Women’s tri-suits buyer’s guide

From support to storage, what you need to know before buying a tri-suit


You just need to look around a transition area to realise that triathletes come in all shapes and sizes, so a tri-suit that’s perfect for you may be too tight/saggy/long/short for the next triathlete. Which is why it’s a great idea to try before you buy.


Here are Alison Hamlett’s top five tips to consider when buying a tri-suit…

One versus two

One-piece suits are designed for short to middle-distance triathlons where you’re unlikely to need a bathroom break. For longer-distance races, you might want to consider a two-piece suit, which makes it easier to go to the loo (although triathletes simply ‘go’ on the go – yet another reason to avoid drafting).

The features will vary between one- and two-piece suits – one-piece suits might feature a thinner chamois, for example – so keep that in mind when you’re investing in a new suit.

Internal support

Many women’s tri-suits come with a built-in bra for additional support. Unless you have a small bust, though, you’ll probably need to wear a regular sports bra under the tri-suit as the built-in bras rarely offer adequate support.


If you’re planning to carry nutrition items like gels with you on the bike or run, invest in a tri-suit with accessible pockets – and make sure the pockets are deep enough keep your items secure.


Contemporary feature high-tech quick-drying, wicking fabrics that often include additional features like SPF 50 sun protection, reflective detailing and panels in differing weights to promote cooling. It’s worth checking the seams and zips before you buy a suit to make sure they’re not going to chafe.

Price and fit

Budget is obviously a consideration when choosing a suit but don’t confuse a low cost with value. A good suit should last you a number of seasons so, if you can, prioritise fit (we’d heartily recommended trying before you buy) and the type of padding, storage and support over sizing a few quid.


For lots more female-friendly advice head to our Women’s pages