If you are fairly new to triathlons or are simply after some expert advice on triathlon bags, then you’re in the right place! It can often be overwhelming when preparing for a triathlon event because you need SO much stuff. And what do you even store it all in? We’ve got the ins and outs of tri-bags and which one will be best for you. Here we go:
What is a Tri Bag?
A tri-bag (or sometimes known as a transition pack) is a large bag or backpack that is designed specifically for the needs of triathletes competing in a triathlon. Although they are not a mandatory item for many triathlons, they are certainly an exceptionally useful piece of equipment for the event.
Not only do they help during the transition, they can also be very useful for when you need to lug your items to and from the event location.
Can I use any bag?
You could, of course, use any old gym bag, duffle bag or backpack if you wanted to, but in our opinion, it’s just not quite the same. A tri bag has all the compartments, space and storage facilities you need to be able to store all your triathlon essentials. And we know there is A LOT of essentials.
From water and fuel to bike shoes and sunglasses, you know you aren’t going to be packing light. If you are only going to be competitive or one or two triathlons then sure, grab any old bag, but if you plan on sticking to the sport, then a tri-bag will be just what you need to stay organized, prepared and professional.
What are the different types of Tri Bags?
Some tri bags look like big backpacks, whilst some look more like duffle bags. It’s important for you to try on the different bags on offer so that you can decide for yourself which one will work best for you on the day of your event.
What to look for in a Tri Bag?
When it comes time to start browsing for a new tri bag for your next event, there are a few key things to look out for to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck. These include:
– Helmet Strap/Area: Look out for a bag that has a strap or some kind of mechanism which will work to hang your bike helmet from. You don’t want to be wasting valuable storage space in the bag with a massive bulky helmet.
Instead, a bag that allows you to hang your helmet on the outside will be best. OR, some tri bags do have a specific area designed for your helmet to sit in, this would be good too. Just ensure that there is somewhere designed for the helmet.
– Compartments: Good tri bags will have separate compartments which are each dedicated to each of the phases of a triathlon. You will have one for your swimming gear, one for biking equipment, and one to keep your items for running.
There could even be a compartment for storing food and drink as well. It’s up to you how you organize your items, but having multiple sections will help to keep things neat and tidy, whilst also allowing you to grab the things you need efficiently and quickly.
– Swimming Section: As mentioned above, a good tri bag should have separate sections, and one of these sections needs to be waterproof. This is so that you can store your soaking wet wetsuit after your swim, without damaging items in other sections that are NOT waterproof.
You do not want to get to the end of the event and go to put on your nice warm, dry clothes, only to find them dripping wet and cold. Look out for a waterproof compartment!
– Easy to open: It is vital that you can get into your bag quickly and easily. You don’t want to waste your precious time struggling or fighting to get inside the bag to get to the items you need right then and there.
Make sure the bag is accessible via smooth zippers. It may even be worth practicing getting the items in and out of the bag as quickly as possible so that you know exactly how to approach it.
– Comfortable: You may need to carry your bag quite a way to the transition area before the start of the event and you don’t want to injure yourself or make your shoulders and arms uncomfortable or tired before the triathlon even begins.
That’s why it will be important to choose a bag that is gentle on your shoulders and back and sits in a comfortable position on your body. It is a good idea to try one out that is full of some weight to ensure you know it is going to work well for you.
5 Top for your next triathlon
So now we know what a tri bag is and what to look for when purchasing one, we’ve put together a list of our top 5 bags and why we think they are some of the best. Take a look and decide for yourself which one might work well for you.
1. TYR Transition Pack
The TYR Transition Pack will be a great choice if you are looking for a tri bag that is a little more affordable yet is still a good quality. Although it looks small and like a regular backpack at first glance, it really is so much more than that. It has several different compartments and pockets inside the bag which allows you to be able to neatly organize everything you may need.
It also has a helmet storage on the outside. It doesn’t have a specific waterproof section like many other tri bags, but it does have a hook or clip on the outside which you can attach a used wetsuit to prevent the items inside from getting wet.
It also has two mesh pockets on the outside, which are each able to store a pair of shoes. This bag would be a really great option for beginners or those who don’t want to spend a great deal on a tri bag.
2. Zoot Ultra Tri Bag 2.0
This tri bag from Zoot is great because it has pretty much everything you need. This includes a separate area for helmet storage, a waterproof area for wet clothing which is also fully removable (although keep it in, you will need it!), a zipper around the middle which is easy to maneuver, mesh pockets which allow you to see what items are where and it even has a built-in checklist to make sure you have absolutely everything you need on event day.
It also has a fleece lined pocket where you can store items such as sunglasses so that they don’t get scratched or damaged. The straps are cushioned which means it is comfortable to wear and carry.
3. Orca Transition Bag
The Transition Bag by Orca is another great choice. It has multiple storage areas including a waterproof compartment for wetsuits and dirty clothes or socks, as well as a place to store your helmet.
It has mesh pockets so that you can easily locate your items, and a lined pocket where you are able to store more valuable or fragile items such as sunglasses or electronics. It’s thick straps are comfortable on your shoulders. The straps can also be converted into one to make it a shoulder-carry bag if desired.
4. Amphipod Race-Lite Transition Pack
This tri bag is fantastic if you are looking for something that is lightweight and easy to carry. It is made with a soft canvas-feel material that protects and holds all the necessary triathlon essentials.
It has two spacious side pockets which are designed to hold a pair of shoes each, as well as a vented compartment which is fully drainable and should be used to store a wet wetsuit or sweaty clothes.
There is also a compartment for helmet storage and outer pockets with quick-zips where you can put nutrition and water bottles. It is comfortable to wear and has adjustable straps which ensure the bag is able to fit just right on you.
5. Blueseventy Large Transition Pack
This is a high-quality bag which is really easy to use, easy to carry and easy to access. It has a separate waterproof compartment designed for storing wet wetsuits and sweaty clothes, and it is conveniently located at the bottom of the bag so that it can drip dry without making the rest of the bag or items wet or damaged.
It has a specific area for your helmet which is expandable, as well as lots of other pockets inside the pack and on the sides to store your triathlon essential items. There is also a padded area which is where you can store items such as sunglasses, goggles or electronics so they do not get scratched or damaged at all.
The padding which is featured all across the bag as well as on the straps makes it really comfortable to wear and carry.
And the winner is…..the Zoot Ultra Tri Bag 2.0! We have chosen this bag as our favorite because it just seems to have everything you need in a bag for triathlons. Aside from having a helmet compartment, a waterproof section, extra pockets, and storage space, it is also easy to carry, easy to access and is comfortable to transport. It is lightweight whilst being spacious and made from high-quality materials!
The sections make it easy and simple to organize your items, and the mesh pockets make it quick and efficient for you to be able to grab what you need right there and then. We just can’t seem to fault it!