OK, since there are about 10000 wetsuit threads in this forum, i think we should all just post our suits and what we think of them. Make this a sticky, and when people have questions about suits, just look at the sticky and find reviews of the suit they're considering.
Me: xcel 5/4/3 infinity
xcel 4/3 infiniti drylock
xcel 3/2 back zip
my 4/3 drylock has been an incredible suit. it's 4 yrs old and does a great job from late october to early december and from early april to late may into june. great transition suit.
5/4/3 infinity has been a great suit as well and i have absolutely no complaints.
xcel 3/2 back zip has been pretty bad. the worst part is not having a chest zip. this suit gives me rashes under my arms and on my neck when it gets a lot of use. looking forward to when it gets a little cooler and i can rock the 4/3
3/2 is an e-bomb chest zip. super warm & stretchy. i find the rip curl chest zips to be kinda difficult to get in & out of at first, but gets easier over time. that said, i will never, ever wear a back zip suit again. they just feel so restrictive after 4+ years in chest zip suit. this is a fairly new suit, just going into it's 2nd fall. it should last me another 3-4 years if nothing goes wrong w/ it.
4/3 is an f-bomb chest zip. i'll wear this suit w/ a cap down to about 40° or so, air temp depending. if it had an attached hood, i could prob. wear it mostly all winter. it's that warm. this one's going into it's 3rd fall, but i'm confident that it will easily last another 2-3 years.
5/4/3 is also an f-bomb chest zip. this has the attached hood & i have never been cold in this suit. on smaller days, my chest & the interior chest panel of the suit will still be dry. easily one of the warmest suits i've ever worn. it's just unfortunate that i hate wearing a suit this thick. this one's also going into it's 3rd season of use, but like i said, it doesn't get real heavy use if i can avoid it. the last one i had gave me 4 solid years of heavy use.
2/2 short sleeve full is an e-bomb chest zip. they only make the chest zip in the "pro" model, which basically means that they sacrifice some warmth for added flexibility. i don't find it to be much of a big deal, since i'm only wearing it when the air's warm but the water's got a chill to it, like in late spring/early summer. my only complain is that it seems like it doesn't seal well at the ankles & biceps. i don't know if this is an issue exclusive to the "pro" model series of suits or if it's just my suit.
1mil e-bomb wetsuit top. this is a no-zip job. still easy to get in & out of, & a convenient cinch & boardshort tie loop at the waist to help keep the thing in place. keeps me warm, is stretchy, & stays in place. all i can really ask for in a wetsuit top, i guess.
2mil long sleeve spring is/was a classic back zip. the zipper recently broke on it, so i'm prob. going to replace it w/ a chest zip when spring rolls around again. no point in doing that now, as we'll be climbing into our fullsuits soon enough.
anyone have any info on the patagonia R3? they're coming out w/ a hooded chest zip version & am kicking around the idea of picking one up for the winter.
it is crazy expensive...i've actually pretty much ruled it out. the hooded version is $575!
i was told that the hhoded R3 would get me thru an average nj winter & that guys who wore the R4 last winter (which was colder than normal) were borderline too warm on all but the coldest days. but the cost is rather prohibitive for me.