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Arena Vs Speedo- Which Swimming Brand Is Better?

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It is no secret that Arena and Speedo are two of the biggest swimming brands. Aside from one or two other swim brands, they completely dominate the competitive swimming market.

As a swimmer myself, I know how frustrating it can be to decide between two swimming brands or products such as tech suits or goggles for example. Luckily for you, in this article, we will be comparing both Speedo and Arena to assist you in deciding which brand is best for your swimming needs. 

In the modern world of competitive sport, it is no longer just about who works the hardest and has the most talent for their specific sport. In reality, it is far more complicated than that.

Nowadays, it’s all about taking a smarter, scientific approach to your training. It’s about optimizing your mental game to ensure optimal and elite-level performance, even under high-pressure situations, and of course- the swim gear you use has also come to play an important role.

In swimming, this gear would be our racing caps, suits, and goggles. It could also be other pieces of training gear that assist us in becoming faster swimmers. 

Whenever a swimmer out-touches another swimmer by 0.01 seconds at a big swim meet like the Olympic games. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the other guy had worn the same racing suit or goggles. Would it have made a difference in the outcome?

That’s why it is important to make sure you are wearing the best racing suit and goggles from the best swimming brands. That way you will never have to wonder whether or not you could have had a chance at winning when something like that happens.

That sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. I’d rather take my defeat with no doubt in my mind that I gave it everything I had, rather than allowing myself to use my suit or goggles as an excuse for the outcome of a race. (I see this happening quite often, and it disgusts me).

And yes, maybe you don’t quite believe a racing suit or goggle can make such a big difference in the first place. I can, however, assure you that they do make a difference- no doubt about it. In my opinion, a professional swimmer can swim up to 1-2 seconds faster on a 100 when suited up.

If you’d be interested in learning a bit more about how these suits are able to make such a significant difference, then I recommend checking out my article “do tech suits make a difference?

So my point is this- the type of swimming gear you use can have an effect on the outcome of your race. Therefore, you want to make sure to invest in the best gear and ultimately optimize your chances of swimming as fast as you possibly can.

Today we’ll compare a few high-end pieces of swim gear like tech suits and racing goggles from Speedo and Arena, to see how they match up. We will also compare some other more fun products like swimming bags. Ultimately, this should assist you in choosing the best brand for you.

With that said… This is Arena Vs Speedo.

Arena Vs Speedo- The Showdown.

Arena History and mission.

As we already know, Arena is one of the most popular and biggest swimming brands currently out there. It all started back in 1973 when Arena was founded by Horst Dassler. 

Dassler was on pool deck at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games when Mark Spitz won hit 7th gold medal and set his 7th world record. This ultimately inspired Dassler to create an aquatic swimming brand today known as Arena.

Arena manufactures some of the highest-quality swimming gear currently available. This includes a wide range of top-notch racing suits, as well as goggles, training suits, fins, etc. Some examples include the popular Arena Cobra Ultra goggles, and the newly released Arena Carbon Air 2.

Arena is continually investing in research and technology to develop more advanced and better swimming gear, helping to push the boundaries of swimming each and every day.

The brand has sponsored many elite swimmers over the years. Many of these swimmers broke world records and won Olympic Gold medals. Some of the big names include- Sarah Sjostrom, Katinka Hosszu, Chad le Clos and Adam Peaty.

All in all, an awesome swimming brand with a rich history and a lot of great products.

Speedo History and mission.

Speedo is also a hugely popular swimming brand with an absolutely massive range of swimming gear containing every piece of swimming equipment you can imagine. 

Speedo has become a world-leader in performance swim equipment such as tech suits, swim goggles, and racing caps. It all started back in 1914 when the brand was founded by Alexander Macrae under the name of ‘Fortitude’.

But it wasn’t until 1928 until the name was changed to the famous and iconic name today known as Speedo. The company would go on to sponsor many elite swimmers over the years, including the Australian men’s swim team who won eight gold medals at the Melbourne Olympic Games.

They even sponsored the famous Michael Phelps at a time and together they broke a large number of world records and won a lot of Olympic gold medals. Today the brand is still being represented by some big names including Ryan Murphy, Nathan Adrian, Missy Franklin, and recently welcomed- Caeleb Dressel.

Overall, a superb swim brand with a long history and a drive and passion to push the limits of competitive swimming.

Arena Vs Speedo tech suits.

Arena Carbon Air 2 tech suit.

Arena Carbon Air 2 women's tech suit
Arena Carbon Air 2 men's tech suit

As you are probably already aware, Arena has released a new version of the original and popular Arena Carbon Air- The Arena Carbon Air 2. The Air 2 is very similar to the original carbon air in many ways, but it has definitely been improved on in some aspects.

