Love my lava pants! I’ve used them a ton in the pool (much better option than a pull buoy) as well as open water. I chose to use them for Boulder last year and they worked great to help ensure no added stress on my shoulders. Plus my transition time was super fast because I didn’t have to work so hard to get my traditional wet suit off. 🙂
If you do use them in the pool, make sure to rinse them off after each use.
I’ve worn them in a few races from Olympic to half distance, in situations where the water temperature was pushing the upper end of the wetsuit legal cutoff (though still wetsuit legal). I liked having the complete freedom of movement in the upper body/shoulders while still enjoying the buoyancy at the hips to support a streamlined position and more efficient kick. And I’ve never had faster transitions.