13 Best Wetsuits For Open Water Swimming- Expert Guide

We may earn commission from affiliate links on certain pages at no additional cost to you. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it! Read Full Disclosure.

SwimCompetitive-SwimOutlet Banner Top 2
SwimCompetitive-SwimOutlet Banner Top 1

Are you in search of an open water swimming wetsuit to give you a boost in the water while providing some added warmth and insulation? Well, in that case, you’ve come to the right place because in today’s article we’ll be taking a look at the 13 best wetsuits for open water swimming.

Wetsuits designed for open water swimming are vastly different from traditional surfing or diving wetsuits. Open water wetsuits are made specifically for swimmers and triathletes with a lot of the suits having extra performance features packed in providing added buoyancy, compression, and flexibility to help you to swim faster. 

There are lots of different open water and triathlon wetsuits available which can make it very hard to choose the best option for your what you require. That’s why I’ve put together this article- to help you make the best decision possible.

We’ll be covering a wide spectrum of open water wetsuits ranging from basic training suits all the way to high-end competition suits as well as some good in-between options ensuring that you find the suit that is just perfect for you.

What is the best wetsuit for open water swimming?

Here are the best wetsuits for open water swimming-

←Scroll To View Full Table On Mobile→

Open Water WetsuitUsageFabricPrice RangeLowest TempretureView On SwimOutlet
Blueseventy ReactionCompetition/ TrainingYamamoto #39 NeopreneMid-Range55℉/ 12.5℃>View Price
Roka Maverick XCompetitionYamamoto SCS #40-, Areodome #39 NeopreneTop-Range55℉/ 12.5℃>View Price
TYR Hurricane Cat 1Training/ Competition100% Slickskin Neoprene.Budget50℉/ 10℃>View Price
HUUB AxiomTrainingSmoothskin NeopreneBudget55℉/ 12.5℃>View Price
Blueseventy Sprint.CompetitionHigh-Quality Yamamoto Neoprene.Budget55℉/ 12.5℃>View Price
Zone 3 VanquishCompetitionYamamoto SCS #40 NeopreneTop-Range50℉/ 10℃>View Price
Roka Maverick Pro IICompetition/ TrainingYamamoto SCS #40-, Aerodome #38 NeopreneTop-Range55℉/ 12.5℃>View Price
Orca AlphaCompetition/ TrainingYamamoto #44-, Yamamoto #39-, Hydrolite NeopreneTop-Range50℉/ 10℃>View Price
Zone 3 AspireCompetition/ TrainingYamamoto #39 SCS NeopreneMid-Range50°F/ 10°C.>View Price
Xterra VortexCompetition/ TrainingSuper GKA NeopreneMid-Range50°F/ 10°C.>View Price
Orca SmartCompetition/ TrainingYamamoto #39 NeopreneMid-Range50°F/ 10°C.>View Price
Arena R-Evo OneCompetition/ TrainingZ-RaptorMid-Range68°F/ 20°C.>View Price
Orca RS1Competition/ TrainingYamamoto #39-, Hydrolite NeopreneBudget60°F/ 15°C>View Price

1. Blueseventy Reaction Open Water Wetsuit- Best Value For Money Wetsuit.

Blueseventy Reaction Fullsuit Wetsuit

If you are looking for a great bang for your buck when it comes to wetsuits, then look no further than the Blueseventy Reaction Wetsuit. Featuring a high-quality design, great features, and a fair price while being competition and training compatible, this wetsuit is going to be the perfect fit for most open water swimmers.

Design: The Blueseventy Reaction wetsuit is constructed using Yamamoto #39 Cell Neoprene fabrics. This fabric combined with the design of the suit allows for high flexibility, good insulation, and a superior fitting wetsuit.

The suit features a curved closure flap which effectively lowers the rear collar height of the wetsuit allowing for increased comfort around your neck as well as reduced chafing commonly caused by wetsuits.

On the back of the wetsuit, you’ll locate a conveniently placed zipper that is going to secure you into your suit while making the suit very easy to take on and off. Additionally, the 4-way stretch Aquaseal cuffs are going to ensure that water doesn’t enter your suit and will also make the wetsuit easy to remove.

