We review another 16 of the best triathlon wetsuits.

During our best triathlon wetsuits review 2012 grouptest, which appeared in issue 41 of Triathlon Plus, we tested a total of 29 different wetsuits. While we had to select a shortlist of 13 to feature in the magazine, there were some fantastic triathlon wetsuits that we couldn’t squeeze in. Here are the rest of the wetsuit reviews.

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

2XU R:2
£360
www.2XUshop.co.uk

This suit sits in the middle of 2XU’s distinctive range and offers a great swimming experience, particularly for weaker swimmers. Our suit came up quite high on the ankles, which aided a quick exit, but the shoulders felt more restrictive than similarly-priced suits and the neck was a bit tight. The rigidity continued across the thickly-neoprened chest which provided extraordinary buoyancy perfect for beginners but perhaps too much for more advanced swimmers wanting an unimpeded body roll. None of this stopped it being a fast suit though and one of the highest in the water.

Verdict
Great for beginners, but a bit restrictive in the shoulders

Overall 3/5

2XU V:2
£499
www.2XUshop.co.uk

The V:2 won last year’s group test, having performance rivalling the range-topping X:2 but at a more wallet-friendly price. The suit remains a winner with great flexibility in the shoulders to aid a comfy recovery, but the neck seemed tighter than others in the 2XU range, so check before you buy. 2XU’s trademark buoyancy is present and correct, keeping you nice and high in the water, and there’s also less restriction of body roll than lower-prices suits from the range making it a contender in longer races.

Verdict
Still a cracking suit, but at £499, it will certainly be challenged by HUUB this year

Overall 4/5

2XU X:2
£650
www.2XUshop.co.uk

Representing the culmination of all 2XU’s science and wetsuit know-how, the X:2 is packed with features designed to make you a better open water swimmer. These include a silver SCS lining for insulation, SCS nanoskin coating to make it even more hydrodynamic, stretchy polyester lining, velocity strakes to aid tracking and divert water and a one-piece floating zip panel for flexibility. In the water, the suit has incredibly flexible arms and an excellent spread of buoyancy that doesn’t impede on stroke mechanics. Body roll was easier than in 2XU’s lower-end suits and overall the X:2 strikes an excellent balance of body positioning in the water for those who need support and ease of movement for stronger swimmers. The only sticking point is the £650 price tag, which at £150 more than HUUB’s most expensive suit and £275 more than Zone3’s means it has stiff competition for value.

Verdict
A tech-heavy suit that performs brilliantly but remains an expensive proposition

Overall 4/5

Aqua Sphere Pursuit
£169.99
www.aquasphereswim.com/uk

The pursuit is Aqua Sphere’s entry-level suit and proved a solid performer. Easy to get on and comfy, once in the water the Pursuit felt a little stiff in the arms but not terribly so and the high neck bizarrely seemed to let quite a bit of water in, so be sure to check sizing. The catch panels, which throughout testing appeared to have no effect on any of the suits, also sat on the outside of the arms rather than forearms. Despite this, the Pursuit’s buoyancy was one of the best on test, with the legs raised so that heels broke the water’s surface, making it a good choice for seriously sinky-legged swimmers.

Verdict
A good suit for those needing extra support and great value too

Overall 3/5

Blueseventy Reaction
£299
www.blueseventy.com

The Reaction is Blueseventy’s mid-level wetsuit and is their all-time best seller. The suit felt flexible when first getting into it but soon became restrictive on the shoulders once swimming, hampering a long reach. Buoyancy is excellent however, with a reassuringly supportive hip area and a real lift for the legs. The tight cuffs stopped water flooding in and were also surprisingly easy to pull off too. The full SCS coating is welcome and despite the suit’s stiffness, it was still pretty fast over shorter distances.

Verdict
Good for those who need extra support, but more fluid swimmers may crave greater flexibility.

