The Best Wetsuit for a Beginner Triathlete

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For the longest time, opting for a rental wetsuit was the most popular option for a beginner triathlete, especially if you expected a decent one. Apart from the ridiculously high price, most beginner triathletes just couldn’t justify spending a fortune on a wetsuit they may not use every summer.

Fortunately, with the sport gaining popularity over the years, manufacturers decided to fill that gap in the market. Now you’ll find entry-level—and very affordable—wetsuits for beginners. This move was obviously embraced because let’s face it—who wants to share a wetsuit? Now it’s your turn to join the club and get yours, no matter how involved you are with the sport at the moment.

But how will you know the right one to buy? ​We’ve compiled a list of the top ​five best wetsuits for beginner triathletes to aid you. We have the facts; you can simply choose.

Comparison Chart

Synergy Triathlon Tri Suit Men's Trisuit
PEARL IZUMI Women's Select Pursuit Tri Suit
SLS3 Mens Triathlon Top - Triathlon Shirt Mens - Tri Jerseys - Tri Top Men - Men's Tri Top - Sleeveless Bike Jersey - Designed by Athletes for Athletes
Zoot Men's Wave 1 Full Sleeve Wetsuit (Medium)
ORCA Men's S5 Triathlon Wetsuit Size 7
Synergy Triathlon Tri Suit Men's Trisuit
PEARL IZUMI Women's Select Pursuit Tri Suit
SLS3 Mens Triathlon Top - Triathlon Shirt Mens - Tri Jerseys - Tri Top Men - Men's Tri Top - Sleeveless Bike Jersey - Designed by Athletes for Athletes
Zoot Men's Wave 1 Full Sleeve Wetsuit (Medium)
ORCA Men's S5 Triathlon Wetsuit Size 7
Synergy Triathlon Tri Suit Men's Trisuit
Synergy Triathlon Tri Suit Men's Trisuit
PEARL IZUMI Women's Select Pursuit Tri Suit
PEARL IZUMI Women's Select Pursuit Tri Suit
SLS3 Mens Triathlon Top - Triathlon Shirt Mens - Tri Jerseys - Tri Top Men - Men's Tri Top - Sleeveless Bike Jersey - Designed by Athletes for Athletes
SLS3 Mens Triathlon Top - Triathlon Shirt Mens - Tri Jerseys - Tri Top Men - Men's Tri Top - Sleeveless Bike Jersey - Designed by Athletes for Athletes
Zoot Men's Wave 1 Full Sleeve Wetsuit (Medium)
Zoot Men's Wave 1 Full Sleeve Wetsuit (Medium)
ORCA Men's S5 Triathlon Wetsuit Size 7
ORCA Men's S5 Triathlon Wetsuit Size 7

Best ​Wetsuits for Beginner Triathletes

1. ​Synergy Triathlon Men’s Trisuit

Synergy Triathlon Tri Suit Men's Trisuit

Review

Here we have a suit which allows you to go everywhere and anywhere while minimizing transition time. From swimming to cycling, select this wetsuit which repels water for non-wetsuit swims and optimizes breathing during running or cycling.

The suit is made from advanced semi-compression materials to help you perform at your peak. This includes nylon spandex which is well known for its comfort and breathable qualities. What you need is a wetsuit with thinner areas where you need flexibility and thicker where you require warmth. And this ¾ wetsuit provides you with just that.

The advanced NeoGel pad with anti-microbial fleece will keep you comfortable while giving you the right support for your cycling. Because of this pad it makes the wetsuit best suited for long-distance races.

For such an intense sport, you want a wetsuit which is not only comfortable but flexible. After all, it’s hectic enough engaging in three different activities; the last thing you need is your wetsuit working against you.

It was designed with your comfort in mind since it has a ¾ adjustable zipper and large arm holes to prevent chafing.

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PROS

  • Comfortable
  • ​Smart design prevents chafing
  • Breathable

CONS

  • Sizes run small

2. ​Pearl Izumi Women’s Select Pursuit Tri Suit

PEARL IZUMI Women's Select Pursuit Tri Suit

Review

This is one of our recommendations because it gives you all the necessary benefits including value, fit and durability.

First off, a well-fitting wetsuit means one less thing to worry about on race day. Ideally, your suit should be snug but not constricting if you expect to do that backstroke with ease. Yes, it should be tight but not cutting off your oxygen supply; make sure you’re able to breathe normally. Thanks to a unique fit, this Pearl Izumi wetsuit facilitates all of that.

Before deciding on a wetsuit, check whether the seams are uniform and flat against your skin. A wetsuit with seams that are pointy and edgy will only result in discomfort due to chafing. Besides seams that aren’t uniform are more likely to become undone and you’ll be back shopping for another wetsuit before you know it.

Luckily this brand uses select-transfer dry fabric which sets the benchmark for compression and moisture transfer. It also has those flat lock seams which will provide you with superior abrasion resistance. 

It also has a 10” zipper to provide you with ventilation. The zipper on the wetsuit is another thing you might need to closely inspect particularly the construction and ease of movement. The one you select must be easy to move up and down. Also make sure the stitching around the zipper is seamless, strong and smooth. This brand doesn’t disappoint.

