The Rival 2.0 has several key improvements that have made its fabric one of the best on the market today. The improved compression throughout the suit, especially in the chest, was something I was really hoping to see differently from last year’s Rival and the FINIS product folks hit the mark there.
Julie Stupp: The FINIS Rival 2.0 fit me extremely well due to a combination of the seams and the thick durable fabric that stays put. This suit takes over 20 minutes to put on and it’s probably the biggest critique, but once it is in place it feels really good and is worth the effort. The FINIS Rival 2.0 has a high neck and long leg cut that ensures the most amount of skin is covered with fabric as possible. The thin shoulder straps are great on deck because they don’t dig into your muscles, but are super tough to get on and off by yourself. You will definitely need a friend to help you in the locker room. Overall, the fit-testing that FINIS performed paid off because this suit fit my body type perfectly and will most certainly fit the masses as well.
Ali DeLoof: The Finis Rival 2.0 fit well when I put this suit on. I loved the double-layer fabric for a good feel of compression in the suit throughout the chest, core, hips and legs of the suit. When putting it on the first time, I found it tight to pull over my hips as any racing suit should feel and then I just had to ask for help putting on the straps and they were too tight to put on myself. After I received help for the straps they did not feel extremely tight on my shoulders and I was happy to know this. I think that because I am a smaller chested female athlete that I probably could go down a size for this suit because I did feel like it felt comfortable without being too restrictive. I also like when my suits are a bit tighter on me. Overall, the size and fit of this suit was very comfortable and with the double layer fabric felt compressive enough in the water while I was swimming.
Julie Stupp: The Rival 2.0 features a “Shield Tech Fabric” to improve the suits durability and use over time. This suit is ultra-durable yet has multi-directional stretch due to the fabric’s specific weave pattern. The Shield Tech material also allows for a small amount of water to stay on the surface of the suit, helping you to slip through the water easier with less resistance. After all the testing, I found this to be the most durable fabric of all of the 2019 tech suits.
Ali DeLoof: The material of the FINIS Rival 2.0 is a “Shield Tech Fabric” weave method that is designed to make the suit tough and flexible. When designing the suit, FINIS wanted swimmers to feel confident when putting on the suit to know that they wouldn’t have to worry about it ripping. I noticed just holding the suit and feeling the fabric that it was a tough suit and I was not really worried it was going to rip. It was flexible enough and tight enough to put on. The fabric is designed to retain a small amount of water on the surface of it. FINIS says their research shows that that when you have water gliding on the surface of the fabric, it is faster in the water rather than the suit directly rubbing against the water. The fabric is multi-directional stretch so it stretches in many ways and designed for flexibility. I really liked the fabric because it felt tough, while also being flexible and comfortable to wear. There are many seams throughout the suit that create core compression around the ribs and chest. The seams on the back help roll your hamstrings and engage your quads to help create lift for your hips and ultimately give you a better body position in the water. I noticed that FINIS took the time to pay attention to many of the details in compression, core stability and help improve lift in body position in the water.
Julie Stupp: The Rival 2.0’s inner structure is what made me feel super-fast and locked in, in the water. The dual layering and seam design not only dramatically improved the suits overall compression but helped me to feel like I was floating on top of the water. The Rival 2.0 features several seams across the core and hips and inner seams throughout the suit as well, these combined created the perfect amount of compression. The single layer of material found on the inner thighs helped me to feel flexible on the starts, turns and especially while swimming breaststroke making this a great suit for IMer’s as well as sprinters. My hips were definitely lifted and the Rival 2.0 didn’t lose any of its form or compression after multiple wear tests, this suit is durable!
Ali DeLoof: Overall performance of the FINIS Rival 2.0 was very good. I liked hearing that comfort was a big factor in the design, while thinking about ways to enhance core and chest compression. When I tested the suit, I first tried pushing off the wall and gliding in streamline. There was a bit of water that felt like it parachuted as I pushed off the wall, but I think that would have been solved with a smaller size because my chest is a bit smaller. I was able to move through the water comfortably testing out all the strokes. It was very interesting to feel the lift in my hips on the surface of the water, as I was swimming freestyle. If you are looking for a suit that is durable with a good combo of flexible, comfortable, and compression this is a good all-around choice.
