This blueseventy Alliance swimrun wetsuit review is the culmination of years of product testing. The Alliance is truly part of the old guard- the 1st generation of swimrun wetsuits to be readily available in the US circa 2017ish. blueseventy is well known for their high quality triathlon wetsuits, and they, like us, were early adopters of swimrun this side of the Atlantic. As far as we know the Alliance 1st generation model has not been updated since it hit the market, and it is blueseventy’s sole swimrun wetsuit offering.
As mentioned, two SRL testers have taken the Alliance through the wringer over two years of training and racing, and it was my first kit upgrade from the baggy surf wetsuit I wore for my first swimrun. Though the Alliance and I have been through many wild adventures together and it holds a soft spot in my heart, I feel confident I can exercise cold objectivity in the review to follow.
Disclaimer: Swimrun Labs did not receive any payment from Blueseventy or its competitors to write this product review, and acquired the product as part of a sponsorship package for Quest Swimruns.
- Features: Front zipper with extended length, two internal front pockets and one external back pocket, integrated tether loops, customizable arms that can be trimmed without compromising the suit.
- Material: “Exceptionally durable neoprene” is the most detail we were able to find on blueseventy’s website.
- Color: Black and pumpkin orange
- Weight: 1020g dry, 1550g wet
- Sizes tested: WMS (female tester, yours truly), MS (male tester)
- Cost: $270
- Fit: At 5’4″ and 125 pounds I am in the sweet spot for the WMS according to blueseventy’s size chart. The womens Alliance has clearly been engineered for fit, and Blueseventy seems to have effectively translated their female-specific design know-how to this suit.
- Sizing: The sizing chart accurately determined the correct sizes for our testers, however women with larger shoulders may need to size up.
- Aesthetics: “I just escaped from the Starship Enterprise and decided to try a swimrun!” Trekkies unite, this suit’s for you. Orange panels provide great visibility in the water.
- Perceived value to the swimrunner: This entry level suit covers all the bases without breaking the bank. It may not have the superhero looks or the refined design elements of a newer model suit, but this thing’s a workhorse and made to last.
Testing Results Breakdown
Praise for pockets! The luxury of three storage pockets in this suit can easily accommodate all mandatory gear plus extra snacks and goggles. The usability of the pockets is great for solo or untethered training missions, however when paired with tether system and a race bib, pocket access takes a dive. All the pockets are located around the waist area, which has to share real estate with the tether system, making the pockets much more challenging to access in competition or when training with a tether. Totally fine if that’s where you keep the compass you’ll never use, not so fine if that’s where you keep the emergency gel saved for when your partner is bonking. Or even worse for when YOU are bonking, and can’t get into your damn pocket.
Running performance in a word: Restricted. As stated on blueseventy’s website, the Alliance is crafted from “exceptionally durable neoprene.” That which is bombproof is usually not-so-flexy, and we found this to be true for the front panel in the hip and thigh region of the Alliance. Not unusual for an entry level suit, but each running stride requires overcoming the resistance of exceptionally durable neoprene that just seems to want to keep your leg from moving freely.
That not-so-flexy front panel is great once you hit the water. The Alliance has thicker neoprene throughout the core area and anterior thigh, and this contributes to warmth and buoyancy that is appreciated on longer swims. All our testers chose to trim the sleeves so that the suit could be worn with our without the arm sleeves, but with arm sleeves on this suit kept us reasonably tolerant of a 400 m swim in 46 F water. For some testers a bit of neck gap let a small amount of water through the suit while swimming.
Easy to zip and unzip to thermoregulate, but very challenging to cab down- assistance required.
Though it is entry level, this suit is not completely no-frills. There are two tether loops integrated into the rear of the hip area, one on each side of the suit (see photo of features above). They are oddly anchored so that if they were to be used to connect a tether it would require partners to travel sideways while facing at oblique angles to one another. Put simply, these loops are not functional as tether loops. Over my two years with this suit I’ve used them to carabiner spare goggles, tried to convert them to a pull buoy attachment system (failed), dangled my lucky rabbits foot off of one while I warmed up pre-race, and oft contemplated their presence on my suit. Luckily, they weigh essentially nothing.
When you eat sh*t on a slick rocky swim exit covered in barnacles and your suit shows not a blemish upon close inspection, you know it’s made of Extremely Durable Neoprene. Two years of unskilled shenanigans, lots of abrasions, and even poison ivy* did not compromise the blueseventy Alliance swimrun wetsuit. Nuff said.
*Don’t be fooled, this wetsuit does not protect the wearer from getting poison ivy.
I told you I could deliver cold objectivity in this blueseventy Alliance swimrun wetsuit review. That said, there is a reason I stuck with the suit long as I did: it does the job without fail, is totally dependable, and should be considered among the top contenders for an entry level wetsuit under 300 bones. I am tempted to guarantee that it will last as long as you can hold off on upgrading. We hope blueseventy rolls out an Alliance 2.0 someday, because they certainly know what they’re doing when it comes to female-specific fit and designs optimized for swimming. If you’re a beginner on a budget, the Alliance swimrun wetsuit is a solid option, and blueseventy frequently offers discount codes. In fact, our friends the Low Tide Boyz have handily shared a 20% off code for our readers and their listeners! Just enter the code SWIMRUN on the blueseventy website and the discount is yours.