Triathlon bags or transition bags, while not essential for race day are a must of you want to get to and from a race without stressing on whether you have everything you need to complete.
I spend a fair amount of hard-earned money on my tri gear. The last thing I want to happen is for it to end up all over the road.
That’s where a good triathlon transition bag comes in.
I spent far too long researching these so you don’t have to…
Yes, I know it seems odd but the reality is that you need somewhere to keep all your stuff on race day, and a properly kitted out bag is going to help reduce stress when you get to the start line.
Knowing you have everything you need and that it’s all readily available in its own compartment really does make a difference.
So which is the best and why:
Take a look below. We have picked out our best-sellers, the top of the line tri bag, and also a nice quality budget bag.
Our Best Selling Triathlon Transition Bag
The Blue Seventy Transition Bag is by far our most popular transition bag.
Most people who race triathlon will know Blue Seventy for their awesome wetsuits. They also make a superb triathlon transition bag.
This really is a great all-rounder and a bag that some of our racing team currently use.
Some of its cool features include a large insulated compartment at the bottom of the bag that will hold a wetsuit. A very handy elasticated pocket for your helmet.
Some fairly decent sized side pockets for drinks bottles and hydration, a multitude of internal zip pockets for your essentials like keys etc..
It sports a large opening for top loading of your kit and has plenty of room to hold everything you need on race day.
Top all of that off with very comfortable shoulder and waist straps to carry the bag around and you are on to a winner with the Blue Seventy Tri bag.
This bag has been around for a while now but still makes the cut when it comes to value quality and features. A very popular triathlon transition bag and top of our list.
Our Second Choice Triathlon Bag from Orca
Orca makes a fantastic tri bag that is jam packed with features you would expect to see from a brand like Orca.
The Orca bag has been built with every feature designed to suit a triathlete. There are pockets for literally everything you need on race day.
The is a very handy helmet pocket to protect your lid, special dry compartments for your wet gear, separate sections for dry gear and it even has lined sealed compartments for your electronics like phone and car keys.
One really great feature is the bright interior of the bag. Now, this may seem gimmicky but it’s really easy to find things in the bag because of the contrasting colors.
So let’s take a closer look at what we really like featurewise about this tri bag.
- It’s 100% polyester so it’s very hard wearing and easy to keep clean
- The helmet protector keeps you prize helmet safe and covered at all times
- It comes in at 70l storage capacity so plenty of room for all your gear. No more bring separate bags along to transition
- The carry straps are nice and padded and can be converted into a single carry strap so this bag can go everywhere with you
- It is a cool looking bag, comes with white reflective strips to keep you safe and the green liner makes finding things a breeze.
You can pick this bag up here and as we have stated, it really is a great hard wearing bag full of features
Our Top Choice | Best Quality Bag
The Gyst BP1-15 Triathlon Backpack claims the top spot in our review.
This really is a top class tri bag and carries all the features you would expect from Gyst.
It features the Gyst X-Changer system that allows you to get changed pretty much anywhere.
You can stand on a built-in transition mat that folds out from the bag, keeping your feet clean and dry while you change – essential when you are in a transition area and don’t have time for anything.
There is a multitude of pockets in this bag that can carry all of your triathlon or fitness gear, a wet compartment for your wetsuit or swimming gear and damp towels.
- This bag is unique, in that it transforms into a tri bag with a built-in transition mat
- It has a great selection of magnets, loops and hooks that allow for easy access to all the compartments
- A great feature of this bag is the dual access. This allows you to load the bag from either opening. Saves pulling everything out to get what you need
- Also, has a built-in drainage system to remove any excess water after use
- Made from water-repellent fabric with great size #10 zippers
The final bag on our list is the TYR Alliance Team II Backpack. This awesome bag from TYR really is the best value for money available today.
Full of top features that you would expect from TYR – A great brand in triathlon.
The TYR tri bag has a good-sized interior compartment that will hold all your swim gear or wet towels. It also sports a large dry compartment. This helps separate things out and keep you organized.
It comes with a goggle protector pocket, reinforced interior pockets and a handy pocket for your iPod or smartphone. Comes with good strong straps and has a padded back for extra comfort.
This really is a great bag considering the cost.
Also known as a triathlon duffle bag, triathlon gear bag, equipment bag, triathlon gym bag. (List goes on)
Put simply, though – you cannot underestimate the import role a good tri bag plays on race day. Everything on race day goes into your bag, except your bike and possibly your helmet, but there are bags that have clips for holding your helmet which comes in very handy.
My first day out I had three bags full of gear and more bits and pieces. What a disaster really.
There was stuff everywhere and I must have gone through each bag twenty times to make sure I had everything. I invested in a decent transition bag before the second race to avoid this happening again.
Modern design gives you multiple compartments and sections that allow you to split up each area of the race into separate spaces.
Very handy when you are going through your pre-race gear checklist and you know where to find everything. Saves the twenty check panic attacks…
We can provide customer reviews for Zoot, Zipp, Zeus, Blue Seventy, Desoto, Nike, Orca, TYR and more, so just reach out and ask us. If there is a particular bag you have in mind that is not on our list we will gladly take a look and give you our honest opinion via a review.
Features to look out for:
When you are on the hunt for a new tri bag there are some key features you should definitely look for.
As this is a multi-disciplinary sport you should try and get a tri bag with separate compartments for each discipline.
What do we mean by that?
When you are going to a race everything is nicely organised and more importantly dry!
