Tech Suits

8 Best Tech Suits For IM Swimmers- Specialist Guide

IM Swimmer with his tech suit

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It is safe to say, that tech suits have revolutionized the way we approach our big meets and our important races. Gone are the days where swimmers raced in their ordinary training suits… We have entered a new era- the era of tech suits. And that is why today, we will be looking at a few of the best tech suits for IM swimmers.

In the modern world of competitive swimming, almost every single serious competitive swimmer has a tech suit. Yes, it may not always be the highest quality or best suit out there, but nonetheless, it is a tech suit, and that is what matters most. The fact of the matter is- these suits provide performance benefits and they might just be the winning or losing factor in a close race or the reason that you get into that important team or hit that qualifying time that you’ve been hunting for months.

Therefore it is important for you to ensure that you know what your best options are when it comes to choosing your next tech suit. As an IM swimmer, you are going to need something flexible and diverse. You are going to need a suit that will be able to support all 4 of the swimming strokes while providing good compression and allowing you to execute a good range of motion in the water.

So without any further delay, let us have a look at the best tech suits for IM swimmers currently available on the market. We’ll cover a bunch of flagship options, and then we’ll also cover the top mid-range and budget suits that I recommend.

8 Best tech suits for IM swimmers

Here are the best tech suits for IM swimmers-

  • Arena Carbon Glide
  • Speedo LZR Pure Valor
  • TYR Venzo
  • Mizuno Sonic GX V MR
  • Arena Carbon Core FX
  • Finis Rival 2.0
  • Jaked Jkeel
  • Finis Fuse

<–Scroll to view full table on mobile–>

IM Tech SuitRecommended IM eventsMaterial compositionOur ratingView latest price on SwimOutlet
Arena Carbon GlideAll IM Events65% polyamide, 34% elastane, 1% carbon fiber10/10>View latest price
Speedo LZR Pure ValorAll IM Events65% nylon and 35% lycra10/10>View latest price
TYR VenzoAll IM Events70% nylon, 30% lycra10/10>View latest price
Mizuno Sonic GX V MRAll IM Events65% nylon, 35% spandex10/10>View latest price
Arena Carbon Core FXAll IM Events52% polyamide, 47% elastane, and 1% carbon fiber9/10>View latest price
Finis Rival 2.0All IM Events44% elastane, 41% polyamide, 15% polyester9/10>View latest price
Jaked JkeelAll IM EventsN/A8/10>View latest price
Finis FuseAll IM Events71% polyamide, 29% elastane7/10>View latest price

For help with finding the right size for your tech suit, consider reading my tech suit sizing guide, where I cover all of the most popular swimming brands and their tech suits.

1. Arena Carbon Glide- Maximized drag reduction and range of motion

The Carbon Glide is one of Arena’s latest tech suits currently available. It packs a ton of awesome features and has some of the most advanced tech suit technology currently available.Arena Women's Powerskin Carbon Glide IM Tech Suit SwimsuitArena Men's Powerskin Carbon Glide IM Jammer Tech Swimsuit

This is a great tech suit for IM swimmers due to the comfortable fit, the compression cage technology, and the internal taping of the suit which allows for unrestricted movement in all directions. The suit will make a great fit for both 200 and 400 IM swimmers, but if you specialize in 200 IM and you like more compression then you might want to consider the Carbon Core FX or the TYR Venzo.

The Arena Carbon Glide has a highly water-resistant fabric and the suit is engineered to reduce your drag in the water in every way possible allowing you to swim faster than ever before while experience a “glide” effect.

Overall, this is a really solid tech suit packed with some great features for enhanced swimming performances.

Features and benefits of the Arena Carbon Glide tech suit-

  • The ultra-light hydroglide shell effectively reduces your drag while swimming, allowing you to swim faster resulting in more gold medals and best times.
  • Intelligently positioned carbon grid technology and internal taping help to compress and activate your muscles while adding support and optimizing your body position. This allows you to reach and maintain your peak swim speed in no time.
  • Highly water-resistant fabric reduces your drag in the water and allows you to stay light and swim faster.
  • Carbon extreme cage is a tight grid surrounding important muscle groups in your body, allowing for strong compression with a lightweight feel. This allows you to stay light and agile while providing optimal muscle support and increasing blood circulation for more oxygen.
  • Internal taping of the suit increases comfort and allows the suit to be worn for long periods of time without restricting blood circulation or freedom of movement.
  • The suit is designed to allow an optimized range of motion while swimming, resulting in maximal power exertion, helping you to swim as fast as possible.
  • 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 saving you money.

Cons-

  • High price point, one of the most expensive tech suits.
  • The snapback effect of the suit slightly lacks when compared to other suits.

