Triathlon Wetsuit Buying Guide

If you are beginning to compete in triathlons and swimming in open water, or want to change your current wetsuit, this guide should help you decide what you require and answer typical questions about wetsuits.

When deciding on a wetsuit, a person needs to think about the amount of buoyancy it provides, the fabric it is made out of, and how it is designed, as well as how it will perform underwater. We survey the major advantages of wearing a wetsuit to understand and compare the effectiveness of wetsuits.

Buying a triathlon wetsuit

For triathletes and open-water swimmers, wetsuits provide a sense of security, a streamlined body position in the water, and more power and control. But it’s not one size fits all.

It depends on the swimmer as to what level of buoyancy they prefer. Some key advantages of a wetsuit are:

  • Warmth: For Age Group Triathlons (excluding the Open Age Group) if the temperature is below 24 degrees, then wetsuits are optional (and compulsory below 14, 15 and 16 degrees for Olympic, Half and Full Ironman races respectively). The neoprene/rubber material traps a layer of water between the skin and the suit. This is then warmed by your body temperature, maintaining heat.
  • Buoyancy: A wetsuit provides extra buoyancy in the water, which can make swimming a little easier. Holding you high in the water – especially your legs or hips – the suit helps you maintain a good swimming position easier.
  • Speed: Wetsuits reduce drag in the water. This, along with the added buoyancy and better body position, means faster times.
  • Energy conservation: This is an important aspect of the triathlon, with the cycle and run still to go.
Choosing guide

Consider the way you dress and the kind of athlete you are when selecting a wetsuit for yourself. Here are a few areas you should consider.

Different levels of neoprene are used to make wetsuits, depending on their thickness and the amount of flexibility they have. Less thick material may be used around the shoulders for enhanced movement.

If you are an excellent swimmer but do not have the proper technique, then you may benefit from wearing thicker swimsuits with more flotation. If you’re trying to maximize the efficiency of your swim stroke, then a slim-fitting swimsuit will be an excellent pick.

Neoprene is an amazing fabric that helps to keep your wetsuit both buoyant and cosy. Neoprene is an artificial rubber containing multiple microscopic air bubbles in it.

The air pockets in a wetsuit enable it to stay afloat and they also offer excellent insulation, keeping the body temperature high even in cold water. However, not all neoprene is the same. Yamamoto Neoprene is considered to be the superior kind of neoprene.

A plant-based in Japan utilizes a special limestone system that yields a thin but effective kind of neoprene. This neoprene offers excellent buoyancy as well as an ability to retain heat.

Yamamoto Neoprene is a frequently used material in the manufacture of high-end wetsuits, with its use extending to parts of the suits as thin as 1.5mm. Cheaper suits are made with a heavier grade of neoprene, up to a maximum of 5mm in thickness.

At present, two variations of Yamamoto Neoprene are utilized for triathlon wetsuits: #39 and #40. Yamamoto #39 has been employed heavily over an extended period. The qualities of buoyancy and resilience have allowed Yamamoto fabrics to earn a positive reputation within the triathlon community.

Recently, Yamamoto #40 has been used to produce top-of-the-line wetsuits. This fabric boasts superior “stretchiness” compared to #39. #40 is no longer only obtainable in Quintana Roo; it is available in several different brands. In most cases, the advanced wet suits that are available are made up of a specific combination of types #39 and #40 neoprene.

Brands create garments with more robust material to assist in lifting the wearer to the surface of the water, consequently reducing resistance and increasing speed in swimming. Suits made with thicker material around the legs are helpful for athletes requiring greater leg strength.

It is essential to have a snug fit around the neck. If the seal isn’t present, the opening of the suit will be similar to a scoop and the outfit will become flooded with water. However, certain individuals feel that it limits their airflow.

It’s essential to search for a suit with a collar that you are comfortable wearing and will not be constraining around your neck. Suits now feature a softer fabric around the neck area which aids in comfort.

A zipper can be operated in two ways – it can go up or down either from the bottom to the top or from the top to the bottom. The pros and cons of this must be considered, and the decision lies in one’s own hands. A zip which closes from the top down instead of from the bottom up can aid in avoiding the string from being tugged down when swimming.

This can facilitate a more expeditious process of changing out of the suit, thus conserving time when switching over. No matter what zipper you like best, practice taking it off quickly to decrease the time it takes to get to the start line of the T1 race. It’s something that is often forgotten in training.

Many wetsuits have taped seams around the wrist and ankle regions, making it simpler to take off the wetsuit.

Some wetsuits come with special sections on the arm to help you sense the water better and get more power during the initial stroke of your swim.

It has to be acknowledged that wetsuits are very snug in terms of fit, and they can be somewhat difficult to put on and take off. They should fit in a cosy, but not tight, way.

It is essential to keep in mind that although having dry land security is significant, neoprene will swell in size when it becomes wet. Once you enter the water, your suit will seem bigger. Wetsuits of higher quality can fit like a glove, making them very difficult to put on.

When selecting a wetsuit, it is essential to make sure that the fit is absolutely perfect. It might be a good idea to look into several different companies and check out their fits, as each manufacturer has a slightly different shape.

The fit of the suit should be snug, but not overly restrictive. Ideally, the suit should fit snugly on the skin, and there should be no gaps between the two, especially in the area on the lower back.

If the suit is too big, water will be able to get in, diminishing its insulation.

The freedom of movement that comes with wearing a wetsuit is closely linked to its fit. Consider what activities you will do while wearing a wetsuit – going for a swim in the sea, or participating in a competition that you have spent months preparing for.

