Get a look at the eight triathlon racing kits, four for men and four for women, featured in the 2013 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide. More from the Buyer’s Guide.
Blue Seventy TX3000
The draw: Frictionless comfort and fit
Creating a suit from many different panels is one of the easier ways to contour its shape, but this strategy can create pressure points and chafing. Blue Seventy’s TX3000 is nearly seamless, yet boasts one of the most precise fits of any tri suit. Combining its ideal cut with the smooth and sturdy limb openings makes it incredibly comfortable. The pad is thin yet effective for short races. Opening the suit on the run in hot conditions can be tricky, as the zipper runs down the back.
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Tri Race Short/Top
The draw: Perfect fit for stronger athletes
This kit is tailored for triathletes with muscle. Taller athletes and those who prefer extra quad coverage will love the long inseam in the shorts—but shorter athletes may find the longer length unnecessary. This two-piece kit with a hidden pocket in the rear of the shorts and two large side pockets with flaps in the top is a great choice for long-course athletes who want to pack in the calories and shave precious minutes from their bathroom breaks. It’s comfortable for running and biking, overall durability seems excellent and, while seams are thicker, chafing was not a problem.
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Orca RS1 Enduro Race Suit
The draw: High-performance suit for any distance
This sleek one-piece kit felt fast in the water thanks to its hydrophobic, low-drag fabric, which visibly beads water from its outer surface, and was extremely comfortable running and biking. Like many Orca race suits, it’s made for leaner triathletes and runs small, so consider going up a size. The hip holster pockets, lined with reflective tape and good for holding energy gels close to the body, are another thoughtful feature for long- or short-course triathletes who want just one article of race clothing in which to do it all. Seams are neatly finished to avoid chafing, fabric felt plush and the durable leg bands lightly cinch the upper thighs without leaving marks.
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Tyr Carbon Zipper Back Short John
The draw: Ideal for the short- course speedster
Geared for trim short-course athletes looking for pure speed, the Carbon suit hits every mark. The fabric is nearly impervious to water, helping the suit dry completely in just minutes. Its pocket-less construction is ideal for wetsuit-illegal swims, but is less suited to long-course racing. Despite being suited to shorter races, the robust pad takes a ton of pressure off sensitive parts.
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De Soto Forza Riviera Trisuit
The draw: Compressive, speed-focused kit
One-piece triathlon suits are like cycling bibs—some people love them, some don’t. For women looking to avoid a noticeable waistline squeeze, the De Soto Forza Riviera should be your go-to suit for race day. Avoid drag in the swim, as the Forza feels similar to a swimsuit across your midline. There is no built-in bra, but the suit leaves enough room to wear one of your choice underneath.
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Pearl Izumi Select Tri SL Jersey and Select Tri Short
The draw: Stylish and practical
Pearl Izumi’s Select Tri Jersey and Short are all about style and convenience, but it offers much more than looks. Both the top and the bottoms have small, easily accessible pockets in the back to store race nutrition. Also, the top unzips to mid-torso and the shorts have an elastic string waistband, allowing you to conveniently adjust to find your level of comfort. It is cut looser than many race kits, allowing full freedom of movement and providing a more forgiving fit.
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Louis Garneau Pro Top and Tri Power Shorts
The draw: Freedom of fit
The tight fit of the Tri Power shorts and Pro top will optimize your speed, leaving no room for fuss on race day. Although the Lycra sport fabric feels very snug on the torso and legs, it responds well to movement through the swim, bike and run. The Power shorts and Pro top are perfect for female triathletes who want full coverage and flexibility.
Aqua Sphere Energize TriSuit
The draw: One-piece performance and two-piece comfort
Compressive tri kits don’t have to squeeze the body in all the wrong spots. Aqua Sphere designed the Tri Suit with a more forgiving fit, giving the support and speed benefits of a compressive one- piece suit for body types other than “pro.” Its pad is thin yet supportive, making it best for short and mid-length races. The suit is constructed of a fabric that dries quicker than most.
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