We test some of the best compression gear on the market in our best compression gear review.
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Adidas TechFit Preparation tights
The Adidas TechFit tights are thin enough to comfortably wear under other clothes to allow covert recovery without making you feel like you’re overdressed. They’re also well vented with mesh panels to allow a refreshing blast of fresh air to the inner thigh and behind the knee areas. The flat waistband helps stop roll down, though it could be deeper still. We felt that we could wear the Adidas TechFit for a prolonged period and even overnight without feeling claustrophobic. The recovery effect was considered effective.
Good power from this Aussie-made compression tight, comparable in compressive performance to the Orca, Skins and 2XU. We felt the compressive effect of the Linebreak Velocity was among the most rugged of the tights tested, certainly the fabric is thick with a sense of durability and a high level of elasticity. Linebreak suggest a degree of thermoregulation, we assume this is the thinner grey panels in the lower legs, but we’re not altogether convinced. That said they were a great fit and after a particularly hard ride were just the job.
Orca Killa Kompression tights
Orca use a double thickness patch of their circular knit high compression fabric on the outside of the calf for added muscle support and better blood return. The rest of the tight feels even in its compressive ability. The flat-locked seams and silicon label show Orca care about comfort. Orca sell the Killa as an active tight suitable for training and recovery, though some testers felt the slightly see-through white ones were indoor use only. Black are also available. A well designed, comfortable and above all effective compression tight.
Sugoi Piston 200
The Piston 200s have a reasonable level of compression. They certainly compress enough to aid muscle recovery, but they are not so compressive as to preclude them as a choice of primary run tight – where a level of compressive ability (beyond that of standard Lycra) can also help increase muscle stability, reducing the causes of soreness to begin with. The
flat seams and articulated shape certainly help with fit and make the tights more comfortable and the small zip coin pocket and 3M reflective details further highlight its crossover potential.
Compressport F-Like Full Leg
The F-like compression leggings are a reminder of how compressive recovery clothing can be, and to how useful the full-strength effect can be on sore post exercise leg muscles. There is literally no muscle bounce or movement when wearing the F-Like full legs . They have a deep silicon dot infused thigh gripper to stop slippage. The usefulness of separate legs over tights will depend on your specific needs, though for racers looking for speed of use and portability they’re an item that is a no-brainer for the kit bag.
2XU PWX Active and recovery
2XU have one of the most extensive ranges of compression leg-wear, and there are some hard to spot demarcations between models aimed at recovery, active and recovery or pure active. These were some of the most comfortable on test, offering a consistent muscle pressure over the whole leg. Perhaps not the most compressive, but if you’re going to exercise in them you need room for muscle expansion and trying to run or ride in overly aggressive compression wear isn’t any fun. Overall a well sorted tight.
The first brand to really make compression a saleable technology, Skins latest recovery specific tight is the RY400. Skins say to wear them for a minimum of three hours to avoid the onset of delayed muscle soreness. We’d apply that recommendation across all the compression tights tested here. The RY400 uses a stripped back approach to make them comfortable to spend extended periods in including full overnight stops, we love the deep fit waistband and the Y-front style slot for fast lavvy access is very handy.
The first thing you notice is CW-X’s attention to zoning fabric weight and compressive ability with their Support-Web design and seaming to deliver compression and control to specific areas, namely the knees and the lower abdomen. The technology reminded us of the fashionable kinesio tapes and feels similar. The tights feel structured, more so than any of the others on test. They’re quite thick and feel durable enough to cope with long runs and rides, as well as sleeping on the couch while the muscles fix themselves.
This review was originally published in Triathlon Plus magazine. Save time and money by having every issue delivered to your door or digital device by subscribing to the print edition or buying digitally through Zinio or Apple Newsstand.
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