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Best Triathlon Wetsuits in 2020

 

If you’re a triathlete or thinking about trying a triathlon for the first time, you should understand how important clothing and gear are during the swim portion. This is why you should choose one of the best triathlon wetsuits to optimize your performance.

There are many benefits to wearing a wetsuit. They help you to stay streamlined while swimming, plus they add buoyancy in the water. They’re also very good for helping stay warm in cold water.

The top choice is the Blueseventy Helix. It is best suited for Ironman athletes but would work just as well for any triathlete who is serious about their sport. You can swim in waters as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and is 4 to 5 mm thick but still flexible.

But depending on your budget and whether you want a long sleeve or short sleeve, we’ve got other great choices to consider.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Blueseventy Helix

 

  • Ironman and USAT approved
  • VO2 chest panel
  • Lower neckline
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Synergy Endorphin

 

  • Aquaflex panels
  • 680% flexibility
  • Lifetime Replacement Guarantee
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Blueseventy Sprint

 

  • Ironman and USAT approved
  • Has a 3-4-4 buoyancy profile
  • Super Composite Skin
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Best Overall Wetsuit for Ironman Athletes

1. Blueseventy Helix

If you’re looking for a wetsuit that can increase your speed and keep you warm in temperatures as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit, then this would be a great addition to your kit. It has a buoyancy ratio of 5-5-4, with 5mm Yamamoto Aerodome thickness in the chest and lower abdomen and 4mm thickness in the legs.

The Helix uses layered insulation foam technology, which provides extra life to the back of the legs. It also features quick exit legs, which let you slip out of the wetsuit easily, saving you precious seconds. The VO2 chest panel allows for the maximum amount of buoyancy while remaining flexible.

The super composite skin repels water and the ribbed knees prevent the wetsuit from bunching up, as well as improving flexibility. Some people may feel that the wetsuit has a tight fit when they put it on, but it does have a soft lower neckline to prevent chafing. This suit is both Ironman and USAT approved.


PROS:

  • The VO2 chest panel
  • Ironman and USAT approved
  • Lower neckline
  • Different Yamamoto Aerodome thicknesses throughout the wetsuit

CONS:

  • Some may find the wetsuit to be a tight fit when they first put it on

Best Overall Wetsuit for Competitive Athletes

2. Orca S7

If you’re competitive or an experienced athlete who is new to triathlons, then the ORCA 7S could be the wetsuit for you.

This wetsuit will allow for maximum stretch, as it comes with 39cell and a 513% elongation rate. This will give you a full range of motion with your swimming stroke and with zero water absorption, there won’t be any weight variation while you swim. This will help increase your speed in the water.

The wetsuit features super composite skin which repels water and reduces drag. The hydrolite panels will save you seconds where you need them most, as it comes off easily in the transition.

The wetsuit also has an Infinity lining made with nylon and bamboo fibers, which is designed to insulate your body heat. The combination of these fibers also allows the wetsuit to be flexible as you swim.

When you purchase this wetsuit, you’d want to get a size bigger as they do run on the smaller side and they’re USAT approved.


PROS:

  • Super Composite Skin
  • Zero water absorption
  • Has HydroLite panels
  • Features Infinity Skin lining

CONS:

  • These wetsuits run small and it would be better to get a size bigger for a comfortable fit

Best Overall Wetsuit for Entry-Level Athletes

3. Blueseventy Sprint

If you’re new to triathlons, then this wetsuit would make a great first wetsuit.

The Blueseventy Sprint wetsuit is an entry-level suit that has more features for the money than any other. This suit has a buoyancy ratio of 3-4-4, which lifts your hips and the lower body in the water. This helps you to conserve energy while reducing friction and increase your speed.

It has oversized arm gussets that allow you to get a better range of motion and allow for more flexibility with your swim stroke. Water will glide off of the super composite skin and allow you to move easily through the pool or lake. You won’t have to worry about chafing around the neck, as this wetsuit has a low collar.

When you need to transition you’ll save some time, as this wetsuit features quick exit legs. The full zipper uses a lanyard which allows you to easily unzip yourself while you’re on the move. When you are putting the wetsuit on, you want to follow the instructions otherwise you may find it difficult to get on.


