One-Piece vs Two-Piece: The Difference Between the Tri-Suits

Mar 14, 2019

Triathlon suits are unique compared to most other outfits for endurance sports, owing to the fact that it needs to adapt to three very different disciplines - swimming, cycling, and running - as well as the transitions in-between.


You are sure to have noticed that some athletes wear one-piece tri suits, while others opt for a two piece. So what is the difference? And does one type of suit have a performance edge over the other? We break it all done below.



One-Piece Triathlon Suit


athlete with a one piece trisuit example


These are body clinging suits that shape-in perfectly with the triathletes’ body. It is made from a fabric that blends in perfectly with your body type. The best part about one-piece suits is that they won’t slip off and will stay intact throughout, even when swimming. The one-piece suits are a must-have for short distance triathlons.


To make the one-piece suit accessible; there are zippers that can allow air to enter the suit. Many athletes choose the one-piece suit  to minimize chafing, which could become a hindrance the longer the race goes on.


Two-Piece Triathlon Suit

When it comes to offering more breathing space, the two-piece triathlon suit is the way to go. All the heat and sweat you experience while during the three racing segments could escape more easily through the two-piece suits. You would feel more free and ventilated, which could result in a better performance.


The downside of the two piece relates to the suit slipping out of position, which can cause discomfort mid-race. The best part about the two-piece suits is that you can customize the top and the bottoms, in case, you love experimenting with what you are wearing.


two pieces tri suit examples


Pros and Cons


One-Piece Tri Suits


- Better aerodynamics or hydrodynamic
- Minimized rubbing between the clothing and the skin, i.e., chafing
- Exclusion of drawstring marks on the waistline
- Smoother and tighter to help you concentrate on the race ahead



- Difficulty with restroom breaks
- Lack of escaping space for heat and sweat
- May not fit all the body shapes perfectly

Two-Piece Tri Suits


- Allows the triathlete to retain the cool in breaks
- Restroom breaks become a lot easier
- Usually include pockets unlike one-piece suits
- You can customize the top and shorts to match your taste



- Might slip off, especially when swimming
- Likely to cause you drawstring marks on the waist
- The linings may lead to more chafing, thus added discomfort

Having a look at one piece vs. two piece tri suits, you should have an idea which will suit your needs best. Choosing between the dress types is your personal choice and comfort, but make sure you look for a trusted brand that gives preference to quality. If you have a comfy suit, everything else will fall into place. With regular practice and a good tri suit, nothing can stop you from winning the three-lap run.