A well thought out, competitively priced wetsuit that you have to swim in to appreciate.
More wetsuit companies follow the Zone3 example of building a great fitting, well constructed suit at a price point that typical age group triathletes can justify. Yes, you can spend two or three times the money for a wetsuit, but a mid-range suit like this is going to be plenty of suit for 99% of us.
Zone3 has hit this one out of the park. Over the years and all of the wetsuits we have tried we have rarely had one feel as good as this wetsuit. Perfect fit and feel throughout the swim.
When we got the Aspire out of the box the first thing that we noticed was that it was one nice looking wetsuit, but we have seen many a nice looking product here at Tribomb only to have them not live up to their looks. It came nicely packaged and with a ton of info on the product. I’ll go through each of the details listed from the website and give you our point of view. Let me first say how good this wetsuit felt when we first tried it on out of the box. We have had many sizing charts that don’t quite get it right, but this was spot on for our test sample. Getting the fit right with your wetsuit is probably as important as any other piece of equipment you will own. If you ever have any doubt contact the Zone3 folks for help.
The Aspire wetsuit features from the Zone3 website:
Premium SCS Yamamoto fabrics designed to ensure superb all-over body flexibility, comfort and performance.
Pretty much the standard for high end wetsuit fabrics. The Aspire doesn’t skimp on materials and as a result you get a wetsuit that is flexible, buoyant and comfortable.
Aqua dynamic Nano coating applied to the neoprene meaning that there is almost no drag through the water.
Admittedly, the first time we heard the term Nano coating, we weren’t sure what the hell it really was, but we have since seen many a suit with this technology. Basically a coating that reduces drag and allows you to slip through the water with minimal resistance. The first time in the water we could tell that the suit felt fast and smooth. Go nano coating!
Extensive research and development on panel design and fabric thickness ensures this is one of the most natural feeling wetsuits you’ll swim in.
Right from the start of our first swim this suit felt so comfortable. As with any competition wetsuit you will need some help getting it zipped up, but the comfort level of this suit far exceeds most of those that we have tried in the past. The right mix of flexibility and buoyancy can be a tricky task to pull off, but the Aspire nails it.
Spring loaded shoulder design to generate a faster swim stroke, ensure maximum reach and to conserve energy.
I have been battling shoulder issues off and on this last year, and was a little worried if wearing this suit would change my stroke enough to bring them back. The reality for me was that it put me in a more natural position that didn’t aggravate my shoulder. I am not sure about spring loaded, but I felt like my turnover was easier and faster than usual.
Maximum 5mm neoprene allowed under ITU regulations from the chest down to the knees, giving plenty of buoyancy and core support to ensure the perfect swimming angle.
Especially on my longer swims I could feel the full benefit of the buoyancy of this suit. It really was helping me stay in a comfortable natural position.
Pro Speed CuffsTM on the arms and the legs for rapid removal after the swim to ensure the quickest transitions, saving you vital time on any course.
I didn’t actually try to speed through a quick transition in practice, but I can say that the suit was as easy as any suit we have had to get off.
3D forearm catch panels to increase surface area on the arm pull through the water with each stroke. More propulsion means more speed.
When I first saw these panels I thought of fish scales. Like other suits we've tested we can't say the catch panels actually made a noticeable difference. While we are not sure they made for more propulsion they did make us feel fast.
Downwards YKK zip to enable the suit to go on and off easily.
Getting out of this suit was much easier than getting it on, but like most race suits that is usually the case. We generally prefer a suit that has a reverse zipper so that it doesn't get inadvertently unzipped during the swim. The traditional zip up method is easier to get into, so it's not a deal breaker for us either way. Compared to the other suits that we have tried I do feel like it was easier getting off at the start, but still had some issues getting it off the heels.
Combining our recognized red cuffs with graphite back and arm panels gives the Aspire a distinguished style which looks as good on the rail as it does when being worn.
Like I stated at the beginning this is one nice looking wetsuit. If looks made you fast this would be the one to do it. Thankfully it backs it up with some hardcore materials and science!
This suit is going to set you back around $445. A great priced wetsuit that will give you all of the best options for racing.
TriBomb Bottom Line
The Zone3 Aspire wetsuit is a great option, if not the option, for racing this season. You can’t beat the price or the solid materials and design.