The Arena Carbon Air 2 aims to take what has already been built and achieved with the original Carbon Air and improve on it. Some of the most notable improvements are increased compression, comfort, and a lighter design.

The Arena Carbon Air 2 is designed using a single fabric, instead of 2 separate fabrics that are weaved together. This removes the side seams on the suit, allowing the Carbon Air 2 to have lower drag and resistance in the water.

Additionally, this single fabric design also reduces the amount of water that the suit absorbs, increases comfort, and even makes the suit easier to get on.

On the compression side of things, the suit now has carbon band fabric. This upgrade allows for comfortable muscle compression. The integrated carbon bands attach to important stretch points to provide compression on overextended zones, they enhance core stability and help exert power when needed.

If you weren’t aware, muscle compression is a really important part of a racing suit. Muscle compression allows blood to circulate faster throughout your muscles. The increased blood flow enhances oxygen renewal and lactate removal, ultimately allowing you to swim faster and to win that gold medal or break that important record.

Lastly, the Arena Carbon Air 2 has been redesigned for a greater range of motion in the water. The internal lining of the Carbon Air 2 consists of 3 separate panels, ultimately allowing for greater freedom of movement. This will allow you to exert a lot of power with each stroke ensuring optimal performance in the pool.

The reduction of internal lining in the suit allows both men’s and women’s suits to be lighter and absorb less water. This also reduces drag and improves glide while swimming.

All in all, the Arena Carbon Air 2 is a great tech suit loaded with a good set of performance-enhancing features. This suit will definitely enhance swimming performance, helping to power you to gold, a new personal best time, a meet record or even a spot on that important swim team.

Quick overview of the critical features in the Arena Carbon Air 2-

  • The Carbon Air 2 has a single fabric construction, this reduces 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. 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.

Speedo LZR Pure Intent tech suit.

Speedo LZR Pure Intent women's tech suit
Speedo LZR Pure Intent men's tech suit

Similar to Arena, Speedo has also released its own share of new racing suits. One of these suits is the Speedo LZR Pure Intent. They also released the Speedo LZR Pure Valor suit, but we will only be covering the Pure Intent in this article.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about the Speedo Pure Valor suit, then you can read more about it in my article- the best tech suits for swimming.

The Speedo Pure Intent also aims to build and improve on what has already been achieved with the popular Speedo LZR Racer X and LZR Elite 2 racing suits. It is designed with dual compression layers and an ergonomic seam construction.

Ultimately, this allows the suit to link important and large muscle groups in your body for a greater power output while racing. It will also allow for faster oxygen replenishment and lactate removal throughout the body, allowing you to swim faster for longer durations of time.

The Speedo Pure Intent presents a triple fabric construction with bonded seams. This feature allows the suit to provide a greater range of motion in the water while reducing drag and surface friction, allowing for optimized swim performances.

Further, the Speedo Pure Intent suit has a cool new feature built into its design called textured fabric zones. These ‘zones’ allow the suit to reduce drag and enhance speed in the pool. The design also introduced a new band technology that allows for an enhanced kick cycle.

And finally, the Pure Intent has a premium waistband engineered to reduce water ingress. This will stop water from entering your racing suit, ultimately making you faster by reducing drag and weight even further.

Overall, the Speedo Pure Intent is a solid option. It has some awesome new features built-in and it has a great overall design. 

And although there are slightly more features when compared to the Arena Carbon Air 2, it is important to note that the Pure Intent is more expensive, essentially leveling out the 2 suits in terms of raw value.

Critical features of the Speedo LZR Pure Intent-

  • The Speedo Pure Intent has dual compression layers in its design, this will allow for intelligent muscle compression, ultimately enhancing blood flow to muscles.
  • The suit also has an ergonomic seam construction, when this is combined with the dual compression layers it allows the suit to connect critical muscle groups for an increased power output while racing.
  • The Pure Intent has a triple fabric construction with bonded seams, allowing the swimmer to have a greater range of motion in the water.
  • Textured fabric zones in the suit target drag reduction for enhanced swimming performances.
  • New band technology in the Speedo Pure Intent allows for a powerful leg kick while racing.
  • Lastly, the suit has a premium waistband engineered to reduce water ingress, ultimately reducing drag and resistance.

Arena Vs Speedo swimming goggles.

Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles.

Arena Cobra Ultra swim goggles

Next, we will compare the Arena and Speedo flagship swimming goggles. We’ll start by taking a look at the popular Arena Cobra Ultra goggles. The Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles are easily one of the best pairs of swimming goggles available.

I’ve had my own share of experience with these and I absolutely love them. (I own 3 pairs of these goggles). If you are interested in learning a bit more about them you can read my full review.

