We’ve reviewed 12 of the best triathlon wetsuits out there, but which ones impressed our triradar.com testers most?

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

Triathlon Reviews - 12 Wetsuits On Test

2XU V:2

£499

www.2xushop.co.uk

This suit, which used to sit at the top of 2XU’s range before the uber-technical X:1 came along last year, still represents a benchmark in brilliant wetsuit design. The Velocity strakes channels down the torso, designed to help improve body position and movement through the water, have now filtered down to some of the brand’s cheaper wetsuits but V:2 wearers get special panels on the forearms to help with your catch and a new titanium coating meant to improve bloodflow to swimmers’ legs. The fit and flexibility were perfect for our tester, with a nice low neck that wasn’t restrictive, but nonetheless kept water out. In our not-especially-scientific 100m test, the V:2 was in joint first place with the X:2, but more importantly it made us feel really good.

Verdict

Comfortable, flexible, technical wetsuit that we loved swimming in.

Performance 5/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Gold Award, issue 28

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestAqua Sphere Racer

£339.99

www.aquasphereswim.com

This feels like a good quality wetsuit, with smooth neoprene, a super-stretchy collar and thin, flexible cuffs and panels in the calves. Our women’s test suit came up a bit small, which meant although the arms and legs went on well, we needed help to zip it up; we also found the neck hard to get used to because although it’s flexible, it’s quite high. The anti-leak collar and cuffs worked brilliantly and it’s a good, slippery suit in the water. However, our tester did feel it was a bit restrictive round the chest and shoulders – perhaps because of the size – and would be a bit too buoyant for very strong swimmers who might find it awkward. It was easy to get out of though and is a good, tough suit for weaker swimmers looking for a bit of help.

Verdict

A well-made suit with some nice features. A bit on the buoyant side and check your fit.

Performance 3/5

Value 3/5

Overall 3/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestBlueseventy Helix

£450

www.blueseventy.com

You might think that, as the favoured wetsuit of Alistair Brownlee, the helix would cater more for strong swimmers. But our tester is a t1-trailer and immediately loved the free, natural feel of this wetsuit. the key here is that, while weak swimmers are sometimes advised to buy more buoyant wetsuits, this can result in them choosing less flexible suits. This one is part of Blueseventy’s Natural Buoyancy category, designed for naturally horizontal swimmers who need good buoyancy across the whole suit. The natural swimming feel is added to with fabric rather than neoprene panels on the forearm, which really helps you engage with the water, and super-stretchy panels under the arms, which meant absolutely no restriction of movement. You just might feel the cold more.

Verdict

A brilliant, buoyant suit for people who want to stay in touch with the water.

Performance 5/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Peak Performer Award, issue 28

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestErox Cell Pro Flex

€599

www.eroxswiss.com

www.superflytri.co.uk

You’ll certainly stand out in this electric blue suit, but we weren’t convinced it would give us a stand-out swim performance. It has thicker ‘air bubble’ neoprene on the chest for extra buoyancy, compression at the hips for a more hydrodynamic shape, panels on the forearms to aid your catch, and stretch panels in the calves to help it come off easily. We found it comfortable and easy to get in and out of and the level of buoyancy was just right, keeping our tester horizontal but not so high he was kicking air. But at the front end of the stroke, this suit was a bit of a let-down, especially for the price. The shoulders lack flexibility so a full range of movement was difficult and the forearm panels didn’t provide a noticeable improvement.

Verdict

A comfortable, floaty suit, but not the most flexible and not great value.

Performance 3/5

Value 2/5

Overall 2/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestFoor Classic

£99

www.triuk.com

Our testers weren’t allowed to know the prices of the suits they were trying (though as experienced triathletes they had an inkling) so it’s very much to the credit of Foor that this suit won instant praise and, in our 100m tests, kept up with suits that retail for double the cash. Intended mainly for rental (at £35) but available to buy too, it’s clearly a basic suit with no catch panels, no intricate detailing at the wrists, ankles or neck, and relatively thick neoprene all over. But we found it to be a good fit with no comfort issues at all; the neck wasn’t restrictive, it was easy to get on and off and the shoulders were just flexible enough for our tester. If you’re a brilliant swimmer looking for the best performance advantage this may not be for you, but if you just want a good solid wetsuit this is great.

Verdict

Good-quality, simple but effective wetsuit. Not the most flexible or fancy, but does the job.

Performance 3/5

Value 5/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Top Value Award, issue 28

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestOrca Alpha

£440

www.orca.com

This top-end wetsuit is clearly designed with strong swimmers in mind, with a super-flexible upper body that meant no compromise of stroke at all for our tester. Round the arms, shoulders and chest, the suit has Nano-coated 1.5-2mm neoprene and we immediately noticed the natural, comfortable feeling it gave us. The thin, coated neoprene meant it came on and off really easily too. A more buoyant section on the bum helps sinky-legged, strong swimmers achieve a better position in the water, with it feeling like someone has hoisted your ankles out of the water. The low, flat neck was unrestrictive but didn’t let any water in either. Weaker swimmers might want a bit more assistance in terms of buoyancy and guided body position, but this is a good advanced suit.

Verdict

Brilliant, natural-feeling performance and comfort for confident swimmers.

