Best Thermal Wetsuits 2020
Triathlon Wetsuit Reviews

Best triathlon wetsuits in 2020 (cold water swimming)(updated Nov 18, 2020)

March 26, 2020

For the first time I published this post in March 26, 2020. It’s was the start of Covid-19 madness and social isolation is also in Latvia. The positive news was – the weather on that day was fantastic. It was sunny and the temperature was 13 degrees Celsius. Today it’s October 8 and the temperature in Riga, Latvia is around 13 degrees Celsius. The weather will get colder, but the lure of open water swimming is still there and will be through the whole winter. If you aren’t a winter swimmer you will need some aids to make the swimming in cold water possible. One such aid is a triathlon wetsuit. Especially, thermal wetsuit models for cold water swimming.

In this post I gathered information about thermal triathlon models which are available on the market and added reviews which are available on the internet. The wetsuits are – Blueseventy Thermal Helix and Thermal Reaction, HUUB Thermal Aegis 3, Roka Maverick Pro Thermal, Alpkit Silvertip Thermal, Zone 3 Thermal Aspire and Deboer Ocean 1.0.

Blueseventy Thermal Helix

Blueseventy Thermal Helix wetsuit
Blueseventy Thermal Helix wetsuit

The manufacturer Blueseventy description of Thermal Helix: “The Thermal Helix is a variation of our 2017 Helix outfitted for colder temperatures. This suit is buoyant, flexible, and warmer than ever thanks to a zirconium liner that absorbs less water, providing greater protection from the elements.” 

Thermal Helix is a top-level wetsuit. Models available for men and women. Buoyancy Profile: 5:5:4 and foreseen for the lowest temperatures of 48F / 8.5C. Standard manufacturer price €788 ($850). You can check out more information about the key features of the wetsuit in my post. Blueseventy Thermal Helix wetsuit purchase options by affiliates: Triathlete Sports.

Reviews about Thermal Helix Wetsuit

Video on the Youtube channel “Transition Four“, dated February 11, 2019

Forum discussion on the “Slowtwitch” website, dated May 15, 2017.
Short summary: Straight from the first use it did not feel different to swim with a suit that has additional insulation. Even though there is extra material included this does not affect the flexibility, fit and the buoyancy. Unquestionably it benefits to extend the desires of open water swimming and supports swimmers that have their struggles with frostier temperatures.

Review on the “220Triathlon” website, dated April 25, 2017.
Short summary: A genuine must-have for chilly swims and colder tri training 95%.

Review on the “Gear Junkie” website, dated October 13, 2016.
Short summary: The bottom line is that If you’re a serious swimmer keen on significantly extending your outdoor swimming season, the Thermal Helix might just be the perfect fit. Literally.

Review on the “220Triathlon” website, dated August 22, 2016.
Short summary: Like wearing a wetsuit that gives you a big fleecy hug!

Review on the “Swim the Lakes” website, dated March 25, 2016.
Short summary: I think I have just found my perfect wetsuit – thanks Blueseventy… I give it 10/10.

Blueseventy Thermal Reaction

Blueseventy Thermal Reaction wetsuit
Blueseventy Thermal Reaction wetsuit

The manufacturer Blueseventy description of Thermal Reaction: “The Thermal Reaction is a variation of our Reaction wetsuit, outfitted for colder temperatures with a thermal liner called Zirconium. This unique jersey absorbs less water, offers excellent flexibility and additional protection from the elements.

Thermal Reaction wetsuit is an elite/pro performance level wetsuit with a Buoyancy Profile: 4:5:4 and foreseen for the lowest temperatures of 48F / 8.5C. Standard manufacturer price $650. You can check out more information about the key features of the wetsuit in my post. Blueseventy Thermal Reaction wetsuit purchase options by affiliates: Triathlete Sports, Wiggle.com.

Reviews about Thermal Reaction Wetsuit

Video on the Youtube channel “always another adventure“, dated March 18, 2020

Review on the “Triathlete” website, dated February 21, 2020.

Short summary: For those looking for an even higher-end experience with a thermal suit patterned after Roka’s Maverick Pro, check out the Maverick Pro Thermal.

Review on the “Tri Gear Lab” website, dated October 22, 2019.

Short summary: Best wetsuit for cold water, because Blueseventy Thermal comes with a number of features that increase its ability to insulate you.

Review on the “220 Triathlon” website, dated May 21, 2018.

Short summary: A brilliant suit gets the thermal upgrade with warmth-gaining effects 92%. 

