2019 REVIEW BROCHURE ZONE3.COM
“WE LISTEN TO OUR ATHLETES DURING FITTINGS AND CONTROLLED TESTING TO UNDERSTAND THEIR NEEDS. WE FOLLOW A RITUALISED PROCESS IN ATTEMPTING TO QUANTIFY EXACTLY WHAT MAKES A PARTICULAR ASPECT GOOD OR BAD – IT’S THE SCIENCE OF CONNECTING TECHNOLOGY WITH HUMAN NATURE IN ORDER TO CREATE SOMETHING AMAZING AND INNOVATIVE, ENHANCING ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE” – JAMES LOCK
DESIGN. DEVELOP. INNOVATE. We approach our design process from a holistic point of view; more than simply a mass production methodology. We understand its human nature to perform best when you feel comfortable and confident, so we use a precise product development process to ensure that each product performs to the very best it can.
When it comes to innovation our team of highly skilled designers work hard to shape a range packed with the latest advancements in technology to accelerate performance. We employ the world’s most technically advanced materials throughout our range starting at our entry level wetsuits all the way unto our ultra-long distance suits.
ABOUT ZONE3 All starting from a single desk on a University campus, Zone3 has grown organically to become Europe’s leading triathlon and swimwear brand. This has been achieved by a deeprooted passion for endurance sports and ensuring that every product offers market leading performance, innovation and functionality. Since day one we’ve held an athletecentric approach to garment creation, working alongside a full spectrum of athletes and highly skilled designers to ensure each product is made with laser precision and the highest performance materials available.
This simple ethos has firmly cemented our sterling reputation among the global tri-community and has resulted in more industry design awards than any other brand, including the first ever and only 10/10 review from 220 Triathlon Magazine and many others including Best in Class, Top Value and Game Changer of the year. Our productfirst philosophy and commitment to excellence ensures a range suitable for athletes of all levels, helping maximise performance and enjoyment within the sport.
Our mission is to be the most loved and chosen specialist sports brand in the world - creating product that embodies our passion and inspires athletes to achieve their personal goals.
BEST ON TEST
DesPiTe BeinG the cheapest suit on test, this budget model from Decathlon is fully SCS-coated for better hydrodynamics. The shoulders are definitely more restrictive than some of the more expensive suits, but it’s not a race-ruining lack of freedom. The arms’ rigidity is also evident at the elbows, making good catch technique a bit of a chore and naturally straightening out the recovery phase, which can affect body roll. While there’s a some extra buoyancy to aid body positioning, it’s a bit limited and didn’t level our legs out very well meaning it’s probably not best suited to new triathlon converts from a cycling background with heavy legs. It still performs well for the price though. A decent quality beginners’ suit at a good price but with limited lower-body buoyancy Performance Value oVerall
aDVance £159 Out of the box and the Challenger We’Ve alWaYs been impressed by the seems a touch agricultural, feeling performance of Zone3’s especially heavy and featuring few wetsuits, visual given their price. The Advance is the flourishes. So is it a false economy cheapest and, Int once or a fish Zone3 throughmodel the water? theagain, its performance doesn’t givewarm a hint that it’s Atlantic and it’s certainly (Lomo hail frommark. Scotland, all), smooth below the £200 Theafter simple, although a little chilly design wasthere a realwas pleasure to swim in, with water ingress2mm around the neckpanels and and just high-stretch, shoulder sleeves when the conditions became the right amount of buoyancy round the rough. In terms of buoyancy, the torso and hips. The neck is low and sizeable 5mm Matsuda neoprene comfortable, though it was felt a tough body and bottom thickness like itsuit to zip upwould’ve – if anything fit is a bit small, kept Iron Man afloat, letas our tester should been at the small end of the alonehave an Ironman athlete, but the demo suit’s sizewas range. The cuffs are snug surprise here the generous flexibility provided byand, the 1.5mm and don’t let water in as with all Zone3 underarm panels, something suits, the Pro-Speed Cuffs onwe the lower legs factored at this price. made it anwouldn’t absoluteexist cinch to get off in a It wasA easy get out of and hurry. greattovalue suit. chafe-free, although not much fun to runBag inthis if you have long transitions. great suit if you’re on a budget – you’ll find no reason to upgrade for a while… Performance Value oVerall
tri eVent £160ADVANCE
