10 Best Tri Suits for Triathletes Compared

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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.

Last Updated: September 15, 2017
by Brian Price :

Check out our updated list, as we have done our research and added a few new products that are definitely worth a mention.

Additionally, while we put together our new list, we also did some more research to share with you just what goes into a great trisuit.

Castelli Sanremo
  • Castelli Sanremo
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • SpeedFreak ventilated fabric
  • Price: See Here
Synergy Trisuit
  • Synergy Trisuit
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Large armholes prevent chafing
  • Price: See Here
ZOOT Sports Racesuit
  • ZOOT Sports Racesuit
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Nutrition storage pockets
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Tri Suits for Triathletes

 


Castelli Men’s Free Sanremo Sleeveless

Experienced cyclists will likely recognize this brand, as Castelli is often associated with cycling. While Castelli’s foray into the tri market is relatively recent they’ve outdone themselves with the Sanremo Tri Suit. The suit is water-resistant, it features aerodynamically designed pockets (no extra drag!), provides UPF 16 protection from the sun and has and beautiful designed seat pad to keep you comfortable on the bike. Overall this suit ticks a lot of different boxes and is one of the most comfortable we’ve ever tried. If your tri’s tend to be heavy on the cycling this is probably one of your best bets. Plus, with a little bit of Italian style it’s almost impossible to go wrong.
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About the product:

- 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)
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • May fit a bit looser than some others


Synergy Triathlon

If you’re looking for a tri suit solution that covers all your bases you may have found your ticket in the Synergy Triathlon Trisuit.
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Comfort and Performance.

This suit specializes in repelling water (for non-wetsuit swims) while moderating temperature for cycling and running.

This suit is for the athlete who doesn’t want to dilly dally in transition zones. The synergy tri suit is made from a “aquaphobic” nylon-spandex blend that is recognized for its comfort, breathability and compressive qualities.

It’s got a ¾ front zipper (as we tend to like) plus S on the chest (and design in general) reminds us of superman. Overall there’s a lot here to like.

Cost.
This wont break the bank, a great investment for your Tri kit.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • The neckline creates some drag in the water, for some body types


Zoot Sports Women’s Ultra

Zoot’s tri suits are comfortable enough to wear during your post race pizza feast, with the added benefit of being more than race-ready.
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Comfort and Performance.

The Ultra Tri Racesuit is an excellent pick for the ladies and offers up a variety of appealing features. The Ultra Tri Racesuit is manufactured using Schoeller’s “coldblack” textile finish.

This does a tremendous amount to protect you from the sun with UPF 30 properties and the ability to resist heat buildup on the surface of the material.

This suit is also wrapped in ULTRAcarbon BIOwrap (to use manufacturer parlance) that provides graduated compression where you need it.

Add in a front chest located zipper and you pretty well have the full package.

Cost.

You get a lot of quality and performance for an affordable outlay of money.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Some had issues with the leg hem causing irritation, Needs to be a perfect fit

SLS3 Triathlon

The SLS3 tri suit represents a dramatically different price demographic than the ORCA RS1, but differing prices don’t represent as big a dropoff in quality as you might imagine. The tri suit from SLS3 has a number of different things going for it. In no particular order: we found that the padding was excellent for cycling and running and that the super-light nylon/spandex blend from which it is comprised did an good job wicking away sweat.
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Comfort and Performance.

The classic all black design with a few details (blue or lime) gives off a no nonsense vibe.

Overall this suit hit all the essential points needed from a tri suit and it does so while maintaining a relatively economical price.

This suit is not designed to be worn in a chlorinated pool. This chemical destroys lycra over time — so if you train indoors, it’s something to consider.

Cost.
The price is right, very sound investment.
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Sizing runs a bit small

Orca RS1 Killa Race

Besides being partial to the name, we like this suit for a number of different reasons. The lightweight, breathable, and performance geared RS1 Killa Race Suit is made up of a blend of two different materials.
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Comfort and Performance.

The chest, upper back, and lower front thighs feature KillaSkinTM, which is primed to deal with sweat, repel water with a nice seal and sit comfortably on the skin.

