Choosing the right womens tri kit is very important for every triathlete. A tri kit, or triathlon suit, is the outfit that you wear during the entire triathlon. It must be comfortable and able to perform under the wide variety of conditions.. While your training, nutrition, and equipment are all critically important to having a great race. The importance of having the right clothing for race day cannot be ignored. Just like having the best women’s indoor cycling shoes for training, having the right tri kit requires some research. It also requires a bit of trial and error. The more you know, the better your decisions will be.
There are many, many things you need to learn about when you decide triathlon is the sport for you. With so many unique items involved in this tri-sport undertaking, making the best decisions about how to invest your money and improve your performance can be overwhelming. But, taking things step-by-step, and getting quality information will make each decision easier.
The tri kit is an essential piece of equipment you need for a triathlon. There are a variety of options when it comes to womens tri kits. Your final decision may be based on several factors, including whether or not you will wear a wetsuit. Additionally what the weather is like for the day, how long the event is, how competitive of an athlete you are, how much support you require, how much you want to spend, and more. Each of these factors needs to be carefully considered before the big day.
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There is a big difference between the perfect tri kit and one that does not work for your body or your needs. Relying on a recommendation from a friend is great. However, when it comes to womens tri kits, there is no “one size fits all” response, and what is best for one triathlete may not work at all for another. Choosing the right kit is a very personal decision.
A variety of factors are essential when choosing the best womens tri kit for your needs. There are different fabrics, different fits and levels of support, components that impact the overall performance of the kit. Additionally, the practical implications including storage, venting, and protections that will help you make the best decision about your next tri kit. Investing in the right tri kit for race day is just as important as finding the best women’s indoor cycling shoes to use throughout your training.
While you are training, and on race day, you will see people wearing a wide range of outfits. There isn’t really a rule about what’s best, finding the best women’=s tri kits depends on several personal preferences, too. There are one-piece and two-piece options, sleeveless and short sleeved versions, and other choices. Ultimately, it may come down to fit, and how your kit feels on your body.
What to Look for in Womens Tri Kits –
Wearing a womens tri kit isn’t just to look cool. It needs to be fully functional for you, too. Since this is the one piece of clothing you will wear for all three legs of your triathlon, you need to make sure it works for all three.
First, what is the fabric? You would probably prefer a material that dries quickly. Mesh fabrics will dry more quickly (and then provide you with better ventilation when you need it later in the race). You should also look for fabrics that offer UVA and UVB protection from the harmful rays of the sun.
New fabrics are now also on the market that offer antibacterial and antimicrobial protection, which is important because these features not only protect your skin from bacteria and fungus growth, they help to fight odors, and help the material to last longer (important when you are making an investment!). Some fabrics are better for cooling when the weather is hot, so looking for fabrics that offer moisture wicking to move the sweat to the fabric and away from your skin may be significant.
The fit of your womens tri kit is probably one of the most important things to look for. Different brands work better for different body types. Deciding if you prefer a one-piece kit or a two-piece kit is one of the first decisions you need to make. If you are especially tall or short, this could make a difference.
Also, the type of triathlon you are competing in may matter. For example, if you are doing a sprint triathlon, then you may not care about the ease with which you can use a restroom during the race. If you are competing in a full Ironman distance, you may not want to deal with nearly fully undressing to use the facilities.
Finally, the amount of support provided is very important. If you are a flatter-chested woman, then you may only need a little bit of support in the form of a built-in sports bra. Those who are more busty may wish to have better support, or choose a tri suit with no built-in sports bra and just wear their own under the tri kit. The wrong amount of support will almost always lead to chafing problems, regardless of the distance of your race! The fit of your tri kit should be snug, but not too loose or too constricting, to prevent circulation issues or unnecessary rubbing.
For those more competitive athletes, womens tri kits that offer compression features can help with supporting your muscles and aiding in recovery. Compression materials offer your muscles improved blood flow and reduce vibration to the muscles, resulting in less damage while you are exerting yourself. They can also lead to less chafing because the materials will move less against your skin.
Another unique feature for womens tri kits is that tri kits are different from regular running clothes because they typically include a chamois pad sewn into the crotch area, providing extra comfort while you are riding the bike. Typical bike shorts have a thick chamois, while tri kits have a thinner material—this is important because the thicker material will almost certainly lead to very uncomfortable chafing when it comes time to run.
Many triathletes complain that running in bike shorts feels like running in a wet diaper, and you want to avoid this uncomfortable feeling on race day. Womens tri kits will differ from those made for men, as the location and thickness of the padding are anatomically specific. The thin materials used in tri kits will allow for protection while you are in the saddle, without hindering your run.
