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3 of the best two-piece tri-suits

Two-piece tri-suits have come a long way since the early days of triathlon, offering comfort and convenience for long-course racers. Jacky Sexty tests three…

2XU X-VENT

£135

 Like Zoot’s Ultra Tri, the X-Vent is also available as a one-piece suit, although it’s less technical, with thicker material that we found to be hot and bothersome around the midriff. Consequently, we think the X-Vent fabric actually works better as a two-piece, and the tank doesn’t ride up in the slightest to allow for great comfort and freedom of movement. You get three good sized rear pockets, 50+ UV protection and flatlock stitching throughout to prevent chafing. The shorts come with another two side pockets, with a large drawstring and comfortable leg grippers, although the sizeable chamois can feel more akin to a cycling pad. We also found the X-Vent set took longer to dry than the other offerings on test. But all in all, it’s a competitively priced suit with broad appeal. 

Verdict: breathability issues but a functional and well-priced suit for a wide range of athletes 83%

Buy from www.ribblecycles.co.uk

ZOOT ULTRA TRI

£160

 Zoot’s Ultra Aero featured in issue 337’s big tri-suits test, and the problem we had with the baggy leg grippers continues on the two-piece version. They just don’t provide any tension, which doesn’t affect comfort but also doesn’t prevent water ingress or keep you aerodynamic. Elsewhere the shorts perform well, with a plush chamois and quick-drying material. The tank is well vented and breathable but it’s almost see-through on the back, and offers next to no sun protection despite a claimed UPF50. While there was no chafing thanks to the Seamlink stitching, the tank rode up on us while running, and we had to rearrange a couple of times. So the Ultra Tri is a reasonable effort from the tri aficionados, but we’d like more refinement for that price. zootsports.com

Verdict: Well ventilated, but we had issues with the leg grippers  and sun protection 70%

Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk

AIROFIN MAORI 

£109.99 

The Maori tank and shorts combo from new brand Airofin aesthetically hits the spot. It’s fit and performance that take priority, however, and in the tank we hit a hurdle. Based on our measurements we were recommended to take a large, and in what was a first for this stubby-legged, broad reviewer, the shorts fitted perfectly but the tank was far too baggy. Nor was it practical, the extra width causing the material to sag while we were in the aero position. It measured shorter than both our other size medium tanks on test, but it’s much wider. You do get two good-sized pockets on either side and a half-zip on the front, though. And the shorts are great, with comfy yet slim padding and neat leg grippers. It’s just a shame we can’t truly recommend the full set. airofin.com

Verdict: Looks cool and has a host of good features, but the tank’s sizing needs a rethink 66%

Buy from www.airofin.com

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