Part 2 of our 2014 best tri suits review features 7 of the best tri suits from £99-£115
Following on from part 1 of our best tri suits test, here we’re looking at another 7 suits from this year’s massive 21 suit test to help you find the best tri suit for your training and racing. Check out our other tri suit reviews here.
Shutt Velo Rapide Tri Suit
The first ever tri suit from Shutt Velo Rapide features a comfy Coolmax insert that makes the bike leg a pleasure, giving just the right padding without chafing. With no pockets at all, there’s nothing to gape while swimming, but nowhere to store extra gels in longer races. The material has plenty of give and dried fairly fast, but didn’t seem to be quite as breathable as some others on test, though there is a nice long front zip to help with cooling. On the run, movement from the pad wasn’t an issue and the stretchy fabric meant no lung-squashing to complicate matters. The suit is supportive, but the compression panels on the spec sheet weren’t obvious. The hems stayed put and lack of silicone here added to overall comfort.
Comfort on the bike and freedom on the run – a good choice if you don’t need gel storage
Sugoi RS Tri Suit
Last year’s winning tri suit from Sugoi has had a complete redesign this season with an emphasis on breathability. Most of the back and side of the top half are now mesh, which felt really comfy and cool during hot rides and runs. The front of the suit is made from Ultra Aero fabric, which is knitted with a dimpled surface to maximise aerodynamics. The lack of enveloped pockets on the rear is a bit disappointing and the change to non-laser cut legs is also odd. What hasn’t changed is the excellent insert, which balances low profile flexibility for the run with good padding for cycling. The fabric has loads of give for easy freedom of movement, but is also supportive, meaning overall comfort is impressive.
Highly breathable and comfortable tri suit but seems less advanced than the 2013 version
Huub Tri Suit
The hydrophobic coating on Huub’s tri suit keeps water absorption to a minimum and it dries out with impressive rapidity after swimming. There’s plenty of mesh on the back and hamstrings to help avoid things getting too toasty while the long front zip is easy to operate one-handed for extra ventilation. The legs are held in place without the need for silicone. The pad is a slim number that dries quickly, offers great bike comfort regardless of ride distance and isn’t too rigid, so it didn’t get in the way while running. The placement of enveloped pockets on the sides of the ribs rather than legs is a clever way to simplify access on the run. The women’s version has an integrated bra for added support, which features a half zip for additional cooling.
Fast through the water, comfy on the bike and cool on the run – a top-end suit at a great price
The Blueseventy TX2000’s stretchy UVX fabric is comfy and supportive. The legs are held by silicone grippers that didn’t irritate and the men’s legs are fairly long. The insert is just right – foiling discomfort on the bike without causing any itself once running. There are as few horizontal seams as possible to decrease drag in the water and there was no chafing when wet. The suit dried quickly, aided by a large mesh panel on the back, which also helped greatly with heat regulation. The suit is treated with Coldblack technology, which reflects heat, making it practical for all conditions. Three enveloped pockets give ample storage – though tall gels are a push. The women’s version doesn’t offer any built-in support, but adding a sports bra didn’t cause any comfort issues.
A great suit that performs better than its mid-level price
This comfortable suit from 2XU has plenty of mesh around the ribs and back to aid heat transfer as well as a front zip to cool on the bike and run. It’s not the fastest suit in the water and the three non-enveloped pockets are looking a bit old-school now. It dried in good time once on two wheels though and the LD pad is a comfy base for tackling bigger rides. It wasn’t too cumbersome when trainers hit Tarmac either. The pockets will take two gels at a squeeze, but were a bit loose with one (depending on gel shape). The suit’s snug fit doesn’t restrict movement, but it doesn’t have as much give as some others we’ve tested. Perhaps because of this, there’s a real sense of support when running, but this could be too compressive for some.
A good choice for those wanting a bit of extra muscular support with a nice bike pad
O2 Creation Elite Performance
It might strike you as odd that a suit costing £115 doesn’t have a pad but the Elite Performance from O2 Creation is designed for ultra lightweight performance. The hydrophobic Teflon treatment makes it fast through the water, though we found the tight narrow straps chafed without liberal applications of sport lube. There’s precious little ventilation with no mesh and only the rear zip to aid comfort and keep the suit ITU legal. The lack of a pad on British roads means you’d better have an armchair of a saddle if you want to race longer than sprint. The gel pockets on the back of the legs are pretty hard to access without stopping too.
Super light performance suit that’s probably a bit light on comfort for most athletes
This suit from Fusion has really compressive legs to help reduce muscle vibration while running and feels very comfortable during the third discipline. The upper half is more relaxed, but the rear zip isn’t as practical for cooling (there’s a front-zipped version too). Despite this, the suit didn’t get uncomfortably hot, with moisture wicking away quickly. Considering the suit’s designed with long-distance triathletes in mind, it’s a bit of an oversight to discount bike comfort by only providing a thin Roubaix fleece pad, even if that means no bulkiness at all on the run. The pockets on the side of the legs worked well though and the rear gel pockets’ fleece lining – which prevents irritation – is a great touch.
A great suit that’s let down by its pad – otherwise it’d be a great long-course contender
Check out our other tri suit reviews here.