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The Best Triathlon Wetsuits for Men in 2021

We all need a little neoprene in our tri-lives. Our guide rates some of the best men’s wetsuits in 2021 in categories that range from fit to buoyancy to warmth, and much more.

If you don’t know by now, swimming in a wetsuit is simply faster than swimming without one in most cases. Sure, if it’s too warm, you could overheat, or they could not even be allowed (over 78 degrees F in USA Triathlon events, 76 degrees for Ironman events), but assuming the swim leg is long enough to offset the time you take to remove it, a wetsuit is better for the vast majority of athletes. That means, you should strongly consider using a wetsuit when you race, if you want to have the best performance possible and get out of the water more ready to tackle the rest of the race. (You should also train in that wetsuit as often as you can.) But buying a wetsuit can be a complicated affair—you need to take into account the range of available sizes and fit, along with a host of features. Everyone is different, so it’s not as simple as saying, “This is the best triathlon wetsuit for men in 2021.” Check back next week for the best women’s wetsuit picks.

We’ve compiled an easy-to-use guide with ratings and info on criteria like sizes, fit, value, flexibility, warmth, posture support, buoyancy, and ease of exit. Read on all of the info you need to make an educated decision on the best wetsuit for you.

Editor’s Note: While the gear below was loaned out by the brands represented, all choices were selected independently by the tester without any promotional consideration or brand input. Also, unlike other “best triathlon wetsuits review” websites, our testers actually wear and try the gear ourselves—no glancing at spec sheets and rewording marketing terms! For more on how we review gear, click here.

Sizes A list of the available sizes for men’s versions of the suit. More sizes generally indicate the better chance for a closer fit.
Fit Notes on the suit running large or small and any other nonstandard fit observations (bigger upper body, thin legs, tight chest, etc.).
Value Here we look at the value of the suit from 1-5 when looking at the features, material, etc. Not just the absolute price.
Flexibility This 1-5 rating looks at how flexible the suit is in important areas like shoulders. 1 is not flexible, 5 is extremely flexible.
Warmth Scale of 1-5 on warmth—1 is best for warmer water, 5 is for extremely cold water.
Type of Swimmer This category breaks down what level of swimmer the suit works best for. Typically a more buoyant (but less flexible) wetsuit is better for newer swimmers.
Buoyancy Rating from 1-5 on level of buoyancy the suit provides. 1 is not buoyant at all, 5 is extremely buoyant. 
Ease of Exit Rating from 1-5 on how easy the suit is to get off in transition. 1 is very difficult, 5 is very easy
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XTERRA Vortex | $500

Size Extra Small, Small, Small Long, Medium, Medium Long, Medium Large, Large, Extra Large, Extra Extra Large
Fit Larger chest size will fill out the neckline to avoid water entry
Value 5 (often on sale)
Flexibility 4
Warmth 4
Type of Swimmer First-time racer to veteran Ironman
Buoyancy 4
Ease of Exit  4

Though this is a wetsuit with high-end features and neoprene, it can often be found on sale, so it gets high marks for value as well. All levels of triathletes will find benefits in this buoyant-yet-flexible suit that’s shockingly durable for the price. We also liked the level of comfort on the interior of the suit that made it warmer than other suits on this list (for better or for worse). That said, this is not a suit made specifically for super cold temperatures—check this list for very cold water gear. One note: If you have a particularly slim chest, water can sometimes enter the neckline if it’s not fastened super tight.

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ORCA 3.8 | $600

Size Number system for males: 4-6, Medium Tall, 7-11. Scaled by chest circumference, height, and weight
Fit Might feel somewhat snug in the thighs for cyclists
Value 4
Flexibility 5
Warmth 4
Type of Swimmer Designed for Orca’s “Progressive Swimmer,” i.e., someone who doesn’t come from a swimming background and needs buoyancy
Buoyancy 5
Ease of Exit  3 (watch the hips)

As is the case with many of Orca’s wetsuits, the 3.8 is chock full of features to help you swim better. This is a fantastically buoyant suit that truly helps those who struggle to maintain the proper horizontal swimming position—whether it’s due to a “runner/cyclist body” or simply inexperience swimming. On that same note, this suit helps stabilize your body position—more than just giving floatation—by helping to plae your swimming gait into a more neutral position. The shoulders also move very well, but as a result, this is not the most durable wetsuit (common at this price point, sadly). More “pure” swimmers might find the stabilization features slightly restricting and might not have any need for the high-elbow panel.

