We’ve reviewed 12 of the best two piece tri suits to find out which will keep you comfortable in your next triathlon.

Find more group tests from Triathlon Plus in our other best triathlon gear reviews.

Foor Men’s Zip Top and Tri Shorts

£39.99, £34.99

www.triuk.com, www.foor.co.uk

This may not be the most stylish or high-tech suit we’ve ever tested but it just about gets the job done. It’s all made from the same robust material that’s not especially quick drying or light. The vest top has two food pockets that you can access easily from the side, but they’re too loose, and one of our gels fell out during a run. The shorts have a nice padded insert, which is thin and dense and takes the bite out of most saddles. It also means you can run freely without feeling like you’re wearing a nappy. However, our tester thought the seams were a bit too rough and could rub during a long race. If you’re not racing too far, though, the price is brilliant for a full set of separates.

Verdict

Bargain tri separates that will see you through most shorter races.

Performance 2/5

Value 3/5

Overall 3/5
Blueseventy Performance Tri Top and Shorts

£39.99, £44.99

www.blueseventy.com

Blueseventy have been producing fast swim skins for a while, but this is part of their first range of ‘proper’ tri-suits, which also includes the high-end Distance line. It’s a great start with soft, mid-compression fabric that keeps drag to a minimum. Flat, deep grippers on the legs and bottom of the tank don’t dig in, although we found the top tends to slide up when running. The women’s tank has a croptop made from soft and quick-drying fabric, with a chestband that didn’t chafe. A generous pocket on the back of the shorts and three open pockets on the top mean you can stash plenty of gels. One quibble: we’d like a bit more padding in the shorts than the microfleece chamois here, though there’s always the Distance line.

Verdict

Great-value kit that feels high-quality but could use a thicker chamois.

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Top Value Award, issue 29

Zone 3 Aquaflo Tri Top and Shorts

£40, £44.99

www.racezone3.com

The material on this Zone3 suit is designed to help water flow quickly over it, with less resistance than other materials. This makes it a decent option for pool-based triathlons or open-water races where the water’s too warm for a wetsuit, although a one-piece suit (which Zone3 also make in the same fabric) may be a wiser bet. It’s a soft, comfortable suit that would be well-suited to longer races. It doesn’t dry especially quickly, and it weighs more than many of the other suits here, but it’s built to last and doesn’t rub. The zips are all backed with smooth material and the stitching in the shorts is so soft that you can’t even feel it. The fuel pockets aren’t the best though. There are two in the vest, but they’re shallow and they gape open.

Verdict

Some brilliant technical features for the price, just needs better pockets.

Performance 3/5

Value 4/5

Overall 3/5

Trigirl Radience Top and Champion Tri Shorts

www.trigirl.co.uk

The top and shorts are both made from Revolutional material, which is chlorine resistant and offers some UV protection. It’s really light and soft fabric, but we could notice some of the seams during longer bike and run sessions. Mesh panels on the legs and down the back were effective at keeping the heat off. Two thin silicone bands keep each leg in place without being annoying, but we felt the top could do with some grip to stop it riding up on the run (it wasn’t a problem on the bike as the shorts have a classic bike cut with high back). A zip pocket on the shorts, two deep, elasticated pockets on the top and a really good chamois make this set a good Ironman choice. Another good feature is the built-in Powermesh bra which comes in A/B or C/D cup sizes.

Verdict

Well-fitting women’s kit that’s good for long-distance racing.

Performance 3/5

Value 4/5

Overall 3/5

Pearl Izumi Elite Tri Top and Inr Cool Shorts

£59.99, £49.99

www.madison.co.uk, www.pearlizumi.com

If comfort is your highest priority, check out this Pearl Izumi two-piece. It’s not the lightest set we tested, but the materials are so soft and well-made that it’s a joy to wear. The back of the vest has a super-soft mesh that’s airy and cool, while the rest of the top is made from Elite Transfer fabric that’s silky to the touch. We couldn’t confirm the aerodynamic properties of the dimpled fabric on the shoulders (in fact the more relaxed fit on our tester probably made it less aero for us) but that didn’t bother us. Even the rear pockets are brilliant – deep enough to store gels, with snug flaps to keep them shut. The quality continues into the shorts, made from InR Cool fabric, which sucks moisture away from your skin and disperses it over the finer yarns on the outside to cool you down. They have flat laser-cut seams and a wide, soft pad. We’d recommend this to anyone.

Verdict

A fantastically comfortable, techy tri-suit, good for training as well as racing.

Performance 5/5

Value 5/5

Overall 5/5

Triathlon Plus Gold Award, issue 29 Saucony Tri Zip Tank and Tri 9 Shorts

£65, £50

www.saucony.co.uk

This Saucony tri suit seems quite straightforward. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because everything here works perfectly well without being groundbreaking. The vivid orange top on the men’s version may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s highly visible and is made of a slippery material that we all liked. There were no mesh sections, but it still kept us cool and fairly dry. There’s a long zip at the front so you can bare your chest on a hot day, and elasticated pockets on the back held four energy gels in place. The shorts are a bit oldschool, with chunky seams and a fleecy inner padding. It’s surprisingly comfy, although our rumps felt the vibrations from rougher roads. We also tested the women’s tri tank, which had a more supportive bra than some of the others we tested, but was less forgiving in terms of comfort.

Verdict

A solid performer for anything up to an Olympic distance.