PROS:

  • Ironman and USAT approved
  • Has a 3-4-4 buoyancy profile
  • Super Composite Skin
  • Flexible upper

CONS:

  • When putting the wetsuit on, you want to follow the instructions otherwise it may be difficult to fit

Best Value Wetsuit for Competitive Athletes

4. Synergy Endorphin

This wetsuit gives you the maximum amount of buoyancy that’s allowed in triathlons. It has a 5-3 buoyancy ratio with 680 percent flexibility. This will help you to conserve energy, while keeping you close to the surface where you can make the most of your stroke.

The side of the wetsuit features Aquaflex panels, which help you to maintain proper form and buoyancy. The hiflex panels under the arms are made from 2mm Yamamoto #39 and adds more stretch to the wetsuit so that there’s no restriction in your stroke.

This wetsuit is built to last a lifetime and it has triple-stitched seams that are also chemically bonded and reinforced. It also comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee. When it’s time for a new wetsuit, you can send it back to Synergy at any time and you’ll get a 40 percent discount on your next MSRP.

When you do get your wetsuit, make sure that you get one that’s a size bigger than usual as they can run small. Some people may also find the collar to be a bit tight around the neck.


PROS:

  • Aquaflex panels
  • 2mm underarm neoprene hiflex panels
  • 680% flexibility
  • Lifetime Replacement Guarantee

CONS:

  • It’s recommended that you buy a wetsuit that’s a size larger as they run small
  • Some may find that the collar will be a bit tight around the neck

Best Budget Wetsuit for Entry Level Athletes

5. O’Neill Reactor-2 3/2MM

This suit is great for warmer months or swimming in warmer waters. This wetsuit is only 3-2 mm thick and this means that you won’t get too hot while in and out of the water. Made from 100 percent neoprene, it features nylon panels which allow for flexibility and stretch for your swim stroke.

The wind-resistant Smoothskin will help insulate your body temperature but it would not be thick enough to keep you warm in frigid water. The Smoothskin also helps to repel water and reduce friction while you’re swimming, making you more hydrodynamic.

With seamless paddles zones, you’ll find your swim to be comfortable without restricting any movement. You’d need to make sure that you get a wetsuit that’s one size bigger for a comfortable fit as they do run small.


PROS:

  • 3-2mm thick
  • Ultra-stretch neoprene
  • Wind-Resistant Smoothskin
  • Seamless Paddle Zones

CONS:

  • This wetsuit is designed for the warmer months and wouldn’t be suitable to wear it for all seasons
  • The wetsuit runs on the small side and it would be best to order one size bigger

Best Designed Wetsuit

6. 2XU P:2 Propel

This wetsuit is designed to move with you and gives you freedom of movement. It also offers the maximum buoyancy that’s allowed and has a thickness of 5mm. The intermediate zone stretch panels help to make your movements more fluid and the wetsuit offers a 520 percent stretch lining.

The seamless shoulder and arm panels allow you to make each stroke comfortably with a full range of motion.

The super composite skin coating and the hydrodynamic silicone coating help you to get in and out of the wetsuit easier. It also helps to reduce water resistance while you swim so that you can get more distance per stroke.

You’d need to turn it inside out and hand wash it with wetsuit shampoo before letting it air dry.


PROS:

  • SCS coating and Hydrodynamic silicone coating
  • Intermediate zone stretch (IZS) panels
  • 520% stretch lining
  • Seamless shoulder and arm panel

CONS:

  • This wetsuit can only be hand washed and air dried

Best Sleeveless Wetsuit for Ironman Athletes

7. Blueseventy Reaction Sleeveless

If you prefer a wetsuit without sleeves then this Ironman and USAT approved wetsuit could be for you. With a buoyancy ratio of 4-5-4 this wetsuit will raise the position of your hips to keep them aligned with the rest of the body. This keeps the body close to the surface of the water, which improves speed and reduces water resistance.

The reactive stretch technology which is 2mm thin side panels helps the body to rotate in the water without affecting your speed. There’s a small pocket on the inside flap of the wetsuit where you can store your keys if need be.

The suit also features the quick exit legs and the Blue Seventy’s traditional zipper to make the transition quick and fuss-free. However, some people may find this to be an expensive option for a wetsuit.