This wetsuit is also available in 2 options, namely a fullsleeve and sleeveless option. Fullsleeve wetsuits provide more insulation while sleeveless wetsuits are better when it comes to range of motion in the shoulders and arms.

Performance: The Blueseventy Reaction has a ton to offer when it comes to performance. Firstly, Reactive Stretch Technology in the suit is going to ensure optimal range of motion allowing for reduced arm fatigue and the effective execution of each stroke and kick that you take.

In terms of buoyancy, the wetsuit features a 4:5:4 buoyancy profile which is going to create a hip lifting effect that will optimize both your body position and stroke efficiency while swimming, ultimately helping you to swim as fast as possible.

On the arms of the wetsuit, you’ll find S-Grip panels designed to increase your grip and feel for the water so that you can maximize propulsion and speed with every stroke that you take.

Lastly, is one of my favorite features, namely the central split VO2 chest panel. This panel is going to allow for greater chest expansion ensuring unrestricted and efficient breathing while you are swimming.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition/ Training.
  • Fabric: Yamamoto #39 Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Reactive Stretch Technology; Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy Profile: 4:5:4; Raises Hips For Optimal Technique And Efficiency.
  • Zipper: Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 55℉/ 12.5℃.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.

2. Roka Maverick X Open Water Wetsuit- Best Performance Wetsuit.

ROKA Maverick X Fullsleeve Wetsuit

If you are looking for the ultimate performance-orientated wetsuit, then look no further than the Roka Maverick X- the fastest wetsuit ever made. The Roka Maverick X is by far the most innovative competition wetsuit ever designed and it’s absolutely packed to the brim with performance features to help you swim as fast as possible.

Design: Along with the premium price of this wetsuit, comes premium grade materials and fabrics that will allow for a very durable open water wetsuit that’ll last for years to come. The Roka Maverick X wetsuit is constructed from Yamamoto SCS #40- and Aerodome #39 fabrics that are heat taped together and finished off with proprietary stretch inks that will resist cracking as well as environmental degradation ensuring maximized durability.

This multi-textile construction creates the perfect balance between stretching, water absorption, and muscle support all without compromising your flexibility or comfort in the water.

Furthermore, it features a high-quality and easy-to-use YKK back zipper as well as a low-cut neck design presenting an independent suspension panel allowing for a comfortable fit around your neck that establishes easy breathing while keeping water out of your suit.

Performance: The Maverick X wetsuit features support taping and compression liner technology, this improves your rotation and body alignment while swimming which then allows for added power, reduced fatigue, and added core compression and stabilization throughout your entire open water swim.

In terms of range of motion, the Maverick X wetsuit utilizes a special arms-up construction ensuring a full range of motion on every stroke as well as reducing shoulder strain while you are swimming. This allows for maximal power output with every stroke as well as optimal comfort in the water.

Additionally, the Maverick X features intelligent area-specific buoyancy technology, with a 1:3:5 buoyancy profile, which optimizes your body position allowing you to swim as fast and efficiently as possible. 

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition.
  • Fabric: Yamamoto SCS #40 and Aerodome #39.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy Profile: 1:3:5.
  • Zipper: YKK Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 54,5℉/ 12.5℃
  • Price Range: Top-Range.

3. TYR Hurricane Cat 1 Open Water Wetsuit- Best Overall Budget Wetsuit.

TYR Hurricane Cat 1 Wetsuit

If you are looking for a great budget wetsuit with good features and an affordable price, then look no further than the TYR Hurricane Cat 1. This is a very popular wetsuit ideal for both training and racing. It provides good insulation for cold water and has a high-quality and lightweight construction with a few options to choose from.

Design: The TYR Hurricane Cat 1 comes in a full-sleeve and sleeveless design. The full-sleeve option is recommended for those training in cold water while the sleeveless is recommended for warmer temperatures. Benefits to the sleeveless design include more range of motion in the shoulders and arms.

The Hurricane Cat 1 wetsuit is constructed using 100% slickskin neoprene. This isn’t a groundbreaking fabric in any way, but nevertheless allows for good performance and excellent comfort.

Furthermore, the TYR Hurricane Cat 1 is coated for extra durability while already offering an abrasion-resistant design that will allow your wetsuit to stand the test of time.

