With the ability to make or break an athlete’s race, wetsuits are a key piece of tri kit that we’d rarely recommend skimping on and dipping under the £100 barrier. A regular exception to this rule is Glasgow-based Lomo, who have largely scored well for their wetsuits since their 2011 debut on 220's pages.
Back then, direct sellers such as Xterra Wetsuits were a rarity, but that landscape has fundamentally shifted. While the lack of ability to test wetsuits for sizing before buying is still a negative of online purchasing (Lomo do have a shop in Glasgow), the fiscal benefits to the consumer of cutting out the middleman are clear, as evidenced in Lomo’s startling value.
“We’re lucky being a direct sales brand because our customers can feedback directly to us,” say the brand. “They have our email address and, because the feedback goes straight to us rather than to a shop, we get really useful direct feedback. We look at what works, what doesn’t, and what to keep in our range.”
Top of Lomo’s wetsuit range in 2020 is the new Prime, tested by Lomo’s focus group of triathlete testers in 2019 before being made in China from Japanese and Chinese neoprene. Aesthetics have never been a strong part of Lomo’s wetsuits, but the Prime appeals here with its orange flashes and clear branding. The construction feels secure, courtesy of the internally blind-stitched seams and chunky YKK zipper, and the fit – barring a little bagginess under the armpits – is close without being restrictive.
Our key outdoor test came in the 8°C waters of Portishead Lido in early December, an ideal temperature for gauging any water ingress (less so for the ability to move our fingers). And there’s very little seepage to speak of, with the neck creating a welcome seal free from chafing.
The 4mm-thick core is a millimetre shy of many wetsuits, which loses the suit a modicum of warmth and lift,
but we found the buoyancy levels consistent and far from the excessive lift that blights many budget suits. The 2mm arms and shoulders offer relatively impressive flexibility, while the 2mm leg and arm cuffs will be a boon in T1 in the summer.
So how does it compare to the best budget suits? We prefer it to Dhb’s Hydron (£110) and Aropec’s Cheetah (£98), but Speedo’s Fastskin Proton (currently just £98) is still our suit to beat.
Verdict: Lomo’s best wetsuit yet and a smart buy for newcomers to triathlon
Buy from lomo.co.uk