We tested these suits in ascending This soliD suit from Speedo is a price goodorder and however much the option for newer swimmers or those lessimpressed, the latest Advance Lomo confident in the water, with a super-buoyant from Zone3 blew it out of the water. and fairly stiff torso that helps you Visually feel and in terms of ingredients, it’s an instant step-up, with Zone3’s supported while swimming. Unfortunately, ‘Pro-Speed’ cuffs for easy removal because of this, it can feel a bit restrictive, and ‘Speedflo’ fabric that reduced even though the shoulders are stretchy drag in the water. Despite a low-ish (Speedo makes a thinner wetsuit for £20 cut neckline, there was minimal less, aimed at intermediate swimmers; for throughout and, watergo ingress this if you like a more free-feeling suit). The thanks to the neck guard, there was neck is low to avoid irritation and our notesters neck chafing. Unlike Lomo, the liked the short, shaped cut of the legs, which blend of 3mm and 4mm well-crafted made it a really easy suit to get outneoprene of in a on the torso – plus 4mm thelike legs – provided a decent hurry. This was also helped by whatonfelt amount a generous testerof buoyancy, while the 2mm 78%fit, though: our size small underarm found water whooshed in through the cuffs thickness ensured a range of arm movements. Quite how and occasionally down the back while they’ve done it for £159 we’re not swimming hard. sure, but the Advance punches above releases twice its price.
cOLD Water SWiM Suit £119.99
A well-made, supportive suit, good for newbies
but a bit stiff for experienced swimmers ›› VERDICT ›› VERDICT Performance Value oVerall
Quite simply, a stunning suit with great features that’s an absolute steal for £159
89 Best for beginners or those on a budget
96 I WWW.220TRIATHLON.COM I MAY 2016 TRI67.grouptest.indd 89
Recognised as the best entry level wetsuit on the market.
4/15/14 10:14 AM
Winner of the 220 magazine BEST BUY award, with a 92% rating. Zone3 always try to give the absolute best product for the price point and as the review stated “the Advance wouldn’t feel out of place against many of the mid-range products at twice the price”.
Best for beginners and intermediates One piece shoulder panel & 5mm core buoyancy
ZONE3 ASPIRE LE
2XU P:2 PROPEL
£320 Sneaking into our £300+ price point due to its funky limited edition colourscheme (the normal Aspire is £299), this is Zone3’s mid-range suit, yet despite being the least expensive on test, it easily holds its own. Upgrades since the last version centre around a one-piece shoulder design to improve flexibility and we didn’t feel any restriction in our stroke, although it didn’t achieve the top-end freedom offered if you pay for the waferthin arms of the Orca or the Zoot. Where this suit did excel was in body positioning, as with 5mm neoprene from ribs to knees, it holds you firmly up in the water. A top-down zip keeps it simple. racezone3.com
£380 The jazzy green and silver design on the 2XU instantly won us over (unusual in a women’s suit) and we loved the feel and fit with soft, supple neoprene ranging from 1.5mm on the arms to 5mm on the upper chest, lower back and legs. The neckline was low and comfortable too, with no feeling of tightness. We did have to size down, though (from medium to small), and even after that the suit still let in quite a bit of water. Proof that fit is king with wetsuits! Overall body positioning is good and we felt we could get good power and rotation in it. This is the only suit on test with straked wrist catch panels, too, for marginal gains. 2xu.com
VERDICT A SOLID PERFORMER AT A REALLY DECENT PRICE
VERDICT FANTASTIC LOOKING AND TECHY SUIT, BUT LET WATER IN
ZONE 3 ASPIRE $475, Racezone3.com Best for: All-around performance If you’re looking to upgrade to a premium wetsuit but think spending more than $500 is outrageous, the Aspire is one of the best options around. This suit feels similar to Zone 3’s high-end Vanwhich costs $250 more, making‘speedy fast’ in £399.99 First includedquish, in this test £550 Meaning Aspire the best return on investment in 2016, aside from the a new neckHawaiian, this is the Wikiwiki’s in Zone 3’s collection. The 1.5mm oneline the Atana hasn’t changed – second year on test. Like the piece shoulder panel offers just the right but thanks to its unique design, Orca it increases boasts 0.5mm sleeves amount of flex and noticeably per stroke. The redgive panels on created to feel greatdistance on as well that excellent flexibility thestill wristisn’t and ankle cuffs coated as performing, there andare feel for in the water (although silicone for an easier exit in transition. anything else like it. The 3mm not one for very chilly races as Like the Vanquish, the Aspire makes supple neoprene and four-way you do feel the cold through swimming more enjoyable by minimizrestriction the shoulders stretch lining makeing this the throughthem). Strategically-placed while body to increase easiest to pull on and offlifting and the it lowerpanels on the front of the suit buoyancy.
