At A Glance
The Seafarer is Manera's entry-level wetsuit and is available in various configurations, including the Steamer, short-sleeved, hybrid (long arm/short leg), 3/2, 4/3, 5/3, front zip, back zip, women's, and men's, which means almost all conditions are covered by this range. Today, I'm tasting the Manera Seafarer Steamer Front Zip in a 3/2mm.
It's well known that the manufacture of neoprene is not planet-friendly, and the industry as a whole has some way to go to solve the problem, but I like that Manera is trying to reduce its impact by doing what they can in a number of areas. Waste off-cuts are recycled, recycled nylons are used for the outer and inner layers, and like other leading wetsuit manufacturers, the neoprene is derived from limestone sources rather than petroleum. I also really liked the packaging. The wetsuit comes in a nicely designed minimalist cardboard box, which can best be described as a pizza box.
What you really notice when you first hold the wetsuit is how well-made it is. The quality of the stitching and the glued seams is as good as I have seen. This may be an entry-level wetsuit, but the quality of the materials and finishing is excellent. The jersey lining is a nice touch and feels great when you slip the wetsuit on, and it does go on easily, thanks to the flexibility. The front zip is all plastic, which is a big tick in the box for saltwater riding.
Sizes: XS, S, ST, MS, M, MT, LS, L, XL, XXL
On The Water
I had the chance to try the new Manera Seafarer Steamer Front Zip 3/2 in the summer temps (15 to 18 Celsius) of the UK and Northern France, and here are my thoughts. First of all, let's look at the technical aspects of this wetsuit. The Seafarer uses Manera's S-Foam neoprene with Re-Flex Skin and Jersey lining. With marketing terms out of the way, what does it really mean? This combination aims to provide an affordable, light, flexible wetsuit that feels comfortable against the skin and, at the same time, is durable. It certainly achieves this.
I'm 182cm and 85kg, so I opted for a large size based on Manera's size chart. It is worth noting that in some other brands, I wear a medium, so when ordering/trying a Manera wetsuit, it might be worth considering this and referring to the size chart to see whether you need to size up. Thanks to Manera's 3D design process, there were no issues with fit, and I was cosy and comfortable. The size chart was accurate.
I've used the wetsuit for kitesurfing, SUP surfing, and surfing, and it works well for all. I really appreciate the flexibility and overall fit. One small thing to note was that when kitesurfing, there was a tendency for water ingress through the ankles. It would be nice to have the option of ankle straps here, as some other brands have done. The next level up in Manera's line (the X10D) gets around this by incorporating a water strainer into the ankle design. The fit around the neck is very comfortable, and I had no noticeable issues with water flushing in through the top.
Overall, it's a very flexible wetsuit that fits just as advertised, with quality materials and great functionality to get you on the water for any action sport. Don't be put off by the entry-level tag on this wetsuit. It really is a quality product and lacks nothing in this area. All that needs to be considered is whether you want the additional features that come with the next level up, and of course, Manera has this covered in their extensive range.
This review was in Issue 101 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Manera