ION have an extensive women’s wetsuit line up catering for pretty much every budget and with a whole host of options within each model range. The choice is seemingly endless as I lost count!
The Jewel is one of their mid-range suits just down from the all-singing, all-dancing Jewel Select models. This isn’t the underdog though, as the Jewel suit is still packed with features and style. We have the 5/5mm Semi-Dry here that is the perfect choice for the cold winter ahead. If you’re fortunate enough to live in warmer climes then there’s every option you could imagine right through to the long sleeve 2.5mm ‘Hot Shorty’.
The Jewel is a double-lined suit made with a mixture of types of neoprene for different key areas. The main one is Limestone neoprene from Japan, that uses raw materials made from calcium carbite converted from limestone instead of neoprene derived from petroleum oil, it has very elastic properties and is more environmentally friendly to produce. The front torso panel has a plush jersey interior finish, it almost looks like your granny has got involved knitting parts for your wetsuit. In fact it’s ION’s ‘Hot Stuff’ material that has brilliant heat retention and feels lovely and soft against the skin, perfect when combined with the smooth skin exterior for key exposed areas. The materials have been treated to ION’s Sanitzed technology so they have an active substance integrated within that prevents stinky odours from sweat and bacteria and means your kite mates won’t run a mile when you ask for a launch.
A rear panel at the back just inside the zip acts as a water barrier and has an overhead collar to keep it fitted well. ION call it the Water Gate and it’s does what it says on the tin. The nifty Gate Keeper is a Velcro patch that keeps the panel held up so you don’t have to be a yoga expert to reach it when putting the suit on alone. It’s attention to detail like this that really makes the ION wetsuits stand out from the crowd.
So many features, technical, useful and downright stylish adorn the Jewel wetsuit. Extra neoprene foam padding built in at the shins to protect when crashing, drainage holes on the legs and back, optional Velcro ankle straps included, GBS seams, key pocket, rubber wrist seals…to mention them all in detail we’d be here all day. Suffice to say this wetsuit isn’t going to disappoint!
The wetsuit has a good female cut, and the flexibility of the neoprene ensures a decent fit and plenty of freedom of movement. The size range is wide, XXS through to XXL, with a tall option in medium and large.
Overall it’s an impressive number, toasty for the winter, a great fit and enough features to win any game of wetsuit Top Trumps!
This review was in Issue 41 of IKSURFMAG.
By Mary BoothMary has been kitesurfing since 2006, she became and instructor in 2007 and travelled the world teaching the sport that she loves! She joined the IKSURFMAG team in 2008 and has been testing ladies kitesurfing equipment and writing articles from a woman's perspective ever since!