Looking to take your swimming performance to the next level, smash some best times, and maybe break a few backstroke records? Well, in that case, you’ve come to the right place because in today’s article we’ll be taking a look at the 8 best tech suits for backstroke swimmers.
Tech suits have always given me a boost in confidence, especially when you really believe that your suit is the best of its kind out there.
As competitive swimmers, we train very hard. We spend hours in the pool each day and attack multiple dry-land sessions in a week. Not even to mention all of the other things we do to optimize our training.
The point is that you don’t want to be putting in all of this work, only to lose your race or miss that qualifying time or record by 0.06 seconds just because you didn’t have a good enough tech suit.
If you take a look at this study published in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, you’ll notice that the evidence suggests that tech suits can have an outstanding overall performance benefit of 3,2% when compared to standard training suits.
That would mean that you would be able to swim 0.96 seconds faster on a 50 backstroke if your time was 30 seconds. That’s a huge amount of time to drop on a 50, and to do it by simply putting on a tech suit makes it even better! With that said, let’s have a look at these awesome performance-enhancing race suits.
8 Best Tech Suits for Backstroke Swimmers
Here are the best tech suits for backstroke swimmers-
- Arena Carbon Glide
- Speedo LZR Pure Intent
- TYR Venzo
- Arena Carbon Air 2
- Mizuno Sonic GX V
- Finis Rival 2.0
- Jaked Jkeel
- Finis Fuse
←Scroll to view full table on mobile→
|Recommended backstroke events
|View on SwimOutlet
|Arena Carbon Glide
|100 and 200 backstroke
|65% polyamide, 34% elastane, and 1% carbon fiber
|Speedo LZR Pure Intent
|50 and 100 backstroke
|66% polyamide, 34% elastane
|all backstroke events
|70% nylon, 30% lycra
|Arena Carbon Air 2
|all backstroke events
|65% polyamide, 34% elastane and 1% carbon fiber
|Mizuno Sonic GX V
|50 and 100 backstroke
|Finis Rival 2.0
|all backstroke events
|44% elastane, 41% polyamide, 15% polyester
|all backstroke events
|all backstroke events
|71% polyamide, 29% elastane
1. Arena Powerskin Carbon Glide Tech Suit
The Powerskin Carbon Glide is one the latest and, by far, most innovative tech suits released by Arena. The suit pushes boundaries in both its features and technologies as well as your performance in the water.
This tech suit is ideal for all of the backstroke events, but I do recommend it mostly for 100 and 200 backstroke events since it does lack the snapback effect a bit, which is important if you’re a 50 sprinter.
The Carbon Glide features new and innovative fabrics designed to reduce drag, enhance your streamline, and of course ensure that you experience maximum glide on each stroke, kick and push off.
The suit allows for complete freedom of movement, ensuring that you are able to generate the maximum amount of power possible on each stroke and kick. It also features great muscle compression in the form of a carbon extreme cage which will activate muscles and increase blood circulation for optimized swimming performance.
Features and benefits of the Arena Powerskin Carbon Glide tech suit-
- The suit is constructed using an ultra-light hydroglide shell. This effectively reduces your drag and turbulence while swimming, allowing you to stay light and agile, ultimately helping you to win more gold medals and swim best times.
- Strategically placed carbon grid technology and internal taping help to compress and activate your muscles while providing support and optimizing your body position. This helps you to reach and maintain your peak swim speed in no time.
- The highly water-resistant fabric reduces your drag in the water and allows you to swim faster.
- The carbon extreme cage is a tight grid surrounding large muscle groups, allowing for strong compression with a light feel. This keeps you light and agile while providing optimal muscle support and increasing blood circulation for more oxygen.
- Internal lining of the suit increases comfort and allows the suit to be worn for long periods of time without restricting blood circulation.
- Designed for an optimized range of motion while swimming backstroke. This helps you to generate maximal power and swim as fast as possible, helping you to break records and PBs.
