Top 2015 Tech Suits Compared - The Expert Review
TOP 2015 TECH SUITS REVIEWED (all prices subject to change at any time)
2015 Men's Elite Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
*NEW* MP Michael Phelps Xpresso - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Speedo LZR Racer X - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Flex WC Edition - Gangloff Review | Product Page
TYR Avictor - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Hammerhead Silver Armor - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Dolfin Titanium - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Air - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Rocket Science LIGHT2 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Jaked Jkatana - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Blueseventy neroFIT - Gangloff Review | Product Page
2015 Women's Elite Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
*NEW* Speedo LZR Racer X - Stupp Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Flex WC Edition- Stupp Review | Product Page
TYR Avictor - Stupp Review | Product Page
Hammerhead Silver Armor - Stupp Review | Product Page
Dolfin Titanium - Stupp Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Air - Stupp Review | Product Page
Rocket Science LIGHT2 - Stupp Review | Product Page
Jaked Jkatana - Stupp Review | Product Page
Blueseventy neroFIT - Stupp Review | Product Page
[Note: the new Michael Phelps’ “MP” suit will be added when available]
Visit our New 2015/2016 Official Racing Suit Technology Guide for more information on tech suit technologies, Tech Talk interviews, and our discussion forum.
2015 Men's Tech Suit Reviews
by Mark Gangloff
The countdown is on…Rio 2016 is right around the corner! Some of you may even have your eyes on Tokyo 2020. The rest of us feel our hearts pounding as we look forward to our state meets, sectional meets, junior nationals, senior nationals, and a slew of U.S. Masters meets in which we have the opportunity to race. Wherever your swimming takes you in the coming year, SwimOutlet.com and I want you to feel your very best from the moment your feet leave the blocks until the moment you feel the wall on your fingertips.
Your swimming is all about you. You spend your time in the pool. You exert your effort in each training session. Your passion drives you to push a little harder. Tech suits have become a crucial part of our swimming, too. Tech suits do not change the time the swimmer puts in, the effort the swimmer exerts, or the passion the swimmer brings to the pool. However, there are tech suits that can complement each of us. There are tech suits compatible with our goals. There are tech suits that highlight our strengths as we strive to be our best. With innovations, changes, and refinements in the tech suit industry each year, it is important to educate yourself on the variety of options when it comes to tech suits and choosing the best one for you (or your favorite swimmer).
Like in years past, I have tested and reviewed several tech suits to offer you a comprehensive outline of the tech suit options available to you. In my testing and review, I break it down into three elements of the suit: 1.) size/fit, 2.) material, and 3.) performance.
As I tested and reviewed tech suits over the last several weeks, I noticed the quality across multiple brands and styles. There no longer appears to be ‘front runner’ or ‘best of the best.’ Instead, all eight suits (10 total styles) that I tested and review here have something special to offer. Additionally, I noticed each manufacture is stepping up their styling and color options. You are no longer confined to just wearing the ‘same old’ black suit, go ahead and make a statement with the color of your suit.
Below, are the summaries of the suits that I tested and this year, they are in listed in descending order of price. The sizes I tried on were mostly size 28 and are listed for each suit.
Late last summer, Michael Phelps partnered with the Aqua Sphere brand and announced that they would be introducing a new tech suit and other performance accessories for 2015. This partnership is unique because Phelps has long been associated with Speedo; he endorsed Speedo products and sported Speedo gear in and out of the pool. However, Phelps’ relationship with Aqua Sphere moves beyond a simple endorsement. Phelps is involved in the development of products and, specifically, the Xpresso tech suit. His involvement with the company has evolved in parallel with the company expanding their product mix to include competitive swimwear and equipment beyond the recreational swimwear and equipment for which Aqua Sphere has been known. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to seeing how this partnership develops and the innovations that are bound to be a byproduct of their relationship.
I wore a size 28 for this review and it was a good fit for me-what I would consider a “true-to size” fit. This suit provides a lot of compression in my hips and legs. When designing the suit, I know Phelps researched many high compression suits and liked how they felt, but did not like that they limited his range of motion. As a result, his design, the Xpresso, moves with your body as you move through the water. My only complaint is that suit was a little short (too high above my knees) for my liking. I prefer my suits to hit lower on the knee and higher on the hips.
Two different materials make up the Xpresso. The first is called Exo Foil; it is a 3-D stretch woven fabric. Like the Dolfin suit I reviewed previously, at rest this suit has small contours and raised edges. This design is made to provide compression while giving you good range of motion. Once you put the suit on those contours disappear, giving you a nice tight fit. This idea of 3-D stretch woven fabric is relatively new in swimwear but I anticipate it becoming a trend. It works! It provides good compression and range of motion at the same time. The Xpresso also includes a material called the Aqua Core. This is the black stripes in the front of the blue suit. This material also provides a lot of compression, but does not have a lot of flexibility. It assists the Exo Foil for overall compression. To me, they’ve put together a winning combination – which is tough to do with a first product launch!
I give this suit a B+ for overall performance. So close to an A, but slightly less than perfect fit knocked this suit into the B+ range for me. The fit may be better for a swimmer with smaller hips or great for someone looking for "mid-level" compression. They could comfortably wear this suit for an hour without becoming fatigued from the compression.
Aqua Sphere wanted to start with a really great baseline suit for the MP line and I think they did that. For the next generation, they should consider playing with half sizes for the next level of customization, and also having a high-waisted option for those that want it.
Pros: Good compression; good price and a well-known name to go with it
Cons: Too short for my own personal liking and not quite in that top tier of compression
SPEEDO LZR RACER X ($349-$359.00)
As we all might expect, Speedo has stepped up its game leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Since its last tech suit models, Speedo has made some considerable adjustments and spent a lot of time on development. The new Speedo LZR Racer X proves to be a clear improvement on its prior editions and I was really excited for the chance to swim with this latest model and have the opportunity to see all the new features directly from a Speedo rep.
I wear a size 28, but I size down in a Speedo suit (27) in order to reap the benefit of more compression. In the past, doing this provided more compression. However, it wasn’t always as much compression as I prefer. In the Speedo LZR Racer X, however, I could feel the compression giving me more confidence in the water. Based on my experience, I recommend sizing down ½ size. Unfortunately, I was not able to try the high-waisted version (my personal preference) but it is nice to know that that it is an option especially with the increased compression. I recommend the high-waisted option for the athlete that is more developed in the legs and hips. The suit provides more coverage making the water flow over your body more efficiently. Athletes that are super skinny may prefer the low-waisted suit because it looks and fits more like a "normal" suit.
Speedo is touting is newest elite fabric for this suit called CompreX. According to Speedo directly, “[the] LZR Racer CompreX uses one way stretch technology, stretching vertically, allowing swimmers freedom of movement during their stroke. It is resistant to horizontal stretch providing high compression and reducing drag, but increasing the muscles' efficiency.” What does this mean? While I could feel the additional compression, I could not tell whether it was vertical or horizontal compression. But, the good news is that even with the additional compression, the suit did not limit my ability to move through each of my strokes (including my breaststroke kick)! For me, this is terrific evolution if you know the compression is there but it doesn’t hinder you in anyway.
The taping on the sides doesn’t just look cool, but it also gives the suit additional support for the larger muscles in your legs. I consider the combination of material and taping a win-win! Like other Speedo suits, this suit repels water as good as or better than other suits on the market.
Overall, I give this suit an A. With improvements to the fit coupled with the reliability of the Speedo brand, you can count on this suit for high performance. Offering high- and low-waisted options as well as half sizes, Speedo has given us the ability to customize this suit to whatever gives you the most confidence. Thank you, Speedo for this latest elite tech suit!
Pros: Great improvement in compression. Options for ½ sizes and high- and low-waisted suits really are icing on the cake for Speedo’s newest suit.
Cons: Pricey $$$
ARENA CARBON FLEX WC EDITION ($370)
Rather than a brand new suit, Arena is refining a previous design with the Arena Carbon Flex WC Edition, which stands for World Championship in honor of the 2015 Worlds. This is a limited edition suit, so you get it now if you want it ever. You can read more about Arena’s carbon technology here as they now have a full range of products within the Carbon Series.
Again, rather than a complete innovation, the refinement of previous designs allows Arena to consider consumer feedback and make improvements. For instance, this WC Edition is improved with respect to comfort. The compression of this suit is still strong—it locks your muscles in all the right places, yet allows plenty of movement due to its flexible seeming.
Like the predecessor, this suit hits higher on the hips, but the taping in the back is a little different allowing the suit to move with your body better.
Additionally, the fit is the same as the previous design and is seemingly “true to size.” While it is a little difficult to get over the hips, but once it is on, the suit fits exactly as it should.
Given the price, this suit is not the best at repelling the water, but what it lacks in being water repellent, it absolutely makes up for in compression. This suit is made of 52% nylon, 47% elastane, and 1% carbon fiber (exact same recipe as the original Carbon Flex & Carbon Pro).
A limited edition suit, you will not see every swimmer wearing this suit. However, it is a fantastic suit earning an A+ from me!
Pros: good combination of compression and flexibility; cut of the suit (i.e., it hits in the right place on the hips); wide range of bright color choices; limited edition desirability
Cons: this suit is pricey in comparison to others here; lacks some water repellency
TYR AVICTOR ($349.99)
Size: 27 & 28
Just like brands such as Speedo or Arena, TYR has been a mainstay in swimming in the USA for quite some time. I heard some rumbling through the grapevine about the ‘new’ TYR suit and some of you may have read about it yourself last fall. Needless to say, I was very excited to try out the new TYR Avictor.
