Source: The Kiteboarder Magazine – https://www.thekiteboarder.com/2016/12/tkb-product-review-manera-meteor-5-4-3-womens-wetsuit/
This year, Santa delivered a day early. Albeit, not the nicest conditions — gusty winds, unorganized and intermittent waves and an air temperature reading of 51 degrees — old Saint Nick did however leave a brand new Manera Meteor Magma 5.4.3 under the tree that I snagged and unwrapped just before heading to the beach. I can’t complain; it’s December 24th, and while it’s snowy and below freezing in the majority of the lower 48, it’s windy and the sun is shining up the California coast. I swapped out my Santa hat for a hood (not included with Manera’s 5.4.3 suit) and hit the water.
First things first: warmth. Although not the same frigid temperatures as where Julien Salles does his Manera R&D in Iceland, with an air temperature of 51, a water temp of 54 and wind speeds topping out at 35mph, this suit held up to its cold water performance reputation. The neoprene itself is composed of three layers including a middle neoprene foam with jerseys on either side. On the inside, the suit’s core and legs are lined with Manera’s signature Magma fleece, a thermal, toweling-like material that’s extra plush and works to regulate your body temperature and keep you warm while it’s exterior Squareflex Skin features a textured construction that provides extra stretch and durability and gives the suit its premium exterior finish.
As you’ll read in the 2016 winter issue, whereas most wetsuits are designed for surfing, Manera suits are designed specifically for kitesurfing on 3D software. With this in mind, Manera added a back knee emboss — slightly imprinted lines behind the knees that allow the suit to bend naturally as the rider bends and extends their knees while riding.
Manera has also focused on water entry/exit prevention and their suits embody multiple strategies to this end. The chest-zip Meteor Magma features sealing prints placed on the interior of the ankles and wrists. The rubber-like “prints” make the wrists and ankles stiffer, keeps water out, works to avoid flushing and are stretchy enough to easily put the suit on and take it off. The suit is also equipped with water strainer panels at the ankles; the perforated neoprene triangles instantly drain any entering water and this feature itself was plenty enough to keep me water-free. However, it’s a nice added touch that the suit comes with ankle straps; thin and lightweight Velcro straps for around your ankles, another preventative measure designed to keep water out
With a focus on high quality products, Manera’s also kept durability and longevity in mind. Hangers often damage and create wear on the shoulders of your suit, so they’ve placed a hanger tolerance print on the shoulders of the suit to strategically reinforce and protect the shoulders in order to maintain the neoprene and original shape of the suit.
A stylish and classy navy blue (Ink Blue) material sets this suit apart from traditional black neoprene and with it’s 5.4.3 thickness variation, I noticed a thinner panel down the side which provided more flexibility and decreased weight and bulk while maintaining enough thickness in the chest and other areas where needed to keep me warm. This suit truly feels like a top of the line, high quality wetsuit, and with all of it’s preventative measures for increased durability, I’m looking forward to it keeping me warm for many winter sessions to come.