Rip Curl’s Dawn Patrol Chest Zip Fullsuit is a wetsuit that I find myself keep going back to over the years.
It’s always been a solid fullsuit model for both men and women, and it seems to continue to get better as Rip Curl upgrades their materials and manufacturing.
Best of all it’s a really affordable wetsuit that lasts a long time – depending on the sale or model year you’re looking at you can find a Dawn Patrol fullsuit for anywhere from around high $100s to mid $200s.
Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Features
|Entry Method||Chest Zip|
|Construction Features||Glued & Blind Stitched, E5 Flash Lining & Tape, Mesh Skin Panels, Knee Pads, Freeflex & Thermoflex interior lining|
|Other Features||Key Pocket in Chest Flap|
|Women’s Wetsuit Sizes||4, 6, 8, 8T, 10, 10T, 12, 14|
|Warranty (from Rip Curl authorized retailers)||3 year warranty on stitching, 12-month warranty on all materials|
Dawn Patrol Wetsuit Flex & Mobility
If you’ve ever had a wetsuit that’s too small for you or a wetsuit that was somewhat restrictive, you’ll know how important flexibility and movement are in a wetsuit.
If you like to stay warm and surf for long sessions, the 4/3 is the way to go. Even with the extra thickness it’s got great stretch and mobility, and will not leave you feeling restricted in the water.
Even in a 4/3 – the Dawn Patrol is super flexible where you need it to be. When you size it right, you’ll barely notice it’s there – especially after a few break-in surfs.
The flex holds up over time too – for a wetsuit in this price range, the material is surprisingly long lasting and won’t stiffen too much overtime. It takes me a lot of use and abuse to start wearing out these wetsuits.
Getting into and out of a Dawn Patrol chest zip wetsuit is super easy. I prefer a chest zip so much more than a back zip wetsuit.
Warmth & Water Seal
Warmth and seal on the Dawn Patrol is great too. It takes a really long while before you start feeling those micro-leaks in the seams.
The chest-zip entry flap and neck seal also do a great job at preventing wash out when you duck dive.
It feels really solid at every major seal and entry point – which is a must-have for any wetsuit in the winter.
Wetsuit Durability & Longevity
For a wetsuit that’s this cheap, I’ve been able to get a really long life out of each one I’ve purchased – and I surf in them quite a bit.
When I do need a new suit, I’ll typically pick up a 4/3 towards the end of summer, so I’ve got a brand new winter wetsuit by the time the water temperatures drop.
Surfing very regularly, I’m able to get a solid 2 years out of these suits where I’m not noticing any wear-and-tear. And even then, it’s still covered by warranty.
If you don’t surf super often or if you’re only using the suit in winter, you should be able to get a handful of years out of a Dawn Patrol wetsuit assuming you clean, care, and store it properly.
When it does start to wear out or develop any holes or leaks, I still like to use it as a spring/fall wetsuit. At that point, it still retains its flex and mobility, it’s just a little less water tight and warm than it was brand new.
Dawn Patrol Sizes & Fitting
To get the most out of your wetsuit, you should make sure to get the proper size.
A good fitting wetsuit ensures you’ll get the best flex, comfort, and warmth out of it.
A wetsuit should be snug, but not so tight that it limits your movements of breathing. Too loose or baggy, and too much water will get in.
You should be able to easily and comfortably lift your arms over your head and stretch them out, and you should be able to squat and jump.
Some simplified sizing guides for Rip Curl Dawn Patrol Wetsuits are as follows:
Women’s Wetsuit Sizing Chart
|Women’s Size||Height||Leg Length||Torso Length|
Rip Curl Wetsuit Materials & Sustainability
Rip Curl Wetsuits are made of neoprene (as are most wetsuits out there). Neoprene is a synthetic rubber produced with petroleum by-products. It is not considered a sustainable material.
That said, Rip Curl is a wetsuit company that has proven to be dedicated to developing neoprene products that are high-quality and long lasting. These qualities certainly make using something made out of non-sustainable materials much better.
Each new generation of neoprene used in Rip Curl wetsuits (i.e. E5, E6, etc.) is designed to be an improvement.
The company is active in reducing waste in its operations and in the research and development of better, more sustainable materials.
You can read more about some of Rip Curl’s Social, Environmental, and Sustainability efforts here.