Should You Buy a One Piece Tri Kit or a Two Piece Tri Kit?

Hilary Topper wears Pearl Izumi one piece tri kit

Should you buy a one piece tri kit or a two piece tri kit?

IMG_0163 (1)I’m relatively new to the world of triathlons. I competed in my first tri in September 2014, so I’ve been training for two years. When I first started, I questioned my coach, “do you change for the swim bike and run?”

“Ha,” he told me, “you wear a tri kit for the entire race.”

I wondered then if I should get a one piece or a two piece. Since everyone seemed to wear the two piece, I was inclined to go that route. However, during the last two years, I realized that the two piece suits have issues. For starters, the top rides up. It becomes very annoying when you’re training or competing.

So when the opportunity came up to sample a one piece tri kit, I jumped at the opportunity. One of my coaches told me that “they just aren’t flattering.” But are the two piece kits flattering?

IMG_0164For someone like me who is middle aged, had a c-section and has gained a couple of extra pounds through the years, the kit is not at all flattering. But I have to accept what it is and live with it.

I tried the W Elite Pursuit Tri Suit by Pearl Izumi and let me tell you, I may be a converter. I really like a few things about the one piece suit:

  • The top doesn’t ride up and it feels very comfortable
  • The Pearl Izumi material is awesome. I love the feel of it. I have other two piece tri kits from Pearl Izumi and I love the material on them as well. It’s comfortable and dries quickly.
  • I love that it comes with a bra and that the bra actually fits! I bought another bra from a different company to go with a tri kit and the bra was ridiculously big and didn’t fit or shape me. This one is perfect, especially for us full figured women!
  • The short section on the one piece tri kit also snug your thigh. They don’t grip you like most of the other tri kits I own.
  • I believe that the one piece suits are more aerodynamic than the two piece counterparts.
  • The garment contains lycra sport fiber so that you can move around with ease and freedom.
  • Finally, I’m a huge Pearl Izumi fan! I love their stuff – kits, sneakers, cycling shoes, etc. They really make top quality stuff!

IMG_0165Now here are some specifics about the W Elite Pursuit Tri Suit:

  • The material provides cooling and reflective sun protection
  • Lycra sport helps garment maintain original compression levels
  • Aerodynamic
  • Comes with a bra for maximum support and has easy on/off access (This was one of my concerns, but I really don’t see it as a concern at all. I found it very easy to take on and off the suit, even during the bathroom stops.)
  • It has a quick dry chamois

The Pearl Izumi W Elite Pursuit Tri Suit retails for $145 and can be found at