KEEPING A WETSUIT ABOARD FOR ON-THE-WATER ADVENTURES
High on my list of ‘things I wish I’d taken cruising’ is a good quality wetsuit. Recently, Seavenger sent us their women’s Odyssey 3mm neoprene wetsuit to test and review (they also make men’s and kid’s wetsuits). All things considered, it’s a piece of gear I wish I’d bought ages ago.
When we set off cruising five years ago, I spent $50 on a vintage wetsuit from the thrift store, which while epic in a 1980s beach culture kind of way, failed along more practical lines – it didn’t keep me warm. It turns out wetsuit technology has radically improved over the last 40 years!
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WHY A WETSUIT IS AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF CRUISING KIT
While cruising in Mexico and the South Pacific, I found that a bathing suit sufficed for a quick swim, but I would often have to cut snorkeling trips short when my lips started turning blue.
While cruising, there are so many times that you’ll want to stay in the water for longer than 20 minutes. For instance:
Cleaning the hull
Keeping slime and barnacles at bay, usually involves being in the water, cleaning the hull for an hour plus.
Exploring your surroundings
Whether you’re into spearfishing, snorkeling, or free diving, a wet suit will prolong your fun. I also highly recommend splurging on a really good set of goggles and testing them before you go on your trip. It’s so disappointing to miss out on exploring a stunning reef because your goggles leak.
Getting some exercise
Water sports are your main opportunity to work out on a boat (e.g., swimming, paddle boarding, kiteboarding and surfing).
We had no idea when we left on our South Pacific cruise that there’d be so few hiking opportunities. My advice, if you’re planning a charter of cruising trip, is to learn a water sport before you go, because it will deeply enrich your experience and provide some much-needed aerobic activity.
Dealing with below the waterline emergencies
If anything goes awry below the water line (for example you foul your propeller with fishing line) it will involve spending some time in cold water. Having proper thermal protection will help you deal with the problem more safely and effectively.
So, all that being said, let’s dive into the Seavenger Odyssey Wetsuit review. I took it out for some fun on a glacial fed lake – the perfect testing grounds for warmth and protection.
THE SEAVENGER ODYSSEY WETSUIT REVIEW
Note: We were provided with a wetsuit in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions here are 100% our own.
At $79.95 you really can’t go wrong. With many wetsuits costing well north of $100, the Seavenger Odyssey Wetsuit represents great value for the cost-conscious cruiser.
I’ve never particularly relished the thought of getting in or out of a wetsuit so I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was to don and doff. The fit was nice and snug, preventing excess water from getting, yet still allowed for plenty of movement. I could have happily worn it all day.
The style options
Seavenger offers so many fun styles, from colorful and geometric panels to classic black. The “geometric palm” print pictured here, won me over.
Ultra-flex neoprene 3mm wetsuit. Wetsuits range from 1-7mm in thickness and typically the thicker the neoprene, the less flexibility you can expect. The Seavenger Odyssey Wetsuit strikes the perfect balance between warmth and flexibility.
Note: This 3mm wetsuit is rated for water temperatures of 65 F (18 C) and up. If you’re planning to do lots of aerobic activity or are generally just too warm, you may want to check out one of Seavenger’s shorty wetsuits.
A sharkskin chest panel adds an additional level of durability, which is great for anyone who surfs.
Flat-lock stitching makes the suit feel nearly seamless and reduces chafing.
The reinforced knees provide extra protection for the novice paddleboarder like myself who spends more time falling over than upright
A tough YKK #10 zipper with an extra long leash makes it really easy to put on.
An internal neoprene gusset reduces the chances of dreaded cold water flushing and seepage.
Seavenger’s Odyssey Wetsuit is a good value, high quality, and versatile wetsuit, exactly the kind of thing we’d take on our next boating adventure.
Fiona McGlynn is an award-winning boating writer who created Waterborne as a place to learn about living aboard and traveling the world by sailboat. She has written for boating magazines including BoatUS, SAIL, Cruising World, and Good Old Boat. She’s also a contributing editor at Good Old Boat and BoatUS Magazine. In 2017, Fiona and her husband completed a 3-year, 13,000-mile voyage from Vancouver to Mexico to Australia on their 35-foot sailboat.