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Zone3 Lava Long Distance Trisuit – comfort and performance come together

For those looking for a sleeveless trisuit, this speedy and comfortable suit is worth a look

Photo by: Zone3

Triathletes are always looking for an edge in their quest for speed and performance. Over the last decade there’s been a lot of focus on race-day clothing, which has led to some very innovative designs when it comes to trisuits. One piece, sleeved suits are becoming more and more popular due to the aerodynamic benefits, for sure. Some athletes, though, prefer two-piece or sleeveless suits, and companies are doing their best to come up with options that fit that bill while still providing lots of performance benefits and, of course, comfort.

Founded in 2006 at Loughborough University in England, Zone3 has grown to become one of the largest triathlon and swimming brands in the world. The company offers a variety of trisuit and tri separate options at a variety of price points. We had a deep-dive look at the Lava Long Distance Trisuit, which retails for C$316. The Lava series offers a number of high-end features, but at a friendlier price point than the company’s flagship Airforce-X II Short Sleeve Trisuit, which retails for $519. (There’s a sleeved version of the Lava suit, too – more on that in a bit.)


While a short-sleeved suit will provide a bit more aerodynamic performance on the bike, a sleeveless suit is a bit cooler, and provides a bit more freedom in the swim. For those competing at World Triathlon events where skin suits aren’t allowed for non-wetsuit swims, a sleeveless suit is a great choice. While there are certainly rear-zip suits geared specifically for those events, if you’re an athlete who might jump between long-distance and shorter races, and your budget only springs for one suit, this Lava suit would be worth a look.


You’re certainly not sacrificing performance with this suit. Zone3 uses some high-end fabrics that ensure you get lots of breathability and movement. The Aero-Stripe material on the upper chest panel enhances aerodynamics while you’re on the bike, while the Aeroforce Soft-Touch fabric used on the main front and back panels is a premium woven fabric that is extremely breathable and offers lots of stretch. The functional pocket design makes it easy to carry and get to your race-day nutrition, and the bonded arm holes are both speedy and comfortable. Everything is coated with a high-tech Nano water repellant coating to reduce drag in the water.

The bottom of the suit also uses premium fabrics for optimal compression, performance and comfort during all three legs of the race. The Cytech Iron Performance pad offers lots of cushioning for long-distance efforts, but will remain comfortable during the run, too. The Italian leg grippers will keep the shorts in place during the race, and there’s a functional pocket that will hold a gel or two for some race-day nutrition.

The Zone3 designers have done an excellent job with this suit – the material mix and cut makes it extremely comfortable, even for long rides, and you can’t help but feel fast while wearing it. All that speed does come at one price, though. The pockets at the back of the suit are tiny. Great for some race-day gels or other small nutrition items, but you’re certainly not getting a phone in there if you’re wearing the suit on a training day.

Other options

As mentioned, Zone3’s Lava line up offers some high-performance products that won’t set you back as much as the company’s most expensive offerings. You can do a sleeved version of this suit for $380, and for those looking for a two-piece solution, there’s the Lava Sleeveless Tri Top ($156) and Lava Shorts ($157). All offer the same high-end fabrics and features.