Ultimate Review of The Best Triathlon Wetsuits in 2021

Best Triathlon Wetsuits

I did my first open water triathlon swimming many years ago (2008) in an Orca S2.

Why the S2?

One, it was accessible.

See, there were not many triathlon wetsuit sellers available by then, and we had to settle with only what was in the market.

Secondly, it was the price. I was still in college, and I couldn’t afford a quality suit. My S2 was a used one from eBay.

Simply put, I just needed a wetsuit, and the Orca was the easiest to get my hands on.

I remember that I liked the S2 wetsuit. It had a nice fit and allowed me to swim better.

However, as my skills grew and I began participating in professional triathlon competitions, I knew it was time to rest the S2.

Yes, S2 was a great picking, but I knew I needed something that would offer more than a good fit and warmth for my first Half Iron Man competition.

See, the best triathlon wetsuits are not the same as “ordinary” wetsuits, e.g., diving, windsurfing, and surfing.

The ordinary wetsuits may work well for the unofficial DIY triathlons, where you make transitions in the boot of your car but aren’t cut for the competitive triathlon.

Whether you need a wetsuit for open water swimming or half iron man, you need a flexible suit that will allow you to move better around your shoulders.

Wetsuits for triathlons are also more buoyant than your regular wetsuits, which means they “push” you and allow you to swim faster in one.

I love triathlon-specific wetsuits because they permit a better front crawl during swimming sessions, which is necessary for the competitive edge.

But with so many triathlon wetsuits in the market, choosing the right option can be nerve-wracking.

Fortunately, I’ve done some open water swimming over the years, and I feel confident in sharing some tips that have worked for me-for athletes preparing for their upcoming races.

I’ll share everything you need to know about triathlon races and list some of my favorite triathlon wetsuits in the market today.

Table of Contents

Quick Comparison Table!

Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit

4.8

4.8/5
ROKA Maverick Comp II Men’s Wetsuit

4.6

4.6/5
Zone3 Vanquish

4.5

4.5/5
TYR Sport Men’s Hurricane Wetsuit

4.3

4.3/5
NeoSport Sleeveless Wetsuit

4.0

4/5

The Best Triathlon Wetsuits For The Money

Best Triathlon Wetsuits for the money

#1 Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit - EDITOR'S CHOICE

4.7/5
4.2/5
4.8/5

I’ve tried several different wetsuits in the past but have never really been super happy and comfortable in any of them.

The Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit is different, though.

It’s my favorite wetsuit and ticks on all the boxes for the best triathlon wetsuits.

One thing I like most about this wetsuit is that it has made me a better swimmer.

And that’s not all; it’s a multi-purpose option, suitable for all levels. So, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced-level player, then it’ll be the right one for you.

Features and Benefits

Quality

Quality is what you would expect from a high-end triathlon wetsuit.

The good news is, the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit is well-made and pretty much lives up to my expectations.

The hydrodynamic flexible neoprene made from Yamamoto neoprene 39 is sturdy, and I don’t think it’s as fragile as some other suits.

And rightly so, Synergy markets the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit as one of the most durable triathlon wetsuits to use throughout your competition.

It’s a wetsuit that has lasted me several seasons now, and I don’t see like I’ll be replacing it any time soon.

Buoyancy

I also found Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit to be very buoyant.

Of course, for professional swimmers, buoyancy isn’t something that I easily notice so much when actually swimming, but I did notice I was kicking less on the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit.

On top of that, the 5mm thick core buoyancy panel helped me lie face up in the water and stay afloat without any effort as if I was one of those floating islands. Heck, I could probably fall asleep in this thing and just lie there without drowning.

Because of the buoyancy, I actually find it easier to swim a little faster in the wetsuit.

Plus, I stay dry for long, experience a reduced drag during the race, or simply give me peace of mind when going on a solo session.

Fit

Fit is another great thing about Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit.

The arms, upper legs, and upper body are incredibly stretchy. While not as much, I take their words when they say it stretches to 600% of its normal length.

Trying it on, it fits superbly, and even with my big shoulders, it was barely noticeable.

The stretch is nice for the quality wetsuit because I can now swing my arms around completely as if I weren’t wearing a wetsuit.

