At A Glance
Back in June, ION released its annual Amaze Pink Capsule Collection across multiple products, aiming to showcase women's determination to confidently conquer the oceans and encourage others to do the same.
I got a chance to try out the Amaze AMP 5/4 front zip wetsuit for myself. ION suggests this wetsuit is a good fit for temperatures between 11°C - 16°C (52°F - 61°F); however, I would say it is always nicer to be toasty warm in the water, and this number will most definitely keep you nice and warm. If you, like me, have lived in the northern hemisphere for most of your ya, this suit will be your perfect companion for most of the year.
Firstly, I have to talk about the new colourway, as this is the first thing you notice about this suit. It is an excellent combination of blues and pinks. It is subtle but still fun, making the suit stand out. I like a bit of colour in the sea of black wetsuits, which also means that you can be easily spotted on the water. The shape is very feminine, with the right amount of curves in the suit to accommodate a female figure; I feel that ION has nailed this through the years of their female collections.
Enough about the looks; let's talk about the technical aspects of this suit and what makes it so lovely and warm. The secret for optimal heat retention lies in ION's super flexible Hot_Stuff 2.0 thermo lining combined with toasty warm Plasma_Plush 2.0. The Hot_Stuff 2.0 lining runs from the shoulders to the ankles, and the majority of the back, right up to behind your knees, is covered in Plasma_Plush 2.0 material. These two materials make this suit perfect for colder water; the larger loops in Hot_Stuff 2.0 lining trap more air for heat insulation, while the Plasha_Plush 2.0 high pile fabric traps air for snuggly warmth and insulation. The vertical channels in this material also help the wetsuit to dry quicker, so a nice little benefit there, as we all know that getting a damp, cold suit back on for the next session is never fun. The top layer of the suit is I_foam neoprene, and for this season, there is an upgrade from ION to the Oyster shell powder rather than Limestone, making this suit more sustainable yet still delivering superior warmth and flexibility.
The flexibility of this suit is quite something indeed. For a thicker suit, I was expecting at least some restrictions, but no, there were absolutely none. The opening is easy to get yourself into. In the past, with some front zip suits, I have had difficulty getting my hips through or had to do a bit of a wiggle to get the shoulders in. On the Amaze AMP, I didn't have this problem at all. One thing I found a little tricky is getting the actual neck flap over my head, especially after a session once my hands were a bit cold and stiff. Taking it off required a bit of practice, but the tight-fitting does have a purpose and benefit of less water flushing in, so I guess it is a small price to pay for being warmer on the water. The front zip is also a massive benefit when you are wearing a harness, as there is no zip to create any pressure points between the harness and the body, so, regardless, I am a fan!
Sizes: 34/XS, 36/S, 38/M, 40/L
On The Water
As I have mentioned, this is an impressively stretchy suit that kept me warm and toasty even in the gloomy rainy conditions of the UK. I feel once the water temperature begins to drop, this will definitely be my go-to wetsuit. I was very impressed with how light the suit is for a 5/4, and it dried pretty well too.
Some little features of the suit I particularly enjoyed were the drain holes strategically placed so that the water doesn't accumulate inside the wetsuit. The seal tite, the small rubber strips on the inside of the wrists and ankles, prevents the water from rushing in.
This will be my cold water choice of suit for sure, even with the very slight difficulties of getting the head flap over my head. I love being warm, and this wetsuit did just that without any compromise on flexibility. I also liked the feminine colour choices that ION introduced this season. While it might not be to everyone's taste, it is eye-catching and makes a powerful statement in the sea of black!
This review was in Issue 95 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit ION Products