- The durable and lightweight material composition of 65% polyamide, 34% elastane, and 1% carbon fiber helps the suit to retain its features for longer, ultimately helping you to save some money.
- One of the most expensive tech suits available right now.
- The suit slightly lacks the snapback effect found in some other tech suits.
2. Speedo LZR Pure Intent Tech Suit
Likewise, the LZR Pure Intent is one of Speedo’s latest and most innovative racing suits. The suit is packed with awesome features and it also has some cool new technology built into it.
I recommend using the Speedo LZR Pure Intent mostly for 50 and 100 backstroke events since it’s highly compressive and provides an excellent snapback effect during each stroke and kick, making it ideal for shorter sprints. Keep in mind that you’ll still be able to use this suit for 200 backstroke and achieve great results. However, if that’s your main event you might want to consider going with the Arena Carbon Glide.
The Speedo LZR Pure Intent utilizes dual compression layers in its design to increase muscle compression. This will allow for increased blood circulation through muscles, ultimately enhancing performance in the water.
Further, the suit features fabric zones constructed into its designed to target drag reduction allowing you to swim faster. The suit also uses new band technology to allow for a powerful leg kick, ensuring that you are able to generate the maximal amount of speed and momentum from your backstroke kick while maintaining a good range of motion and body position in the water.
Features and benefits of the Speedo LZR Pure Intent tech suit-
- The Speedo Pure Intent has dual compression layers in its design, this will allow for intelligent muscle compression, ultimately enhancing blood flow to muscles and reducing fatigue, allowing you to swim faster over the course of your race.
- The suit also has an ergonomic seam construction, when this is combined with the dual compression layers it allows the suit to connect your critical muscle groups for an increased power output while racing.
- The Pure Intent has a triple fabric construction with bonded seams, allowing you to have greater range of motion in the water without feeling restricted in any way possible.
- Textured fabric zones in the suit reduce your drag in the water for enhanced swimming performances and more gold medals.
- New band technology in the Speedo Pure Intent allows you to swim with a powerful backstroke kick, guaranteeing faster times.
- The suit has a premium waistband engineered to reduce water ingress, ultimately reducing your drag and resistance even further.
- Lightweight design with a fabric composition of 66% polyamide and 34% elastane ensures that you stay light and agile, helping you to reach your peak swim speed.
- Men’s suit is available in a standard- and high-waist variation, while women’s suits are available in open- and closed-back variations, allowing you to choose the tech suit you prefer most.
- High price point, most expensive tech suit available.
- Leaking at the back of the men’s suit if you don’t put the suit on properly.
- Waistband may be a bit uncomfortable for some swimmers.
3. TYR Venzo Tech Suit
The Venzo tech suit is once again also the latest tech suit released by its manufacturer, namely TYR. The TYR Venzo has many awesome features and it is also worn by many professional and elite swimmers from all around the world.
Quick summary: the TYR Venzo is one of the best sprinting tech suits, although still perfectly suited to mid-range events. The suit works well with all strokes.
Features include a durable, water-resistant fabric combined with a frictionless fiber construction and seamless exo-shell to reduce drag. Built-in surface lift technology, dual layering, and an endo-compression cage further enhance your performance.
Downsides include lacking comfort and being hard to put on.
Thanks to the diversity of this suit, I am happy to recommend it for all 3 backstroke events, namely the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke events. The suit allows for an ideal range of motion while providing just enough compression for it to be used in all of those events and more.
The TYR Venzo has some of the most advanced drag-reduction technology currently available. The TYR Team developed an ultra-smooth fiber, allowing for a frictionless and durable fabric that will reduce your resistance while racing.
The suit also has some of the best muscle compression. It utilizes an endo-compression cage to form a flexible and compressive cage of muscular support for the abdominals, obliques, and quadriceps while creating a snapback effect that increases distance per stroke.
