Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek 2 tri top and bottoms review
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
Triathletes are a loyal bunch. Although I’ve worn other apparel over the years, I still remember my first tri suit. It was a one piece Louis Garneau number. Here I am wearing it back in 2003:
Although I’ve worn other suits, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt that same comfort as a I felt in my first tri suit. Maybe it’s just nostalgia.
When I was given the chance recently to try out the new Garneau Elite Lazer Tek Sleeveless 2 top and matching shorts I jumped at the chance. I wore the two piece suit this past weekend in Chattanooga at the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon.
The first thing I noticed was the Carbon-X fabric when I tried it on. The suit is tight. Really tight. Like a second skin. But as triathlon apparel goes that’s a good thing. I have a fairly muscular upper body from my days as a wrestler, so I ended up stepping into the top like a pair of pants and then pulling it up around my torso. The top is equipped with an almost full length zipper that made this process easy. I suppose if you’re really skinny you could put it on like a normal person.
The arm holes are laser cut and seemless. That creates a feeling of second skin. Or a torpedo.
The back of the suit has two deep pockets for storing gels, bars, and other race day necessities. One of the normal questions I get from people about tri tops with pockets is “don’t those pockets catch water and slow you down?” Well, maybe a little. In a traditional tri top. That’s not an issue with the Elite Lazer Tek. The pockets are covered with flaps that keep you hyrdodynamic. I thought they looked like sharks gills when I took it out of the package. Now that’s cool.
Putting the shorts on was an adventure as well. Again – tight. I shimmied my way into them. Inch by inch. But like magic, once they were around my waist they felt great. Getting into them the second time around was easier.
The Carbon X isn’t as stretchy as the traditional lycra construction of lower end apparel. That’s because it’s more aero, quicker drying, and well…less stinky. Good. Good. And really Good. The bottoms are however equipped with lyrca side paneling to make them a little more pliable. They also have Aero Lazer bands at the thigh. Again, more attention paid to aerodynamics. The bottoms are also equipped with a covered pocket on the back for storing even more stuff.
So it looked and felt great. But the real test was racing in the suit. I was anxious to see how the chamois felt on the bike and how the Cold Black UPF/SPF 50 actually worked.
In the water I didn’t really notice the suit. You don’t really want to. I basically felt like I was swimming shirtless, because there was no friction in the arm holes. Its treated with Durable Water Repellent making it anti-absorbent and water resistant. I had a fast swim, so I’ll chalk that up to the DWR.
Once on the bike I really noticed the Elite Lazer Tek bottoms. The Tri Elite chamois is the most comfortable tri suit pad I’ve ever worn on the bike. While the sample size was relatively small at 26 miles, I’m confident it will hold up as a great chamois at 56 miles or 112 miles as well. It was super soft on the bike and felt like it disappeared on the run.
Onto the run course, I wanted to see how competing in a predominantly black suit would feel in race temperatures in the mid-90s. The Cold Black was great, along with the long front zipper. I never felt myself overheating on the run and I can only assume it was due to the cold black treatment and the awesome ventilation of the construction.
all smiles in the Elite Lazer Tek 2
While nostalgia is great it can also cloud our judgement. But not in this case. I loved the Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek Sleeveless 2 and the Elite Lazer Tek 2 shorts. I’ll be wearing them both again soon. I think I’ve found my new go-to suit for hot weather racing.
* Trifatherhood.com is sponsored by Louis Garneau and I was given this suit to review. My opinions are my own.