We review the best entry-level tri suits under £80.

Triathlon Reviews - Tri SuitsMore Mile Tri Suit

£29.99

www.startfitness.co.uk

We’ve never seen a tri race suit for less than 50 quid before and were intrigued to see how this would perform. While it couldn’t be mistaken for a lux model, the fabric and fit are comfortable enough and it dries quickly. There’s one pocket at the back that will hold a gel, and it’s not draggy in the pool. The women’s version is covered in wavy seams, the only purpose of which seems to be decoration – a minor irritation in longer sessions. There’s also a built-in mesh bra, impressive at this price, though it’s only supportive enough for short races and, er, modestly blessed women. The pad is a bit lumpy and intrusive on the run but very comfortable on the bike. Overall, this is a perfectly good tri suit for races up to Olympic distance and would be a great buy for a triathlon newbie looking to start small.

VERDICT

As tri race suits go this isn’t incredible – but the price is. Great entry-level buy.

Performance 3/5

Value 5/5

Overall 4/5

TOP VALUE AWARD, ISSUE 19, SEPTEMBER 2010

Triathlon Reviews - Tri SuitsZone 3 Aquaflo Tri Suit

£65

www.racezone3.com

Our testers were impressed with Zone3 wetsuits and this all-in-one is a solid piece, too. Aquaflo fabric is coated to be slippery when wet (and it’s nicely breathable), the fit is deliberately snug and there are no pockets. The pad was just the right balance of size and shock absorbency. As you’d expect, it was one of the best suits on test for swimming and is really aero. It’s just let down by a couple of problems. The material at the front was too thin and see-through for male testers’ liking. On the women’s version, a zip-up built-in bra is a brilliant idea: unlike with many suits, you don’t have to be a contortion artist to get into it, and it’s very supportive. However, our female tester found the thick zip really dug in after a couple of hours – we’d keep it for sprints.

VERDICT

Great suit, great value; but needs a couple of design tweaks to make it brilliant.

Performance 3/5

Value 4/5

Overall 3/5

Triathlon Reviews - Tri SuitsSugoi Turbo Tri Suit

£75

www.sugoi.com

This is a super-comfy suit for running; one of the best on test. The fabric is smooth, light and breathable, seams are barely noticeable and there are big mesh inserts on the top half which keep you really cool. Two small pockets are neatly designed so they won’t gape but you can easily grab a gel on the bike or run. It sues Sugoi’s lightest pad; male testers found it too narrow, but on the ladies’ Blast equivalent it was fine up to 25 miles. The arm and neck openings aren’t restrictive and are really soft. However, it’s not great in the pool thanks to that super-cool top half, which is noticeably slower than some other suits we tested. The women’s Blast suit doesn’t’ have a built-in bra, though given how tricky they are to get into, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

VERDICT

Great running and riding suit for shorter-distance races; not one for swimming though.

Performance 3/5

Value 4/5

Overall 3/5

Triathlon Reviews - Tri SuitsFoor F4 Tri Suit

£79.99

www.triuk.com

This solid performer has no bells and whistles and reminded us of tri suits 10 years ago, but that’s no bad thing. It’s made from Powerlycra, which gives a compression fit, and coupled with the high neck and specially angled gel pockets, it’s a slippery suit in the water if you’re not wearing a wetsuit. Out of the pool it also reduced drag. There’s always a compromise between low drag and high comfort, and this wasn’t the most breathable suit when we took it running. It also felt a little restrictive, but not to the extent that it would really affect performance. The gel pockets didn’t quite work for us on the run, and one tester constantly felt his gels were about to slip out. The padding is decent enough, if a little narrow. The women’s version has a built-in bra and rear zip.

VERDICT

No surprises here, just a good tri suit from tried-and-tested manufacturer.

Performance 3/5

Value 3/5

Overall 3/5