Performance: The TYR Hurricane Cat 1 Open Water Wetsuit features speed wrap paneling technology which is a lightweight neoprene material that improves your buoyancy, optimizes your body position, and ultimately reduces drag while you are swimming.

The suit also has free-range-of-motion zones that create the perfect balance between flexibility and buoyancy to allow for unrestricted swimming and maximal power output with each stroke and kick. 

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Training/ Competition.
  • Fabric: 100% Slickskin Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy: Fullbody.
  • Zipper: Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 50°F/ 10°C.
  • Price Range: Budget.

4. HUUB Axiom Open Water Wetsuit- Best Budget Training Wetsuit.

Huub AXIOM Fullsleeve Wetsuit

The HUUB Axiom Wetsuit is a great option for anyone looking for an open water training wetsuit coming in at an affordable price. This suit is designed from durable and high-quality fabrics, offers good insulation for cold waters, and has a very comfortable fit.

Design: The HUUB Axiom wetsuit features a basic and simplistic design and doesn’t really have anything that stands out. That said, this is precisely why its so great for training- it does what it needs to do and gets the job done.

The wetsuit is constructed using smooth skin neoprene which is a good performance fabric that also just so happens to be very durable. The composition of the suit also includes a range of other materials adding to its functionality.

The composition is as follows- 80% neoprene (for performance and insulation), 15% polyamide (for comfort), 3% metalized fiber (for structural strength and durability), and 2% cotton (for additional comfort and warmth).

Additionally, the suit presents an exclusive and flexible low-neck line ensuring good comfort and easy breathing while you’re in the water.

Performance: The HUUB Axiom wetsuit definitely doesn’t have anything over the top to offer when it comes to performance either, but it has all of the necessary features to allow for a good open water training session.

The wetsuit features great range of motion in the water with a super flexible arm panel ensuring that each stroke is executed with maximal efficiency. In terms of buoyancy, the suit features a 3:5 buoyancy profile for men and a 3:3 buoyancy profile for women, allowing for good body position in the water that will allow you to train with perfect technique and maximal efficiency.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Training.
  • Fabric: Smoothskin Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted; Super Flexible Arm Panel.
  • Buoyancy Profile: 3:5 (men), 3:3 (women).
  • Zipper: Back Zip.
  • Lowest Temperature: 55℉/ 12.5℃.
  • Price Range: Budget.

5. Blueseventy Sprint Open Water Wetsuit- Best Budget Performance Wetsuit.

Blueseventy Sprint Fullsuit Wetsuit

If you are looking for a good performance wetsuit that isn’t going to break the bank then the Blueseventy Sprint Wetsuit is going to be the ideal wetsuit for you. The suit claims to be designed for shorter events of about a mile and under, but you could more than likely get away using it for longer events as well as for training if you really wanted too.

Design: The Blueseventy Sprint Wetsuit is designed using high-quality Yamamoto neoprene and is coated in an additional SCS layer creating a protective barrier against any object that may damage your wetsuit, ultimately making the suit very durable.

The back of the suit features a standard zipper design while on the front you’ll locate a curved closure flap that reduces collar height to increase the comfort of the suit as well as reducing chafing.

Performance: The Blueseventy Sprint has quite the set of performance features to offer considering its low and affordable price. Firstly, it features a super stretch jersey that is not only going to provide great range of motion and flexibility while swimming, but will also increase your visibility in the water ensuring that other swimmers and spectators know where you are.

The wetsuit also has great buoyancy offering a 3:4:4 buoyancy profile that is going to lift your legs creating an efficient and fast body position in the water that will help you power to the finish line.

Furthermore, the design of the suit is very lightweight and flexible putting this suit apart from other wetsuits in its category and putting you in front by offering you agility and lightness in the water.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition.
  • Fabric: High-Quality Yamamoto Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Super Stretch Jersey; Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy Profile: 3:4:4.
  • Zipper: Back Zip.
  • Lowest Temperature: 55℉/ 12.5℃.
  • Price Range: Budget.

6. Zone 3 Vanquish Open Water Wetsuit.

Zone 3 Vanquish Wetsuit

Looking for a really lightweight performance open water wetsuit? Then consider picking up the Zone 3 Vanquish Open Water Wetsuit. This suit has some great features and its ultra-light design will make it feel like the suit is barely there, allowing you to concentrate on swimming as fast as possible. Don’t worry about warmth though, this suit still provides some great isolation and will keep you cozy in chilly waters.

