Patagonia Wetsuits Review | Epic Wetsuits or Rip Off?

Patagonia wetsuits may be in the more expensive range, but they carry a famous reputation for having unsurpassed quality with impressive customer support and warranties. The Patagonia brand is a name that stands out within the sports-based apparel industry.

The company is also well-known for its more eco and social-conscious approach to manufacturing its products. Their wetsuits use Yulex natural rubber as their primary fabric, creating products with as minimal impact as possible.

During the early years of Patagonia as a brand, it used the same limestone-based neoprene typical with other apparel brands. However, it shifted to more renewable products, replacing its neoprene wetsuits with rubber-based ones using raw latex derived from trees.

Although Patagonia wetsuits aren’t famous when it comes to flexibility, they have many other features to offer. The brand produces some of the most durable wetsuits on the market. Their product’s performance is comparable to wetsuits using traditional neoprene but has an 80% less carbon footprint.

If you are in the market to buy an eco-friendly and high-quality wetsuit for your next watersport adventure, our Patagonia wetsuit review can help you choose the best one in the market.

Top 10 Best Patagonia Wetsuits Reviewed

  1. Patagonia R1 Yulex Full Wetsuit
  2. Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Full Wetsuit
  3. Patagonia R2 Yulex Full Wetsuit
  4. Patagonia R3 Yulex Full Wetsuit
  5. Patagonia R4 Yulex Full Wetsuit
  6. Patagonia R1 Impact Spring Suit
  7. Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Short John
  8. Patagonia Yulex Water Heater Hooded Wetsuit Vest
  9. Patagonia R1 Lite Long-Sleeved Wetsuit Top
  10. Patagonia R5 Yulex Full Wetsuit

1. Patagonia R1 Yulex Full Wetsuit

Patagonia R1 Yulex Full Wetsuit

Most wetsuits that are available today mostly use neoprene materials, either limestone or petroleum-based. While neoprene is excellent for creating wetsuits, they have a significant downside. The manufacturing process of this fabric is harmful to the environment, and for surfers and watersports athletes who are eco-conscious, this hazard simply won’t do.

Patagonia wetsuits are some of the best and most popular options for an eco-friendly alternative. The R1 Yulex Full Wetsuit, in particular, has a massive following.

All Yulex wetsuits by Patagonia, like this model, are neoprene-free. The fabric used for this wetsuit is from rubber and comes with a Forest Stewardship Council certification. It’s the most eco-friendly wetsuit you can get.

However, being kind to the environment is not the only thing you can get from this wetsuit. Patagonia made sure to include top-notch features on this product as well.

The R1 wetsuit range from the brand comes rated for a water temperature between 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. This 3/2.5mm full wetsuit design provides ample warmth without being too tight and uncomfortable to wear. It fits great and allows you to move freely.

You know that the fabric has a distinct smell if you’ve used a traditional neoprene wetsuit before. However, the rubber compound of this Yulex wetsuit isn’t smelly at all. Plus, it provides the suit with a quick-drying feature.

Patagonia didn’t scrimp on the design as well, making this thin wetsuit as durable as possible. It has scratch-resistant Supratex panels on the ankles and knees, giving the suit long-lasting structural integrity. This Patagonia wetsuit has top-notch durability that can last several seasons, but if the seams become loose or the zipper breaks, the brand will repair it for free.

The R1 Yulex wetsuit comes in different zipping styles: front zip and back zip.

2. Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Full Wetsuit

Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Full Wetsuit

The R1 Lite range of Yulex wetsuits from Patagonia is much lightweight compared to the R1 series, designed with thinner fabric for warmer water temperatures. This 2mm wetsuit is ideal for water temps between 18 to 23 degrees Celsius.

This wetsuit features a combination of mostly recycled materials, following the environmentally-conscious principles of the brand. The thighs part of the suit features a 95% solution-dyed polyester fabric and 5% spandex. It features a thermal lining with a microgrid design to offer maximum flexibility, less weight, and quick-drying properties.

