Newcomers to the sport of triathlon could be forgiven for thinkining that every tri suit is the same. Our sport's multi-colored spandex uniforms stretch to such a degree that it almost seems like one size would fit all. But reviewing several of the different suits out there will show you that the subtle differences between them yield vastly different fit, and each athlete will prefer slightly different cuts.
The suit we're reviewing today is from a manufacturer ordinarly associated with lids and shades: Rudy Project. They're getting into triathlon apparel, and sent us their black one-piece suit. It doesn't come with a pretentious name, or any fanciful claims about anything. Right now you can surf to e-Rudy's product page and find that it's simply titled "Tri Suit Black". There's something very cool about that. But it's also the sign of underdeveloped branding, and is likely to change if Rudy gets serious about its apparel. Eventually, we'll probably be seeing something like the funky names Rudy uses on its eyewear like Ekynox and Ketyum.
Fit and Features
So on to the technical details of the suit. The first thing we noticed is that the inseam is quite a bit shorter than most suits out there. In the size Medium suit reviewed here, the inseam is just 5.5 inches. Compare that to the 8-inch inseam of the Epix Ironman suit. Some people like a short inseam, others don't. Personally, I'm happy as long as the inseam isn't too long. The short inseam here is just fine with me.
Moving up from there, I find my only real gripe with the suit - the seams. There's both a centerline seam in the crotch, and a waistline seam. I don't like these. They can cause rubbing and pinching. Some athletes have no problem with these seams, but I personally avoid them. Like the plague.
Continuing up the suit, we find three pockets on the rear. These are nice and deep, although not quite as deep as what Epix makes. Shallow pockets can have a tendency to lose their contents, so these deep ones are definitely a plus. The front zipper is solid and feels quite durable. This area is often the first to fail in a tri suit, and it's nice to see that Rudy has beefed up the seams around the zipper just a tad, to help ward off the inevitable.
The color design of this suit is minimal and elegant. The black and white scheme will match well with most any other kit, and the slight asymmetry in the design is kinda neat. But the suit only comes in two colors - black or white. If you want something a little more zany, you have to look elsewhere (for now). All-in-all, Rudy's first entry into tri apparel represents a good set of features, and a good fit, although we're not thrilled with some of the seam placement.
- Nice cut and graphic design
- Three deep pockets
- Beefy zipper, quality construction
- Waistline and crotch seam could rub
- Limited color options
Solid first entry, we're excited to see more