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The Best Triathlon Gear Reviewed & Tested

last updated Apr 12, 2019
Many runners see triathlon as the ultimate challenges of their abilities. When preparing for a triathlon it is important to consider that running is only a third of the total challenge. Training through both cycling and swimming will not only allow you to properly prepare for the triathlon itself but also as an endurance builder, which will help strengthen your running abilities on the whole.

Here we have a variety of gear, for your consideration, that we at Runner click believe are essential for a proper triathlon kit. Further, in the article we also have triathlon participation guidelines to help you properly prepare.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 20 hrs of research

icon
Rockay
97.8/100 our score
Materials
98
Features
99
Ease of Use
98
Durability
97
Value
97
Rockay
Why is it better?

High breathability

Great support

No-slip design keps the socks from sliding doen in your shoes

Merino wool naturally aids in moisture control

Watch Video Review
In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Rockay
Test Winner: Rockay
Researched Sources
8
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1600
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
20
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
25
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Brian Price:

Today we found all the products in this buying guide still performing well with triathletes, so we added lots of new content in our criteria section on what to look for when buying gear for races. We also improved the readability of the top 5 reviews and in general made the material more readable and accessible for our readers.

Sorting Options
Materials Features Ease of Use Durability Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Materials
98%
Features
99%
Ease of Use
98%
Durability
97%
Value
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$14.95
See Deal
$15.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Materials
95%
Features
97%
Ease of Use
98%
Durability
85%
Value
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$39.96
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Materials
95%
Features
90%
Ease of Use
95%
Durability
95%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$32.95
See Deal
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Materials
89%
Features
93%
Ease of Use
90%
Durability
93%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$128.70
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Materials
90%
Features
95%
Ease of Use
91%
Durability
85%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$330.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Materials
90%
Features
92%
Ease of Use
85%
Durability
90%
Value
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$249.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Materials
92%
Features
81%
Ease of Use
88%
Durability
80%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$12.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
Materials
88%
Features
80%
Ease of Use
90%
Durability
89%
Value
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$52.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Materials
90%
Features
85%
Ease of Use
85%
Durability
85%
Value
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$65.33
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
Materials
85%
Features
84%
Ease of Use
85%
Durability
80%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (19.04.19)
$21.86
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Rockay
  • VENTILA SL Cycling Jersey
  • Rockay sleeves
  • Hoka One One Clifton 4
  • Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer
  • Giro Aerohead MIPS Racing Helmet
  • Aduro Sport Bike Storage Bag
  • SLS3 Triathlon Shorts
  • Tifosi Podium Shield Sunglasses
  • TYR Sport Special Ops 2.0 Polarized Swimming Goggle
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorite Triathlon Gear

1. Rockay

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.8
Rockay
Materials
98
Features
99
Ease of Use
98
Durability
97
Value
97
best offer for today
more shops
$15.95
$14.95
See Deal
Pros:

High breathability

Great support

No-slip design keps the socks from sliding doen in your shoes

Merino wool naturally aids in moisture control

Cons:

Limited colors and style

Many people seem to overlook socks when buying the necessary gear they need for the running or even racing. They are such a small thing but can actually make a huge difference to your running experience. Choose a sock that isn’t breathable and your feet will be sweaty. Choose a sock with a poor fit and they will be moving around inside your shoe. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about any of these issues with the new Accelerate sock by ROCKAY.

Read more

Materials

The number one option on our list, these socks are made from high-quality merino wool that is soft to the touch, breathable, has anti-microbial properties that fight odor, and is sustainably sourced.

Features

In addition to the anti-odor properties listed above these socks have a pull-tab that make them easy to put on and take off. This is a great quality to have in a pair of socks used in a triathlon as it can cut down on your transition times.

Ease of Use

As mentioned above the pull tabs make these simple and quick to transition in and out of.

Durability

The sustainably sourced merino wool these are made of is long-lasting and tough, as well as comfortable and soft to the touch. User reviews back these up and a pair of these should easily last you all the way through training and race day, if not beyond.

Value

While these are slightly more expensive than other socks, they're more than worth the price of admission. Socks and shoes are some of the most essential and important pieces of triathlon gear so it can pay to invest wisely here.

2. VENTILA SL Cycling Jersey

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
 VENTILA SL Cycling Jersey
Materials
95
Features
97
Ease of Use
98
Durability
85
Value
97
best offer for today
$39.96
Pros:

Lightweight.