While still on the flexibility, the neckline is comfortable, and unlike other triathlon wetsuits that feel constricting, this one feels like I’m just wearing a regular t-shirt. 

The great fit eliminates chafing on the neck, which helps me focus on what matters most during the race.

Performance

Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit’s performance levels up in the water.

Swimming on this suit is extremely comfortable and easy.

See, the immobility I experienced in the past with other wetsuits made me abandon my form.

But with the Synergy, I’m glad there’s no fighting with the rubber.

It’s now easy to focus completely on my form and swim stroke.

I’m amazed at how well it works, and even when I’m in the open water swimming, I feel just like I’m swimming in a pool without a wetsuit.

Warmth

I’ve a full and half version (sleeveless) of the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit, and if I could choose between these two, I would still go for the full-sleeve version, again.

Why?

I prefer the thermal wetsuit version because of its versatility.

I originally thought the half would be a good idea because of the freedom and ease of getting out.

However, once you get in the lows, you’ll appreciate the protection of the full suite.

Yes, the half sleeve is perfect for temperatures between 64F and 67F, but below the ’60s, the full size becomes a necessity.

I was amazed at the difference it made to have all my body covered, and I could swim in the 50F water with no caps, hoodies, or gloves.

Plus, I can now extend my swim up to 30-minutes.

Ease of Wear

Of course, for a full wetsuit, ease of wear is something to consider.

Putting it on, I found the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit challenging to pull on all the way while dry, but then again, most wetsuits don’t.

But once I got in the water, it became much easier to slide the arms and legs all the way up to ensure my shoulders had the most mobility possible.

All in all, I’m happy with the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit purchase.

It eases swimming and is absolutely unreal in the water. I’ll be sticking with it for a while.

Pros

Cons

#2 ROKA Maverick Comp II Men's Wetsuit – Best Entry-Level Triathlon Wetsuit

4.6/5
4.3/5
4.6/5

Few entry-level wetsuits can really match the performance of the ROKA Maverick Comp II.

If anything, I would personally be willing to bet it’s on par or even better than some of the other top-shelf triathlon suits in our wetsuit review.

On top of that, Roka entry-level wetsuit comes at an affordable price, so a great option for beginners who are “risking” and still unsure whether they’ll love the suit and triathlon in general.

And make no mistake, ROKA Comp II is a great triathlon wetsuit too, and will help you become more comfortable in the water, especially when starting your triathlon journey.

Features and Benefits

Quality

For a budget wetsuit, I didn’t expect the ROKA Comp II to last long.

But surprise, I’ve been using it for several seasons now, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to break any time soon.

And for the period I’ve been using it, I’ve not taken the best care of the wetsuit. I’ve been using it with long nails, and there’re times it sits sandy and salty in the back of my truck for a day or two after use.

So far, it doesn’t look like it’s going to become sleeveless with tears at the underarm seams and in the armpits.

It’s sturdy, and just looking at the crowd at our local ocean swim, it’s easy to see why Roka seems to be taking over the market.

Flexibility

After going through reviews, I was a bit concerned about the shoulder flexibility of the ROKA Maverick Comp II.

However, after several uses, I can say that this is probably the fastest wetsuit I’ve swum in.

See, as with all Roka wetsuits, ROKA Comp II benefits from an Arm Up Construction.

This design models the arms above the head to simulate the rider’s position in the water, so you get more arm movement than another wetsuit.

On top of that, the shoulders, arms, and legs are pretty mobile compared to other wetsuits I’ve had, and this is because of the thin material.

I’m excited to get more swimming from the wetsuit in the water, and I’m really enjoying my sessions.

Today, I can perform more swimming loops faster than I was doing with my old wetsuits.

Plus, I don’t get much shoulder fatigue as I used to, which has affected my pace.

Buoyancy

Floatation on the ROKA Maverick entry-level wetsuit feels different from other wetsuits. It feels just better balanced in the water.

The buoyancy on the lower body is unbelievable, and I hardly keep my legs vertical if I want to.

Of course, buoyancy matters less for a talented swimmer like me, but for my 16-year teen (poor swimmer/ no swimming background), it has paid huge dividends.

Roka’s patented centerline buoyancy makes him feel invincible in this wetsuit, and it has taken huge chunks of his split time.

