5 Best Tri Suits for Triathletes Compared
A detailed rundown of the best tri suits for triathletes reviewed and compared in 2017. Great for experts and novices a like.
One of the joys (curses?) of a Triathlons is pushing your body to the limit and beyond. Seeing just how much you can squeeze out of your body and if you can hit the personal record or not can be a lot of fun. The last thing you want to have happen during a triathlon however is run into some small issue with your gear, be it bike, swimwear or shoes. These minor irritations can be the difference between a good race and at the risk of sounding a bit hyperbolic, a disaster.
Choosing gear wisely is always smart it just comes at slightly higher stakes in the tri realm. Tri suits are one of the staples of a triathlete, if you get nothing else right, getting a comfortable and high performance tri suit is important.
For beginners approaching their first triathlon you not even be aware what a tri suite is exactly. We’ll break it down: A “tri suit” is a piece of clothing designed to be worn by an athlete through the duration of an event. These suits come in different formats, a one-piece style and of course a two-piece style. Which you prefer comes down to what type of race you are doing and your personal preference. In either case, the material is stretchy, breathable and high performing. Also a common style for the tri suit is without sleeves.
There are quite a few different options out there when it comes to tri suits, so we’ve trawled the shelves and online marketplace to find the best picks. Below you’ll find five of the best tri suits for triathletes. Enjoy!
5 Best Tri Suits for Triathletes
Castelli Men’s Free Sanremo Sleeveless
- Contains SpeedFreak race fabric on front portion of the suit – on the back you have Velocity which gives wind-tunnel proven speed on the bike
- Full length zipper in the back – aero-optimized pockets, won’t create any extra drag
- The armholes have an extra light finish to reduce any potential chafing –
- Castelli-devised “Sanremo” front design allows easy allows for easy bathroom breaks and airflow despite its one piece nature
- Features Giro Air leg gripper elastic, comfortable yet secure
- Patented KISS Tri seat pad is soft on the bike and does not hinder you on the run – made from multi density foam designed with the triathlete in mind
- Bacteriostatic treatment to avoid saddle sores and overall reduce possible infection(s)
- Aero-optimized pockets don't create unwanted drag
- The front is constructed with the ventilated SpeedFreak material
- Arm holes are built to reduce chafing
- The legs are secured with Giro Air elastic, which provides a tight fit without being over-constrictive
- May fit a bit looser than some others
- Features a NeoGel pad with anti-microbial fleece
- Great for sprints or longer distances
- Semi-compression in the legs, allows for a smooth and flexible grip
- Large armholes reduced potential for chafing
- Flat Lock stitching throughout the suit
- The neckline creates some drag in the water, for some body types
Zoot Sports Women’s Ultra
- Built-in bra features Dynamic Xposture supporting and separating cam
- Easy on/off design
- Coldblack technology reflects ultraviolet rays and dispels heat buildup
- Wrap leg hem with reflective gripper detail
- Hip mounted pockets
- Some had issues with the leg hem causing irritation, Needs to be a perfect fit
- Flexible fabric stretches in four directions
- Supports muscles well
- Made of super-light nylon/spandex/lycra
- Well cushioned pad provides chafe-free support on the bike
- Sizing runs a bit small
Orca RS1 Killa Race
- Flat lock top stitching
- Unparalleled breathability
- Anti-irritation Hydroseal on legs
- Anti-abrasion neoprene infused construction
- Some had an issue with the zipper, otherwise the reviews are positive
So there you have it, our top five best tri suits for triathletes. Above all else our advice would be to not settle until you’ve found one that fits perfectly, and we really do mean perfectly. The last thing you want is to hamstring yourself (in an already difficult task) with gear that doesn’t quite do it for you. For a little bit more information on Tri Suits versus Wetsuits read on.
Tri Suits versus Wetsuits
To some extent whether or not you go for a tri suit or a we suit will be down to the the rules and regulations of the particular race you are competing in. But beyond that personal preference comes into play quite a bit.
Tri Suits: If you can get away with using one by all means go for it. The simplicity of not changing at all throughout the course of the race is a huge bonus. Then again in some situations you absolutely need a wetsuit and the benefit they entail. So just make sure know the conditions and rules well before and plan accordingly.
Wet Suits: A wetsuit is generally made from neoprene material, is buoyant, and helps keep you warm. A tri suit is not buoyant at all. Wetsuits also come in different styles and variations, you want to get one that is geared for triathletes specially if possible.
If the triathlon you are participating in is in open water and that water is predicted to be at all cold, a wet suit is going to help. Wetsuits are also very beneficial to weaker swimmers. So if you’re just starting out or swimming isn’t your strongest point, there can be a real advantage to the wetsuit. Often times triathletes (by the nature of their training) don’t have tons of body fat, this can mean you get colder in the water faster than average so the wetsuit can provide additional benefit there.
The bottom line is know your conditions, know your body, understand the rules and from that point deciding whether to go for a tri suit or full wetsuit is relatively easy.