Swimsuits for the competitive swimmer

/ Saturday, August 16, 2014 /
One of my favorite hobbies is swimming, and lately, with my new gym subscription (LA Fitness rocks!) I've been getting back into the life of my old swim team life (many many years ago).

Today I'm going to give some advice for people who want to purchase clothing/equipment for competitive swimwear (not going to the beach). This is for people who want to swim on a swim team, swim in a pool several times a week, those who want their body parts covered while swimming (not a two-piece or something).

Here ya go!

In general:
  • The best swimsuits to buy are those that are made with 100% polyester. This is because swimming pools are usually disinfected with tons of chlorine or bromine. The swimming suits sold in most stores are made of lycra, spandex, nylon and polyester. Lycra and spandex suits get eaten up pretty quickly by the chlorine and bromine (trust me, I've ruined several swimsuits this way). The ones that are sold in most stores (e.g. Walmart, Target, even Academy and Sports Authority) are made of lycra/spandex. This is because those made with these fabrics usually feel nicer/softer to the touch, and give a great fit as well.
  • The ones that last the longest are usually made of polyester. As this website details, polyester suits are super resistant to chlorine and will last longer. Nylon-Lycra suits are also super popular, but the lycra in those suits will break down/fade more quickly than a polyester suit, and the nylon will break down with sun exposure.
  • Cotton swimsuits - these are rare to find nowadays, and they are not form fitting and will weigh a person down. (Think about it - when you're running/exercising, cotton socks and clothing become weighted down with sweat. What about all of that water that the swimsuit becomes drowned in when it is submerged full-on in water?)
  • Polyester is a super durable material that will last a long time. Even with prolonged exposure to chlorine or bromine, it will retain its shape and color. It is a good material for everyday training.
  • For a very comprehensive comparison of swimwear materials, go to this link.
I'm currently in training to get myself back into my old fit self, and I wanted to invest in a good swimsuit for everyday/multiple day training. For those who wish to purchase a swimsuit for lots of swimming practice, I'd recommend:

  1. Speedo Women's Race Endurance+ Polyester Flyback Training Swimsuit - this is an excellent swimsuit that is made of 50% polyester/50% PBT  (polybutylene terephthalate). As seen on the Amazon link, it's super awesome for resisting chlorine damage and fading. From personal experience, it also dries super quickly. The only caveat is if you want to order a Speedo suit, you need to order a size up - for some reason, all Speedo suits are known to size smaller than most other brands.
  2. Speedo Women's Solid Logo Flyback Swimsuit - This is also a good option for those who occasionally swim. It is made of 85% polyester/15% spandex, so keep in mind that the spandex will break down faster than the polyester. Of course, keep in the mind of the sizing up caveat.
  3. Speedo Women's Geo Diamond Actionback Pro LT Swimsuit - similar to #2 in fabric, this swimsuit offers more patterns for those who may want more of an aesthetic appeal.
  4. Speedo Women's Quark Splice Pulseback Endurance Lite Swimsuit - similar to #1 with more patterned colors and color blocking.
  5. Dolfin Aquatard Womens - for those who want more coverage (swimsuit with a "shorts"-like bottom), this suit is made of 100% polyester and is great for competitive swimming.
  6. TYR Sport Women's Solid Durafast Maxback Swim Suit - made of 53% polyester/47% polyester PBT, this is a great suit with wide straps that fits well and provides lots of support for the chest (high-cut).
  7. TYR Women's Fusion 2 Aeroback Swim Suit - similar to #6, but with 79% polyester/21% lycra.
  8. TYR Sport Women's Alliance Durafast Splice Diamondback Swim Suit - lots of different color block options, made with 53% polyester/47% polyester PBT.

  1. TYR Sport Men's Solid Durafast Jammer Swim Suit -  Made of 53% polyester/47% PBT, this swimsuit is a pair of fitted shorts that will be very durable in chlorinated/"brominated" water.
  2. Speedo Men's Quark Splice Endurance Lite Jammer Swimsuit - made of 51% PBT textured polyester/49% polyester, this swimsuit will also be very durable and also comes in several colors.
  3. Nike Team Techno Camo Brief - Competitive Swim - I don't know too much about the stereotypical "Speedo thong" (so-goes the slang) but this brief is made of 81% nylon/19% spandex and comes in lots of patterns.
  4. Speedo Men's Kinetic Zag Endurance Lite Brief Swimsuit - also a brief but made of 51% PBT/49% polyester, so more resistant against chlorine and bromine.
  5. Speedo Men's Male Solid Lycra Bathing Suit - again, similar to the two above, made with 78% nylon/22% lycra
  6. TYR Sport Men's Poly Mesh Trainer Swim Suit - this swim short is made of 100% polyester and is considered to be a drag suit (swimsuit that adds more drag, aka more friction/fluid resistance in the water).
  7. TYR Sport Men's Square Leg Short Swim Suit - similar to the other swim shorts but made of 80% nylon/20% lycra.
  8. TYR Sport Men's Alliance Splice Jammer - lots of color blocking options, made of recycled fabric(80% recycled nylon/20% Xtra life Lycra®). Lots of color-blocked options available. This is the eco-friendly choice?
Bottom line - pick whichever swimsuit best fits your needs. I personally really like one-piece swimsuits of this sort (yes, even to the beach, yes, I'm boring) so see what you like!
P.S. In general - remember to size up for swimsuits!


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