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What are Swimskins + Top 5 Best Swimskins

Swimskins have been growing in popularity during the past few years in triathlons and open water swimming. This is primarily due to their benefits for speed and aerodynamics and also the fact that they are legal even when the water is too warm for wetsuits.

Overall there are not a ton of options when it comes to swimskins, but the TriNewbies team has reviewed the best swimskins and came up with the list below:

    Image Best Feature Price
1 Roka Viper Pro Swimskin (Mens/Womens) Best Overall Swimskin $255 (roka.com)
2 Roka Viper X2 Swimskin (Mens/Womens) Best High End Swimskin $325 (roka.com)
3 Synergy Triathlon SynSkin (Mens/Womens) Best Value Swimskin $149.95 (amazon.com)
4 TYR SPORT Torque Elite (Womens) Best Lightweight Swimskin $225 – 25% Off! (swimoutlet.com)
5 blueseventy PZ2TX (Mens/Womens)   $209.95 (amazon.com)

1. Roka Viper Pro Swimskin (Price not available) – Womens/Mens

Roka is definitely the leader in the swimskin space, with most pros and amateur triathletes donning their swimskins. The Roka Viper Pro is the top of the line swim suit.

The Roku Viper Pro and X2 (below) both some with no -sew stretch woven technology, meaning there are no creases or lines in the suit to increase drag. The suits are coated with a Teflon DWR (Durable Water Repellent) which reduces drag and increases efficiency. The suits also provide a good amount of compression, which also helps reduce drag while supporting the core and the legs in the water, helping both swimming posture and speed.

Roka Size Chart for the Viper Swim skin

2. Roka Viper X2 Swimskin (Price not available)Womens/Mens

The Roka Viper X2 is the top of the line swim skin, and also tops the list as the most expensive. If you’re looking for the best swim skin your money can buy, the Viper X2 is the way to go.

The main difference between the Viper X2 and the Viper Pro is the IXI Taping which is placed in various areas in the swim skin. This allows your movements, especially lower to upper body, to become more in line and provide a smoother swim through the water.

3. Synergy Triathlon SynSkin Swimskin ($149.95)Womens/Mens

The Synergy Synskin is the perfect entry level swimskin that offers the excellent benefits of water resistant materials and aerodynamics at an extremely reasonable price.

The suite comes with many of the same features as the higher prices models, including bonded seams, which reduce drag, and YKK auto locking zipper for smooth removal. Like most swimskins, sizing can be an issue. The chart below should be a good guide, but there have been complaints about weird sizing so be sure about the return policy before you order, as you may need to go a size up or down.

Synergy Size Chart for the SynSkin 2

4. TYR SPORT Torque Elite Skinsuit (Price not available) Womens/Mens

TYR is known for their swimwear, so it’s not surprise that they make a pretty dependable swimskin (they call it a Skinsuit). The main feature of their swimskin is the light weight, just a quarter pound which is extremely light and will not produce must extra weight to drag.

Another cool feature is that the inner layer has a very low water absorption rate, around 0.5%. This helps reduce drag and reduce weight when swimming in this swimskin.

5. blueseventy PZ2TX Triathlon Swimskin ($209.95) Womens/Mens

The blueseventy swimskin offers a ton of great features listed for the other swimskins, including hydrophobic fabric, YKK zipper, and bonded seams. This makes the blueseventy PZ2TX a solid overall swimskin.

blueseventy Swimskin Sizing Chart

Common Questions about Swimskins

Swimskins vs Wetsuits

Wetsuits are thicker and bulkier that swimskins and generally are used more for warmth and buoyancy. Swimskins provide neither of those, instead focusing more on the aerodynamics and hydrophobics to make the swimmer more streamline through the water.

If you are looking for a wetsuit, check out our top wetsuits!

The advantage of a wetsuit is for colder races since they do provide warmth, but for some races with water temps in the high 70’s and above, wetsuits could be illegal and dangerous due to overheating. That is really where the skimskin has it’s advantage since there is little risk of overheating due to the thin fabric.

WetsuitSwimskin
WarmthYesNo
BuoyanceYesNo
AerodynamicYesYes
Improves SpeedYesYes
USAT LegalYes, up to 84 F Water TempYes
WTC (Ironman) LegalYes, up to 84 F Water TempYes

Are Swimskins legal in Triathlons?

Yes, always. Swimskins are not considered wetsuits so they are legal for all triathlon swims, even if the water is too warm for wetsuits.

Do Swimskins improve swim time?

Yes, typically swimskins improve swim time by making you more aerodynamic and reducing drag. Having a singular piece of material with specific fabric that is hydrophobic, which repels water, helps the swimmer move through the water faster.

How to you wear swimskins?

Swimskins are meant to be worn over your tri-suit and are taken off after your swim in transition.

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