Nowadays, almost every competitive swimmer is wearing a tech suit. But unfortunately, a lot of these racing suits are quite expensive and not everyone is able to afford them, while others are simply not willing to spend such a big sum of cash on a tech suit. And that is exactly why we will be taking a look at one of the most popular budget racing suits. Namely, the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0.
I’ve heard many good things about the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 but was always a bit wary since the suit is much cheaper than some of the high-end tech suits. Such as the Arena Powerskin Carbon Air 2 and the Speedo LZR Pure Intent for example.
That made me wonder whether or not the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 was going to be able to provide me with some good features while coming in at a very attractive price point.
So with my doubts set aside, I picked up a new Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 jammer. I decided that I would be using the suit for a couple of my smaller swimming meets this season, and also for one bigger swim meet. And after trying the suit out for the season I can say that I’m actually really surprised by its performance in the water.
For those of you who would like to know whether or not tech suits like the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 and other high-end racing suits really make a difference in your swimming performances, then I highly recommend you check out my article- “Do tech suits make a difference?”).
First Impressions of the suit.
The Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 jammer comes in the standard neat black box. Arena does this for all of their racing suits. Personally, I always enjoy the effort that Arena puts into the packaging and presentation of their racing suits.
When I opened the box I was welcomed by my neatly folded Arena ST 2.0 Powerskin. The suit was packed in a plastic bag and it also came with some basic instructions to get you all set up.
However, there was something missing and it was bothering me a lot. The Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 jammer didn’t come with the nice mesh protection bag that all of their other high-end suits come with.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that this was done in order to cut down on the suit’s overall costs since it technically is a ‘budget racing suit’. I always appreciate the protective mesh bag that came with the suit since it provides me with something to store my suit in.
Overall, I wasn’t too happy about that, but that’s just me and in reality, it really isn’t such a big issue since you can easily find something to keep your racing suit inside of. I should probably also mention that I went with the dark navy version of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0, which definitely isn’t one of the most exciting color options that the suit is available in.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 racing suit let’s have a look at some pros, features and also cons of the suit-
If you’d like to check out the latest price for the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 tech suit, you can do so on SwimOutlet by clicking here. The suit is also available on Amazon, click here to check out the latest price.
Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 pros, features, and cons.
Pros and features.
Pros and features of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0-
- Good muscle compression.
- Lightweight design.
- Decent water repellency.
- Complete freedom of movement.
- Ergonomic construction and design.
- Easy to get on.
- Super affordable price point.
1. Good muscle compression.
Firstly, I was really surprised by the level of compression that the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 delivered. The suit had a good amount of muscle compression packed into the design. It definitely wasn’t as much as the higher-end racing suits like the Arena Carbon Air and some of the new Mizuno suits, but nonetheless, I was still happy with the level of compression the suit delivered from a performance perspective.
In case you weren’t aware, compression is one of the most important features of a good racing suit. When your muscles are compressed they are more activated and primed to perform, it also allows for faster blood circulation, which in return will provide faster rates of oxygen and nutrient replenishment over the course of a race.
2. Lightweight design.
The second pro of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is its weight. The suit may not be able to quite match up against the more expensive suits with features like compression and water repellency, but it sure can give them a go in terms of weight.
The Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is a relatively lightweight suit. It isn’t too thick and won’t cause a lot of resistance in the water. It’s the about the same weight or even slightly lighter than some of the high-end Arena racing suits.
The suit features a material composition of 71% nylon and 29% elastane. This is pretty good considering it is a budget racing suit.
3. Decent water repellency.
The third pro of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is its capability to repel water off its surface. I’d say the suit does a pretty decent job at this, but it definitely isn’t the best water repellency I have seen from a racing suit. Nonetheless, it definitely isn’t bad and I’d totally be willing to race with the suit on a regular basis if it was my only option.
When I jumped out of the water after my races the majority of the water quickly rolled off the surface of the suit. There was still a little bit left afterward, but not enough to create significant drag and slow me down in any way.
4. Complete freedom of movement.
The fourth pro of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is the wide range of motion it provides you with while swimming. When I was racing with this suit on I never felt like my movement was being restricted in any way possible.
I even swam a few 200 IMs with the suit. And no, I’m not a 200 IM swimmer, my main stroke is butterfly but unfortunately, my coach forced me to swim a few 200 IMs this season. I would have, however, much preferred swimming a 200 butterfly with all of you crazy swimmers out there.
Anyway, my point is I never felt like my mobility was being sacrificed for compression on any of the strokes. This is sometimes an issue with highly compressive racing suits like the Arena Carbon Ultra for example. Luckily, we are also seeing that change more and more as new fabrics are being developed for our tech suits.
5. Ergonomic construction.
The fifth pro of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is its ergonomic construction and design. This ergonomic construction allows for a few extra performance-enhancing features. Like enhanced muscle support, stability and increased comfort in the water.
