The traditional triathlon consists of swimming, cycling, and running. All three stages are equally important, so you should go above and beyond when searching for the best swimming, cycling, and running gear.
Although we can’t help you with cycling and running, we are quite well versed in triathlon wetsuits and would like to share our knowledge with you today. Drawing on our expertise, we prepared a list of the top triathlon wetsuits and will be sharing it with you in this article, along with some helpful tips to guide you towards the best triathlon wetsuit for you.
Triathlon Wetsuit Reviews
Xterra Wetsuits Volt
Xterra Wetsuits is one of the top manufacturers of triathlon wetsuits in the world and operates out of Mission Bay, the site of the first ever triathlon. It should come as no surprise, then, that the brand’s Volt wetsuit has proven a success among hobbyists and dedicated triathlon competitors alike.
Xterra Wetsuits deals almost exclusively in triathlon wetsuits, which allows its team to constantly innovate and redesign. The innovative nature of Xterra Wetsuits is present in the Volt, which boasts one of the brand’s unique X-Flex suit liners.
X-Flex technology allows the suit to stretch and expand in any direction without risk of it losing its shape. This, combined with the wetsuit’s sleeveless design, allows for maximum flexibility in the water.
The Xterra Wetsuits Volt also features the brand’s X-Max technology, which uses a triple layer of glue and double-blind stitching to render it virtually impenetrable to water and guarantees that the wearer remains at a consistent temperature.
- AMERICA'S FAVORITE TRIATHLON WETSUIT - The XTERRA Volt sleeveless triathlon suit is the ultimate tri suit for men that is comfortable, durable, fast and affordable. Get maximum flexibility and buoyancy with 3/2mm neoprene construction. This suit is great for both beginners and veterans. The suits comfortable fit and streamline body are perfect for both training and racing.
- SUPERIOR COMFORT & QUALITY - The XTERRA Volt Triathlon Sleeveless Wetsuit's high-performance X-FLEX suit liner stretches in all four directions and returns to its original structure to guarantee that the Xterra Volt will retain its shape and fit over time. The mens wetsuit's flexible liner allows for a comfortable snug fit. X-MAX Seam-Seal Technology uses a triple layer of glue and double-blind stitching to ensure long-lasting waterproof seams that keep you warm and dry.
- UNMATCHED PERFORMANCE & DECREASED DRAG - XTERRA's X-SLICE tri-suit coating reduces drag to keep you fast in the water. Plus, the trisuit's 3/2mm neoprene body provides excellent buoyancy, lifting your body into an optimal position for smooth and fast swimming. The wetsuit's back has 2mm neoprene for ideal flexibility. The suit's double seam shoulder cuff allows for unrestricted shoulder movement for a comfortable and powerful swim.
- CORRECT SIZE GUARANTEE - All triathlon wetsuits are designed to fit snugly. After trying on your wetsuit, if you believe that the suit is too snug then contact us directly before returning your wetsuit. You have 30 days to try on and test out your triathlon wetsuit and can even take it for a swim! Available in 9 sizes while supplies last. Please see size chart in images for correct sizing. For the women, the Volt is available in style for men.
- 30 DAY NO RISK RETURN + 1 YEAR INDUSTRY-BEST WARRANTY - Xterra Wetsuits strives to make your swim faster and more comfortable, and to offer you the highest performing triathlon wetsuit at the best value. We confidently stand by our claim of making the world's fastest wetsuit and our triathlon wetsuits are warranted against manufacturing defects for 1 year.
Accompanying the Xterra Wetsuits Volt’s X-Flex and X-Max technology is its X-Slice coating. X-Slice coating is also, unsurprisingly, exclusive to Xterra Wetsuits and is used to fight drag. By dramatically reducing drag, the Volt’s X-Slice coating allows the wearer to move through the water at a greater speed.
Similarly, this suit features a 3/2mm neoprene body, which ensures superior buoyancy and, just like Xterra Wetsuits’ X-Slice technology, allows the wearer to propel themselves through the water at a rapid pace. To allow for maximum maneuverability, Xterra Wetsuits fitted this wetsuit with a double-seam shoulder cuff.
