From Olympic to IronMan distance triathlons, these are the best tri suits for women that will go the distance, available from Huub, Zone3, Wiggle and more
Let’s be honest, we’ve all got a friend who’s just signed up for a en het nooit gelyk of gevang is nie. Whether they bought a road fiets in lockdown and finally decided to enter a race, or they’ve already conquered the marathon and now decided hardloop isn’t hard enough on its own – triathlon events are booming.
Volgens British Triathlon, the number of race starts has increased by 82 persent sedert 2009. In 2019, there were approximately 220,000 of them across Britain, which equals about 600 people doing a triathlon per day. Natuurlik, the pandemic has thrown the stats a little out – with most races cancelled or postponed in 2020.
Maar Outlaw Triathlon, who host long-distance triathlon events at various locations in the UK, saw some of its biggest entry numbers ever last summer – racking up over 7,000 triathletes on the start line. Hoe dit ook al sy, 2022 seems to be die year for tackling a swim, fiets, run.
If you’re new to triathlons, it probably hasn’t taken you long to realise that you need a lot of kit. There’s simply no way to hide it – training for three sports at once takes a toll on your bank balance. And when it comes to race day, the most important thing is to feel comfortable in all three disciplines – that means, whatever you wear for the swim has to work for both the bike and the run.
Most beginners start with just a swimming costume, then chuck on a pair of shorts in the first transition for the bike and run sections. But if you really want to look the part – or you’re opting for a longer distance – you really need a triathlon-specific suit, aka a tri suit, made from aerodynamic material that works in the water, but also has built-it bum padding for the cycling and pockets for fuel, ook.
When choosing a tri suit the first thing you need to decide is whether you want a sleeveless or short sleeved suit. Short sleeved suits are especially great for middle or long distance races, or competing in the heat (as they’ll help protect your skin if you’re out on the race course for hours at a time), while sleeveless are great for sprint distance.
Like kit for any sport, there’s a huge range on the market – some, better than others. But fear not, we’re here to help you sort through the thousands of suits you can buy.
Hoe ons getoets het
We tested nine women’s tri suits from top triathlon-specific brands, judging each one on fit (tri suits should be tight, drag-free and aerodynamic), fabric (they should dry quickly), padding (the pad/chamois in a tri suit should offer adequate support on the saddle, without being too bulky on the run), temperature control and pockets for nutrition.
It’s worth noting that none of these tri suits have a built-in sports bra, so, ladies, you will need to wear one with enough support to run in, underneath. But otherwise, these are the ones that came out on top.
The best tri suits for women in 2022 is:
- Beste oor die algemeen – dhb aeron short sleeve tri suit 2.0: £90, Wiggle.co.uk
- Best high performance tri suit – Zone3 aeroforce-X tri suit: £275, Zone3.com
- Best for standing out – Stomp the Pedal forget me not short sleeve trisuit: £ 249,99, Stompthepedal.co
- Best sleeveless tri suit – Roka gen II elite aero sleeveless tri suit: £285, Roka.com
- Best sustainable tri suit – Presca geometric tri suit: £116.25, Prescasportswear.com
- Best for long distance races – Huub commit long course tri suit: £ 119,99, Huubdesign.com
- Best fitting tri suit – Tri-fit evo next gen: £ 195, Tri-fitathletic.co.uk
- Best for middle distance races – 2XU aero sleeved tri suit: £ 130, Uk.2xu.com
- Beste vir beginners – dhb hydron sleeveless tri suit: £ 40, Wiggle.co.uk
dhb aeron short sleeve tri suit 2.0
If dhb is good enough for Joe Skipper (ja, the British triathlete who’s completed an IronMan in under seven hours), it’s good enough for us amateurs. Even though dhb – which is created by Wiggle – is an incredibly popular cycling brand, it has, in the past, been seen as more of an entry-level brand due to its accessible (“Ek het teen seksuele geweld gepraat – en ons kultuur se toorn in die gesig gestaar: very attractive) price points. Maar, just because its kit is on the lower end of the spectrum, doesn’t mean you should scoff at it – its cycling gear is genuinely super high-quality.
Aeron is dhb’s performance collection, and this short sleeve tri suit feels like it should be priced about three times higher than it actually is. The material reminds us of a racing swimsuit, due to its special water-repellent coating – and features mesh panels under the arms and along the back, which means it will help keep you cool during even the hottest of events (and it dries quickly, ook).
The neckline is noticeably lower than some of the other suits on this list, which means it doesn’t feel too suffocating once zipped up, and the all-black design is super flattering. We appreciated the UK dress sizing here, and found its close-cut design fitted true to size – the legs felt a little compressive, but never dug in. We liked the slightly thinner material on the outer leg too as it meant it fitted easily under a wetsuit without any weird bulges.
