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(Wednesday) 6.17.15

2015 Wetsuit of the Year – O’Neill Psycho 1

O’Neill’s Psycho 1 3/2 takes the top spot in this years test. MSRP $319.99

O’Neill has done it again. A solid combination of performance, warmth, and price has pushed them to the top of our test AGAIN. Let’s look at the individual categories and talk about how and why this suit climbs to the top.

From a performance standpoint O’Neill gets it’s stretch from a combination of technology and construction. The Psycho 1 is built with large panels of their TechnoButter 2 Neoprene (technology) and has ultra-minimal seams (construction). The combination of the two gave the suit competitive scores in arm stretch while leading the way in leg stretch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to stretch weight is also a critical piece of the performance equation. Nobody wants to carry around an extra pounds of water – nobody. The Psycho 1 lead the way with only 2.9 lbs. of added water weight. This made the suit the lightest of all suits weighed after submerging in water for 24 hours.

From a warmth perspective this suit was very interesting. This was not the warmest suit in the test. It was however very competitive. The suit has good seams, cuffs and seals with only minimal leaking. O’Neill’s Z.E.N. Back Zip Enclosure does an effective job of keeping water out of the suit during duck dives and wipeouts. As a result the water that does come in has an opportunity to heat and stay warm. What really surprised me was how this suit performs in sunlight vs pre-dawn. I tend to surf ultra dawn patrol thru early morning and found this suit to be a bit chilly. However, I took it out on several mid morning surfs and when the sun is overhead the suit heats up quickly. The ability for it to heat up in direct sunlight is key since most surfers aren’t out pre-dawn.

Finally, lets talk price. At $319.99 this is the second most affordable suit we tested and it was only $15 more expensive than the most affordable suit. I noticed that the suits with extra layers of insulation inside tend to fall in a higher price band. Yes, the extra layer made them warmer but they were more expensive and heavier when wet.

O’Neill has a very competitive formula on their hands. They provide a product that performs well and does so at a price that is much cheaper. The most expensive suit tested was $224 more than the Psycho 1.

As I have said in every suit we’ve tested – there are trade-offs with everything. If stretch and weight (performance) is the most important piece of the equation for you then there is a brand that leads. If warmth is the most critical then it is something different. Our test is built to find an overall winner that combines the best of all categories while minimizing User (subjective) input. The O’Neill Psycho 1 is the best of all worlds. If you are looking for something that is affordable, warm, light, and stretchy you should start your next wetsuit search here.

Feel free to download the pdf below. It outlines all data points and can help you when you look for your next suit.

Stoked.

CLICK THIS LINK: WETSUIT PERFORMANCE SCORES

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