PROS:

  • 4-5-4 panel design
  • Pocket on the inside flap
  • Reactive Stretch Technology
  • Quick exit legs

CONS:

  • It is an expensive option

Best Sleeveless Wetsuit for Competitive Athletes

8. ROKA Maverick Comp II Sleeveless

Competitive triathletes might prefer a sleeveless wetsuit for a feeling of more freedom in the arms, which translates to a more flexible and less restricted swim stroke. The Super Composite Skin Hydrophobic Nano Coating will push water away from the body as the swimmer moves through the water, making the suit very streamlined.

RS Centerline Buoyancy allows the swimmer to achieve faster side-to-side rotation and keeps the body in its optimal position for good form. Quick-release ankle panels make getting out of the suit an easy job.

The Roka Maverick comes in sizes from small to extra extra large, and has “tall” options for every size as well.


PROS:

  • RS Centerline Buoyancy
  • Quick-release panels
  • Hydrophobic Nano Coating
  • Low absorption

CONS:

  • Some may find the wetsuit to have a tight fit

Best Sleeveless Entry Level Wetsuit

9. Synergy Endorphin Sleeveless

Those who are new to triathlons but would like to start off with a sleeveless wetsuit, this is the best entry-level sleeveless wetsuit you can find. It is Ironman and USAT approved which proves its good quality.

The suit is made from hydrodynamic neoprene, which is suitable for swimming in cooler waters as it insulates the body very well. It has a 5 mm thick center panel for buoyancy, which is the maximum allowed in triathlons, and 3 mm thickness in the legs and lower back.

The anti-corrode zipper also reduces drag and a soft Smoothskin neck collar reduces discomfort. The sleeveless design and 680 degree flexibility mean you will have a full range of motion in this suit.

There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, and when you need to replace your wetsuit you can send the old one to the company and receive a 40% discount on a new one.


PROS:

  • Ironman and USAT approved
  • 680% flexibility
  • Lifetime Replacement Guarantee
  • Dual smoothskin collar

CONS:

  • The wetsuit sizes run small and it would be advisable to order a size bigger

 

FAQs

What is a wetsuit for?

A wetsuit helps to insulate and provide some warmth when swimming in cold water. It prevents your limbs and muscles from going numb in very cold water. The wetsuit gives extra lift, providing the swimmer with buoyancy, which makes it easier for the swimmer to stay afloat.

The buoyancy of the wetsuit keeps the swimmer closer to the surface of the water and this means that they spend less time and energy to avoid sinking. The design and materials of the wetsuit allows the swimmer to move faster with less resistance in the water.

When should you wear a wetsuit?

If the water is between 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, then a wetsuit would be highly recommended. You wouldn’t need a wetsuit if the temperature is 84 degrees Fahrenheit or more. There are other factors to consider, such as the climate or altitude you’re at and the distance of the swim. If you’re going to be swimming for 100 yards or more, then a wetsuit would be highly recommended.

How much warmer does a wetsuit keep you?

The thickness of the wetsuit is what influences its flexibility and thermal qualities. This means that the thicker the wetsuit is, the less flexible it becomes. If the temperature of the water is 68 degrees Fahrenheit then you’d be able to use a 1 mm thick wetsuit, whereas you’d use a 3 to 4 mm thick wetsuit for swimming in temperatures of 48,2 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

This could change depending on where you are in the world, as you’d need to take climate and altitude into consideration. You’d also need to consider your own sensitivity to cold and weather conditions on the day.

Before you enter a triathlon or even Ironman you may want to familiarize yourself with the rules for wetsuits.

What do I get if I invest a bit more money into my wetsuit?

As technology advances, the material and designs of wetsuits also advance. When you buy your wetsuit, you need to take into consideration your swimming technique, how frequently you’ll be using the wetsuit and what your goals are.

Then you want to make sure that the wetsuit that you get has plenty of flexibility in the shoulders, as this will provide a better range of motion for your swim stroke. You’ll also want to make sure that the wetsuit offers better buoyancy and that you’re not rolling too much on one side.

You may want to have a look at the thermal properties of the wetsuit. This will let you know what temperatures you can swim in, as well as give you an idea as to how much insulation the wetsuit would be able to provide.

The Wired Runner