Easy to pack and carry.

Good moisture wicking.

Durable.

Cons:

Some trialetes like more tech built into them

A vital part of your Triathlon kit and still keeping within a reasonable budget, this affordable, durable and comfortable cycling Jersey.

A nice light weight jersey ideal for quickly putting on and offering all the features you need for comfort and protection, especially if your racing in the fall season. Easy to pack and carry ( its very light) and offered in a nice range of color combinations.

Read more

Materials

This jersey is made of a synthetic fiber based Airdry fabric. It is almost meshlike in its construction making it extremely breathable and lightweight.

Features

The Airmesh fabric will help to keep you cool and dry during your race. It has a full front zipper and 3 pockets in the back for holding a water bottle and nutrition.

Ease of Use

The design shows that this option is easy to put on and take off, helping to shave seconds of your transition times. User reviews back this up.

Durability

Because of the lightweight, mesh-like fabric, it can tear easily if snagged or roughly handled. This is typical of lightweight gear however and isn't a reason to not utilize this piece of gear.

Value

Its price is very reasonable for a quality piece of gear that can help you stay comfortable and dry during your cycling portion while shaving seconds off your transition times because of how easy it is to get in and out of.

3. Rockay sleeves

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Materials
95
Features
90
Ease of Use
95
Durability
95
Value
90
best offer for today
$32.95
See Deal
Pros:

Incredibly durable and long-lasting

Moisture-wicking properties

Anti-odor technology

Lifetime guarantee

Cons:

Some felt they were expensive

Before your next triathlon, there is one piece of gear you need: the Rockay Blaze Graduated Compression Leg Sleeves. These have been intentionally designed to help reduce any potential fatigue, improve recovery times, and prevent a wide variety of common running ailments. Given the technology utilized in constructing them, they are a great choice for Triathlon athletes. Here are a few more features to consider.

Read more

Graduated Compression

Today, there are so many brands that offer “compression” products; however, they lack some of the basic fundamentals. In efforts to showcase their strength in this industry, this brand had their product tested by the Swisslastic’s Compression Test. For those who don’t know, this is a state-of-the-art test proving the value and effectiveness of this specific piece of gear.

Hang to Dry

One of our favorite aspects of this product is that, after a triathlon or a long run, you can simply hand the product to dry. So, by the time your next even or run, you can reuse it. Thanks to Polyigene Stays Fresh Technology, there will be no odors and bacteria, making it safe and easy to use or wear.

Cost and Value

This valuable piece of gear is considered a bit costlier than the competition. However, this product is immensely more beneficial. This is the first product that we have studied and analyzed that comes with state-of-the-art technology and testing to prove it. You can’t go wrong with this gear!

4. Hoka One One Clifton 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Hoka One One Clifton 4
Materials
89
Features
93
Ease of Use
90
Durability
93
Value
85
best offer for today
$128.70
Pros:

Durable

Good support

Good motion control

Excellent impact support

Breathable

Cons:

Somewhat expensive

The Hoka One One Clifton 4 is an excellent choice for long term term wear and an especially good choice for enduring and overcoming the trials of a triathlon.

Read more

Materials

The uppers are made of a synthetic, lightweight mesh while the supportive overlays are synthetic as well. The outsoles are high-quality rubber.

Features

The most notable attribute of the Clifton 4 is its ability to help deal with foot and leg pain. Whether your pain is a result of existing issues like pronation or the general weariness of swimming, riding, and running, the Clifton 4 can prevent and provide relief to pain. They are firm and supportive to help deal with any stride or gate issues.

Ease of Use

The shoes may look bulky but most wearers assure the skeptical that the Clifton 4’s are lightweight and feel as though you are wearing nothing at all.

Durability

Users noted that these hold up well to extended use. This comes in handy when training and competing in triathlons because a lot of athletes like to train and compete in the same pair of shoes.

Value

When in consideration of the price of running shoes, you can pick up the Hoka One One Clifton 4’s for a pretty reasonable price.

5. Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Wahoo ELEMNT GPS Bike Computer
Materials
90
Features
95
Ease of Use
91
Durability
85
Value
85
best offer for today
$330.00
Pros:

Good battery life

Track calls and messages

Compatiable with a lot of other equipment

Useable with a companion app

Turn by turn navigation

Easy set up and use

Crisp clean screen

Out in front mount is useful

Wide range of customization

Cons:

Elevation/ grade tracking accuracy has come into question

Display is very bright, which may be an issue at night

The Wahoo ELEMNT bike computer is an investment that you may make for the sake of your triathlon performance but will be a piece of gear you will get a lot of use out of before and after the event.

Read more

Materials

The exact make-up of this product's components are unavailable, however, the positive reviews about its durability and operation make us believe it's made of high-quality computer chips and processors.

Features

The ELEMNT provides maps with elevation and distance tracking, although it should be noted that the accuracy is not always spot on. This type of help can be essential on confusing courses or for planning routes. While GPS watches can provide similar aid, the ELEMNT is mounted securely on the front of your bike, which makes for easy consultation.

Ease of Use

Users report that this bike computer is easy to use and read while riding. This is essential for both fast race times and safety.

Value

The ELEMNT bike computer is not a small investment but it is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

6. Giro Aerohead MIPS Racing Helmet

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.4
Giro Aerohead MIPS Racing Helmet
Materials
90
Features
92
Ease of Use
85
Durability
90
Value
80
best offer for today
$249.95
Pros:

MIPS construction

Highly ventilated

Eyeshield has good visibility

Cons:

Expensive

This is one of Giro's leading helmets on the market because of the MIPS technology that offers leading protection from injuries. The helmet also allows for optimum performance because of the great ventilation features that keep you cool even in the most competitive runs. It is one of the most popular helmets with triathletes and time trialists.

Read more

This helmet has a polycarbonate shell, an impeccable wrap-around eyeshield and offers a strong magnetic anchor attachment for and lens flip up for an easy transition flow from swim to bike.

Sizing is not a problem because Giro’s Super Fit Engineering makes sure everyone gets a suitable fit.

The visor provides long-distance cyclists unobstructed, long-range visuals, simultaneously taking care of your safety.

Cost:
The price is above average, but if you are a serious buyer looking for the very best in performance enhancing tools, you won't regret purchasing this helmet.

7. Aduro Sport Bike Storage Bag

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.2
Aduro Sport Bike Storage Bag
Materials
92
Features
81
Ease of Use
88
Durability
80
Value
90
best offer for today
$12.99
Pros:

Lifetime 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Affordable

Weather-resistant

Durable zippers

Cons:

Some users had trouble with fit

Don't leave anything behind on race day - except your competitors! The functional Aduro Sport saddle bag is compact and connects easily under the top tube of your bike so that you can make travel with everything you need. The Aduro Sport fits most essentials like smartphones, wallet, keys, small bike pump, cable lock, repair tools, etc.

Read more

The Aduro Sport bag features adjustable velcro straps for a custom fit. Users love its big durable zippered open-mouth design as it allows for easy access.

This saddle bag boasts a slim body design with a high-capacity to minimize the wind resistance. It is water and weather-resistant and made from strong and durable polyester material that helps protect stored items.

Cost

This product is covered by a Lifetime 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - If you have any issues at all, simply let Aduro know and they will replace it at no cost or issue you a full refund!

8. SLS3 Triathlon Shorts

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
SLS3 Triathlon Shorts
Materials
88
Features
80
Ease of Use
90
Durability
89
Value
80
best offer for today
$52.99
Pros:

Made from a nylon/spandex mix these are lightweight shorts

Smooth seams, zero irritation

Fabric is quick drying, imperative for triathlons

Reasonably priced

Well calibrated elastic in the waist

Cons:

This particular style is only available in black

Let’s start with the basics, what to wear.

Probably the first thing you’ll want on your shopping list is a nice pair of “tri-shorts”.

Shorts designed to perform well at each stage of the competition, and the SLS3’s are a great place to start.

Read more

These are a nicely padded full-coverage pair of shorts that protect your muscles and offer padding for the bike but don’t constrict you while swimming. Comfortable and durable, it’s hard to go wrong here.

The durability level for these shorts is highly impressive, they are light and comfortable, they give plenty of room for flexibility.

They are only offered in a solid black color and I feel this states that they are reliable, solid great performing shorts.

A must have for you kit.

Cost

These wont break the bank, a really worthwhile buy and they will last for a very long time.