This double-seam shoulder cuff makes for unrestricted movement of the arms and torso, so there’ll be nothing to stop you from getting the result you want in what is arguably the most challenging stage of a triathlon.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Xterra Wetsuits Volt is its sleeveless design. As a long john wetsuit, the Volt covers the torso and legs of the wearer, leaving the arms bare. This is advantageous when competing in a hot climate, but may be an issue if you are competing in a triathlon held in a colder portion of the world.
While this shouldn’t be a deal breaker, you may want to explore all wetsuits featured in this list before settling on which model is right for you. It is also worth noting that the Xterra Wetsuits Volt generally goes for well over $100. While this may not be an issue for fanatical triathlon competitors, novices may have a hard time justifying such expenditure.
- X-Max technology
- Double-seam shoulder cuff
- 3/2mm neoprene body
- Not suitable for cold weather
- Only available in one color
The Xterra Wetsuits Volt is a little on the pricey side, but if you don’t mind splashing the cash to get a high-quality wetsuit, that won’t be an issue for you. Nor will the even higher price tag of the Synergy Endorphin.
A product of one of the top names in the industry, the Synergy Endorphin boasts a plethora of features designed to maximize your talent and give you an advantage over the competition. For triathlon competitors who want to win rather than simply partake, it may be the best way to go.
We touched on buoyancy a little bit in the previous entry, but we want to discuss it again now to really drive home how important it is in competitive swimming. Buoyancy can be a little tricky, but essentially, the higher the buoyancy of a suit, the higher the wearer of that suit will float in the water.
Obviously, the higher you float, the easier it is to propel yourself across the water, so a particularly buoyant wetsuit should be high on your list if you’re hoping to secure a victory in your next triathlon. Naturally, there are some rules in place governing buoyancy in competitive swimming and no wetsuit is permitted to exceed a certain level of buoyancy.
The Synergy Endorphin makes full use of the rules. A 5/3mm wetsuit, it features the maximum level of buoyancy allowed in triathlon wetsuits, so those who don it will have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.
To add to the benefits of its buoyancy, Synergy fitted the Endorphin with an anti-corrode internal zipper. Composed of YKK, this zipper reduces drag and pushes up the speed with which you’ll be able to cross through the water even further.
- TRIATHLETE MAGAZINE EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD WINNER / LAVA MAGAZINE BEST VALUE WETSUIT - Suitable for all levels. Ironman & USAT approved. Athlete endorsed. Comes in wide range of sizes to insure a perfect fit.
- PROVEN TECHNOLOGY EQUALS SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE - Hydrodynamic neoprene made from Yamamoto #39 with SCS silicone coated SyPrene. 5mm thick core buoyancy panel / 3mm lower legs and back / 2mm arms and shoulders.
- EXCEPTIONAL FUNCTIONALITY - Full range of motion. Unsurpassed 680 percent flexibility. Highest grade anti corrode internal wetsuit zipper from YKK which greatly reduces drag as you move through the water. Super soft low neck with smoothskin on both sides and because it is so soft, it feels like you hardly have anything around your neck.
- MAXIMUM BUOYANCY - 5mm wetsuit, which is the maximum buoyancy allowed in triathlon wetsuits. Creates nearly double the buoyancy than 3mm suits, which are not recommended for cold waters. Float higher. Move faster. Save energy.
- CUSTOMER SATISFACTION - 30-Day Guarantee: If you are not 100% satisfied within 30-days, send it back for a full refund / 2 Year Warranty / Lifetime Replacement Guarantee.
Flexibility is everything when it comes to competitive swimming. For that reason, many triathlon competitors avoid purchasing full wetsuits as they believe the long sleeves will limit their maneuverability. While this would be true in the case of a traditional full wetsuit, it is far from so when it comes to the Synergy Endorphin.