Overall 4/5

Foor Quantum
£174.99
www.foor.co.uk, www.triuk.com

The Quantum features an incredible spec on paper being the cheapest fully SCS coated wetsuit in the whole test. The fit of this classy-looking number seemed to come up a little tight, so bear this in mind, but the suit had fairly flexible shoulders and well-placed buoyancy to turn sinky-legs into a flat position. Despite a tight neck, water seemed to enter the suit quite easily and this led to a heavy feeling after swimming for a while.

Verdict
Good looks and performance from a great value suit

Overall 3/5

Foor Quantum 2.4
£299.99
www.foor.co.uk, www.triuk.com

Foor’s wetsuits have traditionally offered simple speed and the Quantum 2.4 is no exception. Being made with Yamamoto Cell 40 SCS coated neoprene, which offers great comfort, is a real bonus at this price – especially considering it’s the same grade used in TYR’s $1,200 Freak of Nature suit. Buoyancy is great thanks to air bubbles integrated into the chest and leg neoprene, offering a good horizontal position high in the water. Support around the core is good too, but our female tester found it a little stiff. The Quantum 2.4 was also less flexible than Foor’s Synflex with the shoulders feeling a little tight so size carefully. Despite this, the suit remained quite easy to swim in during long sessions and the low neck keeps sighting comfy.

Verdict
A good suit with a high spec but challenged hard by Zone3 and HUUB in this competitive price band

Overall 4/5

HUUB Aegis
£220
www.huubdesign.com

HUUB’s entry-level suit emulates its bigger brothers to offer a viable alternative for those on a budget. The suit was very comfortable with a flexible neck and shoulders. The neoprene has less give in it than the Archimedes but still provided a natural, virtually unimpeded stroke. Buoyancy felt supportive without being overpowering thanks to the 3:5 design, which positions you horizontally in the water with 5mm neoprene on the legs and 3mm on the torso. The fully SCS coated material – which is very welcome for £220 – felt slick through the water and was impressively fast. It doesn’t quite match the Zone3 Aspire on a performance per pound basis, but the understated and stylish looks are sure to garner an army of fans.

Verdict
A wonderfully comfortable suit that offers incredible value

Overall 4/5

HUUB Aerious 3:5
£350
www.huubdesign.com

Bridging the gap between the Aegis and Archimedes in terms of both price and features, the Aerious offers serious performance and value. Like the top-end Archimedes, it’s available in 3:5 and 4:4 versions, for sinkier-legged and neutral swimmers respectively. It also shares that suit’s more rigid X-O Skeleton panel to help maintain a buoyant and supported hip as well as inserts behind the shoulder blades designed to negate arm crossover. A reverse zip completes the package of what would be a range-topping suit for most manufacturers. Fractionally slower than the Archimedes, which was the fastest suit on test, and on a par with the Zone3 Vanquish, the suit was also astoundingly comfortable with a snug but not tight fit, unrestrictive neck and flexible shoulders. The Aerious didn’t seem to keep us as high in the water as the Vanquish, but offers those with a good stroke scope to transfer it flawlessly to the open water. Like all of HUUB’s suits, it also looks the business too. Only the fact that the Archimedes exists stops this from getting full marks across the board.

Verdict
Incredible performance regardless of the cost and simply the best suit £350 will get you

Overall 4/5

Orca S4
£165
www.orca.com

The S4 is the latest evolution of Orca’s popular entry-level triathlon wetsuit but turned out to be a little disappointing even considering the bargain £165 price. The plain-looking suit came up  high on the legs, compromising already limited buoyancy while the neck was tight despite being low. The wrists also seemed looser than those on other suits, letting water in during the catch phase. The shoulders were quite flexible but the chest and back were tight and rigid, making  each stroke hindered. Some of these may be sizing issues, so the S4 is definitely one to test out for fit before parting with your cash, but going a few quid up the wetsuit hierarchy would be money well spent.

Verdict
A little disappointing for what has traditionally been a great starter’s wetsuit.