9. Tifosi Podium Shield Sunglasses

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Tifosi Podium Shield Sunglasses
Materials
90
Features
85
Ease of Use
85
Durability
85
Value
75
best offer for today
$65.33
Pros:

Rimless, full UV protection

Featherweight

Fit snugly, but don’t rub or cause friction

Interchangeable lenses

Cons:

Non-polarized

Taking care of your eyes out of the water is equally as important as in the water when it comes to tri-racing.

The Podium Shield glasses for Tifosi are our pick due to their mechanical (yet comfortable) fit and wide range peripheral vision.

Read more

Rubberized elements are strategically placed along the frame of these glasses making them stick to your face but they do not rub in an uncomfortable way.

The glasses look stylish and they are, they are also durable and strong, if you drop them they should not break or crack.

Throw in 100% UV protective coating plus a medium range price point and you’ve got yourself a steal.

Cost

A nice investment, stylish and functional, these glasses are a great accessory to have for your next triathlon event.

10. TYR Sport Special Ops 2.0 Polarized Swimming Goggle

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.8
TYR Sport Special Ops 2.0 Polarized Swimming Goggle
Materials
85
Features
84
Ease of Use
85
Durability
80
Value
85
best offer for today
$21.86
Pros:

Well manufactured, good quality

Medium range pricing, good ratio

Include a Durafit gasket

Anti-fog lenses

Wide peripheral view

Cons:

They run a bit large

Often times race organizers will provide participants with a swim cap, so you likely won’t need to worry there.

You will however want to make sure you’ve got a good pair of goggles. Read on here to see why you should choose the TYR Sports Goggles.

Read more

The TYR Sport Special Ops are a professional grade pair of goggles designed that give you wide peripheral vision, a snug fit and polarized protection.

They also have fog-resistant lenses so your odds of going blind mid-race are slim-to-none.

The lenses have good scratch resistant qualities which means that you can enjoy them without scratch marks across the lens.

Cost

A nice price, well worth the investment for the boost it gives to your racing performance.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

It all starts with what something is made from. Everything else comes from that including its comfort, how easy it is to use, its durability, and the value that it offers you. Seeing as this is a list made of a diverse group of products featuring triathlon gear from socks to shoes to goggles and sunglasses and more. But no matter what type of product it is, the materials that its made of make a big difference.

One thing we definitely looked for while selecting products for this list was how lightweight the materials were. Triathlons are long and grueling races and while a couple of ounces here and there may not seem like a big deal when you're shopping for gear they can add up quickly and make a huge difference in how well you do and how much fun you have when you're actually competing in the events.

Besides light weight, we also looked for products that were made out of high-quality materials. Whether it's the fabric in the upper of a shoe, the merino wool in a pair of socks, or the electrical components in a GPS system, we obviously only wanted to bring you products made of the best components possible.

Features

Another thing we looked at that this diverse list of products has in common is what features they have. For a pair of socks that might mean the ability to wick moisture away to the outside air where it can dry naturally as well as having a pull tab to make them easier to get on and take off. For helmets that may mean how many air vents it has and the type of buckling system it uses, while for things like bike bags and running shorts when we say features it means the number of pockets and the attachment systems. Regardless, for use in a triathlon, you want a product that has just the right amount of features. It needs to have the right things that will help you perform better and enjoy the event more, but not so many bells and whistles that it weighs you down and/or is difficult to operate. We like to call this the Goldilocks Zone. Not too hot, not too cold. Not too much, not too little. You want just the amount and quality of features that makes a product just right.

Ease of Use

Since triathlon results are measured in fractions of a second, setting a new PR and not being happy with your finish can come down to the tiniest of details. One of the things that will help you to perform at your absolute best is having gear that is easy to use. Especially during transitions, you want products that are easy to put on and take off, operate, and use during your run, bike, or swim. This means your socks and shoes need to be easy to put on and take off, as does your cycling jersey and swim cap and goggles. During the cycling or running portion if your GPS unit is difficult to operate that can mean not just a headache to deal with but can result in a real loss of time and being knocked down in the standings. While selecting products for this list we made sure to only include gear that had the right design and mix of features that would make it easy to use as well as the consumer reviews to back it up.

