We’ve said it before, sometimes comfort equates to speed. After all, when you’re comfortable, you’ll be able to focus on what matters – crushing the competition. And that’s just how we felt when wearing Castelli’s Free Tri ITU Suit.
Our multisport editor, Tracy, was the tester for the suit, so Castelli sent us the women’s version. The suit is designed to be compliant with ITU rules, but the fabrics, aero properties, and storage make it suitable for longer races as well.
Tracy wore a size small, and found it to be true to size. Castelli does provide a handy size chart on their website, too. So if you’re at all concerned about fit, be sure to check that out before ordering.
The suit features Castelli’s SpeedFreak ventilated race fabric in the front/upper portion and Velocity mesh on the back. We tested the suit in our South Florida summer heat and found the fabric to be extremely breathable. One of our latest rides was reaching the high 80 to 90-degree range, and we never felt uncomfortable in the suit.
In addition to the great ventilation qualities, we found the entire suit to be of very high-quality from top to bottom. The fabric felt amazing against or skin, and every stitch and seam was finished in such a way that prevented chafing. In fact, the Free Tri ITU suit bears Castelli’s Rosso Corsa label, which is reserved for only their highest-level products.
You slip the suit on and zip it up using a 30cm zipper up the back. This made it extremely easy to get in and out of, which is very nice for quick rest stops. The zipper features a cord for easy zipping, which we were able to easily tuck just inside the suit to keep it out of the way.
We’re pretty picky when it comes to the chamois in our suits. We prefer a minimal amount of padding—in fact, virtually none at all. After all, who wants to feel like you’re biking and running in a soggy diaper for hours on end? The Free Tri ITU Suit features what Castelli calls the Kiss Tri seat pad, which we honestly weren’t so sure about at the start. It does have varying thicknesses, so weren’t sure how we’d end up liking it. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised. Castelli claimed that the pad was optimized for the aero position on the bike, while allowing for freedom of movement on the run. They were absolutely right. It had just the right combination of support without feeling overly bulky. Definitely a win.
You’ll find two hydro- and aero-optimized pockets at the rear, and two additional small pockets strategically placed at the hip that could definitely hold a gel for the run. During our training rides in the suit, we typically would leverage the pockets as well as some on-the-bike storage, which was perfect for our rides lasting up to about three hours.
The Free W ITU Tri Suit will run you $179.99 and is available in two color options—black/pink or white/black/pink. And the size options range from XS to XL.
While this suit was made with the Olympic distance in mind, we could definitely see ourselves wearing this suit for longer distances. The fabric, clever storage, and overall comfort and make us want to wear it longer, which isn’t a bad thing at all.