Home > General Apparel

Race Wear: Tri Shorts, Singlets and Race Suits

Are you a one-piece or two-piece kind of triathlete? Check out the latest racing clothing!

Are you a one-piece or two-piece kind of triathlete? Once exclusively the realm of elite, short course racers, one piece suits have become more popular these days – you’ll routinely see them even at half-Ironman events. The performance gains, which used to be most notable in the swim, aren’t as dramatic in the one-piece options these days – some two-piece racing combinations feature the same super-sleek and aerodynamic materials that you’ll find in the fastest one-piece suits.

So now it’s your call – going with a one- or two-piece racing suit is now a matter of choice. For Ironman racing, two-piece suits remain the most popular and most logical choice since they’re easier to get on and off in the change tent or for any other stops you might have to make along the way.

We’ve also reviewed a few Speed Suits here, which won’t be allowed in North American events as of September, but remain a popular option for Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events that don’t allow wetsuits because of warmer water temperatures.

::GEARBOX
Ultra RacerBack ($100) and Ultra Tri Short ($120)
Zoot
54063

Using ULTRAsol moisture wicking fabric and TekSheen mesh which provides lots of support and ventilation, the Ultra RacerBack and Ultra Tri Short combination is extremely comfortable, stylish and functional. The SeamLink stitch construction prevents any irritation while training and racing. There are two small side stash pockets for gels, keys or a phone, too. Our reviewer found the RacerBack cut to be best geared for taller athletes.

::GEARBOX
Elite SL Tri Jersey ($75)
Pearl Izumi
54015

::GEARBOX
Elite Tri Short ($80)
Pearl Izumi
54016

This combination is specifically designed for those looking for high performance in a two-piece set. The UltraSensor-Transfer fabric and Elite Transfer Direct-Vent integrated mesh panels in the Elite Tri Short make this an excellent choice for all three legs of the triathlon. The fleece tri chamois provides lots of cushioning on the bike, but is minimalist enough for comfortable running. The Elite SL Tri Jersey uses Elite-Transfer fabric and the same Direct-Vent mesh panels to provide a snug, form-fitting top for your entire race, too. There’s a discreet pocket in the back for gels or a bar and a three-quarter zip for venting.

::GEARBOX
Tempo Singlet ($90)
Kiwami
54018

::GEARBOX
Twinki shorts ($90)
Kiwami
54017

The Twinki shorts use Teflon-treatd hydrofuge material that will slip through the water while also drying quickly once you get on the bike. The seemless padding system provides just enough protection while you’re on the bike, but remains extremely comfortable out on the run. Silicone leg grips keep the legs from riding up. The Tempo Singlet uses the same material and is anatomically designed to provide a snug fit with lots of flexibility and comfort for all three sports. There’s an invisible front zip and two large back pockets.

::GEARBOX
Elite Top (women’s) ($100)
Louis Garneau
54019

::GEARBOX
Elite Shorts (women’s) ($100)
Louis Garneau
54020

::GEARBOX
Elite Sleeveless (men’s) ($100)
Louis Garneau
54021

::GEARBOX
Elite Shorts (men’s) ($100)
Louis Garneau
54022

This elite-oriented competitive combination uses wind-tunnel-tested aerodynamic Tritek fabric and Carbon-X mesh for support. The Elite Top and Sleeveless also feature strategically placed hydrodynamic panels to reduce water resistance during the swim. There are two angled side pockets that make accessing gels or bars a breeze even while down in the aero position. The Elite Shorts use the same material to provide a super-comfortable, snug-fitting short that flies through all three disciplines of your race. An Ischio Stretch Zone at the back of the leg provides easy movement while also enhancing blood flow.

::GEARBOX
Men’s Endurance One Piece Suit ($180)
Blueseventy
54001

blueseventy uses coldblack┬« treated fabric in the Endurance suits to reflect heat and reduce core temperature, while the CLF micro weave fabric maximizes cooling air flow, dries extremely quickly and offers graduated compression for fit and muscle performance. While it seems counterintuitive, this super-light and comfortable black suit (there’s a white mesh panel on the back to enhance air flow and cooling) doesn’t seem to get too hot even in the warmest tris. There’s a tailored high density lightweight chamois that is extremely comfortable for riding but isn’t bulky, so it remains comfortable for swimming and running. Two covered pockets in the rear provide some small storage options while reducing swim drag.

::GEARBOX
Tiger Shark Suit ($250)
Louis Garneau
54003

This speedy suit uses Yamamoto wetsuit fabric to provide a lower drag coefficient for non-wetsuit swims. The three-layer fabric includes a hollow yarn knit for comfort against the skin, a chloroprene rubber middle layer for buoyancy and a SCS (Super Composite Skin Metal) layer on the outside to repel water. The back zip is easy to access in T1 to help you get the suit off before you jump on the bike. If you are looking at one of these suits, make sure to try it on for fit – our medium sized reviewer wrestled with whether a medium or a large would be best.

::GEARBOX
Elite Speed Suit ($160)
Pearl Izumi
54004

Like the Elite two piece option, the Speed suit uses Elite Transfer fabric for compression and moisture transfer, along with Direct-Vent panels for ventilation. The TRI quick-dry chamois is extremely comfortable for biking and running, while the silicone leg gripper ensures you won’t find the legs riding up once you’re out of the water. There’s a 12 inch zipper for venting. The Elite Speed Suit feels remarkably comfortable for virtually any distance race and even serves as an excellent choice for training, too.