Our Challenger triathlon wetsuits
were designed with open water swimming in mind. Although we will focus on the Challengers, a lot of this information will be suitable for other brands of wetsuits.
One of the main things you should look for in a swimming wetsuit is that there are no seams under the armpits. This is where the most movement is taking place and having a seam / stitching can cause irritation after some time. Youll notice that the Challengers have a seamless patch under the arms for this reason.
With some wetsuits in general but specifically with our Challengers, the neoprene is not the same thickness throughout the suit. On both the 3mm and 5mm Challenger wetsuits, only the torso section of the suit is either 3mm or 5mm.
The arms and legs on both versions are 2mm. This is for a few different reasons. The thicker the neoprene the less flexible it is so it makes sense to have thinner neoprene on the parts of the suit that are moving a lot when swimming.
Since the arms and legs are moving and generating heat, it is not as important to keep them as warm as the core of the body so the neoprene doesnt have to be as thick as it is around the core.
Also, neoprene is buoyant so the thicker the neoprene the more buoyant it is. Some swimmers look for the least amount of buoyancy possible as this can affect their position in the water whereas others prefer as much buoyancy as possible. For those looking for more buoyancy we recommend wearing a neoprene vest and shorts underneath the wetsuit.
Care tip: It is not uncommon for problems to arise with the seams of swimming wetsuits due to the different stresses the wetsuits take during a high-energy activity like swimming. As they are made from high quality, smooth skin neoprene which is more fragile than a double lined neoprene (used on more general watersports wetsuits) care should be taken when putting the wetsuit on and taking it off.