Yes! Yes! Yes! TYR is offering ½ sizes in this suit. Instead of jumping 2 sizes (e.g, 24, 26, 28, 30…), the TYR Avictor offers sizes 24, 25, 26, 27, 28…. this provides us all the opportunity for a perfect fit. I give them huge credit here. This suit was not only comfortable, but also provided enough compression. Unfortunately, I thought it could have been a little tighter in the hips for optimal fit.
You actually have two options with this suit (Avictor High Short Jammer & the Avictor Short Jammer), which differ in its rise (on your hips). I prefer the high-rise suit for multiple reasons. In this particular case, my concern with the lower-rise option reflects my experience getting water down the back of the suit on my dive. However, this could always be due to my particular build (i.e., big rear).
This suit feels light. It is very hydrophobic taking on very little water. This suit is made of 70% nylon and 30% lycra spandex. The taping (how they ‘glue’ or ‘bond’ the panels of fabric together) of this suit has a little flex in it allowing the suit move with my body as I moved which I really like.
The performance of this suit is top notch. It’s tight, it’s light and it moves with your body. Having tried both a size 27 and 28, I prefer the size 27 Avictor High Short Jammer. Depending how tight you like your suit you can consider sizing down half size.
Pros: light; good compression; sizing and cut options
Cons: You do have to pay $$$ for top-notch performance with the Avictor.
HAMMERHEAD SILVER ARMOR ($306)
Hammerhead is one of several new companies to the U.S. swimwear market recently! Hammerhead originated in Brazil by Olympic bronze medalist Fernando Scherer and his brother, Eduardo. While the company is relatively new—this was my first time wearing a Hammerhead—knowing the extensive swimming background of the suit maker gives me confidence in this company. I was excited to try on this suit!
When I tried on this suit, I couldn’t help but notice similarities between this suit and the Arena Carbon Series. They share a similar square grid on the suit. It also has silver running through the suit creating the square grid —the purpose of this silver is to limit over-stretching of fabric in order to prevent it from wearing out. I never thought I’d wear a silver-laced suit to improve my swimming performance, but with every new year comes new technology!
This suit has great compression. I like the way the suit “locks in” my muscles. I had some concern over the tightness of the band (see photo) in the leg holes. Therefore, those of you with big quads may want to size up.
This suit is very water repellent. It’s made of 58% polyamide, 39% elastane, and 3% silver. The lining is 65% polyamide and 35% elastane. While this is not the most hydrophobic suit in the review it has enough to be confident in your performance.
Being a “compression guy,” my performance grade of the Hammerhead Silver Armor reflects its compression. However, I had enough trouble with the tightness of the leg holes to hold back a solid A. The slight discomfort I felt in my quads forced me to knock this suit down just a bit to an A-. But, overall—this is a great suit.
Pros: great compression and fantastic elite tech suit debut
Cons: fit of the bands around the leg holes
DOLFIN TITANIUM ($300)
Size: 26 & 28
Dolfin has been a mainstay in the swimming industry for decades. Remember the colorful practice suits? Well, Dolfin, with the help of long-time swim product guru Matt Zimmer, is developing new products and expanding its presence into the tech suit market. You can read more about the technology in the Dolfin Titanium on their website. But here are my thoughts on the suit.
During testing I tried both a size 26 and 28 and I preferred the size 26. Consider sizing down.
Once I got the sizing correct, putting the suit on was no problem. It put the right amount of pressure on my muscles. While wearing this suit, I was able to move the way I wanted (and needed) to move—I could do a full breaststroke kick and the suit returned to a ‘compressed state.’ I would not consider this suit high-waisted, but it is slightly higher (see photo) in the back covering my hips and butt. For those not comfortable in high-waisted suits, the Titanium may provide you with an ideal fit. Benefits of a high-waisted suit? More of your skin is covered by a fast material. It also comes in handy when you’ve got a sizable booty and lower-waisted suits allow a rush of water down your backside.
I took notice of the material of the Titanium immediately while pulling it on. I could see that parts of the fabric were raised creating a wave or “S” pattern on the fabric. Dolfin refers to this pattern as the “Hydrolock Weave.” This fabric is similar to other tech suits, but provides a little more compression. The suit is made of 56% polyamide and 44% elastane. As such, it repelled water and remained hydrophobic for the entire training session in which I tested the suit. The bonding of the fabric panels is inside the suit leaving the suit without any exposed taping.
I felt great compression in this suit without feeling restricted. I give this suit an A for performance!
Pros: This suit has great compression in the legs and is extremely hydrophobic.
Cons: I would like to see the same amount of compression in the hips that was in the legs.
ARENA CARBON AIR ($250)
This is Arena’s latest addition to the Carbon Series really providing the customer a lot of options to choose from. This suit gets its name from its weight as it is much lighter than the others in the Arena Carbon series. When you take this suit out of the box it is much thinner than the others in the Carbon Series, hence the name Carbon Air.
This suit is tight. In fact, I had trouble bending my legs beyond 90 degrees—it restricted my movements making my legs feel fatigued from the extra effort. Additionally, because I was stretching the suit, the suit was quite transparent. Even the “modesty panels” were not providing much modesty. For all of these reasons, I would size up in this suit. Even though the Carbon bands created too much compression I think many of you will really like this suit. In fact, I really like the idea of this suit, but I don’t think it fits my body type as well as some of the other suits. If you have smaller hips and legs, this suit might be the suit for you!
The material of this suit makes it feel “airy” and light. The seaming is completely within the suit rather than appearing on the outside of the suit. This tech suit is comprised of 65% nylon and 35% elastane. The Arena Carbon Air seems to be the most water repellent of all of the Arena suits I tested.
While I had some difficult with sizing and fit, this suit rocks in the water! I felt as though I was sliding through the water—exactly what I want to feel as I push off the walls. With a slight penalty for its sizing/fit, this suit earns an A in my book (with better sizing, I’d give this suit an A+).
Pros: light; great compression if the sizing is right; cut; water repellency; reasonably priced
Cons: sizing; not-so-modest fabric
While not the most visible brand on the market (yet), this Austin-based company is trying to put its stamp in the U.S. swimming market. Coming right from their website, Rocket Science claims that its suits are designed based on “detailed scientific research and the application of engineering concepts.” Here is how the Rocket Science LIGHT2 holds up.
This suit is so easy to get on—it’s super stretchy! However, what we gain in comfort and ease with the Rocket Science LIGHT2, we give up in compression. During my first wear the inseam was a little short but on wearing the suit the second time, I did not have this problem.
While for me, this suit did not provide an amazing fit, it’s great for athletes looking to stay in the suit for longer periods of time; they should really consider this.
This suit is very lightweight, which made me feel like I was traveling through the water faster. Though thin, this suit has a good coating, which contributes to its great hydrophobic quality. It is made of 65% polymide and 35% elastane.
Despite my personal preference to have more compression, I like this suit. It feels good against my skin. As we all know, when we feel good, we swim well. Overall, I give this suit a B.
Pros: reasonable price; easy on and off; comfortable
Cons: lack of compression
JAKED JKATANA ($193.95)
Jaked, a European brand, is another suit in this year’s review that is new to the U.S. Jaked gained momentum in 2009 around the World Championships that year, like several other tech suit brands, with its J01. This was one of the many ‘super suits’ that changed our sport forever. Since the ‘super suit’ era, Jaked has continued to refine its craft. I was curious to review the Jkatana as much as any other suit.
At first glance, I was nervous—this suit looked tiny! But, the fabric is quite stretchy, so I was able to slip it on with ease. In fact, I think that I could size down (wear a size smaller than I typically wear). The issue with sizing down would be that the fabric could lose its hydrophobic quality when it is overstretched. Hydrophobic quality is the suits ability to “scare water away,” thus having less drag (we can also use the term ‘water repellent’ here). But, the stretch does offer comfort and good coverage of any unmentionables.
While I typically look for more compression (uniform pressure across the fabric, not just around the leg- or waistbands), the Jkatana still had enough for high performance.
As I mention above, this suit is stretchy. It is made of 48% polyamide, 40% elastane, and 12% polyester – an interesting mix. Getting the right amount of stretch is important, so I recommend trying this suit out with stretch in mind—too much stretch can affect its permeability.
The Jkatana is a good quality suit. It is very comfortable and is a great option for a competition in which you do not have time to change in and out of your suit between races. It may also be a great option for open water events – something worth thinking about. Overall, I give this suit a B+.
Pros: easy to put on (i.e., you don’t look like a fool in the locker room) and also comfortable; it is very water repellent; and, you get all of this at a reasonable price.
Cons: this suit may lack some compression you’ll find in other high-end products.
BLUESEVENTY NEROFIT ($129)
Like Jaked, Blueseventy got a lot of traction during the ‘super suit’ era and has been a consistent player in the tech suit industry. After speaking with Roque Santos of Blueseventy, it is my understanding that Blueseventy is especially interested in providing a quality product for age group athletes and Masters swimmers. This suit is really by itself in this group in terms of its price point, but the Blueseventy folks were confident it would review well.
Boy, did this suit go on easy! It is also very comfortable. Both of these elements makes it easy to recommend for swimmers sitting around a swim meet all day in their suits. I found the inseam to be a little short, which sacrifices maximum tech suit coverage. However, the suit moved very well with my body as I dove into the water and pushed off the walls.
Again, this suit is comfortable stemming from its stretchiness. Though stretchy, it maintained some compression across my muscles as I swam. This suit is made of 80% polyamide and 20% elastane.