Plus, he now floats like a fishing bobber.

Fit

Fit is usually a point of concern with many wetsuits, and at first, I was worried about ROKA Maverick Comp II’s fit.

But, damn, it fits brilliantly.

The sleeved wetsuit fits me perfectly, just like it was custom-made for me.

At first, I felt some resistance on the shoulder, and it seemed impossible that my hips could fit through the waist opening.

I had to stretch the opening a fair bit, and I was convinced it was going to tear. But after a few wiggles and coaxing, I slipped in and had no problem using it in and out of the water.

Zipping was a bit challenging, though, but I got the hang of it after three attempts.

The good news is the ROKA Maverick entry-level suit comes with quick-release panels. The openings at the ankles and wrists have only 2 mm of neoprene thickness to make transitioning to the bike easier.

Overall, I’m in love with this beginner-friendly tri-suit, and for beginners, it should help them swim faster.

Pros

Cons

#3 Zone3 Vanquish – Top Triathlon Wetsuit

4.4/5
4.5/5
4.5/5

I’ve had my fair share of tri-suits, more than I can count!

But the Zone3 Vanquish is the easiest by far to get on solo. Plus, it’s a performer and will make you smile throughout the competition.

It’s an upgrade to the Zone3 Venture, which I really thought was darn good.

I was really happy with the fit, comfort and enjoyed Venture’s performance.

So, yes, I was a bit skeptical about an upgrade.

But I didn’t know the surprise that awaited me.

I’m pleased with the Zone3 Vanquish, and what a wetsuit!

I can barely feel it, and it fits like a second skin once on.

Here’s a wetsuit review of the Vanquish.

Features and Benefits

Quality

Having raced in the Zone3 Venture for quite some time, I already knew the Zone3 wetsuits were quality, but the Vanquish is something else.

On opening the box, my first impression was WOW.

It’s evident the tri-suit is made to a high standard.

The style is sleek, and the seams are perfect.

Unlike my previous wetsuits that were so tight and fragile, the Zone3 Vanquish is reliable and good for training and competition.

And as soon as you step on the Zone3 Vanquish, you’ll know Zone3 is an expert in triathlon.

Zone3 Vanquish has a nice fit and supports where needed.

Next to that, the thin shoulder panels, especially on the arms, provide the maximum flexibility you need to swim and not waste your energy in the competition. I love it!

Flexibility

I couldn’t believe the flexibility Zone3 Vanquish offered, especially around the shoulders.

The thin Yamamoto neoprene hugely reduces resistance to my strokes, and I don’t feel fatigued even when swimming for extended periods.

Plus, I no longer experience restrictions when achieving maximum extension in my stroke.

The arms came so thin that I felt cold, but I didn’t because I was snug fit.

Overall, Zone3 Vanquish offers a comfortable swimming experience. It feels like a second skin, giving you complete freedom of movement and no complaints so far.

Buoyant Suit

One thing I noticed with the Zone3 Vanquish is its neutral buoyancy profile.

See, while buoyancy is good for a wetsuit, too much of it may hinder your progress. For me, my previous tri-suits were buoyant in the hips, making me feel like my but was hanging in the air, affecting my ability to engage my core and achieve good hip drive.

That is different on Zone3 Vanquish.

It makes me feel like I’ve nothing on except that I’m more floaty.

During warm-up, I can easily lay still on the water and let the water carry me. Once racing, the suit is quite responsive, and I love how it allows for long reach as well as quick recovery while keeping my body high in the water,

The Aerodrome chest panel provides the extra lift, all while balancing your hips.

You’ll definitely get an increase in speed, and there’s no doubt this wetsuit is fast.

Performance

A swim on the Zone3 Vanquish feels so natural.

As we mentioned above, you don’t feel like you’ve anything on you.

I love that it doesn’t change the stroke technique of my son. He maintains the high elbow catch, pull and finish, and horizontal (flat) body position when swimming.

The only thing that changes is he can now rotate a little bit more.

Fit

Zone3 Vanquish fits like a glove.

Once you get the right size, you won’t struggle to get it on and off.

And thanks to the 0.3mm arm area’s neoprene, I genuinely could hardly feel the wetsuit.

