Pearl Izumi ELITE In-R-Cool Tri Suit review


Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

12 years ago, when I first got into triathlon, I used to race in a one-piece tri suit. By 2006 I made the shift to a two-piece suit instead. It was really just a matter of doing something new, and triathlon “fashion” seemed to shift more towards the two-piece. 

I stuck with the two-piece suit from 2006 until this season when Pearl Izumi gave me an opportunity to try out their ELITE In-R-Cool one-piece. I wasn’t sure that I would like it. After all, I’d been doing the same thing for the last 8 seasons and you get comfortable with what you know.

I was pleasantly surprised with just how much I like the Pearl Izumi ELITE In-R-Cool suit. I opted for the black/white/blazing yellow option because the yellow matches my screaming yellow Pearl Izumi Tri Fly Carbon IV cycling shoes.


The ELITE suit includes a number of upgraded pro level features, including (from

ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool® fabric powered by coldblack® provides superior cooling and reflective sun protection – I’ve used products with coldblack technology in the past and am a big believer in the materials ability to control your core temperature even on the hottest days. 
• ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool® fabric features Lycra® Sport that helps garments maintain original compression levels – I raced a 70.3 in the suit and it never got baggy or loose during the 5+ hour race.
• ELITE Transfer Aero fabric is strategically placed for superior aerodynamics  – this one is hard to judge, so I’ll take PI’s word for it. I never felt anything flapping in the wind on the bike or dragging in the water.

toughman swim

• Marrow stitch construction for superior next-to-skin comfort – no hotspots or rubbing.

• 10” zipper for venting – I was satisfied with the venting this provided.
• Plush elastic silicone leg gripper – my favorite feature in all of the Pearl Izumi products I’ve used. The leg grippers sit comfortably on your quads and hamstrings with no pinching or rubbing.
• Two back easy access envelope pockets – yep. I put some gels in these and easily accessed them during the race.
• TRI quick–dry chamois – yep.
• 9” inseam (size medium) – I like the 9″ inseam, as it provides a little more coverage from the sun.

What I learned about one-piece suits like the Pearl Izumi ELITE In-R-Cool suit is that I will be using them in long races from now on. Near the half way point of the run at Toughman Alabama, when the heat reached 95 degrees, I was beginning to overheat due to dehydration – no suit technology could have stopped that. A volunteer made several icepacks for me and stuffed them down the back and the front of my suit. Had I been wearing a two-piece the ice packs would have simply slid out of the top and fallen to the ground. 

toughman run

All in all I’m a big fan of this particular suit. It provides fantastic muscle compression/stability, excellent sun protection with UPF 50+, ample venting, and cutting edge cooling technology with In-R-Cool and coldblack material.

I love you,


* I was given this product for purposes of this review. However, my opinions are my own and I was under no obligation to provide a favorable review.

reviews coming soon: new GU flavors: Lemonade, Root Beer, Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2.