This suit performed well in the water—better than I expected given its comfort (and price!). This suit is not quite in the same league as an “elite” tech suit, but you will get great use out of it without comprising performance. Overall, I give this suit a B for performance.
Pros: comfort; price
Cons: short inseam
2015 Women's Tech Suit Reviews
by Julie Stupp
The devil is in the details. This phrase defines my 2015 tech suit review experience. Last year Mark and I thought we had a tough time detecting any major differences in the suits, but this year has truly proved to be our most difficult year yet. Difficult in a good way because every single suit company has made an exceptional product. Choosing a suit boils down to which details you like more than others. Many of the companies have made minor alterations that have resulted in major improvements, while some have done a complete overhaul and have created a completely new suit.
Mark and I are very grateful to be a part of the annual SwimOutlet.com Tech Suit Review and because the blog allows for so many consumers to ask us questions and voice their own opinions about the suits, it’s made feedback readily available for the brands. The suit companies gain insight, ideas and knowledge about how they can make their products even better. The people have spoken and the companies have listened, because the most talked about change for the 2015 vs. the 2014 tech suit is the fact that a majority of swimmers value comfort just as much, if not more than compression.
The major trends of 2015: Some of the buzz words or phrases we heard from the brands this year included, “resizing”, “color emphasis”, “flexible yet durable welded seams” and most importantly, “comfort before compression”. After testing the suits this year I felt that all of those changes were successfully addressed.
The drawbacks of 2015: FINA ruled several years ago that no suits can be double lined in the legs. Unfortunately this ruling combined with the new “comfort before compression,” trend means that many of the suits fabrics are much thinner and more lightweight. This thinner fabric leaves many of the suits see-through in the legs and midsection. I am not a huge fan of this new trend, not only because you can see my belly button in many of the suits but also because that leaves the suit much more susceptible to ripping. The thinner fabrics are also not as durable over time.
The 2015 Testing Process: Each of the suit companies have a team of experts that have spent countless hours and resources pouring over every high tech suit feature in order to manufacture the perfect product. Trust me those details matter. If the suit is off by even an inch it can make a world of difference in feel and therefore performance. In return for their attentiveness to detail Mark and I have spent three years coming up with the perfect wear testing process in order to fairly review each tech suit. In my third year of reviews, I finally feel like I have the most effective system. We began receiving the suits at the beginning of the year and we had the opportunity to set up informational calls to speak with several of the different brands. Each brand has a unique approach and direction for their suit. While they explain where their brand originated from, what their vision for this year’s tech suit is and how they have made a product that will enhance your speed, we take comprehensive notes. We also ask questions such as, “why they have used a specific pattern or if their sizing has been altered from the previous year.” Mark and I have learned from the past several years that sizing is the most commonly asked question or biggest concern from our SwimOutlet.com blog readers. After gathering all of the information from the brands we set out on our own to see how each suit performs.
I try on every tech suit twice. In my initial test I put the suit on and immediately take note of how long it took me to get the suit on, how it feels dry and if there are any obvious sizing changes. Before I hop in the water I awkwardly ask another pool patron to take my picture. Most just give me strange looks and ask me what I am wearing. It was much easier when Mark and I took glamour shots of one another because we had the luxury of easily deleting and redoing bad pictures! Once the photoshoot is complete I jump in and swim about 1,000m mixing up my strokes, turns and speed all while taking mental notes of how each suit feels. I hop out of the pool to scribble some of my thoughts about how the suit felt while swimming each stroke, how it performed once it was wet and if the sizing changed at all in the water. The most important part of the initial test is the fast 100IM. I make sure to simulate a race effort because after all these are high performance technical suits. After trying on all of the suits once, I go back for round two of testing. In the second wear test, I see if the suit has retained its shape, if it got any easier to put on and if it seems just as durable in the pool. I hope my 2015 tech suit reviews help you find the best suit possible for your next race! I tried on mostly size 28 except for a few suits where noted.
SPEEDO LZR RACER X ($479-$489.00)
Size 26 and 27 open back & Size 27 closed back
Speedo has always been known for a very well fitting women’s tech suit and the LZR Racer X is no different. Slow and steady wins the race, a good mantra to remember when putting on any tech suit, especially the LZR Racer X. Both the open and closed back options were quite a challenge to get on due to the sturdy hip seams surrounded by a thinner more delicate material that I was afraid of ripping. The real struggle came when trying to get the comfort straps over my shoulders. I tried for several minutes to get them on by myself and eventually caved and asked a fellow locker room patron for some help. I tried on a size 26 and size 27 in the open back and the 27 definitely had more of a vertical give. The new comfort straps are a bit thicker, so I think it just takes some time for them to have a little more stretch. Once the suit was on it felt great! The construction and cut of the LZR Racer X is one of the best I have ever put on, especially the new closed back option. Kudos to the development team. Both suit hugs and compresses your body in all the essential places to make a swimmer more hydrodynamic in the bust, hips, glutes, core and now back in the closed back option.
The new construction of the LZR Racer X combined with some of Speedo’s new technology makes the suit not only comfortable and fast, but much more durable than some of their previous LZR Racer suits. The blend of thicker and thinner materials gives the suit the proper feeling of compression yet enough stretch in key areas including the core, chest and back. The suit’s core has two small cut outs made of the thinner material and this gives just the right amount of stretch, while you’re racing. The new construction and fit make for very comfortable compression. Speedo has introduced a new K-Tape technology on the inside of the suit that acts much like the Carbon Flex taping found on the outside of the Arena suit. It’s perhaps no surprise then, that these are the two best suits out there, along with the Hammerhead suit that I really liked. It stretches with the body and then retains the suits shape giving you a spring like feeling. The K Tape and welded seems on the outside of the suit give both styles more structure, stability and durabilty over time. Previous LZR Racer suits lacked durability, they would lose their shape and compression after a few swim meets. The suit is also treated with a high quality hydrophobic coating that was seen after multiple wear tests. The more material on your skin, the faster you are in the water making the closed back suit a very fast option.
The suit performed very well in the water by making my body feel very hydrodynamic especially on my starts, turns and push-offs. The sturdy new construction combined with Speedo’s new technology made me feel fast with a good amount of compression. This comfortable compression made swimming all four strokes feel seamless but I definitely couldn’t wear this suit for long distance race because the leg seams and shoulder straps were quite tight. They didn’t have much give after my two wear tests but it is possible that over time they would stretch out a bit more.
Grade: A+ for the closed-back, A for the open back
Pros: The closed back suit option and the core and chest compression in both styles are simply one of the best on the tech suit market.
Cons: The comfort shoulder straps and leg seams have very little give.
The minor adjustments that Arena made to the Carbon Flex WC Edition made all the difference in this suit’s fit, feel and performance for me. The repositioned front seam and eliminated side seam made the suit feel much more mobile in the core and hips. Not to mention making it easier to get on and in the right places. I also had a lot more range of motion with the adjustments made to the shoulder and back straps. The suit comes to a wide deep V and sits comfortably on my back. The Carbon Flex WC Edition is just as compressive as the Carbon Flex, there have been no alterations to the fabric. The overall compression throughout the core, chest, hips and legs of the suit is excellent. The only downside to the fit is the tightness of the bottom leg seam. This is not a suit I can wear for an entire session. Arena has proven time and time again that they can make a great fitting compressive tech suit and this WC Edition is no different.
The carbon cage fabric design is exactly the same as previous Carbon suits. The fabric is also treated with the same high quality hydrophobic coating. Nothing about the material has changed except for the limited edition colors.
The Carbon Flex WC Edition performed very well while swimming all four strokes. The new taping system allowed me the additional hip mobility I felt I lacked in the previous Carbon Flex design. Swimming breaststroke and IM felt unrestricted and explosive with the “stretch and return” from the flex taping. The overall compression combined with the new and improved WC Edition fit helped me feel hydrodynamic yet very comfortable. I give the Carbon Flex WC Edition an A+ for overall performance and originality.
Pros: Readjusted seams and limited edition colors, get one while they last!
Cons: The leg seam tightness and overall compression may be hard for some swimmers to wear for a longer swim meet session.
TYR AVICTOR ($479.99)
Size: 28 Open Back & Size 27 Closed Back
The Avictor open and closed back both proved to be rather difficult to get on and then into the right place because of some of the suit’s new high-tech features. TYR has come up with a new “Supersonic Flex Bonding,” technique that creates a really smooth seam. They are essentially unnoticeable once the suit is on. The new welding that they use also makes the seams more flexible, so that once you’re wearing the Avictor it stretches with your body’s movements. Because the seams are so well-bonded and the material is much thinner than before there isn’t much to grip when pulling the suit on. The most tedious part is getting the suit over your hips, once this is done, the suit slides on no problem. The closed back is especially hard to move over your hips because there aren’t any straps to grab a hold of but this suit has more skin covered with fabric, which equals more speed! Finding the right size is very important because a size too small may result in a ripped suit. I tested a 27 and a 28 in each of the suits and found that the 27 closed back and the 28 open back were the best fit for me. I suggest going down one size in the closed back because there is more stretchy fabric on your back. Unfortunately on the second wear test the 27 closed back ripped at the hip seam. Slow and steady wins the race while trying on all tech suits.
The TYR Avictor is a made from a new lightweight technical fabric that feels much like a paper suit. The suit is the epitome of the new trend, comfort and compression combined. Both suits have a very comfortable shoulder and back strap construction, there aren’t any seams to pull or irritate your skin. The Avictor modesty panels double as extra compression in the core, chest and glutes, which is a major advantage. Unfortunately neither suit has panels covering the stomach, which leaves the black suit very see-through in the mid section.
