If there’s one piece of training attire that I’m overly picky about, it’s my training swimsuit. After all, swimming is my weakness, so the last thing I want to worry about is fumbling with my suit or feeling uncomfortable while doing laps.
So I was excited to try Danskin’s newly released triathlon swimsuit. The company’s expertise is creating functional sportswear for a woman’s body—they’ve been doing it for more than 100 years—and with their involvement in the tri-world, I anticipated a quality product.
My expectations were right. The compression-style suit feels like a second skin: It hugs in the right places and has yet to twist, bunch or sag during my swims of an hour or longer. I can’t say that it made me faster, but it definitely didn’t leave me dragging. Plus, the high-neck cut and breathable mesh incorporated into the already lightweight suit resemble what you’ll find in many triathlon race tops, making for a fast-drying competition-ready product without a shockingly high price tag—I’d wear it in a race with a pair of tri shorts.
I’ll admit, though, I had my doubts about agreeing to test a swimsuit I’d never seen nor tried on. Having an athletic, not-so-curvy frame, I often fit awkwardly in swimsuits and have trouble with sizes; I’ve owned everything from size 32 to 38 and never know what to expect. Generally TYR Racerbacks and criss-cross Speedos have been my pick. And when I first tried on the Danskin suit, I was a little concerned. My measurements put me in the size-small range, but I had difficultly pulling it up over my arms and onto my shoulders without feeling like I was going to rip it at the seams (maybe that’s due to the high-neck cut). After a week of taking it on and off, however, it stretched and adjusted to my size—no ripping!—and now goes on and off fairly easy… Overall, a minor issue compared to the pros offered in the suit.
Danskin uses its trademark “Stretchfit Body” material designed to fit varying body types while maintaining functionality. In other words, it sticks like glue but doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a girdle; it’s very lightweight. Not to mention, the competition-style back allows for free range of motion even during the most aggressive stroking. And with a clear sizing method of extra-small to XX-large that includes standard number sizes of 0 to 18 on each label (i.e. size 4-6 are a small, 8-10 are medium, 12-14 large, etc.), there are no guessing games. That means everyone from curvy women to athletic, flatter-chested women—like me—should find a good fit.
Probably one of my favorite aspects of the suit is that it dries fast. So whether you’re racing or throwing it into your bag after a swim workout, you don’t have to worry about a sopping, dripping suit creating a wet mess or it still drying three hours later. I can’t say the same for other swimsuits I own, which are often still damp the next day.
Additionally, the suit is fully lined, offers UV protection and uses chlorine-resistant Xtra Life Lycra spandex so it’s supposed to last a long time. As a side note, I’ve only had my suit for a couple of weeks so I can’t speak to its longevity or wear and tear yet. However, I can say the material doesn’t uncomfortably dig into your shoulders or other body parts (that’s been an issue for me in the past).
Overall, I won’t boycott Speedo, TYR or other brands and only wear Danskin, but I’d definitely recommend a Danskin suit to women of all body types as well as buy another one for myself in the future. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), I’d say it’s an 8 for my training purposes.
FYINTKS (For Your Information Need To Know Secrets):
No. 1: The suit may be difficult to put on at first, but it will stretch to your body type without losing its snug fit.
No. 2: If you think you’re in between sizes, go with the larger size.
Danskin’s Triathlon Swimsuit comes in black or pink and is offered in six sizes. It’s 82 percent nylon, 18 percent Xtra Life Lycra, has flatlock seams, a Danskin logo on the chest and care instructions and sizing chart are offered. For more information and to purchase, go to www.danskin.com.
Editor' s Note:Tawnee Prazek is journalist, model, a triathlon junkie, fitness-health-sports nut, and kinesiology major, and soon to be personal trainer.
You can find her training for her next race on her Blog.
Danskin w as kind enough to send us a full range of their 2009
Women' s Triathlon collection so we had two different associate
reviewers test and evaluate the gear. This is the second review. You can find the first one HERE.