Posted by A.J. Nygren on 26th Mar 2018
Zone 3 Product Guide
Triathlete Sports is excited to announce that we will be carrying another manufacturer for the 2018 triathlon season! This manufacturer is Zone 3 from the UK. Zone 3 was started in 2007 by triathlete James Lock and found success quickly with the 2009-2010 Vanquish and Aspire wetsuits receiving 9/10 and 10/10 respectively in 220 Magazine. Since then they have grown to be the number one selling triathlon brand in the UK. Zone 3 offers a great selection of gear for triathlon, open water swimming, and even Swim-Run! In this post, I’ll introduce their range and highlight some noteworthy features. Let’s get started with wetsuits!
We will have three of Zone 3’s triathlon wetsuit offerings. The first in the range is called the Advance which features Zone 3’s eco-friendly neoprene sourced from limestone and recycled tires instead of petroleum. This is Zone 3’s entry-level suit but the Advance does not skimp on features. The Advance has quick-release wrist and ankle cuffs for a smooth transition to the bike. The neoprene in the Advance is a combination of SpeedFlo and Smoothskin neoprene with panels ranging from 2mm for flexibility and mobility in the shoulders to 4mm in the lower body for buoyancy.
Next up is the intermediate level Vision suit. The Vision has a one piece shoulder panel that allows for smoother mobility and a more comfortable fit. The Neoprene in the Vision is slightly thicker at 5mm in the torso and upper legs to give a serious lift to the swimmers core. In addition the neoprene is coated with Zone 3’s SpeedFlo all over to reduce drag. The Vision also features a comfort fit lining to make the suit one of the most comfortable available.
Lastly for wetsuits, we have the higher-end Aspire wetsuit. This wetsuit features Yamamoto 39 Cell neoprene for a superb balance of buoyancy, durability, and flexibility. The Aspire has the same one-piece shoulder panel for mobility as the Vision. The only portions of the suit that are not Yamamoto 39 cell are the panels at the wrists and lower legs. Those panels are Zone 3’s quick releasing speed cuffs. The Aspire has received some very high reviews from a few Triathlon publications like Triathlete Magazine and 220 Magazine. These reviews made note of the fit and efficiency of the suit.
Now that we’ve introduced the wetsuit line, we will move on to the triathlon clothing. Zone 3’s Activate Plus range is the most basic but does not lack thoughtful construction. The tops feature a longer torso so they sit more neatly over the tri shorts. They also have rear pockets for storage. In the women’s tops, there is built in chest support. The tri-shorts have a drawstring for an easily adjustable fit along with a fast-drying slim pad that won’t interfere with the swim or run portions. The shorts also have a wider waistband for comfort as well as silicone leg grippers to prevent the shorts “riding up” No pun intended.
Zone 3’s next line is called Aquaflo Plus. As the name implies, these suits perform very well in the swim portion of an event while also being breathable on the bike and run. These garments are coated with a water repellant coating and constructed from very high quality chlorine resistant lycra. That’s right; you can train with these suits in the pool! The Aquaflo Plus line has the same comfort features as the Activate like the chest-support for women, nutrition pockets, wider waistbands, and high quality zippers.
The Performance Culture line of products by Zone 3 is designed to be the most comfortable and versatile in the whole range. These garments are made from high quality Italian fabrics and are constructed from four different materials to ensure an ergonomic fit. These garments also feature comfort seams. The Performance Culture line goes beyond triathlon in that they can be used on the triathlon course or for general fitness. No matter where you use them, they will be comfortable, stylish, and very practical.
Lastly for Zone 3’s triathlon-specific line is the Lava collection. These are designed for the longer-course triathlon like Ironmans and Iromman 70.3s. Featuring the most advanced fabrics, the Lava line is ultra light, breathable, and water repellant. In addition, they have graduated compression to boost circulation and reduce muscle fatigue. They are offered in women’s and men’s with sleeveless and areo-shrotsleeve versions. The aero-shortsleeve features laser cut sleeves and compression for the biceps. The Lava suit is available in a limited edition Hawaii Print in homage to the Kona Ironman World Championships as well as a neon limited edition for those looking for bright colors.
Zone 3 doesn’t stop at triathlon, though. In addition to their triathlon goods, they have neoprene swim kit and an innovative swim-run line as well. Their neoprene clothing is great for improving swim technique, open-water swimming, or racing in events where wetsuits are not allowed. The buoyancy shorts, known as “The Originals,” are made of 3mm Smoothskin neoprene on the front and back as well as 5mm neoprene on the side panels. This will assist with keeping the hips elevated and rotation during the stroke. There are also men’s and women’s neoprene kneeskins which cover part of the chest and back in addition to the legs. This will give a much greater increase to overall buoyancy, hydrodynamics, and warmth in the water. For open water swimming, Zone 3 has neoprene swim gloves, swim socks, and thermal swim caps. These articles are constructed from high-quality neoprene and are designed to keep you warm without sacrificing proprioception or visibility.
We will finish our introduction to Zone 3 with their swim-run offerings. In case you aren’t familiar with swim-run events, you can read a bit about them (here). Zone 3’s suit is called the Versa. The Versa features comfortable seams to help avoid chaffing, 2mm thick neon arms so you can stay visible in the open water, and slightly longer legs with protection over the knees so you can scramble onto the shore out of the water. The arms and legs of the Versa are designed to be trimmed according to the individual athlete’s needs for length and coverage. Zone 3 also makes a selection of swim-run accessories.
In swim-run events, there is a healthy checklist of equipment that you will need to be familiar with and know how to carry on the race course. Zone 3 offers buoys that are meant for just that! The first of which is called the Donut Swim Buoy, this is a smaller capacity buoy that can hold a few accessories while keeping you visible. The next is a 28l buoy/drybag that has two air bladders that inflate around the storage compartment to keep all your accessories and needs dry. This buoy also has a belt with it that will keep everything close at hand but out of your stroke range. Finally, there is the backpack version of the original buoy/drybag. This variant features backpack straps so as you exit the water, you can simply put it on your back and get to the run! If you are looking to try a new brand or a new event in 2018, Zone 3 might have just what you’re looking for.