Open Water Swimming Equipment

Open water swimming is a really exciting way to take your swimming to the next level, but it’s important to have the right gear.

Because open water is so different to the kind of swimming you might be used to in an indoor pool, you’ll need some extra bits and bobs.

Below is a list of equipment most open water swimmers use. If you have any questions about open water swimming equipment, chat to your local swimming club. You can find them using our Pool Finder.

Silicone hats

It's vital that whenever you go swimming in open water you wear a brightly coloured silicone hat.

This will keep your head warm and more importantly make sure you’re easily visible in the water.

Did you know that MySwimfit members get 20% off Speedo? Learn more and sign up here.


Wetsuits help to keep you warm and can be needed even in summer due to the low temperature of water in the UK. They also help to make you buoyant, which is safer and helps you to swim faster.

You are advised to practise in open water several times before a race or big event to get used to your suit, as the wetsuit alters the position of your body in the water.

An ill-fitting suit can put you off as it makes you fight the water rather than swim. Wetsuits can be bought or hired online.

As a free MySwimfit member you can get 20% off Speedo products. Learn more in our MySwimfit zone here

Otherwise look for triathlon shops as their suits will be designed for swimming.

Boots, gloves and socks

In cold water you need to keep your hands, feet and head warm to avoid illness, injury and having to get out of the water early. Lots of people wear boots, socks and gloves.

Look for a balance between keeping warm and being able to swim properly. Shop staff will be able to advise you on what will best suit your needs.

As a free MySwimfit member you can get 20% off Speedo products. Get in contact with Speedo for advice and sign up to MySwimfit to get a discount.