For the past three weeks, we’ve been testing the TRI400 Men’s Compression Suit from Skins. This suit is designed to provide a comfortable fit in all three disciplines while providing enough compression to help your performance. The suit features flat seams to reduce drag, a ‘ultra-lightweight’ chamois to provide comfort on the bike, and carbon infused panels between the thighs to reduce chafing.
First, a few observations, then we’ll jump into the meat of the review. We were surprised by how small this suit was, arriving in a box roughly the size of a large book. We checked the sizing and it was an XL, so no mistake there. The suit looked a bit small when we unpacked it, but once we tried it on, we had no issues. The high level of stretch is great and the Memory MX fabric is designed to retain it’s shape. Though we couldn’t test their claims, Skins advertises UV protection of 50+ for this suit. If you’re planning to spend 8-12 hours on the bike and running, it’s not a bad idea to get as much protection as you can.
Overall, the fit was excellent. We were a bit concerned by the wide range of sizes covered by XL, but we didn’t find any bunching, extra fabric, or experience any range of motion issues with this suit.
Ok, so how about the performance? We used this tri suit for 11 workouts, a combination of running, swimming, and cycling. We were able to do a double brick; ride, then swim, then run using this suit and did a few regular bricks, mostly bike to run. The longest we used this suit on a ride was about 39 miles, the longest swim was 2500 meters, and the longest run was just shy of 10K.
Maybe it’s in our head, but this suit made us feel faster. We didn’t set up any complicated timing gear to test this, but the sleekness, closeness of fit, and general comfort certainly convinced us we were moving faster.
In the water, this suit did improve our swim times a bit. Not enough to be significant, but the fabric and fit decrease resistance. Getting out of the water, the suit dries very quickly, even the chamois is almost totally dry within a few minutes.
On the bike, the chamois, once dry, provides a decent amount of protection. Certainly as much as you’d expect in a tri suit or tri shorts. The chamois is wide enough to provide good coverage, but not so bulky that it stays wet or feels like a cycling chamois.
On the run, the carbon panels, which we were a bit skeptical about, actually worked. As a Clydesdale, thigh chafing can be very painful, but this suit did a great job protecting our delicate regions from chafing. The closeness of the fit ensured there was limited, if any, skin on skin contact. During our swim to run brick, the chamois dried as quickly as on the bike, so no discomfort from a damp chamois.
Overall we were quite pleased with this tri suit. The attention to detail, overall fit, and quality of materials make it a winner in our book. Compared to other tri suits, without compression, the suit is a more expensive, with an price of $300 direct from the manufacturer. However, compared to swim skins, other compression suits and similar high end products, the Skins TRI400 is competitively priced.
You can pick up the Skins TRI400 at their store, where you can also find other triathlon suits, shorts, and tops and assorted compression products.