Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: keep the cold out

Finisterre’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit is a winter-ready women’s suit with great eco credentials. Here's our review

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: the reviewer wearing the wetsuit on a beach
(Image credit: Sian Lewis)
T3 Verdict

A great quality, winter-ready suit that will suit hardy surfers looking to move away from neoprene, Finisterre’s Nieuwland 5mm is an innovative and beautifully made wetsuit that will be ideal for seasoned cold-water surfers looking to put their money where their mouth is and make a more eco-friendly purchase – just consider the sizing before you order.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Quality materials and construction

  • +

    Warm enough for the coldest winter weather

  • +

    Yulex is a more ethical choice than neoprene

  • +

    Great hood

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Limited size options for women

  • -

    Fit is tight (at first)

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Cold water surfers need tough, heat-trapping protection when they hit the water – and that’s exactly what Finisterre’s Nieuwland wetsuit for women is designed to do. Moreover, this suit uses Yulex, a sustainably-sourced rubber, rather than neoprene, which is petroleum-based and not great news for the environment. Since 2021, Finisterre’s wetsuits have been created with Yulex instead of neoprene – could this sustainable option be the best wetsuit for cold winter waters?

[First reviewed April 2022]

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: price and availability

The Finisterre Women's Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit is available in a range of sizes and fits (from 6S to 18 with many tall options in between) directly from Finisterre for a recommended retail price of £425. Finisterre launches their wetsuit rental programme in 2023, but sadly, the 5mm suit isn't available in this yet. There are plenty of other options included, though. The rental price includes free delivery, full deep-clean, and a money-back guarantee for unworn wetsuits. If you fall in love with your rental, you even have the option to buy it at the end of your rental period.

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: design and performance

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: Specs

Sizes available: 6S-14
Wetsuit thickness: 5mm
Colour: navy
Main material: Yulex rubber

Neoprene is great as a warm wetsuit material for swimmers and surfers heading out in cold conditions, but this petroleum-based fabric is far less kind on the planet. Luckily, there’s a new material on the block that wetsuit makers are now using to create cosy seasonal suits – Yulex rubber. This renewable, plant-based rubber is more sustainable than neoprene, but it’s still flexible, durable and has heat-holding properties, so it’s ideal for winter waters. Finisterre is one of the few brands swapping neoprene for Yulex in their wetsuit designs, and their entire surf collection is now made from this material, which has an 80% smaller carbon footprint than neoprene.

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)

This is a chest zip rather than a back zip wetsuit – chest zip suits allow more flexibility and are more watertight, but they are notoriously harder to get into. The thickness of the material used to make a steamer (a wetsuit with full arms and legs) indicates which season it’ll work for, and the Nieuwland’s 5.5mm chest and back panel and 4.5mm arms and legs (the Yulex is thinner in these areas to offer a better range of movement) should keep you warm in the bitterest British weather.

I found the Nieuwland kept me snug for hours in 9°C Cornish water, with noticeably reduced flushing (this is when cold water enters your suit and flushes away the warm water next to your skin) than my usual winter suit. The well-designed hood really helps stop brain freeze and keeps you comfortable in the water for longer. It's also priced similarly to the upper end of women’s winter wetsuits and is more affordable than the only other 5mm Yulex-based wetsuit on the market, Patagonia’s R4.

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: Fit

Once I’d zipped up Finisterre’s 5mm wetsuit and hit the waves, I liked the fit – it’s figure-hugging without being too restrictive on the waist, hips and legs, and the length of the sleeves and ankles fit my 5’7 frame nicely. The Nieuwland is a tad snug around the shoulders – if you have wide shoulders or are a muscly gym fan, you’re likely to find this suit restricts your paddling. In general though, the yulex feels good against the skin and the close fit trapped in warm water without impeding my range of movement. The chest is easy to zip up and the hood is a delight – it pulls on and off easily and adds welcome warmth without any restriction. A toggle lets you get a custom fit around the head and neck and a flexible peak protects eyes from sun.

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)

Getting into this suit, however, is a bit of a different story. I’d expect any thick winter wetsuit, especially a chest-zip design, to take a while to pull on, but Finisterre’s is unusually tough to get on, to the point where I was wrestling with the size 12 suit I tested in an ungainly manner on the beach and also needed help freeing my arms after a surf session. It may be that after only trying the suit on four times it hasn’t had time to loosen up, or it may be that the sizing is a tad on the small side. Finisterre reckon their suits become more flexible after 10-15 wears, but there isn’t much leeway to size up if you do need to - while there are good options for petite women, starting from a size 6 and with Short (S) and Tall (T) sizes available, the suit only goes up to a 14 (although this is true of many wetsuit brands). Finisterre’s summer-weight wetsuits do go up to 16.

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: verdict

Finisterre’s Nieuwland isn’t a wetsuit that’ll work for everyone - if you’re a fair-weather surfer, there are thinner, more flexible and – frankly – easier to put on suits on the market. And if you can’t afford to invest in Yulex for your first winter suit, you’ll find more affordable (though less environmentally friendly) 5mm options made with neoprene available. However, if you’re a dedicated cold-water surfer looking for an excellent quality and reliably warm suit with a brilliant hood, this could be the wetsuit for you. Plus, the chance to choose Yulex over neoprene lets surfers make a more sustainable and planet-friendly investment.

Finisterre Women’s Nieuwland 5mm Hooded Wetsuit review: Alternatives to consider

Another all-round alternative to Finisterre's 5mm wetsuit is their Nieuwland 3/2 Yulex Back Zip Wetsuit. It's the perfect example of a jack-of-all-trade suit, ideal for swimming, surfing, paddle-boarding or anything else you might want to use it for. If you like spending time in open waters, in a professional capacity or otherwise, this suit is a must-buy. Read Matt's full Finisterre Nieuwland 3/2 Yulex Back Zip Wetsuit review.

For something even lighter, try the dhb Aeron Wetsuit 2.0. This is an amazing value-for-money wettie suitable for triathlons but also open-water swimming, SUPing or any other water-based activities. The unique Yamamoto rubber construction reduces drag and improves buoyancy in the water. And it comes in a variety of sizes, too. Read Sophie's full dhb Aeron Wetsuit 2.0 review.

Sian Lewis

Sian Lewis is an award-winning travel and outdoors writer, author and influencer. She's the author of popular blog and book The Girl Outdoors, and when

she isn't writing or travelling she spends most of her time hiking, cycling and wild swimming across Britain, testing out the latest adventure gear and clothing as she goes.