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7 Best Tech Suits Approved For Swimmers 12 And Under (2021)

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DISCLAIMER: This article is in no way directed towards swimmers aged 13 years old or younger, but rather to the parents of those swimmers who purchase their tech suits and other gear.

Tech suits are well known for enhancing swimming performance in the water. These suits utilize innovative fabrics and technology to enhance certain aspects of your swimming such as improving your body position, stroke rate, glide, and so on. 

In recent years, the governing body of swimming in the United States, namely USA Swimming has decided to ban the use of high-end tech suits for swimmers aged 12 and under. (Not that this is a bad thing). 

Nervertheless, there are still certain suits allowed to be used by swimmers falling in these age categories- and that’s what we are going to cover today. These racing suits are much cheaper and don’t provide as much of a benefit as the high-end suits, but will still help to ensure optimal performance in the water.

That said, it can be quite the pain to know which suits you are allowed to use and which not. This guide will make it very easy for you by showing you some of the best approved tech suits as well as explaining all of the different features and benefits of each.

If you aren’t quite familiar with tech suits, consider reading this article to get a better understanding.

What Is The 12 And Under Tech Suit Rule?

The 12 and under tech suit rule states that no USA swimming athlete (swimmer) falling in the age category of 12 and under is allowed to wear a tech suit in competition at any sanctioned, approved, or observed meet. Exceptions to the rule include Junior Nationals, US Open, National Championships, and Olympic Trials.

The decision came in order to reduce the cost of participating in the sport of swimming for swimmers at younger ages as tech suits can be very expensive ranging anywhere from $300-$600 for the top end suits. 

Another reason is to put the emphasis entirely on swimming itself at younger ages instead of swimmers focusing on the brand of tech suit and its features to help them swim faster.

According to USA Swimming, a tech suit is any suit with bonded or taped seams, regardless of fabric or silhouette. Any suit designed with woven fabric is also prohibited while knit fabrics are allowed, providing the suit does not extend below the knees.

Here is a quick video explaining everything you need to about the rule in-depth:

Related: Do tech suits make a difference?- Here’s What Science Says.

7 Best Approved Tech Suits For Swimmers 12 And Under.

Here are the best approved tech suits for swimmers 12 and under-

  • Arena Powerskin ST 2.0
  • Speedo Vanquisher
  • TYR Thresher
  • Dolfin Firststrike
  • Speedo Aquablade
  • Arena R-Evo One
  • Mizuno Ace

←Scroll to view full table on mobile→

Tech SuitFabric CompositionOur RatingView On SwimOutlet
Arena Powerskin ST 2.071% Polyamide, 29% Elastane10/10>View Price
Speedo Vanquisher79% Nylon, 21% Lycra10/10>View Price
TYR Thresher71% Nylon, 29% Lycra10/10>View Price
Dolfin Firststrike71% Nylon, 29% Lycra9/10>View Price
Speedo Aquablade80% Polyester, 20% Lycra8/10>View Price
Arena R-Evo One78% Polyamide, 22% Elastane7/10>View Price
Mizuno Ace86% Polyester, 16% Lycra7/10>View Price

1. Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 Tech Suit.

Arena Women's Powerskin ST Tech Suit
Arena Men's Powerskin ST 2.0 Tech Suit

The Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is one of the most popular budget and introductory tech suits currently available. This is a great tech suit approved for swimmers 12 and under as it features both good performance as well as a very affordable price.

This was also the first tech suit I ever used way back when I got into competitive swimming and I can testify that it does a pretty good job considering the low price.

Design And Performance: The Powerskin ST. 2.0  isn’t as compressive as the high-end tech suits making it much more comfortable to wear, which is ideal for younger swimmers as they won’t have to bother with taking suits on and off between races. The lower compression and flexible design of the suit also ensure that the suit is ideal for all swimming events and strokes. 

The tech suit features a fabric composition of 71% Polyamide and 29% Elastane with an additional water-repellent coating on the exterior to help cut down on drag and friction in the water. 

The ergonomic design of the suit is both lightweight and provides comfortable muscle compression which will enhance body position, stability, and power output in the water. The fabric of the suit is held together using flatlock sewn seams which also contribute some extra muscular support.

Size And Fit: Something that I really like about the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is its fit. This suit is easy to get on and has a comfortable feel when wearing. Compression is good but the suit isn’t overly tight.