Overall, I would say it’s among the few wetsuits that actually fit and do as advertised.

Ease of Wear

Stripping Zone3 Vanquish during transitions is like a dream. No struggling to get my arms free, and this helps to save on valuable time.

I don’t have to wrestle myself into a swimming wetsuit or experience becoming hotter and hotter as you fit into a triathlon wetsuit.

The silky material lining the wetsuits makes getting Zone3 Vanquish “up there” an easy and painless task.

Pros

Cons

#4 TYR Sport Men's Hurricane Wetsuit – Best Triathlon Wetsuit for Performance

4.3/5
4.5/5
4.3/5

Fourth on our list of the best triathlon wetsuit reviews is a super-stylish and high-quality product.

The Hurricane offers a fantastic and unmatchable quality.

In my opinion, though, it serves best for those at the pointy end of racing and prioritizes performance.

Sure, it’s an expensive purchase, but you get value for your money.

It has upped my swimming pace and leveled up my balance, rotation, and maximum flexibility.

I love this wetsuit and am always looking forward to using it.

Here’s a wetsuit review of the TYR.

Features and Benefits

Quality

I personally like the material from which Hurricane is made of.

The premium, flexible neoprene holds up great and is well made.

Of course, I’ve read and heard some complaints about the Hurricane’s quality, but I’m not sure what they’re complaining about.

TYR Sport Men’s Hurricane Wetsuit rocks.

I’ve been using mine for several seasons now, and it doesn’t show any signs of wear.

But it seems most people don’t take care of their wetsuits.

For example, I take mine in the shower after every race and use simple soap and a sponge to clean it inside out to keep it looking good.

As with most triathlon wetsuits, it’s also delicate, so ensure your nails are trimmed.

Buoyancy

TYR Sport Men’s Hurricane Wetsuit is super buoyant.

I love it because when I feel tired in open water swimming, I can stop for a break in the middle of a lake, swim, and get back on my back and float.

Plus, the wetsuit has improved the swim leg of my triathlons significantly,

On the water, the buoyancy and slick glide make me feel like I’m cheating the swim.

360 Elevation Panels

While still on the buoyancy, we were pleased by the performance of the elevation panels.

As their name suggests, these angles are positioned in the core, abs, button, and chest, helping you with balance, rotation, and buoyancy.

It’s like the panels aid you in rotating through the water, helping to maintain a slimline profile.

I’m impressed by the arm panels as they help me maintain a long, balanced stroke, especially when fatigue starts wearing me.

For me, they’re absolutely necessary, especially in competitions, where speed is necessary.

Flexibility

 The freedom of movement on the TYR Sport Men’s Hurricane Wetsuit is an exception.

The thin neoprene used here has no restriction on the shoulder movements and no Delayed onset muscle soreness on my deltoids.

Next, extra panels offer a range of motion, especially under the arms.

The flexible movement and feel of this wetsuit contribute to better performance and more speed.

I can now make long and strong strokes, even when under fatigue.

Fit

Delayed onset muscle soreness is made out of Yamamoto neoprene.

The material is light, not dense, and flexible. In short, it feels like a second skin, and it genuinely does.

Plus, unlike other materials, it’s not confined, and I don’t feel claustrophobic using the suit.

On top of that, the wetsuit comes with form-fitting wrist pro speed cuffs, giving a soft touch, so it’s easier to move your body in a faster way.

Warmth

TYR Sport Men’s Hurricane Wetsuit is nice and warm, allowing me to start my water training earlier in the season.

I can take the suit outside lakes when on vacation and away from the pool, and it keeps my body temperature perfect on a mile swim.

I don’t notice the water temperatures at times, and I’m comfortable even in cold conditions.

Performance

TYR Sport Men’s Hurricane Wetsuit is a performer and has several features that promote better performance in the pool and in open water.

First, it’s coated in a hydrophobic material that repels water away.

It’s not easy to notice, but once in the water, you’ll love how it feels smooth and sails through the water.

Plus, it doesn’t chafe my skin, and I experienced no bunching or awkward areas.

The second feature is the Alpha wetsuit catch panels.

You won’t also notice these chest panels visibility, but they reward you with that high elbow catch in the water.