Hydroseal leg hems reduce drag on the legs and a secure zip ensures a nice firm fit. The whole suit has built in hydrodynamic properties to allow you to glide through the water more effortlessly.

This is a suit you is being worn by top level triathletes. If you’re looking for a high grade trisuit that delivers superior performance this is a good place to start.

Cost.
It is nice to know that when you invest in a product that you get quality, performance, comfort and durability and thats what you get with this suit.
Pros
  • Flat lock top stitching
  • Unparalleled breathability
  • Anti-irritation Hydroseal on legs
  • Anti-abrasion neoprene infused construction
Cons
  • Some had an issue with the zipper, otherwise the reviews are positive

Louis Garneau (Ladies) Tri Course Club Suit. Fast, three times over.

Look at this suit from the same point of view as Louis Garneau products, seams can produce abrasion which is not only painful but also very distracting during a race.

An inappropriate fit will result in drag on aerodynamic performance which means discomfit, a reduction in performance, wasted energy and lost seconds.

To counter these negative factors the makers present the Loiuse Garneau all in one piece suit, featuring seam minimization together with the innovative LG-one piece suit.

Let's take a look at this product and establish why it is so very popular.

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Comfort and Performance.

Nice innovation is immediately seen in the lower part of the suit through the CB-Gladiator- Fabric, a dense knit of Lycra fibers work towards providing muscle support which means those muscles can work harder,  a lot less muscle tiredness, a reduction in acidic lactic build up due to allowing a good blood flow despite secure fit, a nice edge to have when competing against others.

Forget about those UV rays, heat reflecting Coldblack gives nice UPF protection, preventing over heating during hot summer contests is very important, the less external heat the better your body can perform.

The aero dynamics result from the use of less seams and any existing seams are cut by lazer and this means less air drag from the leg surfaces an additional benefit is the dramatic reduction of friction which can result in abrasion which will lead to distracting and painful chaffing.

The comfort factor is taken further with TRi-Lite chamois and the tried and tested Bevel-Edge-Molding, you get a suit design which fits to your body and flexes enough to move with you.

Memory foam works multi directional in the suit in terms of pressure with movement so that a flow of height transitions are smooth between different regions, the material has top breathable performance so drying out is very fast, therefore, chaffing and pinching are pretty much eliminated.

If any minimal moisture manages to cling on and cause minor chaffing, Crabyon Fabric has strong anti-bacterial attributes and gives sterilizing comfort.

Now looking at the suit top we see, Speed-Tech material, the name says it all, this material lends towards speed enhancement. The dimpled surface act to reduce air surface drag and nicely enhances moisture wicking at the same time, two great outcomes from one innovative feature. Yet we have a third benefit from Speed-Tech, the material has compression qualities, deflecting the effects of road vibration which cause body fatigue.

A very interesting feature is the pre-set posture capability designed into the suit torso and shoulders giving comfortable performance and fit for the cycling and running posture. Even the zipper has been redesigned, the zipper teeth all slop evenly away from the skin surface and are backed up by a protection pad to ensure no friction can reach the skin. We find a nice sized pocket for essentials built into the rear of the suit and this suit is offered in a wide choice of sizes from small right up to XX large. One year warranty.

Cost

Check out the price, you get so much quality and performance for a comfortable investment.


Pros

Coldblack gives nice UPF protection

CB-Gladiator- Fabric

Crabyon Fabric

pre-set posture capability designed into the suit torso and shoulders

Speed-Tech

Comfort and durability

Cons

As with all zip systems, during frantic transitions do not overly grip and tug it, work the system smoothly.

2XU Women's Active Tri Suit


For lady runners this suit is really nice.

Athletes, are always looking at ways for more aerodynamics especially during a competitive triathlon race.

This suit hugs your body shape, bringing meaning to streamlining, its durable, comfortable and the super streamlined fit, has nice compression,  discards any potential for material bunching, drifting waistbands, distracting fabrics flapping and leaver you free on focusing to become a winner.
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Comfort and Performance.

Ladies triathlon Suit is built from a subtle combination of fabrics with top mark moisture management properties resulting in smooth and durable aerodynamic surface, the design of the suit gives whole body support for all your hard working muscles.

