Next up in the Winter Wetsuit Review is Quiksilver and their top of the line Cypher series Fuse Flex 3/2 wetsuit.
What’s Fuse Flex, what makes this suit special? Well, we jumped on the phone with the wetsuit team at Quiksilver to find out more about this suit before we got in the water to test it. And Fuse Flex – best way to describe it is that it’s a thing and a process. Typically wetsuits are stitched at seams then glued and taped. The stitch holds the wetsuit together, the glue and tape do their best to stop water from seeping into the suit from the tiny holes stitching creates. Fuse Flex is Quik’s evolution in this process. Rather than stitch, Quik’s Fuse Flex actually bonds the neoprene/rubber at a molecular level and you are left with a rubbery/gooey seam that is water tight and more flexible than their previous suits.
This wetsuit also combines two types of neoprene. In the chest and back section of the wetsuit Quiksilver employs “Plio-Tech Thermo Air Chamber Neoprene”. Think of this area of neoprene like a sandwich. In the middle you have Swiss Cheese (the cheese with holes) that traps air in. On the outside (exposed to ocean) you have slick skin – which is water and wind resistant. Then against your body you have Quik’s Biofleece Thermal Neoprene which is built to wick water away. Why make a wetsuit like a Swiss Cheese sandwich? Because you can warm the air against your body faster than you could warm water so it acts as an insulator.
You can totally see it when you look at the suit. On the outside it looks like the suit has a honeycomb structure and on the inside you can see the green material everywhere. This green stuff is a combination of XTX closed-cell Neoprene foam, and Bio fleece jersey made with recycled PET and infused with bamboo charcoal and nylon jersey.
How’d it work? Impressive. We took the suit out for a couple sessions and were impressed – warmth was not an issue. Then came the wind. Stupid on shores came up halfway through the session and started making the waves crumbly. Again, the suit held strong. My internal temp didn’t drop in a significant way so I was stoked to stay out and enjoy some crumbly faced waves.
Because we got a back zip suit I really wanted to test the suit at the neck and it’s ability to keep water out. I took several set waves right on the head (for you) and the suit held strong. Yes, there was some water that got in, but Quik has added a thin jersey separator that you pull over your neck – this took 90% of the water away from the body. After talking with the guys at Quik again, they advised the chest zip is even better at holding water out of the suit (I bet next year we get a chest zip).
I also wanted to test the wrist and ankles in a big way. Quik doesn’t really talk about the added beads at the wrist/ankle which are in there to create a tighter connection with the body. But if you are going to spend so much effort keeping me warm in every other part of the suit I better test the points that intersect with the ocean. I found they work in an interesting way. The suit would curl and bunch before allowing a bunch of water in. Not sure if that was intended but it for sure slowed water going into the suit. Random but cool.
Here’s more random but cool. The Quik riders in Cypher suits gratuitously ripping.
This suit delivered on it’s promises and we can’t wait to see how it stacks up against other wetsuits in the analytical phase of the wetsuit challenge.