Design: The Zone 3 Vanquish is constructed from a high-quality full span Yamamoto SCS #40 neoprene. As mentioned this suit is very lightweight featuring a 1.5mm thickness around your arms and shoulders and a 5mm thickness across your legs, core, and chest helping it to feel like you’re not even wearing a wetsuit.

The suit has won multiple prizes for its design in the past including the Plethora award for the best performance, comfort, innovation, and price. It has also won the Triathlete Plus Gold Award for its design and value for money.

Another thing that I really like about this wetsuit is the fact that it comes with a premium vanquish dry bag so that you always have somewhere to neatly store your wetsuit and prevent it from accidentally getting damaged.

Performance: The Zone 3 Vanquish Wetsuit provides great flexibility and will allow you to execute every kick and stroke with maximum range of motion, so that you can generate as much speed and propulsion as possible.

As mentioned, it’s very lightweight, especially in the upper body which ultimately reduces arm fatigue and allows you to swim faster for longer. Buoyancy on this wetsuit is also excellent ensuring an optimized body position in the water allowing you to swim with less resistance, more speed, and better technique.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition.
  • Fabric: Yamamoto SCS #40 Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy: Fullbody.
  • Zipper: Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 50℉/ 10℃.
  • Price Range: Top-Range.

7. Roka Maverick Pro II Wetsuit.

ROKA Maverick Pro II Wetsuit

Next, we have another Roka wetsuit, namely the Roka Maverick Pro II. Similar to the Roka Maverick X, this suit comes with a ton of awesome features while packing a more affordable price than the expensive Roka Maverick X wetsuit. This wetsuit is ideal for both training and competition usage.

Design: The Roka Maverick Pro II Wetsuit features a Yamamoto SCS #40 and Aerodome #38 neoprene construction. All of the fabrics in this suit are bound together using premium taping and glues while being finished off with proprietary inks ensuring for a super durable wetsuit that will last a long time, ultimately saving you money at the end of the day.

Likewise to the Roka Maverick X, this suit also presents a multi-textile design that is going to balance stretching, water absorption, and support without restricting your range of motion or compromising your comfort while in the water.

Furthermore, the wetsuit features a low-cut neck design with an additional suspension panel added in ensuring that all water gets completely sealed out while providing you with a comfortable fit and preventing any feeling of choking or tightness around the neck area.

Performance: The Roka Maverick Pro II packs intelligent area-optimized buoyancy technology to ensure you maintain the best body-position possible, allowing you to swim as fast as possible. The suit has slightly thicker neoprene in the core and leg areas which will allow for added support and stability when you swim, helping you to swim more efficiently and with better technique.

You’ll also find that the patent-pending RS2 technology that’s built into this wetsuit increases your buoyancy even further, specifically in the center areas of the suit, while reducing the mass on the sides of the suit helping to optimize your body rotation while cutting down on drag as you’re swimming.

The suit also ensures great range of motion featuring an arms-up construction that will allow for improved stroke efficiency and reduced shoulder strain while swimming.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition/ Training.
  • Fabric: Yamamoto SCS #40-, Aerodome #38 Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy Profile: 1:3:5.
  • Zipper: YKK Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 55℉/ 12.5℃.
  • Price Range: Top-Range/ Mid-Range.

8. Orca Alpha Open Water Wetsuit.

Orca Alpha Wetsuit

The Orca Alpha Open Water Wetsuit is a great performance option loaded with great features and specifications. This wetsuit in particular is highly focused on providing great range of motion in the water, making it a good option for competitive pool swimmers, open water swimmers, as well as triathletes.

The suit is ideal for both training and racing. If, however, you are looking purely for a training wetsuit you might want to go with something a little bit cheaper.

Design: Like most other swimming wetsuits, this Orca Alpha is designed using Yamamoto neoprene as its main fabric. This wetsuit in particular features a fabric combination of Yamomoto #44-, Yamamoto #39-, and Hydrolite neoprene.