It’s particularly necessary after a marathon run, and you’re tired of making long strokes. The panels help you focus on your catch, breathing, and rotation.

Ease of Use- Transition Speed

TYR Sport Men’s Hurricane Wetsuit’s zip is at the bottom, and no need to faff at the start of the swim or wrestle to get it on.

It’s one of the only wetsuits offering a back zip.

You simply need to get in, zip up and go.

Next, you benefit from a quick release zip that aids in transition.

On top of that, the ankles feature quick-release ankle panels that also help with transitions.

Pros

Cons

#5 NeoSport Sleeveless Wetsuit – Budget Option

4.2/5
4.6/5
4/5

NeoSport Wetsuit is a testimony that the best triathlon wetsuit doesn’t need to be super expensive.

This budget pick is reliable, and in the NeoSport Wetsuit review below, I’ll demonstrate why it ticks on all the boxes for the best triathlon wetsuit, and it’s the only wetsuit you need.

Features and Benefits

Quality

For a budget option, I didn’t expect the quality of the NeoSport Wetsuit to be anywhere as good as some of the wetsuits we’ve reviewed.

But boy, I was wrong!

The construction and quality are good, and the materials seem to be of good quality.

I’ve used it for several seasons now and haven’t noticed any flaws so far, and from the look of things, it looks like I’ll be using it for a long time.

And the best thing with this wetsuit is that it consists of spot tape reinforced on the stress spots.

The seams are sewn and glued, locking out water and ensuring the suit is hard-wearing. Check.

Buoyancy

Another impressive element with the NeoSport quality wetsuit is the incredible buoyancy.

And the good thing is that it provides the floatation in the right places.

See, surfing and scuba diving wetsuits can make your legs too buoyant, decreasing the efficiency of your kick strokes.

The NeoSport is different.

It has intentionally stuffed the chest and core with more panels, which not only provide you with more warmth but give you extra buoyancy where it’s needed most.

In the water, the panels will help you achieve the right position for maximum stroke efficiency.

Flexibility

Of course, like most sleeveless wetsuits, the NeoSport Wetsuit is exceptionally flexible.

I really like the cut from the shoulders/arms that allow me to swim comfortably.

There’s no restriction of movement, no binding.

And the good thing is the flexibility on the NeoSport is a joint effort, accomplished by several features.

Apart from the sleeveless design, NeoSport Wetsuit comes with a calf leg design that allows for an easy and quick change of body position.

Simply put, you’ll have an easy time on the water, and you won’t feel bogged down by your wetsuit.

Warmth

NeoSport Wetsuit isn’t the warmest wetsuit on our list.

However, it’s a great wetsuit and performs flawlessly, and as far as I could tell, it kept me warm in water temperatures around 65.

The suit stayed warm, and while I would have preferred a suit with arms for that temperature, I wasn’t too cold either.

Performance

In the water, NeoSport Sleeveless is everything you would wish for in the best triathlon wetsuit.

The lightweight neoprene brand “Speed Skin” is designed to minimize surface resistance and drag in the water. This makes the difference between the winner and runners-up.

I’m convinced about the super composite skin SCS because it has improved my swim time significantly. While I’m not sure whether it deserves all the credit or my training and nutrition, I’m overall happy with the purchase.

I also love that the super composite skin doesn’t rub or chaff. There’re no pressure points or any other wetsuit-related issues.

Ease of Use

A speedy transition from swim to the bike is one way to gain vital seconds from the competition.

The good news is you won’t struggle to get this thing off.

The wider exit openings at the ankle eliminate the chances of catching your heels in the neoprene fabric that speeds out getting out.

Moving on, you get an EZ Out zipper that is not only secure in swimming but quick and easy to unzip. It saves triathletes more precious time.

Fit

Beyond price, I purchased the NeoSport Sleeveless, mainly due to the helpful reviews for how well it seemed to fit and stay true to size.

This was after trying several wetsuits at a local sports shop and could get none of them to fit my thunder thighs.

But the NeoSport Sleeveless tri-suit came as a savior because of the great fit. This is not to mention it comes with several sizing options.

The adjustable neck is a bonus.

Pros

Cons

Best Triathlon Wetsuits Buying Guide

Best Triathlon Wetsuits buying guide

We have shared some of the best triathlons for wetsuits, but if you’re still not sure of which one to pick, our guide below will help.

