Women's tri-suits: 6 of the best reviewed
A tri-suit is the only piece of triathlon kit you will wear throughout swim, bike and run – so it needs to work three times as hard. Helen Webster reviews, tests and rates six of the best
We included the new Aquaflo+ in our men’s tri-suit group test, but as the fit and features differ between male and female suits, we felt it worth including again here. First up, Zone3 get a thumbs up for adding both a protective fabric flap and a zip garage to the double zip on their suit front and integral bra. It may seem a small thing, but it makes a big difference. We were also impressed by the fabric, which had plenty of stretch. Round rubber dots on the bottom of each leg kept them firmly in place and side pockets were easily big enough for most gels.
Like in the men’s test though, where this suit could do better is in the size and rigidity of the chammy. Although comfy on the bike, it was bothersome on both the swim and run, feeling like it was brushing against our legs on each stride. Finally a point on fit – although a medium was perfect for our UK10 tester, the integral bra felt too big, meaning we’d have liked more support.
Verdict: A nice suit, but the chammy felt too prominent 77%
Pulling this suit from tri gurus Zoot on, we’re initially struck by how good it feels. The fit is close without being constrictive and the wide bands at the bottom of the legs feature hundreds of little rubber pads that make them stay in place without even a hint of sausage-leg.
There’s also an integral zip-up bra (with a flap behind it to avoid chafing) and the Coldblack technology fabric did an excellent job of keeping us cool and wicking away sweat. The chammy is designed with the aero position in mind and is comfortable without being noticeable away from the bike leg – and four (yes four) hip pockets give room for multiple gels. In an ideal world we’d like some mesh panels to aid airflow, but that said this suit didn’t feel sweaty. The design is striking(!), but on the plus side avoids the sickly pastels often marketed at female triathletes. However the ‘Zoot’ graphics on the legs cracked after only a couple of wears/washes, which was a real shame.
Verdict: A quality suit with plenty of nice features 90%
PEARL IZUMi SELECT PURSUIT
Top marks to Pearl Izumi for being the only tri-suit on test to come with a separate crop top-style bra. Made from lightweight and breathable fabric, it’s nice to have the option to use it or add your own bra (many larger-busted triathletes will need more support than most tri-suit bras offer), plus it makes getting into the suit a doddle.
This is also the least expensive suit on test, which is surprising given the good quality, breathable fabric and quick-drying chammy. Silicone leg grippers kept the legs in place, while panels on each side help to keep things cool. There’s also a red/black colourway available if minty-green isn’t for you. In fact we only have one real criticism with this suit and that’s the single pocket, which is positioned in the lower back. The size meant things tended to move around a bit, and on the run it got quite distracting. That’s a minor quibble though, on a suit that has a lot to offer at an entry-level price.
Verdict: All credit to Pearl Izumi for a great-value suit 85%