What to Wear When You Can’t Wear a Wetsuit

What to Wear When You Can’t Wear a Wetsuit

Here at ZONE3, we love being in a wetsuit, but there are times when you can’t be wrapped in neoprene. Many triathlons will feature a non-wetsuit swim, meaning you aren’t allowed to wear a wetsuit for the swim leg of your race. The Ironman World Championships in Kona is one such race, so the athletes taking part won’t be able to pull on a wetsuit to help them get their swim done.

Outside of the professional triathlon world, sometimes it’s just too hot to be wearing a wetsuit. Whether from a safety point of view, or merely with regards to personal comfort, ditching the wetsuit when the water is too warm is always a good option.

‘But what do I wear?’ we hear you ask. Thankfully for you, there is a variety of gear that you can pull on instead of a wetsuit to give you some performance and safety benefits without the risk of overheating!


Developed at the request of Ironman athletes who wanted extra core support and reduced drag during non-wetsuit swims, our swimskins are to be worn over the top of your trisuit or swimsuit. Available  sleeved or sleeveless, these suits feature revolutionary hydrophobic fabrics, to maximise speed and reduce fatigue when you’re not allowed/able to wear a full wetsuit. 


A kneeskin serves a similar purpose to a swimskin but can also be worn underneath a wetsuit, offering some great versatility. You can wear a kneeskin in pools where wetsuits aren’t allowed, or in unheated pools and open water when you may want some extra buoyancy and warmth but without the need for a full coverage wetsuit.

kneeskin can also be worn underneath a wetsuit as an extra layer of protection against the cold.

Buoyancy Shorts

Perfect for swimmers of all levels and abilities, buoyancy shorts are for when you’re looking for that wetsuit-feeling of support when you’re not able to wear a wetsuit (e.g. in a pool). Buoyancy shorts are designed to raise your lower body into the optimum position in the water to allow you to cut through the water more effectively and efficiently.

Neoprene top

Similar to a kneeskin, a neoprene top is for when it’s too warm to be wearing a full wetsuit but can also be worn underneath a wetsuit for extra warmth in cold water. Available as a vest or a long-sleeve top, both options have many of the revolutionary performance features available in our wetsuits, such as  flatlock stitching and high-stretch neoprene for optimum comfort and fit.