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THE REVIEW

Top Swim Products Tested and Reviewed by Gold Medalist Mark Gangloff

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Top 2015 Tech Suits Compared - The Gangloff Review (178)

I am 15 and not far off my first jnats cuts. I have always raced...

Top 2015 Tech Suits Compared - The Gangloff Review (178)

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  • Mar

    Top 2015 Tech Suits Compared - The Gangloff Review

    TOP 2014 TECH SUITS REVIEWED:

    2014 Men's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Pro - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Blueseventy Nero 14 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Engine Armour Wingskin - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Nike NG-1  - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    FINIS Vapor - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    TYR Tracer Light - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Arena Carbon Flex - Gangloff Review | Product Page 

    2014 Women's High End Technical Suits  - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Pro - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Blueseventy Nero 14 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Engine Armour Wingskin - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Nike NG-1 - Stupp Review | Product Page
    FINIS Vapor - Stupp Review | Product Page
    TYR Tracer Light - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Arena Carbon Flex - Stupp Review | Product Page 

    Win Personalized Tech Suit Advice from our Reviewers!
    Enter to win a private tech suit consultation with Olympic gold medalist Mark Gangloff or U.S. Olympic Trials finalist Julie Stupp by leaving a comment or question on our blog. One entry per person, multiple comments will not be accepted. Winner selected at random on or around April 15th. Winner consultation will consist of a one-on-one phone call at a mutually agreed-upon time set up by SwimOutlet.com.  

     2014 Men's Tech Suit Reviews
    by Mark Gangloff

    Like at the start of every new year, the swimming community is in anticipation of the first big break out race of 2014, the next barrier to be broken as we inch closer to Rio 2016, and the new face on the national or international scene.

    Much like this anticipation, we also anticipate the new series of tech suits hitting the market. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that it is the swimmer wearing the suit that wins the race, but tech suits have become a part of the business of fast swimming.

    Each year tech suit manufacturers are refining their trade and finding new and better ways to equip their swimmers with state-of-the-art suits. The number of tech suit options on the market continues to increase, so to help you navigate the waters, I’ve tested and reviewed several of them to follow up on the first-ever reviews I did for SwimOutlet.com in February 2013.

    For the newcomers, check out that original post about what I look for in a tech suit. Simply, I look for three things: (1) size/fit, (2) material, and (3) performance. 

    Similar to my most recent tech suit review, I have teamed up with a Julie Stupp to provide a review that includes both men’s and women’s tech suit styles. See what she had to say about the last round of women’s suits here.

    This round of testing was particularly fun for me to do. Last time I tested and reviewed products, I noticed quite a bit of variation between brands; it was evident which suit(s) I would chose for myself. Now, the performance gap between brands and styles seems to have closed.

    A lot of tech suit manufacturers are making a lot of fast suits. This makes my job of comparing the suits more difficult, but should bring swimmers ease, as they choose the suit that is best for them. The tech suit standards set by swimmers appear to be tightening up, forcing manufacturers to up their game.

    While fast suits have always been a trend, I’d like to point out another trend I’m seeing on the pool deck and from many of the tech suit manufacturers: high-waisted suits. Maybe they look silly, but they’re fast! If there is one thing we learned from the tech suits of 2008 and 2009: more material equals faster suits.

    Below, I have summarized the suits that I tested and reviewed in detail. Detailed reviews of the sizing/fit, material, and performance of each product follow. 
     


    ARENA POWERSKIN CARBON PRO
     ($249.00- $350.00)

    Size/Fit 
    The size and fit of this suit is almost exactly the same as its predecessor, the original Arena Carbon Pro, which was removed from inventory by Arena last spring and not allowed for competitions after issues with suit approvals from the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), our international aquatics sports federation.

    I did notice that this suit is quite a bit tighter than the original Arena Carbon Pro (or, perhaps, my waist is expanding). Originally, I ordered a size 28, my typical size. I managed to get into the suit and give it a test swim. It felt good, but over time it really made my legs tired because of the compression. This feeling indicated that I was wearing it too tight. So, I ordered the next size up (30). This size, too, was tight, but I did not get the same tired feeling that I got by wearing the size 28. This experiment leads me to suggest that if/when purchasing Arena, consider sizing up.

    Arena does not appear to be following the trend of high-waisted jammers. We’ll see if they follow suit (pun totally intended) in upcoming designs.  