This fabric design allows for a very flexible and lightweight wetsuit that still offers optimal insulation in cold water due to the interior titanium coating liner. On top of that, the Orca Alpha wetsuit features an easy-to-use reverse zipper system that will ensure a comfortable fit while ensuring that your stroke doesn’t feel restricted.

Performance: The Orca Alpha wetsuit is all about flexibility and range of motion while swimming. This suit is designed to maximize stroke efficiency and power by ensuring that you can complete each stroke effortlessly and without any restriction whatsoever.

In terms of buoyancy, the Orca Alpha still provides a good amount ensuring improved body position but it isn’t quite as much as some other wetsuits as this suit is more focused on the range of motion side of things.

Furthermore, the wetsuit utilizes an SCS (super composite skin) coating to enhance your speed and to avoid the suit from rubbing against your skin. The suit also has hydrolite panels in the lower body which will allow for maximal power and range of motion from your hips and legs once again contributing to its flexible design.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition/ Training.
  • Fabric: Yamamoto #44-, Yamamoto #39-, And Hydrolite Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Fullbody; Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy: Fullbody; Slightly Lower.
  • Zipper: Short Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 50℉/ 10℃.
  • Price Range: Top-Range.

9. Zone 3 Aspire Open Water Wetsuit.

Zone 3 Aspire Fullsleeve Wetsuit

Coming in at a mid-range price and packing some very solid features is the Zone 3 Aspire wetsuit. Likewise, to the Blueseventy Reaction wetsuit we covered at the beginning of the article, this is another great value for money option that packs some good performance specs and is both ideal for training and competition while providing good insulation and a quality design.

Design: The Zone 3 Aspire is constructed using 100% Yamamoto materials to ensure a lightweight, flexible, and comfortable wetsuit. For reference, the main fabric used on the suit is Yamamoto #39 SCS Neoprene.

Next, we have a feature I really like, called the laser-cut collar. This is great since it allows for a really comfortable and soft seal around your neck that won’t cause any chaffing to occur as you swim.

The Zone 3 Aspire Wetsuit is also available in both a full-sleeve and a sleeveless design allowing you to choose the suit you most prefer. In case you missed it, full-sleeve wetsuits offer more insulation while sleeveless wetsuits allow for a greater range of motion around your arms.

Performance: The Zone 3 Aspire Open Water Wetsuit features a new and innovative one-piece shoulder and chest panel, specifically engineered to enhance your flexibility and distance per stroke, allowing you to swim faster and more efficiently. 

The suit also features some great buoyancy with the buoyancy panels strategically placed on the legs and hips of the suit allowing for upwards of 30% more buoyancy than standard neoprene. This allows for an optimized body position by creating a hip-lifting effect in the water that will force your body into a horizontal line which is most effective for swimming speed and efficiency.

Furthermore, the suit utilizes an SCS nano-coating which greatly reduces water friction and drag, allowing you to swim as fast as possible. This coating also contributes to the durability of your wetsuit.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition/ Training.
  • Fabric: Yamamoto #39 SCS Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy: Aerodome Panels Allow For Up To 30% Added Buoyancy.
  • Zipper: Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 50°F/ 10°C.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.

10. Xterra Vortex Open Water Wetsuit.

Xterra Vortex Wetsuit

The Xterra Vortex Open Water Wetsuit is a really solid wetsuit coming in at a fair and affordable price point. This wetsuit suit is a good option for training as well as competing and has a lot to offer in terms of its features, design, and performance in the water.

Design: The Xterra Vortex Wetsuit is designed using Super GKA Neoprene with fabrics being bound together using innovative seam seal technology. This technology uses a triple layer of glue and bind stitching to bring fabrics together allowing for exceptional durability and range of motion.

Additionally, the Xterra Vortex features a low-profile neck collar as well as a fully adjustable velcro neck closure that allows for an optimal fit and maximized comfort when wearing your wetsuit.

The wetsuit is available in both a full suit and sleeveless option, allowing you to choose the suit that meets your needs. Once again, I recommend using the sleeveless option if the water isn’t too cold since it provides more range of motion, but if you’re swimming in colder water, it would be best to go with the full-sleeve option.

