Here’s a breakdown of 10 of the top men’s and women’s tri suits on the market that’ll have you looking and feeling your best on race day.
Castelli Free W Tri ITU Suit$179.99 1 of 13
Perfect for summer short course racing, the latest tri suit from Castelli features the Italian brand's SpeedFreak ventilated fabric on the upper portion to reduce drag while keeping you cool in steamy conditions. We raced both sprint and Olympic distances in this kit and loved the buttery soft feeling of the fabric, which resulted in exactly zero chafing under our arms or around the leg bands (hooray!) and dried quickly on the bike. The Kiss Tri seat pad was supremely comfortable over 20 plus miles and likely would hold up to 70.3 distance; better yet, the chamois practically disappears when you transition to the run. This wasn't just one of the most comfortable suits we've ever raced in, but also one of the fastest and most flattering.
Louis Garneau Course LGneer Tri Suit$379.99 2 of 13
Want to slice through the air like IRONMAN champion Lionel Sanders? Of course you do, and you will with the latest race suit from Louis Garneau. Made from its most aerodynamic and compressive fabrics, LG claims its wind tunnel and track testing have shown it can shave off up to one second per kilometer on the bike compared to other suits. Three compression zones of varying thickness help improve blood flow in specific areas of the thigh, and the suit's generous cut even takes into account the range of motion needed for maximum efficiency in the water and when running. We've tested this suit on short and long courses, and the aero profile was supremely comfortable—not to mention supremely fast.
De Soto ITU$230 3 of 13
On the bike, the knock on most tri suits is the thin chamois pad. The ITU features one of the best chamois you'll find and is also known for being just as aerodynamically efficient in the water as it is on the road. In fact, De Soto claims the ITU will reduce swim times by about one minute per mile and help you conserve energy with its buoyancy quality. And despite its tendency to lean towards speed over comfort, we found the Forza Compressor material used in the upper body and legs to be comfortable enough for long- or short-course events.
Pearl Izumi Octane$170 4 of 13
For those really hot days, the Octane from Pearl Izumi is one of the coolest. Out of the water, it dries quickly. And thanks to the Elite Transfer Aero fabric on the bike and run, it breathes extremely well, too. The In-R-Cool technology also reflects sunlight and wicks away moisture to keep you dry and comfortable. The 10-inch inseam is on the long side depending on your preference, but we liked the extra length on the bike.
Betty Designs Signature Aero Mesh (Women's)$300 5 of 13
While it's definitely pricey, the quality of the fabric is worth every penny. Mesh paneling and an ergonomic cut make it feel light, airy and extremely comfortable despite its tight fit, which isn't at all restrictive on the run. On the bike, it's designed with aerodynamics in mind, with longer sleeves and rear pockets positioned low on the back. Funky designs also make it one of the coolest looking tri suits you'll find anywhere.
TYR Competitor$109 6 of 13
One of the best dollar-for-dollar buys on this list, the TYR Competitor features a woven fabric that breathes well in hotter temps and feels fast in the water as well. Compression webbing on the legs claims to increase blood flow, and it's finished with grip to ensure it stays in place. Pocket storage, an 11-inch front zipper and breathable, quick-drying fabric are other features you'll appreciate. But it's the thicker chamois pad that doesn't retain water that makes this suit a go-to for long-course events.
2XU X-Vent Zip$159 7 of 13
2XU's specialized nylon yarns are used to reduce fatigue and hold your muscles in place, but it's the durability and cooling properties of this fabric that has us the most excited. Flatlock stitching reduces irritation and chafing, while ICE X technology is said to keep the body up to five degrees cooler. It's also extremely light and one of the most breathable suits available. Consider this a top option if you're looking for a summertime suit that will last you more than one season.
Castelli Core Tri$119 8 of 13
Thanks to a sleek design and silky fabric, the Castelli Core is one of those tri suits you just can't help but feel fast wearing. The KISS Air chamois pad is also one of the best on this list despite its fairly thin design, and the unique speed hooks that keep the top from riding up during the swim and bike only add to the top-notch aerodynamics. On the downside, it isn't the most breathable and is probably best suited for short course events when speed is a top priority.
Sugoi RS Tri Speedsuit$250 9 of 13
For elite triathletes who seek a combination of aerodynamic efficiency and all-day comfort, the Sugoi RS Tri Speedsuit should be on your short list. The TriLite Pro is one of those chamois pads you forget about on the bike and run, and in an aggressive aero position, it's one of the best at reducing pressure on your sensitive spots. Low-drag construction makes it more than suitable in warm water swims, and Dri Rapid fabric helps you dry quickly in transition. The RS tri is available in men's and women's options.
Louis Garneau Pro Carbon (Women's)$144 10 of 13
The synthetic fabric on the chest and legs might be a little thicker than others, but the Pro Carbon still breathes well and does a very good job at maintaining its shape when you come out of the water. Our favorite features are the cut of the shoulders, which fit extremely well and feels aerodynamically efficient on the bike, as well as the seamless thigh that reduces irritation during longer events. It's also fairly durable, and we'd recommend it for longer events in less-than-scorching temperatures.
Orca 226 Short Sleeve$179 11 of 13
Taking a nature break in a full tri suit can sometimes be a problem. The new Orca 226 features an open waist that comes in handy during transitions and when those quick toilet breaks are required. In terms of comfort, the Stretchskin fabric is one of our favorites for its freedom of movement and overall feel in the aero position on the bike. Our lone complaint was with the zipper, which lacks a guard on the backside and has the potential for irritation during longer events.
Zoot Tri LTD (Women's)$150 12 of 13
While the chamois pad might be better suited for short-course tris, the Italian fabric feels tailored and extremely comfortable. We found the racerback style to be a nice break from tri suits with sleeves, which gives you more shoulder mobility in the water and helps keep you a bit cooler on the run. Side stash pockets for your gels and an eye-popping design make this suit one that'll keep you looking and feeling distinctive in the pack.