    Material
    The material of this suit reminds me of Arena’s previous design, Arena Carbon Pro, however the Second Edition Arena Carbon Pro (MK 2) is FINA-approved.  The material is listed as 52% Nylon, 47% Elastane and 1% Carbon Fiber. I don’t feel as though this suit is as water repellant as others, but its compression is top notch. Depending on your budget and personal preference you can also select different colors to fit your wants/ needs. 

    Performance 
    I predict that you’ll be seeing a lot of top swimmers around the world racing in these suits. It's still a great suit and its compression is second to none. I would give this suit a solid A for performance.  

    Summary
    Pros: Compression, you are locked and loaded for performance. Need some style? You can pick your suit color.
    Cons: You might have to try on multiple sizes to find your perfect fit. This suit is more expensive than other suits on the market. 
     

    BLUESEVENTY NERO 14 ($285.00)

    Size/Fit 
    This suit fits great! It has good compression and gives you the coverage you need down to your knees and up over your hips. Technically, this suit is not cut t

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    Tagged with: #technicalsuits #MarkGangloff #JulieStupp #techsuitreview #swimoutlet
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    Jackson L
    3 days ago.
    I am 15 and not far off my first jnats cuts. I have always raced in a a lzr racer suit, i was wondering what size arena carbon flex i would wear. I wear a 24 in the new lzr elite 2.
    Steve
    3 days ago.
    Looking for Xmas gift for my son, he is 6'1 and weighs 150. He is a backstroker and sprint freestyler. Looking at arena carbon pro or carbon flex. What do you suggest for him. Senior in high school thanks,
    jj
    4 days ago.
    I really liked the review! Unfortunately, I'm not good enough to buy any of these suits. :( And I can't pay that much :(

    How is Arena Powerskin ST? Is it good enough for me to use during High School meets? I also swim breaststroke. Will it limit my range of leg movements?? Also, I wear 30 for my training suit. Which size do you suggest? 26 or 24??

    Thank you!
    Swimoutlet.com
    4 days ago.
    Hi JJ,

    Mark didn’t review the Powerskin ST. It’s a very popular style that combines durability with solid compression qualities at a great value. It doesn’t have the same locked-in compression feel as the higher-priced Carbon series but for a breaststroker that might work fine for you. As for your size, you can compare your measurements to the size chart found on Arena's home page:

    http://www.arenausa.com/size-charts_us_0_5_4701.html#Competitionswimwearrangebodymeasures

    Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!
    Matt
    5 days ago.
    I am a college swimmer who has always worn the Speedo LZR Elite, however, have been considering Arena. I have read the reviews and comments, and understand that preference is important, but wanted to know your opinion on which suit I should select for my upcoming championships. I swim the 200 back, 200 fly, and 400 IM and am unsure what to buy based on my events. I am considering the LZR Elite, Carbon Flex, and Carbon Pro.

    Thanks for your help.
    Mark Gangloff
    4 days ago.
    Matt,

    Looking at your events, I would go with either LZR Elite or Carbon Flex. If you like your suits a little tigher I would go with Carbon Flex. If you like them not to be too constricting then go with LZR Elite.

    Good Luck!!!
    Mark
    Whitney
    2 weeks ago.
    Hi, My daughter is a very thin and petite 12 year old breaststroker. I bought her first tech suit last year for Area Championships, at MIZZOU, and I'm worried that with use over the past year, its losing its steam (She's only worn it in qualifying meets.) It's the Blueseventy Nero TX. What would be the best suit for a petite breaststroker? I'm considering the Arena Powerskin Carbon flex open back.
    Sarah
    3 weeks ago.
    Hi Julie,

    I am a high school/club swimming high level breaststroker and I currently own the LZR Racer Elite 2 kneeskin and I feel restricted with my hip/leg movement. Which suit would you recommend for my next kneeskin that would solve this problem?
    -Sarah
    Julie Stupp
    3 weeks ago.
    Hi Sarah,

    Depending on what you are willing to spend there are a few suits that might give you more flexibility in the hips. The TYR Tracer, the Finis Hydrospeed or Vapor, Bluesevety Nero 14 and the Carbon Flex would all be great options for you. I would also suggest practicing in a kneeskin several times before a big meet. The combination of not being used to the feeling of a kneeskin suit and not using it very often may be a reason you feel so restricted in races.

    Good luck!