Also, consider the types of leg grips available on a tri kit. Some use compression to hold the legs in place, though triathletes without super slim legs may feel that this gives them a “sausage” feeling. Soft grip silicone leg grippers will usually be more comfortable yet get the job done and prevent slippage.
If you require nutrition or other supplies during your triathlon, then having some pockets may be significant. Many womens tri kits will include a few pockets on the back of the shirt area or on the side of the shorts, allowing you to store gels and other necessities conveniently.
Top Womens Tri Kits
While there are hundreds of womens tri kits available for you to purchase, understanding the differences, as well as your personal factors, can help you make a perfect choice. Here are a few of the most popular options, with the features described for you to consider.
Pearl iZUMi Women’s Select Pursuit Tri Suit –
- Great Comfort
- Excellent Construction
- Medium To High Price
This womens tri kit is made from state-of-the-art compression and moisture wicking fabrics for outstanding comfort, and constructed with flatlock seams to avoid chafing. With a separate bra top and a 10-inch zipper for venting, getting in and out of this tri kit is simple. Comfortable silicone leg grippers and an 8-inch inseam keep the legs from riding up while you are biking. The suit has one pocket on the back that is easily accessed to store gels or any other essentials.
Zoot Women’s Ultra Short Sleeve Aero Tri Suit –
- Helps Regulate Temperature
- Superior Fabric
- 50+ UPF Rating
- Non-Tanktop Style
The CARBON fabric construction of the womens tri kit helps to regulate body temperature while you are exercising. Also, this fabric has antimicrobial properties to prevent bacterial and fungal growth, protecting your skin. This womens tri kit offers protection from the sun’s harmful rays with a UPF 50+ rating. Two storage pockets make this kit very practical when you have to carry small necessities. The 14-inch cam-lock venting zipper delivers extra comfort during warm weather. Seams are specially designed for the whole kit, including the chamois, reducing the possibility of chafing.
SLS3 Women`s Triathlon Suit FRT | Womens Trisuit
- Extreme Comfort
- Fights Chafing
- Limited Colors
Made from flexible, moisture-wicking fabric with flatlock seams and soft gripping legs, this is a very comfortable kit that will perform for your race. Without riding up or chafing, you can exert yourself while minimizing any possible discomfort. The front zipper for venting comes with a “garage lock” to hold the zipper in place and avoid having it contact your skin, for added comfort. The SLS3 FRT suit has UV protection to keep you safer from the harmful rays of the sun while you compete.
This suit does not have any built-in bra, which means you can choose the exact amount of support that you need by “bringing your own bra” for race day. Slim, comfortable chamois protects the areas that contact the bike saddle. Three spacious back pockets provide plenty of storage for gels and energy bars. This suit is known for running a little on the large side, and are designed for long, slim bodies, so check the sizing chart to make sure you are getting the most comfortable fit for your unique body.
2XU Women’s X-Vent Front Zip Trisuit –
- Durable Construction
- Moisture Wicking
- Multiple Colors
- More Expensive
Constructed from high-tech 70D Elastane sensor-mesh fabric with flatlock stitching, these womens tri kits model are exceptionally durable and strong. This fabric is not only comfortable and stretchy in the right places, but it is excellent at moisture wicking to keep sweat and other moisture away from your skin, cooling you when needed and keeping you warm in colder temps. The chamois is made from Ice-X and LD materials, which again provide cooling and comfortable cushioning for the sensitive areas. Two pockets in the back allow for carrying plenty of fuel or small gear.
What’s Best for You
Only you will know what the best womens tri kit for your individual needs will be. You may have to try several on to find out which one is most comfortable. That said, the easiest to get in and out of, provide the best support, and looks good. Understanding the different technologies involved in designing these tri kits, such as the fabrics, UV protection, chamois construction, seams, and more can help you be more comfortable and help prevent painful chafing on race day. Each of the womens tri kits reviewed in this article comes in a variety of color choices. So you can find your favorite and look terrific while you enjoy the specific benefits of each one.
Most triathletes follow the mantra, “nothing new on race day,” so it is essential to plan ahead and have time to try out your new kit during training that may mimic your race day. However, wearing your race day tri kit regularly is usually not advised, as these kits can be pricy and even the most durable materials may not hold up well under frequent washing conditions. Always wash your tri kit in cold water and hang to dry (no machine drying!). This will preserve the elasticity of the material, prevent loss of UV protection, and keep it from becoming stretched or misshapen. Once you invest in the perfect tri kit, you want to get your money’s worth out of it during your entire race season.
Triathlon is a fun and challenging sport, and having the right equipment and supplies will only increase your enjoyment and performance. Find the best womens tri kit and you will be well on your way to enjoying this adventure!