I am a two year owner of a Matuse Tumo 5/3 wetsuit with a front zip entry. Even though Matuse is a fresh wetsuit brand it quickly situated itself at the top of the quality wetsuits ladder. Unfortunately – this also comes with a price. Matuse wetsuits are in average more expensive than other wetsuits. Mostly because they use geoprene instead of neoprene as their base material and partly also because they focus on top end wetsuits. To find out more about geoprene follow the link above. Anyway…I was lucky to get my wetsuit at a discount and this is my review of it.
What’s The Deal With Geoprene?
Geoprene is limestone based neoprene which is supposed to be 98% impermeable (over 30% more than regular neoprene), soak up less water, last longer and generally be warmer. Is this true?
Matuse Tumo 5/3
These are a few things that I have noticed while using my Matuse Tumo:
It is lighter
The 5/3 Tumo is lighter that a regular 5/3 wetsuit (the last one I owned was Rip Curl Elasto). It is lighter when dry and it is much much lighter when wet. Matuse Tumo really almost doesn’t soak up water so there is only a little extra weight added while you are in the water and when you get out of it. If you feel it, if you squeeze the neoprene in your hand it doesn’t feel so spongy wet as a normal wet does. And only a little water comes out.
Smooth and silky
The wetsuit or geoprene in general, I’m not sure, fells really smooth and silky. The material almost feels like some kind of plastic but not in a cheap way.
This wetsuit has no neoprene smell, even when it was completely new. I don’t think it has any smell at all.
Front zip entry system
Easy to get in and out, no problem here.
Flexibility is OK and completely comparable to the new neoprene wetsuits of the same thickness. Which means I didn’t notice any difference.
The important one. All I can say is – yes, Tumo wetsuit is warmer. You can actually feel that the wetsuit you are wearing isn’t wet and full of water. It’s almost as if it radiates some sort of dry heat back into the body. And there is another thing that I have noticed. I am not sure if this is just a coincidence and good fit of my wetsuit but it feels like the material and the wetsuit sucks up on you. Almost as if someone sucked all the air out of the wetsuit and vacuum sticked it to your skin. I especially notice that when I am taking it off – you almost can’t pull it away from your stomach, you have to slide it downwards. I use the 5/3 in water temperatures down to 50F (10C) or sometimes even a few degrees less. This is as cold as it gets here. These aren’t the most extreme conditions but usually waves are accompanied by wind which additionally enhances the feeling of cold. So if the wind is not strong and if there are enough of waves to keep me moving and active I am comfortably warm through the whole 2-3 hour session. But when there is lots of sitting and waiting in the wind then you will get cold even in this wetsuit. Still – because it is not so wet wind chill is reduced a bit I think.
OK, this was the good. Now for the bad.
There is only one thing wrong with the Matuse Tumo. I feel like there is a little bit more flushing in the neck area than with the previous wetsuits I have owned. In smaller up to headhigh waves that are not that powerful I get flushed once or twice behind my neck almost every session. With previous wetsuits this only happened now and then, every other session. I thought this was a fit problem but my friend that has 4/3 Matuse Hoplite has similar problem. I think the reason for this is that the collar of the wetsuit is kind of short, shorter than with other wetsuits, it reaches lower up your neck and therefore opens up to water faster. Oh…when I am already at the neck area – I never had any neoprene rash problems with this wetsuit.
Apart from that, thumbs up for the Matuse Tumo.