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  1. #1

    another wetsuit question

    I've been wearing a 4/3 Body Glove Fusion back zip that is in its 5th season and its served me well but it has been starting to leak, has a lot of ware-and-tare and is just getting old so I have been looking through some websites for new suits. I am going to stick out the rest of winter with the Fusion but I am looking to upgrade. I've been looking a lot at O'neil wetsuits and wanted some peoples opinions on them. I have narrowed it down to the O'neil Mutant 4/3 chest zip with the detachable hood or the O'neil Psycho 1 back zip. Has anyone had either of these suits that they could give me their opinions on? Also I was wondering what people's takes on back zip vs chest zip were? I know the chest zip allows for a lot more flexibility and not as much water getting in the suit but I have also heard that they are a pain in the a$$ to get on and off. Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MD - VA
    Posts
    3,998
    Quote Originally Posted by joecal4 View Post
    I've been wearing a 4/3 Body Glove Fusion back zip that is in its 5th season and its served me well but it has been starting to leak, has a lot of ware-and-tare and is just getting old so I have been looking through some websites for new suits. I am going to stick out the rest of winter with the Fusion but I am looking to upgrade. I've been looking a lot at O'neil wetsuits and wanted some peoples opinions on them. I have narrowed it down to the O'neil Mutant 4/3 chest zip with the detachable hood or the O'neil Psycho 1 back zip. Has anyone had either of these suits that they could give me their opinions on? Also I was wondering what people's takes on back zip vs chest zip were? I know the chest zip allows for a lot more flexibility and not as much water getting in the suit but I have also heard that they are a pain in the a$$ to get on and off. Thanks for the help.
    Sorry, don't have an O'Neil. Always wanted to try one. But, re: chest zip vis a vis back zip, my x3 Xcel suits (XXL) are all front zip; I just gave away my one back zip suit. Reason being, for me the front zip keeps the water out noticeably better. As for getting in / out of the thing, yah, front zip is definitely not as smooth / easy as back zip. If you have big or wide shoulders, then it is often a wrangling act to get the suit off.

    For me the trade-off is that with the front zip the pro is less ice water down the hatch while the con is spending more time in contortions to remove the suit over my shoulders.

  3. #3
    I've got a 5/4 Oneill mutant and love it! it is far more flexible and warmer than I expected. Yes, it is harder to get in and out of but it's totally worth back it. Also, the interchangeable neck/hood is genius and makes the suit so much more versatile (especially in a 4/3). I also own a Psycho 1 3/2. I like the suit but HATE the back zip. The difference in mobility between my Quiksilver ignite 4/3 (chest zip) and my Psycho is ridiculous. I think chest zip suits have now ruined me on any back zip suit.
    Also, Oneill's ZEN zip closure is great at eliminating flushing thru the back zipper but they achieve this by adding another layer of rubber. This extra rubber robs you of flexibility when paddling. I usually let a buddy use my psycho b/c I favor my 4/3 so much.
    I would recommend practicing getting in and out of your new chest zip suit dry so you have a plan of attack when trying to get out when its wet. It's all about getting the first elbow free!

  4. #4
    i have a 5/4 mutant by oneil. its in its second season and holding up well. its flexible and warm and for the price a good deal overall. i don't like the hood b/c it doesnt have the design that more ergonomically fits your chin the way some other suits have, so definitely consider that. Getting out of it is a complete drag though, takes forever and is frustrating. The removable hood is ok i guess, but up here in the northeast if you need to be wearing a 5/4 you will need a hood too except for a couple of days in the spring and fall when the waves are not too big and not too rough.

    I also have an excel 4/3 xzip. Much easier to get in and out of. is it b/c its less thick of a suit? Probably somewhat. But if i were looking for a replacement for the mutant, i'd probably buy an xcel if price are similar.

  5. #5
    All my suits are O'Neil's, I have a 5/4 Psycho II, a 4/3 Psycho I and a 3/2 Mutant...the only one that fell apart at the seams is the 4/3 and it was because i didn't rinse it after every sesh, but it still lasted me about 3 seasons. They are great suits and the interchangable hood/neck is great.

  6. #6
    I have the 6/4 Psycho 2. Very hard to get into and I've torn the flap that goes over the head. It is very warm and flexible.

  7. #7
    I love my body glove 4/3 neo fusion chest entry. It's much warmer and no icy water down the back. But the cuffs aren't snug enough, have to wear elastic bands around the wrists. The first few times my buddies had to help get it off my shoulders. I even got bruised on arms from trying to get it off! But it's stretchier now and not much effort needed now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Texas
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    I don't have an O'Neil but I have a chest zip and it is way more flexible. Feels better on my neck when I'm craning to look at the sets coming in.

  9. #9
    I have very wide shoulders, and I will never buy another back zip again. That is how much more flexible and warm a chest zip suit is.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    bolsa chica SB, Huntington Beach,CA
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    319
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    1

    psycho....

    i have a psycho 1 4/3 and the rG8 4/3 (both o'neill) and surf shop said it is essentially same suit except the rg8 is front zip while psycho 1 is back. in colder water i also use 1 mil rash guard for both. i hated the front zip rg8 over the back zip. i called it the python. it was harder than hell to get out of, especially with frozen hands. however, after 2 winters it has softened up a bit so i can get out of it more easily and it still works great. they are both great suits but i must say the rg8 has become my winter standard as the psycho 1 can flush down the back in heavy surf. i just ordered a QS cyber fuseflex 5.5/4/3 (front) so i will see how that fares against my o'neills.
    Last edited by spongedude; Feb 25, 2013 at 08:37 AM.