$37.50 each, Swimoutlet.com
The draw: Beach-to-workout chic
This bikini nails a combo that’s hard to find: a suit that’s both beach-day ready and comfortable enough to bust out a 3,000-yard swim. This Coeur bikini may not look like much (literally—there’s not that much material), and we were skeptical of the non-adjustable straps. But the top doesn’t scoop up water to drag you down, and it never rode up. A drawstring keeps the bottoms in place for wall push-offs.
The draw: Superhuman speed
We’ll say it straight up: Wearing these neoprene pants is cheating. They’re like jammers on steroids, giving your hips the lift of a pull buoy, but letting your legs kick like heck. We put them on at the end of a 2,000-yard workout and busted out a 100 about 15 seconds faster than usual. But they’re not just for showing up your fellow Masters swimmers; forgetting about your hips for a while will let you focus on stroke technique. A low front waist makes flip-turns comfy. Note: Wear these over your swimsuit or you might have some awkward chafing issues.
The draw: Full-patterned performance
The first thing you’ll notice after you put this suit on: It’s cut low over the hips for an old-school cool look. The second: The back opening is a perfect circle so if you swim in the sun you can work on a fun new tan line. Thin straps let shoulders do their thing, while the funky tribal print will keep you happy, even through a monster set. Soft two-layer fabric promises to resist fading and stretching.
The draw: Chlorine-busting brightness
Ladies aren’t the only triathletes to get full, cool prints. Make a splash with a racer that screams Kona. You can’t do much with so little fabric, but TYR managed to get an adjustable draw cord in there and made this thing out of its Durafast One fabric which will protect your cheeks with UPF 50+ and is supposed to withstand more than 300 hours in chlorine without fading. So, you know, like four months you super swimmer, you.
The draw: ’90s-suave style
Just in time for the Baywatch reboot, Speedo’s Flip Turns jammers feature a pop of geometric design that looks decidedly, awesomely ’90s. The polyester/spandex blend is soft and smooth. In the pool, this bargain suit gets the job done of keeping you covered—and bringing a smile to your fellow swimmers’ faces—while letting you swim unrestricted.
$39 each, Swimoutlet.com
The draw: A flattering fit
This bikini got mad compliments at a Masters swim for the fun print and full-coverage cut that’s sure to flatter every body type. The top didn’t take in water, and the thicker-strapped, racer-back design was comfortable while letting shoulders rotate unencumbered. The bottoms have a drawstring to keep them from popping during a flip-turn, and so does the top to keep it from riding up. It’s a nice feature, but once you knot that top string, it’s tough to decide where to tuck it.
– Swimwear reviews by Erin Beresini