Designing a ‘uniform’ for one sport can be tricky enough, but when it comes to designing a suit that fits the needs of three sports in one, there’s lots to think about. Here we will share out 5 Top Triathlon Suits and everything you need to know about picking your best tri-suit.
Top 5 Triathlon Suit Picks
1. Castelli Men’s Free Sanremo Sleeveless
You will probably have heard of Castelli if you are an avid cyclist, but they have relatively recently bought some tri-suits to the market that are ideal for triathletes. The Castelli Men’s Free Sanremo Sleeves is made with SpeedFreak material on the front whilst the back is made from Velocity fabric. The combination of these two high quality materials allows you to remain cooler during your race, whilst also offering great aerodynamics.
A full length zipper is featured on the back and it uses a Kiss Tri seat pad which provides not only great comfort when sitting on the saddle, but it also works well for running as it is not bulky or heavy, and it pretty much disappears when you run. It allows features a Bacteriostatic treatment which helps to prevent saddle sores and infection.
Sleeveless designs can often lead to uncomfortable irritation under the arms. But the Sanremo is constructed with a soft finish which prevents painful chafing.
2. Runbreeze Men’s Performance Triathlon Tri-Suit
This tri-suit from Runbreeze is designed with both comfort and performance in mind. It uses high quality Italian Technical fabric which dries very quickly and keeps you comfortable from start to finish. This material is strong, durable and long-lasting, meaning it will last you through rigorous training and of course, through a tough race.
The suit is tight fitting whilst still very comfortable. It has a compression fit that conforms to your unique body shape and moves as you do. It is flexible and ergonomic, aerodynamic and comfortable.
The zipper is on the front and rather than being full length, it ends at mid-chest height. There has been some complaints that the zipper rubs which can cause some irritation. There is an anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic pad which is there for added comfort and to create saddle separation. This pad works well for triathletes as it dries quickly and does not drag when running or swimming.
3. 2XU Project X Tri-Suit
The 2XU Project X Tri-Suit has ultra-aero fabric gives you a super streamline and tight fit which allows you to be very aerodynamic and fast through the air or water. There are fitted hydrodynamic pockets on the back which produce no drag.
The pad it has is a lot thicker than traditional tri-suit pads, in fact, it has three times the support of most others. The chamois uses Tech LD which is very quick drying and doesn’t drag. The triple-dense pad gives added comfort and support whilst separating you from the saddle.
The suit features breathable sensor mesh technology which works to keep you as cool as possible whilst participating in training or an event.
This tri-suit has a full length front zipper. This zipper allows for a super speedy transition whilst adding comfort as well as flexibility. Although be careful not to tug too hard, as there have been reports of some customers experiencing zipper locks or catching.
The material of the 2XU Project X Tri-Suit is durable, strong and long-lasting and allows you to perform at your best.
4. Louis Garneau LGneer Skin Suit
This tri-suit uses high quality materials and the highly technical engineered fabric to become one of the most sought after tri-suit out there. It combines fantastic coldblack treatment and super light, soft and flexible mesh, known as Grid 70 Air, to create an amazingly light and breathable suit that works to keep you cool and whip easily through the air or water.
The material is form fitting, meaning it perfectly conforms to your unique body shape which allows you to be as flexible as you wish, and the suit will simply flow in the same direction. The use of fabrics are blended together to give the suit the best aerodynamics possible.
The chamois has 5 motion technology to provide padding and comfort no matter how hard you go.
This tri-suit’s design is high quality and constructed with performance in mind. It has 3D wing shapes which helps to prevent irritation and chafing and prevents a build up of pressure. It also helps to wick away sweat and moisture to keep you cool from start to finish.
There is a full length zipper on the front of the suit which allows you to regulate your temperature and airflow. The suit also takes blood flow into consideration, due to the use of fabrics and thickness of compression zones.
5. De Soto Forza ITU
The De Soto Forza ITU Tri-Suit is made up of a combination of 80% nylon and 20% elastane and has a very compressive fit. The upper section is made from Skin Cooler 90 fabric which is highly innovative and super high quality. It also provides UVB 90 protection as well as a comfortable and cooling feeling.
The lower section is made from Forza Compressor fabric which has no binding gripper elastic which makes it super comfortable. They also don’t budge or shift out of place due to the 3 inch Mobius Comfort Compression double leg bands, which are comfortable and give a good amount of compression without constricting movement.
