Ocean swimming is increasingly growing in popularity, and not just here in Australia. All over the world more people are taking to open water swimming. This may be partly inflicted by the fact Covid meant a lot of pools closed, so the only option was to get out in nature and take to the ocean or lakes to swim. Equally, there is growing recognition of the physical and psychological benefits of open water swimming.

However, for many open water swimming comes with the requirements of a wetsuit, especially when swimming in cooler waters. In our last blog we discussed our V1 long sleeved wetsuit. In this blog, Jennifer shares with us her experience with the V1 sleeveless wetsuit.

Jennifer’s experience of the V1 sleeveless wetsuit.

My V1 full sleeve wetsuit has been my trusty partner for the winter months. However, I decided it was time to start making the transition into a sleeveless wetsuit. Now the days are getting warmer again it seemed a good time to try. I also wanted to try a sleeveless wetsuit to explore whether I preferred the feeling of my arms being free in the water compared to my trusty V1 sleeved wetsuit. I decided to give the Volare V1 sleeveless a try, specifically designed for open water swimming and triathlon, it was the perfect choice for me as I take to the ocean several times each week.

Being fortunate enough to live here on the Gold Coast I was able to take a trip down to the Volare store. The team there are so helpful, ensuring I got the best fit that would feel most comfortable for my ocean swims.

Similar to the V1 sleeved open water wetsuit the V1 sleeveless is constructed from premium Japanese Yamamoto Neoprene with the body panels utilising 3mm, keeping my body warm in the cooler waters as well as improving my body position in the water through the extra buoyancy. The movement areas (e.g., shoulders and legs) utilise 2mm, which ensured that I was able to maintain a relaxed and effortless stroke, minimising fatigue. This is really important for me especially on those longer swims.  

For some swimmers, I know their reluctancy to wear a wetsuit is because they don’t like feeling constricted in both their breathing and their movement. Yet during the winter months when the ocean temperatures can drop, some of these swimmers will often leave the ocean spending the next hour or so trying to warm up as their core body temperature tries to slowly recover. The V1 sleeveless wetsuit really does provide that a perfect solution for those swimmers. With its gentle, low-cut neckline, it feels relaxed, comfortable yet completely watertight.

The design eliminates that psychological factor of constriction, especially for those who complain of restricted range of motion at the shoulder that they may have felt from a previous experience in a wetsuit. Equally for those swimmers who have bulkier arms and find the full sleeves a little too constricting, this is the perfect option for them too. My shoulders felt completely free and relaxed which was a really nice feeling for my stroke.

So, what about those swimmers (like me) who feel the “cold” and think that having no sleeves might not be enough to keep us warm? I did not notice a major difference in having my arms out in the water. That said I personally will choose to wear my long sleeved V1 during the winter months to have that extra warmth, but as the spring comes the sleeveless swimming wetsuit is the ideal option for making the transition. It was also really nice to have the natural feel of the salt water on the skin of my arms.

Lastly, the wetsuits high visibility neon yellow shoulder and legs panels make the suit highly visible when in the water, which is not only helpful with regards to safety in ocean swimming, but also to be a swift stand out from the crowd as you glide through the water.


Summary of the “pros” of the sleeveless V1 wetsuit

  • Cooler for those warmer temperatures
  • Less restrictive
  • Shoulder freedom
  • Ease to take on and off
  • High visibility
  • Easy on and off
  • Best in class #1

A bit like a triathlete often debates deciding whether it’s the tri bike or road bike, or whether to wear socks or no socks. The same applies for the wetsuit, it will be individual preference as to whether you prefer to swim in a sleeved, sleeveless or both. Personally, I like to choose dependent on the season.

My experience with the V1 sleeveless wetsuit was awesome, it definitely stands up to its reputation at being the “best in class”, a number 1 best seller internationally. Not only delivering on performance and comfort but also at an unbeatable value.

Jennifer Hamer BSc MSc – PhD Candidate and Mental Health Advocate