So after last week's post I decided to do some of my own research to see how Xterra's return policy compares to other wetsuit companies. Xterra claims the best return policy in the industry. Why is this important? Wetsuit sizing is extremely important to getting the most out of the wetsuit. You want to get a suit that fits well. If it is too big it will fill with water and that will slow you down. If you get one that is too small it will be much more restrictive and will make you feel tired. It is difficult to know without swimming in the suit. It's tough to tell if the suit will fill with lots of water or if you will be quickly tired due to a restrictive suit. Here is what I found out. All this information was taken from the websites of the manufacturer website or in the case of the retailers listed from their websites.
Xterra Wetsuit return policy- Xterra will allow returns for full refunds or size exchanges within 30 days of the purchase. They encourage buyers to swim in the suit. They will accept it back for a full refund or exchange after it has been used in open water. They even suggest that buyers in cold weather states use it once for a short period of time in a pool if the weather is too cold to try in open water.
2XU- Will accept returns only on new, unopened merchandise within 30 days. You open it...you keep it.
TYR- Wetsuits may be returned only for exchange. They do not give refunds. Suits that have been used or gently worn will not be accepted as returns. No exceptions.
Zoot Sports- All items have a 30 day money back guarantee. All items returned must be new and unused with tags still attached.
Blueseventy- Will accept returns as long as the item is new and has only been tried on for sizing purposes. The tags must be attached to return. All wetsuits returned are subject to a 20% restocking fee which will mean you are out $60.00-$150.00 depending which suit is purchased.
Orca- Will accept returns within 14 days of purchase. The wetsuits must be new with tags still attached.
DeSoto- Allows returns on wetsuits that have been used. Returns must be made within 14 days of the day purchased.
Aquasphere- Will accept returns for 30 days on new, unopened items. You open it, you keep it.
Swimoutlet.com- Accepts returns on new, unused merchandise with orginal tags attached within 60 days of purchase.
Trisports.com- Accepts returns after "one free swim".
Wetsuitwarehouse.com- Allows returns for 30 days after purchase on all new items with tags still attached.
Triathletesports.com- Allows returns on new merchandise for 30 days. Tags must still be attached.
All3Sports.com- Accepts returns on all new items with tags still attached for 30 days. If you send back without tags they will return to you and charge you the return shipping.
Sunrisetri.com- Accepts returns on all new items with tags attached within 30 days. A 15% restocking fee applies on returns.
As you can see from this list Xterra has the best wetsuit return policy in the market. 2nd best vote goes to DeSoto. The only downside to DeSoto is that the returns have to be received by them within 14 days of when the suit was purchased. That reduces the window of how long you have to try the suit because the 14 days does not include the time it takes to get the wetsuit to you and for you to send it back. The best retailer is Trisports.com because they at least allow 1 swim in the wetsuit. It was a little unclear to me on their website whether or not the return is only accepted for an exchange or if you are allowed to get a refund. The worst vote goes to Blueseventy because not only do they not allow you to return a suit you have swam in...they will charge a 20% restocking fee! The worst retailer is sunrisetri.com who is similar to Blueseventy except their restocking fee is slightly less at 15%. This information makes me even more proud to represent a company like Xterra Wetsuits. If you want to get the best price available...even better than their sale prices use discount code SA-JEFFP. You may use this discount code if you are a follower of this blog, friend, or family member. Right now they are running a special and I thought it was going to end Sunday. They lower our discount code price to beat their existing specials. I tried the code today and the special was still in effect. The Vortex Full Suit (400.00 retail) can be purchased for 149.00. The Vector Pro Full Suit ($600.00 retail) can be purchased for $223.50 with the code. I've had some questions about which suit people should go with. If you are training for a sprint or Olympic distance race I would say the Vortex Full Suit is sufficient. If you are training for something longer than Olympic distance I would recommend the Vector Pro. The biggest advantage of the Vector Pro is that the arms are made of 6 different pieces of material. What that means is that the arms are going to be much more flexible than a lower priced wetsuit that is typically made using 3-4 pieces of material. This will make a difference in a longer swim because your arms will not tire as quickly if the wetsuit is more flexible. The other difference I noticed is that the Vortex 3 is made with a material that is a little slippier through the water. There is also a spot on the arm that the Vortex 3 has to help with the catch of the water. It is a rigid spot that is supposed to catch more water than the lower priced suits that do not have that catch spot. You can see that spot if you check out the photos on the Xterra website at www.xterrawetsuits.com If you find one you like and you are a friend, family member, or follower of this blog use discount code SA-JEFFP.
As for my own training I'm finished with my 2 week vacation. I did zero training, ate whatever I wanted, and gained some weight. I'm still not ready to resume regular training but for the next 3 weeks I enter a phase I call "exercise phase". I will begin eating better than during "vacation phase", and I will also be working out but not hard-core. I'm not tracking my workouts. I'm swimming with our high school kids, running with friends, getting on the trainer to ride during Iowa games...etc. I'm working out without specific weekly goals. Hopefully my weight gain will come to a halt during "exercise phase." I'm getting a schedule and goals laid out. I'll write more about my training and what my plans are next week. Thanks for reading! DREAM BIG!