Rip Curl H Bomb Review

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out of 5 stars

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I’m a sucker for gadgets, life wouldn’t be the same without them. Such gizmos as smart phones and tablets can really enrich our everyday life. When I first saw Rip Curl were launching a battery powered wetsuit, I thought I would love to try one out. However, the £800 price tag put me off ever owning this gadget. So it’s lucky I have been given one to test out. I have been testing this wetsuit since the beginning of this winter season and here’s my review.

How does it work?

The H-Bomb is powered by two lithium ion batteries which fully charge in about 3-4 hours . The batteries give power to carbon fibre elements which are located in the back of the wetsuit, underneath a polypro lining. It’s these elements which conduct the heat, and warm organs such as the kidneys which help to pump blood around the body. This warm blood is then pumped to your extremities such as your arms, hands, legs and feet.

h-bomb-heating-element

Located on the side of the wetsuit is a switch which allows the user to set the desired temperature range, this can be set to low, medium and boost.

h-bomb-power-switch

The heat generated within the wetsuit allows you to also wear a thinner wetsuit in cold waters. I tested the 3/2mm in waters ranging from 9-12c, these sorts of water temperatures normally demand a 4/3mm or 5mm wetsuit. Each charge can last anywhere up to 3 hours depending on which temperature setting is used.

What’s the wetsuit like?

The H Bomb is basically an E Bomb with added polypro where the heating elements are,  the seams are double silicon sealed on both sides. The wetsuit is really comfortable and due to wearing a 3/2mm  you get the extra flexibility of a summer wetsuit.  The batteries didn’t feel intrusive, or dig into my back, i didn’t even notice they were there. The batteries simply are connected and fit into two little zipped pouches in the kidney area.

h-bomb-battery-pouch

 

The battery pack includes a voltage metre which tells you if the batteries are fully charged. When factoring in the weight of the heating element and the batteries, there’s no weight reduction in wearing the 3/2mm H Bomb compared to a conventional 5mm wetsuit.


Does it work?

At the beginning of the winter season the H Bomb faired pretty well, it kept me nice and warm in waters of around 12c. However, as the water decreased in temperature the novelty of wearing a battery powered wetsuit wore off pretty quickly. When I was surfing water of 9c, and factor in wind chill, the wetsuit didn’t keep me warm. My body and legs were fine, but my arms were feeling the biting effects of wind chill. I put this down to the wetsuit only having 2mm neoprene on the arms. It seems the wind just pierces through to the thin neoprene and resulted in me being extremely cold. If Rip Curl had used 3mm neoprene on the arms the wetsuit, it would have kept the wind chill at bay. The H Bomb is now retailing for around £350, but I wouldn’t even pay this amount for this wetsuit as the whole concept is flawed. You can buy a 4/3mm version of the wetsuit which I feel would have been a better investment, but wearing a 4/3mm wetsuit would have kept me warm without the heated element.

I wouldn’t recommend the 3/2mm version of this wetsuit if you are going to use it in waters below 12c. There’s no point in having a battery powered wetsuit which doesn’t keep you warm. However, the 4/3mm may well be the way to go, but this includes a built in hood which i wouldn’t use. Another down side is if you forget to charge your batteries, or forget to take them with you, surfing unless you have a spare wetsuit.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Rip Curl H Bomb Wetsuit Review
Author Rating
3
Editor's Rating
Overall
Warmth
Value for Money
Stretch
Comfort

7 Responses to Rip Curl H Bomb Review

  1. Stephen ADAmson March 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I own the 4m H-Bomb and think its a really good wetsuit. You would have to be a complete mad man to spend £1000 on this wetsuit, its not worth that, £350 maybe but not a grand. As most wetsuits without batteries cost over £300 i thought i would buy it off Ebay for £250 so i would say its worth that money for sure.

    It keeps me nice and warm, the batteries dont get in the way, you cant feel them. I get around 2 hours charge out of the batteries if i have it on the medium setting. I wear it all year round up in on the east cost of Scotland. Dont need the batteries on in the summer. Owned for a year now with no problems which are normally associated with rip curl wetsuits.

    If you can get one cheap i would buy one, otherwise get something else without batteries for god sake!

    Overall Rating:

  2. not worth the money March 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Yes, i was a fool and paid stupid money for mine, I paid £500 for the 3x2mm in the sale from another online shop. Its a good wetsuit, it does keep you warm in early summer and winter. But as suggested in the review, the 2 milometer neoprene on the arms doesnt keep you warm on cold windy days! Sometimes i’m freezing cold just because my arms are cold. I wish i had bought the 4x3mm version. Just feel the 3mm is not fit for winter UK waters.

    Overall Rating:

  3. get the heated vest March 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Ripcurl have made a heated vest which i own. I havent tried the Hbomb wetsuit because its way too expensive even from wetsuit outlet who are selling it for £300. I bought the vest for £200 from the sates and i’m very happy with it. I have worn it under my 5mm wetsuit and i was way too hot. I then tried it under my 4mm wetsuit and it works a treat. Also trie under my 3mm in winter and it keeps you warmish.

    I would buy the vest as its more versatile and doesnt cost as much. I will give this wetsuit a 1 star for appeal

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  4. stupid review above March 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Why on earth would you buy the vest at £200 and then a wetsuit at £200-£300? You can buy the wetsuit alone for £300. Its a sick wetsuit do your maths before suggesting retarded ideas!

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  5. a totally stupid person above March 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Hey retard! What happens when your seams go, or the wetsuit comes to the end of its life!? What you goin to do then? use the heating system as a hot water bottle? While your crying into your expensive hot water bottle i will be using my heated vest in the surf as intended. Plus i already owned the 3 wetsuits i wear, so no additional cost, just wanted added warmth! IDOIT

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  6. Simon Minchin April 3, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Just got the H-bomb as it was 250 on ebay brand new. I’ve used my O’neill Psycho for 2 winters that is a great suit, but I’m sick & tired of struggling to surf because I’m knackered after 45mins of paddling through big Kernow winter swells with hood, gloves, boots and 5mm of rubber, then the cold begins to zap my energy.

    Wearing a 3-2 in winter was super appealing & really makes a difference to how I surf in the cold. The batteries are the chunky version as I guess the suit is a US import (2 pin plug for charger). They feel cumbersome when I put it on but I don’t notice them in the water. I still wear a hood due to wind, heat-loss, surfers-ear & ice-cream headaches, but the 2nd time I tried it without gloves in 8°C water & was pleasantly surprised. There wasn’t much wind-chill that day though. When I do have them on,the lightness & flex of the suit keep me surfing better for longer.

    If there’s strong offshores blowing I tend to get the shivers after 1.5-2hrs but one session the batteries ran out & I didn’t notice until I got out. My arms haven’t tended to feel colder than the rest of my body like it says above but I will say I get colder quicker than in my normal winter-suit but I do feel I surf better in the H-bomb. It is really hard to get out of the suit especially with cold claw hands, but the design is super efficient at keeping the cold water out.

    For 250 I now have a dry suit to use for a second surf in both winter & (without batteries) in summer, so for me its really cost effective. I thought about a heated vest but the price was not much difference & like i say i have a 2nd suit i can use all year round now.

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  7. utter shame! May 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

    Yet another product from rip curl which doesnt hold any substance. I got one for around $400 and it stopped working after a few months. I was without a suit for ages while rip shit sorted it out!

    Overall Rating:

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