The Avictor open and closed back suits moves very well with the body allowing you to maintain your everyday technique in a high tech suit. The high neck cut and long leg coverage in both styles give you the advantage of having “faster than skin,” fabric on more of your body. The closed back option made me feel like I was effortlessly slipping through the water especially on my push-offs and my dive. The tighter hip seams in both suits leave you feeling a little immobile while swimming breaststroke. This suit might be better for a non-breaststroke specialist. I give the TYR Avictor closed back an A for overall performance, and the open back an A-. Limiting factor was the challenge of getting the suits in the right places.
Grade: A / A-
Pros: closed back suit options are comfortable and compressive, more fabric is better especially in the TYR Avictor!
Cons: the suit is tedious to put on and to get positioned in to the right places.
HAMMERHEAD SILVER ARMOR ($423)
Out of all the tech suits I have ever worn, this was by far one of the hardest to put on. But the struggle was worth it in the end because the sizing and fit of the suit were perfect for me. The construction of the upper body is unique in that the suit cuts in a bit on the chest and then connects to very comfortable shoulder straps. The high scoop neck combined with the thin shoulder straps made me feel secure and compressed in my upper body. The suit is seamless which makes it not only comfortable to wear but gives you unobstructed feeling of compression. The only downside to the fit of the Silver Armor is the tightness of the bottom leg seam. It was very tight on my quads and is not a suit I would want to wear for a long swim meet session.
The Silver Armor Elite fabric proved to be very durable because to get this suit on for the first time I really had to tug at the material. It reminds me a lot of the original carbon fabric and design because of the exact same square shape. Where the Silver Armor differs is the single lined fabric in the legs. This makes the suit compressive yet comfortable to wear in any race distance. The suit has excellent hydrophobic qualities with a noticeable sheen in and out of the pool and a great deal of water beading off the fabric.
Swimming in the Silver Armor was very comfortable for fly, back and free especially. I got uncomfortable after swimming a lot of breaststroke in this suit because the bottom leg strap was too tight on my quads. For a younger swimmer with less developed muscles or someone with smaller quads they wouldn’t have the same problem. Because the Silver Armor has a minimal amount of seams in the suit it allowed me to swim each stroke without any restriction of movement or alteration to my technique. The comfortable compression helped me to feel hydrodynamic especially on starts, turns and push-offs. I give the Hammerhead Silver Armor an A- for overall performance given the challenge of getting the suit on for the first time
Pros: Comfortable compression throughout the entirety of the suit and highly durable fabric.
Cons: Getting in to the suit for the first time is exhausting.
DOLFIN TITANIUM ($400)
The Dolfin brand has been best known for its training suits called the Uglies. The last tech suit the company released was the Platinum2 in 2013 and since then they have developed their newest high tech suit called the Titanium. The Titanium size 28 was a little too loose for me in the upper body, I would suggest going down a size if you are looking for a little tighter fit. Mark seemed to have the same “downsizing” experience. Because this suit was a little too big for me in the upper body, I could feel some water rushing in and out of the neck hole especially on starts, turns and push-offs. Sizing for this suit is really important to get the right. The suit has very comfortable shoulder straps that are thin and flexible, so they don't put too much strain on your shoulder muscles. The back strap also has plenty of give and the suit sits low on your backside. The Titanium has a shorter leg cut than some of the other suits but the compression they provide is excellent.
The Titanium fabric is made from a unique, “honeycomb woven pattern.” This honeycomb shape gives the fabric its strength and compressive qualities while your muscles move and contract. The strong yet flexible material was not only comfortable, but durable after multiple in water tests. The suit is also treated with a high quality hydrophobic coating that could be identified by the sheen seen under water and the beading seen out of the pool. The titanium has two larger modesty panels that are separated by a small, uncovered section. The thinner uncovered section sits awkwardly over the belly button leaving the portion of the suit that covers your stomach see-through.
The Titanium performed very well in the water. The high tech fabric has equal parts comfort, mobility and compression. I felt great swimming any stroke and any distance. This suit is a great option for a long distance swimmer or an IM’er. I give the Dolfin Titanium a A- for overall performance. The sizing was the limited factor.
Pros: great leg compression and shoulder strap flexibility
Cons: sizing, the upper body of the 28 was too loose, water rushed in and out of the neck hole during starts and turns so I needed to size down to the 26.
ARENA CARBON AIR ($350)
The Carbon Air was much easier to put on time and time again than its Carbon family predecessors. The suit is more lightweight and made of a much thinner fabric than the Carbon Flex. The suit is true to size and the cut and construction of the suit is exactly the same as the Carbon Flex. The difference is all in the material making it feels completely different when it is on. The suit feels much more like a “second skin” than it does an overtly compressive tech suit.
Arena did a complete overhaul with the design of the new Carbon Air fabric. With this new suit they have emphasized “comfort before compression” moving away from the ultra compression and taping found with the Carbon Flex series. The “Carbon Cage” design seen on the Carbon Flex has equal amounts of “stretch and return” in all directions due to the square shape. The new “Carbon Band” design gives you a greater “stretch and return” feeling horizontally. This means that the horizontal bands give you more lateral compression for expanding muscles. The elimination of the vertical bands, gives the suit more mobility and the desired less compressive sensation. The Carbon Air fabric is chemically treated exactly the same as all of the other Arena suits with a high quality hydrophobic coating. The thinner, more lightweight material is a major improvement in many ways for those swimmers looking for a more comfortable and less compressive tech suit. Unfortunately the thinner fabric, smaller modesty panels and some of the suit colors leave parts of the front of the suit see-through.
The added flexion from the new Carbon Air fabric gave me the extra mobility I lack in an ultra compressive suit. All four strokes felt great in the Carbon Air, the biggest improvement being in the ability to freely move my hips while swimming breaststroke. This suit is a great option for any stroke or distance, especially an IM’er. I give the Carbon Air an A for performance, the see through sections being the limiting factor that knocks it down a touch.
Pros: enhanced mobility, comfortable compression and a bright color selection.
Cons: I didn’t love the see-through sections on the front of the suit.
JAKED JKATANA ($278.95)
Size/Fit The Jaked Jkatana was one of the best fitting suits I have ever tried on. Not only did it have extremely long legs, but it has a really comfortable shoulder strap construction. The shoulder straps come together in a deep V on your back giving you enough stretch to move while on the deck waiting for a race and while competing in the pool. The seams are also very well made throughout the entirety of suit, especially in the crotch. They sit perfectly flat on the skin without causing any rubbing or pulling on your shoulders or back. They have plenty of give in order to make moving and stretching in the water effortless. The only downside to the fit is that the suit drops pretty low on your back.
Historically, the Jaked brand has produced some of the most high quality suit fabrics in the world and the Jkatana fabric is no exception. It has the perfect blend of compression and comfort. The Jkatana fabric feels thicker to the touch than most of the other brands I tested out this year. Once in the suit, I felt very secure and compressed yet comfortable and mobile. The sturdy fabric also made the suit very durable, it didn’t lose any compression on the second wear test. I also liked the size and look of the modesty panels because there weren’t any noticeable see-through sections when I had the suit on.
Because the Jkatana is a comfortable yet compressive suit it performed very well in the water. I felt especially mobile while swimming backstroke and freestyle because the deep V shoulder strap construction gave me plenty of flexibility in my shoulders. The Jkatana doesn’t have any seams near the hips, which is a major advantage for swimming breaststroke. Hip seams can sometimes alter your breaststroke kick or technique but the Jkatana's lack of seams did nothing of the sort. The low-cut of the back of the suit unfortunately means that some water flows in and out while you are swimming. It is most noticeable on push-offs, starts and turns. This suit is overall a great option for all distances and all strokes. I give the Jaked Jkatana an A for overall comfort and compression.
Pros: Overall suit construction and value. The Jkatana is made with high quality fabric and minimal seams.
Cons: The low-cut back and fit of the Jkatana causes some water movement in and out of the suit, while you are swimming.
ROCKET SCIENCE ROCKET LIGHT2 ($265.95)
Size: 28 & 30
The Rocket LIGHT2 is a very comfortable fitting tech suit. The challenge is picking the right size and carefully getting it on. It took me quite a while to get into the size 28 and before I hit the pool one of the seams in the shoulder straps ripped. I requested a size 30 to see if that would alleviate the extra shoulder strap tension and it did the trick. Unfortunately, I think it might have been something else – a defect, bad seam or bad luck, because after trying both sizes on, the 28 was actually a better overall fit for me. The 28 was a bit snug around my hips and quads but I believe it would have loosened up after getting in the water. The 30 was perfect in the legs but got a little stretched out in the neck hole after my second in water test. The suit’s downside was an awkward looking modesty panel. The panel placement combined with the very thin and see-through leg fabric created an uncomfortable look.
The LIGHT2 fabric is lightweight and compressive just like all of the other 2015 suits we reviewed but where they differ is their panel placement. The paneling in the LIGHT2 gives you the same sensation as the core, chest and hip compression from the 2008-2012 era suits. This security of compression is really important for making your body more hydrodynamic during a race. The fabric is also well treated with a high quality hydrophobic coating. I could not only see a thick chemical sheen, but also water beading off the suit after multiple wear tests.
The LIGHT2 fabric molds very well to the body once in the water. Getting the right size is key because the size 30 neck hole stretched out a bit after the second wear test. The suit was also a bit constrictive around the hips, which made fully bending my knees for breaststroke a little bit challenging. On the other hand this suit was excellent while swimming freestyle, backstroke and butterfly for any distance. I give the Rocket Science LIGHT2 an A- for overall performance. The suit's hip construction is the limiting factor.
