Swimrun wetsuit review: Orca Vanir Flex
Orca currently have three swimrun wetsuits in their range: the Vanir Flex, at £199, and the Aesir Thermal, at £399 and the Aesir Flex, at £449. We tested the Vanir Flex.
According to Orca, this suit is the most comfortable in their swimrun range, but without being able to compare it to the Aesir, we couldn’t judge. We can, however, report that the suit slips on easily and has plenty of movement and flexibility around the thighs. As wetsuits go, this one is comfortable to run in. On land, we found the suit to be a little tight across the shoulders but once in the water the fit was perfect and swimming a pleasure. In common with most swimrun suits, the Vanir Flex has a front zip, making it easy to undo while running.
The suit has a single capacious rear pocket with a zip. This is large enough to carry what you need for shorter events, such as a collapsible cup, a small water bottle and some nutrition. For longer events, you might need to add a kangaroo bib or utility belt for additional stowage. I missed the additional pockets on the legs that Orca had on one of their older suits.
Some swimrun wetsuits include clips and loops for attaching things like towlines and paddles. The Vanir flex has none of this. This isn’t judgemental – we know some swimrunners prefer their suits this way – but it does mean you will need to look for another solution if you want to use a tether, for example. Orca separately sell a utility belt with a pouch and two attachment rings that works well with this suit.
As it’s compulsory in many events to carry a whistle, one
addition we would like is a whistle on the zip pull. However, this is a minor
complaint for an otherwise comfortable, practical and fit-for-purpose swimrun
suit at a reasonable price point.
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