Quiksilver Syncro Review – our reliable, go-to steamer

by Oliver Sander

Quiksilver 4​/3 Syncro Chest Zip Wetsui

$199.95
9

Warmth

9.5/10

Flex

9.0/10

Durability

8.5/10

The good bits

  • F'n LITE neoprene repels water
  • Lots of sizes and styles
  • Infrared lining harnesses body heat to stay warm

The bad bits

  • Better seams on the Syncro+ version
  • Zippers not the strongest

Our Quiksilver Syncro review takes a look at this midrange steamer and why it’s one of our go-to suits for casual day-to-day surfing.

Quiksilver Syncro review intro

The Quiksilver Syncro is the reliable, ever-present brother of the Quiksilver wetty range. These guys make more versions of this than they do any other suit. The range goes from fat 5/3/4s for the height of winter to thinner summer suits. If that tells you anything, it’s that it’s a versatile choice, but also that it sells well. For good reason, too. Yep, the Syncro fills that widening gap in the market between entry-level kook suits and upper-end tech suits. It’s an all-round good option for midrangers without a second mortgage to take out on some neoprene in 2021.

We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

Short on time? Key takeaways…

  1. All-rounder suit that’s perfect for intermediate improvers who want to surf more and more.
  2. Sold winter steamer that will work in spring and autumn too.
  3. Loads of sizes and variations to suit all sorts of surf environments.

Quiksilver Syncro key tech to watch out for

  • WarmFlight x1 Far Infrared – Trademark Quiksilver lining that harnesses body heat to insulate the suit
  • F’n LITE neoprene – Keeps you light as a feather in the water and makes the suit easy to dry
  • StretchFlight x2 – Elastane fabric means even the 5/4/3 feels thinner

Quiksilver Syncro review: Warmth

Quiksilver Syncro sleeves

Warmth is obviously the main factor to consider when it comes to bagging that wetsuit. The good news is that the Syncro range have a big focus on getting temps right. Being aimed at casual, day-to-day surfers, it’s not NASA tech, but you can rely on toasty conditions for your usually spring and winter romps in the Atlantic north. No worries.

The key feature here is the WarmFlight x1 Far Infrared lining, which Quiksilver say is infused with “mineral-enriched fibers”. They’re supposed to attune with your own body heat to maximize insulation and keep temperatures on the body side of the suit nice and stable.

We’re not usually ones for all that marketing gizmo language, but we’ll say this: It works. The Syncro is an undeniably warm prospect. Okay, so we’re testing a 5/4/3 model, but it’s the Welsh winter and it’s only 45 degrees (6.5 C) in the water. We’ve also surfed with pals who had the 4/3 version steamer and they’ve been mightily impressed, so it’s not all down to thickness. The tech does its job.

The take home: 5/4/3s will handle any winter surf session we’ve thrown at them, but the suit has a commendable heat retention that puts it on par with some of the more advanced models on the market.

Quiksilver Syncro review: Warmth

Warmth is obviously the main factor to consider when it comes to bagging that wetsuit. The good news is that the Syncro range have a big focus on getting temps right. Being aimed at casual, day-to-day surfers, it’s not NASA tech, but you can rely on toasty conditions for your usually spring and winter romps in the Atlantic north. No worries.

The key feature here is the WarmFlight x1 Far Infrared lining, which Quiksilver say is infused with “mineral-enriched fibers”. They’re supposed to attune with your own body heat to maximize insulation and keep temperatures on the body side of the suit nice and stable.

We’re not usually ones for all that marketing gizmo language, but we’ll say this: It works. The Syncro is an undeniably warm prospect. Okay, so we’re testing a 5/4/3 model, but it’s the Welsh winter and it’s only 45 degrees (6.5 C) in the water. We’ve also surfed with pals who had the 4/3 version steamer and they’ve also been mightily impressed, so it’s not just down to thickness.

The take home: 5/4/3s will handle any winter surf session we’ve thrown at them, but the suit has a commendable heat retention that puts it on par with some of the more advanced models on the market.

Quiksilver Syncro review: Flex

Our Quiksilver Syncro review

Any seasoned surfer who’s been through their fair share of winters will know that the usual downfall of the full-length steamer is striking the right balance between warmth and flex. Yes, there are some suits that’ll have you toasty as a bagel out there. However, they’ll also have you paddling like you’ve just come off a night on the mezcal in Cabo. AKA: Terribly.

The Quiksilver Syncro isn’t that sort of suit. We’re consistently surprised at just how much range of movement we get in our 5/3 model. Okay, so it’s not the same sort of wafer-thin feel as a Vissla 7 Seas, but the aim’s a little different. Instead of creating a thin suit that mimics a thick suit, Q have flipped the model on their head. They’ve gone thick enough to keep you positively balmy but thrown interesting tech in to keep that 5/3 neoprene as stretchy as bubblegum.