The Synergy Endorphin boasts a staggering 680% flexibility. Such unsurpassed freedom grants the wearer maximum functionality and allows them full range of motion, making this wetsuit as flexible as a long or short john alternative.
The Synergy Endorphin will set you back quite a bit, but you can take comfort in the fact Synergy backs each purchase of the suit with a 30-day money back guarantee, so you won’t have any problem securing a refund should it fail to live up to your expectations. Similarly, the Synergy Endorphin is backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee, meaning you won’t have to spend money on a new wetsuit should problems arise.
The major drawback of the Synergy Endorphin is its high price tag. Selling for $229, it may be a complete impossibility for some readers. While some would argue that the many features of the suit, along with the reputation of its manufacturer, render it more than worth the money, it doesn’t make the expense any easier to digest.
It should be pointed out that while Synergy managed to eradicate the limitations in movement that are commonly seen in full wetsuits, it was less successful in tackling the over-retention of warmth which often occurs when such a wetsuit is worn in a warm climate. If you are preparing for a triathlon in a particularly warm part of the world, you may be better off going with a long or short john wetsuit instead.
- Lifetime replacement
- YKK zipper
- Only available in one color
- Not suitable for hot weather
NeoSport Long John Wetsuit
If you don’t think you can achieve all you wish to achieve in a full wetsuit, you should consider going with the Long John Wetsuit from NeoSport. With bare arms and three-quarter-length legs, it grants maximum maneuverability for only $100.
The NeoSport Long John Wetsuit is one of the slickest wetsuits to appear in this article, so you should give it careful consideration if remaining stylish throughout your triathlon is a concern for you. But beauty is far from the only thing this wetsuit has going for it. Composed of ultra-light neoprene construction, the NeoSport Long John Wetsuit reduces drag and will not weigh you down as you push yourself through the water.
In fact, with its mid-calf leg openings, this wetsuit increases kick efficiency, so you can make the most of every movement. Similarly, wider exit openings diminish heel snag, which makes this wetsuit a breeze to put on and take off, with easy changing being particularly advantageous in a triathlon.
- Should fit snug, but not too tight
- Neoprene: uses a premium ultra-light Neoprene material to give a soft and comfortable fit
- Speed: mid-calf leg openings increase kick efficiency and decreases drag, and wider exit openings diminish heel snag, speeding up suit removal and transition times
- Features: adjustable collar provides precise fit with no unwanted scooping and Narrow contours reduce chafe
- Warranty: includes limited one-year manufacturer's warranty
Comfort is of paramount importance in competitive swimming. If you aren’t comfortable in your equipment, you can’t expect to keep your head in the game. And, of course, if you can’t keep your head in the game, you can’t expect to win the game. NeoSport understands this, which is why it fitted its Long John Wetsuit with an adjustable collar.
This collar matches the shape of the wearer’s neck and won’t restrict movement of the head. It also eliminates chafing, so there’ll be nothing to distract you from the competition. Selling for around $100, this is one of the most affordable wetsuits to be covered in this article, so you should give it careful consideration if keeping costs down is a goal.
Despite its low price, it comes backed by a limited one-year warranty, which makes it easy to obtain any repairs or replacements that may become necessary over the course of your time as a competitive swimmer.
The NeoSport Long John Wetsuit is a great choice if you’re a hobbyist triathlon competitor, but it should be avoided if you are a professional athlete searching for the gear that will secure your next gold medal. We say this because this wetsuit is lacking in a number of features necessary to triumph over the competition.
For example, this wetsuit isn’t exactly the most buoyant on the market, so you shouldn’t expect to move through the water as quickly as you would if you had a more professional wetsuit. Similarly, many who have purchased the NeoSport Long John Wetsuit have reported that it runs small, so you should go a size above what you normally wear if you decide to add it to your arsenal.
- Available in multiple colors
- Limited one-year warranty
- Mid-calf leg openings
- Lacking in buoyancy
- Runs small
- Not suitable for cold weather
If you want to keep the money you spend on your triathlon wetsuit to a minimum but don’t feel the previously examined offering from NeoSport is right for you, you should consider the Sockeye from Fit2Race.