Meanwhile, the wetsuit’s lining on the legs and arms features a 100% recycled polyester jersey for fast dry time and excellent flexibility. On the other hand, the outer layer is 15% spandex and 85% recycled polyester material, giving the wetsuit its water-resistant, stretchy, and durable properties. Plus, the face and lining of the fabric have extra strength, thanks to the solvent-free glue used to laminate the parts.

For a thin wetsuit, leakage can often be a problem. However, Patagonia made sure that water leaking inside the wetsuit wouldn’t be an issue. It triple-glued the seams, included internal tapes, and 100% external seam sealing to get maximum water resistance.h

Even the most disregarded part of the design got its durability checked as well. The zipper, for example, is corrosion-proof and replaceable, unlike other wetsuits from different brands. That means when the zipper breaks, your wetsuit remains usable after it’s repaired, extending its lifespan.

The full wetsuit design of the R1 Lite is available in a short-sleeved or long-sleeved wetsuit.

3. Patagonia R2 Yulex Full Wetsuit

Patagonia R2 Yulex Full Wetsuit

Don’t let the cold water stop you from enjoying a fun and exciting trip to the ocean. If you need better protection from the freeze than what the R1 wetsuit can provide, you can level up to Patagonia’s R2 Yulex Full Wetsuit model. It features a 3.5/3mm thickness, making it suitable for water temperatures ranging from 13 to 16 degrees Celsius.

The wetsuit material is a combination of 85% Yulex fabric derived from natural rubber and 15% synthetic and chlorine-free rubber material.

This wetsuit for colder weather comes with an impressive thermal lining to keep you comfortable and toasty against the chilly water and air. It has the same microgrid thermal lining as other Patagonia wetsuits, which is excellent in keeping your body heat inside in the most lightweight material possible.

The linings also feature water-based glue lamination and internal tapes on the seams for 100% sealing.

When surfing, diving, or surf skiing in cold waters, it’s essential to keep your entire body warm and protected. Hence, the hooded design of this wetsuit. It covers your ears and head, protecting them from the elements.

Other incredible features that you can get from the R2 Yulex Full Wetsuit are extra durability from its ankle cuffs that prevents flushing and the scratch-resistant Supratex knee pads.

The R2 Yulex wetsuit variations are available in two: front zip and back zip full suits.

4. Patagonia R3 Yulex Full Wetsuit

Patagonia makes sure that you are protected every time you go to the ocean, whether it’s summer or winter. If you are planning to surf or go scuba diving around the winter season, the R3 Yulex Full Wetsuit can provide you with adequate protection from the elements.

The wetsuit features a much thicker fabric at 4.5/3.5mm thickness to keep you from experiencing hypothermia. It comes with a rating for use in water temperatures ranging from nine to 13 degrees Celsius.

The R3 wetsuit range from Patagonia follows the same design materials and construction from other series, only using a much thicker fabric.

It uses the same 85% Yulex material from natural rubber combined with 15% synthetic fabric. The warm thermal lining is similar to other Patagonia wetsuits, using 95% solution-dyed polyester combined with 5% spandex for less weight and rapid drying.

However, the wetsuit fabric on the thighs and torso are considerably thicker at 4.5mm with a 3mm material on the hood, while the arms and legs feature a 3.5mm thick Yulex rubber.

What’s even better, the Yulex material and thickness for this wetsuit range are efficient in keeping you warm for longer-lasting surfing sessions. You can spend hours on the water without feeling chilly. Overall, it’s one of the most durable wetsuits from Patagonia.

The options you can get from the R3 range are only two zipping styles, front zip, and back zip.

5. Patagonia R4 Yulex Full Wetsuit

If you want to brave the ocean in the dead of winter before the temperature turns negative, Patagonia backs you with its thickest yet still comfortable wetsuit. The R4 Yulex Full Wetsuit from the brand has a 5.5/4.5 thickness, rated for use in water temperatures as low as three degrees Celsius.

The thighs and torso are usually the parts of the body that rapidly experiences chills from cold air and water. Hence, Patagonia made the R4 wetsuit thicker in these critical areas, making it 5.5mm thick to provide ample warmth and protection from freezing air and water. The hood, which adds extra protection for your head and ears, has a 3.5mm thickness using the same 85% Yulex fabric.

