Patagonia wetsuits feature high-quality Japanese superstretch neoprene that you won't find in any other suit on the market. The interior consists of recycled poly fleece constructed as a grid to create dead air space and retain lots of warmth. An internal pullover style neck gasket blocks wind and prevents flushing at the zipper. Neoprene underarm panels are backed by nylon jersey on both sides for better stretch while paddling. All seams are single glued and blindstitched for durability; crotch seams are internally taped. Anatomical, compression molded kneepads are PVC-free for better durability and less environmental harm.
Environmental claims lure customers these days, but not all mean less environmental harm. Bamboo is the perfect example. It can be grown organically and without irrigation, so it seems like a green alternative for wetsuits. The truth is factories typically recover only half of the toxic solvent (carbon disulfide) used to convert bamboo fibers into fabric. The other half goes straight into the environment. That’s why we use exterior face fabrics and insulative liners made with 100% recycled polyester. Environmental problems and solutions are always more complex than they seem. Ask companies tough questions. It will help you make informed purchases and encourage the industry to keep finding better alternatives.
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