Hopefully, by the end of the best triathlon wetsuit buying guide, you’ll narrow down your options to one or two wetsuits.

But before then, let’s look at some of the reasons you need a wetsuit for the triathlon.

Why A Wetsuit for Triathlon?

Should you wear a triathlon wetsuit?

Yes, you almost definitely should.

Wearing a wetsuit has multiple benefits that will help you swim faster and more efficiently.

The most obvious benefit of a triathlon wetsuit is to keep you warm during cold water swimming.

Many Iron Man competitions take place in cold water, so you need a wetsuit that shields you against the chilling colds.

Beyond that, even if the water temperatures are tolerable, there’s always a chance that you get cool from overcast weather, which may lead to a chillier environment.

Being overly chilly is not only potentially dangerous but can also cause panic and result in your body using more energy.

The second reason for suiting up is lesser-known but extremely impactful.

Buoyancy.

Having a triathlon wetsuit helps you ride higher on the water.

The benefit of maximum buoyancy is decreased resistance and faster swimming with the same amount of effort.

The third reason has to do with hydrodynamics (think aerodynamics in water.)

With a wetsuit, you get some form of assistance, which helps you save your energy in the water. It’s helpful when you still have cycling and running to follow your swim!

Factors to Consider when Selecting the Best Triathlon Wetsuit

A triathlon wetsuit is quite a specific buy and can affect your overall performance, in a good or bad way.

So, you need to be speculative before buying a wetsuit for a triathlon.

This is particularly true for beginners or triathletes with unique body structures such as broad shoulders.

You need to consider some important tips before your purchase.

Fortunately, we’ve outlined the crucial tips to consider in your next triathlon wetsuit purchase.

Buoyancy

One of the crucial elements to look for in a triathlon wetsuit is the buoyancy level.

The ideal triathlon wetsuit should be buoyant enough to keep you afloat.

However, extra buoyancy can cause setbacks in your performance.

So, you also need to consider the type of water you’ll be swimming in.

If you plan to hit open water, you’ll need an option with more buoyancy. Here, the swimming phase will require less effort.

On the other hand, a wetsuit with too much buoyancy might result in aches in your back, making swimming much more difficult.

Shoulder Flexibility

Swimming, unlike surfing or other water sports, requires a lot of flexibility.

So, you need a wetsuit, which is elastic enough to provide free mobility.

Usually, the best triathlon wetsuits for shoulder flexibility have thinner material around the shoulder and chest.

The thin material allows for a range of free arm movement without obstructed feeling.

On top of that, the flexible wetsuits offer a wide range of motion, which is necessary for delivering your best performance.

Flexibility

As we’ve discussed above, swimming requires a wide range of motion.

So, in addition to shoulder flexibility, you also want a wetsuit that is generally elastic enough to allow the movement of limbs however you want.

Secondly, a more flexible wetsuit requires less effort to wear. This means less struggling and less sore muscles during transitions.

Sizing and Fitting

Size is important for any wetsuit.

A loose-fitting triathlon can cause problems such as water flushing and obstruction.

On the other hand, a tightly-fitting wetsuit will cause discomfort during the race. It’s not only restrictive but may also cause chafing on your skin and restrict your mobility.

The key is to find a wetsuit that fits snugly, is not too tight, and is not too loose either.

Fortunately, most brands provide a wide range of sizes for different body shapes and heights, so you can always find the right size for your needs.

When picking the right size, check to see whether it fits properly around your neck. It shouldn’t allow the entry of water. The neck shouldn’t be too tight either to cause rubbing or chafing.

In addition, check the cuffs and legs. Ensure the seals in these areas fit well and prevent water flush.

Choice of Fabric

Virtually all triathlon wetsuits are made out of neoprene.

The big question is what types and how thick the neoprene is.

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber with thousands of air cells, which give the wetsuit its buoyancy. The pockets also help with insulation and help you maintain body heat in the cold water swimming.

But not all neoprene is the same.

Yamamoto Neoprene is recognized as the highest material available. It’s manufactured in Japan with a unique limestone-based neoprene process allowing the production of a thin material that still maintains better body heat insulation and superior buoyancy.

