Race licence, loo roll, safety pins, wetsuit, pump, first-aid kit, helmet, towels, race kit for every discipline, wetsuit lube, drink bottles, nutrition, race belt and number, tools and spare inner tubes, sun cream and warm post-race kit. No, not our birthday wishlist, but a collection of essential items that you’ll need in your triathlon bag for your tri-racing experiences.
With three disciplines, triathlon is a logistically challenging sport that demands strong organisational skills, especially on race day. Where once a large plastic box was the transition norm, now there are a host of triathlon-specific transition bags to make the race morning and the journeys in and out of T1 and 2 that much easier.
So what should you look for when buying a triathlon transition bag? A securely fastened and waterproof compartment for your sodden wetsuit is an absolute essential. Also look for a multitude of pockets for stashing your nutrition, tools and race admin; a compartment that’s large enough to house towels, a tri-suit and bike and run shoes; a (preferably-protected) area to house your helmet; and outer open pockets for storing your bike bottles and stuff that’s likely to smell in a contained compartment, including bananas, menthol cream and, yes, peanut butter sandwiches.
The current British Triathlon competition rules dictate that, ‘a small soft-sided bag such as a rucksack may be used and remain in transition, though it must not impede the progress of another competitor’, but many race organisers will have their own transition rules, so always check before race day. Other things to look out for are if it’s cabin-friendly for flying, with British Airways and Easyjet setting their limits at 56cm x 45cm x 25cm.
Evoc are known for their well-crafted softshell bike transportation bags, and their Transition Bag continues this winning form. What first looks like a standard holdall transforms into an all-singing multisport bag, with the widely-adjustable and comfortable enough straps positioned so it can be carried as a backpack as well. The vast waterproof compartment has room for a wetsuit, accessories, towels and soggy shoes, and the removable changing mat is great.
There’s an adjustable – if marginally protected – helmet area able to host both road or TT helmets, and one of the two side pockets has room for three bike bottles. We would’ve liked a protective pocket for the eyewear as the one here feels exposed, and a dedicated area for race admin would further the appeal. At 55/32/30cm, it just fits into most airline’s baggage allowance. silverfish.co.uk
Verdict: the price is high, but this is a high-quality creation for racing and tri travelling 92%
Boasting a 74 litre capacity, Ogio have thrown the kitchen sink at the Endurance 9.0. And yet it still just falls short. The brand label it as an athletic gym bag, but you’d be hard-pressed to fit it into many lockers, with the 66/36/30cm size also making it unsuitable for cabin baggage, plus you won’t win many transition friends with a bag of this size.
There’s a hideaway helmet mesh and a partially-protected pocket that can just about hold a standard road lid but, with the rock-solid eyewear compartment encroaching into its space, a TT helmet is just too wide for it. All of which is a shame, as there are a multitude of handy nutrition and admin pockets, the two bottle holders work well, the straps are comfy and that armoured pocket could withstand a trampolining contest. Plus, the vented waterproof compartments certainly help with noxious-smelling kit. Check out the Ogio 7.0 or 8.0 instead. madison.co.uk
Verdict: Promises much but fails to deliver for triathlon race day due to its vast overall size 73%
At 70/38/24cm, the Swim, Bike, Run collection here from British Triathlon’s official transition supplier is a beast and seems better suited for your boot or garage. The brand recommend that you pick two Brixs (priced at £46.66 each) for a full complement of transition kit and one for the basics, and that sizing feels about right to us, with swim gear and nutrition in one Brix and bike and run kit in the other.
Each waterproof Brix has three zipped waterproof compartments for valuables, race admin, tech and nutrition, while the mesh pockets on the outside can handle water bottles, bananas and tools. While the Brixs sit flat and secure in the transition space, it’s a little cumbersome to carry using the rigid shoulder straps provided in its two or three Brix guises, especially when pushing a bike. As such we just can’t see ourselves using this for racing. But for daily use, their new V2 commuter bag is absolutely brilliant. kitbrix.com
Verdict: perfect for the car boot or garage, but too awkward for tri racing or overseas travel 74%