Solid black Liftfoil center panels add extra comfort and longer-lasting durability, as well as ensure that the suit is not see-through. And it also has a pad that is antimicrobial and at 4mm thick, it gives added comfort during the cycle and does not drag or weigh you done during the run or swim.
The suit features a 16 inch zipper on the front which helps provide self-regulated airflow and ventilation and the top zipper garage prevents you from experiencing irritation or scratching.
What to Consider
There are many things to consider when picking your new tri-suit. Take a look at the advantages tri-suits can offer and what specifically to look for in each brand or model:
For triathletes, nailing the transition time in just a few vital seconds is an important aspect of the race. The transition phase is often looked upon as the fourth ‘element’ to a triathlon, and is equally important as its accompanying three sections. Wearing a tri-suit will substantially speed up that transition time, and could even be the difference between first and second place.
Most good tri-suits are designed so that they can dry off as quickly as possible. This is for two reasons: 1. So that you’re comfortable during the next part of the event after the swim and 2. So you can move faster. When the suit is dryer, it is lighter and therefore you move faster.
How to choose the best tri-suit
There are so many options out there on the market that sometimes it can become overwhelming to know where to start. How do you know if a certain one is better than another? You will need to start by comparing the basic functions of each tri-suit – like how it fits, its materials, its ventilation ability, its design, and its zipper access. Here’s what you should know:
It will be especially important that the fit is close-fitting without being too restrictive. Being close-fitting is what you need to make the suit as aerodynamic as possible. Excess material that hangs away from your body will slow you down.
Your tri-suit needs to be comfortable enough to bend in, but tight enough that it conforms well to your body shape. Definitely try on several different suits before settling for one, this way you will get a good idea of what feels best for you.
Although you may think that a nice smooth tri-suit is going to be the best option in terms of aero and hydrodynamics, you actually would be wrong. Actually, a smooth fabric will allow both air and water to attach to the suit at a molecular level.
Instead, a tri-suit that is designed with a more textured, or rougher, edge encourages the air and water to flow and glide smoothly over the surface without getting ‘stuck’ in the fabric.
It’s a good idea to look for a suit that provides a good amount of breathability and ventilation, as no doubt you produce a good amount of sweat and moisture during the event. One with a mesh design or ventilation airflow design namely under the armpits, on the back and sometimes even on the hips, will allow the suit to wick away moisture and keep you as cool as possible during the course of the triathlon.
Although sleeveless tri-suits have been a very popular choice over the years, suits with arms have now become an even more popular purchase by triathletes. When purchasing a short sleeved one, it is important to understand that the sleeves must be comfortable, yet tight fitting, as well as flexible.
As long as the tri-suit you chose is the correct fit for your body physique, then a sleeved suit will provide you with an aerodynamic and comfortable race.
The placement of the zipper varies between suits, with some having the zipper down the front of the suit, whilst others see the zipper running down the back of the suit. A front zipper will allow for easier access to ventilation should you need it, but you may prefer a tri-suit with a back zipper if you are looking to get every single bit of aerodynamic power that you can.
However, you need to be careful, as it can often be easy to get the back zipper mixed up with the zipper on your wetsuit. The last thing you need to want during the transition is to accidentally rip off both suits whilst in a hurry!
This part of the tri-suit is equally as important as the rest, but sometimes it can be the most difficult to element to get right. The padding can’t be as thick as it appears in cycling shorts, because then you will have too much added weight due to more water absorption when it comes to the run.
But, it still needs to provide enough support and saddle separation to make your cycle as comfortable as possible.
Now you are aware of what elements to look out for when purchasing a new suit, let’s find you the perfect one for you! Check out our top 5 tri-suits and why each one is pretty great.
Although we are big fans of all 5 of the tri-suits mentioned above, there also has to be a winner, right? Our clear winner here has to be the De Soto Forza ITU. Why? Aside from the fact that is uses innovative technology and high quality materials, it’s performance also outshines the rest.
It’s Skin Cooler fiber feels as soft and smooth as silk, and it works to regulate your body temperature impeccably. It cools you down when it’s too hot, and cooler when wet.
The Curvilinear seamlines as well as the contrast flat-stitch provides excellent overall support, comfort and fantastic aerodynamic benefits. You will glide through the air whilst the material conforms and contours effortlessly to your body shape and allows for extreme flexibility. Overall it will be a great choice for all type of triathletes including beginners, intermediates and professionals.