    Julie Stupp
    Sharon
    1 month ago.
    Hi I was wondering... How do I care and store my technical suit? Thanks!
    Mark Gangloff
    1 month ago.
    Hi Sharon,

    To preserve your tech suit, rinse it in cold, fresh water after using.
    Hang it out to dry on a hanger or lay flat on the floor.
    Do not put the suit in direct sunlight to dry. Never put your tech suit in the dryer either.
    Usually tech suits come with a carrying bag or box..try to store you suit in these protective cases after each use.

    Hope this helps! Happy swimming!

    Mark
    Anon
    1 month ago.
    Hi Julie! Thanks for these awesome reviews! They've definitely helped me! So I ordered the Fastskin LZR Elite Recordbreaker Kneeskin in a 25 and it fit me perfectly and was so comfortable - except there was a lot of side-boobage going on - even though I don't even have a big chest :(((( I am somewhere between 5'8" & 5'10" and 127 lbs and swim free, breast, and IM. ...any suggestions on a suit? I was really hoping to get the BlueSeventy Nero XII, however swim outlet was the only place that I could find that sold it for less than 170, which is the highest I'm willing to spend, and they discontinued it :( I'm not sure what to do now!
    Julie Stupp
    3 weeks ago.
    Hi Anon,

    The Blueseventy is a great choice, I would also suggest the TYR AP12. It has great overall chest compression, especially with the closed back. That should eliminate any side-boobage!

    Good luck,

    Julie Stupp
    Wilma
    1 month ago.
    Hey,

    I am a 18-year-old girl, and i need a good techsuit.. I just don't want to spend more money than about 200 euros. So what suit do you think would be good for me?
    What do you think of Jaked's J katana suit?
    Julie Stupp
    1 month ago.
    Hi Wilma,

    Unfortunately the Jaked suits are only sold in Europe, so I can't speak to their performance but there are plenty of great suits you can buy for under $250 here on Swimoutlet.com. A few I would recommend include the Bluesevety Nero XII, the TYR AP12, the Speedo LZR Elite and the Arena Powerskin ST are all excellent choices.

    Happy shopping!

    Julie Stupp
    Renee
    2 months ago.
    my daughter wears a 27L in the speedo LZR elite. Any idea what size to order in an arena carbon pro? She is 5'7 and 150 pounds so she was thinking the compression of the arena might help?
    Julie Stupp
    2 months ago.
    Hi Renee,

    I would suggest either a size 28 or 30 for your daughter. Check out the sizing chart to see which she might be more comfortable with but she will definitely feel a difference in the compression moving from the speedo to the arena suit!

    Good luck!

    Julie
    Sasuke
    2 months ago.
    What size should I get in lzr elite 2 non high waisted jammer, given that in arena carbon flex in wear size 30

    Thanks
    Mark Gangloff
    2 months ago.
    Sasuke,

    I would suggest a size 28. Good luck.

    Mark
    Kit
    3 months ago.
    These reviews are very helpful!
    Thank you.

    It would be great if you also reviewed a selection of your 'ordinary' (non-technical) briefs and jammers.
    gj
    5 months ago.
    Hey Mark,

    What is your opinion on the TYR Tracer B-series jammer?
    Would it be a beter buy?
    I heard it is just as good, if not better, than the Lzr, and a lot cheaper.

    Thanks!
    Mark Gangloff
    4 months ago.
    gj,


    I cant comment on the B Series. I have not given it a try so I would not feel comfortable making any comparisons.

    Good luck,
    Mark
    sarah
    6 months ago.
    Hi Julie,
    I am getting ready for Fina World Masters in August... Getting my first tech suit... I am grappling between the Arena Carbon Pro or Flex and the Blueseventy... I am swimming free and fly. I am 5ft 7in., 125lbs., 34in chest, 33in hips and 27in waist... My torso is 60in and I have a 32in inseam... I am looking for a suit that will fit me the best with strong compression and comfort for racing in the pool (100's, 200's free and fly) as well as the open water swim (3k). Thanks Sarah
    Julie Stupp
    4 months ago.
    Hi Sarah,

    Any of those three suits will be great in the pool, it is all based on your preference and price point. Unfortunately I don't think either of the Arena suits will be comfortable for that long in the open water The blueseventy will be just fine in the open water but if you are interested in more open water swimming there are specific open water suits, that will fit a little differently and be a little more comfortable!

    Good luck at Fina World Masters!

