Multi Sport

Alpkit Lotic Open Water Swimming Wetsuit Review

Wetsuits are just wetsuits, right? Wrong. Yes, they’re skin-tight suits that keep you warm in cold water by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the wetsuit. Yes, they’re mostly made from neoprene, but there is a large amount of difference between a wetsuit for surfing for example and a swimming wetsuit, like the Alpkit Lotic model here, built for triathlons and open water swims.

British company Alpkit have teamed up with Dean Jackson, the founder of triathlon wetsuit company Huub, and the Outdoor Swimming Society to create a wetsuit made especially for open water and adventure swimming.

“The Lotic wetsuit is made with a shiny glideskin neoprene which creates a more streamlined movement through the water.”

The Lotic is built differently to other wetsuits. Winter surfing wetsuits for example are usually thick (up to 6mm) as they’re designed to keep you warm even when you’re sitting still out the back of the line-up. But the design of the Lotic prioritises flexibility – the assumption being that if you’re swimming in open water, you’ll be moving constantly, and if you’re racing in a triathlon, you’ll be working hard! Cleverly, the thickness and flexibility of the neoprene is layered differently around the body, so as to enhance your swimming experience.

Alpkit have used 3.5mm neoprene on the back and 4mm on the legs and buttocks to give extra lift to the lower body while you are in the water. This helps reduce your drag, increasing your speed  for a given level of effort and reducing tiredness — particularly in the legs, allowing you swim further or faster. The neoprene around the arms, chest and shoulders is a lot thinner – 2mm to 2.5mm – which allows unrestricted upper body movement for arm strokes.

The Lotic wetsuit is made with a shiny glideskin neoprene which creates a more streamlined movement through the water, plus it repels water and dirt. Glideskin is also a low heat conductor which means your body will retain heat for longer.

Bright red flashes of colour have been added to the neck, wrist and ankle areas to make you more visible the water. Alpkit have also added nylon to high wear-and-tear points, such as under the armpits, reducing abrasion. This wetsuit is best suited in waters from 8°C upwards.

The Alpkit Lotic wetsuit has been tested in rivers, lakes and the sea around the UK by seasoned wild swimmers. It’s been praised for its good heat retention, flexibility and how easy it is to pull on and take off. If you can’t live without swimming outdoors year-round, the Lotic wetsuit is perfect for you.

Alpkit Lotic Wetsuit Stats:

The 100 Best Outdoor Products for Winter 2016 View them all

Shot on location in Chamonix

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 Winter 2016

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