Features and benefits of the TYR Venzo tech suit-
- The TYR Venzo has a frictionless fiber construction. The TYR team has analyzed drag on a microscopic level to design a suit that utilizes ultra-smooth fiber, allowing for a frictionless and durable fabric that will reduce your resistance while swimming.
- Surface lift technology in the suit stops water from permeating the fabric, ultimately resulting in a higher body position in the water. This reduces resistance and assists you in swimming faster backstroke.
- The TYR Venzo’s contains an endo compression cage. This forms a flexible and compressive cage of support for the abdominals, obliques, and quadriceps and creates a snapback effect that increases your distance per stroke.
- Seamless Exo shell design is aimed at streamlining body position while decreasing drag, helping you to reach your peak swimming speed.
- Lightweight design with a material composition of 70% nylon and 30% lycra keeps you agile in the water.
- Durable fabrics allow the suit to retain important features, saving you money in the long run.
- Available in a standard- and high-waist jammer and an open- and closed-back variation for female swimmers.
- Outside seams are slightly bulky.
- High price point.
4. Arena Carbon Air 2 Tech Suit
You are probably familiar with the all so popular and lightweight Arena Carbon Air. Well, recently Arena decided to release a new and improved version of that suit- The Arena Carbon Air 2. The Air 2 is similar in many aspects, but it also has many new and awesome upgrades in its design allowing for even better performance in the water.
The Air 2 now utilizes a single-fabric construction, instead of 2 separate fabrics. This reduces drag by removing the seams on the side of the suit. It also decreases water absorption, increases comfort and makes the suit easier to put on.
Further, the Carbon Air 2 now allows for a greater range of motion. The internal lining of the suit consists out of 3 different panels allowing for this increase in freedom of movement. Once again, the Air 2 still has that ultra-lightweight design with a superb material composition of 65% polyamide, 34% elastane and 1% carbon fiber.
I can safely recommend the Arena Carbon Air 2 for all 3 backstroke events. The balance between compression, range of motion, and weight makes this suit ideal for both sprinting and longer distanced backstroke events.
Features and benefits of the Arena Carbon Air 2 tech suit-
- The Carbon Air 2 has a single fabric construction, this reduces your drag by removing the side seams on the suit. It also decreases water absorption, increases comfort and makes the suit easier to put on.
- Carbon bands in the suit allow for comfortable and intelligent muscle compression. They attach to important stretch points to provide compression on overextended zones, improve core stability and enhance power when required.
- The Arena Carbon Air 2 allows for a greater range of motion while you swim backstroke. The internal lining is made up out of 3 different panels to allow for increased freedom of movement.
- The Air 2 has an ultra-lightweight design with a material composition of 65% Polyamide, 34% Elastane and 1% Carbon Fiber. It’s the lightest tech suit available.
- The highly-versatile design makes the suit ideal for all backstroke events, as well as other events so that you don’t have to worry about purchasing multiple suits.
- Super water-resistant fabric keeps you light and smooth while swimming, allowing for reduced drag and enhanced swimming speed.
- The suit is slightly see-through due to thin fabrics, but modest panels cover critical areas.
- Not the most buoyant suit.
5. Mizuno Sonic GX V Tech Suit
The Sonic GX V is the latest tech suit released by Mizuno and it’s safe to say that this is easily one of the most advanced tech suits designed to date. Everything about this suit has been engineered in such a way to guarantee enhanced swimming performance in the water.
Quick summary: the GX Sonic V is a very compressive tech suit optimal for all strokes. The ST variation is ideal for 50 and 100 events, and the MR variation for 200 to 400/500 events.
Features include highly water-repellent fabric and taped seams for drag reduction, dual-layering for buoyancy, and sonic line X taping for hip elevation and kick support. This tech suit is also very durable.
The main downside is that the suit is uncomfortable to wear and hard to put on.
