As soon as you pick up a Huub wetsuit, you know it’s a little different from the rest. Feather light (my ‘small’ weighed just 816g), the women-specific model is constructed from 3mm neoprene, markedly thinner than a typical 5mm suit. Huub claims that this is because women ‘float better’, with lower muscle density, and if a suit provides too much buoyancy, it hampers stroke efficiency (that said, a version for women with higher muscle density is coming out later this year). While other brands are adding bells and whistles to their suits, British brand Huub has gone for a minimalist approach, which is perhaps why it appeals to those no-nonsense Yorkshire lads the Brownlee brothers – run your hand inside and there’s an absence of overlapping fabric, seams and stitching.
Put it on and it feels like a second skin. I had no trouble with sinking legs in the suit and the extra flexible fabric under the arms gives good range of movement. I had zero chafing after an hour’s sea swim, but I know two other women who suffered quite nasty chafing around the back of the neck, which brings us to the zip issue. Huub’s breakaway zip entails a tricky manoeuvre of pulling the zip up an extra couple of inches, instead of down, in order to open the wetsuit. The plus side is that the suit then simply falls open all the way down to the bottom of the zip, rather than you needing to tug it down. But to protect the top of the neck, there’s an extra high piece of neoprene and a flap at the back - and this seems to be the culprit in terms of neck rubbing. The other feature contributing to a speedier T1 is the exceptionally stretchy fabric on the lower arms and legs which seem to make the suit glide off wrists and ankles.
As far as looks go, the Aura is a winner – it’s a flattering cut with contrast colouring drawing the waist in. Size-wise, it’s quite generous. Most brands recommended me a medium, but the small fit perfectly.