If you want to save yourself from catching a chill but it’s not quite cold enough for a full wetsuit, then a wetsuit jacket is the solution.
Quicksilver’s range of neoprene tops are stylish, functional, and very reasonably priced. They’re perfect for early summer paddling when the water temperature is a sharp contrast from the air temperature.
They’re also ideal for paddlers of sit-in yaks that have a spray skirt to keep their bottom half dry. They’re easier to slip on that a full suit and will keep your upper body warm while allowing you to wear (much more freeing) board shorts underneath.
My review of the SYNCRO wetsuit jacket from Quicksilver is below. I ordered mine from wetsuitwearhouse.com who offer a huge selection of wetsuits and accessories for all watersport hobbies. They even offer international shipping, and my top travelled from Maryland, USA to Christchurch, NZ in less than a week!
Quiksilver has a broad range of wetsuit tops available to suit every taste, requirement, and budget. Bright coloured tops with eye-grabbing designs are available, but I’m not one for anything that’s too “out there”, and so I went with the Quicksilver 1.5mm SYNCRO jacket in two-tone grey (it’s also available in black).
The top may not be flamboyant, but it still looks super slick and has a futuristic body armour feel to it. The Quiksilver logos on the chest and back are subtle and complete the classy look.
Paddling in the top was effortless, and it wasn’t at all restrictive… but only after I exchanged the top for two sizes up (more on that later). I paddle for an hour, and the top was comfortable, and there was no chaffing.
The jacket is made from Quiksilver’s Hyperstretch 3.0 neoprene which is elastic enough to allow unrestricted paddling or swimming.
The 1.5mm thick F’N Lite neoprene (a.k.a Hyperstretch 3.0) is made from 92% Nylon/Polyamide and 8% Elastane. It is super-stretchy and has plenty of give.
The material is also filled with air cells making the wetsuit lightweight even when wet. The Vaporstretch mesh chest & back panel allows the skin to breathe keeping you cool when the sun is beating down.
The zip at the rear makes slipping the top on and off incredibly easy. The overall quality is superb, and the stitching is tight and immaculate.
Fit and Sizing
Beware – This line of wetsuits runs small. Pay attention to sizing charts when placing your order.
Wetsuits should be a fairly snug fit so they can do their job of trapping a thin layer of water between the neoprene and skin. However, I recommend you go at least a size up from your regular size if you go with the SYNCRO model.
I’m a medium and always have been since the age of 18. I never usually have to try anything on and I just assumed the medium would fit (as it always does). Not the case.
I was fortunate that Wetsuit Wearhouse offered a no hassle exchange, and after I exchanged the medium for an extra-large, the fit was perfect.
The SYNCRO from Quiksilver is an economical wetsuit jacket will provide a lightweight and comfortable solution to mild weather paddling. It’s the perfect thickness for sunny days spent paddling deep lakes that never really heat up.
There are fancier wetsuit jackets available, but for the budget conscious paddler, this is a quality wetsuit top from a worldwide and highly regarded brand. It will last for years, but in case you have any doubts, Quiksilver provides a one year warranty for all their wetsuits - which shows the confidence they have in their merchandise.
My only complaint is that the sizing is off from my regular fit - but this isn’t an issue if you read the sizing charts before you buy.