2. Speedo LZR Pure Valor- Versatility and speed

My next tech suit recommendation for IM swimmers is going to be the Speedo LZR Pure Valor. The Pure Valor is one of Speedo’s latest tech suits and it was released alongside the Speedo LZR Pure Intent, which is a suit designed for shorter sprinting events and not for more versatile events such as IM.Speedo Women's LZR Pure Valor Tech Suit SwimsuitSpeedo Men's LZR Pure Valor Jammer Tech Suit Swimsuit

The LZR Pure Valor has slightly lower levels of muscle compression allowing the swimmer to have a better range of motion while swimming, as well as allowing the suit to be used for IM and distance events.

The Pure Valor packs some solid performance-enhancing features and a great lightweight design to keep you agile and primed for fast swimming. Overall, this is an excellent tech suit for IM swimmers and you’ll love the features that come along.

Features and benefits of the Speedo LZR Pure Valor tech suit-

  • Lightweight design with a material composition of 65% nylon and 35% lycra ensures that you stay light, agile, and fast while racing.
  • The suit features a good amount of compression, but just enough to ensure that you don’t feel restricted in any way, making it ideal for IM swimmers.
  • Compressive inner leg seams allow the suit to provide greater muscle support while racing, helping to keep you stable when you start to get tired.
  • The Pure Valor suit is designed and constructed to support an increased range of motion in the water, allowing it to be used for any stroke.
  • Flat-bonded seams and improved finishes optimize your hydrodynamics and reduce your resistance, allowing you to swim as fast as possible and crush some PBs.
  • The Pure Valor features new and improved leg- and waist-bands, built to reduce water ingress, allowing for reduced when you swim drag as well as increased durability of the suit.

Cons-

  • Expensive price point

3. TYR Venzo- Low drag and maximized swim performance

The next IM tech suit we will be having a look at today is going to be the TYR Venzo. The TYR Venzo is a really diverse and flexible tech suit, designed for a wide array of swimming events- the suit will work for any event ranging from short 50 sprints all the way to longer events such as 400 IM.TYR Women's Venzo Genesis IM Tech Suit SwimsuitTYR Men's Venzo Genesis IM Jammer Tech Suit Swimsuit

The suit is TYR’s latest release and it’s packed with awesome features, like a frictionless fiber construction, surface lift technology, and an endo compression cage for optimal muscle compression. The suit also packs a seamless exo shell aimed at improving the swimmer’s body position in the water and allowing for far less drag.

Overall, this is a really solid tech suit with some great features. This will be a great option if you swim IM as well as sprints due to the versatile design of the suit.

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 drag when you’re swimming.
  • Surface lift technology in the suit stops water from permeating the fabric of the tech suit, ultimately resulting in a higher body position in the water. This reduces resistance and allows you to swim faster.
  • The TYR Venzo 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 distance per stroke, allowing for faster swim performances.
  • Seamless Exo shell design is aimed at streamlining body position while decreasing your drag in the water.
  • Lightweight design with a material composition of 70% nylon and 30% lycra keeps you agile and ready to swim as fast as possible.
  • Durable construction allows the suit to last a long time, ultimately saving you some money.
  • The TYR Venzo is available in a standard- and high-waisted jammer and an open- and closed-back kneeskin variation for maximized preference by the swimmer.

Cons-

  • External seams are on the bulky side.
  • High price range.

4. Mizuno Sonic GX V MR- Unreststriced performance

Mizuno tech suits are some of the best and most popular tech suits in the competitive swimming world as of now. These suits are packed with great features, allowing swimmers to perform at their best while racing.Mizuno Sonic GX V MR women's tech suitMizuno Sonic GX V MR men's tech suit

The Mizuno Sonic GX V is the latest and greatest tech suit released by Mizuno. Like the Speedo LZR Pure Valor and LZR Pure Intent, this suit also comes in two variants. One of which is the Sonic GX V MR, which stands for multi-racer, and the other being the Sonic GX V ST, which stands for sprinter.

Obviously, as an IM swimmer, you are going to want to go with the MR variation of the Mizuno Sonic GX V since it will provide you with more range of motion and flexibility while swimming. Both of the variations include excellent water-repelling fabric, as well as excellent muscular compression while the MR variation will allow for a more comfortable fit and added range of motion while swimming.

Features and benefits of the Mizuno Sonic GX V MR-

  • The suit features a flat concept design allowing for increased hip elevation and optimized body position throughout your IM race, resulting in significantly less drag and faster swim performances.
  • Manufactured using Sonic light ribtex fabric, a material engineered to enhance your performance and speed while also helping you to maintain a good body line in the water.
  • Highly water-repellent coating and fabric reduce water absorption, allowing for a lightweight suit with low resistance. This helps you to swim faster and break more best times.
  • Compressive interior panels designed to support and align your important muscle groups ensure higher power output, faster swimming, and gold medals.
  • The Sonic Line X taping supports your kick cycle and provides a hip-lifting effect, 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. This optimizes your speed in the water and helps you to swim as fast as possible.
  • The MR (multi-racer) variation of the suit makes it ideal for IM swimmers since it has less compression and more range of motion.

