Complete Tri

TYR Triathlon Wetsuit Brand Review

The TYR brand was founded in 1985 by Steve Furniss and Joseph DiLorenzo in California. Steve Furniss is a former Olympic Bronze medal winner and was the captain of the 1976 U.S. Olympic swim team while Joseph DiLorenzo is the owner and president of TYR sports and its sister company Swimwear Anywhere Inc.  TYR was initially formed to serve the growing swimming market. They aimed to serve this market on the basis of suits made to fulfill both fun and performance factor. Now the products of TYR brand are distributed in over 40 countries worldwide.

The products of this brand are rich in quality and have been worn by many Olympic Gold Medalists and Ironman World Champions. Ariana Kukros, the World Champion in 2009 and 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Grevers wore TYR performance swimwear.  We have always appreciated TYR’s fit, and especially the durability of its products.  In our experience, TYR’s triathlon products tend to have a longer lifespan than many other products of similar price points.  In addition to a good line of wetsuits, TYR also makes triathlon shorts, suits, and tops, making it one of the more complete makers of triathlon gear.

The TYR wetsuit naming convention is simple. Everything they offer is named a TYR Hurricane, and the higher the Category, the higher-end the wetsuit. A Hurricane Category 5 is the top end wetsuit, while the Hurricane Category 1 is the entry-level wetsuit.

Top End:
The TYR Category 5 Hurricane is their top of the line wetsuit. It has a 360 degree core stabilization system, which is actually a panel on the wetsuit surrounding the abdomen and provides a tightening effect. This 360 degree core stabilization system maintains your body position while swimming.

TYR Category 5 Hurricane provides free motion to triathletes who do not want to remain constrained around their neck and arms areas. Most athletes prefer this free motion and look for suits that make them feel comfortable. This triathlon wetsuit is similar to the Yamamoto SCR Rubber which is the lightest and most elastic material available in the market. The list price of this swimsuit is around $625.

The TYR Category 5 Hurricane has firm fitting wrist cuffs that keep the water away from your wrists and Quick Release Ankle Cuffs allow water to slide from your hands to feet.

In a gist, this wetsuit helps you keep moving and does not resist your movement under water. It is not a regular training suit for the first-timer, but if you are an experienced triathlete in search of a suit that should be light and good in performance, you can opt for this suit.  It is in a category with some of the best triathlon wetsuits on the market from other makers like Blue Seventy and Orca, and it holds its own against them.

Mid Range
For about $175 less than the Category 5, the TYR Hurricane Category 3 offers triathletes a great wetsuit with many features of higher-end suits in a more affordable package. Like the Category 5, TYR uses the 360 Core Stabilization system on the Category 3 wetsuit, as well as the quick release ankle cuffs and the form fitting wrist cuffs. The major differences between the 3 and the 5 is that you won’t get the same light rubber in areas where stretch and flexibility are key, and the inside of the suit is not lined with the same “jersey fabric” for increased comfort.

Another feature that the Category 3 shares with the Category 5 is the catch panel on the wetsuit forearms. Like some other manufacturers are attempting to do, TYR puts thick graded panels on the forearms to provide for a stronger swim stroke for the triathlete.

Features such as the neck and zipper are of good quality, but generally comparable to that of other makers’ wetsuits at this particular price point. In short, if you are looking for a high quality wetsuit suitable for longer swims, but without the frills of the high-end suits, the TYR Category 3 Hurricane is worth a look. A strong case could be made that the Category 3 Hurricane is the best all-around combination of performance and value from the TYR lineup.

Entry Level
The entry-level TYR wetsuit is the Category 1 Hurricane. The Category 1 is a good all-around wetsuit, with TYR’s base-level neoprene, and the ankle and wrist cuffs of the higher-end suits to aid in fast removal. TYR’s shoulder range-of-motion engineering in the Categories 3 and 5 have also made their way to the TYR Category 1 Hurricane.

What you give up with the Category 1 vs. the Category 3 or 5 are two of the key performance features that more experienced racers or those swimming longer distances may look for. Namely, the 360 Core Stabilization System is not included, causing the swimmer to perhaps not sit as high in the water while swimming, and the forearm panels that provide wearers of higher-end wetsuits with stronger strokes are not built in to the TYR. 

Still, the Category 1 is a good all-around wetsuit and very suitable for those who are getting into the sport of triathlon.  Depending on what price you can find it at (wetsuits are notorious for being on sale), this is a solid all-around wetsuit that goes head-to-head with other entry level and very comparable suits from other makers, such as the Orca S3 or the Quintana Roo Ultrafull.