GEAR REVIEW: XTERRA’s Salsipuedes Full Suit
Warm and Toasty El Nino with XTERRA’s Salsipuedes 4/3 chest zip mens full suit
With any wetsuit, my concern first and foremost is fit. Is it comfortable? Using the Xterra size chart I selected a medium long (I’m 6’ 175lbs). I’m a longtime O’Neill guy, and with O’Neill my sizing is large, so there was a touch of trepidation with the sizing suggestion on the Xterra website.
The first thing I noticed when preparing to shimy into the Xterra fullsuit was the inside liner of the chest and back area which was plush and soft. It looked inviting. I put the suit on without any trouble. The wrist and ankle areas were tight, not overly tight, but snug which I like. I don’t want warm getting out or cold getting in.
The chest zip requires some shoulder jostling to get the neoprene panels situated just so. The zipper itself is strong, sturdy and felt reliable with a nice snapping enclosure to keep it in place. My cold, early morning fingers struggled a bit while lining up the zipper feed. Once fully ensconced the Xterra wetsuit felt super buttery, and for a 4/3, the suit felt surprisingly light, there wasn’t any undue pressure pulling down on my shoulders.
Some back story. Xterra has been in the wetsuit business for years. They are the premier wetsuit for tri-athletes around the globe. They aren’t new to the wetsuit game and that includes fit and function. In fact, it could be argued that high level tri-athletes are more demanding of performance than you and I. Because of their background Xterra designers understand body function relevant to swimming and paddling. Long latissimus dorsi panels and smartly designed shoulders equals ease of paddling with individually cut 6-panel anatomically correct arm curve cuts. The suit is double blind stitched with triple glued seams and has welded stress points.
Paddling out was normal. No stress from the wetsuit, just from the El Nino power that I was duck diving. My body was toasty and comfortable. Wetsuits are sort of like NFL referees. You only notice them when they are bad. This suit was like a second skin and I didn’t notice it. This was good. My session was a long (for me) 2.5 hours in pumping waves and 58 degree water with low 60s air temps — I was toasty warm the entire time.
THE GOODS: The Xterra Salsipuedes 4/3 chest zip is a performance oriented, effective, great fitting fullsuit.
THE RUB: I’d like to see the single shoulder enclosure chest zipper that other wetsuits employ.
THE SCORE: 9 out of 10, however, when you combine that with the incredible price – make it a 10 out of 10. What a value!
I look forward to a season of warmth and I highly recommend the XTERRA fullsuit.