The Arena Cobra Ultras are built for racing and enhanced performance in the water. They have one of the most hydrodynamic and low profile designs out there. The Cobra Ultras offer great peripheral vision, allowing you to see your opponents without breaking your streamline, ultimately reducing drag in the water.

The Cobra Ultra swimming goggles are also really durable. One of my pairs is over 3 years old and although they are a bit scratched up and I recently had to replace the head strap, they still work just fine.

Another really cool feature is the anti-fog technology in the new Cobra Ultra swipe goggles. This allows for a long-lasting anti-fog coating (that actually works). You simply activate it by swiping your fingers on the inside of the goggles. 

A slight con about the Swipe version of the goggles is the slight increase in pricing.

Personally, I love the Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles. They are a great pair of racing goggles with many awesome features. They have never let me down and I’m sure they won’t let you down either. 

Their design is great for racing since it will reduce drag allowing you to swim faster and win that important race. They are, however, also great for training. I and many of my teammates frequently use these goggles for training since they are so comfortable.

Overview of features on the Arena Cobra Ultra swim goggles-

  • Low profile, hydrodynamic design reduces drag so you can swim faster.
  • TPE goggle seals and a dual strap allows for a secure fit so that you’ll never worry about leaking goggles.
  • Goggle lenses ensure a wide field of view so you can keep an eye on competitors.
  • Polycarbonate and silicone materials ensure very durable swim goggles, saving you money in the long term.
  • Most advanced anti-fog technology and UV protection ensures clear vision in the water, ultimately allowing for an ideal training and racing environment.
  • Adjustable strap and interchangeable nose bridges allow for a personalized fit.

Speedo LZR Pure focus swimming goggles.

Speedo Fastskin Pure Focus goggles

Along with new racing suits, Speedo has also released a new pair of high-tech swim goggles, namely the Fastskin Pure Focus goggles. These goggles are basically the new and improved version of Speedo’s previous racing goggles (the popular fastskin 3 elite goggles).

First of all, Speedo claims the new Pure Focus goggles have a 5% reduction in drag when compared to the Fastskin 3 elite goggles. This is awesome considering that the Fastskin 3 elites were already super hydrodynamic and low profile.

This makes the Pure Focus goggle Speedo’s fastest and most advanced swimming goggles currently available.

The Pure Focus goggles also have a new hybrid nose bridge design for enhanced durability and comfort in the water. 

Additionally, it presents an interesting new goggle seal called the IQfit 3D goggle seal. This new seal allows for an extra-secure and leak-free swim goggle, and it even reduces marks around the eyes.

Lastly, the pure focus goggles feature the classic IQfit goggle strap. This is the same strap that was used on the Speedo Fastskin 3 elite goggles. It’s built to reduce drag and also has a tensioning scale that allows for a unique and personal fit.

Overall, the Speedo Pure Focus goggles are a really solid pair of racing goggles. They are built for enhanced performance and reduced drag in the water allowing you to cut down on time and take the win. They are also more than suitable for training since they have a highly comfortable design.

In my opinion, the Speedo Pure Focus and Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles match up pretty well when compared to each other. I don’t think that one is better than the other, and you’ll most likely see very similar results with each goggle.

The Pure Focus goggles are, however, slightly more expensive than the Arena Cobra Ultra goggles.

Quick summary of the Speedo Fastskin Pure Focus goggles-

  • Advanced goggles with a low profile and anti-drag design.
  • High quality and durable goggles with a polycarbonate frame and a silicone strap.
  • Hydroscopic lens allows for wide peripheral vision while swimming.
  • Adjustable IQ fit goggle strap ensures maximum comfort while wearing the Speedo Pure Focus goggles.
  • IQ Fit goggle seal ensures a leak-proof and secure fit while reducing goggle marks around your eyes.
  • Estimated 5% less drag when compared to the Speedo Fastskin 3 Elite goggles.
  • Hybrid nose bridge design maximizes comfort and increases goggle durability.

Arena Vs Speedo swimming bags.

Arena Fastpack 2.1 swimming backpack.

Swimming backpack- Arena fastpack 2.1

The final product we are looking at today is something a bit on the other spectrum of things- a swimming backpack.

We’ll start by taking a look at one of Arena’s most popular swimming backpacks, the Arena Fastpack 2.1.

The Arena Fastpack 2.1 is an awesome swimming backpack with a good amount of space and some nice features packed into the design. One of the coolest features of the Arena Fastpack 2.1 is its compact and neat design, which gives it a great look.

The Arena Fastpack 2.1 does have a slightly smaller main compartment to complement the compact design, but out of personal experience, I can say that it still provides more than enough space for whatever swim gear you want to carry with you.