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestProfile Design Wahoo

£219.99

www.madison.co.uk

www.profile-design.com

If your budget won’t quite make the £400 mark of some of the wetsuits on test here, rest assured that we swam as fast in the wahoo as in about two-thirds of the suits on test. it’s an entry- to mid-level suit made with XfLeX 360 stretch neoprene and thinner 1.5mm panels under the arms and round the shoulders for freedom of movement. It had medium buoyancy, offering confidence to weaker swimmers without being obstructive for more confident water babies, but our tester did find it a bit restrictive and less comfortable compared with some of the more pricey wetsuits on test. You certainly couldn’t forget you were wearing it. Short sleeves made it really easy to get on and off and are also a plus if you like to keep an eye on your watch. A reasonable suit in every sense.

Verdict

Nothing fancy here, but a decent, fairly buoyant suit for the price.

Performance 3/5

Value 4/5

Overall 3/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestQuintana Roo Hydrofull

£339.99

www.evanscycles.com

www.quintanarootri.com

Better known for their tri bikes than wetsuits, Quintana Roo have nonetheless produced a great wetsuit here at a fair price, which won our Gold Award last year. It has the same Virtual Pull Buoy (VPB) found on last year’s model; different thicknesses of neoprene round the thighs to encourage a ‘downhill’ body position in the water and good body rotation. Thin type 39 neoprene on the top half gives good range of movement, which our tester really noticed, and though he didn’t comment on the effect of the VPB and found the buoyancy average, he did say it felt like a fast suit and that was borne out by one of the fastest 100m times in our quick side-by-side reps test. The fit is comfy too, with a snug neck that didn’t choke us.

Verdict

A smart suit, especially at this price, and good option for anyone with heavy legs.

Performance 4/5

Value 5/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestSailfish G-Range

£575

www.sailfish.com

This suit was designed by one of the world’s best triathlon swimmers, and it shows. It’s not chock-full of technology but the emphasis is on fit, flexibility and good-quality materials. It uses SpaceCell neoprene with a special coating to help it slip through the water, and has a liner designed to prevent the suit clinging on to water and adding to the swimmer’s fatigue. It’s not the most floaty suit on test, but does have extra and noticeable buoyancy round the hips, which helps guide your body position and stop your hips dropping or twisting. What really stands out though is the flexibility and comfort in the top half of the wetsuit, which all swimmers will appreciate, but stronger swimmers in particular will gain from. We loved the gold design too – definitely one for psyching out the competition.

Verdict

Good-looking, free-feeling suit that will be appreciated by stronger swimmers.

Performance 4/5

Value 3/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestSpeedo Tri-Elite

£400

www.speedo.co.uk

This is the top-end suit in Speedo’s range, their second since re-entering triathlon last year. It seems to be geared towards less-confident swimmers who don’t mind spending a bit to help their first discipline. Big, Aerodome SCS panels – thick neoprene with air bubbles for extra buoyancy – cover most of the torso, hips and thighs, while special flaps on the forearms are designed to help catch the water and propel you forwards. Thin, flexible neoprene round the shoulders and between the Aerodome panels keep freedom of movement and though it wasn’t the most natural feeling suit we tried, our tester liked the balance of buoyancy and range of motion. The neck was a bit high though and our tester wasn’t sure the forearm features made a huge difference to their performance.

Verdict

A good, supportive but flexible wetsuit for new swimmers who want a technical suit.

Performance 3/5

Value 4/5

Overall 3/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestXTERRA Vortex 3

£265

www.xterrawetsuits.com

Few of the wetsuits we tried gave a definite feeling of shifting our position in the water, but this did. Our tester felt as though she was tipped forward in the water, which might not be what every swimmer wants, but it may have contributed to one of the fastest 100m splits in our test. This doesn’t seem to be by design either, but we’d guess the 5mm-thick neoprene right down the knees had something to do with it. The top half of the suit is flexible enough for most swimmers, though we found the fit a bit big on our women’s sample around the shoulders. Stretchy arms and legs made it easy to get off and a full liner on the inside keep it pretty comfortable too. It has catch panels on the forearms, but we didn’t notice an improved catch (though it’s possible it affected our fast time in this suit).

Verdict

An interesting, very buoyant, but perfectly flexible suit good for the heavy legged.

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Wetsuits - 12 On TestZone 3 Vanquish

£345

www.racezone3.com

When we tested the Vanquish a year ago it was clearly a great suit for a great price; this year it suffers slightly from being compared with some brilliant suits that have moved on again, while the Vanquish is unchanged apart from in looks. It is still a great suit though and any very strong swimmers who can’t make the £500+ mark would do well to look at it. It has a thin, one-piece panel across the shoulders to keep it really flexible, and Aerodome panels on the torso for buoyancy. It’s not the most buoyant suit we tried but if you’re a good swimmer you’ll appreciate the natural feel. In our 100m test it was level with most of the suits here, but if you’re strong in the water you might benefit from the easy-off design – it’s made for fast transitions and that shows when you whip it off.

Verdict

A great choice for strong swimmers, who really needn’t spend more than this.

Performance 4/5

Value 5/5

Overall 4/5

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

This article was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine – click here to subscribe

Click here for more gear reviews

";