Road Test :: Patagonia R2 Front Zip
Welcome to our first Road Test – where we attempt to give you some good feedback on some product in various categories. The goal is that helps you guys in getting a better idea and knowledge on a...
Road Test :: Patagonia R2 Front Zip
Welcome to our first Road Test – where we attempt to give you some good feedback on some product in various categories. The goal is that helps you guys in getting a better idea and knowledge on a product before you make the purchase. We’re aiming to do the best we can and cover every angle we think of, odds on there will be moments, etc that we lag on or completely miss. That’s the best thing about coming off of a low base, it’s only going to get better…
First up we’ve got a wetsuit, it’s a little easier to road test a wetsuit then a pair of shoes, a shirt or even a watch – but relax, we’ve got those categories coming in hot as well. Come say hello to the R2 Front Zip from Patagonia…
The Suit ::
Patagonia threw us a suit to test, use and abuse for our first Road Test, the one in particular we’re testing is the R2 Front Zip.
It’s, as the specs say, got 100% external seam sealing along with internal taping on all critical areas. Is made from handmade 2.5mm neoprene and has a new hybrid grid lining that combines mid-weight merino wool and virgin polyester in the front, back, torso and thighs for core warmth and comfort. Adding to that, the sleeves, inner and outer thighs and lower legs are lined with a lighter green recycled polyester grid for warmth and flexibility when paddling.
On first appearances it’s quite an exciting suit to hold, pull at, try on. It’s all black with minimal branding – can’t go wrong there, in fact I really love this aspect of the suit.
I’m not sure if it’s the idea that you’re using a suit that makes you think your doing some good for the environment by using it or what, but I definitely got excited when playing around with it. I know I also got pretty excited when I saw that Patagonia had made the transition to using liquid tape, whereas previous suits just had taping in critical areas.
This is a little embarrassing. I’ve been used to using chest zips that are already pretty much zipped up for me, all I have to do when the suit is on is either attach the zipper head to the zip and pull, or just zip it closed – depending on whether it’s a close or open ended zip. The Patagonia R2 Front Zip is a complete zip off set-up. You zip it off, it’s completely zipped off and the flap goes over you head. I just said ‘zip’ a lot too, was kinda weird…
So, the first time I was using the suit I was all like, fuck, how do I get this flap over my head to zip it up? Think I stood there for about five minutes trying to yoga my way into grabbing if from behind until I realised that if I just bend over, the flap falls onto my head and I can grab it easily…
The Patagonia R2 slid on and off really easily, I don’t say that because I’m short on words, I say that because it actually did. Wet. Dry. Damp. The suit just slides on over your limbs, which probably has something to do with the interior materials, but either way I haven’t once had to double tug, yank or pull the suit on to hard to get it up my legs or my hands thru the ends.
The R2 is a flexible suit – the majority of suits these days are. But the material used in the R2 is stretchy and light, if your upgrading from a suit that’s a couple of seasons old you will def notice an improvement in flexibility. It’s also one of the most comfortable suits I’ve worn – won in part due to it’s ease of getting on and off. The use of Merino Wool through out the suit may leave some of you a little itchy every now and again, but it’s pretty non existent and something I’ve been told tends to disappear after 6 or so surfs – just something to be aware of.
The cuffs/ankles seem to run the same material as the knee pads, which for reasons I’m unaware of, really seem to help the su