Nothing beats a brand new wetsuit. The warmth. The feel. The smell. Mmmm. But that brand-new feeling only lasts so long. Having a wetsuit that can handle a few seasons, take a beating and a fair amount of neglect – that’s what really matters to me.

Most wetsuits I’ve worn the last few seasons have fallen apart following a year of surfing. In fact, it hasn’t been since the days of West Wetsuits (such underrated wetsuits – R.I.P.) that I’ve had a good, warm, flexible wetty that’s managed to handle multiple winters, while remaining comfortable and water-tight throughout.

When I learned that the original founder of West was launching a new wetsuit brand, and just now hitting the States, I was thrilled. That brand – Volte Wetsuits – appeared to be the exact type of wetsuit I love. I had to get one to try out.

Volte’s Premium Chest Zip Steamer falls into their mid-range line. It’ll run you $259.99, and for that price, you’ll be stoked with what you’ll get. The neoprene is sourced from limestone and boasts flexibility, longevity, and warmth.

Their “solar skin” foam harnesses the sun's energy, insulating your torso for those grueling, long sessions. The glued and blind-stitched seams are simple, flexible, comfortable, and will withstand the test of time.

The branding is unobtrusive. The wetsuits are black. They slip on, and off, very easily. And for those who fear the chest-zip entry, there’s a back-zip option, as well.

My verdict? Good bang for your buck. In this day and age, there’s always going to be the next super-fly thermo-nuclear mutant-whatchamacallit technology, but there’s also something to be said about keeping things simple.