Gliding, comfort, resistance…we have selected the best apnea indoor wetsuits and, once more, done something nobody has ever done before: compared all their performances. We needed a real champion to have a great test: Luciano Morelli!
We chose the best apnea indoor wetsuits on the market. Selection was based on the most used by competitors in national and international competitions (Salvimar Zeero, Mares Horizon and Tuttosub sleeveless), or eventually interesting models launched recently on the market (Salvimar Rise).
As always, we do not want to proclaim a winner of this comparison test, even though some wetsuits will finally receive better overall marks than others. The evaluations you will read will though help you choose the wetsuit which is more adequate for your needs. Indications will be made on best comfort, strength, wearability, detailed manufacturing and gliding performace.
We have decided to test the 4 wetsuits in the same day having our great Champion, Luciano Morelli, trying them out one after the other in the monofin and no-fins specialties. In the test Luciano also wears a Lobster neck weight, which is extremely easy to use and flexible in the variation of total weight, but has some limit when weight needed is important, as a long “tail” has to be set up and can slide laterally during turn.
We have made a video of the test with each wetsuit, in monofin (DYN) and no-fins solution (DNF), and have measure number of kicks and time to swim 100 meters with monofin (4 x 25 m swimming pool) and 50 meters no fins (2 x 25m). Luciano has commented his performance immediately at the end of the dive and has finally given his opinion on:
- Comfort no-fins (DNF)
- Comfort monifin (DYN)
- Gliding no-fin (DNF)
- Gliding monofin (DYN)
- Thermal insulation
All wetsuits used were new except for the Salvimar Zeero, which is the wetsuit used by Luciano in his competitions. Such wetsuit has evidently taken advantage on the comfort and gliding as it had already adapted to Luciano’s body. So comfort was improved compared to a new wetsuit, and also gliding had been more effective due to a better body position kept by Luciano all along his performance.
Final results and evaluations indicated in the downloadable chart at the end of the article are based both on Luciano’s sensations and comments, and on the measures of number of kicks and time needed to swim 100 meters and 50 meters respectively in the DYN and DFN.
Most recently launched of the lot, the Horizon 1.0 mm is an extreme effort by Mares to offer a top of the line apnea indoor wetsuit. Every detail and high level solution are present on the wetsuit, from the polyurethane external cover to reduce friction and improve gliding in the water, to a thinner neoprene band that goes all the way from the anckles, along the two sides off the body up to the wrists. This permits best extension of arms over the head, and has a tighter solution on wrists and anckles for best sealing to reduce water entering the wetsuit. Absence of stitchings and preformed shape of arms and legs improve gliding and comfort.
Used by Luciano in his normal training and performance, it is an extreme wetsuit well diffused among the strongest athletes. Only 0.5 mm thick and no stitchings, plus of course the polyurethane external cover of the neoprene, the Zeero is a 100% a high level competition wetsuit. Its limit could only be the thin neoprene and so some limited resistance in time even though manufacturing is top level.
1.5 mm thick with stitchings, evidently the Salvimar Rise is a more traditional and much less extreme wetsuit, less focused on top performance compared to the Zeero, but surely strong and warm. Good overall and adapt also for swimming in the sea, the Rise is a soft wetsuit that can last in time.
1.5 mm no sleeves Tuttosub wetsuit is a different concepts with evident pluses and minuses. Surely total freedom and comfort of arms and shoulders, but also less thermal insulation and some doubts on the gliding in no-fins discipline. A plus is also that it can be tailot made to fit perfectly the body.
For total top performance Mares Horizon and Salvimar Zeero are unbeatable. The latter just a tiny bit more performing in the test, but gaining advantage by the fact that Luciano had already softened it up and also the setup with neck weight was perfect. Horizon is thicker, so warmer and probably stronger.
Salvimar Rise is for training and also swimming, will not give best performance, but will last, keep warm and cost less.
Tuttosub Sleeveless is unique, with unmatchable total freedom of the arms for best relaxation and comfort, it does not keep the upper body warm and the gliding is reduced compared to the best wetsuits in the no-fins discipline.
Checkout all marks and detailed comments on the downloadable chart clicking the Marks chart.
Luciano Morelli is Italian Champion 2017 of DNF-DYN monofin; Bronze Medal in DNF-DYN bifins and Silver Medal DYN monofin at the European Championshipo 2017 in Cagliari, Italy. At the World Championship 2016 at Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, he was Bronze Medal DYN monofin.