Wetsuit review for the Body Glove PR1ME 4/3 fullsuit available Fall 2012
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 July, 2012 : - - The benefit of buying a second year wetsuit edition is that any of the manufacturing or materials issues that bugged during the product’s debut are dealt with and improved upon. For year two of the Body Glove PR1ME, the company has issued only a few subtle improvements to one of the most flexible and reasonably-priced wetsuits on the market.
Changes this year include an increased zipper length and reinforced base at the zipper stop. On the bib seams got reduced from three down to one while hinged areas on the PR1ME’s entry have been reinforced. They’ve also added new colors, but more on that later.
The star player on Body Glove’s neoprene team is Pyrostretch. Pyrostretch is a composite material lining the Prime in the core area (chest, back, thighs and butt) covering about three quarters of the wetsuit. The feel of Pyrostretch is more textured and soft than your standard neoprene. The thinking goes that the texture allows for a thin cushion of air to come between surfer, water and wetsuit and that trapped air keeps us warmer in the lineup. As Body Glove’s Specialty Sales Manager Mike Vavak says, Pyrotch “uses micorfibers to utilize the body's natural heat and insulate you with air”.
During testing Pyrostretch received good marks for warmth and, because it weighs less, was very flexible as well. Other things we liked about the Pyrostretch was the cozy feeling against skin and the suit’s quick drying time. The material also scored well in fending off windchill, as chest and back stayed warm during one particularly breezy test session.
For most wetsuits these days seams appear to be the weak link in overall stretch, as the rubber used on the seams never has as much give as the neoprene on the rest of the suit. On the PR1ME, Body Glove uses their Fluidseal seams to cover all external seams on this wetsuit. None of the inside seams are taped, just tacked at high-pressure junctions. During testing no water seeped through at the seam points. However, the outer liquid taped areas were not as stretchy as the no-seam neoprene parts of the suit. Overall, it’s still a very stretchy suit.
The PR1ME uses a 15% shorter zipper and places it lower than other wetsuits. The top entry is designed to eliminate the two layers of neoprene over the right shoulder, leaving just one – as is common in most front slant-zip wetsuits. The result is that you do feel increased range of motion. And it’s very easy to get into, something Body Glove planned into the design. “Putting the EZ-Entry and enhanced top entry design together gives you a chest zip that is as easy to get into as a back zip.” said Body Glove Specialty Sales Manager Mike Vavak. “We made a warm, light, flexible suit with a chest entry as wide as a back entry.”
The suit is easy to get into, but make sure the pull string adjustment is tight enough. It’s a tricky balance between pulling the tab too tight and cutting off circulation, versus leaving it too loose and suffering a cold flush of ocean water (which we did during one test). Once the cord was tightened everything went well. To further the war against flushing this year Body Glove has added a zipper lock tab to keep the zip from blowing open.
Other features on the suit include smoothie material on the inside of a very flexible neck seal. No flushing or chaffing during testing. Nano Tri-tech kneepad, The Prime has a snug and secure wrist & ankle seal that, again, allowed little to no flushing during the test. Double lock S-Seal wrist and ankles
The shortcoming of reviewing wetsuits is that ‘wear’ is not measurable. For this reason check on the warranty at your local surf shop. The shop salespeople see a flood of new wetsuits come in each season. They also know which wetsuits tend to come back for repair and can often point out which design features and materials are problematic.
In conclusion, the materials used in the Body Glove PR1ME tested extremely well for stretch and well for warmth. High marks for flexibility on this suit, especially through the shoulders. The seams are par for the course, nothing groundbreaking there. The suit is well put together and we found no unfinished seams or haphazard sewing. Design-wise the PR1ME scores excellent for ease of entry as it was the easiest frontzip wetsuit to get into that we’ve tested so far.
This year’s PR1ME 3/2 and 4/3 fullsuits come in all black, blue/gray and orange/white with more colors for their shorties. Keep an eye out this fall for a white/silver scheme. The PR1ME is also made in short-arm full, springsuit and jacket models. These suits are available in Red/Black/Grey and Black with Rasta Highlights. The Jacket also comes in Kiwi/Black/Grey
Team: Jamie O'Brien, Alex Gray, Cheyne Magnusson, Nate Yeomans and others
Source: Body Glove
Author: SV Editors / Mike Vavak