There are two large pockets on the back of the suit which are big enough for bars or gels – they are placed quite high up though, but this is hardly a dealbreaker (just be careful not to overload them, else you might end up losing a couple if you’re sat in the flat TT position).
Suitable for any distance triathlon, this tri suit has a tri-specific chamois pad which has a low profile (much lower than any cycling bib shorts we own). We were a little sceptical as to how such a compact pad could offer much in the way of saddle protection, but on testing, we had no issues and found it offered comfort when running and swimming, as well as on the bike.
Zone3 aeroforce-X tri suit
Beste: High-performance tri suit
There’s no denying that Zone3’s aeroforce-X tri suit is built for podium finishes and breaking records. British triathlon brand Zone3 collaborated with NoPinz (which creates fully customisable cycling performance kit) to create “the world’s fastest suit” – developing and testing over 30 materials specifically for this suit to find that sweet spot between comfort and speed.
Arriving in a fancy, slide-out box, you know this suit is special without even putting it on. It almost feels like paper, it’s that thin. It took us, no joke, 10 minutes to get into – we didn’t want to risk accidentally putting a nail through it and the silicone coating on the legs is super sticky, it grips to every part of your leg as you work it up to your quads. So if you’re the kind of person who needs to pee 100 times before the start of a race, this perhaps isn’t the right suit for you – as you might struggle to get it back on before the gun goes.
If however, speed is the name of the game, then you’ll appreciate the finer details of this tri suit. The back panel is made from “airflow” technology – which is both lightweight and sweat-wicking. The dotty material on the arms is made from “Aeroforce-X” fabric, which while very snug, has been designed to minimise drag. And the stripy material under the arms and on the lats is made from “aerostripe” tech for aerodynamics.
We found the pockets on the back were surprisingly small – but perhaps this is because so many pros use the aid stations, rather than stuff gels into their suit? And the arm and leg length on these is definitely on the longer side.
Stomp the Pedal forget me not short sleeve trisuit
Beste: For standing out
This tri suit really just speaks for itself. If you want to wear something on race day that a) ensures all your friends and family see you and b) catches the eye of everyone else in the crowd (and on the course), ook, then look no further than Stomp the Pedal.
Founded by Tarsh Wendt, Stomp the Pedal is a women’s-specific, size-inclusive triathlon and cycling apparel brand – and, geen, there’s no “plain black” in sight. Every design is fun and loud and when you try the kit on, you can’t help but smile.
The red, floral forget me not pattern is new for 2022 and features aerodynamic striped sleeves, a low neckline (to minimise any potential chafing issues), two large pockets on the back and additional pockets on each thigh for accessible and secure storage. You can immediately tell it’s been designed by a woman as every seam has been carefully placed to flatter the female form.
Suitable for long-distance triathlons, with a chamois that doesn’t chafe even after multiple hours in the saddle, the short sleeve design also helps to protect your skin from the sun.
Roka gen II elite aero sleeveless tri suit
Beste: Sleeveless tri suit
For those who’ve entered a sprint or Olympic-distance triathlon, you don’t necessarily need a tri suit with sleeves. In werklikheid, some triathletes prefer to race in a sleeveless suit as they find it less restrictive in the water. You know you’re in good hands with kit from American brand Roka (as it sponsors the likes of Olympic champion Flora Duffy and IronMan 70.3 champion Lucy Charles-Barclay), and its gen II elite aero sleeveless tri suit looks and feels super smart.
We did actually size up in this suit, and it was still on the tight side, so definitely worth double-checking your measurements and opting for a larger size if you’re unsure. The leg length on these was also the shortest out of all the suits we tried on – sitting halfway up the thigh, rather than just above the knee – so if you’re tall, this suit might not be for you.
We particularly liked the aero mesh fabric on the back of this suit – which is great for ventilation – and the breakaway zipper is also ideal for keeping cool. When done up though, the zip ended right at our belly button, which was a little annoying on the bike. The actual material feels super luxurious, and the front panel is made from a special carbon knit material. The leg grippers helped to keep the suit from riding up, and while the two pockets at the back are smaller than some of the others on this list, you can definitely squeeze in a couple of gels.
Presca geometric tri suit
Beste: Sustainable tri suit
Made from fully recycled fabrics and manufactured in a factory that uses 100 per cent renewable energy – this is the most sustainable option on our list. Climate positive sportswear brand, Presca, pride themselves on being a carbon neutral company – in fact, after we ordered the Geometric tri suit online, they actually sent an email with a pdf document attached, outlining exactly how much CO2 emissions our order generated and the projects that have been invested in (byvoorbeeld, Karadere Wind Power) to compensate.
