The Speedo Pure Intent Tech Suit is the fastest tech suit in the water. Here’s a detailed review of Speedo’s top-of-the-line racing suit, including pros, cons, and how it compares to other tech suits on the market.
Tech suits are one of the key pieces of the puzzle when it comes to swimming exceptionally fast on race day.
The right tech suit is comfortable and helps you swim like a champion when it matters most.
For the experienced competitive swimmer who wants the “best of the best” when it comes to their tech suit, the Speedo LZR Pure Intent is one of the best tech suits on the pool deck for crushing it on race day.
In this review, we will look at the key things that make the Pure Intent stand out from the pack, a couple of things that we didn’t quite love, the best place to buy them, and much more.
Let’s dive right in.
Speedo LZR Pure Intent Tech Suit – What is it?
The Speedo LZR Pure Intent is the latest tech suit in the line of LZR racing suits from Speedo.
The LZR line made its first big breakthrough in 2008, when it was worn by 90% of the world record breakers that year, including Michael Phelps at the Beijing Games, where he won 8 gold medals.
The Pure Intent has the same shark-skin exterior as the original LZR, but the compression, materials, and fit have evolved since then to fall in line with FINA regulations and improved fabrics.
Released in 2019, the Pure Intent is available as a men’s jammer or a women’s kneeskin, with both open and closed backs.
Who is the Speedo LZR Pure Intent For?
The Pure Intent is not—as we will see—a racing suit for beginner or casual swimmers.
It’s Speedo’s top-of-the-line racing suit and the most expensive tech suit available.
The Pure Intent is also Speedo’s fastest suit and has the most compression compared to other tech suits on the market.
With two decades of technology and research behind it, a hefty price tag (up to $600 for the women’s kneeskin), and a who’s-who of international and Olympic champions wearing it, the Pure Intent is for experienced competitive swimmers who want speed and compression over all else.
Speedo LZR Pure Intent – The Pros
Alrighty, here are the things that I liked most about the suit:
1. Developed in conjunction with Olympic champions
Swimmers already know the value of the name Speedo, which is as ubiquitous to the sport as the smell of chlorine.
So it’s no surprise that the suit was tested with the help of over 300 (!!!) swimmers over the span of three years.
Swimmers included some very familiar names, including Caeleb Dressel, Emma McKeon, and Ryan Murphy, as well as age group swimmers, Masters swimmers, and swim coaches.
Speedo has developed a reputation for quality swim gear, and part of that brand is built on the fact that it’s tested and used by the fastest swimmers on the planet.
2. Fastest exterior shell of any tech suit
Speedo has been at this for a long time, making racing suits that are exceptionally fast.
One of the key reasons the LZR was so popular when it launched was the V-shaped ridges that mimicked shark skin on the suit. These small ridges produce small vortices that keep the water close to the surface of the suit,
The net result is the minimization of drag in the water. Add that to the hydrophobic properties of the fabric itself, and you’ve got a blisteringly fast swimsuit.
3. High waist or “regular” waist
For men and boys, the Pure Intent comes in either a high waist or a regular waist.
The high waist option is great for swimmers who don’t want their butt crack falling out the back of their suit (which also presents an opportunity for water to get into your swimsuit) and increases overall coverage.
4. Open back or closed back
For women and girls, the Pure Intent comes in either a closed back or open back, providing flexibility in terms of comfort.
Closed back kneeskins offer more compression and coverage, giving you more of that sweet, sweet hydrodynamic benefit of the fabric.
Closed-backs tend to be a little harder to get into, so there is a trade-off.
5. Comes in a backstroke edition
While there are plenty of tech suits for sprinters (tech suits benefit sprinters most in terms of performance) and tech suits for breaststrokers, there aren’t really any racing suits geared toward backstrokers.
The backstroke edition of the Pure Intent has all of the same space-science fabric and water-repelling materials of the original, but the taped bands (designed to help you stay buoyant and maintain power when kicking) are moved to the front of the suit.
The Pure Intent Backstroke Edition was designed with Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Ryan Murphy together with the space scientists (literally) at Aqualab, Speedo R&D center.
Fun Fact: Since their release in 2019, the Pure Intent (and Pure Valor) tech suits have been worn in over half the swimming world records set in that time.
6. Exceptionally comfortable
Having worn the Pure Intent on numerous occasions at Masters meets, I can vouch for the comfort of the suit.
It’s also lighter and less “stiff” compared to other racing suits that are designed for sprint and mid-distance swimmers.
Of course, a comfortable fit always comes down to properly sizing your tech suit.
- Fabric: 65% nylon, 35% Lycra spandex
- Priced from $399-599
- Closed back or open back
- Available in high and regular waists
- Sizes 20-30 for both men and women
- Six different color combinations
- FINA approved
Speedo LZR Pure Intent – What You Won’t Like
The price tag.
This was alluded to earlier in the article, and it’s going to be the biggest hurdle most swimmers will have when trying to decide whether this suit is right or not for them.
The Pure Intent is pricey.
The kneeskin version of the suit costs $599. The men’s jammer is $399 (or $430 for the Backstroke Edition), making them at the tail end of the price spectrum when it comes to tech suits.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly tech suit, this ain’t it.
What’s the Difference Between the Pure Intent and the Pure Valor?
The Pure Intent and Pure Valor are Speedo’s two premium racing suits.
The main differences is that the Pure Intent has more compression and has a very slightly “thicker” feel to it compared to the LZR Pure Valor, which is best suited for extended wear and is a lighter tech suit.
The Pure Valor is ideal for longer swimming (i.e. distance and mid-distance swimming).
Additionally, the pricing on the two suits varies considerably:
|Pure Intent (Backstroke Edition)||$430||—|
The Speedo Pure Intent is a comfortable and exceptionally fast tech suit.
If not the fastest racing suit on the market right now.
The suit fits comfortably, repels water like a boss, and provides excellent compression throughout the hips and glutes.
While the price point makes it a tough recommendation for most swimmers, particularly younger swimmers, the Pure Intent belongs in the arsenal of older and more serious competitive swimmers.
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