It’s that time of year again (my favourite time of year), the air temperature has dropped dramatically and the water temperature is falling too. The cold has never stopped me swimming in my cossie, and I try to keep those costume swims going throughout winter (once a week if I can) but it does stop me staying in the sea any longer than about 15 minutes (often a lot less when it’s really baltic)! I’ve always hummed and hawed over getting a swimming wetsuit, I wasn’t sure if I would get enough use out of it because I’ve always favoured swimming in a costume… but with temptation to enter a sea swim triathlon I took the plunge.
I ended up doing an extensive amount of research on swimming wetsuits; I’m talking hours of time wasted sitting scrolling through websites over a few months. I am not a decision maker, clearly! But it finally came down to the Lomo Prime Triathlon Wetsuit for various reasons, I will go into more detail but the predominate factor was price for quality on this one. I’d heard great things about Lomo from other swimmers, so I contacted them with a final few questions about the suit – at this point Lomo kindly offered me the suit in return for a review. So, here it goes – (thanks Lomo).
What to look for in a suit
If you’re anything like me, and spend far too much time traipsing the internet for things like this you’ll know that swimming wetsuits range from £50 to £1000+ – so finding the right one, and making the decision to actually buy it is hard. Generally, the more expensive the suit the more movement and flexibility you will get… however, I would also say that brand/labels ramp up a price tag considerably. Despite never owning my own swimming wetsuit, I have borrowed from other people and I would say my Lomo suit (£99) is comparable to the Orca and Speedo suits that can be double the price.
Unlike other wetsuits, a swimming wetsuit needs to be flexible. Very very flexible! It should mould to your body leaving no gaps or wrinkles, it should feel like second skin. So I would recommend going into a shop to try one on before buying; Lomo have a shop in Glasgow if you are interested in this suit. The neoprene that makes up the Prime Tri varies from 2mm – 4mm, the thick area makes up the front panel for warmth while the back is 3mm, and arms/shoulders 2mm for movement. This suit also features a lower cut neckline to allow for easier head rotation while breathing.
The first week I had this suit, I spent 5 days in a row in the water. I forgot how nice it was to swim with extra buoyancy without getting cold. When I got tired I could lay back and float, I was spending over an hour in the sea rather than 15 mins. I’ve also been swimming with the Lomo Tri Gloves, Neoprene Open Water Swimming Socks and Smoothskin Neoprene Swimming Cap which I also wear when I’m swimming with a cossie to keep my hands and feet warm(er).
If you have any questions about my swimming wetsuit, I’m more than happy to have a chat over on Instagram @ronamcmillan!