However, Yamamoto is only a staple in many top-end wetsuits, mostly in sections as thin as 1.5mm.

Texture

Today, many triathlon wetsuits incorporate a textured forearm panel.

The purpose of the chest panel is to improve stroke power as your arms pull the water.

In the premium wetsuits, the chest and shoulder panels are usually molded neoprene, while the entry-level wetsuits use an applique that is either painted or glued on.

Warmth

The other factor you’ll need to consider when selecting a wetsuit is warmth.

Check to see whether it’ll keep you warm, especially if you’ll be cold water swimming.

The best wetsuit for a triathlon should keep you warm in chilly conditions. On top of that, it should prevent water from getting in, so you don’t feel uncomfortable.

However, keep in mind the thicker wetsuits are generally warmer than the lighter options.

So, you need to strike a balance and not pick the ultra-thick suits as they’ll severely limit your mobility.

Zippers

Zippers are important in a triathlon wetsuit as they determine how fast or slow you transition during the race.

It’s always wiser to choose a zipper that is convenient for you to pull up and down.

On top of that, your choice of the zipper should be non-corrosive and smooth.

Finally, ensure your zipper works properly.

Budget

At the end of the day, perhaps the most important feature of many would-be triathlon wetsuits is price.

The trick here isn’t to go for the most expensive or cheapest option, but rather get value for the money.

As with any triathlon gear, have a particular budget in mind, and then select an option that offers the best value.

From my experience, though, a mid-range wetsuit ($600) often offer the best bang for your buck,

The entry levels keep the price down but are very basic in design.

Many of the features in today’s mid-range wetsuits were found just a few years back on only the high-end suits.

Tips for Choosing a Triathlon Wetsuit

We’ve already looked at the important features to consider on a triathlon wetsuit.

And in the section below, we’ll take you through the tips to consider when choosing the right triathlon wetsuit.

1)      Don’t rely on sizing charts.

There’ll always be sizing nuances because different brands have different sizing charts.

Plus, even if you have the same body sizes, you notice that exact wetsuits won’t work for everyone.

So, the best way to find the right chart is to be particular about the brand you want to work with and then ensure you try them before purchase.

2)      Compare

Don’t hesitate to compare several lines of wetsuits.

But first, pay consideration to the dealers with size charts that are 99% accurate and keep away from those offering a universal wetsuit fit.

After all, you’re not looking for an OK-fitting triathlon wetsuit, but rather one that fits you best.

It would help if you chose a dealer with a range of wetsuits as this will increase your chances of finding the right wetsuit for your needs.

triathlon wetsuits

3)      Put in on correctly

Choosing a wetsuit is the beginning of the challenge.

You may not believe it, but putting on a wetsuit correctly is a challenge.

You need guidance, but you can also find instructions online.

But either way, it’s a good idea to find a professional to dress you up in the first few sessions.

It helps you know the correct way to wear a suit, which ensures a comfortable wetsuit fit for better performance.

4)      Shop smart

It’s always a good idea to save on some of your coins when shopping for a wetsuit.

However, you should be cautious, and if you find a wetsuit at a ridiculously low price, it means it could be flawed.

5)      Consider Longevity

I may sound biased, but I always recommend triathletes stick to reputable brands.

These brands have been in the market for so long and have the experience of creating reliable wetsuits.

Of course, you can go with a newer or lesser-known brand, especially if you’re taking advantage of their competitive price, but it would help to inquire about their return policy.

Are Wetsuits Allowed at all Ironman Triathlon Events?

While most Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races allow for triathlon wetsuit use, not all of them do.

Wetsuit permissibility will depend on the temperature of the water and breaks out as follow:

  •         For 76.1°F (24.5°C), the swim is determined to be Wetsuit Legal. It means the water is cold enough that all competitors are allowed to wear wetsuits.
  •         For 76.2°F (24.55°C) and 83.8°F (28.8°C conditions, the swim is determined to be Wetsuit Optional. It means you’re eligible for a wetsuit. However, if you wear one, you become ineligible for Age Group Awards and World Championship slots.
  •         Lastly, we’ve Wetsuits Prohibited. Here, wetsuits are not permitted.