Pros: The LIGHT2 suit construction; the fabric’s high tech qualities including hydrophobic coating, paneling and compression were winning features.
Cons: The cut of the modesty panel combined with the thin see-through material on the legs makes for an awkward look.
BLUESEVENTY NEROFIT ($179)
The neroFIT is a very comfortable tech suit that was made with the masses in mind and is lucky to be included with the excellent crop of suits in this year’s review. Blueseventy has created a lower price suit that still has all of the high tech qualities aimed mainly for master’s and age group swimmers. The size 28 suit fits very well, especially in the upper body. The upper body of the suit has excellent core and chest compression, but I could definitely go down a size to a 27, if I wanted to achieve a tighter more compressive fit. A thin shoulder and back strap construction also makes the fit even more comfortable for longer races. The neroFIT’s sizing makes it an easy choice for swimmers looking to wear a tech suit for longer sessions and more races.
The NeroFIT is made from a more stretchy fabric and it should be noted that this suit will not provide excessive amounts of compression. The more flexible material makes it very easy to put the suit on in very little time. Be careful of rushing though the process though because the legs have only one thin layer of fabric and a sharp nail could easily rip the suit. The suits best high tech feature is the hydrophobic coating. You could see plenty of beading after hopping out of the pool even after several wear tests.
The neroFIT performed very well in the water in all four strokes. My major complaint with Blueseventy tech suits for the past few years has been their uncomfortable crotch seam. The seam made it difficult to wear the suit for longer distance races. They have changed the shape and construction for the neroFIT and it is now a suit you can comfortably wear for any stroke or any distance. The leg material is long and covers my major leg muscles, but it is very thin which means it lacks a bit of the same upper body compression. I give the Blueseventy Nero-Fit a B+ for overall performance, the suit lacks the same overall compression as the top tier Tech Suits.
Pros: The upper body coverage and compression along with the new crotch seam construction are this suit’s best qualities.
Cons: Some of the neroFIT colors may be see-through after a couple of meets. Lacks compression of the elite big guns.
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
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)
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 to be a high-waisted suit, but you can pull it up if you want more coverage. This suit fits consistently with other Blueseventy suits; meaning you are going to get great coverage where you need it and great compression on your muscles. I think this suit compresses better than previous Blueseventy suits, so a nice improvement from the folks at Blueseventy.
This suit is made up of 53% Polyamide and 47% Elastane. Having a higher percentage of Elastane gives this suit good compression, but does not repel the water as well as some of
the other suits. After being in the water for a few minutes this suit begins to absorb the water. So, for better repellency, wear this suit for your race only and warm up/warm down in another suit.
This is the best performing Blueseventy that I have worn. I would give this suit a B+ for performance. You get a good amount of "glide" when pushing off the walls. I would feel very confident racing in this suit.
Pros: Fit and compression.
Cons: Does not repel the water as well as some of the other top notch suits.
Like the name says, this suit is almost exactly the same as its previous model, Speedo LZR Elite, except it is high-waisted. This new element, alone, is a big improvement. One of my biggest concerns about the previous LZR Elite was the lack of compression. This issue is still not completely resolved, as the compression is still not that of some of its competitors. However, this high-waisted version does a better job. Speedo also offers an additional in-between sizing option. Typically, I wear a size 28 and I doubt I could go down to a 26, but Speedo offers a 27. For those of us that are in between sizes and looking for a better fit, Speedo might be the right solution.
This suit is made of 65% Nylon and 35% Lycra Spandex.
Though the suit lacks some of the compression that I like, it does effectively repel water; the water beads right off the suit even after extended and multiple use.
Because of the suits ability to repel water and new high-waisted design, I give this suit an A. This is an improved version of the LZR Elite so you can’t go wrong. I also find comfort in choosing a well-known brand with a history of performance.
Pros: Repels water and is high-waisted.
Cons: Lacks compression and is more expensive than some of its competitors.
ENGINE ARMOUR WINGSKIN ($269.00)
I had never worn an Engine tech suit before from this newcomer on the scene, so was really impressed when I swam in this particular suit. This suit has many of the same properties as the Blueseventy NERO 14 that I wrote about in that review. This suit has very good compression and your muscles feel locked in when wearing this suit. What I mean by that is, your muscles will not shake or move when moving through the water. My only concern with this suit is its coverage in the rear. Remember, I have a slightly larger rump than the average swimmer so this could be an individual thing, but I had to do quite a bit of tugging and pulling to ensure that I wasn’t exposed.
This suit is comprised of 53% Polyamide and 47% Elastane. This fabric blend give the suit great compressive quality, but not quite as water repellent.
Because this suit is the exact same make up as the Blueseventy it reacts the same way in the water, after a few minutes in the water it begins to absorb it. For better repellency, wear this suit for your race only and warm up/warm down in another suit.
I would feel very comfortable wearing this suit in a race because even though the fit is a little off, this suit still allows your body to move fast through the water. Overall, I give this suit a solid B. The fabric quality and compression are on par with the Blueseventy, but the size/fit was not perfect for me. That being said, I predict that Engine could be a major player in the tech suit competition in the years to come based on this first experience.
Pros: Compression and nice price point relative to the performance it provides.
Cons: Not great sizing in the hips/ butt for my body type.
NIKE NG-1 JAMMER ($300)
Being a professional swimmer, it was a big help for me to be able to speak directly with the manufactures on this suit. Like I have said in the past, I wear a size 28, but after giving Nike my waist and thigh measurements, Nike suggested I try a size 26. I loved getting this brand recommendation and nice service.
If I were giving a “Most Improved” award, this suit would be the winner! Now I know this is not the same exact style of suit that Nike introduced in the past, but Nike stepped up their game in terms of fit. Bravo to the folks at Nike Swim!
This suit has two different layers to it. The outer shell is comprised of 61% Polyamide and 39% Elastane. The inner liner (like a brief) is made of 68% Polyamide and 32% Elastane.
More so than its competitors, this suit takes on water fairly quickly. While better than previous jammers, this suit still under performs when it comes to its ability to repel water.
This suit made the biggest jump in performance from the improvements made in the fit of the suit. I liked the way my body was able to move in this suit, but its inability to repel water keeps it slightly lower on my list. I give Nike a B- for this particular suit, but I would keep my eye on Nike. I think Nike will be a major player in the tech suit industry if they continue this trajectory.
Pros: Nice balance of good fit and compression. High waisted.
Cons: Takes on a little too much water. Do not feel the "glide" as much.
FINIS VAPOR ($279.95)
Overall, Finis did a much better job with the sizing of this suit for my taste in comparison to their last version: Finis Hydrospeed Velo. Being that they are still relatively new to tech suit production, I was very impressed with this suit. This suit is on the smaller/ shorter side of a typical size 28, but still within the range of what is typical.
Typically, you want your suit to hit about 1 to 2 inches above your knee caps and this one hits slightly higher. A person not racing breaststroke may not notice this, but when you spread your legs for a breaststroke kick the inseam does have a little pull because it is a little short. Notable: the drawstring was a little short which can make you a little nervous at your championship meet, but is consistent with this suit running just a touch small for me.
The material in this suit is similar to the Speedo LZR; it is made of 65% Nylon and 35% Elastane. This make up allows the suit to repel water very well.
On the flip side, the compression of the suit is not among the very best. But lack of compression can also allow you to wear this suit for a longer period of time (e.g., a long meet session) so that’s something to consider as a major positive.
I give this suit a B for performance. The higher percentage of nylon allows the suit to glide through the water very well, but lacks some compression. I also found myself pulling the suit up a few time trying to get the inseam in the right spot. The drawstring was a little concerning, too. I could tie it, but if you were taking this suit on and off a lot you could potentially lose it within the waist band.
Pros: Repels water nicely. Good all-around suit.
Cons: Runs small and short drawstring.
TYR TRACER LIGHT JAMMER ($118.95)
At this price point, this suit goes on pretty quickly and fits pretty well. It does hit the thighs a little high, which makes the seams feel, perhaps, too tight. This suit does provides less overall compression than several of its competitors, which means wearing it for a long meet would be more comfortable than the others.
The suit is comprised of 70% Nylon and 30% Lycra Spandex, which allows it to effectively repel water. This is the only suit in this review that has stitched seams and smaller panels, which can be a deterrent for some.
Smaller panels and more seams create more drag than a suit with larger panels and bonded seams. For a visual of what I mean, check out the “Material” section of this article. The stitching and paneling is in line with other suits of this price point across brands.
Though this suit is, perhaps, in a different category than the others I’ve reviewed here because of its price point. TYR still has the AP 12 which is its top-of-the-line tech suit. I think this is a very effective tech suit. Highlights of this suit include its ability to repel water. I always associate water repellency with "gliding" or "sliding" in the water.
Pros: performance is very good; great compression
Cons: inseam is too short; drawstring difficult to stay in placeARENA CARBON FLEX ($350)
The Arena Carbon Flex is a new suit designed to sit alongside the new second-edition Arena Carbon Pro, also reviewed here. What I mean by that is most of the time suit manufacturers design new suits to replace old suits. This suit is not a replacement but is designed for people that want a different product, while keeping a very successful “older” model.