This wetsuit comes with a separate bra and top for your added comfort which also makes it easy to wear and remove. These tri-suits come in all sorts of designs from full-body to pants and tops.

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PROS

  • Dries quickly
  • Comfortable
  • ​​Durable design and stitching
  • Facilitates ventilation

CONS

  • Bra runs small

3. ​SLS3 Triathlon Men’s FX Top

SLS3 Mens Triathlon Top - Triathlon Shirt Mens - Tri Jerseys - Tri Top Men - Men's Tri Top - Sleeveless Bike Jersey - Designed by Athletes for Athletes

Review

Another of our favorites is this triathlon tank top particularly designed for men. The top comes in a timeless design.

Wetsuits come in different designs but let’s get one thing clear: Here we’re not referring to how trendy you’ll look in your wetsuit. We’d like to believe the functionality is at the top of your priority list This design impresses in many functional ways.

This top is made of super light nylon/spandex which wicks sweat and ensures it evaporates fast keeping you cool and dry. It comprises three colors so you do compete in style. This one is ideal for racing and bike rides; it won’t hamper your movement.

Because it’s cut longer it’ll cover your lower back perfectly even in the aero position on the bike. It has a full-length zipper which will provide you with perfect ventilation and also makes wearing it much easier. You can expect to keep cool during your race thanks to the shoulder mesh pads which also provide you with ventilation.

The three back pockets are there to store those nourishing snacks for during your race. This is especially important for beginners who need sustenance throughout. Convenient, right?

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PROS

  • Comfortable
  • ​Fits well
  • Pockets provided

CONS

  • ​Runs big

​4. ​Zoot Wave 1 Wetsuit

Zoot Men's Wave 1 Full Sleeve Wetsuit (Medium)

Review

This wetsuit is designed to be as flexible as possible, which means that wearers don’t have to worry about feeling restricted when they wear it. This is great for any man who wants to have a full range of motion in his arms and legs when in the water and doesn’t want to sacrifice movement for style or protection.

Not only will you enjoy great movement and flexibility with this suit, but it also is made from 5 mm neoprene, which offers buoyancy. This is great for men who tend to lose their form when they are tired and who need a little additional support in the water to ensure that they are floating correctly. This additional buoyancy helps to lift the legs for correct kicking position.

Designed with the help of cutting-edge technology, this wetsuit is not only efficient and attractive, but comfortable. The glue and blind stitching on the suit prevents any rubbing and chafing on skin and also ensures that there isn’t any leakage. Only YKK zippers are used, which means that they will last.

Thanks to the double neck closure, you never have to worry about water entering the suit from around the neck, as this is tight enough to prevent this problem. Additionally, the chest and thighs are covered with a super composite skin. This is an impressive and hydrodynamic coating that easily reduces friction so that you can glide effortlessly through the water when in this suit.

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PROS

  • ​Optimal kick design helps keeps legs in a natural kicking position in the water
  • ​​DORSALFlex zipper ensures that the wetsuit moves and stretches with the body and prevents restriction
  • ​Buoyancy panels in the rear help to lift the torso and legs

CONS

  • ​​Neck closure can be tight on some wearers

​5. ​ORCA Men's S5 Full Sleeve

ORCA Men's S5 Triathlon Wetsuit Size 7

Review

The full sleeve design of this suit offers coverage and protection in the water without sacrificing speed or agility. This is thanks to the use of 2 mm neoprene on the arms, which is durable and strong, but still offers amazing flexibility. The use of this material here and on the shoulders allows for full range of motion when in the water.

You are sure to love that the calf panels are speed transition panels, which were added to aid wearers in quickly taking off this suit. This allows for incredibly fast transition times, which is great for anyone, but especially useful for triathletes. Additionally, the tight fit around the ankles and the wrists ensures that water doesn’t enter the suit from these locations.

Since there isn’t a front seam on this suit, you never have to worry about how flexible the suit is or whether or not you will be hindered when swimming through the water. The front of the suit boasts yamamoto 39-cell neoprene that is 3 mm to 4 mm and designed to offer buoyancy and help wearers slip and move effortlessly through the water.

The back of the suit is just as high quality and features 3 mm neoprene smooth skin. This design allows the back of the suit to reduce any friction that you may experience when swimming. This also offers exceptional thermal protection, which is great for when you are swimming in colder weather and need a little more warmth.

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PROS

  • ​Incredibly flexible shoulders, thanks to the use of 2 mm SCS neoprene
  • ​Additional 5 mm neoprene panels helps to add buoyancy and offers support when in the water
  • ​Design of the suit makes it easy to take off when in a hurry

CONS

  • ​​Sizing chart is not easy to understand and many people buy the wrong size (don't be afraid to exchange the suit for the correct size; correct fit is essential!)

​The Verdict

So, which one is your favorite? Of all ​of the choices shown we like the SLS3 Triathlon Men’s Top the most. For a race where feeling hot and sweating is the order of the day a wetsuit which provides you with ultimate ventilation is a winner. And this top gives you just that.

Firstly, the super light material which wicks away sweat is great and the shoulder mesh pads make it even better. Plus, we like the convenient pockets it has. Choosing this suit will result in a comfortable racing experience. For beginners this is vital; you should focus on the race, not on your discomfort. You need to win, right?

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