At A Glance
ION's Onyx Select 5/4 is a semidry winter suit packed with a range of features and technology that set it apart from its competition. With the toasty warm Plasma Plush 2.0 internal lining below the chest, it's rated to keep you warm on the water at 6°C - 11°C while making sure you are comfortable with its super soft, flexible Silk Stuff upper. A decrease in the material around the elbow and the knee add to this comfort allowing greater freedom of movement. ION's Dry Grid technology means it absorbs up to 30% less water than a traditional suit, which makes for less weight as well as less cooling through evaporation.
In The Water
Winter in the UK; the perfect time to test the ION Onyx Select Semidry! February offered back-to-back storms which provided a great testing platform for the Onyx. ION describes this suit as a tighter fit, which is apparent when sliding into it through the front zip for the first time. Its Plasma Plush ribbed lining (below the chest) is orientated vertically which makes for an easier entry than you'd expect from a tighter fitting suit. Once on, the lining is comfortable, and the 'hollowed' out areas at the elbow and the knee made for a good range of movement during my pre-session limbering dance.
It was only on a failed trick attempt that brain freeze reminded me that yes, indeed the water was cold. The sealed Power Seams over the stitching of the suit did an excellent job of keeping the icy water out and the warm water in.
As with many suits, water always seems to find its way up between the cuffs of the ankle if you don't use the Velcro straps that are supplied with the suit. Although I opted not to use the provided Velcro straps, ION's Seal Tite rubber strips around the interior of the cuffs attacked this common issue better than others.
One of the most impressive features of the Onyx Select was its incredibly short drying time. ION market Dry Grid's benefits as less weight and less heat loss through evaporation, this tech comes into its own for those who may be lucky enough to session twice in one day or those on van trips with limited time to dry out equipment. Either way, I was extremely happy to session four days back-to-back without once feeling the dreaded cold of a wet wetsuit, especially in February!
A close-fitting, super comfortable suit offering plenty of freedom of movement. The ION Onyx Select is packed full of tech that makes a difference. Its quick-drying abilities, combined with its warmth and tight seals, make it an excellent choice for colder weather kitesurfing.For more information visit ION Products