Technobutter 2 centerpiece to this year's offerings from O'Neill
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 October, 2014 - We love sequels: Rocky 2, Lethal Weapon 2, The Hangover 2. You get the drift. This year the neoprene sequel and subsequent naming job was easy for O’Neill with the subtle improvements made to their TechnoButter neoprene. Any guesses out there? How about, that’s right, TechnoButter 2!
The tech claims are that this latest incarnation now has added snag, fray, and velcro resistance and is 20% lighter with 30% less water absorption. This, in addition to its quick-dry properties.
“TechnoButter 2 offers the same lightweight quick-drying performance, but now it’s more durable with improved velcro resistance,” said Shane Skelton of O’Neill Wetsuits. “TechnoButter 2 is so nice, it has increased durability, and is even more buttery soft than than regular TechnoButter."
Surfersvillage tested out the original TechnoButter when it debuted two years ago and found it to be a stretchy, light, water-repellent and warm neoprene. True the velcro back tab did fray the Technobutter 1 after a few months.
TechnoButter 2, like the first generation, has these lined grooves on the outside, so it looks different from traditional neoprene. The feel of the material is more spongy due to its light weight while it still pulls and stretches like thinner super-flexible neoprene. Water beaded off the new suit and the TechnoButter took quite a while to appear wet.
In the higher-end suits TechnoButter 2 Air-Insulated Firewall has replaced O'Neill’s plushy, heavier XDS Firewall neoprene in the chest & core lining. The TechnoButter 2 Air Insulated Firewall is thick, light and reveals a slight honeycomb pattern when stretched - presumably from air chambers.
When holding the Psycho 3 it’s obvious that this year’s model weighs less than other suits on the market of comparable thickness, in this case a 4/3 mil.
Overall we were most impressed with the TechnoButter 2. It is light, warm and flexible. While other wetsuit players have adopted plushy, fleecy inside neoprene, TechnoButter 2 still feels like traditional neoprene, only lighter, stretchier.
It does dry faster than traditional neoprene but not as fast as the quick-drying suits on the market. To bring you up to speed, a few years ago wetsuit makers discovered that a body heating air within a wetsuit expends less energy and stays warmer than a body heating solely water and dense neoprene, thus the current flood of plushy and air-injected neoprene on the market.
The TechnoButter 2 claims of being more water resistant are believable as it took several duck-dives and spills to get the inside of the Psycho 3 to feel wet.
Flexibility wise the suit was on par with stretchy neoprene 4/3 models, and on par with the stiffer neoprene 3/2 types of suits out there. We found it to be a good balance of flex and warmth.
The Psycho 3 has very few seams. What seams it does have are thin inner/outer liquid tape, about a ¼ inch wide. Last year O’Neill introduced their SuperSeam Weld technology which cut out a lot of excess material on the standard liquid tape seal. The Psycho 3 seams are triple-glued and stichless. This year O’Neill has altered the material used in making the SuperSeams, so what you’ll find is a softer, more pliable rubber used in both the outer and inner seams.
The back zip with the Z.E.N. Zip is much less restrictive than traditional back-zip wetsuits. And back zips are a personal favorite as they’re easy to slide into on cold mornings.
The big difference in this suit is the TechnoButter 2. The 30% water resistance claim means it dries quickly, is light and kind of techy looking. This material alone is reason enough to get excited about the Psycho 3. The sheer weight difference of this neoprene compared to others puts it at the top of the neoprene list this year. Couple that with updated seam material in this year’s model and it’s a great top-end wetsuit worth the money if you’ve got it to spend.
Women’s available in 4/3 $479.95.
Check out more of the O'Neill Psycho 3