BODY GLOVE – 3/2 RED CELL FULLSUIT WETSUIT
In a nutshell, the most exciting thing about the new Body Glove Vapor X Red Cell is the interior lining of the neoprene. While fluffy, quick-drying neoprenes with more insulative properties are the norm on wetsuits these days, Body Glove claims their Red Cell lining actually redirects heat back to your body.
Let’s back up. OK, a few years ago we discovered that your body heats air more efficiently than water, thus wetsuits with plushier, water repellent linings kept you warmer. The Body Glove Red Cell material looks like several other fluffy interior neoprenes, but the ad-line is that the Red Cell redirects infrared rays back to the body, thus heating more efficiently.
“The yarns of the Red Cell lining are produced entirely from a highly specialized, thermally receptive polymer that captures infrared rays and reflects them back to the body,” said Body Glove Wetsuit designer John Federoff. “The balance between emitted and absorbed infrared rays has a critical effect on the human body’s ability to maintain a constant body temperature.”
This is exciting stuff, as infrared could become the new standard for wetsuits. Earlier this year Xcel introduced their Thermo Dry Celiant, or TDC lining which also uses infrared material. We’ve tested both wetsuits and the two materials have a very different feel from one another, with Red Cell being the softer of the two.
Design-wise the Vapor X Red Cell lining employs a series of elevated Hexagons along the interior. The Channels surrounding the hexagons facilitate enhanced breathability and allow for faster dry time.
How did the Body Glove Vapor X Red Cell perform?
For warmth and flexibility the Red Cell material was on par, if not above par to other similar high-end suit materials. The Red Cell is comfortable, flexible and very warm. Whether this warmth was due to increased blood flow and oxygen levels, or just that the Red Cell is a good insulator, I could not tell.
The seams were comfortable against the skin and we found no major water seepage through the seams.