Read the extended review here

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Roka Maverick Pro II Sleeveless | $400

Size Extra Small, Small, Small-Tall, Medium, Medium-Tall, Medium-Large, Large, Large-Tall, Extra Large, Extra Extra Large
Fit We recommend a size up if too snug over the neck and shoulders. Large traps and shoulders will feel really locked in, but it’s well-fitted in the chest.
Value
Flexibility 5
Warmth 1
Type of Swimmer Experienced to master open-water swimmer
Buoyancy 3
Ease of Exit  5

As with all sleeveless wetsuits, it’s important to note that this style has a time and a place. For sure, this is a wetsuit that is best used in warm water situations, by more experienced swimmers, who are maybe doing a shorter swim leg where the transition is important. If that’s you, then this is probably one of the most premium sleeveless wetsuits available with lots of float, good rotation, high-quality neoprene, and one super rare feature most sleeveless wetsuits don’t have—good chest fit. The good news about the chest fitting is that water won’t rush in, but the bad news is that it could feel slightly claustrophobic, especially at first.

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Colting T04 | $780

Size Small, Small-Medium, Medium, Medium-Tall, Medium-Large, Large, Extra Large. Select sizes available now—more sizes available in July.
Fit Fits like a glove the first time; definitely more inclined to fit a lean body
Value 3 (convert Euros to USD first before buying)
Flexibility 5
Warmth 3
Type of Swimmer Elite/Pro
Buoyancy 2
Ease of Exit  5

If you haven’t heard of the Swedish brand Colting, you’re not alone. With its roots in the hard-knock world of swimrun, the T04 is Colting’s high-end venture into triathlon wetsuits with tons of premium features. The big selling point on this pricey suit is the flexibility and comfort, due to excellent neoprene and fit. Of course, like any high-end neoprene, this is a fairly fragile wetsuit, so be sure to take care of it, watch your fingernails, and maybe consider this a race-day only upgrade to your neoprene quiver. Also, due to the thin and lightweight nature of this suit, don’t expect a ton of buoyancy or warmth.

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Zoot Wikiwiki 2.0 | $800

Size X-Small, Small, Small Tall, Medium, Medium Tall, Large, Extra Large, 2X-Large 
Fit Snug, better fit for slimmer body types
Value 2
Flexibility 5
Warmth 3
Type of Swimmer Experienced racer, but all swim levels from slow to fast
Buoyancy 3
Ease of Exit  4

Though it sits near the bottom of our Best Men’s Wetsuits of 2021, the Wikiwiki 2.0 is arguably the best of the best. Of course the price tag is a little…excessive, but in terms of arm/shoulder flexibility, there is nothing at this level at any price. The upside is that you’ll get absolutely no shoulder fatigue (from the suit anyway), but the downside is a slightly less buoyant suit than a newer, less-experienced triathlete might feel comfortable with. Given the thinness of the neoprene, we were pleasantly surprised with the durability of the neoprene and the fact that it’s still moderately warm. As the arms are definitely the showcase on this suit, we also had great luck with the tight wrists keeping water out—even with a watch on underneath.

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ARK Utö Swimrun Suit | $640

Size X-Small, Small, Small Tall, Medium, Medium Tall, Large, Extra Large, 2X-Large 
Fit Snug, better fit for slimmer body types
Value 1
Flexibility 5
Warmth 2
Type of Swimmer Fast swimrunner who’s worried about overheating
Buoyancy 2
Ease of Exit NA

If you’re wondering if $640 is a lot for a wetsuit, let alone a swimrun wetsuit, you’re smart. It is a lot. That said, this is a singular wetsuit in the world of swimrun gear because it’s so thin and flexible, it almost feels like a tri suit—at least on the bottom. This is a very good thing if you have chafing issues on the run or overheat easily (which can definitely happen). This is not the wetsuit for you, however, if you get cold easily or if you know you’ll be training/racing in water under around 65 degrees F consistently. At the same time, the design overall is excellent, with removable arm sleeves (for when things really heat up) and a very durable lower half for rock scrambling if your event comes to that.