Just like the NeoSport Long John Wetsuit, the Fit2Race Sockeye sells for $100. Unlike the NeoSport Long John Wetsuit, however, the Fit2Race Sockeye features long sleeves and legs, making it a great choice for those competing in cold climates and colder water. But what else does this wetsuit have to offer?
What really separates the Fit2Race Sockeye from competing triathlon wetsuits is the fact that it is composed not just of nylon, but of polyester as well. This unique nylon and polyester weave promises a level of flexibility not commonly seen in budget wetsuits.
Along with a widened range of motion, the nylon and polyester blend from which this suit is constructed ensures friction-free movement, so the wearer won’t be uncomfortable at any point during their time in the water.
With 5mm rubber thickness in the front chest and legs, along with 3mm rubber thickness in the back shoulders, and 2mm rubber thickness in the arms, this wetsuit offers a level of buoyancy one would expect from a far more expensive model.
This “proven technology,” as Fit2Race calls it, actually puts the Sockeye on par with a number of professional-quality wetsuits, so if saving money and winning are of equal importance to you, it is almost definitely the way to go.
- SUITABLE FOR ALL LEVELS - Ironman approved. Comes in a wide range of unisex sizes to insure a perfect fit.
- SUPER COMFORTABLE - Blind stitching and glued seams for less chafing. Lamination process marries rubber to a nylon & polyester weave combination for flexibility and friction free movement.
- PROVEN TECHNOLOGY EQUALS SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE - 5mm rubber thickness in the front chest and legs, 3mm in the back shoulders and 2mm in the arms and underarm gussets.
- EXCEPTIONAL FUNCTIONALITY - Forearm catch panel blends 5mm rubber into its design. Leg panels specially designed for fast transitions.
- CUSTOMER SATISFACTION - 30-Day Guarantee: If you are not 100% satisfied within 30-days, send it back for a full refund.
The Fit2Race Sockeye utilizes blind stitching and glued seams to minimize water entry and ensure the wearer stays at a consistent temperature throughout his or her time in the water. Furthermore, this combination of blind stitching and glued seams combats chafing and reduces discomfort, allowing you to keep your head in the game.
To further the allure of this wetsuit, Fit2Race backs it with a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you aren’t entirely satisfied with its performance you’ll be able to get a repair or full refund with ease.
The Fit2Race Sockeye is a unisex wetsuit, which can be both a blessing and a curse. While it is certainly refreshing to see a wetsuit that was designed with both male and female triathlon competitors in mind, the Sockeye may struggle to perfectly fit the frame of competitors of either gender.
It may prove too loose in the chest for many male customers and it may prove too loose in the legs for many female customers, which can result in drag. Now, there is no guarantee that the Fit2Race Sockeye will not be a perfect fit, as everybody has a different body, but it is something to keep in mind when trying to determine if this is the right wetsuit for you.
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Superior buoyancy
- May not fit correctly
- Only available in one color
- Runs small
2XU is arguably the top manufacturer of triathlon wetsuits in the world today, having cemented its place as an industry leader with its Project X wetsuit. The Project X was loaded with innovative features and seemed to many to be a wetsuit that could never be topped. With the X:3, however, 2XU claims it has indeed topped the original Project X and we, along with many other experts in the field, are inclined to agree.
The 2XU X:3 comes loaded with features, but few are as impressive as its Rollbar technology. Rollbar is a technology exclusive to 2XU and brings the hips into optimum position. This perfect alignment of the hips makes for greater efficiency and faster swims, particularly when combined with this suit’s full, seamless 39-cell front buoyancy panel. Similarly, the 2XU X:3 boasts the manufacturer’s unique Zone Stretch Panels.
These Zone Stretch Panels, combined with particularly thin neoprene shoulders, promise unrestricted movement in the arms and legs, eliminating the limitations commonly associated with full wetsuits. Meanwhile, CWEZ X catch panels engineered from silicone increase the power of your strokes, allowing you to make the most of every movement.
