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Surf Gear Reviews

Xcel Wetsuits – Thermo Bamboo Review

I’m a huge fan of Xcel wetsuits.  It seems like everyone has their own favorite wetsuit brands, but I reall find that Xcels are unbeatable in terms of warmth and flexibility.  I have quite a few friends who swear by Xcel as well.  The most important aspect of a wetsuit is how it fits you personally.  I find Xcels to fit me like a glove.  Your mileage may vary, of course, so it’s definitely recommended that you try on a few brands as they are all cut slightly differently.  For example, I find O’Neill suits are much too tight around my shoulders.

New for this winter is Xcel’s new Thermo-Bamboo interior that comes standard in the new versions of the Infiniti and Infiniti drylock models (mens and womens).  This replaces the signature yellow wooly material that used to line the chest area of the past Xcel suits.  The thermo bamboo material is made of “bamboo and charcoal infused recycled fibers” that resist moisture and retain your body heat.

This materal now lines not only the chest but the upper thigh region of the inside of the suit, which is great.  It does do a good job of resisting moisture – often after a short session much of that materal will still be dry even with the use of the standard Infiniti suit.  I’m sure this is even more true with the drylock models.  The materal doesn’t sop up the water, and it drys quite fast.

As far as resisting odor, time will tell–I’ve just started using the suit.

Xcel has produced boots and gloves using the water repellent thermo bamboo material as well.

Unfortunately wetsuits are not very “green” as far as the materials used go, but Xcel’s use of the recycled bamboo material is a step in the right direction.

The only problem I’ve had with Xcel suits is that the seams tend to deteriorate after about a year, right about the time when your warranty runs out.

The thermo-bamboo lining is available in all new models of the Xcel Infiniti and Drylock models, mens and womens.  (Still waiting for the Women’s version of the Drylock suit!)

Check out:

Buy Xcel suits from, an official Xcel dealer.


Do you use Xcel suits?  What do you think about the Thermo-Bamboo?  Leave a comment below!

Our Review:

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Hayley Gordon

Hayley Gordon has been surfing for over 20 years. Riding both shortboards and longboards, she's traveled the world to surf but mainly sticks to her two home locations of San Diego and Long Island.

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12 years ago

“but Xcel’s use of the recycled bamboo material is a step in the right direction.”

well i’m not sure this is the right direction!!! Bamboo viscose comes out of a toxic process. So even if bamboo looks green, using it as viscose doesn’t mean much really.
That’s the main reason Patagonia is not using that stuff!

Plus I have seen how fast Xcel wetsuitx go old and I don’t think the bamboo argument is a key factor. I would say it’s more a degradable wetsuit with poor seams.

@Gregg Rosner limestone wetsuits are just the same as regular ones, not better not worse:

12 years ago

Sorry, Gregg, but not all of us can afford $500 wetsuits.

As far as the new material, it’s a new season, and my XCEL’s material is very rigid. There’s no flex in the shoulders or upper body, which is also why I usually love them. The neck rubber is also cutting into my flesh. Can’t wait for the typical hiccy jokes at work. I’m disappointed so far but hope it loosens up after a few more sessions. I hope this has nothing to do with Billabong now owning the company. Usually these big companies come in and buy up smaller quality companies and then turn their product into garbage to save money.

Gregg Rosner
Gregg Rosner
13 years ago

Try Matuse wetsuits. 100% limestone, all organic super flexy and warm. Pricey!

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