didn’t feel at all tight (perfect for swimmers who feel panicky in a wetsuit), yet it did a great job of keeping the water out at the same time. With no thick neoprene sections you don’t get loads of buoyancy, but we found it gave just enough and we loved the feeling of freedom. The zip is a breakaway for marginal gains. Just one wish? Funkier colours, please! huubdesign.com
VERDICT UNRIVALLED FULL-BODY FREEDOM, STRETCH & FLEXIBILITY
give excellent lift to the body and encouraged good rotation, yet the suit still allowed a ROKAquite MAVERICK ELITE natural kick. The 2mm ankles $500, Rokasports.com ROKA MAVERICK ELITE were quick to remove, but due The draw: Body position $500, Rokasports.com improvement The Body position to the cuffed design wedraw: found Wearing the Maverick Elite, the improvement the sleeves a little fiddly. choice ofthe Olympians Javier Wearing Maverick Elite,Gomez the Weirdly this suit did give usOlympians and Gwen Jorgensen,Javier givesGomez the choice of some chafing on our neck, sensation of swimming downhill. and Gwen Jorgensen, gives the It jacks hips and legs of even the sensation of swimming downhill. It although last year’s testthe suit bulkiest to the surface. the hips and legs of even the didn’t, so Zoot telljacks us it’s aswimmers Thinner panels of neoprene on bulkiest swimmers to the surface. sample anomaly. zootsports.com the chest help the body lift into Thinner panels of neoprene on a balanced andthe level position. the chest help body lift into Shoulder flexibility is position. remarkable, a balanced and level VERDICT COMBINES and stretching for aisfull stroke feels Shoulder flexibility remarkable, THOSE WAFER-THIN natural and freefor ofaresistance. and stretching full stroke The feels ARMS WITH BUOYANCY VOLT SLEEVELESS % XTERRA low-cut and neckfree feels yet natural of comfortable resistance. The $250, Xterrawetsuits.com it still seals low-cut neckeffectively. feels comfortable yet Best for: it Beginners andeffectively. warm-water swims still seals
While the 2016 Volt Sleeveless carries a retail price
Winner of more top reviews than any other wetsuit Speed, comfort and unrestricted swimming
ZONE3 ASPIRE $445, ZONE3Racezone3.com ASPIRE
Cut tightly and featuring afitsupportThe draw: Speed-oriented ive core, the Aspire helpsacompress Cut tightly and featuring supportthecore, swimmer into a helps slightly smaller ive the Aspire compress package to reduce This sensathe swimmer into adrag. slightly smaller tion of resistance limited the package to reduceisdrag. Thistosensamidsection—it doesn’t pull ontothe tion of resistance is limited the arms. The suit’s firm design midsection—it doesn’t pull onhelps the put even into the water. arms. Themore suit’spower firm design helps Pureeven swimmers will love the natural put more power into the water. feel of this suit, will andlove those less Pure swimmers thewith natural refined technique willthose benefit from feel of this suit, and with less its ample buoyancy. Water doesn’t refined technique will benefit from seep into buoyancy. the suit, keeping it warm its ample Water doesn’t and as buoyant as keeping possibleitlong seep into the suit, warm into as a swim. and buoyant as possible long into a swim.