Downsides: A common theme with the lower end tech suits (which are mostly what is approved for 12 and under swimmers) is that the durability really tends to be lacking. After a few meets the water-repellency will start to wear off and the suit will have stretched out. 

Considering the low price, this isn’t really too much of a problem. I recommend that you either pick up 2 suits for the season or only use the suit for more important swimming meets.

Tech Suit Specifications-

  • Strokes And Events: All Strokes, All Events.
  • Fabric Composition: 71% Polyamide, 29% Elastane.
  • Panels: Single Panel.
  • Drag Reduction: Water-Repellent Coating, Lightweight, Hydrodynamic Design.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.

2. Speedo Vanquisher Tech Suit.

Speedo Vanquisher Women's Tech Suit
Speedo Vanquisher Men's Tech Suit

The Speedo Vanquisher tech suit is another excellent tech suit that is approved for swimmers 12 and under. This tech suit is very similar to the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 but does present a few minor differences. The Speedo Vanquisher is also very affordable in terms of pricing.

Design And Performance: The Speedo Vanquisher tech suit is fabricated using 79% Nylon (polyamide) and 21% Lycra (elastane). The lightweight fabric of the suit consists of separate panels which are dual layered and combined using strategically positioned sewn seams.

The benefit of this is to allow for optimal range of motion in the water as well as providing muscle support, and a secure fit. Additionally, the dual-layered fabric will help to improve buoyancy in the water.

The Vanquisher provides just the right amount of muscle compression allowing for improved body position and alignment in the water which will help to improve swimming speed and decrease drag.

The suit also has a basic water-repellent coating on the exterior of the fabric to reduce friction in the water.

Size And Fit: Once again, the Speedo Vanquisher tech suit features a comfortable and secure fit with good muscle compression. The suit is true to size, great for wearing over long periods, and easy to get on.

Downsides: As mentioned, lower end tech suits tend not to fare too great when it comes to durability. They will certainly still be usable but won’t provide quite the same benefit as when they are new. I recommend to take good care of your tech suit to ensure it stays in prime condition as long as possible.

Tech Suit Specifications-

  • Strokes And Events: All Strokes, All Events.
  • Fabric Composition: 79% Nylon, 21% Lycra.
  • Panels: Dual-Layered.
  • Drag Reduction: Improved Body Position, Water-Repellent.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.

3. TYR Thresher Tech Suit.

TYR Thresher Women's Tech Suit
TYR Thresher Men's Tech Suit

The TYR Thresher tech suit is a solid suit approved for swimmers 12 and under. This suit has some nice color options to pick from and is available in quite a few variations as well. Some of its variations include a jammer and brief style suit for men and an open back and aerofit styled tech suit for women.

I recommend going with the jammer variation for men and open back variation for women if you decide to go with this suit as they provide more surface coverage while still being approved for 12 and under swimmers. If you want to go with a brief or aerofit styled suit, then I recommend the Arena R-Evo One, which we’ll cover in just a bit.

Design And Performance: Similar to both the other 2 tech suits we’ve covered so far, the TYR Thresher also presents a material composition of 71% Nylon and 29% Lycra. Something that I really like about the fabric of this tech suit though is that it features embedded hydrophobic fibers.

These fibers create fluid channels within the tech suit fabric itself which helps to repel water and keep the swimmer lighter and more agile in the water, ultimately allowing for optimal performance. 

The suit features advanced muscle compression allowing for ideal muscular support and body alignment in the water. The fabrics of the suit are put together using flatlock sewn seams which in this particular suit doesn’t add too much to its performance.

The TYR Thresher tech suit also allows for good flexibility in the water ensuring that you are able to reach full range of motion on every stroke and kick for increased power output and faster swimming.

Size And Fit: The TYR Thresher is an easy to put on tech suit with a comfortable yet still compressive fit. This suit will also be ideal for wearing long periods of time without any complications.

Downsides: Durability of the TYR Thresher tech suits tend to be better as there isn’t a water-repellent coating that wears off after a few uses, rather the fabric itself is designed for lower water absorption. That said, this design aspect will make so that the suit can still absorb some water at all times.

