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We take a hands-on look at six of this season’s most notable offerings. Whether you’re in need of a kit for your self-supported tri or are one of the few who will get to race this year, all of these triathlon race kits are worthy of your consideration.
Men’s Triathlon Race Kits
Castelli PR Speed Suit
Years in the making, Castelli’s PR Speed Suit is a result of tireless efforts in the wind tunnel to create a tri suit that pulls out all of the aero stops. If it wasn’t for Zone3’s insane custom program, this would easily be the supersuit to end all supersuits. Though not intended to be so initially, the UCI made this suit illegal due to the elbow-length arms that boast silicone “speed ribs” to create turbulence and increase aerodynamics—though of course this doesn’t apply to tri at all.
Runderwear Men’s Triathlon Suit
If you’re in the market for a basic, sleeveless tri suit from a brand that specializes in preventing chafing, then you’ll love this well-fitting suit from Runderwear. Runderwear was created as a solution to running shorts and running short liners that caused uncomfortable friction for runners. Since then, Runderwear has expanded its offerings to base layers and tri suits, to good effect. Though this is likely a shorter course suit, due to its fairly thin, but still tech-y foam padding that is hypoallergenic and antibacterial, there are lots of panels on this suit to help give an excellent fit. When compared to the other two mens suits in this review, the material is a slightly thicker Italian-made Darwin fabric—better for colder races and likely more durable for a few seasons’ use, and also UV- and chlorine-resistant.
Zone 3 Aeroforce-X
$400 (stock) $550 (custom), Zone3.us
This supersuit comes in two flavors: stock and custom. The stock version is loaded with five different fabrics to help with fit, aerodynamics, and comfort—hence the high price. The most visually obvious panel on this suit is the Aeroforce-X material found on the wind-facing shoulders and upper arms of this elbow-length suit. These golf ball-like dimples help create a thin layer of turbulent air to help decrease the wearer’s wake. Elsewhere, you’ll find stripes that perform a similar function on the underarm and lat panels, a cooling material on the back, and amazingly soft fabric on the front body and legs. Zone3 claims to save between 2–4 watts on the bike, and the two covered medium-sized pockets in the back indicate that you should be fine wearing it sans-wetsuit in the swim. All of this adds up to one of the most technically advanced and simply comfortable race suits we’ve ever seen.
Women’s Triathlon Race Kits
Dixie Devil Christine One-Piece Aerokit
If you’re looking for a one-piece suit that’ll help make you feel fast and look good, then you’ll love Dixie Devil’s Christine One-Piece Aerokit. It’s comfortable while aero, functional, and also “boho chic.” They say that if you look good, you’ll feel good—and this suit will definitely give you a headstart on some free speed there. There aren’t too many trisuits that boast this many features while also holding true to a feminine look and design, but the folks at Dixie Devil have got this squared away here.
DeSoto “Sneak-A-Poo” Riviera Flisuit
This suit is nowhere near as lightweight as the Dixie Devil and definitely lacks its style and “pizzazz,” but for anyone who’s ever been stuck in a one piece trisuit when nature calls, you’ll be extremely thankful for the aptly-named “Sneak-A-Poo” zipper that runs around the butt (from right hip to left) and affords you the opportunity to take care of business at a moment’s notice. It’s something that female triathletes all over the globe have been calling for for years. And thanks to DeSoto’s “Femme Snakezip” technology, it’s pretty easy to zip back up once you’re out of the bushes/bathroom.
Decathlon Aptonia Team Trisuit
The Aptonia suit is a “no fuss, no frills” trisuit that’s a great option for the beginner triathlete racing shorter distances. The suit is made from tight-fitting yet comfortable, breathable material that moves with you and feels good. It dries quickly and while not as stylish as a suit like the Dixie Devil offering, the colorways are bright and clean. Unlike the DeSoto and the Dixie Devil suits, your shoulders are left exposed with this one, so it’s definitely not designed with aerodynamics front-of-mind, but at this price point, that’s no surprise! While it lacks the bells and whistles of more expensive suits, it has plenty of basics: a full-length front zip, a thin-yet-comfortable chamois, silicone grippers on the legs, and a small energy pocket on the right leg.