View Full Version : swimsuit longevity

April 5th, 2002, 02:22 PM
What tips do you all have for keeping a racing suit functional as long as possible? I have been thoroughly enjoying my first one, after a few fashion/fitness models this is so much more comfortable!!!! However, it has already "given out" in a couple spots and I've only worn it about six weeks. For me that is 4 - 5 times/week. Will 30 workouts mark the beginning of the end of a racing suit? I do rinse it out after every swim in medium temperature water = cool shower water.

Any tips of the trade??? What do you all do to keep your suits going?



Laura Groselle
April 5th, 2002, 03:19 PM
I have found that the 100% polyester suits (Nike makes a nice one) will last about 1 year, won't fade much and will not disintegrate as lycra does after "30 workouts". And it costs less than lycra. Go figure.

Disadvantages: The polyester does not stretch as much as lycra so it can cause suit burns, usually under the armpit or on the neck (women, obviously).

The trick is to wear and old, worn out lycra suit under the polyester suit to protect yourself.


Leonard Jansen
April 5th, 2002, 04:09 PM
Several thoughts/suggestions:
1) I use UltraSwim shampoo on my hair and then rub my lycra suit through the lather. I get lots of looks in the YMCA shower for this. I know that everyone says not to use shampoo on a suit, but this seems to give me 50-100% added use.

2) I wear The Victor brand lycra suits and (I swear) the blue suits last longer. This is based on actually tracking the different colors. It seems to make about 50% difference.

3) Try the Tyr Durafast polyester suits. I recently got a pair of Durafast male Jammers and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! 7 weeks of many miles of swimming and very little wear yet. They also run as fast in the water as my lycra suits and probably a bit faster. Can't vouch (obviously) for the women's suits.

April 6th, 2002, 03:42 PM
I had a suit and wore it for one year. I only washed it once outside of whatever it got from in the shower and shampoo. It was rolled in a towel in my bag, left in the car for G-d knows how long at times. Never smelled more than chlorine. One year later it was the same size and color as the day I bought. it. The company makes mostly fitness and instructor suits but they do have a competition line. Not as many fabric designs but some are servicable. They are a little pricey but they last alot longer. You can go to their web site at http://www.h2owear.com Look under tanks.

Mark in MD
April 6th, 2002, 09:22 PM
Hi Janis et al,

I've heard the H2OWear suits last a long time . . . except the company stopped making suits for men. But, the key here as Leonard, Laura and you have mentioned, is polyester material. I've found, too, that suits made of lycra/nylon blends don't last. I seem to go through one a month, using it 4x a week. And . . . I carefully rinse them out in cold water, too. The lycra simply doesn't tolerate chlorine. This gets bit expensive, ya know.

So, I went to a local aquatics store that sells only stuff for the pool and asked for advice as to what will last. They suggested either the Speedo Water Polo suit (100% nylon) or the Speedo Aquion suit (100% polyester for working out. (I have a nylon/lycra suit I use only for meets.) The poly will last longer, so I bought it. After two weeks or so of use, there is no evidence of fading or loss of stretch which lycra will show. By the way, I first went to the local Speedo Authentic Fitness Store and they DON'T even carry these suits. (That was a wasted trip!) So, the best bet is a specialty store like the one to which I went. (This store is great and is well-known by teams in my area.)

Seems to me that many years ago, suits were made of 100% nylon. They lasted for a long time. Not now! Now you have my $.02's worth.

April 7th, 2002, 10:04 AM
My daughter used to go through a suit a month, with 5 day/week usage. Drove me nuts. The pool she was swimming in was too heavily chlorinated and kept at about 86 (pool manager used the seniors' noon swim as his excuse for keeping it that high). I used a couple of different types of advertised "suit saver" products, which made no difference at all.

Then about a year ago, I started swimming, and we changed pools. Suits started to last a bit longer. I have a Nike suit that I just love, and it has given me about 7 months of faithful service (3-4 practices/week) and still fits great. The only sign of wear is in the middle of the front liner. I attribute the wear difference to a product that someone on this board recommended. A de-chlorinator that you use for aquariums. I found one at Wal-Mart for less than $2, called Chlor Out. The 4 oz bottle lasts about a month. After we swim, we rinse our suits in cool water at the pool, and when we get home, I put them to soak in a sink of cold water with about half a teaspoon of Chlor out; swish them around a few times and squeeze them a couple of times - pull them out and hang them up to dry. I use far more than the few drops the bottle states is necessary to de-chlorinate regular tap water, but I'm a firm believer that it works.

So, if you don't want to change fabric as others have suggested, give this kind of a product a try. We swim at least two meets per month and our year-old competition suits still look and feel like new.

On a different, but slightly related topic, I have found the best deal on grab bag suits at 4 Seasons swimwear (www.4swimwear.com). If anyone has other recommendations for good quality, inexpensive practice suits, I'd love to have them!


April 7th, 2002, 10:35 AM
Thanks everyone for the great ideas. I am going to trying a polyester blend suit from Arena (they call the fabric stretch 150). I'll see how it compares.

Candace, the best deal I've seen is from 800allswim.com The suits come out to 16.95@ if you order 3. I've haven't ordered them so I can't vouch for the quality. The deal is at the end of their sales page (item #500306).

