2022 Speedo open water wetsuit review

In the world of swimming, Speedo needs no introduction.

Founded on Bondi Beach in 1928, Australians have been proudly wearing Speedo for more than 100 years. The brand is so well known, that it has even become the generic name for swim briefs (the kind shaped like undies).

What you might not be aware of, though, is that Speedo also makes a range of open water swimming wetsuits.

Incorporating decades of research & development, there are four wetsuits in the range, from a single sleeveless version to three full-style suits at three affordable price points.

Given the history and tradition of Speedo, we wanted to review their wetsuits to see how they stacked up against brands that are more synonymous with open water, but being based on the Gold Coast, testing them here wasn’t going to cut it.

Instead, we sent three wetsuits all the way down to the small coastal town of Gerringong in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, to three ocean swimmers from the Werri Point Swimmers group.

Reviewing their brand new Speedo wetsuits were Hamish, Ingrid and Scott.

Hamish, Ingrid and Scott of the Werri Point Swimmers

It was pot luck for who received which wetsuit, with Scott and Ingrid lucky to snag the top of the range (RRP $600) Mens and Womens Xenon Full Wetsuit, respectively, and Hamish the Mens Proton Full Wetsuit (RRP $325).

After two weeks of swimming and ocean adventures, including rock jumping and caves, here’s what they had to say about the wetsuit they reviewed.

If you like what the guys have to say, you can get 15% OFF your Speedo wetsuit until the end of September 2022 with the code SpeedSuit15. Buy Mens / Buy Womens

Scott

Brand: Speedo
Wetsuit reviewed: Mens Xenon Full Wetsuit
Designed for: Beginner triathletes, beginner/intermediate open water swimmers
Price: RRP $600
Style: Full wetsuit
Material: Yamamoto 39 Cell Neoprene Rubber, Yamamoto SCS (Super Composite Skin) Coating
Thickness: 1.5mm

Scott wearing his wetsuit in his element

Style and quality

The wetsuit looks fast, sexy and streamlined and the quality is excellent.

I think another 3-4cm in the zipper pull could make it slightly easier for those swimmers with less than normal flexibility in reaching the end to do up the wetsuit. Also, a larger protective Velco patch to place on post swim to prevent any chance of getting the velcro caught on the inside of the wetsuit (minimise “pilling”) would be nice.

Comfort and fit

When on it feels like I am not wearing a wetsuit at all – that’s a good thing! It feels like I have had a 3D Body Scan and Speedo have personally 3D Printed a wetsuit to fit me personally. It feels incredibly natural on and slides on easily and comes off extremely well (although I have not tried taking it off outside of a rock pool).

Warmth and performance

I swim every day in the ocean, usually in briefs and other branded wetsuits, although I’ve been hard to convert. Since wearing the Xenon I have yet to get out of the winter ocean on the South Coast and be shaking with no feeling in fingers or toes for 30 minutes. So the Xenon thermal protection gets a 5 Star Rating.

The flexibility is, in one word, AMAZING. Refer to the 3D body scan…fits like a fine leather glove. Speed, well I love my numbers… I have a regular swim (last 2 years) I do before work and always record my swim times. Here are the times with the different swimming outfits… (mins / secs):

  • Swim briefs 21:00
  • Other Brand Wetsuit 17:35
  • Speedo Speedy Xenon 15:55

Rating (out of 5): 4.9 stars

With a 9.4 % increase in speed due to the Xenon’s streamline design, flexibility (less fatiguing to swim in) and the buoyancy it provides (less drag) I’m a convert.

15% OFF SPEEDO WETSUITS
Use the promo code SpeedSuit15 to save 15% on all Speedo wetsuits until the end of September 2022.

Ingrid

Brand: Speedo
Wetsuit reviewed: Womens Xenon Full Wetsuit
Designed for: Beginner triathletes, beginner/intermediate open water swimmers
Price: RRP $600
Style: Full wetsuit
Material: Yamamoto 39 Cell Neoprene Rubber, Yamamoto SCS (Super Composite Skin) Coating
Thickness: 1.5mm

Ingrid gliding through the water

Style and quality

It’s a very stylish wetsuit and the bright pink colour is awesome and helps keep you visible to boats. The overall quality of the suit is great, the rubber feels soft and easy to pull up.

Comfort and fit

It’s a comfortable suit, like a second skin it fits that well, although I still tend to feel a bit restricted in the lower back (like other wetsuits I’ve tried – but it could be something unique to me).

It’s easy to get on and off, my transition times might be cut down because it’s easy to pull off the suit at the ankles.

Warmth and performance

I feel much faster gliding through the water, the buoyancy in the hips has helped with my kick.

The flexibility in the shoulder is great and I haven’t got any chafing so far. It’s a warm suit and I haven’t felt cold at all, plus it doesn’t hold any extra water, so I’m not carting around any extra weight or resistance.

Rating (out of 5): 5 stars

With this wetsuit I’m on track for the Olympics!

Hamish

Brand: Speedo
Wetsuit reviewed: Mens Proton Full Wetsuit
Type: All-rounder, entry level
Price: RRP $325
Style: Full wetsuit
Material: Yamamoto 38 Cell Neoprene Rubber
Thickness: 1.5mm

Hamish dives off the rocks at Werri Point

Style and quality

The wetsuit looks great and is of a decent quality with glued and stitched seams that are finished well.

Comfort and fit

I found it slid on well and it feels great when on. The flexible cuffs in the arms and the legs means that it comes off quickly.

The Proton offers great flexibility, but the shoulders were very slightly restrictive for the first two swims. After the first couple of swims I felt very unrestricted and the wetsuit felt great.

Warmth and performance

In the water, the first notable point is that it has great thermal protection. It insulates well and there is minimal water ingress when in the water and moving. The neck is a great fit but, unfortunately for me, I did get a bit of chafing. Having said that, I have had the same issue with most swimming wetsuits I have used. This may be more my swimming style rather than a wetsuit issue.

The buoyancy is generally good and it definitely increased my swim speed. It would have been faster for me with a bit more buoyancy in the lower half of the wetsuit as I tend to need more lift for my legs.

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Compared to other wetsuits I have tried the Proton stacks up well. The quality, fit and comfort definitely give other wetsuits a run for their money. As an entry-level wetsuit, I would definitely recommend the Proton, it will keep you swimming in comfort in the colder months.

Other wetsuits in the range

  • Proton Thinswim Sleeveless Full Wetsuit, RRP $230 (Mens / Womens)
  • Fastskin Proton Fullsuit, RRP $275 (Mens / Womens)

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