Cons-

  • The suit is still quite expensive, but not as much as some of the other suits.

5. Arena Carbon Core FX- Stroke optimization and unmatched compression

The Arena Carbon Core FX was released alongside the Arena Carbon Glide. Both suits pack great features and some new and innovative technology, but the Arena Carbon Core FX is a more compressive suit making it great for IM swimmers who like to have more compression. This is mostly going to be 200 IM swimmers, but it could apply to 400 IM swimmers too.Arena Carbon Core FX women's IM tech suitArena Carbon Core FX men's IM tech suit

The Arena Carbon Core FX allows for unrestricted movement in all directions making it a great option for all of those IM swimmers who prefer more compression. The suit might also be a good option if you swim sprint events alongside your IM since the suit is also great for sprinting events.

All in all, this is a solid tech suit with some great features. It’s simply going to come down to prefrence of what you like in your tech suit.

Features and benefits of the Arena Carbon Core FX tech suit-

  • The internal taping in the suits allows for strong muscule support and core stabilization, resulting in higher power exertion and allowing you to maintain speed when you start to get fatigued at the end of your IM race.
  • Double taping on the hamstring muscles ensures a lifting-effect, helping you to maintain an optimized body position, even when you’re tired. This significantly reduces resistance in the water and allows you to swim faster.
  • Carbon cage fabric forms a horizontal and vertical grid around critical muscle groups in your body, resulting in a strong and durable all-around muscle compression with a locked-in-effect. This ensures faster blood circulation, higher oxygen consumption, and a tight streamline position.
  • Lightweight design with a material composition of 52% polyamide, 47% elastane, and 1% carbon fiber keep you light and agile while racing, allowing for optimized swim speed and reduced drag while you swim.
  • Versatile tech suit, ideal for IM swimmers. This suit allows for unrestricted movement in all of the strokes.
  • The Arena Carbon Core FX comes in at an excellent price point, considering that it’s a flagship tech suit, this ultimately saves you some money.
  • Women’s kneeskin is available is an open- and closed-back variation, so that swimmers can choose the suit they like the most.

Cons-

  • Water repellency slightly lacks when compared to other flagship suits.

6. Finis Rival 2.0- Durability and performance loaded

The Finis Rival 2.0 is the latest tech suit released by Finis. This suit is super-versatile and is great for a wide range of swimming events, including IM. The suit packs some innovative new technology and takes a bit of a different approach here and there, making it unique and allowing for some great and interesting performance-enhancing features.FINIS Women's Rival 2.0 IM Tech Suit SwimsuitFinis Rival 2.0 men's IM jammer tech suit

The fabric of the suit is highly durable and the suit will last quite some time before you have to replace it. This makes the suit a good option for age-group and high-school swimmers looking for a high-performance suit as well as swimmers who are just looking for an excellent suit that will last them a long time.

The Rival 2.0 is great for all of the strokes making it ideal for IM swimmers. The suit features flexible hip panels for added range of motion as well as hip-lift technology allowing for intelligent muscle compression and reduced drag when you swim.

Features and benefits of the Finis Rival 2.0 tech suit-

  • The Rival 2.0 tech suit utilizes fabric technology to retain very small amounts of water. This creates a shield-like effect while reducing your drag and friction in the water which will allow you to swim as fast as possible.
  • Shield-tech proprietary fabric allows the suit to move with your body, resulting in supreme comfort and freedom of movement which is ideal for IM swimming events.
  • 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, making the suit a great option for IM swimmers and also allowing for maximum power output with each pull and kick.
  • Hip-lift technology utilizes advanced 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 as you are swimming.
  • The lightweight construction with a fabric composition of 44% Elastane, 41% Polyamide, and 15% Polyester, ensure that you stay light and agile while swimming.
  • The durable design and fabric allows your tech suit to last 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 for stabilization of the core and lower back when you start to fatigue in your race.

Cons-

  • High price point.
  • Women’s kneeskin is very hard to put on.

7. Jaked Jkeel- Awesome mid-range IM tech suit

If you are looking for a highly versatile mid-range tech suit packing some solid features and coming in at an affordable price point, then look no further than the Jaked Jkeel tech suit. This suit is great for pretty much any stroke (and event), making it a really solid option for IM swimmers.Jaked Women's Jkeel IM Tech Suit SwimsuitJaked JKeel Men's IM Jammer Tech Suit Swimsuit

The suit is designed using a lot of advanced processes to deliver a premium-grade tech suit at an affordable price point. The suit has great water-resistance, compression, and it allows for unrestricted and natural movement in all directions.

