The first note we made after testing this wetsuit: Love the buoyancy profile! It’s the wetsuit’s best feature. It features 4mm neoprene in the chest and 5mm neoprene in the core, hips, and lower torso for an overall high float, low drag sensation.
The legs transition to 4mm neoprene with 2mm on the lateral portions of the thighs. Because of this design in the lower half of the body, we felt as if we could let our kick relax, or if we wanted, we could engage more into a steady beat without feeling like it was strenuous.
All of this perfectly-placed neo let us sight very, very easily. We could lift our heads straight up to get a clear, straight ahead view while our hips and legs felt supported, rather than dragging deep in water. Also: Rotation is superb. We liked how balanced and even we felt from one side of our stroke to the other.
The one caveat to all of this speed-enhancing neo design is some athletes (we think veteran swimmers only) might find the shoulders a bit less flexible than they’d want, depending on their stroke. If you swing wide and high, you’ll love it. If you’re more of a high-elbows swimmer, you might feel slightly inhibited.
No water leaked into the suit through the comfortable neck or tight wrists—but those wrists take an extra flick to get them off over your hands in transition. Nothing a little BodyGlide can’t help with. And this suit feels super durable—it shouldn’t bust a seam if you’re a little rough with it (not that you should be). Treat it right and you should get a lot of life out of it.
Final thoughts: Knowing Blueseventy is based in Seattle, we can see why the company tends to design wetsuits for local conditions. A triathlete living in the Pacific Northwest, in particular, will want a wetsuit that lets them see easily as they punch through choppy, frigid water. The Reaction covers all of these bases, allowing for a swim that may or may not require legs.