That’s the result of the innovative StretchFlight x2 neo that’s built into the key panels. It’s a limestone-based material that has loads of movement down to the single fiber level, along with a 17% elastane content. The upshot? Syncros are some darn stretchy suits, which means the flex at key spaces (armpits, kneecaps) is pretty impressive.

The take home: Stretch is key to the Syncro. It’s one of the stretchiest suits we’ve worn, which adds loads of movement to key areas

Quiksilver Syncro review: Durability

Now, we wouldn’t say we’re the most hardcore of surfers on the lineup in the winter. It’s rare to catch us lining up for dawnies day after day. More than that, 2020 has been a pretty rubbish year for surfing regularly (some biz about a global pandemic or something, eh?). Still, we managed A LOT of sessions in the Syncro in the 2019/2020 autumn-winter period, so we think we’re in a decent enough place to comment on the durability of the kit.

Our verdict? It’s okay. The good news is that the key technology seems to work consistently well. That’s even after several drying sessions in bright sun and regular use. It’s still flexible and we can still feel that distinct hit of warmth when the WarmFlight x1 fabric starts working its magic. The bad news is that we got a pretty annoying mini-rip around the chest-zip area. Maybe we’ve just bulked up the pecs (spoiler: we haven’t), or the Syncro zippers aren’t the hardest out there.

The tear is teeny-weeny and doesn’t seem to affect the surf quality. Still, if you come up tight in the chest area and are dead set on buying a chest-zip steamer, we think it might be better to plump for something with more rugged zips. The Xcel Drylock, for example. You could also upgrade to the Syncro Plus. It’s a slightly improved model that’s mainly about thicker, better-finished seam. It should keep more water out and the suit going for a little longer.

The take home: Key technologies in the suit hold up well, but we have had a rip after just one season of use!

Quiksilver Syncro review: Zips and seams

Quiksilver Syncro seams and zips

We’ve already said how fabric joins are potentially the main weakness in this suit. It looks like Quiksilver know it, too. They’ve developed a Syncro Plus model that’s basically a carbon copy of the standard Syncro, only with Liquid Flex Seal tech that helps to keep the panel joins stronger and more water resistant. We’d say it’s something worth considering if you’re going to be surfing a lot. Or if you usually put extra pressure on chest areas (in a chest zipper). Or if your plan on surfing longer sessions.

Otherwise, the standard Syncro glue and blind-stitched seams should do the trick for most surfers. They’ve held up fantastically well in our 18/19 model.

It’s also worth noting that the Syncro is a little unusual in that it’s made in both chest and back-zip models. You can choose which suits you the best. As always, we lean towards the chest zipper for a tighter fit and to minimize water seepage. That’s probably the way to go for anyone who’s intermediate and up. Bac zips might be better for infrequent surfers and groms, especially as they come lined with an extra layer of neoprene in the Syncro to shop down any cold water leaking on the back panel.

The take home: The Syncro blind-stitch means these suits hold up well, but we’d say upgrade to the Syncro Plus if you’re planning on surfing a lot.

Quiksilver Syncro review: Other features

No Quiksilver Syncro review could possibly ignore the F’n LITE neoprene that seems to be the go-to fabric for the upper-end of the Q market these days. We think it’s got enough to rival the most innovative new materials out there, thanks largely to how water repellent it is. Seriously, it dodges H2O absorption like I dodge commitments. Really, really well. Bringing that to this model from the Highline was a masterstroke of Quiksilver design, allowing for way more lightness in the surf and easier insulation on longer sessions.

We also want to make a nod to the Ecto-Flex Knee Pads on the Quiksilver Syncro. As lazy cap draggers on our pop up, we loved these thicker additions to the legs. They smashed some of the other steamer pads we’ve had in the past because we could hardly feel them but still rarely paddled back in with a graze or rash that had us reaching for the Vaseline.

The take home: Reduced absorption in the F’n LITE keeps the Syncro feeling really lightweight in the water

Quiksilver Syncro: The range

Quiksilver Syncro in the wild

The Syncro comes in more shapes and sizes than you can shake your sunscreen at. From 3/2 summer suits to thick winter steamers, it covers a gamut of seasonal options. The main thing you’ll need to consider is whether it’s a chest or a back zip. The Syncro comes in both…

Quiksilver Syncro: Conclusion

We’ve been surfing in the Quiksilver Syncro for two years now. Yes, they’ve been less-busy winter an spring seasons thanks to a certain pandemic. However, our 5/4/3 has still taken its fair whack of winter swell. The suit has been fantastic, too. It’s checked off all the key traits of a steamer with its infra-red warming tech and stretchy neoprene. We think there may be one or two questions over the durability, but they only apply if you’re looking to surf day in day out and use the suit for maybe three or four seasons in a row. We’ll be getting a new kit by then, and it might just be another Syncro!


We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This review is based on the thoughts and subjective opinions of the author alone. We always try our best to give a balanced and fair review of a product, and won’t recommend anything we don’t think will do the job. The presence of a product review doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve actively sampled the product itself. We reserve the right to alter and change review at any time.

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