arena’s Carbon Duo Sends Women Racers a Bold New Message: No More Compromise

Courtesy: arena, a SwimSwam partner. 

Global sportswear brand arena has once again extended its track record of creative innovation with the launch of the Powerskin Carbon Duo, a new high-end racing suit designed exclusively for women. The first of its kind, the Carbon Duo employs an advanced, patent-pending system that combines separate top and bottom pieces to deliver customizable fit for the upper and lower body. The result is a high-performance suit with multiple sizing options, greater comfort, optimum compression for different parts of the body, and a better range of motion. Not least, it’s designed with characteristic Italian style.

The Carbon Duo grew out of arena’s recognition that the female figure comes in many different shapes and sizes. Upper and lower body proportions differ from one swimmer to another, thus requiring different upper and lower body compression levels to feel 100% comfortable and optimize performance. However, the “one-size fits all” designs of one-piece suits cannot cater to every body shape or swimmer’s preference, and as a result women frequently need to compromise on either fit or compression.

With the Carbon Duo, the top and bottom parts of the suit can be mixed and matched according to the swimmer’s body shape, which means that the athlete no longer needs to compromise on compression, comfort, or size – they can simply choose their preferred size on the top or bottom to customize the fit that best meets their needs. Women can also mix-and-match top and bottom colors for a truly personalized look and feel.


The Carbon Duo combines arena’s trademark high performance with different compression levels by using two different fabrics for the top and bottom parts of the suit. The bottom utilizes arena’s proprietary fabric with a carbon cage for high compression in key areas, providing better core support and hip positioning in the water. In contrast, the top’s extremely lightweight fabric allows maximum freedom of movement, while its horizontal carbon bands deliver a lighter compression that feels snug without compromising the swimmer’s ability to breathe comfortably. In addition, the internal lining is designed with two separate lightweight panels to provide greater flexibility.

An added advantage of the Carbon Duo’s two-piece design is that it is faster and easier to put on than a one-piece suit. The athlete first puts on the bottom piece, and the top then slides quickly and easily over the bottom. The two pieces fit together cleanly and snugly, giving it the look and feel of a single suit.

In the water, the two pieces combine as a single system. There is less pressure on the shoulders and upper body, and with the top’s light flexible fabric, the swimmer has full range of motion. During bends and flexes, the system moves with the athlete like a joint, its two parts sliding smoothly over each other.

Over the course of several test sessions conducted during the development process, the swimsuit received enthusiastic feedback from arena’s elite athletes on all fronts: performance, fit and comfort.


With 49 different sizing combinations, the swimmer has plenty of options to find the perfect fit for their body shape. And by sizing up or down on the bottom piece, they can adjust compression to suit their own personal preference. This also means that the top and bottom pieces can be replaced separately, a particularly useful feature for teenagers as their figures change over time.

The ability to mix and match colors also makes the swimmer stand out as a unique individual. The top comes in three colors (black, jester red, peacock pink), as does the bottom (black, army green and princess blue), which means there are nine different color combinations to personalize the athlete’s look according to their taste.

The Carbon Duo is approved by FINA when the top and bottom are worn together, with the FINA approval code appearing on both pieces. The two pieces are priced at €200/$250 each.


Among those involved in the development of the Carbon Duo, Iron Lady Katinka Hosszú of Hungary sees the Carbon Duo as an idea whose time has come, a sentiment that’s reinforced through her experiences with the Iron Swim Budapest club, which she launched in 2018. Built around her philosophy to always strive to be better, Iron Swim Budapest’s primary aim is to help competitors, sports and swim lovers through unique training methods and mental preparation, and to benefit from the program not only in the world of swimming but outside of the pool as well.

“Having been swimming for over 25 years, I know the changes a young woman’s body goes through,” said the three-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time World champion. “It’s not only tough to deal with as a growing woman, it’s also difficult in the pool, because the body’s going through constant changes. So having options to tailor your swimsuit to your body’s developing needs is a great luxury, both for our young female swimmers and masters women, too, because there’s just never been anything available until the Carbon Duo. It’s the perfect customizable solution for every aspiring female racer.”

Fellow arena-sponsored swimmer and ambassador, Sarah Sjöström of Sweden, is also a supporter: “I remember as a young swimmer growing up how hard it was to find the perfect suit to fit me. It seems I always had to compromise, whether it was fit, comfort or compression,” said the triple Olympic medalist and seven-time world champion. “But Carbon Duo changes all of that, for young, growing swimmers today it’s ideal, they don’t have to compromise. I wish the Carbon Duo had been around when I was a teenager,” she finished with a smile.

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