Overall, this is an awesome tech suit for IM swimmers and the price range is a huge bonus with the suit coming in at nearly half the price of some of the flagship suits.

Features and benefits of the Jaked Jkeel tech suit-

  • The manufacturing process of the Jaked Jkeel utilizes advanced plasma processes to create a durable layer of water-resistant film that is both lightweight and thin.
  • The ergonomic design improves the fit of the suit while allowing for maximal muscular compression and a full range of motion while swimming IM.
  • 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 the suit, especially for younger swimmers.
  • 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 your freedom of movement when you swim.
  • 3D construction with an additional double-layer of fluorocarbon resin allows for high water-repellency to reduce your resistance and to keep you light while racing. 
  • The suit has an affordable price coming in at nearly half the price of most flagship tech suits.

Cons-

  • The logo on the suit is quite large and may be a problem for high-school swimmers who aren’t allowed to wear suits with big logos.

8. Finis Fuse- Great value for money all around tech suit

If the Jaked Jkeel’s price range still didn’t quite cut it for you, then I’m going to recommend my top budget tech suit pick, namely the Finis Fuse suit. This suit is a really awesome suit with lots of premium features while packing an amazing price point coming in almost 4 times less expensive than the most expensive flagship suits.FINIS Fuse IM Race Women's Tech SuitFINIS Men's Fuse Solid IM Jammer Tech Suit Swimsuit

The suit is highly versatile and will make a great fit for an IM swimmer. The flexible construction will ensure that you’re able to reach maximal range of motion, no matter what the stroke and the compression will allow for optimal muscle activation and blood circulation while racing.

All in all, this is a really solid tech suit with some great features and a nice budget price point.

Features and benefits of tech suit-

  • Flexible muscle compression ensures for a full range of motion on every pull and kick no matter what stroke you are swimming, resulting in maximal power output and making the suit ideal for IM and other swim events.
  • Bonded seams combined with a double panel design reduces drag and improves your performance in the water, allowing for more best times.
  • Water-repellent technology ensures a reduction in your drag and turbulence and optimizes your swim speed, helping you to conquer that record or PB.
  • 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 without restricting you in any way possible.
  • Silicone watertight edges ensure a comfortable, secure, and water-tight fit, ultimately reducing your drag and optimizing your swim 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 an excellent value for money option.

Cons-

  • No carry pouch is included to store your tech suit in.

Physical benefits of wearing a tech suit

1. Compression

Almost all tech suits offer some form of muscular compression within their design. Compression is an important feature to have in a tech suit since it allows blood to circulate through your muscles at a faster rate. This blood will then resupply muscle tissues in your body with oxygen and nutrients, while also removing lactic acid and other toxins that harm performance, ultimately allowing you to swim faster over the course of a race.

2. Increased stroke rate and stroke length

a Study done with French elite swimmers had found that wearing a tech suit created conditions for lower resistance while swimming. Swimmers also experienced longer gliding phases and increased efficiency in the water. We can ultimately make the conclusion that these racing suits allow for increased stroke rate and stroke length in the water.

The study had also found that the effects of the tech suits were the highest at sprinting speeds. Meaning the effects of the suits may vary from swimmer to swimmer depending on size, speed, and technique of that specific swimmer.

3. Decreased drag

Tech suits are designed to reduce drag and resistance in the water as much as possible. Ultimately, reduced drag will result in higher swimming speeds and faster times. The first-way tech suits decrease drag is by utilizing water-resistant fabrics. This will stop the suit from becoming heavier, increasing in surface area and ultimately weighing you down.

The second-way racing suits decrease drag is by using ultra-lightweight fabrics and designs. This will ensure that you stay as light as possible while racing. Lastly, I.M tech suits also reduce drag by almost completely removing seams. This will allow your racing suit to be like a second layer of skin, ultimately keeping you smooth and fast in the water.

If you would like to learn a bit more about how tech suits affect your swimming performances, both physically and mentally, then I recommend that you check out my article- “Do tech suits make a difference?

Conclusion

As you can see, just by looking at a few of the physical enhancements these tech suits provide- they can have a big impact on how fast you swim. I mean we haven’t even gone into the mental aspects of wearing a tech suit, which may be even more significant.

The fact of the matter is- tech suits have revolutionized the way we race at our big and important meets. They have become a part of the sport and they are here to stay. If you are not wearing the best tech suit available for your main event, it could be the reason you lose or miss that qualifying time in a close race.

Yes, tech suits aren’t somehow going to make you swim fast if you skip training here and there or if you decide not to go to the gym when your coach told you to do so. They are here to enhance your hard work and good performances, not to make up for you slacking off at training.

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About the author

Benjamin

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.

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