Performance: The Xterra Vortex offers great range of motion in the water featuring flexible arm and shoulder panels that will reduce fatigue in the upper body allowing you to swim faster and more efficiently for longer. It also has an X-Flex liner that allows for a 4-way stretch ensuring good range of motion throughout the entire suit.

Something really cool that this wetsuit has to offer is scale-like forearm catch panels which allows for an effective catch in your stroke that will ultimately enhance your grip and speed in the water.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition/ Training.
  • Fabric: Super GKA Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Fullbody, X-Flex Liner, Flexible Arm Panels.
  • Buoyancy: Fullbody.
  • Zipper: 30″ Back Zipper With 1″ Velcro Patch.
  • Lowest Temperature: 50°F/ 10°C.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.

11. Orca Openwater Smart Wetsuit.

Orca Openwater Smart Wetsuit

The Orca Openwater Smart is an excellent wetsuit coming in at a good mid-range price point while featuring some nice specifications and great visibility in the water. This wetsuit is going to be a really good option for those training or competing in busy waters.

Design: The Orca Openwater Smart Wetsuit is constructed using high-quality and durable Yamamoto #39 Cell Neoprene fabrics. The suit is also available in a large range of sizes ensuring you find the perfect fit.

This wetsuit is excellent when it comes to your safety. It features a high visibility design as well as a universal identification system providing all of your critical information making it great for swimmers training in busy waters.

Additionally, on the back of the wetsuit, you’ll locate an easy-to-use zipper which is going to make taking your suit on and off feel like a breeze.

Performance: The Orca Openwater Smart Wetsuit features a combination of different thickness neoprene panels allowing for an optimized range of motion and ideal flexibility in the water. The fabrics of the suit also offer good buoyancy ensuring you maintain an optimal body position in the water ultimately helping you to swim with perfect technique and maximized efficiency.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition/ Training.
  • Fabric: #39 Cell Yamamoto Neoprene.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy: Fullbody.
  • Zipper: Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 50°F/ 10°C.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.

12. Arena R-Evo One Open Water Sleeveless Wetsuit.

Arena Powerskin R-EVO Open Water WetSuit

The Arena R-Evo One Open Water Sleeveless Wetsuit is the ideal wetsuit for swimmers who are looking to train or race in warmer open water temperatures. This is also one of the few wetsuits that is FINA approved, don’t worry though, this only applies to swimmers competing in FINA regulated competitions. For the rest of you, the other wetsuits are going to be just fine and in many cases a better option.

That said, if you are a frequent pool swimmer and the outdoor water temperatures you swim in allows it, then this wetsuit will probably be your best option as it will feel the most natural while you are swimming.

Design: The Arena R-Evo One is constructed using Z-Raptor fabric and features a material composition of 65% polyamide and 35% elastane. This suit has a very similar design compared to performance tech suits used by competitive pool swimmers.

The suit features a 50+ UPF rating ensuring good protection on those sunny days and has comfortable and tight internal grip strips that help to hold the suit in place while you swim.

As mentioned, this suit isn’t ideal for cold water temperatures. It doesn’t have any direct insulation technology, nor is it constructed with neoprene. It also only comes in a sleeveless option, making this wetsuit best suited for normal water temperatures.

Performance: The Arena R-Evo One allows for unrestricted range of motion and elasticity in all directions while swimming due to the flexibility of the fabric. This is going to help you to swim with maximal power and efficiency.

The exterior of the suit is coated in Teflon and has an optimized stitching pattern to reduce drag and to maximize your speed while swimming. As already briefly mentioned, it is also really lightweight, allowing you to stay agile and fast in the water.

Furthermore, the Arena R-Evo One wetsuit also offers strong compression which is going to allow for optimized muscle activation and blood circulation to maximize your open water swimming performances.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Competition/ Training.
  • Fabric: Z-Raptor Fabric.
  • Range Of Motion: 100% Horizontal And Vertical Elasticity.
  • Buoyancy: N/A
  • Zipper: None.
  • Lowest Temperature: 68°F/ 20°C.
  • Price Range: Mid-Range.

13. Orca RS1 Sleeveless Open Water Wetsuit.

Orca RS1 Openwater Sleeveless Wetsuit

The Orca RS1 Open Water Sleeveless Wetsuit is a great budget open water wetsuit packed with some solid features. The suit is constructed using high-quality neoprene and will allow for ideal insulation in colder water if needed.