As you may have read, I had to size up to a 30 when wearing an Arena Carbon Pro. What I learned during my conversation with a representative from Arena is that carbon fiber that is threaded through the Carbon Pro was wound in a way to make the suit tighter. What they have done with the Arena Carbon Flex is to make the carbon fiber have more “flex/give” to it, meaning the suit stretches a little more. I tried both a size 30 and a size 28 and I found the size 28 was the better fit in the Arena Carbon Flex - so given my normal sizing, it’s fair to say the Carbon Flex runs true to size.
Even though this suit is slightly more elastic, it holds your muscles in perfectly. I felt secure every time I pushed off the wall and the suit has enough flexibility to allow my legs to have maximum mobility. I could move and kick exactly how I needed to. Arena has also made some adjustments in the cut of the suit. Typically, Arena suits are cut to hit you lower on the waist, but they have allowed more fabric on the top end so you can pull this suit up higher on your waist. To me, this is a big plus.
The last thing that is unique about the fit of this suit is the seaming. Traditionally, suit manufactures have the seams bonded along the inside and outside of the leg, but not with this suit. The seams run up the front of the quad and attach on the sides of your hips. They also have a seam that runs up the hamstrings and attaches above each glute. The seam that runs up the back of the suit does an amazing job of flattening out those of us that have some rounder parts. Anything that makes your body more streamline makes you a faster and happier swimmer.
The material is listed as 52% Nylon, 47% Elastane and 1% Carbon Fiber, which is the exact makeup of the Arena Carbon Pro.
Like I mentioned above, the carbon fiber in this suit is not wound as tight, giving the suit more elasticity. I don’t feel as though this suit is as water repellant as others, but its compression is top notch.
Mark my words, you will be seeing a lot of great swimmers wearing this suit at future meets. This is the best-fitting Arena suit I have ever tried on. I think it has the perfect mix of flexibility and compression. I give this suit an A+.
Remember, I am speaking from a perspective of a breaststroker that has larger legs and hips. I need the extra flexibility in order to perform my kick properly and slightly more give in the suit because my personal build. Skinnier athletes with smaller butts may want to check out an Arena Carbon Pro, while breaststrokers and IMer’s should give the Arena Carbon Flex a closer look.
Pros: Compression - you are locked and loaded for performance while having all the mobility you need. The seaming is designed to make you more streamlined. Lastly, this suit just looks cool.
Cons: This suit has quite the price tag, but you are paying for the best.
The evolution of the technical suit began in 2000 with the unveiling of the Speedo Fastskin at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis. The Fastskin was made of material that was supposed to mimic sharkskin; it was a genius marketing ploy and the beginning of a swimsuit revolution. It seemed to be that every four years following the 2000 Olympic Trials, new styles, models, materials and cuts were launched as the “fastest” suit in the pool. The technical suit market began to boom, new companies were created and the marketing behind each brand became very competitive.
Now, 14 years later, I’ve found that every suit company has made a very comparable and competitive technical suit. The quality is terrific across the board. There doesn’t seem to be any glaring differences between suits or a major edge that one brand has over another. The technical market has evened out and the difference is in the details. This is, in fact, great for the consumer, because it means that every suit is fast and your choice boils down to fit, feel and – as we always emphasize – personal preference.
For Mark and I doing the suit reviews, this makes our job a little harder; we have to look at the smaller details of what makes one suit slightly different than another. In fact, most of today’s suits are made of material that reminds me of the “paper suit.” If I were smart, I would have listened to my very close friend who worked in fashion for over a decade and is now a successful swim coach.
She once told me that belts and scarves have a seven-year cycle, “The same style always comes back around,” she would say. I always laughed at her and her over-stuffed closet, but who is laughing now? Sure enough the same phenomena seems to be happening in technical suits. If only I were the same size as I was when I was 10 years old and the suit material lasted forever, I could have recycled my paper suit for the year 2014.
ARENA CARBON PRO ($349.00)
The Arena Carbon definitely takes the cake for being the most difficult and taxing suit to put on. I ordered a 28 without checking the size chart and merely trusting what I wore in 2012. Big mistake! I struggled for nearly 30 minutes in the locker room the first time I got it on. Needless to say I could barely breathe, or move. The second time I tried to put the suit on, it ripped. Take two; I ordered a size 32 after checking out the size chart, looking specifically at my height as the determining factor. The bigger size still took time and finesse to get on but was much more comfortable. Unfortunately I think that a size 30 would be the best fit for me to race in, but it would definitely be too short in the legs and torso, and uncomfortable to wear for more than an hour. The Carbon isn’t well-sized for a taller athlete with longer legs. The legs are the shortest cut of all the tech suits I tried on. This made for some loss of circulation in my quads over time. The suit’s shoulder and back strap construction are very comfortable. The chest coverage and high back are also great features of the carbon.
The Carbon Pro’s best attribute is its cross-stitch design. The material pulls equally from all angles giving it strength or compression, yet flexibility or comfort for the athlete. The suit is double-lined in the torso and butt, adding another layer of durability in the water. The outer seams on the shoulders, back and chest of the suit are thicker than the rest of the suit’s material, but these seams stretch enough to keep the suit comfortable while swimming or racing. The suit’s complete body compression created by the high-quality material and design is its best feature. This overall compression could become uncomfortable for an athlete if left on for too long.
The Carbon Pro’s performance in the water makes up for the size and fit struggle in the locker room. The suit definitely molds to your body better after getting wet. The material naturally stretches with the cross-stitch design and adjusts even better in the water. The suit was excellent at repelling the water in and out of the pool. You could see the water beading off of the suit once you got out of the pool, as well as the initial bubble layer or seal when diving in. Unfortunately the crotch seam in this suit is also a bit uncomfortable, but could be mostly due to the suit having a shorter torso cut.
Pros: The cross-stitch construction creates the best overall compression from shoulders to legs of any suit.
Cons: Sizing for the Carbon Pro is very tricky. Finding the right fit could cost you a ripped suit.
BLUESEVENTY NERO 14 ($375)
The Nero 14 is nearly perfect when it comes to fit! It has every quality I look for in a race suit: long legs, core and chest compression, as well as comfortable back and shoulder straps. The extra long leg fabric is a bonus that ensures enough material for tall athletes. The suit is well made with a high-waisted boy short like compression panel for the stomach and butt, and two chest compression panels. These compression panels make the suit fit tight enough for competition, yet most likely uncomfortable if left on for a long meet session. The panels in the chest are great for compression, but unfortunately don’t go all the way to the edge or seam of the suit. The change in material causes the seam to be loosened over time and use, which could result in some slight chest exposure issues.
Blueseventy’s suit fabric quality has been excellent for many years and the Nero 14 is no different. Don’t let the suit’s light material deceive you; it is very durable and very tight. These qualities coupled with its seamless construction make the Nero 14 completely built for speed. The shoulder and back straps are made with the necessary amount of flex, so that they are taut but not constricting while swimming. I would not suggest sitting around in this suit for too long before a big race because its compression could become constricting after some time. The sticky seams around the quads are especially confining and could definitely alter blood flow throughout your legs and lower body.
The Nero 14 performed well in the pool especially with its most notable attribute being the high quality compression panels. The suit was comfortable and effective while swimming, turning and diving due to the material’s elasticity and compression combination. I was also impressed by the Nero 14’s evidence of high water resistance. The suit had water beading off of it for a long period of time after I got out of the pool. Unfortunately, the Nero 14 has a poor crotch seam construction that could feel awkward for some breaststrokers. No matter how you adjust the suit, it never seems to quite fix the fit problem.
Pros: Amazing overall body fit, and highest quality compression panels on the market.
Cons: Awkward crotch seam construction and loose chest seams.
SPEEDO FASTSKIN LZR RACER ELITE 2 ($429.00)
The LZR’s sizing hasn’t changed much over the past several years, which is a great thing because the suit’s cut fits very well. I always order a 27L (for long) and I can always count on a long torso and leg with this suit. I like having the 27 option. One of the LZR’s new features is the “comfort strap,” and it is without a doubt a winning adjustment. I would be very comfortable wearing this suit for a long period of time or during a longer race without the fear of tiring my shoulders out. The flexible seams around the back and chest also make this a very comfortable fitting suit.
The LZR’s material is very thin which is good for getting in and out of the suit and for comfort, but could be a deterrent for durability.
The suit performed very well in the water with its excellent water repellant and beading qualities. Water was still beading off of the suit even 10 minutes after I was done testing it out; this definitely impressed me. The LZR also has great compression in the chest, torso and hips due to its bonded seams and extra lining. While the suit had great compression it was still very comfortable and easy to move in, in the pool making any stroke or turn easy to do. The only downside was that some water seemed to seep through the top part of my suit during my start, which was most likely due to the flexibility of the comfort straps.
Pros: The LZR’s biggest upside is its new comfort straps, as well as its compression quality, which is a mainstay for the Speedo brand.
Cons: Unfortunately the thin single layer areas of the suit seem less durable and could be a concern for multiple wears.ENGINE WINGSKIN ARMOUR ($379)
The Engine Wingskin was the second-most challenging suit of the bunch to get on behind the Arena Carbon Pro, but it was worth the struggle. The fit of the suit was amazing because of its seamless construction. The suit has a high-waisted back, comfortable shoulder straps and long leg coverage. The V-shape construction of the back strap has only a little give and is very tight so it could get uncomfortable if worn for long periods at a time. The best part about the fit is the complete chest coverage and comfortable shoulder strap combination.
The Wingskin’s unique seamless and double-lined construction creates serious compression felt in and out of the water. The compression is felt everywhere but the quads which is made up of only a single lining. The leg construction is thin, but not so thin that I am afraid to tug at it and get the suit in the right position.
