Do yourself a favor, get a triathlon gear bag.
Things go so much smoother if you can transport your triathlon gear in a bag specifically designed for that purpose.
A newbie may think of this as a “luxury” — until they leave behind or lose an important gear item on race day as a result of a sloppy pack and travel plan.
There is a tremendous amount of gear you have to pack and carry to a triathlon.
With the exception of your bike and the few items stored in your saddle bag, all the rest of the stuff has to be packed in something.
You could cram everything into 2 or 3 different bags, wondering if you missed anything, and forgetting what gear is in which bag OR you could purchase a triathlon gear bag that sorts it out for you.
Why A Tri Gear Bag?
Here’s the beauty of a triathlon gear bag:
- running shoes in one end pocket
- cycling shoes in the other
- cycling and running clothes in the main compartment
- helmet and gloves in the top pocket made especially for helmets
- 2 water bottles and arm-warmers and socks in the water bottle pockets
- your Garmin GPS and other assorted small items in some very well designed inner pockets
- and top it off with the floor pump fastened to the straps on one of the handles
Sounds nice, huh?
5 Big Advantages Of Having A Triathlon Gear Bag
1. The bag serves as a checklist reminder — each pocket is designed for your various gear items. Empty pockets mean you’ve overlooked something. Every triathlete wants to know they have all their stuff, and exactly where it is. With a triathlon gear bag there’s no mystery. It adds to a peaceful state of mind on race day.
2. Easy access to your gear is a big advantage; no waste of time fishing around in multiple bags trying to hunt an item. You can locate whatever you want in a matter of seconds. That’s the kind of thing that makes transitions faster.
3. There are so many things to contend with on race day. Lugging several bags along with your bike to set up your transition area, or gathering up all your stuff after the race doesn’t have to be a big hassle. Many triathlon gear bags are backpack style — pack it up, slip it on, and you’re off. Great for keeping your hands free while you drag your bike from your car to the transition area or vice versa. Easy enough!
4. Triathlon gear bags give off the appearance that you know what you’re doing. Why not?! Whether it’s your 1st or 50th triathlon, you are a triathlete — you don’t need a gym bag. What you need is a tri bag!
5. Virtually every triathlete says that the benefit far outweighs the cost of a good triathlon gear bag.
The Best Triathlon Gear Bags
There are many different styles of triathlon gear bags to choose from. What follows are some of the most popular brands of triathlon gear bags that receive good reviews from the triathletes that use them:
Rocket Science Sports
Rocket Science Sports offer 3 backpack style triathlon bags:
Here is a detailed review of the Rocket Science Sports triathlon bag.
Most people associate Zipp with wheels, but they also make a popular tri gear bag – Zipp Gear Bag for $125.
Bicycling magazine gave the Zipp Gear Bag a very nice review.
Here’s another Zipp gear bag review.
De Soto Sport
De Soto’s latest offering in tri bags is the 2009 Transition Pack IV for $84. Some of the unique features include:
- a travel compartment lid to store passports, pens, sunglasses, and money
- an outside thermal insulated pocket to hold cold food
- a waist strap and ergonomic padded shoulder straps with an mp3 or cell phone pouch
- a 17×24 inch changing mat
- an adjustable buckled strap to hang the pack on the transition rack to get it off the ground
Blue Seventy makes a triathlon transition bag for $100, which easily fits a full sleeved wetsuit. A common criticism of some triathlon bags is that the wetsuit compartment is too small.
Other features include:
- Side mesh pockets allowing you to carry your race hydration outside of the main compartment
- Elasticated helmet pocket on the front of the pack
- Brushed polyester top pocket for sunglasses and goggles
- Head phone jack for that all important pre-race music
- A large main compartment for cycling shoes and race apparel
- Internal zip pocket for keys, cell phone and cash.
- Adjustable, removable waist strap
- Fully adjustable padded shoulder straps to allow for that custom fit
Zoot makes 2 tri bags that are especially popular:
- The Zoot Tri Bag for $145 with a separate heat-sealed PVC-backed mesh bag to store a wetsuit and wet gear while keeping other gear dry and clean.
- The Zoot Z-Pack Training Bag for $75.
On the higher end, they offer a Tri Wheel Bag for $169.99.
Best Deals On Triathlon Gear Bags
As you can see, there are many different options when it comes to triathlon gear bags and transition bags.
Whatever you decide upon, a true triathlon bag will be a big advantage to hauling your stuff around in multiple gym bags. You won’t be disappointed!
I’m over 40 years old, but I don’t give up easily. It wasn’t too long ago that I was exploring the idea of doing my first triathlon. If I can do it, you can too! I'm proof that with a little determination and training, you can get a great deal of fulfillment participating in marathons, triathlons… even ultramarathons.