During a race, every second is important, every second you lose, places you further back down the finish group, this suit is fitted and designed to help you keep up with and even ahead of the clock.

 While you ride a Triathlon cycle the suit eliminates any potential of you creating wind drag, you blend in with the aerodynamics of your bike.

Made from Project-X Chamois material which gives very good moisture control, you maintain a minimal profile while still having flexibility, importantly for you it is great to know that chaffing problems are minimalistic while cycling and running.

You can use the front zip to regulate your body temperature through controlling the amount of airflow which can flow into the suit.

For on the move energy food the suit has two pockets located at the back out of the way of airflow, the suit bonds to your body and will allow you to move naturally.

Offered in black with other colors combined and made from a combination of high performance comfortable synthetics.  

For the main suit body you get elastane at 66% and nylon at 20%, the discretely fitted ergonomic panels are a blend of elastane 34% and nylon 66%.

I highly recommend that you consider adding this suit to your triathlon kit, the manufacturer has high confidence in the durability of the suit and provides a full one gear warranty.

Cost.

Nice price for a durable, very comfortable and high performing triathlon Tri-suit.



Pros

Project-X Chamois

High performance comfortable synthetics

Great moisture control.

Very good aerodynamics.

Nice pocket system  for energy food.

Durable

 

Cons

Don't yank or overwork the zipper during transitions.

Castelli Free Sanremo Suit - Short Sleeve - Men's

We want more speed and so you must  consider the SpeedFreak fabric fitted with ventilation for the top part of the suit and for the shorts SpeedFabric-Instadry, this high performance clothing tech lets you slice your way through water and as soon as you jump onto your Tri bike the water is rapidly dispersed .

This suit has great fit and a combination of performing fabrics which could give you that extra edge of your competitors.
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Comfort and Performance.

Wear it as you swim, under a wet suit the fit stays perfect and if you swim in the suit the exceptional water dispelling qualities of the suit will dry you out rapidly when you race off on your Tri-bike, drying out is fast and you wont be distracted while the suit guides you through the air aerodynamically.

On the bike you up the dynamic benefits through this suit through its wind manipulative abilities, the seams are flat-lock giving comfortable secure overall structural integrity, any possibility of skin chaffing is really minimal due to the very popular tri-quality chamios, so you get a secure streamlined suit which allows for flexibility, this combination is perfect for swimming, riding and running.

Testing in a wind-tunnel on the "Velocity" mesh system built into the back of the suit has shown high performance aerodynamics working in conjunction with rapid wick capability, moisture on your skins passes up through the material and is dispersed and evaporated very quickly.

Transition times are minimal through the full front zipper system which can also be used for body temperature regulation.

A very innovative feature is the Tri-KISS Seat padding, this is built into the suit to provide supportive comfort, and cancel out major chaffing problems while on the saddle, the padded material is ultra thin and you wont be distracted by any noticeable feelings from it while you are running.

As with most Tri-suits, you get the strategically built in rear pockets in which you can carry your choice of energy foods.

A great durable, comfortable piece of triathlon kit and it comes with a full year warranty.

Cost.

The price level is reflected in the quality, fit, comfort and performance, a good investment.
Pros

Velocity Mesh.

Tri-quality chamios

Rapid Dry out qualities

SpeedFreak fabric

SpeedFabric-Instadry

Good anti skin chafe tech

Cons

Zip systems are great innovations but always be careful not to over exert the functionalities, controlled manipulation is best.

 

 2XU Project X Tri Suit - Men's

Welcome to the Sugoi ( Men's) RS - Tri Speedsuit, streamlined clothing tech especially for triathletes.

Focus on the challenges thrown at you during the race and stay confident that this suit will perform to your expectations.

Ultra-Aero-Fabric which means it's  a very innovative combination of fabrics giving very good support, protection from the sun and super fast drying capabilities.

Whatever the environment has in store for you, no matter how far your going this suit will be your reliable partner for ensuring and enhancing your performance.
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Comfort and Performance.

Starting with the sleeves, you get the technical and thoughtful implementation of Ultra-Aero fabric to ensure a streamlining effect and fit, you will cut through the air like a whip while all hems are secured through built in grippers which hold comfortably without creating a feel of being restricted or none flexible.

