GEAR,  Product Reviews

Open water essentials from Zone3 | AD

Embrace the escape with open water swimming kit from Zone3

One thing swimming pools have going for them is that they are controlled and safe environments. But when you venture outside, it’s different. You can’t leap unthinkingly into your local river as you might into a pool. You’re back in nature – which is fabulous. But you need to respect it. The more you know, the safer you’ll be.

Safer and more enjoyable

Having the right kit will make your swim not only safer but more enjoyable too. Spring water temperatures can still be chilly, so you might want to wear a wetsuit. The Agile from Zone3’s range of wetsuits is a great choice for wild swimming or if you are new to the open water. Even if wearing a wetsuit isn’t your thing, neoprene gloves, socks and hats are wonderful for keeping your extremities warm and allowing you to swim more comfortably in cooler waters. Socks are also really useful for protecting your feet on stony banks!

A good pair of open water goggles is essential for swimming outdoors. The new Venator-X from Zone3 offer great visibility with a range of lens options. Most importantly they are super comfortable!

Safety in the water is paramount so always swim with a safety buoy. As well as making you more visible to other water users, they are also great for having a little rest to take in the views.

Finally, don’t neglect your post-swim kit. The body continues cooling after you have left the water so it is important to avoid ‘afterdrop’ by getting dry and warm quickly. Have your warm layers ready to get into and keep nice and cozy with a Zone3 Polar Fleece Jacket – also useful for getting changed under. And don’t forget the most important bit of kit – a flask of warm drink and a piece of cake!

Protect your extremities

Zone3 – 1

Gloves – £29.99

Long wrists and a velcro strap stop water ingress.

Zone3 – 2

Socks – £29.99

Long length and a velcro strap keep them secure and tight.

Zone3 – 3

Hat – £29.99

Brightly coloured neoprene to keep you warm and visible.

Essential kit

Zone3 – 4

Polar fleece parka robe – £129

Keep warm and dry before and after your swim. The three-quarter length Parka Robe is lined with cozy fleece and the outer is water and wind resistant. Zipped internal pocket for phone and valuables, and another internal pocket for goggles, snacks etc. Fleece-lined external pockets keep hands warm. Big hood with cord fasteners keeps wind and rain out. The Parka Robe is also lightweight and packs down in your kit bag for easy transportation.

Zone3 – 5

Safety buoy & dry bag – £32.50

Available in pink and orange, this 28l drybag and buoy with dual air chambers is perfect for storing mobile phone, car keys, wallet, flip flops, change of clothes, snacks etc while also keeping you visible in the water.

Zone3 – 6

Agile wetsuit – £169

Perfect for wild swimming or if you are new to the open water, the Agile wetsuit has many features not seen on entry level suits, such as fully glued and blind stitched seams and no nylon neoprene. It is also made from eco-friendly neoprene derived from limestone and scrap rubber tires. Although not as fast in the water as Zone3’s higher models, the suit is still designed for speed and comfort. Shoulder panels are flexible with 2mm neoprene, thicker 3 and 4mm panels keep you warm and buoyant.

Zone3 – 7

Venator-x – From £29

Zone3’s latest goggles are just at home in the pool as they are in the open water. With a wide range of lens options – including photochromatic, which reacts to different light conditions – these good-looking goggles are supremely comfortable with a wide range of vision.

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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.