The backpack also has many additional pockets to keep accessories and other swim gear. Additionally, The Fastpack 2.1 features a reinforced design to protect your belongings inside, and it also includes a waterproof bottom to add an extra layer between wet and dry surfaces ensuring that you never have to worry about anything getting wet or damaged in your backpack.

The Fastpack 2.1 is made from durable materials allowing for a long-lasting swim bag that won’t let you down. 

The backpack has comfortable shoulder straps helping to keep your shoulders rested and protected when carrying your backpack over long distances.

Lastly, the bag has a clip that you can use to hang it up onto your locker or onto a wall. This is a nice feature that you can use to keep the backpack neatly stored away when you’re not using it. 

Overall, I really like the Arena Fastpack 2.1. It is a great swimming backpack with enough space for all of your swimming gear, it has a sturdy and compact design, and it’ll last you a long time.

For those of you who want something a bit bigger, I recommend checking out the Arena Spiky 2.

Arena Fastpack 2.1 swimming backpack summary-

  • The backpack has enough space and includes a load of pockets to store accessories.
  • It is reinforced to protect your belongings and includes a waterproof bottom, which adds an extra layer between wet and dry surfaces.
  • Constructed from durable materials that look and feel good.
  • Comfortable straps.
  • Many colors to choose from.
  • Slim and Sleek Construction.
  • Clip to hang the backpack onto your locker.

Speedo Large 35L Teamster swim backpack.

swimming backpack- Speedo Teamster 35L

To finish things off we will be taking a look at the Speedo Large teamster backpack. This is a really popular swimming backpack with an awesome design and some cool features.

The Speedo Teamster backpack is very spacious and will provide more than enough room to store your racing suits, goggles, and swimming gear. The bag has a large main compartment and many additional pockets, totaling for 35L of space, which is more than enough for most swimmers.

Secondly, the Speedo Teamster backpack has a built-in laptop sleeve. Now for most swimmers, this isn’t really a feature they would care about, but it does serve as a nice place to keep your goggles and swim caps, or maybe a kickboard if you wish to.

Further, the Speedo Teamster backpack has a water-resistant bottom to protect all of your swimming gear and belongings inside. The exterior is also durable and abrasion-resistant and you won’t have to worry about the backpack getting damaged easily.

The teamster includes a neat little feature known as the bleacher seat. This is a removable pad that you can use to sit on if you don’t want to sit a wet or hard surface at your next swim meet. 

The bag also features a removable dirtbag that clips onto the front of the backpack. This is ideal for storing wet swimsuits and gear, ultimately keeping your belongings inside dry and protected.

Overall, I really like the Speedo Large Teamster backpack. It is a nice swimming backpack with a lot of space, cool features and as a bonus, it’s available in a wide range of colors.

I think it’s clear that the Speedo Teamster backpack has a couple of extra features over the Arena Fastpack 2.1, namely a bit more space, and a removable seat and dirtbag. The Fastpack 2.1 does, however, present a slightly more compact design while packing all of the necessary features.

Quick overview of the Speedo Large Teamster Backpack-

  • It has a built-in laptop sleeve with a water-resistant bottom to protect all of your belongings inside. The exterior is durable and is abrasion-resistant.
  • It includes a neat feature named the bleacher seat, if you don’t want to sit on a wet surface you can take it out and use it as a seat. You can also use the extra space to keep some equipment if you wish too.
  • Removable Dirt Bag, the backpack includes a removable bag to keep all of your wet swimsuits in, it clips onto the front of the backpack and keeps everything else dry inside.
  • The bag features many additional pockets to keep things in and has a lot of space for all of your equipment and towels.
  • The backpack comes in many different colors and patterns to choose from.


So there you have it- Arena Vs Speedo. I won’t be saying that one brand is better than the other because in reality they are both excellent brands and it’s mostly going to be up to personal preference.

Both Arena and Speedo offer some really good swimming gear with a lot of features and everything you need to take your swimming to the next level. At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with either brand since both will provide you with a great experience.

I’d love to hear your opinion on the matter- which swimming brand do you think is better? Arena or Speedo? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

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author image benjamin

I am Benjamin, a competitive swimmer with many years of experience in the sport of swimming. I am very passionate about competitive swimming and love sharing everything I have learned about the sport. I specialize in swimming butterfly and my favorite event is the 100m butterfly with the 50m and 200m fly closely following.

Core Workouts From 3 Olympic Swimmers

Download this FREE cheat sheet to improve your core strength and swim faster! The easy-to-use guide includes core training principles and workouts from 3 highly-decorated Olympic swimmers.

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