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Anyone that’s visited the coast of the Netherlands through the winter months knows to wrap up warm, particularly when that biting northerly airflow heads down from Scandinavia. Prolimit’s Dutch HQ is the perfect proving ground for the more extreme end of cold-water wetsuits, which is where this 6/4mm Vapor comes into its own.
Externally, the suit is stealthy in appearance and doesn’t appear like the suit of armor as some 6mm suits style themselves. There’s a light tweedy texture to the outer neoprene, which enhances its aesthetic and gives it a premium appearance. Entry and exit are a simple and dignified process due to the high level of flexibility in the suit. The entry collar isn’t massive to help prevent flushing, but you can slip both in and out with ease, and a cleverly angled YKK chest zip seals things off neatly. There’s a small drawstring to lock down the shoulder section, which is a neat little detail.
The thermal fleece-lined 6mm material is intelligently placed from mid rib cage chest panel all the way down to just above the knee and matches at your back. This is a massive area of the plush V4X Limestone-based neoprene, which does an excellent job of bouncing your body heat right back at you. This includes a layer similar to a thermal survival blanket sandwiched behind the fleece. The 4mm material is primarily in the arms to free up movement across the shoulders for paddling, and where material is doubled up around the zip and entry system. Sturdy liquid seams prevent water ingress but don’t seem to hinder the high levels of flex provided by the neoprene, and the internal seams are blind stitched, leaving a very smooth feeling against your skin. You can’t feel any internal junctions where the panels begin and end.
We took some serious kickings in the waves and had zero flushing through the neck seal, which sits relatively low. The ankles have optional Velcro cuffs to prevent the dreaded elephant leg syndrome, and drain holes if water does manage to get up there. The knee areas have a suitable level of reinforcement from a material similar to Kevlar, and a cheeky key pocket is included in the shin of the right leg. For a suit with this level of thermal protection, the Vapor remains extremely flexible. At no point do you feel over rubbered, you just feel extremely warm and well protected from the elements.
This is a tour de force of a full-featured winter suit. Where some may have avoided this thickness of wetsuit due to it feeling a little clunky, this 6/4mm is so light and flexible there are absolutely no negatives on taking the range topper, just pure luxurious heat which is going to extend your sessions and make winter a far more tolerable experience. And in these uncertain times where foreign travel to warmer climates might be limited, it could be a very shrewd investment.