Senior Editor
Staff
Gear We Test: Quiksilver Marathon Sessions Chest Zip Wetsuit

Ah, comfort and mobility, even if the water is f****** freezing! Photo: JC


The Inertia

Welcome to The Inertia’s winter wetsuit review, where we rate some of the industry’s best rubber so you can feel informed before purchasing your thick skin. We used a five-star rating system to rank each of our suits’ features. Here, we look at the 5/4/3 Marathon Sessions Chest Zip from Quiksilver.

Testing Location: Oregon’s north coast/Cold water kiting
Average Water Temperature: 52°F
Average Air Temperature: 55°F

Warmth: 4.3 Stars

To my overoptimistic eye, it feels like Quiksilver has taken a giant leap forward in its wetsuit quality. I tested a Quik suit or two, pre Boardriders and there just seems to be a different, more high-end feel to them. Maybe it’s better R&D, maybe it’s simply evolution, but the Marathon Sessions Chest Zip Wetsuit certainly acts like a step up. I tested the 5/4/3 with a hood because I’m usually surfing in cold water and while it wasn’t over-the-top warm, it was really flexible in all the right places, and felt less like a 5/4 cocoon than anything I’d worn before. That’s apparently thanks to what Quik calls its StretchFlight neoprene, a supremely flexible rubber that feels really, really good. The inside core of this suit is definitely cozy: it’s lined with a red and white fleece-like material – Quiksilver’s X1 Far-Infrared thermal lining, which “transforms body heat into infrared energy to generate and maintain warmth.” I don’t know about all that but it makes it really comfortable. In general, though, I’d say this suit trends towards mobility instead of all-out, sweat-inducing heat.

Durability: 4.5 Stars

You need at least six months in a suit to truly understand its durability. I haven’t seen much wear so far, which wetsuits naturally do when they’re laid out to dry, day in and day out, or pulled and stretched while getting on and off. The external seams are closed with what Quik calls Liquid Flex seal, the internal seams are glued and blindstitched, as well as taped. Pretty standard wetsuit manufacturing. The suit seems hardy.

Comfort and Flexibility: 5 Stars

This is where the Marathon Sessions shines. As mentioned before, the “StretchFlight Neoprene” is flexible enough where the suit is definitely worthy of daily use for cold-water surfers. It’s easy to get on, easy to get off, and really just super comfortable.

Gear We Test: Quiksilver Marathon Sessions Chest Zip Wetsuit

Another, more standard view.

Notable Features:

Above all else, price: at $330, the Marathon Sessions is affordable enough for most cold-water water people. It’s comfortable, and flexible in all the right regions, where if it did wear out in say, nine months of hard surfing, you could afford another.

Pros:

Step up for Quiksilver and a reminder the brand can still make a product worthy of the core.

Cons:

Sizing. This suit really does run small. At 6’0″, 195 lbs., I’m wearing a large and it’s actually….a bit small. My Marathon Sessions is tight enough where I have to strain to get the zipper around my fat head and stretch it over my chest area. There’s a small leak in there somewhere and I’m trying to work out where. I suspect it’s that chest area – a bit more material would have been better in all the right places. I should have ordered a large-tall, or maybe even an XL.

Overall: 4.45 Stars

This is a worthy suit from Quik. The lining is extremely comfortable right off the rack, and the suit is warm enough, given how hard most of us work while surfing in the cold. And the flexibility is as good as any suit out there.

Buy here. For warmer waters, check out the 4/3 Marathon Sessions, and for an even cheaper option, check out the nearly identical 5/4/3 Everyday Sessions

Editor’s Note: For more gear reviews and features on The Inertia, click here.

Disclosure: The Inertia may receive a small commission if you make a purchase from the affiliate links included in this feature at no additional cost to you. Our goal is always to entertain, educate, and inspire, and we hope you find this feature useful.

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