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New year, new outdoor swimming kit

Thinking of splashing out on a new piece of outdoor swimming kit for 2023? We have your guide to five investment pieces that will make a difference to your dips.

Treat yourself to a changing robe or update your tired old wetsuit? Splash out on a roomy kit bag or replace your foggy goggles? If you’re thinking of investing in a new item of outdoor swimming kit this year, what should be on your list? Founder and Publisher Simon Griffiths has your guide to five key pieces of kit for 2023 – chosen from the Outdoor Swimmer Shop, with options for all budgets.

A new wetsuit

“Once people start commenting on the holes in your wetsuit, it’s probably time for an upgrade,” says Simon. “Remember to choose a wetsuit to suit your swimming goals: the fastest wetsuits are usually the most expensive, but they are not always the warmest or most robust.”

GILL Women’s Dynamic Long Jane Wetsuit | £85

They say: The Dynamic Long Jane is a versatile, adaptable and insulating suit designed and engineered to perform with you in the water. Using a 4-way stretch fabric and a front zip for easy access and comfort, the 3mm Neoprene offers a protective skin-tight fit with Di Guard abrasion resistant panels on the seat for added durability. This versatile suit is ideal for a wide range of water sports such as boardsports and paddlesports, including sailing, stand up paddleboarding and kayaking. (Also available as Men’s Dynamic Long John Wetsuit).

RACESKIN RS01 Wetsuit | £240

They say: Raceskin’s RS01 open-water wetsuits provide the freedom and flexibility for every stroke, coupled with incredible support to ensure the fastest swims. Their award-winning designers have created a range of race-ready wetsuits using the latest neoprene fabrics to deliver exceptional performance at an incredible price. Flatlock seams are smooth against the skin, delivering unrivalled freedom of movement. Constructed from Yamamoto smooth skin, a flexible, buoyant and smooth neoprene. 1.5mm – 5mm fabric delivers maximum stretch, buoyancy and comfort. Low-friction SCS coating reduces drag and helps you glide through the water at speed.

YONDA SPORTS 2021 Spectre Men’s Wetsuit | £319

They say: The Yonda Sports Spectre 2021 won ‘Best on Test’ and ‘Best Value’ in 220 Triathlon Magazine. This wetsuit incorporates exceptional build quality, flexibility and speed at an affordable price point. The advanced design and handcrafted quality build deliver extra strength and durability; comfort with all key seams taped and lightning fast to take off. The Spectre is aimed at first timers to triathlon and open water swimmers who are looking for a high quality, but affordable first wetsuit. The Spectre maintains key features of the award-winning YONDA high performance Ghost series. If your mission is to kick ass at an affordable price this is your suit! (Also available as Spectre Women’s Wetsuit)

A roomy kit bag

“Who doesn’t love a good kit bag? I prefer one I can cycle with, with lots of pockets for goggles, swim hats, snacks, drinks bottles and the rest of the kit I haul around,” says Simon.

SELKIE SWIM CO Canvas Barrel Bag | £30.00 (sale price £17.50)

They say: The Selkie barrel bag is a highly practical sports bag designed for use outdoors. Available in Burgundy and Navy, the barrel bag is made from bonded backed cotton canvas for strength and lined in contrast nylon ripstop for practicality. It also features double-ended zips for easy access and comes with a durable detachable webbing shoulder strap so it can be carried hands-free.

WILD MOOSE Caribou kit bag 40L | £59

They say: The Caribou waterproof kit bag is a tough and versatile companion for swimmers and adventurers who relish easy access to their kit and like a variety of carrying methods. It can be worn as a backpack, carried over the shoulder and has hold-all grip handles. This is a rugged piece of kit that will rise to the challenge of all outdoor swim terrains and it can be easily wiped down after a muddy outing. It is made from tough 500D PVC tarpaulin and has heat welded seams to give your belongings total protection from the elements, up to zip level. You can leave it on the damp ground and sling it in the mud and your belongings will be safe from any moisture from below.

OVERBOARD Pro-Sports Waterproof Duffel Bag 60L | £99.99

They say: This roll-top waterproof sports duffel bag gives you full protection against water, dirt and sand. Constructed from tough PVC and complete with HF welded seams and a Fold Seal System, it’s totally waterproof and suitable for quick submersion. With its 60-litre capacity, large internal wet/dry pocket and external hook-and-loop mesh pocket, this waterproof sports duffel bag is the perfect travel, sailing or water sports bag. It includes a carry handle and removable padded backpack straps, so you could use this Pro-Sports duffel as both a sports bag and a waterproof backpack. It also features a weatherproof front zip pocket, and easy access to your gear via a wide mouth opening.

A changing robe

“Yes, we know they do look a bit odd, but once they’ve used a good changing robe after swimming, most people don’t want to go without. Brilliant for staying warm and dry before and after swimming,” says Simon.

NORSE SUPPLY Unisex Army Green & Orange Sittingsuit | £95

They say: The Sittingsuit is the sustainable extra layer that keeps you warm on chilly days. The wind proof and water-repellant fabrics and padding will make sure to protect you from almost any weather and temperature and lets you relax and stay warm on chilly days, or as the sun goes down. Whether you are in your garden, on your city balcony, on a boat, at an outdoor sports event or living your best life at a music festival under the stars, the stylish and cosy Sittingsuit is guaranteed to keep you warm. Warning: Once you put it on, it’s hard to take it off!