- 2XU's Rollbar technology for enhanced body/hip position for more efficiency and faster swims
When designing the X:3, the good folks over at 2XU took a number of steps to ensure the wetsuit gives its wearer a number of advantages over the competition. For example, this wetsuit features NANO SCS coating, which gives the suit an extra 4% in buoyancy. This coating is complimented by the suit’s 39-cell front buoyancy panel, which brings it right to the limits of what is permissible in competition swimming.
The 2XU X:3 is one of the most expensive triathlon wetsuits on the market today (more on that in a little bit), but those who drop their hard-earned money on it can take comfort in the fact that the manufacturer backs it with a generous two-year warranty.
All of 2XU’s triathlon wetsuits come fitted with a floating zipper panel and the X:3 is no different. With this floating zipper panel anchoring the zip in flexible material, you won’t have to worry about the zipper limiting your range of movement.
The major drawback of the 2XU X:3 is its high price tag. Selling for $400 online, it is the single most expensive wetsuit to appear on this list and may very well be the single most expensive wetsuit on the market today.
Because of its price, this wetsuit should only be considered if you are a dedicated competitive swimmer and can be certain you are going to get your money’s worth from it. If you are a hobbyist searching for a wetsuit you can wear for a single upcoming triathlon and never don again, you’ll be better off picking a less expensive alternative.
- Floating zipper panel
- Zone Stretch Panels
- Only available in one color
- Retains water
Above are listed five of the very best triathlon wetsuits on the market right now, one of which will suit your needs more than the others. Of course, finding that one triathlon wetsuit can be a challenge, which is why we have prepared this buyer’s guide. Below, you will find some important things to keep in mind when trying to settle on the triathlon wetsuit for you.
Buoyancy has come up again and again throughout this article but we can’t stress its importance enough, particularly if you are hoping to finish your triathlon in a top spot. Most purpose-designed triathlon wetsuits feature high buoyancy, but if you really want that extra edge over the competition you should seek out a 5/3mm wetsuit, which, as we mentioned earlier, is the highest level of buoyancy allowed in competitive swimming.
A high buoyancy wetsuit is also advisable if you struggle with stamina as it will allow you to float across the water even when you aren’t moving your arms or legs. This, of course, will grant you an opportunity to catch your breath, reevaluate, and re-energize without falling too far behind the competition.
In non-competitive swimming, a wetsuit that is difficult to remove is little more than an inconvenience. When competing in a triathlon, however, a wetsuit that is difficult to remove is nothing less than disastrous.
Complete the swimming portion of the triathlon ahead of your competitors and you will likely lose your number one spot if you cannot remove your wetsuit in a timely manner. For that reason, it is essential that you go with a wetsuit that promises easy donning and doffing, particularly if you have grand aspirations.
Many of the more expensive wetsuits on the market can be easily removed without any tampering or outside interference. Should you go with a less expensive wetsuit, however, it may be a good idea to coat the inside of it with a layer of talcum powder or baby oil to facilitate rapid removal upon the completion of the swimming portion of the triathlon.
Triathlon Wetsuit FAQs
How can I repair a triathlon wetsuit?
Triathlon wetsuits can be pretty expensive, so it may not be possible for you to go out and buy a new one should any tears appear on your current model. Similarly, if your wetsuit is damaged just days before a competition, you won’t have the time to invoke your warranty.
Thankfully, minor tears and rips in triathlon wetsuits can be rectified without professional intervention, so you should be able to repair your suit with ease. To seal a rip in your triathlon wetsuit, you’re going to need a tube of neoprene glue.
Neoprene glue can be purchased in certain supermarkets and most specialist stores, but you can also purchase it online if you can’t find it in shops. Holding the tear open, you should use a toothpick or Q-Tip to smear some neoprene glue inside it and around its edges. Allow the cut to remain open with the glue resting on it for four to five minutes before forcing the hole shut and holding it together until you can release it without it coming undone.
