I am a diver, yet I always rent my wetsuits. I have been thinking of making an investment recently, but I haven't gotten around to it, as in Belgium you need some different thicknesses: 7mm (for sure, even two perhaps), 3mm for indoor and on trips, a warm undersuit for the body, etc.

I am living in San Sebastian for 2 months, and I would love to buy a triahlon swimsuit 2mm (like this one) or 3-4mm (like this one) to be able to go out for longer swims in the ocean. I can't swim with a diving suit I suppose, because of the inflexible arms, and I am considering doing triathlons for fun. Not sure which one would be confortable with water temps around 16 degrees C.

Would I also be able to wear the triathlon suit to go diving? Or do they have significant changes that I am not aware of? I guess they are less insolating around the flexible parts, would that be a problem?

  • Update, I just read somewhere that a tri suit will rip faster. That might be a good point. I guess I won't be able to swim decently in a scuba suit. I guess both are in order...
    – dorien
    May 5 '14 at 18:09
  • When you say 'will rip faster' - what do you mean. The lifespan of these things is pretty good.
    – Rory Alsop
    May 6 '14 at 16:26
  • I meant when you put on a heavy BCD, lead belt and a tank on your back. I could be wrong, but that might be a possible difference. The outside feels different.
    – dorien
    May 6 '14 at 16:40
  • 1
    Ahh - I understand. Yes - they construction of a triathlon suit is definitely not designed for that sort of load/wear
    – Rory Alsop
    May 6 '14 at 16:50
  • Also some tris have restrictions on the kind of suits you can wear.
    – Val
    May 12 '14 at 17:03

My tri suit is 3 years old and I have already poked holes into it with my fingers when pulling it up and into place. The material is definitely softer and will probably not sustain a belt and tanks on your back. The outside of a tri suit is soft and porous.

The 2nd link in your question takes me to surf suites, though, and I remember from my windsurfing days 20 years ago that windsurfing wetsuites are constructed more like diving suites, i.e. they have fabric on the outside that is more rugged but still allows for arm movement. Maybe a long john (sleeveless) will do? This is if you are looking to compromise on both ends, because the drag of a surf suit will certainly put you at a disadvantage as swimmer.

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