SELKIE SWIM CO Recycled Selkie Robe | £125

They say: No more getting cold on the side of lakes, rivers, or the beach, the Selkie robe focuses on keeping you warm in a sustainable way. From its full quick wicking Sherpa fleece lining throughout, extra-long zip pulls easier to handle with cold hands, through to the option to have a full or shorter length sleeve, and a more fitted hood, everything has been considered to keep the elements out and you super cosy. It is also made from recycled polyester, RPET fabric (also called PET or PETE bottle fabric), an eco-friendly material made using the yarn of recycled plastic bottles: one tonne of regenerated RPET yarn equals nearly 70,000 plastic bottles.

VIVIDA LIFESTYLE All Weather Puffer Changing Robe | £240

They say: Get changed, keep dry and stay warm with Vivida’s technologically advanced, eco-friendly, insulated & rainproof personal changing coat. This puffer changing robe is designed to shelter you in every weather condition, elevating the comfort and ease of your waterside changing, all year round. Enjoy blending in with nature with this lush Aventurine Green colourway, a perfect complement to the surrounding elements. Sustainably made, the high-performance outer shell, made of 100% recycled plastic, is the ultimate defence from the elements. Inside, the honeycomb lining combined with the ultra-insulating, QuiltedCloud fill, traps warmth to preserve your body heat. Thoughtful features, such as an easy-grab two-way zip for flexibility when changing, and the ability to pack down into a tow float or transform into a convenient travel pillow, will make this your new adventure kit essential.

Neoprene accessories

“As the temperature drops, it’s often the hands and feet that feel it most,” says Simon. “We think the biggest advantage in wearing neoprene gloves is retaining the ability to use your fingers once you exit the water and need to dress quickly.”

HUUB Neoprene Swim Socks | £39.99

They say: The HUUB Neoprene Swim Socks or Booties as some people like to call it, has a protective reinforced sole which provides ‘non slip’ protection and abrasion resistance, and a split-toe design to avoid ‘rolling’ on the foot. It also has adjustable Velcro closures to make this neoprene sock suitable to be worn either over or under your wetsuit. HUUB Neoprene swim socks, are worn to protect the feet from hard ground, stones and sharp objects. The 3mm neoprene also help to keep your feet much warmer for both training and when allowed in races (when conditions are very cold and if allowed by the race organiser).

GILL Unisex Aquatech Slip On 3mm Neoprene Waterproof Shoe | £42

They say: The Aquatech Shoe offers optimised grip and comfort when out on the water. Easy to slip on, with an adjustable strap over the top of the foot to ensure a secure fit, they are crafted with 3mm double lined Neoprene and waterproof seams to keep you comfortable all day. The wrap-around, non marking rubber sole offers improved grip while the reinforced heel, toe and bridge support allow flexibility needed to remain agile. Ideal for all conditions, the Aquatech Shoe is a suitable for dinghy sailing, paddlesports and boardsports such as stand up paddleboarding and surfing.

GILL Unisex Neoprene Winter Gloves | £50

They say: Warm and durable, Gill’s Unisex Neoprene Winter Gloves feature a textured Sharkskin palm to provide exception grip in wet conditions. Crafted from 3mm double-lined neoprene, liquid taped seams and a smoothskin wrist seal, your hands will be protected from water ingress, making them ideal for colder conditions. These gloves are suitable for a multitude of water sports including sailing, dinghy sailing, paddlesports and boardsports such as windsurfing and kayaking.

A new pair of goggles

“If you swim in nature, surely you want to be able to see what’s around you? If you wear glasses, consider treating yourself to prescription goggles. They’re a game changer in open water.”

SOUL CAP Adult KELLERMAN Mirror Goggles | £20

They say: Designed with tough polycarbonate lenses and extra width for improved visibility, the KELLERMAN Mirrored Goggles are perfect for everyday fitness – with an easy-access side buckle for fast adjustment of the strap. Features: metallised lenses for increased glare protection; UV-protected wide lenses for enhanced peripheral vision; double silicone head strap; quick-release side buckle for easy adjustment; four interchangeable nose pieces for a perfect fit.

HUUB Brownlee Acute Swim Goggles | £29.99

They say: Following the popularity of HUUB’s Brownlee Race Goggle, HUUB worked hand with both Ali and Jonny to be able to offer the perfect goggle for open water and pool training. The new Acute was one of their best selling original goggles, so with the Brownlee’s input, they have redesigned the goggles for optimum open water visibility and swimming pool clarity. With the comfort of a larger surface area and low-pressure gasket, the silicone gasket and polycarbonate frame join seamlessly to create a smooth and outstanding new look, offering peripheral vision for open water, casual and competitive swimming. Featuring: UV protection and anti fog PC lens; soft silicone frame, strap and gasket; unique single lenses design; one piece gasket for ideal waterproofing; comfortable back strap design for better fitting.

ZOGGS Predator Flex Polarized Goggles | £38

They say: Get ready to experience Zoggs’ best fit yet, with their Predator Flex Polarized swimming goggles. The Predator Flex range offers unrivalled comfort and fit, thanks to the use of 3D flexpoints for enhanced frame flexibility and a customised fit. Predator Flex Polarized Goggles come equipped with a polarized lens, making them an ideal choice for the outdoor swimmer, as they battle any bright lighting and glare. There’s no need to worry about fog either, as these lenses are impregnated with anti-fog tech, there definitely won’t be any ‘finger swiping pit stops’ in these. Featuring: Exclusive Advanced Ultra Fit™ gasket, designed to reduce pressure around the eye socket for exceptional comfort; Polarized lens, ideal for high level of light; CLT™ – Curved Lens Technology offers 180-degree peripheral vision; Anti-fog lenses; UV Protection; 3D Flexpoint for an even better fit.

Browse goggles, wetsuits, kit bags, changing robes and neoprene accessories along with plenty more outdoor swimming kit, at the Outdoor Swimmer Shop.

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.