How do I choose a triathlon wetsuit?
When trying to settle on the triathlon wetsuit that is right for you, you should take some time to consider what you are hoping to achieve when you step into the water. Do you want to finish first? If so, you should go with a triathlon wetsuit designed with professional competitors in mind. Such wetsuits generally boast maximum buoyancy, along with a widened range of motion, blind stitching, glued seams, and easy donning and doffing.
To get such a wetsuit, however, you will likely have to send several hundred dollars. If you would like to avoid draining your bank account or simply have no desire beyond completing your triathlon regardless of placement, you should choose a model intended for hobbyists. Triathlon wetsuits for casual competitors offer everything one may need to complete the race, such as reduced drag and heightened maneuverability, but won’t give you much of an edge over the competition.
How do I size a wetsuit?
Sizing a wetsuit can be tricky as every brand seems to have its own idea of what constitutes a small, medium, large, and so on. If you spend several hundred dollars on a professional-grade wetsuit, you should be able to purchase the size you would normally wear in clothing safe in the knowledge that it will fit you like a glove. Less expensive wetsuits, however, tend to run small, meaning it is best to order a size above what you would generally wear.
Of course, there is no guarantee that your chosen wetsuit will run small, so you should try it on before purchasing it. If you are shopping online and can’t do that, take the time to read some Amazon reviews of the product. If it does indeed run small - or run long - you will likely find it mentioned by frustrated customers with some frequency.
How do I put on a triathlon wetsuit?
Triathlon wetsuits are often thinner than their more casual counterparts, so you should be careful not to rip yours when putting it on. Something as simple as a toenail can create a hole in a triathlon wetsuit, so you may want to cover your feet with socks or plastic bags before sliding your feet through the legs of your suit.
Use lubricant around the armholes, legholes, and collar of your wetsuit. This will not only make the suit easier to get on and take off, but will also eliminate chafing during your time wearing it.
Before zipping up your wetsuit, search for creases around the arms, legs, and torso and smooth them out to prevent drag in the water. Most expensive wetsuits will feature a leash to facilitate easy rising of the zip, but many budget models do not. If you are struggling to zip up your wetsuit yourself, turn to a friend (another benefit of bringing somebody to cheer you on) or a fellow racer for assistance.
How thick is a triathlon wetsuit?
As mentioned in the previous answer, triathlon wetsuits can be pretty thin. That being said, the neoprene thickness - or lack thereof - varies from wetsuit to wetsuit. Competition wetsuits can range from 1mm to 5mm in neoprene thickness, with 1mm promising minimum drag and 5mm promising maximum buoyancy. On average, triathlon wetsuits seem to come in at 3mm in thickness with some thinner material around the arms, where greater flexibility is required.
As we have mentioned a couple of times throughout this article, each of the aforementioned wetsuits is best suited to a specific type of triathlon competitor, so it is impossible for us to name one of them as the absolute best triathlon wetsuit.
That being said, it is impossible to deny that the 2XU X:3 is the most feature-rich wetsuit to appear in this article and so we strongly urge any professional triathlon competitor to place it at the top of their shopping lists.
With its unique Rollball technology ensuring optimum positioning of the hips and its NANO SCS coating ensuring maximum buoyancy, the 2XU X:3 is virtually guaranteed to enhance the performance of the wearer, allowing them to finish a couple of spots higher than they could expect to in a less expensive suit.
If you are hoping to keep costs down but would still like a triathlon wetsuit that is capable of improving your performance in the water, you should give careful consideration to the Volt from Xterra Wetsuits.
Although it sells for several hundred dollars less than the 2XU X:3, the Xterra Wetsuits Volt boasts X-Slice and X-Max technology, which work together to allow the wearer to pull him or herself through the water at a more rapid pace. While it will set you back a little bit more than some other wetsuits, the Xterra Wetsuits Volt promises a professional-grade performance to hobbyists and casual competitors.