As the name suggests, the Aspire Thermal is a warmer version of Zone3’s popular mid-range Aspire wetsuit. For an extra £50 more than the regular Aspire, you get Zone3’s Heat-Tech fleece lining, constructed to maintain body heat around key muscles and organs.
The collar, chest panel, arms and legs have also been modified to increase warmth while maintaining flexibility. It retains performance features such as Zone3’s Pro Speed Cuffs for rapid removal, and is made with Yamamoto 39 neoprene with an SCS Nano coating to reduce drag.
In bone-chilling 6.5°C waters, we weren’t expecting miracles as the suit is best recommended for water temps between 10-18°C, but we noticed our midriff was discernibly warmer than when we’ve swum in regular wetsuits in very cold water. While 2mm arm and shoulder panels aren’t going to offer the flex of a high-end regular suit with rubber half as thick, sacrificing fractions of seconds during start-line sprints won’t be a deal breaker for many. The blend of 4mm and 5mm neoprene on the chest, leg and body panels give you more than enough buoyancy.
For a mid-range thermal suit it’s priced fairly – less than BlueSeventy’s Thermal Reaction and £75 more than the Huub Aegis III Thermal – and it did a fine job of keeping us warm(er) than a standard tri wetsuit. If you struggle in the cold and/or do all your events in the UK, this could be the only wetsuit you need.
Verdict: Impressively light and flexible for a thermal suit; and warm, too 88%
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