Patagonia pioneers the world’s first neoprene-free wetsuit

Surfers have been relying on neoprene wetsuits as a way to keep warm in chilly waters since the 1950s but what you may not know is that neoprene is actually a non-renewable material with an energy-intensive manufacturing process. Outdoor adventure company Patagonia has invented the world’s first neoprene-free wetsuit.

After eight long years in R&D, Patagonia has introduced the world’s first neoprene-free wetsuits. The Yulex suits are made from natural rubber derived from sources that are Forest Stewardship Council certified by the Rainforest Alliance and reduce the CO2 emitted in the manufacturing process by up to 70 percent compared with conventional neoprene. The new range replaces a petroleum-based material with a plant-based one and blends it with 15 percent synthetic rubber polymer for increased ozone and UV resistance.

Not content with focussing purely on the outer, Patagonia has gone a step further to source recycled polyester for the wetsuit linings. The synthetic variant offers the same warmth, stretch and dry time as virgin polyester but is a more eco-friendly choice. All well and good, but how do they perform, you ask? The Yulex wetsuits have been extensively tested in the freezing waters of Northern California so you can pretty much guarantee they’ll get you through a fairly mild-in-comparison Gold Coast winter. Shop Patagonia’s Yulex range at SurfStitch.

Image credit: Patagonia.

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