The arms and legs have considerably thicker protection at 4mm as well. Meanwhile, the warm thermal lining of the wetsuit keeps you extra toasty while also cutting off the fabric’s drying time.

Using the wetsuit above or underwater is safe and secure. The seams come fully laminated and sealed with water-based glue and internal tapes. There should be no worries about water leaking into the wetsuit.

What’s even better is the wetsuit comes in a wide range of sizes, allowing you to choose the one that fits you like a glove without being too tight and limiting your movements.

The R4 Yulex wetsuit is available in two styles: back zip and front zip full suits.

6. Patagonia R1 Impact Spring Suit

Surfing is a great watersport, and there are many factors you should protect yourself from, like the impact of massive waves or your surfboard when a wipeout happens. Fortunately, Patagonia has the R1 Impact Spring Suit.

It’s a wetsuit, but a lot better than traditional ones with 25mm protective padding on your sides, back, and thighs made of foam. This extra feature provides the wetsuit maximum floatation and protection from the elements.

If it’s your first time going surfing, the extra floatation feature is extremely convenient to have. It’s not something that you can get from any other wetsuit in the market.

#7. Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Short John

Patagonia R1 Lite Yulex Short John

Short John wetsuits are far more comfortable to wear when the weather isn’t too cold. It keeps your back, torso, upper arms, and thighs warm, but keeps your arms and legs unrestricted by the fabric.

This type of wetsuit is perfect for use during the summer season or months when the sun is up a bit. The R1 Lite Yulex Wetsuit from Patagonia is an eco-friendly option from the traditional neoprene-based Short Johns in the market.

The fabric material used for this wetsuit is the same 85% Yulex and 15% synthetic rubber that Patagonia is famous for using. However, compared to the full wetsuit model from the R1 Lite series, this Short John suit is only 1.5mm thick. It has a considerably thinner material, making the wetsuit extremely lightweight and softer on the skin, perfect for use when the water is a bit warmer.

However, despite its thinness, the R1 Lite Yulex Short John remains durable, thanks to its high-quality flatlock stitched seams. This construction doesn’t only make the wetsuit sustainable but also comfortable without the itchiness from seams that didn’t get proper stitching.

The zipper of the wetsuit, which can either be at the front or back depending on the style you choose, is corrosion-proof. That makes the zipping system durable and long-lasting even when used in the ocean.

8. Patagonia Yulex Water Heater Hooded Wetsuit Vest

Patagonia Yulex Water Heater Hooded Wetsuit Vest

Sometimes, you need extra warmth more than what your wetsuit can provide. Hence, Patagonia’s Yulex Water Heater Wetsuit Vest. Usually worn under a traditional wetsuit, this vest offers additional comfort and warmth.

This vest is effective in extending the suit’s thermal range for your core and head when you need it. It features the same Yulex material that Patagonia uses in all its wetsuit products.

The vest has a face opening that you can easily adjust and secure using its cinch lock and elastic cord. Also, the baffle at the outer neck is efficient in shutting out water for maximum comfort and warmth.

The vest is only 1.5mm thick, which is suitable for use during summer. However, when you go surfing in winter, the hooded suit can make an efficient undergarment for your full wetsuit.

9. Patagonia R1 Lite Long-Sleeved Wetsuit Top

Most people believe that wetsuits are only there to serve as protection from the freezing water and chilly air in the surf. It is why some novice surfers opt to go topless or wear a sleeveless shirt when surfing during the summer season. However, pro athletes understand the need for protection against the elements even during warmer months, especially against the sun’s harmful US rays.

Wearing a super warm wetsuit during the summer may not be appropriate, but the R1 Lite Yulex Long-Sleeved Wetsuit Top is ideal. The 1.5mm thick fabric is, keeping you slightly warm but offers ample protection from the sun. You’ll thank yourself at the end of the day when you wear this wetsuit top, especially if you’ve experienced sunburns before.

