Review: Hyperflex VYRL Wetsuit – 4/3 Back Zip

Recently we were given the opportunity to review a new wetsuit from a company who’s been fine-tuning the industry since 2002 – Hyperflex Wetsuits. As much as we love beach culture, our review expertise stops at the shore-line… so, for this review we reached out to a real expert! Introducing our newest edition to the SLOCoLife crew – the man on the water, Chicken Dave!

Hyperflex VYRL:  Great Value for Multipurpose Wetsuit 

An active life on the central coast pretty much demands that one owns a wetsuit… or a few of them.  Of course everyone needs a surf suit, but the area offers so much more than surfing. So when Hyperflex so generously offered to send me a 4/3 VYRL ($174.95-ish) to demo, I was excited at the prospect of comparing the brand with the standard selection of wetsuits commonly sold by our local surf retailers.

When I opened the package, I must admit that I wasn’t immediately impressed by the VYRL.  It seemed bulky looking; it didn’t have the taped seams and the shape contours I was used to seeing in the Excel and O’Neil suits that I have bought over the past few years; furthermore, the suit lacked the smooth neoprene chest patch I always associated with the warmth of a good suit.  However, it wasn’t long until a cold November morning prompted me to reach for the newest and driest suit in my garage and tiptoe down to the beach. I was pleasantly surprised! 

For starters, the Hyperflex was very comfortable.  The lack of extra seams and tape made the suit super stretchy.  At the time I was nursing a rash from the a wrinkle in the interior seam tape on one of my other suits and the Hyperflex felt like a dream. I soon forgot that little spot of pain altogether and I have since had no issues with rashes.

I originally anticipated that the suit would be a little cold; I expected a lot of water intrusion, but again the Hyperflex impressed me in this area.  I was warm for the entire 2 hour session. The intrusion was minimal even though the suit was the backzip model, a design thought in all brands to be leaky and therefore chilly. 

About two months went by, and I realized that I had been reaching for my Hyperflex VYRL all the time. It never seemed to limit my mobility. I languished in its warmth when I sat submerged neck deep in 55 degree water while my little boy learned the basics of wave riding.  I free dove in my Hyperflex on a trip to the channel islands, and due to the backzip’s speed of entry, I even started including the VYRL in the emergency response kit I keep for a part time job I have with our community’s harbor patrol.

I put the 4/3 Hyperflex VYRL through the paces of life here on the central coast.  The suit has stood up well to a solid 8 months of use and is, in my opinion, well worth it’s modest price tag.  Of course, I expect that the more specialized and more expensive suits produced by Hyperflex and other companies may perform better for each specific application, but the VYRL is definitely a good entry level multipurpose suit, and I will buy another.

– Chicken Dave

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