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2015 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Transition Bags

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$160, Nathansports.com
The draw: Travel-ready

Flying to races is made simpler with this bag, which fits inside an airplane’s overhead bin. It features one main top-loading compartment, two side mesh pockets and a mesh pocket underneath, which pops out to hold a helmet (it has no dedicated wetsuit pocket). In addition to holding the essentials, the lightweight bag, with 45 liters of storage capacity, includes some thoughtful details, such as a protective iPad pocket, a triathlon gear list, a quote from (Nathan-sponsored) pro Andy Potts and Velcro straps to hold a bike pump.

$100, Huubusa.com
The draw: Compact

Have you ever set up your transition area perfectly to only then realize you have no room to store your hefty transition bag? This bag solves that problem—while it makes it easy to stay organized with its large main compartment, waterproof wetsuit pocket and variety of internal and external pockets, it also condenses the most of any of these bags when empty. It features a zippered pocket for goggles or sunglasses and a mesh sleeve for a laptop in its 32 liters of space. The top-loading main compartment, however, makes it tougher to access things at the bag’s bottom once it’s packed.

$200, E-rudy.com
The draw: Training-to-racing versatility

Rudy Project has thought of everything for this durable, 46-liter capacity bag—in addition to pockets for a wetsuit, shoes and sunglasses (plus another dozen zippered pockets) and a transition list printed inside, it also has a harness to strap your helmet on the outside of the bag and three drawstring bags for transition and post-race apparel. The bag easily converts from a transition backpack to a training duffel (the backpack straps have their own pocket). The only drawback of this bag is that it’s bulky to store even when empty.

$100, Tyr.com
The draw: Easy access

A drawbridge-style opening in this bag’s main compartment allows you to easily see and access all your race-day essentials. Other organizational features in its 40-liter capacity are a bottom wetsuit compartment, exterior and interior mesh pockets, a triathlon packing list and a sleeve large enough to stash a 15-inch laptop. The bag has a comfortable padded back and straps, and it’s spacious without being too bulky. However, with just one main compartment, gear can get a little disorganized.