Neoprene warmth vest review by Jemima Cooper
Loving Open Water Swimming – Warmth in the Water!
I hate being cold. My lips go blue and I shake like crazy. I lose feeling in my feet, not to mention, I get incredibly grumpy. So when my coach said “why don’t you go open water swimming?” last week (this is British May!) I obviously wasn’t so chuffed!
Luckily for me, Trigirl stepped in with a snazzy under-wetsuit top, Zone3’s neoprene warmth vest, and it saved the day!!
My thoughts on this little addition to your swim wardrobe:
The idea behind the Zone3 neoprene warmth vest is to add a bit of extra warmth for open water or pool-based swimming.
It’s very form-fitting and shaped around the waist to keep it sleek and to avoid bulk. Being just 2mm thick, the vest provides an extra layer that fits comfortably under a wetsuit. Featuring unisex sizing, I found going down one size works best to keep the intended snug fit. However, if you wear a very large bra cup size, you might consider going for your normal size.
A titanium coating is applied to the internal material which really adds more warmth in the water. Additionally, there is a high neck to keep a little more heat in. I did get a little rubbing on my neck between the wetsuit and the under layer, so a good tip would be to apply Bodyglide or similar non-petroleum-based lubricant in areas likely to chafe.
I wore the top (under my wetsuit) for one hour in a 14-degree lake. Normally, I would have lasted about 10 mins at this temperature so this definitely made a huge difference! Keeping up my core temp allowed me to train for longer and generally enjoy the whole open water experience a great deal more. £44.50 is a reasonable price to pay for comfort if you plan to do a fair bit of open water training, especially in the early season.
In addition, here are a few extra tips to help keep you warmer whilst swimming outside!
- Make sure you have a good breakfast/meal beforehand. The cold will burn a lot of energy and under-fuelling can make you feel the cold more than usual, especially afterwards!
- Avoid the cold-water shock feeling when you get in by thinking in your head “I know it is going to be cold and you might breathe funny for a minute, but this is normal and it will pass”. Don’t freak out about it – stay calm, cool and collected!
- Wear two swim hats! Every little bit of extra heat you can keep in counts!
- Make sure you have a snack and a thermos flask of hot drink for when you finish to help the internal body temperature creep back up.
- Try to wrap up warm before you swim or turn the car heater up. Don’t start off cold before you get in!
You may also be interested in our blog post on the same product here.