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A few months back, we received a few samples from our contact at Canari. In addition to the Canari Velo II Cycling Shorts, you can check out our review, we also received and started reviewing the Canari Custom Tri Top.
Since our initial review, we’ve worn the tri top numerous times during our Ironman testing. We have used the top under our wetsuit, alone in the pool, on the bike, under our jersey, and finally on a few run workouts.
About Canari Custom Gear:
In addition to offering a full line of off the shelf gear, including jackets, jerseys, and bottoms, Canari does quite a bit in the custom and semi-custom apparel field. Canari has two options for custom gear: you can go with the full custom line, where you design the entire jersey or bottom or you can choose semi-custom where you provide some art and logos, but the overall design of the product is based on an existing design.
Canari Custom Tri Top Features:
The sample tri top we received is 82% Nylon and 18% Lycra. The top is sleeveless and features a half zipper front for breathability. The Canari Tri Top also features two small pockets on the back of the jersey. These are not large enough to hold a standard water bottle, but you can use them to carry nutrition or small water/gel bottles.
The tri tops feature flatlock stitching, which we love. The Canari site mentions that these seams are for next to skin comfort, but to us it’s more of an anti-chafe feature. For shorter races, it wouldn’t be a huge deal to have standard seams, but if you’re competing in anything more than a sprint, you need to be careful about the chafing possibilities.
Canari Custom Tri Top Fit and Comfort:
As mentioned in the initial review, this top is euro-sized. We generally wear an XL in technical clothing and the test sample, an XL, is a bit tight. This isn’t a problem, we actually prefer this type of fit in a tri top, largely because we wear our tri top under our wetsuit through the end of the race. Make sure you pay special attention to the sizing to ensure a proper fit.
Performance of the Canari Tri Top:
After numerous tests in the pool, we didn’t see any problems from the back pockets. Initially we were concerned about the pockets providing drag, but this fear was unfounded. We also tested this top under our wetsuit in the pool and in open water. Under our standard sleeveless wetsuit, we did not experience any chafing or hot-spots.
Hopping out of the water and onto the bike, we noticed that the top dried as quickly as any other top we’ve tested or used. We were especially pleased that this top is a bit longer than we are used to. The tester is 6’1″ and occasionally has trouble with tops riding up on the bike, especially in the aero position. Our longest test ride was a bit over 35 miles and we didn’t experience any issues with riding up or bunching.
As with our initial review, we had no problems with the top on our run workouts. We liked the pockets, a nice place to hold gels if you don’t have a run belt. The pockets can also hold a small water or gel bottle if you prefer that method, although the pocket isn’t designed for this, so the fit isn’t perfect.
Overall Impression of the Canari Tri Top:
After a few months of use, we are pleased with the performance of the Canari Tri Top. The material is comfortable, wicks and breathes well. The design is simple and the pockets are a nice touch. The seams are comfortable and didn’t cause any chafing on our tester.
Canari offers two levels of customization, full and semi-custom. Semi-custom tri tops run $40 each for 6-11 pieces while the full-custom tops are $47. You can get this price as low as $27 for the customs but only down to $36 for the semi customs.
FitEgg feels that this is a reasonable price for a well made and high performance tri top. We recommend considering Canari if you’re in the market for team tops or suits.