    Julie Stupp
    Bionic Seahorse :)
    7 months ago.
    I'm looking at getting the Finis Vapor kneeskin because it's water repellency looks AMAZING, especially in this video!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BxLhzLd3v0
    I have the orange Arena Carbon Pro and love it, but it's starting to get worn out :( . I'm getting ready to go into my senior year in high school so I want a color that will stand out, and it seems like EVERYONE has the orange carbon, and a lot of people had the other colors too. Also, I want something not as pricey!!! I like the mint green in the video, but unfortunately swim outlet doesn't carry it :( . Also, this time around, I want something that repels water better for longer. It seemed like my Arena's water repellency lasted for the first four races and that was about it. I've heard that the Vapor's water repellency lasts longer and is initially 'stronger'. My question for you is what size should I get? I wear a 26 in the carbon pro, and my measurements are: 36 1/2 inch chest, 27 1/2 inch waist, 34 inch hips, and a 63 inch body loop/torso. I am seventeen years old, 5'8" tall and weigh about 140 lbs. any and all help is greatly appreciated!
    Thanks,
    -Bionic Seahorse
    Julie Stupp
    4 months ago.
    Hi Bionic Seahorse,

    You will love the Vapor's water repellency. I wear a 30 in the Arena Carbon and tested a size 28 in the Finis Vapor. I would say go down one size from your Arena suit and order either a 24 or 22 in the Finis Vapor. Double check the sizing chart and see which best matches your measurements. I felt comfortable in the 28 Vapor but could have even worn a 26.

    I hope this helps, good luck!

    Julie Stupp
    Desperate Mom
    7 months ago.
    Hi, Julie:

    Victory! I was able to put on a size 30 Carbon Pro this morning, after working diligently for 45 minutes!!! I like what I see in the mirror and I can't wait to try it in the pool ( I was too exhausted to put it back on after I completed a full cycle of putting on and taking off the suit this morning) !

    Thank you so much for taking the time in providing additional instructions and I must mention Swimoutlet.com has won another loyal customer!
    Julie Stupp
    5 months ago.
    Desperate Mom CONGRATS!! I am so happy to hear that the carbon pro worked out!

    Julie Stupp
    Madie p
    8 months ago.
    Hi mark!
    I just wanted to say this review was very helpful! It came just in time, I'm buying a new fastskin for the summer season! Thanks a lot!
    -Madie
    Mark Gangloff
    8 months ago.
    Madie,

    Thanks for your reply. Glad you liked it.

    Mark
    Christa Vogt
    8 months ago.
    So many choices... Quite an expense for a growing girl, my research continues. Thanks for the input.
    Andy Wang
    8 months ago.
    How is the ap12?
    Mark Gangloff
    8 months ago.
    Andy,

    Check out an old review we did last year.

    http://www.swimoutlet.com/blogdetail.asp?l_id=203#menstyr

    Mark
    Mia
    8 months ago.
    For a you g swimmer what suit is good?
    Julie Stupp
    8 months ago.
    Hi Mia,

    This is a tough question to answer, because it all depends on personal preference. When choosing a suit you should take your size, stroke, the price you want to spend and your goals for the tech suit into consideration.

    Good Luck!

    Julie Stupp
    Alice Ciobanu
    8 months ago.
    I would love to have an arena carbon flex, I am a petite person so this would fit perfect my frame.
    Julie Stupp
    8 months ago.
    Alice,

    The Carbon Flex is a great suit!

    Good Luck,

    Julie Stupp
    Shannon
    8 months ago.
    This was incredibly informative! It is so hard to decide what is appropriate to buy a 10 year old and if it's actually worth the money. Thanks
    Mark Gangloff
    8 months ago.
    Shannon,

    We are glad you liked it. You can wait or not wait for the 10 year old. Just make sure that if you buy the suit fits tight. Without proper fit, tech suits are useless. Good luck!

    Mark
    Stephanie
    8 months ago.
    Thanks for taking some of the confusion out of tech suits.
    Mark Gangloff
    8 months ago.
    Glad you liked it!!!

    Mark
    AH Davis
    8 months ago.
    Love the Arena Carbon - probably the best tech suit we've ever bought
    Julie Stupp
    8 months ago.
    AH Davis,

    Glad you liked the Carbon!

    Good Luck,

    Julie Stupp
    Amy
    8 months ago.
    Great review on some great suits!
    Julie Stupp
    8 months ago.
    Hi Amy,

    So glad the reviews helped you!

    Thank you,

    Julie Stupp
    Displaying   1 - 25 of 97
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