The Wingskin had an amazing compression feel throughout my wear test. The suit was the perfect fit, except for in the strap across my back. It did not flex or loosen at all once in the water. Because of the Wingskin’s amazing fit across my chest, the suit molded the best to my body and at no point did I feel water go in to the top of my suit. The Wingskin also had all the right water-repelling capabilities and a lot of beading once hopping out of the pool. The downside to this suit would be the tight strap across the back and a poorly placed crotch seam, which became very uncomfortable after multiple flip turns.
Pros: The torso construction of the Wingskin created the best compression and water seal out of all the suits I reviewed.
Cons: The crotch seam could be a problem that some long distance swimmers might struggle with.
Just as Mark noted in his review of the men’s Nike suit, the women’s Nike also improved greatly from its predecessor, most notably in the cut and fit of the suit. The NG-1 was not only comfortable with complete chest coverage, but it also had flexible shoulder and back straps. The Nike has a high back and average leg length nothing too short or overly lengthy.
The Nike material is very comfortable and molds well to the body due to its new construction. The suit has a thick double lining throughout the chest, torso, hips and butt. This creates a great feeling of compression. While the suit has a lot of seams it is not constricting and is easy to move in or adjust once on.
Once I dove in the water, I immediately felt the compression in the torso, hips and rear. The compression coupled with the improved fit meant the suit was well-molded to my body. That combination made for some quick turns and smooth underwater transitions. Unfortunately, the suit missed the boat on a quality water repellant. There were very few water beads to be seen after I finished testing out the suit. And the suit had several sticky seams on the inner lining that felt constricting during flip some of my turns and strokes.
Pros: Most improved fit and high-quality torso, hip and butt compression.
Cons: Sticky seams and lack of water repellent for its price point.
FINIS VAPOR ($368.95)
To put the Vapor on, it took me time, patience and gentle hands. The size of the suit was not the issue, it was the very thin material and awkward fit that made me afraid I would rip it when tugging to get the suit to fit comfortably. The suit did stretch out at the seams after getting wet. I would suggest ordering a size smaller than you think is necessary but because of the tight seams, it might not feel great at first. Specifically the chest and shoulder strap areas were too loose after one use. The Vapor has a nice low back and a long-legged fit which is great for taller athletes. Overall the Vapor’s fit is tight and a bit off for me.
The Vapor has a double lining throughout the torso and butt. Unfortunately, the material is very thin and seemed to wear out quite quickly.
The initial on land compression felt good, but once the suit was worn it seemed to lose some elasticity.
In the water the suit was very flexible and easy to move in while swimming all four strokes. During some of the first turns the seams pulled at my skin but as the suit loosened up they felt more comfortable. The Vapor was fantastic in repelling water and had a ton of beading when I exited the pool. This is definitely the suit’s most redeeming quality.
Pros: The water-resistant quality of the suit is simply top notch.
Cons: The suit significantly stretched out after just one use throughout the chest and in the shoulder straps. Sizing could be the key here.
TYR TRACER ($191.99)
The Tracer was one of the easier suits to get on which is always a bonus. I don’t like to be exhausted or stressed for time when putting on a suit. The Tracer also fit very well. The suit hugged my hips, sat low on my back and had long legs. The more material covering your body, the better due solely to the fact that the suit’s material is faster than your skin.
I always order a long leg option, if available, and with the Tracer it seemed this option was already built in to the suit's cut. The shoulder straps on the Tracer were comfortable due to the flexibility and give with which they were made; on the downside the seam that cuts across the back is not comfortable, because it is tight and doesn’t stretch much with time.
The construction of the suit with the double lining and cross-stitch in the chest and torso is its best quality. This combination of lining and stitch created a great feeling of compression and comfort while on land. The suit was easy to move in and did not feel constricting, I would assume if you had to sit in it for several hours at a long meet it would remain rather comfortable.
In the water the Tracer performed pretty well. The suit has a definite water-repellent quality that could be seen as soon and you dove in the pool, as well as when out of the water after a swim by the constant water beading. The Tracer performed very well when molding to my body in and out of turns and throughout each of the four strokes. The suit unfortunately lost some of its compression quality when it got wet. The Tracer lacked some core and leg compression compared to some of the other suits in this review and a big reason for that is the price point. You might also want to check out TYR’s top of the line tech suit from last year, the AP12.
Pros: The Tracer is a very comfortable suit that felt good on land and in the water due to its excellent fit.
Cons: It lacked some key compression components in comparison to the other suits in this review but this difference can very much be attributed to its lower price point.
ARENA CARBON FLEX ($475)
Arena has designed and released a number of suits since 2012, the Carbon Pro MK 1, MK 2 and now the Flex. All three have fit very differently, which can be frustrating for the consumer to know which size is best to purchase, but great because each athlete has a very different body and suit preference when it comes to racing. It is important to try these suits on or at least speak to someone who has worn the suit before purchasing. The Flex was not as tight or as much of a challenge to get on as the Second-edition Carbon Pro due to the new “taping” or seams that are incorporated in the suit. Given my experience with the Pro, I ordered a size 30 in the Flex and it was definitely too big. The new seams create more give, but it was too much for me in the upper body.
Unfortunately, I think that a size 28 would be the best fit for me to race in, but I don’t know how it would feel or stretch in the water. The leg length seemed to be longer than the Carbon Pro’s length, which was a welcome change for me, and the back had a lower scooping design. Every female swimmer has their own preference when it comes to the cut and design of the back of the suit, the low-cut fit and feel were great, but in my opinion the more material covering your body, the better. The suit’s shoulder and back strap construction are very comfortable, but too loose on land and especially once they got wet.
The Carbon’s waffle or, as I like to call it, cross-stitch design has not changed. The material is made to give you an equal and all over feeling of compression, which is the Carbon’s greatest feature -- but this suit was not as “tight” or compressing as the Carbon Pro due to the added flex that gives the suit its name. The Flex like the Pro is double-lined in the torso and read, adding a layer of durability and compression in the water.
There is a lot more “flex” in this suit due to the taping. The taping begins under the armpit and runs vertically down the front and back of the suit. The best feature of the flex is the glute and hamstring taping. This seam definitely gives you extra flex while swimming, and an added sense of how your muscles are firing or moving in the water. The suit is definitely more forgiving or comfortable over a long period of time, but personally I prefer the tighter suit knowing I am getting a little extra full body compression while racing.
The Flex’s performance in the pool left me with mixed reviews -- all based on the same new feature of the material’s flexibility. The Flex downside was due to the size. While the Flex upside was due to the taping. The well-known high-quality compression design coupled with the new flex taping performed very well in the water. The glute and hamstring taping give you that little extra flection you need in your lower body while starting, turning or swimming without sacrificing the suit’s compression or structure. The taping also gives you a new sensation in the water: I became very aware of how my legs were reacting to each stroke and turn.
The cross-stitch material created the same great water resistance and beading, but the loose fit in the chest caused major water drag negating the upper body compression. This could have been an issue with my sizing. Make sure you are fitted properly. As soon as I got in the pool there was water getting in through the top of the suit. I could feel it especially on a dive and turns. I think had I had a smaller suit it would be less noticeable but the upper body “flex” might just be too much for some athletes who will prefer the tightness of the Pro.
Pros: The glute and hamstring taping is a winning feature that gives an athlete a new muscular sensation while racing.
Cons: Sizing. The Flex’s loose fitting upper body sacrifices compression.
About Mark Gangloff
Mark Gangloff is a two-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100 meter medley relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He is the U.S. Open national record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke set in July 2009 in Indianapolis and attended Auburn University. He now works as an Assistant Swimming Coach at the University of Missouri. His large hand size is 8.5 inches from wrist to the top of his middle finger and 10.5 inches spread across from his thumb to pinkie.
About Julie Stupp
Julie Stupp is the first athlete in NCAA history to qualify for the NCAA's in both swimming and track & field. She first competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials as a 14-year-old in 2000 and made the final of the 400m IM at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. She is an IM and breaststroke specialist and competed for Auburn University from 2004-2007, where she was an 11-time All-American. She is now an assistant swimming coach at the University of Missouri.
NOTE: Please note that reviews are the opinions of Mark Gangloff and Julie Stupp -- not those of SwimOutlet.com. They are offered only as general information to customers. Size and fit are unique to each person’s body type and every swimmer has different suit needs. For specific questions about a tech suit, customers are encouraged to contact SwimOutlet.com customer service. For more information about “How to Choose a Men’s Tech Suit” go here and for info on "How to Choose a Women's Tech Suit" go here.
Tagged with: #technicalsuits #MarkGangloff #JulieStupp #techsuitreview #swimoutletEmail Address Invalid. Please enter an email address in the format: firstname.lastname@example.orgAustin
3 days ago.Hi,
I borrowed a suit from my friend, it was either a speedo lzr elite or elite 2.
There was a red taping inside of the suit and the color was completely black. Can you tell if this is a speedo lzr racer elite or elite 2?Sam
3 days ago.Hi Mark,
I bought the Dolfin Platinum 2 and thought it was a great suit. I loved how hydrophobic it was. Does the Dolfin Titanium have the same water beading and shimmer effect when getting out of the water/while in the water? How long would you say the Titanium will keep its hydrophobic properties? Did you notice absorption in any specific areas?