Overall 2/5

Orca TRN
£129
www.orca.com

This looks of this truly budget match its price with plenty of stitched seams roving over its surface. We can forgive this however as this polyester-lined suit is primarily designed for pool use to allow athletes to get more used to wetsuit swimming before taking to the open water for races. Flexibility was excellent thanks to the thin 2-2.5mm neoprene and 1.5mm shoulder panels, but this also meant much lower position in the water than most suits. It felt quite draggy through the water, but considering the price and its designed application as a training suit, it’s hard to be too critical.

Verdict
The novel training suit idea executed well at a good price.

Overall 3/5

Sailfish One
£475
www.sailfish.com

This suit sits under Sailfish’s excellent G-Range suit and proved a comfy despite the slightly thicker-feeling of the neoprene. This is used to add extra buoyancy for those who need more support in the water and rendered kicking was rendered virtually unnecessary. It was quite fast too, with brilliant flexibility for such a buoyant suit but our arms felt more tired after a long swim than in the G-Range. It was also a really easy suit to get out of, a key consideration for beginners who still want a premium suit.

Verdict
A great suit if you’re looking to get into triathlon or need loads of buoyancy, but a little pricey.

Overall 3/5

TYR Hurricane Category 1
£210
www.tyr.com

This suit is the entry-level offering in TYR’s Hurricane series. The fit is supportive without being too constrictive and the shoulders were impressively flexible and seemed quite wide even if the under arms felt a little tight. It performed admirably in the water, doing the basics well in getting the legs up for a better position but felt a little heavy unless really going for it with a strong catch. For powerful swimmers or those with broad shoulders, it’s definitely an entry-level contender.

Verdict
Not for everyone, but if it suits the Category 1 is a good performer at a great price.

Overall 3/5

Zone3 Vanquish
£375
www.racezone3.com

The Vanquish is Zone3’s top-end suit but is comparable price wise to most other companies’ mid-level wetsuits. That’s where the comparisons end however as this is a stonkingly good wetsuit regardless of price. The neoprene feels exceptionally supple making it astoundingly comfy while the one-piece shoulder construction means you’d be hard pressed to find a more flexible suit in the shoulders. The grooved chest – designed to prop up the legs by directing water below them – is, like the thighs, also made from aerodome neoprene constructed with air bubbles, which provided fantastic buoyancy while the reverse zip makes getting out of this suit even easier than the Aspire. The suit will no doubt be doing battle with HUUB’s Aerious, but the Vanquish has the edge in terms of buoyancy for less-natural swimmers while maintaining excellent flexibility. The only thing stopping this from reaching a perfect score is that it’s a hard sell considering just how amazing the £265 Aspire is.

Verdict
Not just and incredible suit for £375, one of the best we’ve ever tested

Overall 4/5

Zone3 Vision
£195
www.racezone3.com

Incredibly, Zone3 can offer a fully-coated suit knocking on the Aspire’s performance for only £195, but that’s also it’s biggest problem – it’s just nearly as good in every department and considering the Aspire sits at an astonishingly good value £265, it’s probably worth going for that suit if you can. Nevertheless, it’s probably the best wetsuit out there under the £200 mark with excellent flexibility thanks to 1.5mm neoprene on the shoulders, an unrestrictive neck and good buoyancy. It’s quick to get off too thanks to quick release ankles and cuffs.

Verdict
A fantastic suit but overshadowed by the equally great value Aspire

Overall 4/5

Zoot Z Force 1
£160
www.zootsports.com

This entry-level suit from Zoot offers a fair amount of flexibility for the price and is very buoyant too, making it more tailored for open-water novices. The neck seemed very high, impeding sighting and rubbing during longer swims. This point aside, the Z Force 1.0 proved to be a fast suit, even compared to pricier models on test, but certainly won’t turn heads before a race start.

Verdict
A great value suit, but let down by the high neck

Overall 3/5

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

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