What I really like about the Mizuno Sonic GX V is the fact that it comes in 2 variations making it ideal for not just all backstroke events, but really any swimming event that you can think of. The suit is available in an ST (sprinter) and MR (multi-racer) variation.
Naturally, the ST is going to be ideal for 50 and 100 backstroke events, but you may choose to also use it for your 200 backstroke events if you like higher compression and more snapback. If you, however, want something a bit less compressive and more versatile then I recommend opting for the MR variation of the suit.
Features and benefits of the Mizuno Sonic GX V tech suit-
- The flat concept design of the suit allows for increased hip elevation and optimized body position throughout your entire race, resulting in significantly less drag and faster swimming.
- Constructed using Sonic light ribtex fabric, a material designed to enhance your performance and speed while also helping you to maintain a good body line.
- Highly water-repellent coating and fabric reduce water absorption, resulting in a lightweight suit with low resistance in the water. This helps you to swim faster and win more gold medals.
- Compressive internal panels designed to support and align your critical muscle groups ensure higher power exertion, faster swimming, and more best times.
- The Sonic Line X taping supports your up and down kick and provides a hip-lifting effect throughout your kick cycle, resulting in more power generated by your legs.
- Low profile taped seams reduce resistance in the water by cutting down the surface area of the suit, optimizing your speed in the water and helping you to swim as fast as possible.
- The Sonic GX V is available in an MR (multi-racer) and ST (sprinter) variation. The ST will be ideal for 50 and 100 backstroke and the MR ideal for 200 backstroke and other longer events.
- High price range, luckily still less expensive than some of the other high-end suits.
- Not the easiest suit to get on due to the high compression.
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6. Finis Rival 2.0 Tech Suit
The Finis Rival 2.0 is by far the best tech suit that Finis has engineered to date. The Finis Rival 2.0 is a feature-loaded tech suit built for fast racing. It is also one of the newest and best tech suits currently available.
Quick Summary: The Finis Rival 2.0 is a versatile and durable tech suit ideal for all strokes and events.
The fabric is quite compressive but still offers good flexibility. Other performance-enhancing features include shield-tech proprietary fabric, flexible hip panels, and hip-lift technology, ensuring you perform at your best when racing.
In terms of complaints, I have heard that the women’s suit can be tough to get on.
The suit features an ultra water-resistant fabric, allowing the suit to strategically absorb very small amounts of water, ultimately reducing drag and friction in the water, allowing you to swim faster.
Additionally, the Rival 2.0 has other cool features like hip-lift technology. This technology uses innovative seams on the back of your legs to increase muscle compression and to lock you into the perfect body position. The Finis Rival 2.0 also has one of the most lightweight and durable tech suit designs available.
Overall, the Finis Rival 2.0 is a great tech suit. I can happily recommend this suit for all of the backstroke events thanks to its flexible design.
Features and benefits of the Finis Rival 2.0 tech suit-
- The Finis Rival 2.0 tech suit utilizes fabric technology to retain very small amounts of water. This ultimately creates a shield-like effect while reducing your drag and friction in the water.
- Shield-tech proprietary fabric allows the suit to move with your body, resulting in supreme comfort and freedom of movement.
- The Finis Rival 2.0 has flexible hip panels built-in. These single-layered panels on the inner thighs allow for an increased range of motion in all of the strokes, resulting in maximum power output with each stroke and kick.
- Hip-lift technology utilizes innovative seams on the back of the legs to increase muscle compression and to lock the swimmer into a perfect body position, effectively reducing your drag and increasing distance per stroke.
- Ultra-lightweight design with a material composition of 44% Elastane, 41% Polyamide, and 15% Polyester, ensure that you stay light and agile in the water.
- The durable design and fabric ensure that your tech suit lasts for a long period of time, saving you money in the long run.
- The jammer variation of the suit has a slightly higher waisted design allowing the stabilization of the core and lower back when you start to fatigue in your race.
- Expensive price range.
