Flash Bomb or Dawn Patrol?
At the time Rip Curl launched the Dawn Patrol range, they offered the F-Bomb [now Flashbomb] and E-Bomb suits as their two top tier wetsuits. During this era the Dawn Patrol came in under those two, cheaper because of a basic GBS seam, as opposed to taping that is used in the new Dawn Patrols. The Flash-Bomb is the ultimate in wetty warmth and should not be taken lightly! Stretch factor between the Dawn Patrol and Flashbomb is similar but the Flash gets its additional warmth because all internal panels have the Flash Lining, as opposed to Flash Lining being used only around your torso on the Dawn Patrol. Pictured below is the E5 neoprene reinforcing tape which, due to it's elastic nature, will stretch and contract in a manner that doesn't restrict the suit but greatly improves the seam's durability. Learn about wetsuit maintenance here.
GBS or Taped seams? Both!
75% of Dawn Patrol seams are reinforced with E5 Tape which is used to increase the durability and seal of the Glued and Blind Stitched seam. GBS seams are arguably the best in the market as they've got fantastic stretch and don't break the bank like no-stitch seams. You can learn everything about seams here.
How to pick between 3/2mm vs 4/3mm thickness?The Dawn Patrol Steamer/Fullsuit range is offered in a 3/2mm and a 4/3mm thickness which, depending on personal tolerance, will take care of a surfer within a surface water temperature range of 14-22 degrees Celsius and with the combination of gloves, boots and hood can be pushed into much colder realms. The split sizing is designed to make your paddle zones [around the shoulders/under arms] more flexible than the rest of the suit all the while maintaning full thickness through your torso.
Chest Zip or Back Zip? What is the difference?The mid 2000's was the dawn of the modern chest zip era and the Dawn Patrol was the suit that helped propel the chest zip to the forefront of good wetsuit design and is now a standard feature in any decent wetty. Once you go front-zip you'll never go back... Nowadays the Dawn Patrol is a top tier wet suit, alongside the Flashbomb and essentially a modernisation of the E-Bomb range, which is no longer available. You can read everything you need to know about zips here.
Pictured is the chest zipper mechanism which utilises off-set teeth to limit water penetration and increase zip durability. Mens Chest Zip Dawn Patrol in 3/2mm - Navy.