The Epic wetsuit by O’Neil is a full-length wetsuit that comes in at an impressive 4/3mm thick and has the fit and feel of a wetsuit that’s twice the price. When you’re sailing, you need a wetsuit that offers optimal flexibility combined with a glove-like fit that ensures you’ll stay nice and warm when you’re headed for choppy waters or if you’re dealing with inclement weather. Overall, the Epic offers many improvements over wetsuits produced by O’Neil in the past.
Our Verdict: We recommend this wetsuit if you’re searching for a full length suit that can save you some serious cash. The suit itself is very comfortable and flexible, however, sizing this suit correctly can be tricky. It tends to run a size large, so you’ll need to pay close attention to the manufacturer’s sizing chart and order a size smaller than what you normally would.
Aside from the sizing issue, this is a top of the line wetsuit that’s offered at a reasonable price, despite the fact that it’s top quality.
Continue reading to learn more about this leading O’Neil wetsuit.
Overview and Features
Wetsuits are used for more than just diving, although this suit from O’Neil is definitely diving quality. Many anglers and sailors also wear wetsuits during the colder months when water conditions and the weather are more unpredictable than usual. Additionally, if you doing a little sea angling during the fall or winter months, should you fall overboard, the low water temperatures can be dangerous.
Wearing this wetsuit on board will give you plenty of peace of mind and can potentially save your life when the water temperatures are the most dangerous. As a beginner, if you’ve learned how sailboats work, basic safety techniques, and what to expect in dangerously cold water conditions, then you’re probably shopping for a shorty or full-length wetsuit that can protect you in cold water conditions. But finding a durable, high-quality suit isn’t easy. There are literally hundreds of wetsuits on the market, making it even more difficult to narrow down your choices and find a suit that’s perfect for you. However, with companies such as O’Neil, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best quality suit, for a fraction of what you’ll pay for competing models.
The Epic is made out of 4/3 thick neoprene rubber. This type of material consists of closed cell foam that works to trap millions of tiny gas bubbles in its structure. Because of the open cell structure, the water won’t saturate the neoprene. The tiny gas bubbles also tend to give the suit a lot of inherent buoyancy. When you wear the suit, your body heat will warm the gas bubbles, which works like insulation. This combined with a glove-like fit will minimize the amount of water that can enter the suit and will prevent any body heat from escaping.
In terms of fit quality, if you size the suit correctly, you’ll be overjoyed with the results. However, if you’ve never worn a suit by O’Neil, we highly recommend trying on one of their suits before you order it online at a more affordable price. Despite the fact that you may wear a large size suit from one manufacturer, you may find that you actually wear an extra-large in O’Neil suits. This is pretty typical for all wetsuits, so if possible, try before you buy.
Whether or not this suit will be a good choice for your next sailing adventure will depend on the weather and water conditions. However, you can count on the overall quality of the suit to offer a stellar performance, especially if you decide to take a dip in the ocean. With the right fit, you’ll enjoy better than average freedom of movement.
The suit features blind stitched and glued seams for ultimate comfort. Since this is a sealed suit, you can expect it to be warmer and stretchier. The suit not only remains warmer than competing models such as the Championship Shorty Wetsuit, but you’ll also enjoy neoprene that’s more flexible. Flexibility is essential, whether you’re in the water or racing around on deck. Flexibility allows for freedom of movement and also means the suit will not tear like cheaper wetsuits that don’t have much give.
The suit should be tight fitting, providing a gentle squeeze all over. When you enter the water, a small amount of water will make its way between your skin and the suit. If the suit is baggy on you, then too much water will flood the suit and fill in the gaps between your body and suit. A larger amount of water entering the suit will have a major cooling effect, which is exactly what you don’t want.
Fortunately, this suit is a solid performer in the water or on deck. If you need a wetsuit for swimming, boarding, sailing, or snorkeling, O’Neil has got you covered. The suit’s double glued seams, tight, comfortable neck enclosure and flexible neoprene material are everything you need in a wetsuit you can depend on in intense water and weather conditions.
Thinner neoprene will lose a lot of heat, which is why you need a suit that offers a decent thickness. This suit is 4/3 millimeters thick, which is a huge plus for any sailor, surfer, or swimmer since thicker neoprene will lose less heat, keeping you warm and comfortable on deck or in the water. This type of thickness also makes for one durable wetsuit, one that can handle tough water and weather conditions, easily, allowing you to spend more time at sea in total comfort.
O’Neil has shown us that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to find a full length wetsuit that’s thick, comfortable, effective, and flexible.
This wetsuit offers many of the same top of the line features that you’ll find on higher priced suits by O’Neil. This includes the double seal neck closure and the one hundred percent ultra-flex neoprene material. The sharp style lines combined with the suit’s clean graphics give the suit a higher priced look.
The neoprene material provides an impressive stretch factor of one hundred and fifty percent and feels stretchy, soft, and comfortable against the skin. This design will give you the freedom of movement you need when you’re navigating the seas, snorkeling, racing, or swimming.
The blackout covert rear zipper entry features an interlocking teeth design which will prevent excess water from entering the suit at the back entry point. The zipper features a pull tab leash that’s designed to make taking the suit on and off a breeze.
The seamless lumbar design reduces the amount of water that can enter the suit.
Located on the knees you’ll find Krypto pads, which will protect this high-stress area from damage and abrasions.
The firewall water wicking insulation will ensure moisture free comfort and breathable warmth. The suit features an external key pocket for easy access.
The suit will be a great choice for winter use but can be overkill in hotter climates, when both the air and water are at a comfortable temperature.
To learn more about wetsuits designed for hotter weather, click here to read our buyer’s guide.
Aside from seam quality, the neck enclosure style and quality is very important. A good neck enclosure prevents water from quickly flooding your suit.
The suits double seal neck enclosure features padded zones and zero seamed underarms. All of the seams have been double glued for watertight integrity and increased durability. Typically, for a wetsuit in this price range you would only expect to find single glued seams and average durability. The manufacturers did an excellent job of ensuring that this suit is watertight, going above and beyond what you’d normally expect for a wetsuit in this price range.
- Innovative design for easy donning
- Thicker than average neoprene material
- Clean cut and sharp graphics
- Plenty of shoulder space
- The suit doesn’t hinder movements
- Priced affordably
- Seven sizes to choose from
- This suit runs large and doesn’t appear to use the same type of sizing chart that other wetsuit manufacturers do.