Are you a seasoned triathlete looking to find your next level wetsuit or a beginner, just dipping your toe into open water swimming? Whichever stage you're at, we're here to help you. From entry-level to high-end, here are the best wetsuits of 2021.
Wetsuits have come a long way in making you streamlined and they even help with your body position in the water thanks to their buoyancy. Finding the perfect fitting wetsuit will help you to perform your best on race day, helping you to conserve energy for the bike and run. Check out the best triathlon wetsuits of 2021 below.
Best wetsuits for women
Chest thickness: 3mm | Arm thickness: 2.5mm | Leg thickness: 2.5mm
The MODA range by dhb is created specifically for women and this wetsuit is not only comfortable, but it is also supportive in all the right places. The suit is highly flexible making it easy for those transitioning from the pool to open water swimming, as it does not restrict your movement at all. The 3mm neoprene thickness on the chest and 2.5mm on the thighs keeps you well balanced and the zip cord is easy to reach too, making it easy to pull off in triathlon transition before heading to the bike. The dhb MODA is in the entry-level price range so ideal for beginners to OWS or who need a wetsuit for their first event and training.
Chest thickness: 3mm | Arm thickness: 2mm
The dhb Aeron Ultra Women's Wetsuit is the next step up in the price range of wetsuits and with that, you get more technology to aid your swim. Like the MODA, the Aeron Ultra is flexible, but mainly around the shoulder meaning your arms can glide through the water on your swim stroke. dhb have made the neoprene around the body thicker to keep you warmer over longer swims, and it has Yamamoto's SCS Hydrophobic coating. This coating means the material absorbs less water so your suit is as lightweight as possible and therefore making you faster.
Chest thickness: 5mm | Arm thickness: 2mm | Leg thickness: 5mm
Firstly, this suit is made up of eco-friendly neoprene so it is better for the environment which gets the thumbs up from us, as if you're swimming in the open water, you should also want to protect it. The neoprene used around the hip and leg area is called Aerodome, which is much more buoyant than regular neoprene and therefore if you're prone to sinking legs, it will help you stay on top of the water and create less drag when swimming. Less drag = a faster pace. The wetsuit features Pro Speed Arm and Leg Cuffs which make taking off your suit much easier during a triathlon transition (or just those chilly days at the beach). So if you're looking to shave a few minutes off your PB, this could be what you are looking for.
Chest thickness: 3mm | Arm thickness: 3mm | Leg thickness: 3mm
This is the go-to suit for female athletes who are progressing with training, races and PBs and on their way to becoming elite. The fit of this suit is designed around the female form, as Huub worked alongside some of the worlds fastest female to know exactly what was needed. The shape and placement of the neoprene thickness will help you maintain a level swim stroke, ensure you have both freedom to move your arms and shoulders effectively as well as your legs. The neoprene is the highest grade available and will improve your swim speed by not lifting the body too high out of the water.
Best wetsuits for men
Chest thickness: 2mm | Arm thickness: 1.5mm | Leg thickness: 3mm
Huub understand that men can be prone to sinking legs and so have developed this wetsuit with thicker neoprene on the legs compared to the chest and arms, to aid in balancing out the body. They have tested the 2:3 ratio with triathletes such as the Brownlee's and found it to work really well. The thinner material around the arms enables easy movement to nail your swim stroke and the rest of the suit is flexible enough to ensure comfort but fitted enough to ensure you are as streamlined as possible. This is a great wetsuit at the entry-level end of the price range.
Chest thickness: 3mm | Arm thickness: 2mm | Leg thickness: 4mm
dhb worked with triathlon legend Joe Skipper to create this wetsuit and it uses Yamamoto Neoprene. Similar to Huub's Amnis Wetsuit, the dhb Aeron Lab Wetsuit 3.0 gives you a thicker leg covering to aid with buoyancy, but this suit also has a SCS Hydrophobic coating which means the material soaks up less water as you swim. This means you'll continue to feel light through the water, no matter what distance you swim. Saving time in transition makes all the difference, so the legs and sleeves have a super-slippery lining so they're quick and easy to slide off.
Chest thickness: 5mm | Leg thickness: 5mm
Zone3 use 5mm buoyancy panels on the torso and thighs to offer superior core support, meaning you'll feel strong when kicking with a little extra buoyancy. Similar to the dhb Aeron Lab, this suit has a protective SCS and AQUA-X coating which significantly reduces drag and leads to faster swimming. Anyone who has ever suffered chaffing around the neck will be thankful that the collar here has been thoughtfully designed and is comfortable, with a closer fit around the neck. As with the women's version of this suit, the material is eco-friendly and durable. If you're planning on a lot of open water swimming training as well as racing, this wetsuit will go the miles.
Chest thickness: 3mm | Leg thickness: 5mm
Again, Huub worked with the Brownlee brothers to develop this wetsuit, and we have to say the Albacore II helps open water swimming to feel effortless. The material fits well and is so comfortable that you almost forget you are wearing it, and the flexibility around the arms and shoulders is optimum. Following a similar pattern to some of the other men's wetsuits, the legs are thicker than the chest keeping your body in the best position to get the most from every kick and stroke. Combined with the right training, you'll have no problems leaving the crowd behind you when wearing this wetsuit in a race.
When can you wear a wetsuit in a triathlon?
For most triathlon events including Ironman, it is 'wetsuit legal' to wear a wetsuit when water temperatures are below 24.5°C, however it is only mandatory to wear one if the water temperature is below 16°C.
It's also important to note that you can face disqualification if your wetsuit covers your face, hands, or feet and if the thickness of any part of the wetsuit exceeds 5mm.
Can you swim in a shorty wetsuit?
When open water swimming in warmer temperatures, some triathletes prefer to wear a 'swim skin' or shorty wetsuit so that you still feel the benefit of buoyancy and reduction in drag in the water, but don't overheat. These cover your body, thighs and shoulders but do not have sleeves or legs. If you are going for a full-length wetsuit, be sure that it is flexible enough around the arms and shoulders so that it doesn't restrict your movement.
What should I look for in a triathlon wetsuit?
If you're unsure how a wetsuit should fit you, the different features to look out for or are not sure of the differences between a triathlon wetsuit and a surfing wetsuit, be sure to tap on the guide below which will help answer some of your FAQs.