There's a diverse range in this year's Xcel wetsuit run down. And as we're finally seeing a shift from frigid temperatures to waters warmer, you're probably in the market for a fresh upgrade to your summer rubber apparel.
Right here, we'll run you through two of the latest Xcel suits to drop, that's the Comp and, the slightly more pricey but essentially a full upgrade, Comp X. But what's the difference? And does splashing a few extra sheets on the Comp X warrant the price hike? The short answer is, well, yes, absolutely. Yet if it's an entry suit you're after then you'd be hard pressed to match the versatility of the Comp. Let's break it down. Go HERE to shop.
This is the entry price version of the Comp series – what does that mean? If you're on a budget but still want an upgrade for the summer, this is for you. Dissecting the suit's make up and it is packed with features. Remember, the focus for a summer suit isn't so much keeping warm (though, that sure plays a slight factor) but it's more about the stretch, getting away with wearing the most lightweight equipment while maximising performance. And that's exactly what's happening here. The interior here houses Xcel's Thermo Lite lining throughout, except for on the arms and lower legs - but it feels lightweight, is easy to paddle – all features you'd expect.
And it's a comfortable fit, the lining doesn't grate like some mid-range suits and tucks snugly where you want it to – and it's surprisingly warm for a 3/2 but given the time of year you'll be wearing this, it's not so much an issue, in my opinion. There's a good amount of stretch in this suit too, the seams are water tight and sure, the quikdry fibre is back. And the fact the suit's all one colour means no unnecessary stitching to include another colour panel.
Then onto the aesthetics, the suit I tried was spruce green (there's other colours available). It's rarely a colour I'd look for in a wetsuit but there's something appealing about the uniqueness of it. The suit actually looks a lot darker when wet, with yellow logos to punctuate, it's eye catching without being too...showy. Overall, if you're looking to bag a decent suit that is lightweight and a no thrills approach (except the colour) then this is the suit you need. But if you're looking for something extra...
OK. This is it. Take everything that made the Comp wetsuit sing and dial that right up to 11, and here we are. The Comp X may just be everything you want from a summer wetsuit. This is absolutely top of the range quality and is well worth shelling the extra cash for, if you're that way inclined.
The neoprene is Japanese Limestone, which is lighter, softer and gives better insulation than its counter part. There's that trademark, toasty TDC lining and the front is all one panel, meaning less seams and more stretch.
But after trying this suit on, the cut just feels flawless. It's almost like there is a snap-to fit built in. Running down the beach, ahead of wearing boardies, has never felt so...smooth. The level of comfort imbued here has been scaled up, and that's no bad thing as it feels like you're not really wearing anything at all.
The seals on the wrists and legs have rubber strips that haven't slipped on me yet. SIMA named this wetsuit of the year in 2017 and for 2018 they've upgraded the tape for better seam protection.
If it's a fully-performance based suit you're after, here it is. Or if you're someone who likes minimal rubber, with maximum flex and warmth, then don't hesitate. This is the suit you need.
Go HERE to shop.