And lets be honest, for the price you'd certainly hope so - the top tech suits don't come cheap. (We get it: Xtreme Swim was started by a swim mom who needed discounts on tech suits for her kid.) But actually picking the fastest tech suit depends on the events you need it for.
Arena offers a range of different tech suits tailored towards different strokes. We're here to explore the different options for Arena tech suits, focusing on the features, benefits, and recommendations for their intended swimming events.
Or you can skip all that and look at this handy cheat sheet we made.
Arena Tech Suit Cheat Sheet
Arena Tech Suits Recommended Strokes
Carbon Air 2: Freestyle, Butterfly, Backstroke, Distance
Carbon Glide: Freestyle, Butterfly
Carbon Core FX: Breaststroke, I.M.
Powerskin ST 2.0 / NEXT: All strokes, entry level
Best Arena Tech Suits For Each Stroke
Best Freestyle Tech Suit: Carbon Glide
Best Backstroke Tech Suit: Carbon Air2
Best Butterfly Tech Suit: Carbon Glide
Best Breaststroke Tech Suit: Carbon Core FX
Best Distance Tech Suit: Carbon Air2
Best IM Tech Suit: Carbon Core FX
Best Beginner / Budget Tech Suit: Powerskin ST 2.0 / NEXT
We like to make it easy. Here's the deep dive into the different suits, as promised.
Skip to Your Tech Suit
Arena Powerskin ST 2.0 / ST NEXT: Performance on a Budget
Arena's entry level tech suit provides serious advantages without breaking the bank.
- Recommended Strokes: Freestyle, Breaststroke, Individual Medley (IM)
- Key Features: Compressive fit for muscle support, power flexibility construction for freedom of movement, and durability for regular training.
- Benefits: The Powerskin ST 2.0 is an affordable option that provides muscle support, flexibility, and durability, catering to swimmers competing in freestyle, breaststroke, and IM.
The ST 2.0 and ST NEXT (A limited edition, ecologically friendly variant of the ST 2.0) are the perfect tech suit for first-time tech suit buyers, budget-conscious swimmers, and swimmers (especially younger ones) hunting for personal bests rather than national records.
It's a jack of all strokes suit with even, moderate compression and flexible enough for breaststroke. But even at the entry level, it provides plenty of serious speed advantage over a polyester meet suit.
Arena Carbon Air 2: Striking the Perfect Balance for Performance and Comfort
The Carbon Air 2 keeps flexibility, adaptability, and comfort at the top of its checklist.
- Recommended Strokes: Freestyle, Butterfly, Backstroke, Distance
- Key Features: Carbon bands for compression and support, lightweight fabric for reduced drag, and seamless construction for comfort and reduced chafing.
- Benefits: The Carbon Air2 offers a blend of freedom, compression, and reduced fatigue, making it ideal for enhancing performance in freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke.
The Carbon Air 2 is a popular choice for anyone who needs intelligent compression in the right areas without becoming painfully tight. It isn't optimal for breaststroke, but for every other stroke it provides key compression in just the right areas to prevent fatigue, while remaining comfortable for swimmer who struggle with the strictest compression suits
That comfort brought by separate lined interior panels makes it especially ideal for long distance events, where muscles will tire (and swell) at different rates than for sprinters, and is much more forgiving for female swimmers who find other tech suits uncomfortably tight in the chest and hips.
Arena Carbon Glide: Unleashing Speed in the Water
The Carbon Glide is the most advanced compression suit available from Arena.
- Recommended Strokes: Freestyle, Butterfly
- Key Features: Frictionless Fiber Construction for reduced resistance, advanced water repellency, and exo-core technology for targeted compression and muscle optimization.
- Benefits: The Carbon Glide is designed to boost hydrodynamics, minimize drag, and maximize efficiency, particularly for swimmers specializing in freestyle and butterfly strokes.
The Arena Carbon Glide is Arena's flagship tech suit for freestyle and butterfly sprinters due to the advanced, highly strict compression. It is also the most restrictive - the trade off of tech suit compression is flexibility, making it a poor choice of tech suit for I.M. and breaststroke swimmers.
There isn't much more to say than if you're looking for the fastest Arena tech suit for Freestyle or Butterfly, this is it. It's a marvel of a suit that can help pave the way to meet, national, and even world records.
Arena Carbon FX: Power in Breaststroke and IM
The Carbon FX is designed to give leg and hip flexibility in breaststroke events.
- Recommended Strokes: Breaststroke, Individual Medley (IM)
- Key Features: Carbon cage technology for targeted compression, flexibility, and intelligent seam placement for reduced drag and increased comfort.
- Benefits: The Carbon Flex is designed to optimize power, flexibility, and performance for breaststroke and IM swimmers, enabling them to achieve their best results in the water.
The Arena Carbon FX (formerly the Carbon Flex) is Arena's answer to breaststroke and IM tech suits. The intelligently designed compression leaves flexibility through the legs and hips to allow for the large range of motion that breaststroke kicks require. As with the Carbon Glide, the design is a tradeoff: increased flexibility decreases compression around the hips and knee joints.
While that limits its usefulness for straight-leg events, the Carbon FX still gives compression in every other area it can, making wearing it an incredible advantage in breaststroke - especially if the swimmer in the next lane is in the wrong tech suit.
Now that you know the differences between the tech suits, here's one last piece of the puzzle: Each tech suit is sized differently, often down 1 to 2 sizes down from the swimmers meet suit. Wearing a tech suit too loose means you miss out on the benefits of compression. Too tight, and even if you manage to get it on, your muscles may be too compressed to work efficiently.
To find your size, we have size charts on each of our product pages, and each product displays Arena's recommendations how to size down on that particular tech suit. We're also available to consult by email or phone to help make sure you get into the right size. Helping swimmers get into the right tech suit is one of the things we do best- we're happy to help when we can.
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Good luck in your next meet, swimmers.