When it comes to entering your first triathlon, you don't need to pack it all into a tiny Speedo or pull on full body armor to go swimming. Instead, a comfortable, lightly padded pair of tri shorts like the Select Tri Short from Pearl Izumi is perfect both to train and race in the water, on the bike, and running.
For our tests, the shorts met all of our comfort requirements with light padding, a handy little pocket (for an energy gel), and quality construction that held up for more than a month of thrice-weekly laps in the pool. And, out in the open water, we wouldn't hesitate throwing them on for our next race. [$65; pearlizumi.com]