If you can get a bag with a wetsuit compartment and somewhere waterproof to store your towel you will keep everything else in your bag from getting soaked.
I like to separate out my gear based on each section of the race.
I keep all my swimming gear together in one section. There is a dedicated section for my tri suit and running gear – including my runners, and finally somewhere for my helmet and visor.
That way when I get to the transition area I can easily grab each set of gear and lay it out. Nice and calm with no panic…
Some of the best triathlon bags on the market are designed this way and one particular feature I like is the ability to strap my helmet onto my bag out of the way. Just remember to put in on once you enter the transition area or you risk being disqualified before you even get started.
Look for something with a bit of padding around the straps and the back area. We tend to carry quite a bit of kit in our packs and you don’t want to strain or injure yourself – at least until after you cross the finish line.
I also like to keep all my race nutrition separate from my gear just in case any of my gels or fluids leaks. This can be a bit of a nightmare as everything gets sticky and uncomfortable.
Some modern racing bags have an array of side pockets for storing kit and these can be great for things like swimming goggles, swimming hats and even your tri sunglasses.
You bring a lot of gear with you on race day so keep it organised and you will be one happy racer.
You get my point… So make sure you have a system or checklist for your tri bag and tick everything off well in advance. Hop in the car on race day with peace of mind
Essentials for your Tri Bag
When it gets closer to race day it always pays to be organised. There is enough happening on the day without you having to worry about whether you packed everything you need.
Did I remember my goggles?
Are my shoes packed?
1. Bike Helmet
Yep, I’ve seen this many times before. People rock up on race day and have forgotten their helmet. Rules now dictate that you can’t even get into the transition area without your helmet firmly attached to your head, so if you forgot yours then you are out before you even start.
Some of the specialised tri bags have specific compartments for your helmet or straps on the top or front of the backpack when you can clip on your helmet.
If you are using one of the really fancy Triathlon TT helmets then chances are it comes with its own bag or box so just clip that onto your bag strap somewhere anyway.
2. Bike Shoes
I like to pre-clip my shoes onto the pedals before I leave transition and hold them in place with a few elastic bands so they don’t flop about in the run-up to the bike starting point. But what happens if you forget your shoes. Have you ever tried to cycle a bike with normal runners and clip on pedals – yes it works but you ain’t going to be hitting any personal bests on the day.
Some more modern bags have special zippered areas or netting for your shoes so make sure you have them packed before you go.
3. Swimming Gear – Wetsuit / Hat / Goggles / Towel
I have a bag that has separate areas for each part of my race and that really helps keep me organised. Make sure to pack yours before you leave the house on race day.
You can live without a swimming hat because at most races you are given a colour coded hat so the marshalls know what wave or race you are competing in and can direct you easily.
You can also do without Goggles if you are really stuck but I would not recommend it. I always have two pairs packed just in case a) I lose a pair or b) I break the elastic band. Also, make sure to throw in the anti-fog spray if required so you can see where you are going
Most important of the lot when it comes to swimming, is your wetsuit. Now in some races, you are allowed in the water without one but why not have it on anyway to help you with buoyancy and streamlining in the water. Use the advantage where you can.
Look for a bag that has a wetsuit compartment included because while the wetsuit is dry going on, it’s going to be soaking when it comes off and you don’t want to mess up the rest of your gear if you don’t have to.
Always pack a towel. This comes in extra handy after you enter T1 and get changed into your bike gear. Try pulling tight socks onto wet feet when you are in a rush and you will understand. It only takes a few seconds to dry your feet but it’s totally worth it.
Plus you can fold it beside your bike and put the rest of your kit on it to set out your stall in the transition area…
4. Tri Suit / Runners and socks
Chances are you will already be wearing this when you leave the house because a lot of people are that prepared. If this is not your case then make sure it is in your bag. It’s extremely hard to cycle and then run a race in a wetsuit – apart from the looks and laughter it’s not going to help your times in any way…
I have churned through many different types of tri suits over the years but they will never get used if you forget to bring them with you!
Believe it or not but quite a few athletes forget their runners. You would think they would be already wearing then on the day but that is not always the case. Make sure they are packed and stick a spare pair of socks into the bag just in case.
5. Hydration / Gels / Fluids
Hydration is critical to your performance so make sure to keep an eye on this at all times. I have a bottle on my bike at all times but will often have a spare bottle with me – depending on heat conditions etc.
Not so important for short Sprint type races but for anything longer you will be using Gels or nutritional bars/chews of some description as you race. Check out our review of the best triathlon gels here. Yes, there will be vendors there on the day in case you are stuck but we don’t recommend taking anything different than the norm on race day just in case it upsets your stomach or gives you cramps. The time for experimenting is when you are training only.
As you can see there are many features you would expect in a decent triathlon equipment bag.
We have tried to take a look at some of the best bags on the market from an inexpensive triathlon training bag right up to the triathlon elite bag and give you an overview as part of this review so you know what to look for.
If you don’t find what you are looking for today then why not subscribe to our site for relevant updates or check back in again another day.
We hope you like our review and thanks for stopping by.
If you are just getting into Triathlon then why not take a look at the history of the sport and see where it came from. It’s a great read. You can check it out here.
Another thing you should definitely check out is the following video on how to pack you tri bag correctly. This clip is loaded with great tips
Thanks for visiting and happy racing.
Sprint Distance Triathlete. Swim, Bike, Run, Fitness. IronMan is on the cards for 2018. Love the tech behind triathlon equipment and spend far too much time testing everything out so you don’t have to!!