What to wear under your wetsuit?

What to wear under your wetsuit?

When you make your first foray into open water swimming or triathlon it’s natural to have lots of questions. A question we get regularly asked is “What do I wear under my wetsuit?”.

The answer to this depends on a number of factors. Primarily – what the event is, the water temperature and what makes you feel comfortable.

Below we discuss your options to ease any nerves about your first open water swimming session.

1)      Your swimming costume

It can feel slightly unusual when you swim in your wetsuit for the first time, so we thoroughly recommend giving it a test run before your main event.

But there isn’t any need for an expensive upgrade when you first take the plunge. The trunks or swimming costume you’d normally wear in your local swimming pool is all that’s required to wear under your wetsuit.

And if you are training for an open water swim, that’s all you’ll need for the rest of the season.

However, there is one exception – we wouldn’t recommend wearing boardshorts. These can bunch up and cause a bit of discomfort.

Our advice is to stick to your Speedos!

2)      A Triathlon suit

It’s not obligatory but wearing a triathlon suit under your wetsuit can save you precious seconds when taking part in a triathlon.

Even the most seasoned triathletes can exit the water feeling slightly dazed and confused. Wearing a triathlon suit gives you slightly less to think about once you have completed the swim.

Don’t underestimate how difficult climbing into your cycling shorts can feel after several hundred metres of swimming!

So a complete costume change is best avoided.

One of the golden rules of any event is not to attempt anything for the first time on race day.

So if you are planning on wearing a triathlon suit under your wetsuit for the main event, make sure you have tested out the combo in open water beforehand.

3)      Your birthday suit

This certainly isn’t advisable if you are taking part in a triathlon – unsurprisingly, public nudity will earn you an automatic disqualification!

However, as long as you have somewhere private to change into, there isn’t any reason why you can’t go au naturel under your wetsuit for an open water swim.

Just make sure you give the suit a through clean before returning it to us! Check out our blog on how to clean your wetsuit if you’re unsure of the best method.

4)      Thermal Vest

Depending on when you season starts, and your sanity levels (some of our customers are known to swim in open water all year round!), you may find the water is too cold for any of the above options.

A great way to ensure you warm up within a few strokes is by wearing a rash suit or vest under your wetsuit. Check out our thermal layers which we stock here.

Thermal Vests come in a range of options- from no sleeve, to short sleeve and will ensure you raise the temperature during the early or late OWS season.


If you have any further question about what to wear under your wetsuit, or any other aspect of wetsuit hire, then drop us an email at hello@triwetsuithire.co.uk

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