HUUB Aegis 3 Thermal

Huub Aegis-3 Thermal wetsuit
Huub Aegis-3 Thermal wetsuit

The manufacturer HUUB description of Aegis 3 Thermal: “Our Aegis III Wetsuit in its unique thermal guise. A marriage of our best-selling suit with a thermal lining designed to be warm and smooth to the skin, resulting in the ultimate cold water swimming wetsuit. Our Aegis III Thermal presents the opportunity to race and train in colder temperatures while maintaining the HUUB non-wetsuit feel. It is perfect for extreme triathlon events such as Norseman and Alaskaman.

The third version of Aegis 3 Thermal wetsuits features HUUB’s exclusive 3:5 buoyancy for men and women. Standard manufacturer price £349.99 ($450). You can check out more information about the key features of the wetsuit in my post. HUUB Aegis 3 Thermal wetsuit purchase options by affiliates: Wiggle.com.

Reviews about HUUB Aegis 3 Thermal

Review on the “Triathlete” website, dated February 21, 2020.

Short summary: For those looking for an even higher-end experience with a thermal suit patterned after Roka’s Maverick Pro, check out the Maverick Pro Thermal.

Review on the “220 Triathlon” website, dated May 21, 2018 (Aegis 2 Thermal wetsuit).

Short summary: Still a fine and fast suit, but it just lacks the warmth of the reaction 80%.

Roka Maverick Pro Thermal

ROKA Maverick Pro Thermal wetsuit
ROKA Maverick Pro Thermal wetsuit

The manufacturer Roka description of Maverick Pro Thermal: “The all-new Maverick Pro Thermal brings easy speed to colder waters. With revolutionary ARMS-UP™ construction for unlimited shoulder flexibility, RS2™ centerline buoyancy to enable proper body rotation, graduated buoyancy profile for optimal body position, and an ever-more-dialed-in pattern and fit based on years of experience, this is our fastest, warmest, most natural-feeling Maverick Pro ever. With a max thickness of 5mm, the Pro Thermal is ITU, IRONMAN & USAT legal.” 

Maverick Pro Thermal is a top-level wetsuit. Models available for men and women. 1:3:5 buoyancy profile with 1.5mm up top, 3mm in the core, and 5mm in the hips and legs. You can check out more information about the key features of the wetsuit in my post. Standard manufacturer price €750 ($750 on the US website).

Reviews about Roka Maverick Pro Thermal

Review on the “Triathlete” website, dated February 21, 2020.

Short summary: For those looking for an even higher-end experience with a thermal suit patterned after Roka’s Maverick Pro, check out the Maverick Pro Thermal.

Review on the “220triathlon” website, dated March 28, 2019 (Thermal).

Short summary: A warm, buoyant and flexible cold-water pick. But the RRP limits its appeal 85%.

Review on the “Atriathletesdiary” website, dated August 29, 2018.

Short summary: The Roka Maverick Pro Thermal Wetsuit is perfect for anyone living in the north, racing in the north or racing in Europe, which is higher north than most US states.

ALPKIT Silvertip Thermal

The manufacturer Alpkit description of Silvertip Thermal: “Scottish lochs, Lakeland tarns… Silvertip has a thermal lining that makes it perfect for dipping your toes into icy waters… or, rather, plunging into them. Silvertip is our go-to cold water swimming wetsuit, designed in collaboration with industry guru Dean Jackson to be warm and buoyant but not too thick to swim comfortably in.

Silvertip has a fleece-lined inner. This lining traps more water close to the skin, preventing it from flowing around and helping you to retain hear. It also makes it easier to pull your suit on and off. Alpkit used thicker neoprene on the back and bum to increase buoyancy, which promotes a more efficient swimming position and helps your legs to keep going on longer swims. Thinner neoprene is used under arms, shoulders, and across the chest for flexibility.

The Silvertip Thermal wetsuit models are available for men and women. Standard manufacturer price £199.99 ($260).

Reviews about ALPKIT Silvertip Thermal

Review on the “Outdoor Swimming Society” website.
Short summary: A good option for swimmers that get cold or who do a lot of swimming in lakes or colder water.

Review on the YouTube channel “The Dynamic Dipper – Morecambe Bay“, dated June 6, 2020.

Shortfilm “Chasing the Sublime“, dated February 1, 2019.

Blogpost on the “Dryrobe” website, dated January 4, 2018.
Short summary: In the build up to this challenge, we looked everywhere for wetsuits that would keep us warm enough, yet still be flexible enough for swimming. Alpkit Silvertip wetsuits solved all of our problems. We stayed warm even after half an hour in the 6 degree water, and extra buoyancy on the legs made swimming so much easier.

