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  • Aug

    Top Training Bikinis Compared: The Expert Review

    Training two-piece swimsuits have exploded in today’s market and the styles have completely evolved over the past decade. Based on my past experience using these suits, there used to be only one style of training bikini from each brand, and a few color ways, at best. Fast forward to 2017, and there are hundreds of training bikinis in all sorts of styles, cuts, colors and designs. The vast selection of training bikinis available today allow for every type of swimmer, regardless of their build, to find the perfect fit.  How do you choose just one style?

    To help break down some of the options out there in the market today, sent me seven very different swimsuits to test out this month, and the bottom line: I was amazed at how much the training suit technology has changed.

    Let’s dive in to the vast, colorful world of training bikinis one by one. As I do with most of my reviews, I will typically focus on the fit first, then the material and performance aspects.

    Size Large

    Arena has broken the mold in the past year with countless new training bikini styles. They have burst onto the swim scene with tons of options, designs and colors which help to keep summer training fresh and fun. It was hard for me to choose just one style to review but I gravitated towards the bandeau top because it has a very feminine cut. The small cross stich peep hole in the front combined with the thin racer back straps helped the suit to fit well and look good on.

    The desire brief has a thick wrap around band that is comfortable and sits snug on the hips. The bikini is double lined with a durable polyester fabric that lasts practice after practice in the pool keeping the vibrant colors from fading in the sun. 

    The best part about reviewing the Arena training bikinis was having the option to mix and match colors from top to bottom.


    Size Medium

    The Hardcore Sport bikini fit me perfectly. This was the first time I have ever worn something from the brand, so I was unsure of the fit and the sizing, but I chose the medium and loved it. I really liked the deep scoop neck style bikini top and the traditional training bikini bottom combination. The Hardcore scoop neck cut is unique because it has a really flattering scrunched elastic band, lining the front of the bikini, and I was glad to see that it also performed well in the pool.

    I felt confident diving in the water that the suit would not only stay put, but hold me in place with the tight single backstrap, and it did just that. The Hardcore Sport training bikini is made of a thick durable double lined polyester material and is very versatile: a great pick for any pool, beach or open water athlete.


    Size Large

    I had some trouble finding the right sizing for the Speedo Endurance Lite Mesh bikini. Speedo’s training bikinis usually run quite small and the Endurance Lite Mesh suit was no exception. The top has very minimal coverage, meaning there is not a lot of material regardless of the size you choose. The medium top fit me better size wise, but I was more comfortable swimming in the large for a more conservative chest coverage. The large bottoms fit well and I absolutely loved the mesh detailing throughout the suit.

    The Endurance Lite Mesh top has a really cool strap construction. There are two straps that cross over your shoulders and connect to the suit back, creating a keyhole opening. This suit is definitely lightweight, and very open due to the mesh material. The Endurance Lite is a great minimalist training option for swimmers with a small chest.


    Size AUS 12, US 34 top & AUS 10, US 32 bottom

    Like a few other suits, the Funkita White Diamond Bikini was a bit tricky when choosing a size; in this case it’s because Funkita is an Australian brand, so the sizing doesn’t quite match up to traditional U.S. small, medium, and large options. The U.S. size 34 top ended up being a little bit big, but due to the crisscross tiedown back, I was able to tie it tight enough to fit and perform well in the pool. The tiedown top also features some underwire on the sides of the chest, which helps ensure that the suit will stay in place while diving, flip turning and streamlining off of the walls. Be sure to cross check with the Funkita sizing chart if you’re interested in this particular suit.

    The Funkita White Diamond Bikini is made from a lightweight material and only has a single layer of material on the butt. I am a little concerned that the suit will fade, or become a bit see through, over time due to its bright colors and white background.

    Overall, I really liked this training bikini and recommend going down a size to ensure that it fits well.


    Size Large

    I have never worn a Waterpro swimsuit before, so I was excited to try on their Pom Poms boy short-styled training bikini. It’s always nice to be introduced to new brands. The top fit perfectly and features a dual strap, criss-cross design that connects to a thick singular back strap. When I tested the top out by diving into the water it stayed perfectly in place. The boy short bikini bottoms, on the other hand, were a bit big on me. I would have been better suited in a medium because the large bottoms felt too baggy while swimming. So it’s worth keeping in mind that bottom and top size might not be the same.

    The boy short cut is a great option for any swimmer looking for a full coverage bottom, but in my opinion, defeats the purpose of a training bikini. A training bikini is great for tanning in the summertime, and wearing less material minimizes drag in the pool; the Waterpro boy short bottom doesn’t provide this but might be a good option if you plan to do other activities (like paddlesports or volleyball) during your day swimming at the beach or pool.


    Size Medium Top & Large Bottom

    The Dolfin Bellas Azera Longline bikini features a very unique top, accompanied by a traditional bikini bottom. The Azera longline bikini top has a thick band that runs around the base of the suit giving it more structure and support, and resembles a sports bra, with its full coverage and v-neck style cut. The singular criss-cross strap construction is comfortable and features a cool twist stich on the back of the suit, which will keep the tan lines to a minimum. The traditional bikini bottom is made from a thick double-layered material that is very durable, yet mobile, in the water.

    The Dolfin Azera longline bikini is the perfect training suit for any swimmers with a larger chest looking for a supportive top. Dolfin continues to be one of the market leaders in training suits.


    Size Medium
    TYR training bikinis, like Speedo’s, tend to run small—but the medium in the Paseo Crosscut Tieback fit me perfectly. The tieback top has a minimal coverage cut in the front and wraps around the chest, leaving the back exposed to just the single cross-back tied strap. The top fits well when tied snug, but unfortunately there isn’t a lot of extra strap, so the tied-off portion is quite small. This is a great option for anyone looking for less drag. The Paseo bikini bottom is a traditional cut that sits low on the hips and covers the butt.

    I love the Paseo suit design, which comes in several color options. This is a great training bikini for all age groups, especially with the tieback feature.


    Size Large

    The TYR Oceania Pacific Tieback bikini is very similar to the Paseo Crosscut but it has some really cool ventilation (cutout features) on the top and bottom. The Oceania Pacific top is designed to have three cutouts in the front of the suit. I was worried that this might cause extra drag or water flow while I was training, but I didn’t notice it at all. Contrary to the Paseo Crosscut, the Oceania Pacific has plenty of extra string, allowing you to tie the top as tightly or loose as you’d like. The bottom is also a tad different in that it has a cutout on each of the hips.

    This suit not only looks great on, but is very comfortable and gives you some extra flexibility in your hips while swimming. The cutout designs on the Oceania Pacific suit top and bottom are more minimalistic and don’t cover as much, making it a great tanning and training suit for both the pool and the beach.

    It's definitely up to personal taste, but this suit was my favorite print of the bunch.

    Size Medium

    The Sporti bikini in size medium fit me perfectly. I have never worn the Sporti brand in the pool so I had no idea how it would perform, but it is super water resistant and very comfortable.

    I absolutely loved the intricate strap design on the bikini top and bottom. The criss-cross back on the bikini top is not only flattering, but also functional while training. The back straps help to keep the top in place on starts and turns with a snug, tight fit. The unique double strap on the suit bottom is now my favorite training bikini style because it can be worn in the pool for practice and on the beach for volleyball.

    The Sporti bikini is fashionable and fits really well for swim training, five stars all around!

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