Von Collins is an accomplished triathlete and endurance cyclist, and the author of four fitness and training books: Smarter Running, Your First Triathlon Guide, Fit Foods, and 30 Rut-Busting Workouts. He has been cited as a triathlon, cycling, and fitness expert by Healthline, CNET, Forbes, Eat This, Not That and other major outlets.
One of the most common question we receive each season is “where can I find discounted triathlon wetsuits”. The allure of getting a cheap wetsuit or a smoking deal on one is something that people will seemingly search to the ends of the earth for.
There are two types of less-expensive wetsuits: Good wetsuits that are discounted, and cheaply made wetsuits. We have an entire piece on what you get for the money in wetsuits, but suffice it to say that we think everyone should get the best wetsuit they can for the money. Buying a cheaply-made wetsuit is hardly ever a good decision for anyone — they will feel horrible, fall apart quickly, and have virtually no resale value if you decide to sell it later.
Get a triathlon-quality wetsuit, but find it at a discount. Here is how.
The Best Places to Find Discounted Triathlon Wetsuits
We have a few go-to places when it comes to finding good deals on triathlon wetsuits. For years, we considered this a somewhat secret list, but then we figured that it is our duty to share these with our readers. With no further adieu, here are the places we recommend for finding discounted tri wetsuits.
- Blueseventy’s Clearance Section. Buying direct from Blueseventy has several benefits. You are buying directly from the manufacturer, so you know you are getting a genuine product. Because you are buying from the manufacturer, you typically are getting a late-model suit instead of a closeout. And dealing with the Blueseventy customer service team puts you in direct contact with the people who know their product best. While you aren’t always going to see wetsuits on sale, you often will, and at worst you may see great deals on things like tri shorts or swimsuits. This is one where you need to check back often, because the clearance stock is constantly rotating. Find here.
- Buying Direct From Xterra, using our code (‘EBOOK’). If you enter our special code, EBOOK, when checking out at Xterra’s website, you will get access to deals on their wetsuits ranging from 20% to 50% off or more. Xterra is a company that only sells through their website, so this is the only place to get authentic Xterra gear. We love Xterra, as we do Blueseventy, because both are makers of what we consider high-end triathlon gear. Found on sale, you get wetsuits that you can literally swim in for years. Unlike some of the other makers, though, Xterra is always offering something on sale — so it is always worth checking out. Find Here, and use the ‘EBOOK’ code at checkout.
- REI Garage is a place to get REI’s equipment on sale. We like the fact the REI always has access to lots of stock, but wish they carried more of the brands we recommend. Still, if you are looking for a basic triathlon wetsuit, you can find something at REI Garage. The Camaro brand is one that was in good stock at the time of this writing, although it is not a triathlon-specific wetsuit. If you see REI offering their Zoot suits on sale, take a serious look at them as they are high-quality. We also like that REI has local sites in addition to being an online retailer, something that usually helps if you have a quality issue or need to return the suit for another reason. Find here.
- Your Local Tri Shop. Just because we provide great triathlon content online doesn’t mean we don’t also support our local triathlon shops. The local tri shops are critical to the history and the future of our sport. Look for a store that focuses in triathlon — often times, they will have Tri or Multisport in the name. The place to find discounts at a shop is in their clearance rack — and typically on past year’s models. For the 6-7 open water swims do you every summer, you probably don’t care that the suit isn’t updated with the 3mm instead of the 3.5mm neoprene in the hip, do you? If not, you can save some money on an old model.
What to Look For in Your Triathlon Wetsuit Deals
If you decide to go the route of buying a triathlon wetsuit on sale, there are a few things you should be aware of and keep in mind as you look.
- Find a Triathlon Brand. Many wetsuits on the market, especially those that are very cheap, are actually not made for triathlon. We would never recommend that you use a non-triathlon wetsuit for such a physical activity such as racing in a tri. These wetsuits are often built instead for activities like waterskiing or surfing. Stick to the triathlon brands, such as Blueseventy, Xterra, Orca, TYR, Zoot, or DeSoto, among others.
- Understand the Return Policy. Often times, a clearance or discount triathlon wetsuit carries with it an important stipulation: You can’t return it. All sales are final. If this is the case, take extra care in make sure that the sizing, age, and style of the wetsuit are all to your liking. There is a point where getting a nice deal on a wetsuit just isn’t worth it.
- Get the Right Sizing. Cheap, bargain wetsuits often come with a cost – the sizing is limited. You can often find a good $400 wetsuit for $200, but the catch might be that only XS and XXL sizes are available. Be sure you don’t skimp on the sizing. See our piece on how a wetsuit should fit. As with so many things related to triathlon, getting the right fit is very important to the long-term performance of your purchase. Don’t settle on a “not quite right” size just to save a few bucks!
- Buy New. We are all about being green, and reusing and recycling whenever we can. But when it comes to wetsuits, we think buying new makes a lot of sense. Used wetsuits might have tears, cuts, patches, or odors that you just don’t want to put up with. A new wetsuit is yours and yours only. When it comes to other tri gear, especially bikes, we think that buying used can often be a great way to go.
- Beware of the “Too good to be true” Deal. There are some great discounts to be had on tri gear, no doubt. But if you find something that is just too good to be true, especially if it is not from one of the sources that we list above, be wary. We know that there are unethical websites who try to make a quick buck by not selling what they advertise, or not ship you the product in the timeframe that they promised. Be sure that you are dealing with a good, reputable vendor and you should have some peace of mind.
Once you have found that great wetsuit for the cheap price you are looking for, then it is time to use it. We have a few articles that you might find useful, including our piece on How to Use a Triathlon Wetsuit. This will give you the basics on putting a wetsuit on, caring for it, and what it should feel like. Next, check out our work on Triathlon Swim Training, giving you ideas on how to get the most out of the first leg of your race. Finally, don’t miss our Triathlon Checklist, a list of all the things you will need for race day as well as your training plan.
We know that if you can get the right training in place, and augment that with some carefully-chosen pieces of triathlon gear, you will enjoy this sport for years and years as we have.