Durability

Unless you're a professional triathlete or a hardcore enthusiast, you probably won't be doing more than one or two races a year. Nonetheless, nobody wants to spend their hard earned money on something that breaks or wears down quickly and becomes worthless. Another thing to think about is that you definitely don't want to be in the middle of your race only to have an essential piece of gear break, malfunction, or otherwise let you down. Because of this we only selected products for this list that are built to be durable and long lasting. We looked at the materials a product was made from and also took into consideration its design. Finally, we considered over 1600 reviews from real-world users to see what their experience was like with each product. This really helps us get a good picture of what a product is actually like for a wide spectrum of people because while something might fit the RunnerClick staff well that doesn't mean it will fit the other millions of people who are using the products and this helps us to get the most accurate picture possible of each item on our list.

Value

Unless you're a fully sponsored professional triathlete, competing in an event can get expensive in a hurry. A good bike costs thousands of dollars, a good tri suit can cost hundreds, and a hundred bucks here for a helmet, a few hundred dollars there for a GPS, and pretty soon you can get some pretty serious sticker shock when you start adding up how much it's going to cost to compete in a triathlon. And we didn't even mention the basics such as socks, shoes, goggles, energy gels and bars, sunglasses and so on. Then there's the registration fees and travel expenses. Add it all up and it's pretty clear that triathlons aren't for people who are light in the pocketbook. Even for people with solid incomes the costs can add up quickly and become daunting, which is why we wanted to bring you products that represent a good value for your hard earned money. No matter how much money you have, nobody likes to buy stuff and get ripped off so we only put products on our list that high-quality and long-lasting with a good amount of the right features so that you can get your money's worth out of them.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Materials
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#2
Features
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#3
Ease of Use
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#4
Durability
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#5
Value
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Just a beginner?

If you are a beginning triathlete, you don't need to go crazy and empty your savings account on gear. Your gear can be very basic from you swimsuit, towel, and even your bike. The most important item will be your running shoes.

Intermediate level?

No is the time where you can focus on comfort and speed. Its time to trade in the mountain bike and move up to a road bike, this will save considerable time. Bike shoes are another area to improve your performance, the stiff soles of cycling shoes transfer more power.

Other Factors to Consider

Brand

Typically speaking, big brand names have invested research time and looked at creating a more specific product and this can often cost more.

Therefore, can the brand provide quality, durability, good performance, and feature innovative technology while staying within a lower affordable budget range.

The race factor was very important when we reviewed the different types of gear for a triathlon, during a race there is no time for delay caused by a kit which either fails to perform or does not hold true to the function that it should be providing, as this will result in delay and impact on your performance. If you are entering the race with the intention to try and win, we made sure we looked at pieces of gear that will be reliable.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Is it possible to get badly injured during a triathlon competition?
a:

Yes it is, the competition tests your stamina and durability in very trying conditions, to enter you must make sure that you are physically up to the challenge.

q: Which running shorts are best for triathlon?
a:

You need to choose a pair which is durable and comfortable enough for swimming, cycling and running. It's best to read Runnerclick reviews and keep track of your best choices.

q: Competitors who spend a lot of money on a bike get an unfair advantage in the triathlon race.  Do you agree?
a:

While an expensive bike can be said to have a technological edge over a more affordable bike, the biking section is only one-third of the race. Determination and the skills you have developed can still make the difference between a win or lose.

q: Should you carry a first aid on you while running a triathlon?
a:

Many do but it's more streamlined than what you find in first aid boxes, you can take an antiseptic gel, barrier cream, sunburn cream, perhaps a few small band-aids. As long as you're participating in a reputable race that will be medical personnel to assist you should the need arise.

q: Why bother wearing swim caps during triathlon swim?
a:

Swimming caps are about more than keeping your hair dry, they give water aerodynamic flow over the head, allowing you to use less energy so you save energy for the rest of the competition.

q: I am super fit, is there any other challenge I can do besides a triathlon?
a:

There are a large variety of events both near and abroad, obstacle courses, tough mudders, and long distance running orienteering, although the latter is more common in Europe. All of these are very different events compared to a triathlon and research and proper gear planning is recommended.

Sources

  1. Intelligent Triathlon Training, Best Triathlon Bike: How To Choose Yours Wisely, Triathlon training information,
  2. Active.com, Beginner's Triathlon Gear List: No Need to Break the Bank, Fitness publication,
  3. TrainingPeaks.com, Fitness Testing for Triathletes—How Do You Measure Up?, Fitness & Training publication,
  4. RedShiftSports, Triathlon Gear Guide: Essential Triathlon Gear, Race Bike Products,