The Best Triathlon Wetsuits – Triathlete

The Best Triathlon Wetsuits – Triathlete

For many triathletes, the swim is the most challenging leg of the three. Sometimes the only thing more challenging than swimming is trying to decipher what the best triathlon wetsuit is for you. Some triathletes value buoyancy above all else; some want maximum flexibility. Others just want something durable that’ll last a long time. The trick is that sometimes each of those qualities are at odds with each other!

The good news is that our editors have taken the time to research, shop, test, and rate the latest and greatest triathlon wetsuits. These are real triathletes putting on real wetsuits in real pools and real open-water situations—not just looking at features from a wetsuit and listing them all in a row.

We’ve spent hours swimming in and rating the below nine wetsuits with an exhaustive nine-point system and teased out details about fit, warranty, return policies, and more. We’ve even done extended reviews for the most notable suits on the list, exclusively for our members. Read below for our criteria, then check out our picks for the best wetsuits in 2022 and beyond.

Looking for more guidance before you get started? Check out our explainer on wetsuit buying: What Matters (And What Doesn’t) When Buying a Wetsuit

While the gear below was loaned out by the brands represented, all choices were selected independently by the tester without any promotional consideration or brand input. Also, unlike other “best triathlon wetsuit” websites, our testers actually swim in the wetsuits ourselves—no glancing at spec sheets and rewording marketing terms!

Do you have more questions about your first (second, third, or tenth) tri? We have an active and supportive community of everyday athletes and experts in Team Triathlete who are willing to help. Plus: Members have exclusive, near-instant access to the entire editorial staff at Triathlete. Help is just an @ away! Become an Outside+ Member and join Team Triathlete now!

Best Triathlon Wetsuits of 2022

Zone3 Vanquish X

$995

zone3.us

Zone3’s Vanquish X is a brand-new wetsuit for the popular brand with all of the bells and whistles. Comfort and flexibility are prioritized with a titanium lining on the upper body that helps immensely with warmth, while keeping weight and stiffness down. Also inside, a new silky liner helps with feel next to the skin and help with removal. Testers found that strategically placed panels and unique materials made this one of the most comfortable, flexible, and well-fitting suits they tried. Though not exactly cheap, this suit’s buoyancy profile and relatively light structural support worked best for more experienced swimmers who didn’t need positional help, but rather craved flexibility, warmth, and a quick transition.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Balanced swimmers who want a premium suit that’ll last longer than a season or two.

HUUB Pinnacle

$850

huubusa.com

The Huub Pinnacle is one of the most interesting suits our testers have ever used. With moderate flexibility and buoyancy, the true strength behind this premium suit lies in the totally novel core-retention system that uses horizontal strips in the liner of the abdomen and large inflexible neoprene strips running from above the hips to below the knee. The result is one of the most structured suits we’ve ever tried—specifically for those who tend to “snake” their torso and legs while they swim. Within minutes of the using the Pinnacle, testers found their body position to be vastly improved and their speed increased with no additional work or drills. For those who don’t have issues with their body position, they might be better served by a more flexible or more buoyant suit at this pricepoint, but if you struggle with keeping your midline taut, there is nothing better, and even $850 is money well spent.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Swimmers who “snake” side-to-side in the water.

Synergy Hybrid EFX3

$800

synergywetsuits.com

Better known for its beginner suits, the Synergy Hybrid EFX3 is a premium suit for the higher level triathlon swimmer. It uses thicker 5mm high-end neoprene through the core and hips for flotation and optimal body position in the water, with thin flexible neoprene around the shoulders and arms. Panels of corrugated rubber on the forearms and shins are also meant to create power as you swim. The main selling point is the fit—which our testers found to be perfectly snug, making for smooth and fast swimming. The only downsides were a tendency for the neckline to chafe and a possibility of overheating due to the warmth of what should be a non-thermal suit.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Triathletes looking for high-end flexible neoprene with lots of leg and core flotation.

Blueseventy Reaction

$600

blueseventy.com

Easy to get on (for a performance wetsuit) and with minimal chafing, the Blueseventy Reaction is a mid-level race wetsuit that will work for the majority of triathletes. With highly varying levels of neoprene throughout and around the body, the idea is that the wetsuit will work with the body position for most swimmers. The 5mm neoprene in the mid-core transitions throughout to 4mm in the upper legs for better body position and 3mm along the side panels and legs for help with rotation. Of course, there’s thinner neoprene across the top and uber flexible neoprene through the arms and shoulders. That shoulder piece is also designed in one seamless section for better mobility.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Swimmers who want a suit that gets the job done without a lot of fanfare.

ARK GOAT

$650

arksports.com

It makes sense that ARK, a Swedish brand better known for their swimrun wetsuits, would hit such high marks when it comes to chafe protection. Swimrun is notoriously brutal on the necks and armpits of its athletes, and as such, the ARK Goat has mastered the challenge with exceptionally supple neoprene cut in a way that has absolutely no chafing—even in the absence of anti-chafe balm. Elsewhere this suit is a good choice for warmer swims and more experienced swimmers who put a greater premium on flexibility than buoyancy and floatation. The only downside to this soft, supple neoprene? Durability can take a hit, so be careful with this suit.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Orca Athlex Flow

$520

orca.com

Orca recently revamped their entire triathlon wetsuit line, but in the reshuffling the new Athlex Flow has risen to the top as a highly buoyant, supportive suit that doesn’t skimp on durability. While most $400+ wetsuits can be quite delicate, testers specifically noticed how well the Athlex Flow resisted fingernail tears, while still being quite flexible and incredibly buoyant. In fact, this suit earned top marks on value, as it performed as well as $800 suits in terms of flexibility and float, but somehow outperformed in terms of durability—making this suit one you can train and race in for years.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Triathletes who want a buoyant suit that’s more durable than most at this price.

Quintana Roo HYDROfive2

$480

quintanarootri.com

Quintana Roo’s HYDROsix2 ditches men’s and women’s sizings for 14 genderless options. When it comes to shopping for a wetsuit, the concept works remarkably well. Instead of going by men’s and women’s sizes and their gendered preconceptions, the line uses height, weight, and body type (“ML” is medium long, or a longer torso, “B”  for broad in the hips, shoulders and chest, or “T” for thin, determined by individual BMI) to find an individual fit. Testers appreciated the thin, super-flexible neoprene, which lets the suit take a second-skin fit without being overly tight or restrictive, plus makes quick removal at the swim exit a cinch. This doesn’t mean a size is universally perfect for every body in that height/weight category – one tester noted difficulties with getting the neck tab tight enough to prevent water entry – but a generous return policy allows for a quick swap for a better fit.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Roka Maverick

$275

roka.com

It’s about time that Roka finally released a budget wetsuit for under $300, but the Maverick is worth the weight. Despite using budget materials like Yamamoto #38 rubber and fewer panels, Roka uses patterning “trickery” to create a suit that feels as flexible through the shoulders and chafe-free around the neck as $500+ suits. Thanks to trickle-down tech like their “arms-up construction” and “independent neck construction”—the same that’s found on their extremely pricey suits—Roka has cracked the code on how to use less-than-perfect neoprene to create a near-perfect triathlon wetsuit experience. Testers found very little chafing, excellent shoulder flexibility, and even an easy removal—all in a very durable package for half the price of its competitors. Best yet? Roka fans can finally get their hands on a budget training suit, and newbies can now buy some Roka without having to apply for financing.

The best triathlon wetsuit for:

Triathletes on a budget or looking for a training-day suit.

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