Xcel’s Drylock 4x3mm steamer is tried and true a long-standing winter warrior of wetsuits. While you won’t see much of this brand in the warm climates, it is not uncommon to see Xcel products clad head to toe upon surfers in the coldest places on earth. Without a big clothing brand presence behind them, Xcel is lesser known outside the surf community, so tends to be a brand people try later in their surfing carrier through recommendation, rather than marketing.
If you haven’t worn Xcel, it is good to note that the sizing is generous, based off a US scale as opposed to the AUS sizing used in most other brands. For this reason, size down 1-size. Feature wise this wetsuit has everything you’d expect in a top-end wetsuit: fully seamed sealed, fully thermal lined, top grade neoprene, etc, etc. But the stand-out for Xcel is the warmth and durability – while still having a comfortable amount of flex. For most of the country this suit would be the choice from the Xcel range, but if you want a hood or extra warmth assured, check out their hooded models.
We have included 3 suits form Xcel and apologise if this seems unfair, but this guide is for winter wetsuits, and as that means cold, we feel it necessary to show a few hooded wetsuit options. Historically these have been very difficult to come by in women’s styles, and Xcel are leading the way in this offering in NZ.