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Product reviews

Our experiences and opinions after testing the newest triathlon products out there.

Speedo Endurance Jammer Swimsuit

  • Price: $48.99
  • Reviewed by: Cid Cardoso Jr.
  • Reviewed on: September 17, 2008
  • Category:

If you swim in most indoor pools in the triangle, you will notice that your swimsuit or tri shorts seem to disintegrate after only a couple of months of swimming. That does not necessarily mean that they were defective products. The repeated exposure to large amounts of chlorine used in most pools tends to breaks down standard Lycra or the new wicking fibers used in most pieces of tri apparel. For years, competitive year-around swimmers were faced with 3 choices: replace practice swim suits more often than desired, purchase looser fitting drag suits or nylon suits whose stiffness could irritate the skin, or pile one old Lycra suit on top of another in order to prevent their butts from showing. A couple of years ago, Speedo finally introduced its Endurance® line of swimsuits, which were designed to last 20 times longer than other standard Lycra suits.

The Endurance ® is the next generation of Speedo’s 100% chlorine resistance fabric. As their literature states, it is designed to be “highly resistant to fading, stretching, and degradation, even after repeated exposure to chlorine, bromine, oils, or body lotions.” Not only the colors supposed to fade less but the actual suit fiber is supposed to hold its shape longer than other swimwear materials. The composition of the Endurance ® Suits is 50% polyester and 50% PBT (a strechier blend of polyester) and incorporates a Four Way Stretch technology for a better fit and nicer feel than older polyester swimsuits.

After using the Endurance ® swimsuits I have definitely become a convert. In fact, I have pretty much outfitted my entire family, including my wife who swims regularly and my oldest daughter who is swimming two to three times per week in a year-round swim program. I thought the material would feel more like the old nylon training suits but to the touch, it felt similar to a regular Lycra suit. However, when I put the suit on the fabric did not stretch as much as I expected so if you go with the same size suit, be prepared for a snugger fit. In the water, the Endurance ® Suit felt smooth and comfortable. Speedo will tell you that the Endurance ® Suits are not competition suits as their fabrics are not as slick or “fast” as other Fastskin or Lycra blend suits and their fit in their line up. However, most of us are not too concerned with shaving tenths of a second in practice sets. The Endurance ® Suits really did last far longer than other suits. My wife was getting about 2 months, swimming 2-3 times per week out of regular Lycra suits and she has been using her Endurance ® Suit for over a year now. The Endurance ® Suits also don’t “pick” as much as other Lycra suits. My daughter used to destroy her Lycra suits in one summer at the outdoor pools and her Endurance ® Suit has lasted a summer plus fall and spring.

In comparison to a standard Nylon drag suit, I found that the Endurance ® Suit lasted just as long but with a better fit. The seams and the waist band on my drag suit got stiff with time and the legs got stretched out. Nylon is less stretchy than Lycra even when new so some swimmers claim that it causes skin irritations or suit burns in places like under the armpits of women. When compared to tri apparel, the disparity in durability is even greater than with other kinds of suits. Tri apparel is made to be breathable and to provide compression. It is designed be used in open water swimming, and for biking and running but is not made to be chlorine resistant. If you check most tri apparel labels these days, you will see a warning against using it continuously in chlorinated water.

The choice of patterns, colors and designs in the Endurance ® Line is still a little limited.  Besides solids, Speedo now offers several different colors splices as well as Camo, Bubble, Floral and Daisy patterns. For girls, be aware that not every pattern is offered in both the Maxback (thick shoulder straps) and Flyback (thin shoulder straps) styles. Most are offered in either one or the other according to each specific pattern. A few two piece options and briefs are available in the Endurance ® fabric as well. For men, the classic black jammer is by far the most popular choice.

If you plan on spending some time in a pool, the Endurance ® Swimsuit is a wise investment. The price is on par with most regular price swim suits ($62-$78 for girls, $42-$48 for guys’ jammers) but you won’t find them very often in the half priced practice suit bin. However, if you divide your cost by the number of times you swim, you will see that it is well worth the cost.