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Reviews Zone3 Vanquish X wetsuit review - Wetsuits - Swim

Zone3 Vanquish X wetsuit review

Does this suit, returning for another season, continue to have the X-factor? Editor Helen Webster finds out...

The Vanquish X from Zone3 is another suit that has stood the test of time and continues in 2024.

A development of the brand’s popular Vanquish, we first saw the Vanquish X in June 2022 when our (male) tester awarded it 82%.

Impressively, this suit has remained the same price in a market where many others have seen year on year increases (though admittedly, it’s still very much a top-end purchase).

Zone3 Vanquish X wetsuit review

There’s a dizzying array of tech on display here, and the panel diagram (showing the materials and buoyancy profile) shows a whopping 11 different types of material used in the construction – there’s no doubt that Zone3 has really thought about every inch of this suit.

Tech includes a mix of neoprenes from tissue-paper-thin 0.3mm (yes, that’s 0.3 of 1mm!) on the arms, through 1mm and 1.5mm in the shoulders and under arms, down to 5mm in the core and upper legs, and then 2mm in the cuffs and ankles.

Like the Agilis, a bag is included, too – here a handy dry bag.

What’s the buoyancy like?

Of course, that’s a whistle-stop tour, but what this gives you to start with is a suit that is insanely flexible and thin through the arms and supportive and buoyant through the core.

With the Vanquish X, there’s no difference between the buoyancy profiles for the men and women, which did make the suit feel very positively buoyant, helped by Aerodome material on the front of the legs and buoyant NBR material (as used in life jackets) sandwiched between two layers of neoprene to give even more lift.

While this suited our male tester last year, this female tester found it a little too buoyant.

How easy is it to get on and off?

We also found it a bit of a struggle to get in and out of – although Zone3’s Silk X lining as used here, as well as in much of their range, is always hugely appreciated and makes the suits very fast to pull off, too!

We would like to have seen more available sizes, though – this tester found the medium a little small, but the large would have been too big. A size ML likely would have hit the sweet spot.

How flexible does it feel?

As for the top end of the suit, this really is a buy for the swimmer who wants to feel completely unrestricted in their stroke.

That mix of very thin neoprene with 0.3mm panels made it feel almost like you were wearing nothing in places.

How warm is it?

Zone3 has added an ‘alpha titanium lining’ on the upper body for warmth, but we did find our arms felt the chill a little more on our test swims, which wasn’t helped by the ‘cool spot panels’ on the forearms to help with feel for the water.

That said, our tests were done this year in waters around 13°C (thanks British weather!) and we would hope to be racing in waters much warmer than that by race season!

Zone3 Vanquish X verdict

In all, this is a very technical suit with many superb features to recommend it.

That may be a little over the top for some swimmers who are looking for a more ‘natural’ feel in the water, but for a triathlete who wants plenty of help in achieving a fast, supported swim and a speedy transition, it’ll be worth the spend for the marginal gains.

Verdict: Tech-filled suit with plenty of triathlon-specific features.

Score: 88%

Pair this with…

Zone3 Wetsuit Changing Mat

zone3-wetsuit-changing-mat-black

If you’re spending all that money on a new wetsuit then you should probably make sure you’re looking after it.

As well as putting it on carefully (or using gloves to do so), that also means taking it off carefully.

This Wetsuit Changing Mat from Zone3 should help, as it gives you a platform to stand on when taking off your wetsuit, thus avoiding the wetsuit itself being stomped into the ground during removal.

Once you’ve got your wetsuit off, you can then use the changing mat as a bag thanks to the drawstring closure.

Profile image of Helen Webster Helen Webster Editor, 220 Triathlon

About

Helen has been 220's Editor since July 2013, when she made the switch from marathons to multisport. She's usually found open-water swimming and has competed in several swimruns as well as the ÖtillÖ World Series. Helen is a qualified Level 2 Open-Water Swim Coach focusing on open-water confidence and runs regular workshops at the South West Maritime Academy near Bristol. She is also an RLSS UK Open Water Lifeguard trainer/assessor.