Tech Suit Specifications-

  • Strokes And Events: All Strokes, All Events.
  • Fabric Composition: 71% Nylon, 29% Lycra.
  • Panels: Single.
  • Drag Reduction: Hydrophobic Fiber Channeling, Improved Body Alignment.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.

4. Dolfin First Strike Tech Suit.

Dolfin Firststrike Women's Tech Suit
Dolfin Men's FirstStrike Jammer Tech Suit

The Dolfin Firststrike is a great tech suit approved for swimmers 12 and under. This tech suit isn’t quite as popular as some of the suits we’ve looked at so far, but in my opinion, I think it’s one of the more advanced options available for 12 and under swimmers. The suit is also priced slightly cheaper than the options above.

Design And Performance: The Dolfin Firststrike tech suit features the standard fabrication of 71% Nylon and 29% Lycra. I should mention though that Dolfin have used a slightly different style of these materials namely micro nylon and xtra life lycra which is going to contribute to extra durability of the suit.

The muscle compression of this tech suit is one of the most advanced features. The suit presents zoned muscle control and energy return technology by utilizing a bio-mapped 3D design structure which is going to ensure muscular support and compression in all of the key areas for enhanced swimming performance.

The fabric is also lightweight and features hydrophobic properties to repel water away from your suit, effectively lowering drag and friction in the water for faster swimming. 

As to what’s allowed the suit utilizes specially engineered flat-lock sewn seams to bind fabrics together and ensure for both muscle support and a durable design.

Size And Fit: The Dolfin Firststrike has a slightly more compressive design than the other suits, but definitely nothing unbearable. The suit still provides a comfortable fit while being easy to put on.

Downsides: Although durability is one of the aspects that was really worked on when designing this suit, it is still something to be aware of as knit fabrics (which is approved for swimmers 12 and under) tend to stretch out much easier and lose compression compared to the woven fabrics of the high-end tech suits. 

Tech Suit Specifications-

  • Strokes And Events: All Strokes, All Events.
  • Fabric Composition: 71% Nylon, 29% Lycra.
  • Panels: Single.
  • Drag Reduction: Lightweight & Hydrophobic Fiber, Hydrodynamic, Enhanced Body Position.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.

5. Speedo Aquablade Tech Suit.

Speedo Aquablade Tech Suit Women's
Speedo Aquablade Tech Suit

Coming in at a slightly lower price than the already affordable Arena Powerskin ST 2.0, Speedo Vanquisher, TYR Thresher, and Dolfin Firststrike tech suits is the Speedo Aquablade. This is easily one of the most popular budget/ introductory tech suits out there and will make a good fit for swimmers 12 and under.

Design And Performance: The Speedo Aquablade has a bit of a different fabrication than what we have been typically used to seeing so far. This suit features a material make-up of 80% Polyester and 20% Lycra. 

Polyester has better water-repellent properties than Polyamide but has the downside of being prone to pilling easier which is going to negatively impact the durability of this tech suit.

Moving along, we’ll also see that this suit features a special weave similar to the TYR Thresher which is going to channel water away from the suit effectively lowering friction and improving your streamline in the water.

The suit has decent muscle compression allowing for improved body alignment and muscular support in the water which will assist with swimming faster.

I should also mention that the Speedo Aquablade suit is available in a jammer and brief variation for men, but unfortunately the women’s variation is only available in an Aerofit style which covers less surface area than some of the other suits on our list.

Size And Fit: Once again, this is a very comfortable fitting tech suit with noticeable muscle compression, which will unfortunately fade away with time. The suit can be worn for long periods of time as well.

Downsides: One thing that I should note about this suit, is that the fabric feels less premium than some of the other suits such as the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0. This fabric also has a tendency to stretch out and lose compression much easier.

That said, considering the suit is so cheap, it might be a good option to go with 2 of these styled suits each season instead of 1 of the slightly higher priced, but still affordable options which are available for 12 and under swimmers.

Tech Suit Specifications-

  • Strokes And Events: All Strokes, All Events.
  • Fabric Composition: 80% Polyester, 20% Lycra.
  • Panels: Single.
  • Drag Reduction: Water-Repellent Channeling, Body Alignment.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.