Too the back placed to ensure aerodynamic consistency, fitted hydrodynamic suit pockets ensure no air-flow drag factor.

Triple-Dense padding gives much appreciated comfort while totally reducing and bulky build up in the material and this is achieved through the popular tried and tested Tri-Lite Chamios.

As far as moisture management is concerned, no worries at all because the blended materials are well known to ensure quick dry out and comfort and this is achieved through a mix of 29% spandex blended with 71% nylon, moisture cannot retain a hold, it has to evaporate and to ensure this the suit is Dry-Rech C6 treated.

The full front zip system allows for super fast transition and the overall fit of the suit is comfortable and secure while still giving plenty of flexibility as and when required, the suit is durable and comes strongly recommended for tri-athletes, the maker gives a 30 day warranty.

Cost

The suit gives performance, comfort and durability and the price tag is affordable.
Pros

Ultra-Aero fabric

Effective streamlining

Durable and comfortable

Very good moisture control.

Cons

Take care during transitions, don't over tug the zip, work it comfortably.

   Louis Garneau Course LGneer Triathlon Skin Suit - Men's

Take into account the input into the creation of this suit from Alphamantis whom are well known for Aero engineering.

Louis Garneau state this model is an improvement on their previous version which was up there at the top for best suits for Triathlon. When a brand tests their products in a wind tunnel to produce the best possible aerodynamics to try and give you extra speed and performance, we need to give them serious credibility.

Read our "in-depth"  review and judge for yourself if this suit is going to become part of your Triathlon kit along with your best running shoes.
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Comfort and Performance.

Lets start with the claim, the suit saved around one second for each kilometer traveled when it was tested in a wind tunnel and this was a result of grabbing every available of watt energy given over through aerodynamic streamlining. Some of the best triathletes in the world make this their choice to wear, personally I say that the evidence has a lot of substantiation.

We want the same responsive performance as we expect from all our triathlon kit.

Leading Tri-athelets choose the LGneer Tri-skin suit because it comes up to perform at a standard required from them and provides rewarding advantages which are comparative for performance. The harder you work the better the suit performs and that really is a very nice trade-off.

The suit is what I call form-fit,  meaning that you put it on and it shapes itself comfortably to the contours of your body, you can move and do not feel your flexibility is slowed down.

Push yourself as hard as you can and comfort emanates from the core of the suit via the 5-Motion chamois inbuilt clothing technology.

The dense foam system with high memory characteristics engineered via "Beveled-Edge-Molding" serves so well to bring down suit performance inconsistencies. This results in high performance not only within the suit structure but very much so on the surface, the point of resistant contact with water or air flow, this could well result in a faster speed over distances.

The suit design incorporates 3D wing shapes which hold back pressure, preventing pinch and enhancing posture stability, if you sweat, multiple perforations prevent the sweat building up, moisture dispersion takes effect, the suit retains dryness and you wont get painful distracting skin irritation.

The fabrics used in making the suit are a blend of fabrics which improve aerodynamic performance, for those interested in this blending of innovative clothing tech you get, CB-Lazer Rev, CB Mondo-RF, Grid 70-Air and CB-M-2 all technically engineered into a conjunctive performance level.

Your blood flow is taken into account and enhanced through the strategic placing into the suit of different thickness compression zones, better blood circulation allows the use of more energy at a time when other competitors might be flagging, another benefit which can give you those vital faster performance seconds.

For protection from the sun we see the fabrics have been subjected to the coldblack treatment so that the dark paneling can reflect rather than absorb heat from the sun, this is very good protection from UV rays.

To top off the many innovative features, the full front zip system allows you to take control of your temperature level if you feel you are heating up too much, through adjusting the zip you can further regulate your temperature through controlling airflow into the suit.

You even get a discrete front panel for times when you might need to answer the call of nature and you also get rear pockets for carrying food or/and media devices.

The suit is impressive and a comfortable recommendation for all tri-athletes to try it out and there is a one year warranty.

Cost.