E T t E t tp t p t t ta t a ts e s a e r a rw w
The draw: Speed-oriented fit $445, Racezone3.com
2019 ASPIRE “Best In Class” Possibly the most comfortable wetsuit we’ve ever worn – and its under $500. It feels like a second skin in the water, and because the arm material doesn’t go thinner than 1.5mm, no warmth is lost in order to gain flexibility in the shoulder panels. Thicker panels on the lower body add enough buoyancy to enjoy the extra float, but not too much to make the wearer feel like they’re on top of the water. Easy removal makes for a speedy T1. Triathlete Magazine
AQUA SPHERE RACER £369.99 The Racer is second in line to the Phantom in Aqua Sphere’s wetsuit line-up and, although it lacks some of the extra thin neoprene on more expensive options here, the compromises aren’t huge. The shoulder panels are 2mm, which led to fatigue on very long openwater swims, but elsewhere a 5mm core panel provided adequate buoyancy, and the back also has some lift to keep your body position streamlined. Aqua Sphere have added their Thermo-Guard technology to help retain body heat. The collar is quite high, but with plenty of lube it didn’t pose a problem. aquasphereswim.com/uk
TRIATHLETE EUROPE VANQUISH REVIEW - 2015 Performance: 9 Value: 9
VERDICT PUNCHES ABOVE ITS WEIGHT FOR THE PRICE
/ July 2018
ZONE3 HUUB VANQUISH ARCH.3 £495 The Vanquish now has 1.5mm shoulder panels that extend from the middle of the chest to the back, with the thinner material providing even more flex than past iterations. This is made with 40-cell Yamamoto neoprene, and elsewhere you get similar top-of-the-range material choices, including SCS coating to minimise drag. Zone3’s SilkFit lining is comfy against the body and you get a 5mm chest panel that provides plenty of buoyancy, and a soft neckline means minimal chafing. There’s a top-down zipper for faster removal and the ‘speed cuffs’ also help in T1. So once again, Zone3 have matched suits over £100 more. racezone3.com
VERDICT A TOP-DRAW SUIT THAT KEEPS GETTING BETTER
£549.99 Huub’s Archimedes 3 has been further refined using their new +43 foam (that claims to be 43% more buoyant than neoprene), which is used with Yamamoto neoprene in the stretch and reach zones, while the trademark red bicep fabric now extends 360° around the arm. The suit feels more flexible compared to their Albacore and more buoyant than the other suits here. With the Archimedes 3, there’s a choice of 3:5 or 4:4 buoyancy ratios; 4:4 tends to be the pros’ choice, and for those with a good kick technique and body position. We don’t think the shoulder flexibility is the best here but, for high buoyancy and stretch, the 3:5 is recommended. huubdesign.com
VERDICT NOT FOR ALL, BUT ONE OF THE BEST HIGH BUOYANCY OPTIONS
ROKA MAVERICK ELITE 2 £550 The Maverick Elite is third to Roka’s Maverick X and Pro in their hierarchy, and shares many features including the ‘arms-up’ construction aimed at increasing mobility through the stroke. It lacks the stretch woven forearm sections on the Maverick X, and we felt some arm fatigue. Roka’s Centreline buoyancy panel runs down the middle to help even out sideto-side rotation, and our stroke flows well in Roka’s suits where less refined options can lead you to roll back too far after your breathing stroke. The Elite still has a huge price tag, but it’s on par with other top-end suits. roka.com
VERDICT NOT AS FAST AS ROKA’S FLAGSHIP SUIT, BUT STILL GOOD
‘ZONE3 IS CLEARLY NOT ONE OF THESE OPEN MOLD START UPS. IT IS A BONAFIDE WETSUIT BRAND, IT WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE FORWARD, IT MAKES FINE WETSUITS AT GREAT PRICE POINTS, GREAT VALUES, AND DESERVES ITS RIGHTFUL SLICE OF THE MARKET’ Dan Empfield, Slowtwitch.com
The draw: Affordable find for a new sport While many swim/run suits feature above-the-knee shorts so as to avoid knee-pit chafing, Zone3 went for full-knee coverage – and it works. We appreciated the protection when scrambling in and out of the water and didn’t note any untenable hotspots. This bargain suit also has two interior and one exterior zippered pocket and removable arms – features usually reserved for higher-priced swim/ run suits – to help regulate temperature throughout the race. This suit fits pretty snug, so you’ll need your teammate’s he¬lp taking it off your shoulders and arms when you really need to let off steam.