6. Arena R-Evo One Tech Suit.

Arena Girls' Powerskin R-EVO Classic Tech Suit Swimsuit
Arena Boys' Powerskin R-EVO Brief Tech Suit Swimsuit

The Arena R-Evo One is actually a mid-range tech suit that isn’t approved for swimmers 12 and under. That said, Arena has released an Aerofit and brief variation of this suit which is allowed to be used for swimmers 12 and under as these styles of suits don’t come over the hips.

This is great since swimmers will be able to use a suit that is more premium in terms of fabric and compression. That said, it has one major downside which we’re going to discuss in just a second.

Design And Performance: The Arena R-Evo One features a fabrication of 78% Polyamide and 22% Elastane. This fabric is very lightweight and features both great hydrodynamics and water-repellent properties.

The main benefit of going with the Arena R-Evo One is the fabric weave. This suit features an ultra-fine thread, high-density weave to deliver superior muscle compression while also reducing water absorption. All of this contributes to reduced drag, lower friction, and faster swimming in the pool.

Additionally, the stitching of the suit ensures optimal flexibility and range of motion in the water. That said, since the men’s suit is only approved as a brief variation for 12 and under swimmers this isn’t going to make too much of a difference. 

Size And Fit: Despite being more compressive than the other suits on our list, the suit cut of the Arena R-Evo One makes it super easy to put on as well as being quite comfortable to wear over long periods.

Downsides: The Arena R-Evo One has one big flaw and unfortunately one which can’t be changed or else the suit won’t be approved for swimmers 12 and under. This flaw is the fact that it is only available in a brief and aerofit variation. 

This is a downside because the suit covers less surface area meaning less compression and less water-repellent and hydrodynamic properties. Personally, I think that girls are going to get the most benefit from this suit while boys will probably be better off going with one of the less-advanced suits that cover more surface area.

Tech Suit Specifications-

  • Strokes And Events: All Strokes, All Events.
  • Fabric Composition: 78% Polyamide, 22% Elastane.
  • Panels: Single Fabric Construction.
  • Drag Reduction: Water-Repellent, Improved Body Position, Hydrodynamic.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.

Can’t find the men’s brief variation? Click here.


7. Mizuno Ace Tech Suit.

Mizuno Ace Tech Suit Women's
Mizuno Ace Tech Suit Men's

The last tech suit on our list is the Mizuno Ace. This is a very basic but still effective tech suit that is approved for swimmers 12 and under. This tech suit isn’t quite as popular but I should mention that it also features a lower price than most other suits on our list.

Design And Performance: The Mizuno Ace is fabricated using a blend of 86% Polyester and 16% Lycra Spandex. The fabric features a knitted design that is both lightweight and water-resistant ensuring optimal hydrodynamics and speed in the water.

The suit provides a nice and compressive fit for enhanced body position and muscle support while also being very flexible ensuring swimmers can execute each stroke with optimal range of motion no matter what event they are swimming.

Size And Fit: Like pretty much all other suits on our list, the Mizuno Ace is very comfortable to wear, has good flexibility, and is easy to get on and off. 

Downsides: The higher polyester content of this tech suit makes it prone to pilling which can reduce the lifespan and performance of your tech suit. That said, you should also keep in mind that this suit is on the lower end of the pricing spectrum.

Tech Suit Specifications-

  • Strokes And Events: All Strokes, All Events.
  • Fabric Composition: 86% Polyester, 16% Lycra.
  • Panels: Single.
  • Drag Reduction: Lightweight & Water-Repellent Fabric, Enhanced Body Alignment.
  • Range Of Motion: Unrestricted.

Some Additional Tech Suit Resources.

Here are some additional tech suit articles and resources to help you to get started-

Conclusion.

Tech suits are great for enhancing performance in the pool, but there is also definitely the risk of swimmers getting too obsessed with what suit they are wearing and not with how they are performing in training. 

If you want to become a better swimmer, your number one priority should be to train hard and work on your technique in the water instead of worrying about what tech suit you are going to wear. 

Once swimmers understand these fundamentals they can consider picking up higher end tech suits to ensure most optimal performance in the pool. Swimming with more standardized suits at a young age is a good way to teach swimmers this principle.

That said, I hope this article helped you to find a good tech suit which can be used by your 12 and under swimmer. Don’t worry too much about which suit you go with as they are all very similar. Pick one that you think will work well and that is “suited” to your needs.

More related swimming articles-

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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.