Tri Suit or Two Piece?

Right now I’m wearing a 2009 De Soto Liftfoil Triathlon Speedsuit. I mean that literally, I am literally wearing it right now, as I type this, because I’m about to go do my last brick before the Boise half-Ironman this Saturday and I am checking out all my equipment, doing a dress-rehearsal, as it were.

I started out doing triathlons with the standard two piece triathlon outfit. That is, a tri jersey, and a pair of tri shorts. Te Koi kept telling me a one piece was super comfy, so I finally indulged and got a tri suit last August, and have now raced in it twice (one sprint, one olympic) and will, this Saturday, do a half-Ironman in it. I’ve found that tri-suits have their pros and cons:


– Nothing around the waist. No string, no waistline, nothing but smoothness. This means there’s no chance of waistline chafing.

– They look pretty cool.

– Many of them are made for swimming faster, in case you have a triathlon where you’re not using a wetsuit.


– It’s hard to go to the bathroom quickly, since you have to unzip the top and pull it down off your shoulders, vs. just pulling your shorts down.

– Tri suits seem to lack pockets, so if you’re used to carrying Gu or Chomps or something in the pockets of your tri jersey, don’t expect that with a triathlon suit.

– They can be a bit pricey.

Generally, I don’t train in a tri suit. The only reason I’m doing it today is that, like I said, it’s a dress rehearsal for the race, plus I have a new tri-bike and I’m trying to get a feel for whether or not I can use the tri suit for the whole 56-mile bike ride, or if I should wear a pair of bike shorts with a heavier pad over my tri suit (I tried riding with the bike shorts already, just to make sure that would work, and it seemed fine).