Zone 3 Thermal Aspire

The manufacturer Zone 3 description of Thermal Aspire: “Whether it is geography, seasonality or just pure motivation, sometimes we need to swim in conditions that our normal wetsuits just weren’t made for. For those colder swims we have taken one of the highest rated wetsuits of the last decade, the Aspire, and added a carefully constructed thermal fleece lining.”

Thermal Aspire can be used for beginners as well as top level athletes.  Models  available for men and women. Buoyancy – chest, leg and body panels are a combination of 4mm and 5mm thickness, but the shoulders and arms a 2mm thickness.  Standard manufacturer price €465 ($541). Zone3 Thermal Aspire wetsuit purchase options by affiliates: Triathlete Sports.

Reviews about Zone 3 Thermal Aspire Wetsuit

Review on the “220 Triathlon” website, dated April 24, 2020. Short summary: Impressively light and flexible for a thermal suit; and warm, too 88%.

Hopefully you found enough information to be able to choose a wetsuit.

Deboer Ocean 1.0

The manufacturer Deboer description of Ocean 1.0: “The Ocean 1.0 is a thermal lined wetsuit designed for athletes who never back down from a challenge. We incorporated the same zero resistance shoulder movement technology found in our Flōh 1.0 wetsuit and added a ThermaFur thermal lining to create a no-compromises wetsuit. We also integrated an Ocellus pattern on the Ocean 1.0 to make the wetsuit more visible from a greater distance. Don’t let conditions dictate what you can do, when the Ocean 1.0 is paired with the Polar hoodie, gloves, and socks it will keep you warm in water down to 6°C/43°F.”

Ocean 1.0 is for top level athletes. Models available for men and women. Buoyancy – 1.5 mm in shoulders and arms, 5 mm stability panels. Standard manufacturer price €1180 ($1399).

I would say to have a thermal wetsuit won’t be enough, because your hands, feet and head will need additional thermal insulation to keep them warm. Check out my post about thermal accessories and find out useful information.

Still take into account that it’s safer to swim with a swim buddy. If you decide to swim alone then at least use a swim buoy.

I would appreciate if you could share your experience with these wetsuits. Contact me or write a comment!

Stay safe and keep swimming:) 

Related sites

Blueseventy official website Blueseventy.com

My post “Blueseventy Brand Review

HUUB official website Huubdesign.com.

My post “HUUB Brand Review”

Roka official website Roka.com

My post “Roka Brand Review”

ALPKIT official website Alpkit.com

Deboer official website – deboerwetsuits.com

My post “Triathlon Wetsuits – Materials and Technologies

Website of “Slowtwitch” – slowtwitch.com

Website of “Gear Junkie” – gearjunkie.com

Website of “220Triathlon” – 220Triathlon.com

Website of “Swim the Lakes” – swimthelakes.co.uk

Swim Smooth official website Swimsmooth.com

Website of “Triathlete” – triathlete.com

Website of “Tri Gear Lab” –Trigearlab.com

Website of “A Triathletes Diary” –atriathletesdiary.com

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Hi There,

    Thanks for your advice on the Thermal Helix Wetsuit and the others. I have my PADI diving licence so will be looking at this website later this year if the COVID19 slows down. I would like to have a few months off to Thailand so thanks for giving me the opportunity to find your website which is really informative.

    Steve

    1. I am glad you found the post useful and you like my website. 

      The one thing I wanted to highlight is that triathlon wetsuits and diving wetsuits are not the same. The triathlon wtsuits are made buoyant and with thinner materials – meant to aid the correct swimming position in the water and swimming speed. Diving wetsuits are meant to keep you warm under the water and the materials are more robust to help carry the oxygen tanks etc. Check out Wetsuit Warehouse website for more info and there you can make comparisons. 

      Don’t hasitate to contact me if you have any questions.

      1. Hi. I swim in the waters of southern Chile, i have 2 trisuits, an Orca and a Synergy, Both lack the adecuate padding for these waters, and also the suits that you recommend. The temperatures here range from 6-10 degrees. Is there a colder water trisuit available? or is 8.5 degrees the limit?

        1. Greetings to Chile!
          Wetsuits mentioned in this post are the ones which I have found till now and also the technical data regarding them. Blueseventy gives the limit of 8.5 degrees Celsius. No information regarding the other wetsuits.