- Women’s suit is hard to put on.
7. Jaked Jkeel Tech Suit- Mid-Range/ Budget Option
The Jaked Jkeel has been around for a while now, but it’s still an absolutely great tech suit with features that will challenge some of the new and expensive flagship tech suits. Personally, I see this tech suit as a budget suit since it comes in at half the price of most flagship tech suits, but some swimmers may also view it as a mid-range tech suits in terms of pricing.
Nevertheless, it’s still a great tech suit for backstroke swimmers. The ergonomic design of the suit ensures that you receive maximal compression in the water as well as an optimized range of motion with every stroke and kick.
This suit is very flexible and versatile, so you’ll be just fine using it with all 3 backstroke events as well as other events like freestyle and butterfly if you’d like to do so.
Features and benefits of the Jaked Jkeel tech suit-
- The design utilizes advanced plasma processes to create a durable layer of water-resistant film that is lightweight and thin.
- The ergonomic design improves the fit of the suit while allowing for maximum muscular compression and a full range of motion while swimming backstroke.
- It contains a premium FlexStripes strap compensation system for a comfortable fit in the water.
- Specially designed drawstring tunnel allows you to adjust the tightness of the suit without the risk of tearing the fabric. This increases the durability of your suit.
- The Jaked Jkeel is constructed using ultrasound and heat welding processes, along with the use of taped seams for increased mechanical capacity. This effectively reduces your drag and maximizes freedom of movement in the water.
- 3D construction with an additional double-layer of fluorocarbon resin allows for high water-repellency.
- The suit has an affordable price coming in at nearly half the price of the flagship tech suits.
- The logo on the suit is very large and obnoxious.
8. Finis Fuse Tech Suit- Budget Option
If the Jaked Jkeel didn’t seem like the right suit for you or you want a tech suit coming in at an even lower price while still packing a punch in terms of design, fabrics, and features, then the Finis Fuse is the suit for you.
The Finis Fuse is in the lowest price range that I’ve seen tech suits go and I am pleasantly surprised with everything that this suit has to offer in terms of performance. It has everything you need including compression, bonded seams, water repellent technology, and a lightweight design.
All in all, this is a great tech suit and I can happily recommend it for all backstroke events.
Features and benefits of the Finis Fuse tech suit-
- Flexible muscle compression ensures for full range of motion on every backstroke pull and kick, resulting in maximal power output and making the suit usable for a wide range of events.
- Bonded seams combined with a double panel design reduces drag and improves your speed in the water.
- Water-repellent technology ensures a reduction in your drag and turbulence and optimizes your speed, helping you to crush that record or best time in the pool.
- Compression technology in the suit allows for high-levels of muscle compression with excellent elasticity built-in. This enhances blood circulation, increases muscle activation, and ultimately helps you to swim faster.
- Silicone watertight edges ensure a comfortable, secure, and water-tight fit while you are wearing the suit, ultimately reducing your drag and optimizing your swimming speed.
- High-quality fabric with a material composition on 71% polyamide and 29% elastane provides you with a durable and lightweight tech suit.
- Budget price makes the suit great value for money.
- The Finis Fuse tech suit doesn’t come with a carrying pouch to store it.
Other tech suit guides and articles that you might want to check out-
- Best tech suits for swimmers- your complete guide.
- 8 Best tech suits for butterfly swimmers.
- 8 Best tech suits for breaststroke swimmers.
- 8 Best tech suits for freestyle swimmers.
- 10 best budget tech suits.
Physical Benefits of Using a Backstroke Tech Suit
All tech suits offer some form of compression. Some slightly more and some slightly less. Compression is a great feature to have in a tech suit since it allows blood to circulate through your muscles at a higher rate. This blood will then resupply your muscles with oxygen and nutrients, while also removing lactic acid and other toxins.
Compression also helps with muscle activation ensuring that you are able to work your way up to peak speed in no time once you’ve hit the water.
