Most of us raced our first triathlon in something we found on sale on the rack at our local shop. After all, out of all of your gear, who would think that what you’re wearing could possibly matter that much? Sure, your bike has to fit and so do your shoes. But who cares if you’re wearing a pair of tri shorts a size too big? But as anyone who has worn the wrong thing on race day knows, it’s a lesson you won’t soon forget.
With that said, we’d be willing to bet that most—if not all—of our readers modified their race-day apparel after their very first triathlon experience. Over the years, you figure out what works (and what doesn’t). We’ve all gone through our fair share of tri apparel here at AG, and we recently had the opportunity to try blueseventy’s TX3000 Tri Suit. Considering blueseventy’s robust experience in the wetsuit market, we were pretty stoked to get to know their top-of-the-line tri suit.
The TX3000 comes in both men’s and women-specific fits. We had the opportunity to test the women’s version.
As close to a true swimskin as you can get, the women’s TX3000 was designed with an ITU-legal open back. Similar to a traditional swimsuit back design, this feature provides support where you need it as well as the comfort and full range of motion you want throughout all three sports. This was the first tri suit we’d worn featuring with an open back and we’d agree that the open design felt completely natural in the water. We actually tended to forget that we were wearing a tri suit—not a swimsuit—on multiple occasions. We were also surprised to find that this design did provide ample support during both the run and bike.
The TX3000’s women’s design also allowed blueseventy to eliminate the zipper completely. This is definitely a welcome change for those of us who have ever suffered chafing due to a misplaced zipper. However, we did find a couple negatives with this. First, tri suits are meant to fit like a second skin. And let’s just say that getting into a skin-tight suit without a zipper can be…well, a bit challenging. We were also used to suits we could unzip on the bike or run to allow for a little extra cooling. Fortunately we found the TX3000 to be incredibly cool even during the mid-day South Florida heat. So we didn’t miss this feature all too much. Overall, we really wouldn’t consider either of these things deal breakers—just things to consider.
In addition to the absence of a zipper, blueseventy did not include any pockets (that goes for both the women’s and men’s fit). So plan on stashing your gels in your run belt or tape them to your top tube. According to blueseventy, pockets don’t equate to speed. And since they designed the TX3000 with speed in mind, pockets were not a welcome addition here. We’ve never been big fans of stuffing gels into our shorts, so a pocket-less suit was no problem for us.
A significant deviation from the women’s fit; the men’s TX3000 features a YKK auto-locking zipper at the back (without a string or lanyard). According to blueseventy, this zipper design reduces drag. When the suit is fully zipped, the head of the zipper will be pointed down to the locked position. To take the suit off (or to simply unzip it for the bike/run) you flip the zipper head up to its unlocked position and pull your shoulders apart to bring the zipper down.
Getting back to the suit’s cooling factor, the TX3000 features highly permeable (150 L/M/ms) Microskin fabric, which was designed to maximize airflow and reduce the wearer’s core temperature. As we mentioned earlier, we wore the TX3000 in 90-degree heat and never felt overheated thanks to the suit’s fabric. We also found the fabric to be incredibly quick drying out of the water. Blueseventy’s Microskin also uses 20% Elastin fibers, which provides four-way stretch. Once again, while the suit may not have been the easiest to get into, once it was on, the comfort was undeniable.
While some tri apparel has left us feeling like an over-stuffed sausage, we never felt that way in the TX3000. Blueseventy utilized a graduated compression design to optimize fit and circulation/performance without making you feel as though you’re cutting off the circulation to your extremities. And speaking of squeezing, one of our biggest complaints with tri apparel is typically found in the legs. Most of the grippers in tri suits or shorts are just not quite right—there’s either way too much griping going on or not enough. All of that can leave you pulling and tugging at your shorts at the most inconvenient of times. With the TX3000, blueseventy used low-pressure leg and shoulder elastics for comfort and improved range of motion. While extremely comfortable, our female multisport editor, Tracy, did find the leg elastics of her TX3000 to be just a bit too large for her build. However, she doesn’t fault the suit so much as her own body type. She’s always a hard frame to fit—Amazon-like in height and, as her fellow editors like to say, “She needs to eat a cheeseburger or two.”
Another common complaint regarding tri suits and shorts is the chamois. No one enjoys the sensation of an overly padded—and waterlogged—chamois coming out of the water. We don’t know about you, but feeling as though you’re running back to transition in a wet diaper is far from ideal. Fortunately we never felt this way while wearing the TX3000. It features an ultra-flat, high-density low water absorption chamois. Once again, this suit impressed us greatly through all three sports. The chamois never felt bulky or waterlogged even right out of the water while still providing enough protection to see us through our ride as well.
One final note on the suit’s sizing—pay close attention to blueseventy’s sizing chart and keep in mind that, like most tri suits, they tend to run on the smaller side. Our female editor typically wears a small or extra-small, but she opted for the medium in this case.
Overall, we thought the TX3000 delivered on all of its promises as a high-end tri suit. It’s fast, comfortable, breathable, and won’t leave you feeling waterlogged heading back to T1. And at $240, we felt that the TX3000’s price tag was competitive with other high-end suits out there (an Orca RS1 Enduro Race Suit will set you back $229 and TYR’s Carbon Zipper Back suit runs about $260).