Aside from its incredible thinness, this wetsuit top is also incredibly stretchy, thanks to its improved flexibility because of the 100% recycled solution-dyed polyester lining.

Although it’s thin, Patagonia didn’t compromise on the wetsuit’s durability. It has a flatlock construction on the seams to make it durable and highly resistant to water. The wetsuit also features an incredibly streamlined pullover design for maximum flex and reduced drag.

Another convenient feature of the wetsuit top is its adjustable waist with its cord lock design, providing a more secure fit and less water entry.

10. Patagonia R5 Yulex Full Wetsuit

Patagonia continually innovates its designs and styles, providing more and better options for athletes and watersports enthusiasts. Hence, the brand laid out the newest wetsuit design, the R5 Yulex Full Wetsuit. Although it’s Patagonia’s most expensive model, the capacity of this suit goes well and beyond.

Like the previous R series from the brand, you can easily guess that this new model features a much thicker fabric, and you’re right. The R5 Yules wetsuit features 6.5mm thickness, rated for use in water temperatures as low as zero degrees Celsius. There are very few brands that offer 6.5mm to 7mm wetsuit thickness, and Patagonia is one of them.

Unless the water temperature becomes negative, you’ll be safe, secure, comfortable, and warm while you are wearing this wetsuit when you go surfing during winter.

The R5 Yulex Full Wetsuit features a 6.5mm thick Yulex fabric on the thighs and torso, 5mm on the arms and legs, and 4.5mm on the hood. Everything else about this model is similar to other Patagonia wetsuits.

Types of Patagonia Wetsuits

Patagonia wetsuits are available in different types. In this case, the primary difference in its wetsuit collection is the thickness, which is a primary consideration when buying a wetsuit.

6.5mm Wetsuits

The thickest wetsuit that Patagonia offers is the R5 range, which is 6.5mm thick. This type of wetsuit is suitable for diving during the winter season, with water temperatures as low as zero degrees Celsius. Otherwise, wearing this wetsuit in a standard setting can be extremely warm.

5.5mm Wetsuits

The 5.5mm wetsuit is often the most forgotten range. Most surfers or divers will have the thinnest wetsuit for summer use and the thickest one for winter use. A 5.5mm-thick wetsuit is a middle range, ideal for use when the water temperature isn’t too hot or too cold.

3.5mm Wetsuits

The 3.5mm wetsuit is the ideal suit for warm water use or during the summer. This type of wetsuit should be your companion if you are going to a surfing destination with tropical waters.

Shorty or Spring Suits

Spring suits or short wetsuits are ideal for use during warm months when you need extra warmth and protection in your core. This type of wetsuit is comfortable to wear and take off. However, it won’t protect you from stingers living underwater.

Patagonia Wetsuits: Company & History

Launched in 1973, Patagonia is now one of the oldest sports-based apparel manufacturers worldwide. Decades before, the Patagonia brand creates quality wetsuits using similar neoprene fabrics that other brands use.

However, the California-based empire soon shifted into a more eco-friendly venture. Patagonia is now famous for its cutting-edge and innovative Yulex fabric derived from natural rubber. Currently, Patagonia is one of the leading eco-friendly clothing brands all over the world.


Patagonia is one of the widely popular wetsuit brands in the industry right now. However, it is incredibly distinct in providing only eco-friendly wetsuits. The brand creates its surf suit masterpieces with less carbon footprint as possible, using fabric derived from natural rubber it now calls Yulex.

Patagonia wetsuits are far more innovative and environmentally friendly but still perform on par with traditional neoprene wetsuits.

Our Patagonia wetsuits review should help you choose the best surf suit for your needs and preferences.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: How long does the Patagonia wetsuit warranty period last?

Patagonia offers an “Ironclad Guarantee” to all its wetsuit products. It is synonymous with having a lifetime warranty for their products. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can return the item asking for repair, replacement, or refund.

Q: How should I take care of my Patagonia wetsuit?

Rinsing the wetsuit with fresh water, especially after using it in the ocean, and drying it will help preserve the wetsuit’s quality.

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