2. Increased Stroke Rate and Stroke Length
a Study conducted with French elite swimmers found that wearing a tech suit created conditions for lower resistance in the pool, while swimmers experienced longer gliding phases and increased efficiency in the pool.
The study concluded that tech suits allowed for increased stroke rate and stroke length while swimming. This is great since a higher stroke rate and an increased stroke length will allow you to swim faster.
3. Decreased Drag
Tech suits are designed and constructed to reduce drag and resistance in the water as much as possible. Ultimately, reduced drag will result in higher swimming speeds and better times. The first-way tech suits decrease drag is by using water-resistant fabric. This will stop the suit from becoming heavier, increasing in surface area and ultimately weighing you down.
The second-way tech suits decrease drag is by using ultra-lightweight fabrics and designs. This will ensure that you stay as light as possible while racing.
And the final way tech suits reduce drag is by almost completely removing seams. This will allow your tech suit to be like a second layer of skin, ultimately keeping you smooth and fast in the water.
Heads Up! If you are interested in learning more about the physical enhancements of tech suits, as well as some of the mental benefits that come along then I suggest you check out my article- “Do tech suits make a difference?“
6 Tips to Make Your Backstroke Tech Suit Last Longer
1. Save It for Your Next Big Race
The unfortunate truth is that tech suits don’t last forever. If you wear them for every big meet, you are probably going to have to replace it pretty after a season if you still want all of the features to be in mint condition for optimal performance.
That’s why I recommend you to only wear your tech suit for your big races which are the most important to you. Think of them as the races with important PBs and medals on the line.
2. Don’t Hang Your Tech Suit Up to Dry
Hanging your tech suit up to dry probably isn’t the best idea you have ever had. The weight of the seams and bottom part of the tech suit can cause your wet suit to stretch.
You want to avoid stretching your tech suit as much as possible since stretching will reduce your suit’s lifespan and make it lose some of its cool features.
3. Rinse Your Suit Out with Cold Water
Chlorine is everywhere in today’s swimming pools. Unfortunately for us and our tech suits, it can be damaging to the fibers of your suit. It is a good idea to rinse out your tech suit with cold water after racing. This will remove chlorine that could damage your tech suit.
4. Don’t Leave Your Tech Suit in Direct Sunlight
This is similar to chlorine. If you really want to damage your tech suit and reduce its cool features, try leaving it out in the sun for a day or two and see what happens.
Direct sunlight can damage the fibers of your tech suit, so it’s best to stay patient and let your tech suit dry indoors on its own time. What I like to do is to lay it open on a towel somewhere on a flat surface like my desk and to then let it air dry.
5. Wear Clothing Over Your Tech Suit Between Races
Unless you are one of those swimmers who like to take their tech suit off in-between each race. (Not a good idea, by the way). It’s probably not a bad idea to wear shorts or pants over your tech suit.
This will protect your suit from rough surfaces or from hooking onto something sharp and tearing unnecessarily.
6. Dry Yourself Properly Before Putting on Your Tech Suit
Like I mentioned earlier. You want to avoid stretching your tech suit as much as possible. Part of this includes drying yourself properly before putting your tech suit on.
If you try to pull a tight tech suit over your wet legs it’s probably going to stick to them. This can result in the unnecessary stretching of your tech suit.
For more tips, check out my article on how to make your tech suit last longer by clicking here.
Swim Faster with a New Backstroke Tech Suit
It is quite obvious that tech suits have come to play an important role in the modern world of competitive swimming. These suits bring physical enhancements as well as mental enhancements, allowing us to swim faster and better times while racing. If these suits weren’t important, professional and elite swimmers from all around the globe wouldn’t be wearing them.
It is, however, still important to remember that a tech suit isn’t the only thing determining your success in the pool. It isn’t somehow going to make up for you not showing up to training or skipping your core training. These tech suits only enhance performances; they don’t create performances.