Once on, the material does feel thinner than some of the other tri suits – it’s a snug, compressive fit but we didn’t have to size up here. Although, we’d recommend this for people who have shorter bodies and torsos. Apart from that, we were seriously impressed.
Featuring two pockets on the back for fuel, the arms and legs didn’t feel too short or too long and the thoughtful blue and white geometric design is meant to evoke conversation around disappearing ice sheets – so a perfect conversation starter when you’re racking your bike at the beginning of a triathlon and making friends with the competitor next to you, frantically shoving talcum-powder in their trainers.
Huub commit long course tri suit
Beste: For long distance races
Premium triathlon brand Huub started out making wetsuits, so it knows a thing or two about making form-fitting tri-specific sportswear that just works. Plus, the brand works with some of the top British triathletes – the Brownlees, Alex Yee, Tom Bishop, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Jess Learmonth… the list goes on – and it’s British Triathlon’s official wetsuit and swimwear partner. So the expectation is high.
The commit long course trisuit isn’t its top-end suit – in fact, there are three Huub tri suits that will cost you more, the aura long course triathlon suit (£ 159,99, Huubdesign.com) the sleeveless version for £139.99, and the anemoi aero tri suit, (£ 199,99 Huubdesign.com). Offering quality racewear at a fraction of the price, this suit is pegged at novice triahtletes though – so if you’re looking for something super aerodynamic that’s going to make that 1 per cent difference between first and second place, then perhaps it’s not for you.
We found the sticky leg grippers didn’t budge – but were a touch unflattering, and while there are two pockets on the back, they’re really quite small and tricky to get gels out of while moving, but at least it meant they didn’t accidentally fall out. The neck sits quite low, so might be an issue in the water if you’re not swimming with a wetsuit, but we loved the bright blue colour.
Tri-fit evo next gen
Beste: Fitting tri suit
Out of all the trisuits we tested – Tri-Fit’s evo was the most comfortable. We actually sized up in this and found the arms and legs longer than most (the arm length fell about an inch off the elbow), but the grippy material on the legs helped keep the shorts in place without creating any bulging.
Die bokant, in die besonder, felt super silky – which is due to Tri-Fit’s premium Italian fabric – and features mesh ventilation under the armpits to help keep you cool. Available in blue, groen, black and “mono” (half white, half black), the way it’s designed makes it seem like you’re wearing a completely separate top and shorts – we think this suit would particularly appeal to cyclists who like to keep their kit simple with block colours.
Some may say the design is a tad on the unadventurous side due to it’s plainness, but if you’re not looking to make a statement, then perhaps you won’t mind. The pockets on the back are also huge, so no excuse not to carry your gels.
2XU aero sleeved tri suit
Beste: For middle distance races
Standing for “two times you”, 2XU is an Australian triathlon and fitness brand well known among some of the world’s top athletes and teams. Their aero sleeved trisuit is made from super lightweight fabric – which we found rather compressive. It basically fits like a second skin, so if you prefer to have a little wiggle room, and you like the design of this suit, then we’d recommend sizing up.
Featuring a special aerodynamic seam free sleeve finishing through shoulders and side panels and a breathable and quick-drying upper body, this is a suit made for smashing PBs. The leg and arm length here are slightly shorter than the others – the shorts in particular could be slightly longer – and the front zipper is also a little short (which made getting it on and off rather tricky). Howerve, we still loved the design – especially the “swim bike run” slogans (just in case we forgot which discipline comes next). You can’t go far wrong with a suit like this on race day. Especially if you’ve entered into an Olympic-distance triathlon.
dhb hydron sleeveless tri suit
Beste: For beginners
As the price point of this dhb suit probably already tells you – this basic sleeveless tri suit is aimed at beginners and intermediates. So if you’ve entered your first ever triathlon and you’re not sure you’re ever going to want to do another, then this is a good place to start. And although it may lack some of the higher-end features seen in the other suits, you will still look the part (and that’s half the battle, reg?).
The elastic on the shorts is super grippy, but a tad unflattering. And the arm holes are large which means less chance of chafing (and no one wants to be dealing with that mid-race). There are two pockets for fuel, should you need them. Opt for all black or black with swashes of blue – either way, it’s great value for money.
Die uitspraak: Tri-suits
Choosing our favourite tri suit here is really hard. We were seriously impressed with dhb’s aeron short sleeve tri suit 2.0 – but if we were gunning for a podium place, we might then opt for Zone3’s aeroforce-X tri suit in plaas daarvan (which despite the hefty price tag, really is on another level).
Andersins, it’s hard not to love any of the colourful suits from Stomp the Pedal – which is stacked with performance-enhancing features and amazing storage solutions – plus, we always like to support small businesses where possible.
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