You may well pay more than you would for a standard suit but as we all know, the more you pay the more you get. The price is not so high as to be not affordable when you compare the cost to what you get in return.
Pros

Alphamantis and Louis Garneau Innovative clothing tech

Coldblack treatment

CB-Lazer Rev, CB Mondo-RF, Grid 70-Air and CB-M-2

3D wing shapes suit construction

LGneer Tri-skin suit design

5Motion chamois

Aerodynamics, durability, comfort, flexibility

Very good Dry Out ability.

Cons

Some athletes felt the investment though good, it's a little bit high.


Our Criteria for 10 Best Tri Suits for Triathletes

evaluation concept

We wanted the best for you as we understand how much you trust and rely upon runnerclick reviews.

Performance, durability, and cost comfort are the most important points which we reviewed.

When comparing the different tri suits we looked very closely at  fabrics, we wanted to know what beneficial properties were engineered into the fabrics for the purpose of enabling or even enhancing your personal performance?

We looked at Form Fit, to ascertain that though you get a snug fit, do you still get the needed flexibility for your body, especially while swimming, cycling and running?

Do the tri suit designs factor in the different conditions under which the suit performs for swimming, running and cycling? Running postures are very different from swimming and cycling, does the suit allow for this?

Moisture wicking and the ability to dispel large quantities of liquid were a very important factor, having swam in a suit, can you be comfortable knowing that it will rapidly dry out while you cycle and not hinder your performance?

Featuring very high was the aerodynamic performance of the suit, we found that designers had been ingenious, incorporating innovative thinking into the construction of suits to increase the aerodynamic qualities and give the contestants more speed, vital extra seconds which would clock up over long distances.

Carrying nutrition was very important, the triathlon events are grueling and the need to conveniently carry nutritious energy giving food is a must.

For comfort and protection we even looked at anti chaffing qualities built into the suit, protection from the sun and protection from friction.

We wanted to know how light and durable the suits are? When fitted with zip systems were the zip systems durable? We found as with all zip systems, they work great but the user must not over exert pressure when zipping as damage can occur, especially during a frantic fast transition moment.

Diagram of a seesaw showing benefit and cost

Cost was a factor and we found the cost theme remains constant, the more you pay the better you get.

 

Something Else To Think About

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

Image result for tri suitVersus Logo. VS Vector Letters Illustration. Competition Icon. Fight Symbol.Confident man with short hair wearing wetsuit. Kite surfer.

To some extent whether or not you go for a tri suit or a wet 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.

 

FAQ

Q: Are wet suits better than Tri suits?

A: This is fast becoming a hot topic as the performance of Tri suits continue to go up. There are now Tri suits which can be used for the swimming events and kept on for cycling and running. Are they better than wet suits? In the short term they perform equally well but could not perform a wet suit functions over very prolonged periods of time.

Q: In my last Triathlon event I had serious problems with skin chaffing (Read runnerclick), even though I thought I had purchased a good Tri suit, why?

A:  Research and read reviews, especially here on runnerclick, chase down a Tri suit which specifically states it has very good anti skin chaffing qualities.

Q: In my last competition, I swam, rode and ran and afterwards I had a skin infection? Read runnerclick review for help.

A: This might be for a variety of reasons however, it is a good idea to choose a Tri suit brand that has very good wick factor  capabilities and which has engineered anti bacterial qualities into the suit. The combination of swimming, sweating and heat along with friction on the skin can be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Q: I want to go for speed, how can I gain those extra seconds more to get ahead of my competitors?

A: Two key factors here for you. Choose a suit which allows you to transition very quickly and also has very good aerodynamic features.

Q: As crazy as it sounds, I lost valuable time answering the call of nature, why are Tri suits so tricky for this need?

A: It’s not crazy, a few Tri suit designers are very aware of this problem and have started to design suits with easy movable panels for that very purpose. Read runner click reviews to find your best choice.


 

Check out a few of our sources:

Sources

  1. Zone3, Choosing A Tri Suit – Things To Consider, Triathlon products,
  2. Active.com, Triathlon 101: Tri Suit or Wetsuit?, Fitness publication,
  3. Intelligent Triathlon Training, Triathlon Gear: Make The Right Choices, Triathlon Training Information,
  4. Triathlete.com, How To Choose The Right Wetsuit For You, Triathlon Information,
  5. TriGirl, What To Wear In Triathlon,
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