Tom Ellison
April 9th, 2002, 03:11 PM
I purchased my last (except race suits) lycra, nylon, cotton, rayon, wool, wood, steel, cement or whatever type suit except the new polyester suits made by Speedo. Wow, it got rather costly wearing out Lycra suits. I am into my third month on a Speedo Model 825374 workout suit and it is still in great shape.
I can't pull mine up under my arms yet, so I cannot comment on them causing suit burns...;)

May 16th, 2002, 10:00 PM
I just got my H2Owear catalogue and they now have men's suits in ChloroGuard fabric. The trunks have 6 inch seams and there is a Jammer style and one piece body suit. This fabric has served me well in the past. Polyesther suits never wore as well for me.:p

April 10th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Last year I got a pair of Tyr Durafast jammers, then when in Austin a pair of Speedo Endurance jammers in same size at Lane4Swim shop. Also use the Ultra Swim lather on the jammers after swimming and soak jammers, goggles, silicone cap in dilute thiosulfate solution (stuff for removing chlorine from aquarium water) when I get home, spin in washing machine, then hang out and repeat cycle next day.

The Tyr Durafast seems to run almost uncomfortably tight in the elastic above the knee for me (I'm a runner, too) where the Speedo fits better all around. Have been using the Speedo Endurance now for almost a year of 3-5 times/week and it doesn't seem to fade.

Only sign of wear is that the Endurance jammers are not quite as snug a fit on the legs as I recall they were when bought. Interesting that one brand is a wee bit tight (Tyr) and the other just a wee bit loose. Never had that problem with lycra/nylon; I still like the lycra (Dolfin) for meets as they just seem more comfortable than poly jammers, especially during a long day at a meet!

Dolphin 2
April 11th, 2006, 11:38 AM
I just buy the "Grab Bag" briefs (or what ever's the equalvalent from another maker):


The Grab Bag is only $19.00 which are very economical since swim suits are really over priced to begin with. Plus the briefs are the most comfortable.

Happy Swimming !

California Dolphin :D

April 13th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Try the Tyr Durafast polyester suits. I recently got a pair of Durafast male Jammers and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! 7 weeks of many miles of swimming and very little wear yet. They also run as fast in the water as my lycra suits and probably a bit faster. Can't vouch (obviously) for the women's suits.

originally posted by Leonard Jansen

I have to agree with you 100% on all the points you made there Leonard.....I have had my TYR Durafast Poly Jammer for over a year now and it still seems perfectly o.k.....and like you said it is light and fast like a lyrcra jammer...they are also very comfortable.

I can only speculate Leonard as to why we both arrived at the same "solution" when it comes to swim wear?....Its a mystery....(maybe its b/c were both geeks??)

April 14th, 2006, 12:52 AM
The polyester suits are so much more durable than any other material it's ridiculous. They just won't die. I'm convinced the swimsuit manufacturers refused to sell them until a few years ago because they're too durable. People wouldn't have to buy replacement suits any more. Now that they all sell the ridiculously priced speedsuits they're making a ton of profit on those an can "afford" to sell polyester suits!

Bob Boder
April 14th, 2006, 07:41 AM
Polyseter is the only way to go! The suit I am wearing is 2 years old. The lining has rotted out and the draw string broke but the suit is fine. I think I will get a new one this spring. With logevity like this I do not mind paying full price.

April 14th, 2006, 10:20 AM
I just started swimming this past year, 3 to 4 x week, and at first I was going through suits every couple of months.I rinsed them out, and took better care of them than my contacts. Eeek our budget couldnt afford this. So I purchased a speedo endruance. Never had chaffing problems, but I have noticed the straps are starting to stretch out. The suit is now 10 months old. The girl at the shop shared that she wears them for years, the lining lets go and she just cuts it out. ( This may or maynot be an option depending on body type, and I don't have a clue if this is applicable to guys suits) Make sure you like the color and design because it does seem to last FOREVER. Sometimes, I have to admit a little voice inside cries out for a different color or style. ;)

Leonard Jansen
April 14th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
I can only speculate Leonard as to why we both arrived at the same "solution" when it comes to swim wear?....Its a mystery....(maybe its b/c were both geeks??) [/B]

The temptation is to say that great minds think alike. However, more likely is that we just are two of many monkeys with typewriters and have chanced upon the same "text."

I have a pair now that have gone about 450,000 yards since 1 January 06 (yes, I'm training for another run at Manhattan) and they are still rock solid. I usually "treat" myself to 2 pairs a year - one at the start of open water season in June that then becomes the training suit from the end of September to the end of the year and then one pair around Xmas to get me to June. At ~$31 each they are a steal compared to the Lycra grab bag suits I used to kill at the rate of 1 every 3-6 weeks.


April 14th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Since I work for a swimsuit manufacturer, I can emphatically concur that polyester is the only fabric which can stand up to the rigors of training. Lycra is degraded by all shampoos, soaps, sunlight and chlorine. All major swimsuit manufacturers now make polyester suits for men and women in a variety of styles. Just be aware that the straps on "thin-strap" suits will not be as durable and stretch/wear out much quicker than the suit. Rinse these in cool water and hang to dry. That's all they really need. Polyester generally does not have the soft feel and shape retention as lycra does. And it can weigh more. So, nylon/lycra is the way to go for racing, short of the new technology of high-end competition suits.

100% nylon, now only found in men's suits, also wears well but does fade. They make good drag suits.

FYI, tzsegal, the Arena Stretch 150 is now called "Waternity" if you are looking for more. Don't ask why!