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Orca Core Tri Pant Review

Looking for a pair of tri shorts with a bit more coverage, with a comfortable pad, and has pockets?  You should consider the Orca Core Tri Pant.

It features a 6mm thick pad that provides ample coverage and support while on the bike, but not so big that it’d interfere with you on the run.  On the back is center pocket for storing personal items, such as additional nutrition, keys or an ID.  As for the inseam length, it’s 8.26 inches.

Other features of the short is that it has  reflective trim for lower light conditions, hydroseal leg hems, and a rubber waistband/internal draw cord.

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Orca Alpha Review

My first impression on the Alpha is that it’s another flagship wetsuit from a quality manufacturer, and it is. What I’ve discovered is that reviews or outside industry impressions are scarce and far-between for the Alpha and that the majority of the copy on the internet comes straight from Orca’s marketing department. Allow me to fill in the blanks.

You can expect the standard top of the line qualities from the Alpha: 40 cell Yamamoto, Nano SCS coating, quick out ankles etc. These are all features that have become commonplace most of the uncommon top tiered suits but what sets the Alpha apart from the rest of the pack are three key features.

  1. The Alpha’s shoulders are ridiculously thin. 1.5mm thin to be exact. The idea is that you want a balance between form and function and the 1.5mm thickness gives your body the range of motion needed for your swim stroke without sacrificing buoyancy.
  2. Instead of simply adding a gripper or pattern for the catch panel the Alpha instead features a 3mm thick contoured catch panel, branded as “AquaTread”. The added thickness layered on the super thin 1.5mm shoulders/arms gives the suit just a bit more buoyancy positioned in the perfect place
  3. “Aerodome” 5mm neoprene.  Orca took a 5mm cut of it’s 40cell Yamamoto neoprene, put a bunch of holes in it and then sealed it. The holes increase the buoyancy of the paneled areas by 30%, trapping air and using it to keep your tired rear afloat.

After looking over the suit I can’t wait to take it out for a test swim and as far as flagship wetsuits go, the Alpha is now at the top of my list.

Orca Core Sport Pant Review

My cousin came to me about a week before his first tri, “what do I need to get?”

There’s certainly joy in helping someone new with triathlon, but these are daunting because there’s so much to talk them through, if they absolutely have no triathlon gear.

The first thing I tell anyone is that they need a tri short.  I told him to get the Orca Core Sport Pant.

This short is excellent for newbies because it has exceptional value and features all the essential triathlon specific short properties – quick drying, has a lighter pad (compared with a bike short), and is made to be worn underneath a wetsuit.  The added bonus about this short is that because it’s relatively inexpensive, it’s great for use in brick workouts.

This is good, because I’m tired of hearing a triathlete friend telling me that he still uses board shorts to swim in the pool.

Click here to see more Orca tri shorts.

Orca Core Tri Shorts

At the core any training plan, race, and just about any endurance event is the triathlete’s comfort level when it comes to physical exertion.  Being that triathlon is grueling enough, your apparel shouldn’t add any stress when you’re in movement.  The Orca Core Tri Pant is an example of an item that aligns with this notion.
What’s special about this short is that the pad is a hybrid chamois that’s 6mm thick, giving you the extra padding and comfort while you’re on the bike, but is balanced enough to where it wouldn’t be disruptive on the run.  The short has an 8″ in inseam length, making it modest on leg coverage.  Tri Shorts usually range from 6″ to 9″ inches as noted in this tri short comparison chart.

The short has an internal drawcord, so there shouldn’t be any crazy issue with the washing machine pulling any string out of the short.

Two pockets for gels, IDs, cards, and the like.

You’ll find its companion tri top, the Orca Core Tri Tank, stylish and cool as well.  You can find this short and others like it here: tri shorts.

Orca Equip Review

Intro

Moderately priced at $299, the Orca Equip Wetsuit is an excellent choice for what is considered in its price point, a mid-tier triathlon wetsuit.

Specs

With SCS coating throughout the majority of the Orca Equip wetsuit, its composition is 39 cell Yamamoto neoprene.  At the torso, chest and and arms, the thickness is 2mm.  Varying neoprene thickness throughout the suit is important, as less neoprene is needed in certain areas, notably the arms.  You’ll likely want the flexibility and range of motion there.

Throughout the lower back and torso, 3-5mm neoprene panels are used throughout the suit for buoyancy.  This is important, many swimmers, eh hem, triathletes tend to sink their lower half of the body while they swim.

Insights

The one insight I would impart is the fact that the Equip, like other Orca wetsuits, have a “performance” fit to them.  Because many of us don’t have the luxury to try on wetsuits before buying them, this bit of information might be important.  When you fall in between sizes, it’s not a bad idea to select a size up when making the purchase.  From my experience fitting people, and back when I took a lot of customer service calls, this was often the case with these types of suits.

Conclusion

The Orca Equip is a good buy.  My person philosophy with triathlon wetsuits is that because they’re thrashed at races, and heavily used in training, I don’t intend them to last often more than two years.  Because this is a suit with all the key intermediate features, at this price point it’s a no brainer.  But if you’re able to afford it, and are in the market for higher end  Orca Wetsuits, a Sonar, 3.8, and Alpha is something worth looking into.

If you are just getting started and want a list of all reputable triathlon wetsuits just click on this link: triathlon wetsuits. Best of luck with your training, races, and wetsuit search.

Orca S3 Wetsuit Review

Out of any entry-level wetsuit that I help fit customers into in our shop, the Orca S3 tends to be the top choice. With the price alone drawing customers in at a low $198, the fit of the suit becomes a larger deciding factor. Many suits out there on the market come with a “performance-type fit”. Ask any woman (or man for that matter) that don’t seem to fall into one of the charted categories, or with a simply curvier figure, and they’ll tell you that most suits just don’t fit right. Orca Wetsuits, however, tends to fit varying body types.

Beginners, or those newly stepping into the neoprene as a swimmer, will benefit from the quality of materials found in the S3, of which are often only found in mid-range wetsuits. The suit features 5mm in the core which aids in additional buoyancy as well as balance. It’s also designed with a 2mm Quadrastretch shoulder panel as well as 2mm QuadraFlex underarm panel help to aid in maximizing your range of motion while leaving your upper body feeling not too constrained (which tends to be a much heard complaint from triathletes).

Additional reasons this suit is a top seller:

• Full Smoothskin neoprene coverage across shoulders
• Excellent levels of buoyancy, flexibility and thermal protection
• [Lining] [Rest of body] Powerstretch
• Hydrolift Body Panel
• Hydrostroke Forearm Panels (Increases power in catch phase of stroke)
• Speed Transition Panels
• Flexiseal Neck (Tight enough to keep water out and not feel suffocating)

If you’re new to triathlon wetsuit world, and looking at your options, this is a suit that’s certainly worth another look. Price, fit, and flexibility. All three things that triathletes are concerned with. The Orca S3 boasts all three, and at first glance, would never appear in a class of entry-level.

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