          Nevertheless, wetsuit is only one item (the biggest) which aids for the warmth during a cold water swim. Items you could add:
          1. Neoprene Long Sleeve under Wetsuit Baselayer. Manufacturers – Zone 3 and Orca.
          2. Neoprene socks, gloves and caps. My own experience: This spring I swmam in 10 degree water with my Huub Archimedes 3. The most important parts to keep me warm were head, hands and feet, so I used 2 caps, socks and gloves.
          Chech out more information in my post regarding the accessories.

  2. I really enjoyed your article on these cold water swimming wetsuits. No doubt, you have done a great in-depth research on your topic, which is why you can also offer such great description and details about the suits. I like how you also included videos to assist with your products. The element that I enjoy the most in your article, is that you included reviews from users. This helps a lot in decision making process when one is thinking to purchase the suit. Tho, reviews from other people are good, but what can make it even better is if you could include a review of your own! Anyway, definitely a great job done!

  3. Wow!  $450, $650 and $850.  At these prices I wonder what the life of the thermal suits are.  The softer internal linings may deteriorate quickly?  I would appreciate your knowledge on the life of the suits and does one last longer than the others.

    The benefit of thermal suits would be that we can continue to exercise and compete in super cold waters.  Do you have any idea of the number of people who compete?  I’m really curious as I was not aware Triathlons were held in colder countries.

    Swimming is the best overall body exercise and I revel in it as my form of exercise. I live in the tropics (lucky me) so thermals are not ever spoken of.  Amazing isn’t it? 

    Interesting topic and well written post.  Thanks for the information.  Cheers   

    1. The materials of the wetsuits are very high quality. As well as other parts also the internal linings do not deteriorate fast. Pro athletes wear the wetsuits for 2-3 seasons. Nevertheless, they also use a different wetsuit for training and that gets the most tear. I myself have a Blueseventy Helix wetsuit which I own and use already for 10 years. Now it has some holes and tear&wear;, but still it’s possible to use it. As I see the most important part is how you use it (put on/off, store etc.) and how often.

      There are a bunch of athletes who compete in cold waters. One such race is Norseman Xtreme Triathlon. the start is with a jump from a ship into the water of a fjord which doesn’t rise over 10 degrees Celsius. The rest of the race is even more challenging:)

  4. Thanks for sharing. My uncle is a triathlon athlete, he often trains himself swimming in the open seawater. Sometimes the weather gets very chill in the evening. He is always looking for a good wetsuit for his training. I am looking at Roka Maverick Pro Thermal, to recommend to my uncle, I think he needs a warm, buoyant and flexible cold-water pick, but I am not too sure… Perhaps I should share your post to him, to have a better idea of which wetsuit suits him more. Thanks for your information. It is very helpful.

    1. I am glad it was helpful. Thanks for recommending it to your uncle. Could you (or he) share his thoughts and maybe he could share his experience regarding the wetsuits he has used? 

  5. Although I really like the sleek look and lightness of the HUUB Aegis 3, I think I would prefer some of the other suits that give much more warmth and bouancy whicle still maintaining sleek lines so as not to inhibit the swimmer.  I am wondering, which one of these do you consider the best value for the dollar as there are quite a few to pick from?

  6. These wetsuits seem great, so does the sport and lifestyle, I wish I was fit enough to do this! Since I don’t know so much about this, I don’t understand how to use this…Is the suit made for running, cycling and swimming or do you have to take it on and off for the swimming… In a real triathlon I guess you take it on and off, is it not more important to know how long time it takes to take the suit on and off… and also if u don’t wear it all the time are you suppose to carry it around when you are exercising, I think it would be interesting to know the weight of the suit, when it is wet and when not wet…Another question: Is it possible to use these wetsuits for diving?

    1. These wetsuits are put on only for swimming. In triathlons you are wearing a trisuit under it, so you can transition to bike after you did the swim part. And of course, you aim to be as fast as possible in the transition. Nevertheless, it depends on the skill level of the athlete. The wetsuit is then left in the transiotion zone. The manufacturers of the wetsuits think about that also and design the wetsuits so you can get easier and faster out of them. For example, some ot the suits have a thinner neoprene on the back side of legs in the ancle region. 

      Triathlon wetsuits and diving wetsuits are not the same. The triathlon wtsuits are made buoyant and with thinner materials – meant to aid the correct swimming position in the water and swimming speed. Diving wetsuits are meant to keep you warm under the water and the materials are more robust to help carry the oxygen tanks etc. Check out Wetsuit Warehouse website for more info and there you can make comparisons. 

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