These are all relatively small benefits on their own, but when they’re all put together, they can allow for some big enhancements in your swimming performance over the course of a race.
6. Easy to get on.
The sixth pro of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is how easy it is to put on. From my experience with the suit, it only took me about 5 or 6 minutes max to get this racing suit on after warm-up.
This is mainly because the suit has a slightly higher nylon content and it’s also not quite as compressive as some of the high-end racing suits. Such as the Mizuno Sonic GX 5 and the Arena Carbon Ultra for example.
Nonetheless, I was actually really pleased because it wasn’t necessary for me to spend 20-30 minutes in the changing room just to get my racing suit on. Sure, there is a time and a place for that, but it definitely becomes a drag if you have to do it for every single swim meet of the season.
7. The Pricing.
The final pro of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is the pricing. I left this for last since it’s probably one of the most obvious pros of this racing suits. Most racing suits can be quite expensive, but the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 comes in nearly 3 to 4 times cheaper while still having some good performance-enhancing features packed into its design.
Cons- what I didn’t like.
Cons of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0-
- Muscle compression fades with time.
- Water absorption increases with time.
- Stitched seams.
1. Muscle compression fades with time.
The first con of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is its loss of muscle compression and tightness over time. In my opinion, this is quite bad since muscle compression is an important feature.
It is, however, important to note that the suit lasted a good amount of time before it started losing compression and tightness. I was able to go almost the entire season without really experiencing any loss of compression.
It was rather as we were nearing the end of the racing season that I started noticing gradual changes in how the suit felt. It started to stretch out a bit and it became even easier to put on. Luckily, like I said the changes were very gradual and I was still able to use the suit without any significant problems for the majority of the season.
So if you think about it, the suit is still worth your money since you’ll be able to go a season for each Arena Powerskin ST 2.0, while a high-end tech suit might only last you about 2 seasons, maybe 3 if you are lucky and the ST 2.0 is about 4-5 times less expensive.
2. Water absorption increases with time.
The second con of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is its loss of water repellency throughout the season. Similarly to the first con this also only started to happen as we were nearing the end of the racing season.
The suit gradually started to absorb more water. At the same time, it wasn’t so much that I ever felt like I was being slowed down during a race. I still actually use this suit in training for time trails now nearly 2 seasons later and it still has some water repellency left, but it also definitely absorbs more water nowadays.
3. Stitched seams.
The third and final con of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is its stitched seams. However, through my experience, I’ve seen that some swimmers actually like the stitched seams and might find them more comfortable than the low-profile taped or bonded seams.
And although stitched seams aren’t really all that bad, they do stick out on the suit slightly more than the taped or bonded seams, ultimately creating slightly higher amounts of drag while racing. Stitched seams also have the tendency to wear out faster.
If you’d like to check out a couple of other budget tech suits as well, I recommend checking out my article on the 10 best budget racing suits, just click here to read it.
My experience with the Arena ST 2.0 tech suit.
Now that we’ve covered all of the pros and cons, the goods and not so goods of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0, we are going to have a look at my actual experience with this suit.
Needless, to say I really liked it and I had a nice overall experience with the suit, especially considering its price range.
I used the suit for many smaller meets and it felt great while I was racing. The compression and buoyancy were definitely there while swimming, but as mentioned wasn’t quite as noticeable as with some of the higher-end racing suits.
I also used the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 for a slightly bigger and tapered swim meet. I swam some good times and even managed to pull of PBs in 50, 100 and 200 butterfly events. The suit has good drag reduction and I never felt like I was being held back in any way.
Who should buy the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0?
Now, before we reach the final conclusion of this review. Let’s actually discuss who should consider buying the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 racing suit. First of all, I think this would be a really nice tech suit for beginners. Or swimmers who are new to competitive swimming.
The suit will be a good introductional tech suit before moving onto some higher-end racing suits, especially for younger swimmers, high-school swimmers, and those just getting into age-group swimming. This is also a good option if you are a masters swimmer.
Secondly, given the features of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0. I definitely think that this is a great suit for anyone who is just looking to save some extra money. Or who doesn’t want to spend $300-$500 on a tech suit just yet.
I think this suit would be a good fit even for experienced competitive swimmers, such as myself, who are looking for a suit for their smaller meets. It would also be a good suit for swimmers who don’t swim as many meets or don’t take their swimming as seriously such as school swimmers for example. With that being said, it’s finally time to move onto the final conclusion of the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 review.
Want to get your own Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 tech suit? Check out the latest price for the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 tech suit on SwimOutlet by clicking here. The suit is also available on Amazon, click here to check it out.
All in all, I actually really liked the Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 tech suit. I had a great experience while racing with this suit. It delivers really good features for a significantly lower price when compared to the pricing of high-end racing suits.
I would definitely recommend this tech suit if you are looking for a suit with some nice features at a lower price. The Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 is available in a wide array of colors. There are even a few cool and funky limited edition variations of the suit, as well as a junior variation for the young ones.