When we reviewed Roka’s original Maverick X back in 2016, we declared it the best wetsuit we’d ever tested. While our own thoughts haven’t changed after trying the updated version, it now costs £255 more than a suit that we already thought was astronomically expensive.
We can’t deny there are plenty of fine options out there costing under £500, and the majority of triathletes wouldn’t even consider spending close to a grand on a wetsuit. With that disclaimer out of the way, though, read on if you’re willing to pay serious cash to save every last second in the water…
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- How thick should my tri wetsuit be?
- How long should a triathlon wetsuit last?
- Why does a wetsuit make you swim faster?
The new Maverick X II has been fine-tuned rather than massively overhauled by the Texan outfit, a wise choice as the first version was close to neoprene perfection for us. The main change is the new ‘XOskeloton’ core section. This finds Roka adding lateral panels made up of seven different liners designed to maximise your efficiency – Roka compare it to making a bike frame stiffer to make you go faster for the same number of watts.
Although the buoyancy profile is the same as the original Maverick X – with the neoprene kept very thin up top so your shoulders are as free as possible – the X II is said to be 7% more buoyant in the lower body to further prevent sinky legs and promote a horizontal position. We found it had very balanced buoyancy in our test swims, but could feel more of a boost than most high-end wetsuits. This was highlighted by taking some dives and really feeling the lift in the legs as we resurfaced.
On the torso and arms, we think the Maverick X II has world-beating flexibility, and is as close as we could imagine to wearing a wetsuit without feeling like you’re wearing one. Roka claim it’s their ‘arms-up’ construction that makes the Maverick X so flexible, meaning the suit is patterned around a model that has the arms positioned upwards, which is the position you’re in most while swimming.
The suit is also smooth and stretchy, not causing us any chafing issues in the neck and proving very quick to get off thanks to the ankle panels, with a 2mm section at the base to help you kick out of it at speed in T1.
We can say with confidence that you won’t be disappointed with the second iteration of the Maverick X, and for this tester [Jack has tested virtually every top-end wetsuit made since 2015] it’s the best tri wetsuit we’ve ever swam in, even more so than the £800 Sailfish Ultimate IPS+ or the £1,250 Deboer Floh 1.0. Yet that lofty price tag will make it a money-no-object purchase, although we’ll expect to see the tech trickledown to Roka’s cheaper suits soon.
Verdict: The performance is almost perfect, yet that price will limit the appeal 90%