip feels comfortable because of the snug fit that does not cause any rash.
The back zip is the most traditional type among the three. It is also the easiest one to enter and exit. However, the problem lies with the water permeability.
Most back zips permit some water at the back’s seams, which feels uncomfortable and causes you to feel cold. Because of the taut behind, it may also restrict the wearer’s movement.
Some manufacturers develop a flush guard solution to prevent water from seeping to solve the water permeability issue.
The Right Wetsuit Fitting
Because wetsuits are snug to the skin, it is quite tricky to tell if you have found the best fit or not. Generally, a wetsuit should be snug and feels like the second skin. There should be no parts that are sagging.
Do not choose a loose wetsuit, because water may seep into it, which diminishes its purpose of maintaining your body heat. You may want to wear a rashguard or a swimsuit under it to prevent rash.
The right wetsuit should feel snug in the shoulders, knees, crotch, and torsos, without any loose areas. When you lift your arms or squat down, the fitting should also allow you to move freely. The best way to determine the best fit is to use the store’s or manufacturer’s size chart.
Other Accessories and Garments to Wear With the Wetsuit
You will still feel cold when you do not take the accessories and other garments into consideration. It includes the best gloves, boots, or hoods that should go with your wetsuit. Like your wetsuit, you should also consider these products’ insulation to ensure that you will not feel cold when you go out in the water.
Take note of the place where you will use your wetsuit. It is essential for determining the best wetsuit to wear according to the climate in the area.
Wetsuits are a lot different than your typical swimsuits. Wetsuits come in different types and thicknesses that aim to provide warmth and mobility. That is why you should consider a lot of factors when you buy the best product for yourself.
Aside from these factors, you should also consider the brand to ensure reliability and quality. One of the best and famous wetsuit brands is FERAL because of its use of Yamamoto neoprene.
Now that you know how to select the best product, you may start choosing among the mentioned products in this FERAL wetsuit review.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: What Is Yamamoto Neoprene?
A: It is a type of neoprene manufactured by the Yamamoto Corporation. Unlike ordinary neoprene, Yamamoto claims that this fabric offers 99.7 percent water impermeability because of its closed-cell structure. It means that only 0.03 percent of water can penetrate it. It is because the Yamamoto neoprene used limestones that came from Japan’s mountain ranges. Because of this, although this fabric seems to be more expensive than the others, it is worth it. It helps surfers or water sport enthusiasts feel light and warm because it does not soak in water.
Q: What Is the Difference Between a Limestone Neoprene and Yamamoto Neoprene?
A: The two are almost the same. Yamamoto neoprene is some of the well-known brands that manufacture limestone neoprene for wetsuits. Other brands are Geoprene and Bioprene. Limestone neoprene is the product that these manufacturers create.
Q: What Is the Difference Between the Limestone Neoprene and Ordinary Neoprene?
A: To create a neoprene fabric, one has to use chloroprene rubber. That is why both the limestone neoprene and the usual type have chloroprene rubber. The difference is the source of this material. For ordinary neoprene, it uses petroleum-based chloroprene rubber that came from rubber chips foam. On the other hand, limestone neoprene uses calcium carbonate from limestone to make this chloroprene rubber.
Q: What Is the Difference Between the Yamamoto No. 40 and No. 39?
A: What makes these two different is their stretchability. No. 40 is more flexible than No.39. According to FERAL, it wants to point out that it only uses the no.40 on the upper body where the most stretches occur. It does not use the no. 40 at the lower part of the body because even though this type is stretchy, it is also substantial.
Q: Why FERAL Wetsuits Do Not Have Fuzzy Linings?
A: According to FERAL, fuzzy linings look impressive in the store and are excellent when dry. However, these linings diminish the insulation ability of the wetsuits once they become wet. It is because water is a poor insulator, and these linings will only absorb water.
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Torsten Bird is a talented and adventurous waterman from Western Australia, passionate about surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, hydrofoiling, skimboarding, snowboarding and skateboarding. Torsten has spent countless hours mastering his skills and his dream is to one day represent Australia as an Olympic athlete. Follow Torsten’s adventures on Instagram.