2 weeks ago.Hi Mark,
I am a 14 year old boy and I am interested in the speedo lzr elite 2. I am 5 10 and 150 lbs. I wear a size 26 speedo brief and I was wondering what size lzr elite 2 i should buy. (note not the high waist suit)SwimOutlet.com
6 days ago.Hi Jack - the best place to start is the Speedo sizing chart. Key is also knowing your waist size. We hope this helps! http://www.swimoutlet.com/size-charts/speedo/Tech_Suits_s_9265.mariana
3 weeks ago.Hi, I am trying to buy a swim suit for my 9 year old daughter end of season meets, I was browsing and found the jaked j-storm at 149.00 from 329.00 but can't find any reviews about this suit, have you tried it? is it confortable?SwimOutlet.com
3 weeks ago.We've only reviewed the J-Katana on our Tech Suit Reviews since we usually only cover the top of the line suits in a specific category. Jaked is a terrific brand and they have also come out with the J-Rush elite suit this summer. We don't have the J-Storm among our collection right now: http://www.swimoutlet.com/jaked/ but if comfort and price are important to you, you could check out the J-11 Water Zero. Otherwise, you can be confident the J Katana is a top suit. Our review testers really liked it: http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/jaked-jkatana-womens-open-back-tech-suit-8124615/?color=14689Patrick Shutt
1 month ago.Will you be doing the MP Xpresso yet? Like to see if it's as good as it sounds.SwimOutlet.com
1 month ago.Hi Patrick,
We hope to have an MP XPresso expert review up in early June. Keep checking back or follow us on social media. We'll let people know on twitter, as soon as its up.
1 month ago.Hi Mark, I'm looking into getting a tech-suit that is around the $200 to $225 range. I've narrowed my choices down to the TYR AP12 and the Jaked JKatana. I know that the AP12 has better compression, but I'm wondering which suit has better water repellency, and which one holds up better? I mainly swim butterfly and freestyle sprints. Thanks for the advice.Mark Gangloff
3 weeks ago.Kyle,
Thanks for your question. I would say that you will get more uses out of the AP 12 but the JKatana is more hydrophobic (repels water). JKatana will be more comfortable and give you better range of motion.AP 12 will be tight. Just depends on what you want.
1 month ago.Hello Julie,
I'm looking at the Dolfin Titanium for my daughter, however confused about the sizing. My daughter is 4'11" and weighs 87lbs. According to the website measurement chart( dolfinswimwear.com), she falls under size 28. I know you're suppose to buy 1 or 2 sizes smaller. But when I read your review, you said you normally wear 28 but for this suit you would go down a size. And I know you and my daughter could not wear the same size. Help?Julie Stupp
1 day ago.Hi Helen,
I agree we cannot wear the same size, I am only a foot taller than you daughter :). The sizing chart does seem a bit off to me. I wear a 28 and I would guess that your daughter should wear a 22-24 in the tech suit. If you can try the suit on at a local swim shop.
Best of luck!
1 month ago.do you really think that the lzr x is really worth that kind of money for a guy?!?!?!?!?Mark Gangloff
3 weeks ago.Joseph,
If you are concerned about your budget then explore the other options. Going to a lower price point will not hurt you very much in terms of performance. The nice thing is the playing field is pretty level right now in terms of overall performance.
1 month ago.Mr. Gangloff,
I am looking forward to starting the long course season and was lookinf into getting a tech suit for some fast meets later in the season. I am 6'2" and 155, i swim mainly the 200 backstroke and was wondering what suit wounf allow me to perform to the best of my ability.
1 month ago.Hunter,
Thanks for your question. My suggestion for your body type and event is an Arena Carbon Pro. Good luck and swim fast!
1 month ago.Mark,
I am getting ready for the start of long course, and was wondering what tech suit I should buy. I am 6 foot 2 155 and swim the 200 backstroke. What suit do you think will help me to perform the best?
Thank you.Austin Wittig
2 months ago.I recently used the LZR Tech Suit in my City Swim Meet. I have heard a lot of things before I used it like it was just mental or that it had no effect at all. I am going to say those people are wrong.
I came into the City Swim Meet with a 1:11 in my 100 breast; the first time I used the suit was in my 100 breast and I got a 1:10.23. I dropped a second, which is a lot of time.
Make sure before you swim with the suit that you are comfortable with it. Before I swam with the Tech Suit I went into the warm up pool 15-20 minutes before I swam to see how it felt. It felt like I was flying through the water. I had a lot more distance per stroke and the glid on my breaststroke was amazing.
On the second day I warmed up with my Tech Suit and used it the whole day. I dropped time in my 200 medley relay, in which I swim the breaststroke, by a few tenths of a second, and I dropped 3 seconds in my 200 IM. Then it came to my 100 breast and I got my state cut with a 1:08.53! I dropped a little more than a second and a half. The Tech Suit is a must buy if you are a few seconds away from the time you want or if you just want to drop time. It may cost 100 bucks at the least but it is completely worth it. #techsuitreviewjacob
2 months ago.Hello! I see all of the reviews on the LZR Racer X and none have comparison to the LZR Elite 2. Is the water repellency of the LZR Racer X as good as the Elite 2?albert
2 months ago.which suit-the tyr avictor or speedo lzr racer x is faster in the water? Or are they both the same?albert
2 months ago.also, to mark, i swim mainly the backstroke and breastroke events and my team is sponsored by tyr and I get a discount for the avictor but should I buy the arena suits or the new speedo suit instead if they're better? Thanksalbert
2 months ago.please add the speedo lzr racer x as soon as possible. Am debating whether to get that or the tyr avictor. ThanksBreatststokeswimmin123
2 months ago.Mr. Gangloff, I was wondering as a male breaststroker in age group reaching for sectional cuts who already has central zone standards what tech suit is the best between carbon flex pro air and the avictor. Which one had the best glide and feel swimming breast?Eric
2 months ago.i'm brokeSam Csu
3 months ago.Hi
From all of the jammers reviewed, what do you think has the best water repellence (Hydrophobic)? I'd prefer that over elite compression.
3 months ago.Sam,
The TYR Avictor, the Arena Carbon Air, Dolfin Titanium and the Jaked are all about the same and top of the class in their ability to repel water. I hope this helps.
3 months ago.My daughter is a petite 13 year old. She is 5 ft 0 and 87 lbs. She wore a size 16 Lzr elite 2 closed back to state champs and felt good in it, but thinks it got a little loose in the thighs after about 4 events. She has tried on the tyr ap12 closed back in size 24 and liked the compressive feel, but she has not tried it in the water (neckline appears to have a tiny gap and she was nervous about water getting in). She wore a blueseventy nero tx in size 18 (open back) and water came in from the sides and back. She has a narrow waist and is very flat chested. She is primarily a breaststroker but does all strokes pretty well. Any recommendations, including sizing? Someone told me to consider Arena?Julie Stupp
3 months ago.Hi Sue,
I would suggest a highly compressive suit since your daughter is so petite. So the AP12 is a great option, the Arena Carbon, Carbon Flex or the WCE are all very compressive as well. The Jaked Jkatana, Hammerhead Silver Armour and TYR Avictor would also be great suits as well. As for sizing I am not sure, because I didn't even know that suits were sold in sizes 16-18. I would suggest checking out the size chart for each suit and going from there.
3 months ago.Hi Mark,
What size did you test in the Tracer Light last year? I'm thinking about picking up the Carbon Air, but I'm not sure what size. I fit pretty well in a 30 Tracer Light and a 28 LZR Pro.
Thanks for your help
3 months ago.Jason,
Thanks for your question. If you wear a 28 LZR Pro I would go with a 30 in Carbon Air. I wear a 27 in LZR and the 28 Carbon Air was a little too tight.
I hope this helps.
3 months ago.Hi,
I have a soon to be 10 year old that is tall and skinny. She currently swims all events and has recently placed #1 In EFSL. With that being said, I'm looking to purchase a new suit for her that will improve her time without causing her drag. She is currently using a TYR short John but I'd like to get her a better quality suit that she will benefit from. Also, I have a soon to be 13 year old that is also involved in swimming all events but does well in her Butterfly and freestyle events. She currently has a TYR Tracer Light Aeroback which is great in the legs and buttocks but was too big in the chest and caused a large amount of drag. She is about 5 ft and 93 lbs. Any suggestions for a great quality suit for her?Julie Stupp
3 months ago.Hi Alicia,
Depending on how much you want to spend the Jaked Jkatana would be a great choice for your younger daughter. For your older daughter the TYR Avictor, Carbon Air or Rocket Science Light2 are all great options as well.
3 months ago.Thank you for the detailed reviews! There is nothing like this online. Most appreicated!Mark Gangloff
3 months ago.Chris,
I am glad that you liked our review. All the best!
3 months ago.Hi Mark,
I am a breastroker and im swimmer and I needed your opinion on whether I should get the arena carbon flex or the LZR X/Elite 2. On many reviews it has said that the Carbon Flex would fit my strokes, but a friend of mine said that they prefer their LZR elite 2 and they are a breaststroker. Since you have tested these out I would love to hear your' opinion!
Many thanks, DanielMark Gangloff
3 months ago.Daniel,
I prefer a little more compression in my suit so I would go for the Carbon Flex. But if you know you will have to wear the suit for 1 hour or longer I would go with the LZR elite.
3 months ago.Hi Caroline!
We have a couple other technical suits that come in long. Below is a link to those:
Hope you find one that works for you. Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a great day!Austin Baron
4 months ago.Hey Mark, I've got a question about a suit. The Arena Powerskin Carbon Flex World Championship Edition in Flourescent Green/Steel Gray. My question is about the logo size because of a new High School Swimming rule I can't have a logo over 2 1/4 inches square. I was wondering if this suit would fit the criteria and if not what are other good suits for breaststrokers? ThanksAdd a Comment
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