Welcome to The Inertia’s definitive wetsuit review where we test and rate some of the industry’s best rubber so you can feel informed before purchasing your winter skin. We used a five-star rating system to rank each of our suits’ features (which you can see below). Here, we look at the Manera Seafarer.
Testing Location: San Francisco, California
Average Water Temperature: 55-58°F
Average Air Temperature: 57-72°F
Warmth: 4 Stars
The Manera Seafarer keeps me very warm, but as a no-frills daily driver, it lacks a few things that the warmest, top of the line suits possess, namely a full fleece lining and a hood. The Seafarer has an X10D (pronounced ‘extend’) fleece panel on the back, and the rest of the suit is lined with X10D jersey lining. Highly comfortable and stretchy, crazy fast to dry, but it’s just not as warm as fleece. Similarly, for winter and the brain freezes that come from duck diving, an attached hood is always a major plus. Both are features that come with the higher-end Manera Meteor line.
Durability: 5 Stars
So far, so awesome. I’ve been using the hell out of the suit for two to three months now, surfing in it basically every day (sometimes twice a day) and the GBS (Glued and Blind Stitched) seams have yet to let even a trickle of water in. The interior jersey is holding up nicely, no polyester ‘pilling’ or separating from the neoprene, all in all the suit still feels like new.
Comfort and Flexibility: 5 Stars
I would give the suit a six in this category if I could. The jersey lining is exceedingly comfortable and the quality and flex of the neoprene is top notch. It feels like I’m wearing a 3/2, but the flexibility comes from the quality of material rather than how thin it is.
The X10D jersey lining is one of the fastest-drying materials I’ve ever seen in a suit. Give it 45 minutes in the shade in moderate temperatures and except for the drip areas at ankle and wrist the suit is dry as a bone.
As far as price goes, you can’t get a better suit. The Seafarer is made to be a daily driver that dries fast, will stand up to heavy usage, and provide the ultimate surf experience with its super stretchy neoprene that feels at least as flexible as a standard 3/2.
For some reason the suit doesn’t come with a key loop. I get the no frills design, but this is a frill that I would love to see on future iterations of the Seafarer, and how much more can it really cost to sew a loop of elastic into the front-zip pocket? Also fleece. I wish there was more of it throughout the suit from a warmth standpoint, but the jersey is so comfortable I’m not too put out.
Overall: 4/5 Stars
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better suit than the Manera Seafarer for the price ($300). And that’s what a daily driver should be. It’s the suit you’ll spend the most time in so it should be comfortable, flexy and durable, but as your most-used suit it’s going to wear out the fastest, so it shouldn’t come with an exorbitant price tag. The Manera Seafarer knocks both of these categories out of the park. Small things like the key loop and minimal fleece on the interior keep the 5/5 rating out of reach.
Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.