EXTRA,  GEAR,  May 2024,  Product Reviews

Best spring suits for swimmers

Shorties, long Janes, neoprene swimsuits: spring suits are a great option for when you don’t need a full suit, ideal for warmer waters or taking part in a swim run event. Read our expert reviews.

ALPKIT Duel Wetsuit


They say: This fast changing, front zip shorty suit makes changing a doddle. The Duel uses panels of varying thicknesses to combine the flexibility and insulation you need. We’ve used 2mm neoprene in the upper body and 3mm around your legs and bum to provide the right amount of buoyancy for an efficient swimming position whether breaststroke or crawl. Nylon-faced neoprene on the arms, inner legs and glutes reduces wear and tear in high friction areas and is durable for sliding in and out of the water. 

We say: We think swimrun wetsuits are a great choice for wild swimming if you want the warmth of neoprene around your core without the coverage of a full suit. The Duel’s 2mm and 3mm body panels give warmth and buoyancy while maintaining a natural body position. The long front zip makes the suit easy to remove and the nylon panels on the arms and legs make the suit durable. There’s also a handy zipped pocket on the back and an internal chest pocket for your car keys.

VIVIDA Linda Reversible Wetsuit


They say: Made for swimming and surfing, the reversible shortie Linda Wetsuit is the perfect match for year-round water adventures. The Linda Wetsuit’s flexible, sustainable 2mm neoprene offers the ideal mix of insulation, ease of movement, elegance and connection with nature. The unique fully reversible design gives you two suits in one.

We say: We tried this out in 12 degree water and it kept our tester remarkably warm. We put this down to the snug fit and high elastane content, which meant it stayed put, alongside other well-designed features such as a secure collar seal and medium leg rise with stay-put binding, all contributing to minimising water ingress. The suit now features a longer front zip, which makes changing very smooth and easy. We love the ‘Map of Dreams’ design, with a subtle two tone grey on the reverse.

FINISTERRE Women’s Nieuwland 2e Yulex
Long Jane


They say: Enjoy the elements while adding a layer of warmth with the Nieuwland 2e Yulex Long Jane Swimsuit. Allowing skin to get salty but keeping heat in, the Long Jane is made for summer surfs, spring SUPs and all year round swims. This flexible wetsuit made from Yulex is a cleaner alternative to neoprene, and the racer back and ergonomic panels allows for a full comfortable range of movement.

We say: We love a Long Jane. Traditionally worn by surfers, they’re a great option for shoulder season swims, keeping your core warm while the racer back allows your arms to move freely. There’s something about the way you can feel the water more, too, which makes us feel more present. The Yulex is soft and stretchy and we liked the high rise collar which provides a secure seal. It’s easy to take on and off, lightweight to pack and gives you the option to layer with a Yulex long sleeve jacket in colder conditions.



They say: At Yonda we are extremely passionate about sustainability therefore we have developed a product that aligns with our ethos: this is our new Yulex range. Yulex is 100% pure natural rubber latex and 100% recycled polyester lining with 99% of impurities removed. Our Yulex range has a great variety of cuts to maximise comfort for every shape and size and to help people gain confidence. With front zip or back zip options and an embossed Yonda logo.

We say: We’re excited about Yonda’s new Yulex range, which comprises 12 women’s and four men’s styles in sizes up to 4XL with a variety of cuts from sleeveless, short or long sleeves or bikini cut, with hot pants or varying short lengths. We opted for the long-sleeve, long-short and back-zip ‘Diddy’ in a deep bottle green, which felt remarkably warm for its 2mm thickness. The high fitted neck prevented water ingress while the super stretchy Yulex and thoughtful placement of side seems gave excellent arm rotation without chafing.

ORCA Vitalis Shorty


They say: The Vitalis Shorty is a wetsuit with short sleeves and short legs which was designed for swimming and is also suitable for other water sports. Its orange Hi-Vis panels give you extra visibility for practicing open water swimming. The highly resistant outer fabric in the leg area makes it more durable, while its construction allows for total freedom of movement and makes the wetsuit easy to put on and take off.

We say: The orange side flashes give good visibility in the water and the neck line was very comfortable without letting in water. The nylon legs make the suit not only durable but also suitable for swimming both breaststroke and front crawl as neutral buoyancy is preserved. We also like that it can be used for other water sports such as paddleboarding. It’s a great choice for wild swimming when the water is still chilly but you would like to swim for longer while still feeling a connection with the water. Short arms and legs make the suit very easy to get into and out of.

CHILLY SWIM Audrey the Shortie


They say: Audrey is inspired by 1940s swimwear and the panache of Audrey Hepburn. Functional but stylish, this swimsuit gives you maximum body coverage while still keeping the shoulders exposed. The high neckline keeps your chest and collar bones covered (an area particularly susceptible to the cold), while the shorts keep the bum and thighs wrapped up and cosy for that little bit of extra warmth. It has rough cut edges to add a modern, dynamic twist.

We say: What a super silhouette! We were really taken by the shape of the Audrey with its hot-pant shorts, high neck and sleeveless cut, which made our size 16 tester feel really body confident. We also appreciated the balance of style and function: all the important places are covered, with 2mm durable limestone neoprene for core warmth while the 10 per cent ultra-flex Lycra lining gives excellent flexibility and feels silky soft against the skin. The full back zip, with long, pink zip chord, made getting in and out of the suit a breeze.

WALLIEN Nikki van Dijk Springsuit


They say: You’re in for the perfect ride with this award winning 1mm neoprene Springsuit. Co-designed by Madeleine Wallien and our favourite Aussie pro-surfer, Nikki Van Dijk. It’s stylish swimwear cut fits to form, without cutting or disappearing up your behind. We serve it up in our limited edition Sun colour that is accented with white logos and aquamarine binding on the neck, zipper and legs.

We say: Made with 1mm limestone neoprene, this bright springsuit is ideal for water temperatures around 18-22 degrees and we look forward to wearing it for ocean dips and unheated lidos over the summer. We love the retro styling and unusual colours; we tested ‘Sun’, a fresh lemon yellow, but there’s also an aquamarine and warm grey ‘Moon’. The 1mm neoprene is so stretchy, giving exceptional range of movement while being easy to wriggle out of. Made with surfers in mind, this is a robust and ocean-ready suit with reinforced seams and stretch points, so it should last.

Last updated May 2024. All products were chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Click here to subscribe to the magazine. Read more Outdoor Swimmer gear reviews. Main image: Orca.

Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.