Natural feeling to swim in, excellent upper body buoyancy, no chafing, immense pockets and world’s first design features.
The Evolution Swimrun suit is a true Swimrun suit; designed from the bottom up with all elements of the sport taken into consideration and a worthy investment for those drawn to the sport. As well as being the perfect Swimrun suit, it also looks pretty flash too.
The draw: Swimrun specificity The first thing you notice when you race a swimrun: You’ll want to cool off during the run without taking off your suit, so Zone3 used a front zipper. The second: Legs chafe, so Zone3 made the legs a thin 2mm to add some extra buoyancy without feeling restrictive on the run. The arms are an extremely flexible 1.5mm neoprene and zipped up, the top will keep your core toasty. It also features an enormous back pocket for fuel and whatever else you want to stuff in there. Swimoutlet.com
WOMEN’S LAVA Designed for long-course tri, this read-zipped suit is the best all-rounder on test, outperforming the others in each discipline. The shorts are an ideal mid-thigh length and have balanced compression to increase blood flow in the legs and reduce lactic acid build-up. They also have two pockets on either side of the shorts, enough to secure bike and run nutrition in, as well as pockets at the back. The ‘Iron performance’ chamois is one of the best we’ve ever tried, keeping us comfy for all distances. It’s on the pricey side, but its reliable and ticks every box, including style and shape to make you look and feel good. 220 Magazine
AQUAFLO+ MEN’S AQUAFLO+ The Aquaflo+ has plenty of performanceorientated features for a sub-£100 suit, and Zone3 say it’ll support you ‘all the way up to Ironman’. While we’d want a full-length zipper for that, elsewhere it fits the bill for longer races, with a comfortable 14.5cm wide chamois, wide leg grippers and plenty of ventilation across the back. The fabric feels soft to the touch and its just a really easy suit to get on with, with flat lock seams further increasing the comfort. The side pockets are small but fairly easy to access the single gel you’ll manage to fit in there. The Aquaflo is the roomiest suit here, so check the sizing chart. 220 Magazine
Winner of 3 x Best Buy awards from 220 Triathlon Magazine
ZOOT ULTRA TRI AERO
£125.00 We’re huge fans of Zoot’s Ultra Aero suit, so expected great things from the 2017 version. While this broad tester usually has to size up in skinsuits, we found the Ultra Tri Aero to be unusually loose, especially on the arm and leg grippers that didn’t really grip at all; bodybuilders aside, the arms and legs would be loose on any triathlete. Elsewhere the padding is just right, and the three pockets on the back provide plenty of space for provisions. There’s lots of venting, and during a long ride in warm temperatures the UPF50+ protected us from burning. zootsports.com
VERDICT LEG AND ARM GRIPPERS AREN’T QUITE GRIPPY ENOUGH
£120.00 The X-Vent is the new mid-range short-sleeved suit from 2XU, and is made with advanced fabrics to assist with cooling and breathability; ironically this is where we felt the suit fell a little short as the material is quite thick and rigid, and we felt the heat got to us in this suit more than others on test. The neckline sits a bit low for us, which means the suit feels a bit stretched across the chest area. A ‘rummage pouch’, three small pockets and a nice firm chamois pad make the X-Vent suitable for long-course racing as well, so if you like how it fits more than we do and don’t suffer from overheating, then this is an option. 2xu.com/uk