To Sleeve or Not to Sleeve?

Sleeving or not is a matter of personal preferences.

But to help you make a more informed decision, here’re the benefits of each design.

Benefits of Full-Sleeve Wetsuit

  • Increased warmth- The extra coverage keeps your arms and legs warmer, and in turn keeping your whole body warm.
  • More buoyancy: The extra material increases your overall buoyancy, so it’s easy to stay on top of the water and experience less drag.
  • Better hydrodynamics- The full length of the wetsuit fabric reduces the overall friction and offers the optimal swimming conditions.

Benefits of Sleeveless Wetsuits

  • Less constriction- Eliminating the sleeves gives you more freedom for a wide range of arm, shoulder, and elbow motion. So, yes, you’re less claustrophobic and have no restrictions.
  • Faster Transitions- While it’s a marginal improvement, getting out of a sleeveless suit is undoubtedly easier.
  • Better in warmer water-  If the conditions are greater than 70°F (21°C), then a sleeveless option may be a better option. It will not make you feel like you’re swimming in soup.

Takeaway: If you’re planning to do your triathlon race in warmer waters, I’d recommend a sleeveless option.

But if you swim in cold water, full-sleeves are the way to go.

Triathlon Wetsuit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What’s a triathlon wetsuit?

A: A triathlon wetsuit maintains your body temperatures constant while swimming, but more importantly, it helps with buoyancy.

It also reduces the friction, or rather drag in the water, helping you swim faster and more efficiently.

Q: Is it faster to swim in a wetsuit?

A: Yes, it’s faster because a wetsuit minimizes drag and helps with buoyancy. Combined, you get more speed for less effort.

Q: Do I need a triathlon wetsuit for a triathlon race?

A: Not necessary; it depends on the type of race.

For example, you’ll definitely need a wetsuit for open water swimming, especially if the water conditions are cold and the environment is more complex.

But if you’re entering a pool-based swim, then you don’t need one.

Q: Can I use any wetsuit for a triathlon?

A: Yes, provided you’re comfortable with it.

But for the best performance, I would advise a triathlon-specific wetsuit.

This is because the triathlon wetsuits are thin and offer more flexibility for a wide range of motion.

Plus, they offer more buoyancy and require you to put less effort into making strokes- you can get this with the regular wetsuits.

Q: How thick should my triathlon wetsuit be?

A: The neoprene thickness of your triathlon wetsuit will depend on many factors, including the level of flexibility needed and buoyancy.

But in general, you need a wetsuit with thinner neoprene around the shoulder for more flexibility. Around the middle section and upper body, you’ll be looking for thicker neoprene for increased buoyancy and lift.

Q: What’s the difference between a triathlon wetsuit and a normal wetsuit?

A: The generic wetsuits, mostly used for diving, surfing, and other water sports, are coated with abrasion-resistant Lycra. They’re not designed to be flexible in the different swimming positions.

On the other hand, the high-end wetsuits are incredibly flexible, so they’re more adaptable to different arm movements.

Q: Do triathlon wetsuits keep you warm?

A: Yes, the best wetsuits for triathlon will keep you warm so that you can use them in cold water conditions.

However, unlike regular wetsuits, triathlon wetsuits tend to be flexible and don’t focus on warmth.

They prohibit overheating.

However, as with any wetsuit, the neoprene thickness will determine the overall warmth of the wetsuit.

Q: How tight should my wetsuit be?

A: The best triathlon wetsuits should fit snug.

It shouldn’t be baggy or too tight.

Instead, it should wrap around your body snuggly, with no wrinkles. Furthermore, there shouldn’t be any gathering around rugged edges like your crotch area or underarms either.

Wrap Up: Our Choice

Best Triathlon Wetsuits wrap up

Our winner for the best triathlon wetsuit reviews is the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit.

It’s a state-of-the-art and reliable wetsuit that seems to tick on all the boxes of the wetsuit review.

I love it because of its reliability, especially the incredible buoyancy.

It floats the triathletes well, while its unmatched flexibility helps them better their strokes and overall performance.

This is not to mention it’s an all-rounded option, perfect for different users of all skill levels.

Yes, it’s an expensive purchase, but it offers value for your money like many high-end suits.

I would recommend

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