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Snug Slipstream wetsuit review

Is a made-to-measure option the best solution to finding the perfect wetsuit? Helen Webster tests the Snugg Slipstream to find out...

Our rating 
4.8 out of 5 star rating 4.8
£620
Snugg Slipstream wetsuit

Our brand visits’ feature in issue 408 gave a behind-the-scenes look at the work of Snugg Wetsuits.

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For those that missed it, then it’s worth quickly reiterating a little. Newquay-based Snugg were founded by owner and surfer Malcolm Ball in 1982, when he left his job at Gul to travel the world chasing big waves.

Initially building made-to-measure suits for lifeguards competing in surf lifeguard competitions, he soon caught the eye of a couple of pro triathletes – and the rest is history.

Snugg have stayed true to their roots, still operating out of Cornwall with a workshop where you can be measured for your wetsuit and just a few strides away see the team cutting, glueing and stitching the suits together by hand.

The perfect fit?

So with this tester’s own suit now here, how was it to swim in a bespoke wetsuit? I should say first, that as 220’s swim kit tester I’ve swum in a lot of wetsuits during my years on the mag and have always said that the best suit is the suit that fits you properly.

That really rings true for me as I pull my Slipstream out of its packaging and try it on for the first time. I’m 5ft 7in and 11 stone but curvy with that – I’ve long bemoaned my chunky legs and wide hips yet small upper body when trying on wetsuits – but pulling on the Snugg was a truly different experience.

The legs slipped on easily (a first for me), while the suit was close but not tight-fitting through the body and arms.

Built to last

My suit has an added optional thermal lining (£48.50) as I do a lot of winter swimming, while the buoyancy profile is based on me having a more positive buoyancy, female body, with a higher percentage of lower-body fat. This means 3mm through the body and the unique front ‘diffuser glide panel’, with 2mm elsewhere.

The suit feels robust and more substantial than my usual suits, but that’s no bad thing. It feels built to last, and for a suit to be used 12 months of the year, for me, that’s a positive as I find I get through ‘normal’ suits in a couple of years.

Performance in the water

In the water, I immediately felt well positioned and comfortable as I swam, although I did see a few trickles down the neck initially. A quick email to Malcolm, though, and I popped back and the suit was adjusted to take a little neoprene out of the back.

Within a fortnight it was back and now, the fit was perfect. The wetsuit felt fast and allowed for good body position and rotation, while the design’s removal of all horizontal seams and a one-piece shoulder-to-elbow panel constructed from very flexible neoprene meant that the reach was superb.

It rewarded me with a comfortable, supported swim experience that will make you wonder why you didn’t always go made-to-measure.

As for the price, that’s pretty much in line with the rest of the market if you’re looking to invest in a top-end suit for long-term use.

Verdict: Unbeatable swim experience and offering real inclusivity in wetsuits.

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Score: 95%