SwimOutlet Tech Suit Reviews
Courtesy of: SwimOutlet.com
PHOENIX, Arizona, March 21. EACH year tech suit manufacturers are refining their trade and finding new and better ways to equip their swimmers with state-of-the-art suits. The number of tech suit options on the market continues to increase, so to help you navigate the waters during this championship season, Mark Gangloff and Julie Stupp did independent reviews of various tech suits for SwimOutlet.com

Mark Gangloff is a two-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist in the 4x100 meter medley relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He is the U.S. Open national record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke set in July 2009 in Indianapolis and attended Auburn University. He now works as an Assistant Swimming Coach at the University of Missouri.

Julie Stupp is the first athlete in NCAA history to qualify for the NCAA's in both swimming and track & field. She first competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials as a 14-year-old in 2000 and made the final of the 400m IM at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. She is an IM and breaststroke specialist and competed for Auburn University from 2004-2007, where she was an 11-time All-American. She is now an assistant swimming coach at the University of Missouri.

2014 High End Technical Suits That Were Evaluated
Arena Carbon Pro, Blueseventy Nero 14, Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2, Dolfin Platinum2, Engine Armour Wingskin, Nike NG-1, FINIS Vapor, TYR Tracer Light, Arena Carbon Flex

To read all the reviews visit SwimOutlet.com Reviews

Here is a brief overview of some of the reviews findings:

Being a professional swimmer, it was a big help for me to be able to speak directly with the manufactures on the men's suit. Like I have said in the past, I wear a size 28, but after giving Nike my waist and thigh measurements, Nike suggested I try a size 26. I loved getting this brand recommendation and nice service. If I were giving a "Most Improved" award, this suit would be the winner! Now I know this is not the same exact style of suit that Nike introduced in the past, but Nike stepped up their game in terms of fit. Bravo to the folks at Nike Swim! ...Mark Gangloff

Just as Mark noted in his review of the men's Nike suit, the women's Nike also improved greatly from its predecessor, most notably in the cut and fit of the suit. The NG-1 was not only comfortable with complete chest coverage, but it also had flexible shoulder and back straps. The Nike has a high back and average leg length nothing too short or overly lengthy. ...Julie Stupp

Like the name says, the men's suit is almost exactly the same as its previous model, Speedo LZR Elite, except it is high-waisted. This new element, alone, is a big improvement. One of my biggest concerns about the previous LZR Elite was the lack of compression. This issue is still not completely resolved, as the compression is still not that of some of its competitors. However, this high-waisted version does a better job. Speedo also offers an additional in-between sizing option. Typically, I wear a size 28 and I doubt I could go down to a 26, but Speedo offers a 27. For those of us that are in between sizes and looking for a better fit, Speedo might be the right solution. ...Mark Gangloff

The LZR's sizing hasn't changed much over the past several years for the women, which is a great thing because the suit's cut fits very well. I always order a 27L (for long) and I can always count on a long torso and leg with this suit. I like having the 27 option. One of the LZR's new features is the "comfort strap," and it is without a doubt a winning adjustment. I would be very comfortable wearing this suit for a long period of time or during a longer race without the fear of tiring my shoulders out. The flexible seams around the back and chest also make this a very comfortable fitting suit. ...Julie Stupp

Dolfin Platinum2
The Men's Dolfin Platinum2 was easy to pull on and only took roughly 4 minutes to get into. Though I think the suit would benefit from more compression in the hips, its separate brief that is 100% nylon makes the suit extremely comfortable in all of the right places. ...Mark Gangloff

At first, I was quite skeptical of the women's Dolfin Platinum2 because it only took me five minutes to put on and it made several snap, crackle and pop noises during the process -- but this suit proved to be the dark horse of the review! The Platinum2 had an amazing fit in the chest, probably my favorite design yet. The cross stitch on the outside combined with the inner-lining panels made me feel very secure in the suit. There would be no wardrobe malfunctions and more importantly I knew that the suit would keep me compressed throughout a race. ...Julie Stupp

The size and fit of this men's suit is almost exactly the same as its predecessor, the original Arena Carbon Pro, which was removed from inventory by Arena last spring and not allowed for competitions after issues with suit approvals from the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), our international aquatics sports federation. I did notice that this suit is quite a bit tighter than the original Arena Carbon Pro (or, perhaps, my waist is expanding). Originally, I ordered a size 28, my typical size. I managed to get into the suit and give it a test swim. It felt good, but over time it really made my legs tired because of the compression. This feeling indicated that I was wearing it too tight. So, I ordered the next size up (30). This size, too, was tight, but I did not get the same tired feeling that I got by wearing the size 28. This experiment leads me to suggest that if/when purchasing Arena, consider sizing up. ...Mark Gangloff

The women Arena Carbon definitely takes the cake for being the most difficult and taxing suit to put on. I ordered a 28 without checking the size chart and merely trusting what I wore in 2012. Big mistake! I struggled for nearly 30 minutes in the locker room the first time I got it on. Needless to say I could barely breathe, or move. The second time I tried to put the suit on, it ripped. Take two; I ordered a size 32 after checking out the size chart, looking specifically at my height as the determining factor. The bigger size still took time and finesse to get on but was much more comfortable. ...Julie Stupp

The Arena Carbon Flex is a new suit designed to sit alongside the new second-edition Arena Carbon Pro, also reviewed here. What I mean by that is most of the time suit manufactures design new suits to replace old suits. This suit is not a replacement but is designed for people that want a different product, while keeping a very successful "older" model. ...Mark Gangloff

Arena has designed and released a number of suits since 2012, the Carbon Pro MK 1, MK 2 and now the Flex. All three have fit very differently, which can be frustrating for the consumer to know which size is best to purchase, but great because each athlete has a very different body and suit preference when it comes to racing. It is important to try these suits on or at least speak to someone who has worn the suit before purchasing. The Flex was not as tight or as much of a challenge to get on as the Second-edition Carbon Pro due to the new "taping" or seams that are incorporated in the suit. Given my experience with the Pro, I ordered a size 30 in the Flex and it was definitely too big. The new seams create more give, but it was too much for me in the upper body. ...Julie Stupp

Overall, Finis did a much better job with the sizing of this suit for my taste in comparison to their last version: Finis Hydrospeed Velo. Being that they are still relatively new to tech suit production, I was very impressed with this suit. This suit is on the smaller/ shorter side of a typical size 28, but still within the range of what is typical. ...Mark Gangloff

To put the Vapor on, it took me time, patience and gentle hands. The size of the suit was not the issue, it was the very thin material and awkward fit that made me afraid I would rip it when tugging to get the suit to fit comfortably. The suit did stretch out at the seams after getting wet. I would suggest ordering a size smaller than you think is necessary but because of the tight seams, it might not feel great at first. The Vapor has a nice low back and a long-legged fit which is great for taller athletes. ...Julie Stupp

NOTE: Please note that reviews are the opinions of Mark Gangloff and Julie Stupp -- not those of SwimOutlet.com. They are offered only as general information to customers. Size and fit are unique to each person's body type and every swimmer has different suit needs.