Double celebration today: first Open Water Swim of the season (and first in a LONG time) and first swim in my Xterra Vortex 3 John, which I purchased last fall and never tried out until today. I got the size Large and, at 6′, 208 lbs, this was a bit of a squeeze, but comfortable once on.
They say that a good wetsuit can do the swim for you and, while that might not be entirely true, I definitely felt the additional buoyancy. Plus, Lake Michigan was around 58 degrees Fahrenheit this morning and I didn’t feel even the slightest chill with the wetsuit on. I also wore a swim cap, hate them hate them hate them, which kept my head warm as well. So just the feet and arms a bit chilled, but no problems as I swam for a bit.
I opted for the Vortex 3 John, as I don’t really like to be confined by sleeves, but at some point I’ll probably do a swim that will require a full suit. At that point, I will definitely consider another Xterra Wetsuit, as this John is extremely comfortable, seems well-made, and the prices are really good as well. Xterra no longer makes the Vortex series, but the new intro line, the Volt, is reputed to be very similar and the prices are good as well. Xterra has a 3 year warranty, 30 day money back guarantee, correct size guarantee and, if you aren’t sure you want to buy yet, a rental program.
Xterra often has sales on their website and if you follow them on Twitter, you can occasionally get free shipping or another discount as well. Their Facebook page is fun as well, with photos of people wearing their wetsuits at a variety of events.