A comfortable suit with cutting-edge technology
by Susan Grant-Legaqui - Lava Magazine
When the temperature took a serious ascent the day before my recent Nautica Malibu Triathlon, I knew that my wardrobe choice for the day would be especially important.
Clicking through the hangers in my closet, I came upon the SLS3, and initially all I saw was the color: raven black. I immediately shoved it back. No way I could get away with an all-black triathlon suit in heat like that. But a quick look at the tags convinced me to change my mind. The FX’s custom materials weren’t only breathable, they also offered SPF 50 protection and superior compression.
This last part didn’t surprise me, SLS3 is known for their high-end compression wear, and they’ve taken this knowledge and expanded it into the apparel arena.
Their patented “Coldblack” coating on the outside of the suit actually reflected sunlight as it protects your skin, meaning when I hit the last few miles of the run and the temps soared into the low 90s, my core still felt nice and comfortable. And the white stitching over the black material was flattering, which doesn’t normally matter to me during a race, except in one like this, where I passed various television and movie actors during my race. Nobody wants to feel frumpy when Zack Morris from “Saved By The Bell” is running next to you.
Now down to the nitty-gritty: how’s the pad? C’mon ladies, even in a shorter race like the Nautica Malibu Classic, an uncomfortable chamois can be the difference between a great bike ride next to celebrities, and a four-mile run filled with uncomfortable chaffing. The padding in the FX was actually slightly larger than that of some other brands I’ve tried, but it never felt water-logged or overbearing. The quick-dry material in both the suit and the padding were dry within minutes of me exiting the water.
One of the biggest problems I’ve seen with one-piece race suits is the tendency for the suit to bunch at the bottom part of the leg. With the SLS3, this wasn’t a problem at all. There weren’t any uncomfortable sticky bands around the leg to hold it in place, just smooth, flatlock seams that stayed in place during the entire race.
As for fuel pockets, the SLS3 is definitely straddling the minimalist route. There are two side pockets that fold over instead of zip. You coul easily fit four to six gels in there, but it would be bulky. However, for a sprint to Olympic-distance race, the storage was ideal, and overall I found this suit to be a great choice for even the hottest conditions.