There are countless ways to show the swimmer in your life what they mean to you. Kit, tech, books and gear – any of these can have a huge impact on a swimmer’s experience.
If you want your gift to be extra thoughtful this year, take a look through our guide to the best gifts for swimmers. We’ve chosen items that swimmers will definitely use, many of which we’ve tested, and others we couldn’t recommend more.
Swim Smooth: The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes
Give the gift of excellence by helping your favourite swimmer reach their full potential. Swim Smooth is a complete coaching guide to swimming written by Paul Newsome and Adam Young, both of whom are experienced triathletes, open water swimmers and professional teachers.
Their book has become hugely popular amongst swimmers and triathletes, and is praised for its unique approach to coaching that provides personal advice to the reader. Through understanding the fundamentals of swimming, the authors help you identify your swim type – they cover six different ‘personas’ – so that you can find the style that works best for you.
Hundreds of colour photographs and 3D graphics are included to help visualise your training routine, along with nutrition and flexibility information. The book has advice for intermediate, advanced and elite swimmers, so it’s a perfect choice for anyone passionate about swimming.
AfterShokz XTrainerz Bone Conduction Headphones
The Aftershokz Xtrainerz swim headphones are a great choice for earbud-free listening. They use bone conduction, meaning the headset generates vibrations that travel through the cheekbones, so swimmers don’t have to remove their earplugs to listen.
We reviewed the Aftershokz Xtrainerz and gave them a verdict of 86%, thanks to their technological ‘genius’ and impressive sound. They hold 4GB of music, approximately 1,200 songs, and have an eight-hour battery life, making this the perfect gift for a music-loving swimmer.
Zone3 Polar Fleece Parka Robe Jacket
Swim changing robes make a great functional gift and, as they can be a bit expensive, they can be a thoughtful gesture for an important swimmer in your life. The Zone3 Polar Fleece Parka, with its soft fleece fabric and heat regulation, would make an ideal addition to any swimmer’s wardrobe.
This year we found that the Zone3 Parka was one of the best robes available. Its outer shell is water- and wind-resistant and the long sleeves provide added pre- and post-swim warmth. It also features internal and zipped pockets. The size of the robe makes it perfect for changing after a swim, and the material maintains your temperature while absorbing sweat.
Zoggs 2-in-1 Kickboard and Pull Buoy
Kick buoys and pull buoys are important pieces of kit for helping swimmers improve their kick and stroke technique. But having one of each can make a kit bag bulky, so the Zoggs 2-in-1 Kickboard and Pull Buoy is a handy way around that.
The kit combines both functions into one lightweight and compact design. The buoy can be held in your hands to focus on kick technique, then positioned between your legs to focus on stroke technique.
Huub Brownlee Acute Swim Goggles
‘The ideal do-it-all google” is how we described this pair in our November 2021 issue, where we gave the Huub Brownlee Acute Goggles the ‘Best on Test’ award. Thanks to their quality design and stylish looks, these goggles fare well against others at this price range.
They live up to their claims in terms of comfort while staying leak- and fog-free. The white/gold colourway on the goggles also provided protection against harsh lights from swimming pools and the sun. A strong choice for both pool and open-water swimming.
Nabaiji Silicone Swim Cap – Blue Wave Print
Nabaiji’s silicone swim cap has a striking design that is sure to add some style to any swimmer who wears it. The blue wave print will stand out from other swimmers, while the cap itself is said to provide a great fit with enhanced glide.
WildPaces Tow Float Dry Bag
We listed the WildPaces float as one of the best tow floats for open water. Tow floats are an important part of open-water swimming, adding safety and visibility for other boats and swimmers.
What makes this tow float from WildPaces so impressive is that it doubles up as a waterproof bag. The high-visibility bag can be used whenever and wherever, but can also carry your possessions while swimming to avoid leaving them on the shore.
Nabaiji Microfibre Towel
At a touch under £7, this towel offers great value. It’s lightweight, large enough for post-swim drying and is designed to absorb water effortlessly. The towel is also compact enough to squeeze into a kit bag’s limited space, while being able to dry quickly. Plus, it’s available in a range of colours.
Garmin Swim 2 GPS Swimming Watch
We reviewed the Garmin Swim 2 last year and found it to be an impressive piece of tech. It collects vast swim data including stroke count, efficiency, heart rate and pace.
During testing, the accuracy was spot on in terms of lap and pool length, while it uses GPS tracking during open-water swimming. This is a worthy investment for anybody serious about swimming and it can strongly improve swim training efficiency.
For more watch-related ideas, take a look at our list of the best swimming watches.
Cressi Anti Fog Gel
Fogged-up goggles can be the bane of any swim, so Cressi’s anti-fog gel is a handy solution. The product has been specially designed for diving and swimming goggles, but can also be used on other surfaces like mirrors and windows.
It has a neutral pH and the components are organic solvent-free, keeping your eyes safe and preventing them from irritability. When applied to goggles, it creates a protective film that prevents condensation. A very helpful addition to a swimmer’s kit.
Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins
Scoring a huge 92% in issue 398, these Aqua Sphere fins are made with moulded EVA foam so it’s no wonder that they feel supremely comfortable and as light as a feather in the water.
The unusual design mimics your natural kick movement and the buoyant material avoids any sinky-leg syndrome, allowing us to focus on technique unhampered. A stylish and practical pair of fins that are comfy, light and hydro in the water, at an affordable price. Kate Milsom
Zone3 Ergo Swim Training Paddles
Designed to help improve swim catch and pull strength through the water, these medium-sized, contoured hand paddles have both full hand straps and a single finger loop, making them suitable for varying levels.