£89.00 The latest version of Zone3’s Activate is comfortably under the £100 mark, offering great value with pleasing aesthetics and a quality cut. We’ve previously had issues with the large padding in Zone3’s suits, but it’s been slimmed down considerably, sacrificing no comfort at all. The silicon bobble leg grippers feel a bit cheap, but they’re not big enough to cause too much friction and give a secure fit. A top zip cover prevents chafing, and the venting is good across the suit. The single back pocket isn’t the roomiest, but for shorter races, where we think the Activate+ best serves its purpose, this won’t matter. racezone3.com
VERDICT COLLAR ISSUES AND LACKING BREATHABILITY
VERDICT COOL, COMFORTABLE AND GOOD VALUE
Both 2XU and Heart Sports offer suits with the aforementioned ‘rummage pouches’ to give them longcourse credentials, and we’d favour the latter due to the better cut, pocket design and padding. The lack of grip in the legs and arms of the Zoot disappointed us, and we had concerns over the longevity of Z3r0d and Huub’s suits. Our overall winner is Blueseventy, who have put themselves firmly back on the tri-suit map with the new TX2000. The cost-cutting shows in those cheap silicon bobble leg grippers but, this aside, it’s aero, offers decent padding and is thoroughly comfortable on the bike and run, as well as quick drying from the swim-to-bike.
Club La Santa in Lanzarote for hosting us while we tested these tri-suits (and next month’s wetsuits) in their warm weather and formidable facilities. Head to www. clublasanta.co.uk for more info on the tri destination.
Spring 2017 /
ONLINE CUSTOMER REVIEWS
“Fast, flexible & buoyant - an absolute joy to swim in! The real beauty in this suit is the ability to get it off in no time. It’s amazing! No Vaseline required, it comes off in a jiffy” - VISION
“Great value, attractive, comfortable, good fit! This wetsuit is the way forwards. It fits perfectly after a couple of wears, adds lots of buoyancy and is so flexible around the shoulders that it feels like you are wearing no suit at all! Once you’ve bought this product you wont look at other brands ever again. I know that this one isn’t exactly cheap, but for its quality it’s still awesome value for money” - VANQUISH
“Swimming in it for the first time today was like being inside an underwater Lamborghini on nitrous oxide. I don’t know how you make these things, but they are fast!” - ASPIRE
ZONE3 T PRISM 2.0
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£35 These jammers incorporate Italian-made Xfinity endurance fabric, claimed to be 100% chlorine-proof, UV-protective and quick-drying. We’ve found after numerous swims and washes that the fabric has completely held its shape and quality, with no hint of fade in the geometric pattern, which is just the right amount of busy without being too exuberant. There’s a lined inner over the crotch area for increased support, flat-lock stitching, and both the waistband and drawstring are thick for extra comfort. They sit just right on the waist, and the stretchy fabric should fit all shapes and sizes. zone3.com
VERDICT QUALITY JAMMERS THAT ARE MADE TO LAST
ZONE3 PRISM STRAPBACK
ZONE3 VAPOUR The Draw : Velvety-soft gaskets Zone3’s Vapour goggles sit comfortable on the bones of your face rather than in eye sockets, thanks to large eye pieces with super-soft gaskets – a design that’ll banish post-swim racoon eyes. However, thhe rims do cause drag when pushing off the wall, making them best suited for calm days in the open water. Triathlete Magazine
Volare Goggles - We could wear these goggles all day and forget they were even on our face—some of our testers even used them as sunglasses post-swim. The Volares have a very low profile and are hydrodynamic, thanks to the curved lens that wraps around each of the goggle sockets. The flat straps held well during dives and through the choppiest waves. Multiple nose- bridge options mean that all face sizes can wear them. Triathlete USA - Best in Class
WORKING TOGETHER TO REACH NEW LIMITS Watch the full story at ZONE3.COM
We strive for perfection in everything we do. Relentlessly innovating, breaking barriers and taking performance to new limits. ZONE3.COM