Best Triathlon Wetsuits Review 2012

| Gear | Wetsuits & Swimming Gear | 17/05/2012 05:30am
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We review 13 of the best triathlon wetsuits to help you give your competitors the slip in the swim.

Find more group tests from Triathlon Plus in our other best triathlon gear reviews.

Orca Equip
£215
www.orca.com

The Equip’s blue arms echo Orca’s top-end Alpha suit of a couple of years ago. The fully coated neoprene and impressively flexible shoulders are welcome at this price point, as is the comfortable, low neck. Buoyancy is good for slighter athletes with 2-5mm front panels correcting sinking tendencies well. The catch panels cover the entire forearm but made the elbows feel a little stiff, distracting from a natural stroke. The legs also have a stiffness to them, but this helped in producing a smooth and efficient kick. Getting out of the suit is easy thanks to super stretchy calf panels, but our female testers would have appreciated some more girl-friendly styling. We found Orca suits tend to come up small, so make sure you try on before you commit.

Verdict
A good suit that performs well for the price and has high-end looks too.
Performance 3/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5


Xterra Vortex
£265
www.xterrawetsuits.co.uk

Xterra’s vector Pro suit is worn by more Ironman and 70.3 athletes than any other and its little brother, the Vortex, is no slouch either. The suit is fully coated for hydrodynamics and the 1.5mm arms take care of shoulder flexibility, allowing an unencumbered stroke. Buoyancy from the 5mm front/3mm back is really positive for sinky-legged swimmers; tipping you forward slightly to glide over the top of the water, and allowing for an easy kick. The lined interior and stretchy neck keep things comfortable, even during sighting when swimming over long distances. Simple catch panels had no extra feel against the water for us, but the suit was fast and comfy. However, the sizing came up large on our testers and the looks are a little basic.

Verdict
A comfortable, flexible, fast and highly buoyant suit at a great price.
Performance 4/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5


Zone 3 Aspire
£265
www.racezone3.com

Zone 3’s mid-level suit offers stunning performance at a very good price. The fit is slim with tight wrists that keep water out and a low, unobtrusive neckline. The ends of the legs, which are made of stretchier neoprene for a fast exit, didn’t seem to make as snug a seal, though speed seemed unaffected by this. Shoulder flexibility is astonishing at this price point with no noticeable restriction. Buoyancy is impressive, with 5mm neoprene to the knees raising the legs and supporting the core without getting in the way of swimming naturally. The catch panels had no discernable ‘feel’ against the water, but didn’t hurt pulling the suit off quickly. A close second to the HUUB in speed, flexibility and comfort, at just over half the price.

Verdict
If you want a high-end performing suit at a low-end price, there’s none better.
Performance 4/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Value Award issue 41


2XU T:3 Team
£280
www.2xushop.co.uk; www.wiggle.co.uk

This entry-level wetsuit, available exclusively through Wiggle, offers many of the benefits – and the cool looks – of 2XU’s higher-end models. The shoulders are flexible enough to allow the arms to swing freely, which is partly down to the stretchy, uncoated material under the arms. All testers found the neck a bit restrictive at first, but quickly got used to it. The torso, with Velocity Strake grooves designed to help forward tracking, feels strangely stiff at first, but the suit is superbly buoyant and two of our testers who are prone to ‘snaking’ found it kept them on the straight and narrow and helped control body rotation. It feels completely different to the other suits here, and comes highly recommended for weaker or new swimmers who’ll love the support.

Verdict
A buoyant, supportive and fast suit, great for beginner triathletes or weaker swimmers.
Performance 4/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5



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Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2012 at 5:30 am under Gear, Wetsuits & Swimming Gear. You can subscribe to comments. Comments are closed.

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