The Mission is one of NP’s best selling wetsuit lines, coming in front and back zip options, along with various neoprene weights, from the winter warmer 6/5/4 with a built in hood, to the long armed shortie option. Here we give you our take on the Mission 5/4/3mm Front Zip (FZ) version, available in 3 different colourways.

NP’s Claim:

“The Mission FZ was built for unrestricted freedom of movement and superior warmth. Designed for multisport use, it is constructed with Apex­Plus neoprene and loaded with features such as the ultra­warm Fireline insulation and P­Skin taped seams. The Mission provides the ultimate combination of warmth and flexibility.”

If you haven’t tried getting into a front­zipped wetsuit before, you might find it a little awkward initially. But bear with it, as it is worth it (as we will discuss later) and after a few attempts you will begin to develop a knack for it. It also really helps you to understand just how supple modern neoprene is, and the Apex­Plus neoprene used by NP in the Mission is no exception. Described as providing “25% more stretch”, it uses more spandex in its outer lining, which gives the wetsuit a silky smooth feel and lots of flexibility and memory, so that it can be pulled in every direction and returns instantly to shape. Once on, the Mission is a snug wetsuit, the neoprene right next to your skin throughout, including on your arms. In the past this used to spell danger for windsurfing, particularly in winter suits, restricting the arms and resulting in a loss of grip strength. No such problem with the Mission, thanks to the flexibility of the neoprene used in the arms. And because of its close fit, the neoprene works more effectively, meaning that NP have got away with using a thinner material to boot.
So to the all important question of warmth: just how good is the Mission FZ? Well, having used subsequent incarnations of the same suit for the past three seasons, it is safe to say it gets the thumbs up from our test team. The front zip with its magnetic lock, elastic fastener and incorporated SCS neck seal creates one of the best closures we have experienced, minimising the amount of flush when submerged in water. This is fundamental to ensuring a warm suit. Forget anything else you have read or learnt about how a wetsuit works; if you can mitigate water ingress into the suit and next to your skin, the warmer the suit will be. The Mission does this beautifully.

Combine the reduced flush with the Fireline insulation layer (extended down the thighs this year) and you have a super warm suit, that will see you through the deepest winters. Fireline is a series of brushed polypropylene lines knitted into a fleecy jersey, which wicks water away from the skin (often perspiration), traps it in and lets your body heat it up for improved thermal qualities. Neat stuff!

Being a double lined suit (i.e. with the spandex fused nylon layer on the external side of the neoprene, as well as the internal), there is the obvious argument that the Mission is not going to be as warm as a single­lined suit when exposed to the wind. For sports such as windsurfing, when you’re out of the water for prolonged periods, this is an important factor and in the past, there was no contest between single and double for warmth. Times have changed though ­ no longer does it feel as if the wind effortlessly penetrates a double lined suit. With its minimal flush, improved flexibility (hence fit) and advanced internal thermal qualities, the Mission keeps the core body warm despite the external layer retaining moisture. And in doing so, you now have a winter suit that can be used for all sports, with the reassuring durability of a double­lined suit and the warmth you’d associate with a single­lined.

The Good

● Snug fit, super flexible neoprene.
● Minimal water flush and incredible thermal properties, providing a super warm internal layer.
● Durability expected of a double layer suit, making it truly versatile, ideal for multi­sport use.

The Bad

● Front zip harder to access than back zip … but you soon get the knack!

Another to Consider

With double­lined suits becoming so warm, most would see it as the final ‘nail in the coffin’ for the single­lined suit. NP were having none of it though, and have developed a new material to tackle the single­lined suit’s Achilles Heel ­ its durability. The NP Edge Wind is a new suit for 2016 and uses an exclusive neoprene hybrid called Armor­Skin to protect the outer surface from wear and tear. We will be reviewing the Edge Wind very shortly on Surf Doctor ­ watch this space…

What’s a Good Fit?

The fit of a wetsuit is everything and is a precursor to ensuring it will work well for you, whatever the weather or your sporting preference. Yet how do you know a wetsuit will fit well when buying online? Well, here at Surf Doctor, we have a solution. Use our size guide to best guess the size that is right for you. When the suit arrives and you try it on, if it is not quite right, we will arrange a courier to come and pick the suit up before delivering a suit of a new size.* And if that’s not right, we will provide a full refund, no questions asked.

(*Returned suits MUST show no signs of wear or use, and must be returned within 14 days of purchase. Please refer to our terms and conditions for more details.)

Wetsuit Maintenance

When we do exercise, the human body perspires. This perspiration is absorbed by the internal layers of the suit and is used to keep your body warm. It is the secret to the modern suit and is how they work so well. Due to this absorption, NP have cleverly developed fibres of ‘Bamboo Charcoal’ for their anti­odour and antibacterial qualities and woven them into the wetsuit’s lining. After a period of use, if your suit does begin to smell, we would recommend the use of a cleaning agent (such as ‘Wetsuit Wash’) specially developed with a delicate active ingredient so that it doesn’t damage the glues used in a wetsuit’s seams. That aside, it is always good practice to rinse a wetsuit with fresh water after every use and let it dry naturally away from direct sunlight. It will help to keep the modern neoprene flexible and supple, ensuring its longevity for several season’s use.