thermal front

Earlier this year, we got a sample of Blueseventy’s new wetsuit, the Thermal Helix. The company has used their 20 years of testing to adapt an already great model, the Helix, to colder conditions. For triathletes racing in Canada, usually there’s a need for a wetsuit all season. This one will allow you to start your open water training earlier in the season. If you’re checking out models this year, there’s a lot to love about the new Thermal Helix — here are our first impressions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike the Helix, the Thermal Helix has a great level of thickness. It’s based on Blueseventy’s 5-5-4 millimetre pattern which adds buoyancy in key areas, like the core. This is great for beginners or less experienced swimmers, because the added buoyancy helps you keep your hips and legs up. If you’re training for your first full distance triathlon this year and feeling nervous about the swim, this suit could help you shave time off your swim.

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Experienced triathletes will love the Thermal Helix, too. Blueseventy has considered all aspects of the suit’s fit. It has a softer material around the top of the collar that looks like it could help reduce chafing on the neck. It’s body-mapped, gender specific 3-mm side panels improve the fit and compliment the torso. Compared to other suits we’ve tested, the fit seemed a little on OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe smaller side but that could be because it hugs the body so well.

The suit’s main upgrade from the Helix is that it’s designed for colder water. This is a great feature for Canada and the northern U.S. For those early season races, you’ll have no temperature issues with the Thermal Helix, especially when combined with Blueseventy’s other great products like their thermal cap, socks and gloves. The suit’s warmth comes from its orange liner, an upgraded lightweight, zirconium jersey that’s flexible for a full-range of motion.

If you’re racing overseas or even targeting a late summer race, the Thermal Helix might be a bit warm, especially over a longer distance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe suit has Blueseventy’s special Honeycomb forearm print, common to many of its suits. This technology claims to give a greater feel for the water and additional propulsion, which can help triathletes maximize each stroke.

At $950 CAD, this suit is on the higher end of the spectrum but it’s a great investment if you do the majority of your racing in cooler destinations. Look for a full review in our 2016 buyer’s guide.