Performance 3/5

Value 3/5

Overall 3/5

Santini Tri Top and Shorts

£59.99, £59.99

www.santinisms.it. www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

While many tri-suit manufacturers have developed newfangled lightweight materials, Santini have kept it old-school with this Lycra two-piece. Providing you’re not worried about cutting-edge aerodynamics, it’s a good choice. For a start the vest top has a long zip at the front and big mesh panels to keep you cool at hot races. It’s practical too, with big pockets like the ones you get on cycling jerseys. Even the shorts have a rear pocket, with a zip to keep things firmly in place. The padded Gel Intech gusset works well too. It’s thin but very dense, so that it takes the sting out of your saddle without hampering your running. There was some exposed stitching in this area, but it was soft enough not to rub. The only downer is the shorts are made of a thin material that didn’t shield our dignity as well as we’d have liked.

Verdict

Dependable kit with great chamois that’s good for long bike legs.

Performance 3/5

Value 3/5

Overall 3/5

Sailfish Tritop Comp and Trishort Comp

£60, £60

www.sailfish.com

We tried both the men’s and women’s versions of this and it was much more popular with our lady, thanks in part to a separate crop-top that was really nicely made, cool, quick-drying and comfortable. The set has all the features you’d expect, such as quick-drying material and flat laser-cut seams around the thighs. Pockets are placed with hydrodynamics in mind: the shorts pocket is cleverly shielded with a curved flap, while on the top there’s a pocket on each side for minimum drag – but our gels didn’t feel entirely secure in them. The padding in the shorts is soft and wide, but not quite up to really long bike legs. It was great for running though. The top is breathable, and dries completely within minutes of exiting the water. It’s certainly not the softest material here, but it felt cool and light.

Verdict

A good choice for hot races, especially if you won’t be in a wetsuit, but watch the pockets.

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Speedo Lzr Racer Tri Pro Top and Shorts

£65, £70

www.speedo.co.uk

This is a fast set for fast athletes. Speedo’s LZR Pulse tri fabric reduces drag in the water and it’s one of the few suits we tested we’d be happy to swim wetsuitless in: water beads off the fabric and, with the compression fit and covered pockets on the top (none in the shorts) there’s little to drag. The hem of the singlet is elasticated to hold it down on the bike, though we did find it slipped up a bit on the run. The built-in bra in the women’s top is clever: it has a full front, but just a band at the back to reduce bulk and weight and also means it dries really quickly. The chamois in the shorts is great too, generously sized without being intrusive. Notwithstanding the drag-reducing compression, we found the waist and leg grippers dug in. It’s not the coolest suit either.

Verdict

Super-slippery, quick-drying suit with great padding too.

Performance 4/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Orca 226 Support Top and Kompression Tri Pant

www.orca.com

The attention to detail on this long-distance set really impressed us. We’ve never seen cap sleeves on a tri-suit but, as someone literally bearing the scars of Ironman sunburn on her shoulders, our tester could clearly see the benefit. The bra top is brilliant: thick and supportive at the front with a breathable mesh back and soft, scalloped chest band to avoid chafing, and a little pocket to stash a key, or hold a small MP3 during training. Generous cyclingjersey style pockets are great for stashing loads of snacks. The compression shorts are soft and supportive, with flat wide grippers that won’t dig in and a pocket for extra gels. The plush perforated fleece chamois was fine for a few hours’ riding, though for Ironman we’d upgrade to the Tri Tech Pant (£69) with a fuller pad.

Verdict

Brilliantly thought-out long-distance kit that we’d happily wear for 226km.

Performance 5/5

Value 4/5

Overall 4/5

Triathlon Plus Peak Performer Award, issue 29

2XU Compression Tri Top and Tri Shorts

£70, £75

www.2xushop.co.uk

As soon as you pick up this kit you notice something different about the fabric: it’s softer, smoother and a heavier weight than the other suits on test. It’s made from 2XU’s 70 D/CK fabric, which is designed to prevent muscle vibration and improve bloodflow; we couldn’t prove either of those things, of course, but over long rides the fabric’s support was very welcome. It features ICE X, a fabric designed to lower body temperature by up to 5°F; riding in the glare of the sun during April’s heatwave felt really cool. Decent pockets gave us plenty of gel storage and the wide, perforated foam chamois was great for long rides and dried quickly. Flat silicone grippers keep the legs firmly in place. Our only gripe was one of fit: our men’s medium shorts seemed to have a very tight waistband.

Verdict

Supportive, cool fabric with a great chamois make this a sound choice right up to Ironman.

Performance 4/5

Value 3/5

Overall 4/5

TYR Carbon Tri Top and Shorts

£80, £93.99

www.tyr.com

This two-piece from TYR is a bit more advanced than your typical tri-suit. It’s from their Carbon collection, which boasts super-fast drying material and the ability to lower your core body temperature. It even gives you SPF50 to protect you from sunburn. The material itself is super-light, although it feels more crinkly than soft. But it does exactly as they claim – it keeps you cool and dries in the time it takes you to hop on your bike after a swim. The top is long and doesn’t ride up, so even though it’s a two-piece it still shelters your midriff from the breeze. You can just about cram two gels into a pocket on the back of the vest, and they stay secure once they’re in. The padded insert in the shorts is designed for riding in a TT position, so there’s plenty of cushioning between your privates and the front of your saddle. At £173.99 for the set it’s very pricey indeed, though.

Verdict

Super-technical tri-suit for serious racers with serious cash.

Performance 5/5

Value 3/5

Overall 3/5

Triathlon Plus Peak Performer Award, issue 29

Find more group tests from Triathlon Plus in our other best triathlon gear reviews.

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