Trisuits can be a strange bit of clothing to those of you just starting out in triathlon. There are so many different brands and styles out on the market it can be difficult to decide what to choose. I’ve now tried a fair few and I am still looking for the perfect suit! So here are my tips and tricks to look out for when buying your first one.
Essentially there are 3 different types of trisuits. And each comes with their advantages and disadvantages. Below are also some suggested brands to try.
This tends to be your typical entry level or short course trisuit. You will see olympic athletes wearing these over Sprint and Standard distance triathlons. And it is the trisuit I started out wearing. They also tend to be the cheapest option.
You will also get less strange tan lines, but with that they are significantly less sun protecting than a short sleeved suit. Also be aware of the open backed suit!! Check out this jazzy version from Zoot.
I quickly moved to short sleeve trisuits after my first 70.3 triathlon. I just found the extra coverage more comfortable around the arms and its also more aero ;). I race in Huub and love the look of the Anemoi suits but they have a price to match!
How about the lava suit from Zone 3 which is currently half price!
Trisuits generally come as a ‘onesie’ which makes loo breaks a little tricky. I won’t tell you about my sit down & go method on here!
Two piece suits make this much easier. And it’s definitely something I would consider for a full Ironman distance. However I feel there is always a chance of midriff exposure.
How about this version from dhb?
Other things to consider:
Leg length – longer is always better! No doubt there will be some readjustment, but the longer the leg the more likely its going to stay in place throughout the swim/bike/run. And the less likely you are to get chafing. For some reason my first Huub suit womens specific had such short legs compared to the mens. What is up with that?!
Chamois – The ‘shammy’ aka the squishy bit under your bits. Its important to have some there! But also not too much that it feels like a soggy nappy once you get out the swim. This isn’t something I have had too many issue with previously, as when I’m racing I don’t really notice!
Colour – not being see through is always a good move. But also lighter colours reflect the sun and reduce the chance of you overheating. If of course the race is in a hot country! My latest Huub suit has a white back, but its black around the bum and legs so no worrying about it being see through. The only person who can pull off a full white trisuit is Jan Frodeno!
Material – the material should be quick drying (I have one from Sundried that absolutely is not!) so you don’t drag a load of water/sweat around with you. And this will also reduce chafing likelihood!
There are also so called more aero materials, but these come with extra price points so you probably wouldn’t consider those for your first suit.
Storage – some suits come with pockets for gels/snacks and pothers don’t. Consider if you want this option for when on the run/bike.
Built in bra – for the ladies, some suits come with a bra fitted inside. Personally these never give me enough support so I would always look for one without and wear my own favourite high impact sport bra.
Extra layers – for cooler temperatures I often put arm warmers or a light jacket on for the bike. Which I can then easily take of ready to run.