- Fit — 5
- Looks/Design — 4.5
- Comfort/Ease to Put on — 3.5
- Materials/Fabric — 5
- Compression — 4.5
- Performance — 5
FINIS RIVAL 2.0 MALE JAMMER
- $399.99 (Coming in March)
- Size 28 – Mark & Giles
FINIS has made some great strides in the last few years on its racing suits. For the Rival 2.0, FINIS worked hard with Anthony Ervin, Olivia Smoliga, James Guy and other athletes to focus on the best design features to put into this suit. After speaking with FINIS representatives, they highlighted that they went through many feedback and fit sessions before finalizing the Rival 2.0. For anyone that wore the original FINIS Rival, the main difference for the 2.0 version is the improvement in the placement of the seams and taping.
Mark Gangloff: I would say that this size 28 fits true to size. Putting the suit on was a little difficult the first time, which is typical. Subsequent times putting the suit on was much easier. This suit hit me right above the knee and I was able to pull it up above my hips, which I like. This is not the highest waisted suit of the review, but if you like a high waisted suit you will like this one. FINIS highlights that in this suit every seam has a purpose. They added seaming on the back of the legs giving it additional compression and lift. After wearing this, I would agree the seams did their job. My hips felt high and my butt and hamstrings felt compressed. The front and inside of the thigh are comprised of just a single fabric, which is comfortable and allows for a good range of motion especially when doing breaststroke kick.
Giles Smith: Prior to trying on the Rival 2.0, I haven’t had much experience racing in a FINIS tech suit. However, once I slipped it on, I immediately noticed that it is very compressive in the front of the legs, as well in the back of legs with its double layers. It is a very high-quality made suit and the double layers on the back of the suit was something that I really liked about the fit. When I was first putting on the Rival 2.0, I thought that it wouldn’t properly fit my leg as the leg holes were a little too tight for my body, but the movable fabric was able to easily stretch to fit my thighs and hips comfortably while still maintaining a compressive skin tight feel. For me, I found the elastic that is near the bottom of the quads a little too tight if I had to stay in the suit for a long period of time due to the width of my thighs being relatively large. This might not be an issue for another swimmer depending on how the elastic fits their thighs, but a solution might be to go up a size or roll over the elastic between races.
Mark Gangloff: This suit is made of 44% Elastane, 41% Polyamide, 15% Polyester. This fabric is put together in a weaving method that is ‘multi-stretch’ (stretching in all directions). This gives the suit good compression. Additionally, it allows the fabric to be very tough. I was able to pull on this material very hard and I never felt like this fabric or seams were going to rip. This helped give me a lot of peace of mind because if I were racing that day, I could trust that I would not rip my suit.
Giles Smith: The Rival 2.0 is thick but lightweight, and features shield tech fabric, which allows the suit to be able to stretch to fit the athlete, while also giving a tight compressive fit near the hips. The back of suit has two layers which adds to the ability of this suit to keep an athlete’s hamstrings and glutes sitting high in the water. Around the core, the elastic that is near the top of the jammer really keeps my core locked in, which feels great while I was swimming butterfly, backstroke and freestyle.
Mark Gangloff: After initially putting this suit on, I thought it was a good suit but the second trial for me was better. It is typical for a suit to fit better the second time and this was true for this suit. I felt like it molded well to my body and moved with it as I move through all the strokes. Bottom Line: any athlete looking for high performance can trust this suit. You can tell FINIS has put some serious R&D into this suit, which may be why the price tag is so high.
Giles Smith: I felt fast when I did a few race pace turns as the suit feels very compressive, but also moves with the body without restricting range of motion in all of the strokes. Overall, FINIS has put on emphasis on compression when creating the Rival 2.0, which I highly value when selecting a tech suit to race in at the highest level. The suit is very compressive yet mobile and when racing, gives me the feeling of high body position in the water. The suit performed well in my testing and the texture of the suit made me feel like I was able to cut through the water.
- Fit — 5
- Looks/Design — 4.5
- Comfort/Ease to Put on — 4
- Materials/Fabric — 4
- Compression — 4.5
- Performance — 4.5