Review: Castelli Sanremo, All Out Speed Trisuits
article & images by Nick Salazar
Dec 30, 2019
The short-distance suit is the outlier in this review, for several reasons. First and most obvious, it's a sleeveless suit. But it's also a rear-zip, pocketless garment, meant for short-distance racing, or very minimalist long-distance folks. Of the three actual suits we got, this one came in the lightest for us, at 173g. Although our measurements differ a little bit from Castelli's claimed weights, they're all very light suits, differing by only about 30g from lightest to heaviest (about the weight of one gel).
Now, rear zips in general are their own kind of beast - they are a requirement in ITU, but not for Ironman, Challenge, or any USAT event. On the plus side, rear zips give you a nice smooth surface on the chest, uninterrupted by zippers and seams. That can feel nice. They also offer a large uninterrupted canvas for design, logos, sponsor imaging, etc. The drawbacks are that they're a bit harder to put on, they often feature a long and unsightly pull string in the back, and they don't allow you to partially unzip on hot days, a nice feature of front zips. Of course, that second drawback, the pull string, can be eliminated, but then you need help getting the suit on, if you're not an absolute contortionist.
As mentioned, all the Castelli suits fit very tight. I might even size up to Large, the only brand I've ever encountered for which I would do so. Moreover, in the future I wouldn't choose the white colorway, which is very translucent, and will show off anything that isn't covered up by another undergarment. So ladies, you will almost certainly need a sports bra under the white version of this suit. And gentlemen, if you don't want to show the world your own nipples or happy trail, skip the white. Sorry for the spicy language, I just want to be sure you get the gist.
This bad boy has no pockets, so if you are taking any calories on board, you will be storing them elsewhere (fluid calories, gels stored on the bike, aid stations on the run, nutrition belts, etc). Again, this is oriented toward the ITU crowd. Although pockets aren't prohibited for ITU, most short-course elites don't want or use them. For most age-groupers and Ironman-type athletes, pockets are a virtual requirement.
Still, for a minimal and slick rear zip, the Castelli Short Course is very nice. The cut is good, and as long as you have your sizing and colorway nailed down, you'll be in good shape.
Another important aspect to notice is the glaring waistline AND centerline seams. Centerline seams don't bother me so much. For one thing, I usually don't notice them. Moreover, they are unavoidable for a traditional front-zip suit - although of course, this is a rear-zip, so not really needed here. What really bothers me is the waistline seam. I hate them. I've been complaining about them since 2010. And while many suit makers eliminate them, others persist. In this case, the seam is there, I notice it, and I hate it. Even worse, it would easily be raised toward the mid-torso.
On the exclusively-positive side, the suit is well-built with high quality materials, backed by an excellent brand and solid R&D. If you don't care about my gripes above, it's a great rear-zip sleeveless suit. Ok, leaving this territory, let's look at two suits that are short-sleeved, front-zip, and at the very top of the Castelli range.
Short Distance Suit
Castelli's ITU suit is minimal and functional. It has nothing more than the bare essentials.
Sanremo SS Suit
The bright orange colorway caught our eye. But it's not just a pretty face; the features and finish of this suit betray a truly well-designed garment.
All Out Speed Suit
The flagship in Castelli's lineup is very nice, and cut very snug, with the serious athlete in mind.