Anybody had a chance to try a heated wetsuit yet? I'm from the NW, and saw a guy in the local lineup last week talking about the Thermalution suits from HeatedWetsuits.Com. He was ranting and raving about it and definitely LOOKED a lot warmer than everyone else. It's the first time I've ever seen one and it sparked my curiousity.
Anyone tried these things out? The Quiksilver Cypher vests were horrible and had all sorts of battery problems. I'd love to get a reliable heated suit for those super cold winter mornings, but don't want to spend money on a piece of junk. Any reviews on this one?
Don't expect it to turn a worn out suit into a miraculously warm suit again. But, if you put it on under a solid sealed wetsuit that doesn't flush all the time, it will easily double the length of your session on those super cold days. It also really extends the amount of time you can stay in a 4/3 before switching over to the 5/4/3. I bought one last winter and I love it.
I get super stoked on those stiff offshore wind days....I don't feel the wind a bit on my back...and then 2.5 hours later....the batteries go dead......."F&%^!"
i first bought the cypher 2 yrs ago. battery died. replaced whole vest and now it works. not a miracle or anything but does keep me a bit warmer. i surf LI yr round and wear it under my 6/5/4. (as a frame of reference, i'm always freezing and usually the last in the lineup to go to trunks)
i also have the H bomb heated rip curl wetsuit. big let down. it is an awesome wetsuit w very comfy neoprene, but it does not keep me warm enough in the winter. it is great to wear just before and just after winter but not during. also, the geniuses at rip curl didnt put any wind protection layer over the front or back of the torso, so when its windy it goes right thru the suit and you shiver. i bought a 1 mm dawnpatrol vest that i wear over the suit and that solved the problem. i called rip curl to see if they could modify my suit and they said no. if they made the neoprene 1 mm thicker and put wind blocking stuff on the torso, the suit would be perfect.
my advice is to go w a vest of some sort. try it on first if you can. the pads have to hit your skin but in the quik vest theres no contour to the vest then it may not actually hit your back if you are skinny.
also heard rip curl is coming out w a vest to compete w the cypher. i think that would be a good one to check out bc their heating element goes from the top of your pelvis to your bottom of your neck and the quik one is just over the lumbar spine.
I bought the Cypher vest at the beginning of the winter last year and felt like it was a bit of a tease. I needed it to be on the warmest setting to feel it, and then I was always left hoping for just a liiiittle bit more warmth. My battery quit working after about 6 uses, and water would pour out of the battery/controller after every session. I did like the attached hood, though and wore it a few even after my batteries shot out on me.
I haven't tried the H-Bomb from RipCurl, just because I couldn't fork over the cash for a 4/3 model. I've heard some good and bad reviews, but none from anyone I know personally. I decided to go with a less expensive option.
Now I've got a Thermalution heated wetsuit vest, and it seems to be about the best of both worlds. It's a vest, so I can wear it in all my suits, rotating it into whatever thickness I need. It's got two batteries instead of just one and they are much thinner than on the cypher vest. As far as warmth, the Thermalution gets WAY warmer than the Quik Cypher. I'd say it is probably warmer on Medium than the cypher is on the high setting. I've used the vest about 25 times throughout last winter and have not had any problems as of yet.
I'm definitely a lot less worried about this coming winter, knowing I've got it hanging in my closet, batteries charged!
Check out buell wetsuits. not heated wetsuit, but damn fine wetsuit. Buell makes all the suits for nike, ruca, reef, volcom ect riders. hes up and coming from santa cruz and his suits are best on the market. underground too - which is cool
Good call about the Cypher not working so well if your skinny, I just got one last year and a lot of the cold winter days I kept thinking I was turning it off when in reality my back is just too skinny for it and the pads don't actually touch my back so it barely heats me up
I where a 6/5 in the winter and am rarely cold and do not feel restricted at all. I have surfed four hour sessions in 38 degree water with 34 degree air with no problem. I can only speak for surfing as fsr north as NH in the winter maybe in Maine you need more but a 6/5 seems plenty warm to me no heat needed. Paddling hard is the only heat I need.