There was an interesting coincidence for me with this suit. It is the second ever Speedo racing suit I’ve owned, the last one I had was the Speedo Aquablade way back in the 90s, and on my first time wearing it I made the same 100m short course freestyle time as back then. Something I hadn’t done since then, although that’s probably due to me not entering it very often in short course galas.
The LZR Element is Speedo’s entry level suit for the LZR series. At 68% Polyamide (Nylon) and 32% Elastane (Lycra) this suit has a much better blend than a lot of its competitors at this level. It has stitched seams, which is typical of entry level suits, but parts of the inner lining are glued. It’s a pity that speedo didn’t simply glue all the seams instead of stitching them, it would have made a big difference to this suit.
The suit fits nicely, its high level of elastane makes it feel soft, light and flexible. The position of the seams and the inner lining help the suit to fit tightly. However, despite this tight fit, it doesn’t feel like it is giving as much compression as the higher end suits I’ve used or even as much as the Head Liquid power. While the leg openings aren’t the tightest I’ve experienced, I do feel like they could have been a little looser. Having said that this is only a minor complaint and it has never caused any problems when waiting for a race and was barely noticeable when lining up.
The suit is quite water repellent as you would expect for a racing suit. The flexibility mentioned earlier translates well and all four strokes can be done easily making this a good all-round suit and is now one of my staples for “regular” competitions when I wear entry level suits.
In terms of downsides: the waist of the suit turns slightly out and doesn’t fit flat against my stomach so the black silicone lining can be seen. This doesn’t appear to have affected its racing ability and didn’t result in it catching water on dives or turns. With a bit of manipulation, it can be flattened out to where little of the black lining is visible.
Overall this is a pretty solid suit for this level, for the right price you won’t go far wrong buying it.