Design: The Orca RS1 Open Water Wetsuit features a sleeveless design slightly increasing the minimum water temperature rating of the suit. What I like about this design though, is the fact that Orca specifically makes a neoprene top that you can purchase separately for swimming in colder water. This ultimately adds to the versatility of the suit and also ensures it comes in at a very reasonable price.

In terms of fabrics the Orca RS1 features a Yamamoto #39 construction with added SCS lining on the arms and Yamamoto #39 Hydrolite panels on the legs allowing for good flexibility.

Another benefit of this wetsuit includes the neck lining which is made to reduce friction and the likelihood of chafing as well as adding comfort to the suit.

Performance: The Orca RS1 Wetsuit features an SCS coating on the fabric which helps to cut down on water friction, increasing your swimming speed and efficiency as a result. It also features a micro-cellular structure which is great for repelling water and further cutting down on drag as you swim.

Additionally, the wetsuit offers good buoyancy and will allow for an optimized body-position, allowing you to swim faster and more efficiently. The range of motion is also great and the suit will allow you to swim feeling completely unrestricted.

Wetsuit Specifications-

  • Usage: Training/ Competition.
  • Fabric: Yamamoto #39, Yamamoto #39 Hydrolite, SCS Lining.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.
  • Buoyancy: Fullbody.
  • Zipper: Back Zipper.
  • Lowest Temperature: 60°F/ 15°C.
  • Price Range: Budget.

Why wear an open water wetsuit?

Staying warm: Wetsuits are designed using insulation fabrics to keep you warm. Neoprene is by far the most common fabric used thanks to its lightweight, buoyant, and insulation characteristics. 

Neoprene allows a tiny amount of water to enter the wetsuit and then traps it inside, allowing it to warm up using your body heat and in doing so keeps you insulated in cold temperatures.

Wearing a wetsuit will keep your body much warmer and will reduce cold shock when swimming in cold water. For a lot of open water swimmers, warmth isn’t necessarily the driving factor behind wearing a wetsuit, but in some cases it’s necessary. 

For those of you who are swimming in very cold water temperatures, I recommend reading my article on the best wetsuits for swimming in cold water for some even warmer wetsuit options.

Added buoyancy: the more buoyant you are, the higher you will sit in the water, and thus the better your body position will be. If you have a good body position while swimming you’ll be able to swim with far less drag and much more efficiency helping you to swim faster and lower your open water swimming times. 

The top-range wetsuits usually have a sort of golf ball effect, engineered to trap air inside and aid in making you more buoyant while swimming, whilst other wetsuits have foam strips inserted into their design.

More flexibility and range of motion: Unlike traditional wetsuits such as plain surfing wetsuits, open water wetsuits are designed to allow for more flexibility and range of motion in the water. This helps you to swim without feeling restricted in any way possible.

What’s more, if you are able to complete a full range of motion on every stroke and kick, you’ll be able to generate more propulsion and power which will lead to faster swimming times.

Compression: Similar to tech suits used by competitive swimmers for added performance benefits, open water wetsuits also provide compression. Compression helps to keep your muscles activated and primed for fast swimming while also increasing your blood circulation to allow for more oxygen uptake and the removal of toxins like lactic acid which can slow you down while swimming due to the added fatigue.

Protection: Wetsuits are also a vital form of protection with open water swims taking place in rivers, lakes, and the sea. Wetsuits help to protect your body from things in the water such as debris, birds like swans, and even your fellow competitors that might be trying to throw a jab at you.


A good wetsuit will play an important role in successfully completing your open water swim. Whether you are training or racing, wetsuits provide you with additional features and benefits that will not only keep you warm but will help optimize your swimming so that you can become the best swimmer that you can be.

More related swimming articles-

author image

I am Benjamin, a competitive swimmer with many years of experience in the sport of swimming. I am very passionate about competitive swimming and love sharing everything I have learned about the sport. I specialize in swimming butterfly and my favorite event is the 100m butterfly with the 50m and 200m fly closely following.

SwimCompetitive-SwimOutlet Bottom Banner 2
SwimCompetitive-SwimOutlet Bottom Banner 2