Swimmers looking for that competitive advantage in the water should consider upgrading to jammers, popular for their performance-grade material and modest fit. Used in both indoor and outdoor competitions, jammers also make great practice and training suits.
Choosing the right pair should come down to how you plan to swim in them. For a suit that excels in both recreational and competition settings, the best jammers are the Nike Men's Hydrastrong Vex Colorblock Jammer.
Jammers are form-fitting swimsuits primarily used by competitive swimmers. The knee-length shorts look like cycling shorts and have similar compressive properties. They're worn by all ages for indoor and outdoor swimming.
Jammers are popular for their modest cut. Compared to briefs and square-cut shorts, they offer a little more coverage. This makes them the preferred swimwear of younger competition swimmers who might feel a little shy about wearing more revealing suits.
Another advantage of jammers is that they compress more of the body. This not only improves circulation and slows fatigue, but also reduces drag by making you sleeker and slipperier in the water.
Governing bodies in the world of swimming have regulations competitors must follow if they want to race. Whether you're swimming in a triathlon or a meet, there will be rules surrounding suit material and construction. Check with the organization that oversees your competition to verify that your suit qualifies before purchasing.
If you're not racing, but are training for future competitions, using an approved suit is an important way to prepare, but not strictly necessary, as race materials wear out quickly and cost more.
Swim jammers are made from synthetic materials that have water-repellent properties to enhance performance. Which you choose depends on your intended use and what level of comfort you're after.
Choosing the right size swimsuit depends on the material. Nylon and spandex are elastic and fit more or less true to size. Polyester is stiffer. You don't need to size up, but if you're on the cusp, you might want to consider bumping up a size if you plan to wear polyester.
Different brands have different sizing styles, so the best thing you can do is measure yourself and compare to the suit's size chart.
If you're looking to stand out in practice or at a meet, jammers come in a variety of colors, patterns and graphics for fun alternatives to the standard navy blue and black. Bright colors have the additional advantage of improving visibility for others if you're swimming in open water.
The cost of jammers depends on the material. Expect to pay between $15-$60.
A. You should replace your jammers when they start getting loose, as this creates drag. For frequent swimmers, expect to do this once or twice a year. Casual swimmers can get eight to 12 months of wear out of their jammers.
A. Swimmers have a nasty habit of rarely washing their suits. But staying on top of cleaning can extend the suit's lifespan and minimize the risk of fungal infection.
Like most competition swimwear, jammers should be hand-washed. If you're swimming in a chlorinated pool, immediately rinse your suit in the sink with cold water to remove as much of the chemical as possible. Then, hand-wash it with a small amount of detergent. Never put it in the dryer, as heat can cause shrinkage.
Nike Men's Hydrastrong Vex Colorblock Jammer
What you need to know: This is a premium pair of jammers that can be worn in practice or competition.
What you’ll love: Made from a polyester blend, these jammers have just enough elasticity from PBT to provide comfort without sacrificing performance. You have your choice of seven stripe colors on black suits to match your team's colors or preferences.
What you should consider: Some users found the leg opening a little loose.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods
Speedo Men's Swimsuit Jammer ProLT Solid
What you need to know: From a trusted brand in swimming, this budget pair of jammers is great for training and competition.
What you’ll love: Both chlorine- and UV-resistant, this swimsuit can be worn comfortably by indoor and outdoor swimmers alike. Despite their cost, these jammers are still polyester, though they contain a trace amount of spandex for fit.
What you should consider: Some users notice quality-control issues, as some suits last longer than others.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Nike Men's Victory Color Block Jammer
What you need to know: This is a good option for swimmers who like to hop in the water for exercise and low-level competition.
What you’ll love: Made from a nylon and Spandex blend, these jammers have an elastic waistband so you're comfortable for long swims. They're chlorine resistant and the spandex helps to retain their fit. You can choose among four colorways.
What you should consider: Competitive swimmers may want to go with a polyester blend instead of these.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods
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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.