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Keeping Warm When Swimming in Cold Water

Cold water swimming is all the rage at the moment, with the health benefits being well documented. People like Wim Hoff are introducing a new audience to the joys of cold water immersion. Open water swimming in the UK is – except for a few months in summer – very much a cold water affair.

But how to keep warm in the cold water so that you enjoy your swim? This guide will take you through some great ways to keep warm and make the most of your cold water swim.

Neoprene Swim Caps

With most heat lost through the head, an insulated swim cap is a must have to keep you toasty in cold water. The Swim Secure Universal Neoprene Cap is 3mm thick, making it perfect for retaining heat in cooler water. It also features a high visibility orange stripe and reflective bands on either side so you can be seen in lower light conditions.

Neoprene Gloves and Socks

Our extremities tend to get colder faster due to the body conserving warmth, moving blood into the core to protect the vital organs. Wearing neoprene gloves and boots keep your hands and feet warm, extending how long you can swim for and making the experience a lot more comfortable.


Purist will tell you that ‘real’ open water swimmers never wear wetsuits, but this is simply not true. Not only will a wetsuit keep you warm in cooler water but it also increases your buoyancy, making swimming easier and allowing you to swim for longer.


Every degree helps and by wearing goggles you’re keeping your eyes and surrounding face a little warmer. The Swim Secure FotoFlex PLUS Goggles are great all-year round, featuring a larger lens for a wider viewing angle and covering more of the face.

Ear Plugs

Many swimmers report discomfort when cold water gets in theirs ears. The Swim Secure silicone Shell Ear Plugs are soft, easy to use and great at keeping unwanted water out of the ears.

Tow Float

Staying comfortable in cooler water isn’t just about warmth, it’s also about staying safe. Using a Swim Secure Tow Float means you will be visible to other water users and you’ll have something to rest on should you need a break. With a float like the Hydration Float you can even take a flask of hot drink with you on your swim for a mid-session heat boost.

Change Robe

The risk from cooler water doesn’t stop once you’re on dry land. Thermal after-drop can occur, as your temperature will continue to fall even after your swim. Mitigate the effect by putting on a Selkie Change Robe to raise your core temperature. These robes are not only made from recycled plastic bottles, they contain a cosy Sherpa fleece lining to warm you up in record time.


Finally, no swim is complete without a hot drink (and some cake!). The Swim Secure Vacuum Insulated Flask will keep liquid hot for hours and features a sports cap that is easy to open with cold, numb fingers.

With a few simple steps it’s easy to keep warm and enjoy a safe cold water swim. For more information on swims in cooler water check out our Benefits of Cold Water Swimming guide.

Our suggested cold water swimming essentials 

cold water swimming


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