Ensure that your swim technique is not drastically changed when wearing a wetsuit. Be sure to have a swimsuit that is not restrictive and allows for your normal swimming stroke without weighing your arms or legs down.

If the wetsuit is too tight, it is likely to cause shoulder pain following the event. It is possible that your swimming technique will be changed, resulting in a decline in your velocity.

It should be noted that sleeveless wet suits, even though not as toasty or providing buoyancy, may allow for enhanced mobility overall.

The type of material employed is not the only factor that affects the buoyancy of a wetsuit. It’s also about where it’s placed in the suit. Many tailors utilize additional buoyant material panels in pivotal places, such as the buttocks and lower back.

Extending this concept, Orca and BlueSeventy have begun to personalize the performance of swimming suits, building different ones to fit the varying needs of athletes. For instance, BlueSeventy provides both wetsuits that offer no lift and those that provide a lift.

The objective of a neutrally-buoyant suit is to reduce resistance while swimming by creating a slim and uncomplicated design. On the other hand, a positively-buoyant suit has added buoyancy in the hips and legs to keep the lower part of the body elevated above the water’s surface.

If you don’t think of yourself as an adept swimmer, the added flotation can be useful as it facilitates proper swimming form. Certain suits feature extra buoyancy in the chest area, which can be a great help for those who are not strong swimmers.

Texture: Many suits also incorporate a textured forearm panel. The intent of this committee is to increase the strength of your stroke as your arm moves through the liquid. On high-end suits, these panels are moulded neoprene. Suits in the beginning stages will have a decorative pattern that is either painted or adhered to them.

The type of fabrics and neoprene utilized has a big influence on the texture, yet it can be a factor that some customers take into consideration when making their purchase.

Wetsuit cuts

There are three various types of wetsuit fit available, each providing a distinct benefit depending on the sort of swimming one does.

  • Full Cut: This is the full-length, full-body style of wetsuit, perfect for cold water.
  • Sleeveless: A full wetsuit, but with no arms. Some people prefer this style for its increased range of motion and flexibility.
  • Short Cut: Much like the sleeveless, some people prefer a shorter cut wetsuit ‘shorty’ or a swim skin, which is great for faster transitions and warmer water. Not so great in cold water though.

Zippers, Cuffs, Collars, and Seams

The amenities of your wetsuit are what will decide if you’ll appreciate wearing it or not. The cuffs and collars of the suit should fit closely against the skin, in a way that is comfortable, but still secure enough to keep water from entering.

Collars that are not securely fastened can irritate the skin by rubbing against it and causing friction. The majority of wet suits designed especially for use in triathlons now have flat-locked seams, which make them comfier and help avoid irritation from rubbing.

Steer clear of extremely inexpensive wetsuits, since inadequate sewing will surely cause them to tear. Getting a fake wetsuit might appear to be a money-saving option, but its seams will often give out quickly and easily.

Generally speaking, zippers should glide smoothly when tugged but should stay in place when it’s necessary.

Xterra is well-recognized for offering a two-year assurance on such elements as zippers and seams. This feature could be helpful for an athlete wanting to gain an advantage of a few seconds when transitioning.

Buying tips

The emphasis is on ease of wear: the suit should feel comfortable everywhere it touches the wearer, from their torso to their arms. It should not limit your ability to use your shoulders or the distance you can reach with your arms.

The cost of a wetsuit will differ depending on the level you choose, from basic models to those intended for use by professionals. At Wiggle, you can get an ultimate experience with their pricier wetsuits with all their extra features, or you can get a good, basic wetsuit if that’s all you need.

Pay attention to the sizing charts and options of the brand that you’re interested in from Wiggle. The amount of weight you carry is more important than your height, especially when it comes to competitive racing.

If you have difficulty deciding between two sizes, it is recommended that you opt for the larger one to ensure you are comfortable. If you are searching for a suit with strong capabilities, go with the smaller size if you have previously worn those kinds of suits.

Wiggle has a wide selection of items from well-known companies, with options starting from basic to the highest end. Be aware of blueseventy, Zone3, dhb, Sailfish, Huub, and Speedo.

Putting on a wetsuit

It is advisable to cut your finger and toenails to avoid ripping the material of your wetsuit when you put it on. Next, if you’re wet or perspiring, dry yourself off so that putting on a wetsuit is easier.

Some people prefer to put on a pair of thin, dry socks before donning their wetsuit to make it easier to get their feet into the leg openings.

Put one of your legs through the garment, positioning it higher than you initially believe it should be; repeat the same step with your other leg. Hold the suit at your waist and tug it up to your hips being mindful to use the inside of the garment so you don’t ruin the material.

Raise the wetsuit up around the pelvic area so it fits snugly; if you don’t have ample material or space to do this, you may need to adjust the bottom of the wetsuit even higher on your legs.

You should make sure the wetsuit is tight in the groin area so that it does not balloon when you put it on or there won’t be any air pockets.

Put one arm on your hips and pull it up higher than you normally would, and then do the same thing on the other side. The fit should be snug close to your armpit.

Lean over from the hips and move your body around if necessary to get the wetsuit in the correct position. Close the zipper and make sure the collar is up around your neck. The wetsuit should fit snugly against your body without restricting your circulation.


To purchase a wetsuit, you must sift through various company advertisements and marketing terms to pick one that matches your objectives and cost.

Many of the wetsuits available for purchase are focused on the needs of novice and average-level triathletes, whereas there is a multitude of options for experienced, professional athletes.


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