Wetsuit Review 2013: Orca 3.8

Initial impression

Orca makes reliable, classic, fast suits and the 3.8 is no different. With a clean design and simple white and orange logo font, this suit looks sharp.

Features

Buoyancy

I immediately felt the difference in buoyancy between this and other Orca suits I have tried. The Exo-Cell buoyancy system is new and it certainly achieves what it was intended to do. As a result of the targeted panels, the swimmer will feel their leg position and torso position being enhanced in the water.

Flexibility

You wont get arm fatigue in this suit. Turning the suits inside out you will see red lining with extra stretch. Your arms and shoulders will have plenty of mobility.

Zipper

A standard zipper.

Transition speed

The flexibility/ stretch in the arms should help with transition speed. Like Orca’s other wetsuits, you will have no problems getting this one off.

Sizing

It’s a firm fit, I tested a women’s small but could have fitted a size up.

Calf panels and arm catch panels

The forearms have molded panels to enhance the catch phase. The panels are not overly stiff though, so they wont feel heavy on your forearm or hinder your transition speed.

Orca-2013-3pt8-Front

Why you want this suit

You want this suit if buoyancy is your primary need, but you are after other benefits as well. This suit has four notable features for me. Firstly the targeted buoyancy, which is effectively achieved through the Exo-cell system. Secondly, the low but flat neck, keeps water out and prevents chafing. Thirdly, I like the flexibility in the suit, achieved with the high stretch lining and the1.5mm-2mm nano-SCS coated #40 Cell neoprene panels. Finally, water won’t get in to this suit. This one is impressive; you won’t be disappointed if you can get your hands on one.

Anna Cleaver

Anna Cleaver is a professional triathlete with an elite swimming background.