Are you a surfer, free diver, or other watersports enthusiast? Well, unless you are lucky enough to live in a place where the ocean stays warm year-round, you’re probably very aware that a wetsuit is vital to doing what you love when water temperatures drop. Commercial divers especially know that a quality wetsuit is critical. In fact, they wouldn’t be able to dive without it. These days, a lot of divers are choosing Xcel wetsuits, and I wanted to find out why.
I’ve spent my fair share of time in the ocean and know firsthand that when the water is cold you can’t stay in long without protection. So, I was excited to review Xcel. Not only did I discover that these guys have years of experience making technologically advanced wetsuits; they’re also an environmentally-minded brand committed to conserving the planet’s natural resources.
If you’re in the market for a wetsuit with maximum stretch and durability that offers unrestricted movement, I invite you to take a deeper look.
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Xcel has been in the business of making wetsuits for almost 30 years. It all started in Sunset Beach, CA in 1982. Founder Ed D’ Ascoli saw the sheer number of athletes surfing the Pacific shores and was inspired to create high-performance products for those who demanded them the most.
D’ Ascoli grew up surfing on the New Jersey coastline and knew how important a high-quality wetsuit was for maximum performance. Before starting Xcel, he helped establish Victory wetsuits. It was this process that laid the foundation to later start his own world-class line of neoprene suits.
It wasn’t long before Xcel wetsuits became popular in the surfing community. The company grew rapidly and D’ Ascoli understood that surfers weren’t the only ones who could benefit from a quality suit to keep them warm and dry in cooler water temperatures.
Today, Xcel has expanded to include wetsuits that dominate the surfing, diving, wakeboard and paddleboard communities. They are also great for anyone looking for increased UV protection when spending long periods of time in the water.
One area where Xcel has really grown over the years is within the recreational diving community. Through the use of innovative technology and in-depth research of successful surf and military wetsuits, Xcel has become a company that truly raises the bar when it comes to dive wetsuit design.
Over the last three decades, this company has stayed committed to quality, reaserch, innovation, and design. They have truly earned their reputation as an industry leader.
Xcel currently offers an array of tropical to cold water products for men, women and youth looking for maximum performance in their water sport preference.
Xcel has been voted “Wetsuit of the Year” four times (2007, 2008, 2010, 2020) by the Surf Industry Manufacturer’s Association (SIMA).
I’ve honestly only surfed a few times, and usually it was in warmer water where a wetsuit wasn’t needed, so I never had to do a lot of thinking about the pros and cons of different brands of wetsuits. However, writing this review piqued my curiosity about what makes a good wetsuit.
Seeing as how Xcel has been voted “Wetsuit of the Year” four times, I decided to investigate and see what they are doing right.
Before determining the best wetsuit to fit your needs, it’s important to understand how a wetsuit actually works.
Wetsuits are designed to trap a thin layer of water between the wetsuit material and your body, essentially allowing your body to heat up this thin layer of water to a temperature that’s comfortable.
Most wetsuits are made with neoprene, an elastic synthetic rubber that contains outstanding insulation qualities. The thicker the neoprene, the warmer you’ll stay in the water.
Understanding what makes a good wetsuit is just the first step of choosing the best wetsuit to fit your needs. There are several different types of wetsuits to choose from, all of which can benefit you depending on your individual needs.
Fullsuit: This is a one piece wetsuit that fits from the neck to the ankles. Full suits most often come with full sleeves, although some fullsuits do have short sleeves.
Springsuit: A springsuit has short length legs and either full or long sleeves.
Drysuits: Drysuits keep all water out of your suit and are typically used for diving.
Wetsuit Tops: Wetsuit tops are exactly what they sound like. A wetsuit top that can be worn with bikini bottoms or board shorts for times when you need a little extra warmth but not an entire suit in warmer water conditions.
One thing I thought was neat and super helpful is the list of different guides that Xcel has included on their website.
They have product guides that describe the different series of wetsuits they sell in great detail.
They have temperature guides that tell you what thickness of wetsuit you want based on your activity and the water temperature, as well as whether you will need boots and gloves.
There is also a very detailed sizing guide to ensure that you get the perfect fit.
When it comes to wetsuits, Xcel has something for everyone…and when I say everyone, I mean everyone.
Xcel makes wetsuits for men, women and children for all types of watersports and weather conditions.
Something I really find appealing about Xcel’s vast line of wetsuits is their commitment to making quality products while constantly striving to minimize their environmental impact.
Xcel’s “eco initiatives” clearly demonstrate their commitment to sustaining our earth’s precious natural resources. I was truly delighted to discover that:
By incorporating these practices, Xcel has seen a 72% reduction in CO2 emissions and reduced their carbon footprint by 26% per kg of fabric.
When shopping Xcel’s wide range of wetsuits, you’ll find they offer several different styles and options.
Channel Flex, for example, is Xcel’s newest material technology which they maintain “completely reinvents the wetsuit experience” by offering weightless, unrestrictive movement.
Many of their products are made with UV protection.
Xcel also offers their “Water Inspired Line” of wetsuits featuring Ocean Ramsey, the famous free diver who gained international attention for freediving with sharks in an effort to bring awareness to shark conservation. To learn more about Ocean Ramsey and her mission, feel free to visit her website. She’s really doing some amazing things when it comes to saving the ocean and its inhabitants. The fact that Xcel has partnered with Ocean Ramsey only exemplifies their commitment to making the highest quality wetsuits with a clear focus on environmental conservation.
Speaking of quality wetsuits…because Xcel’s line of wetsuits is so vast, it won’t be possible to cover each individual wetsuit they offer. Instead, we’ll cover their main product categories as listed on their website, along with a bit of information about each to get a better idea of the wetsuits they carry.
You won’t find any shortage of wetsuits for men when choosing Xcel. They have fullsuits, springsuits, and divesuits, as well as tops, bottoms, gloves, and other accessories. There are tons of styles and colors to choose from.
Xcel’s women’s collection is nearly as extensive as the mens. They have lots of really cool designs, comfy clothing items, and a full selection of wet and dry suits.
If you have kids that are into surfing, diving, or just cold water swimming. You have to check out Xcel’s selection of youth and toddler sized wetsuits and tops.
Xcel has been in the business of making wetsuits for close to 30 years and it shows.
Not only are they committed to producing quality wetsuits and other products for ocean-minded individuals of all ages, but they do so with a solid commitment to the environment and conserving the planet’s natural resources.
If you’re passionate about playing in the ocean and are looking for a quality wetsuit made by people who’ve been in the business of making wetsuits for decades, Xcel is definitely one to check out.