Looking to pick yourself up a new jammer? Here is a full breakdown and set of reviews on the most popular swim jammers on the market.
The meters have been completed. You crushed all the early morning workouts. You’ve been preparing for this meet all season long
There is just one last detail to clean up before you get up on the blocks: Picking out a sweet, sweet new jammer to race in and donkey kick your personal best times.
In this set of reviews of men’s racing suits, we cover all of the popular racing jammers, from TYR, Speedo, to the GOAT’s line of suits.
Let’s do this!
1. Arena Powerskin Carbon Air Jammer
I’ve become a huge fan of Arena swim gear products over the past couple years.
Whether it’s my mesh bag (a custom Auburn Swimming bag which gets lots of questions deck-side), my drag suit, or my racing suit, Arena is kind of my jam these days. The Carbon racing suits fit great and have been surprisingly resilient with marginal amounts of care.
The Arena Powerskin Carbon Air Jammer is the latest in the series of the “Carbon” suits (after the Arena Carbon Pro and the Carbon Flex). The Carbon Air is lighter than previous editions in the Carbon series. Just how much lighter? According to Arena, the Air packs 30% less weight.
One of the neater things about the Carbon Air (and the Carbon series in general), is that the racing suits provide compression that target specific muscle areas instead of providing general muscle compression. This means you get the benefits of compression without loss of range of motion. Booyeah.
- Looking for swim jammers for training and lap swimming? Check out my list of the best swim jammers for practice here.
2. Speedo LZR Racer X Jammer
Speedo has long been the dominant player on the swimwear scene. They are so ubiquitous that swimming briefs are generally regarded simply as “Speedos.”
They are like the Nike of swim gear, having a large number of the top swimmers in the world, both past and present, under sponsorship. Swimmers like Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Florent Manaudou and many more have all worn the Speedo logo in competition.
The Speedo LZR Racer X Jammer is their flagship men’s jammer. It’s simple aesthetic masks a complex and rich design history, that includes thousands of hours of testing with over 300 of the top swimmers in the world in Speedo’s testing lab, fittingly called Aqualab.
The LZR Racer X is made up of 35% Spandex (which helps to stretch the suit around the nooks and crannies of our body), and 65% nylon, which is more water-resistant compared to other swimsuit materials such as polyester (which you would almost certainly find in your training or drag suit).
The suits stretch vertically (so don’t try to pull the suit horizontally while sliding into it) in order to give swimmers a better range of motion, while the limited horizontal stretch is there to provide compression of the leg muscles.
There are a wide variety of color options for the Speedo LZR Racer X Jammer, from your subtle black to the in-your-face neon, energy green. This suit, for all its testing and popularity, also ranks as the most expensive suit on this list, retailing for over $300.
3. Michael Phelps MP Xpresso Jammer
I am not terribly sure what “Xpresso” and your men’s tech suit have in common, but who cares—this suit was worn was by Michael Phelps over the course of his swan song Olympics in 2016. The guy has been long overdue for his own line of swim gear, including Michael Phelps MP goggles, and the Xpresso suits are his signature line of jammers.
Like most tech suits, the Michael Phelps MP Xpresso comes with a fancy set of keywords and terms that don’t really make all that much sense, but sound pretty cool.
Things like: “Exo-foil 3D fabric” (seriously, I didn’t make that up), and “Aqua core” that apparently provides better compression. The compression is paneled along the femoral artery, which is designed to help deliver blood quickly to your oxygen-thirsty lower legs and feet.
Other features of the suit leg grips at the bottom of the suit to (1) help you pull the suit on without having to rip on the delicate fabric, and (2) keep your suit from slipping around once you tuck the silicone grips under the top of the suit.
The suits come in a couple different color combos. You will likely recognize the first one from the Olympics, as well as the special edition Team USA jammer as well.
4. TYR Avictor Jammers
Need a bright racing suit in your life? Want to spice up your jammer with all of the colors and get all the high performance benefits that come with a FINA-approved tech suit?
The TYR Avictor Jammer, which comes in a flat black and then a series of colors that look like a Crayola box barfed all over the prints, are TYR’s highest grade racing suits. Made with “Hydrosphere Technology” they are advertised to help better position your body in the water, minimizing drag and giving speed a boost.
The suits are made with 30% spandex, and 70% nylon, which means that they should last marginally longer than the Speedo LZR Racer X with proper care (you do take care of your jammer….right?).
Good news for the big fellas (present company included): the TYR Avictor suits come in a 36” waist size, something that very few tech suit producers do. Must be the whole “swimmers are lean as a bean pole” thing. Pfft.
Anyhoo. Here’s what they look like. Fortunately, for those of you who would prefer not to call attention to themselves, there is also the more discreet all-black version (usually significantly cheaper as well).
TYR Avictor Omaha Nights Jammer
TYR Avictor Prelude Jammer
5. Nike NG-1 Jammer
Nike, in case you live under a rock, is one of the most popular sportswear companies on the planet. Their foray into swimwear was more aggressive in the 1990s and 2000s, and while they don’t have quite the same influence as they did then (or as they do in other sports), they still produce a high-end jammer.
The Nike NG-1 jammer is constructed with fully bonded seam lines to create a seamless exterior of the suit, reducing drag over the surface of the jammer.
This FINA-approved suit actually has two layers of water-resistant material. The exterior layer, a little thicker then the interior layer, compresses around the muscles of the swimmer, while the interior layer helps the suit flex and move across the skin of the athlete, giving a superior fit.
This one-two punch of layers grants the swimmer a really good range of motion, making the suit particularly ideal for breaststrokers.
More Stuff Like This:
10 Tips for Making Your Tech Suit Last. So you’ve gone ahead and made the investment–now here is how you make that investment last.
Tech Suits: The Swimmer’s Ultimate Guide to Racing Suits. Everything you ever wanted to know about racing suits for competitive swimmers, from it’s controversial history to what current swim stars are wearing.
Swim Gear Review: The Arena Carbon Pro Jammer. Looking for a jammer that will power your sprint performances? Learn how the Pro is the suit for you.