Gear

Spring 2021 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Transition Bags

An organized triathlete is a happy triathlete! Our testers put these seven transition bags through the ringer by shoving everything a triathlete could need into them. Here's what they found.

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Black transition bag

Blueseventy Helix Bag | $150

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

Blueseventy went to the drawing board in search of the best possible transition bag. The result is the 57L Helix, with organizational details, a backpack-to-duffle-bag option, and durable and water-resistant fabric.

Pros

  • Sleek, simple look
  • Dedicated spots for helmet and wet gear
  • Handy hardtop section to protect sunglasses and essentials

Cons

  • Length of bag could be less comfortable for shorter athletes
  • Too big for everyday use
  • Little organization within main compartment, unless you use the included additional bags
Decathlon Aptonia transition bag

Decathlon Aptonia Triathlon Transition Bag | $65

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

The world’s largest affordable bicycle retailer Decathlon now has a North American presence. And the price point (about half of any other transition bag option) puts this bag in a class of its own.

Pros

  • The price tag
  • Detachable bottom compartment for swim gear
  • Handy interior triathlon gear checklist
  • Large main compartment
  • Clever top hook for hanging

Cons

  • Cheaper, harder-to-use zippers than others tested
  • Tiny compartment for essentials (cell phone, wallet, etc.)
  • Often out of stock–if you want it and you see it, snatch it up
Zone3 transition bag

Zone3 Transition Bag | $125

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Basics

This simple all-black option has a unique rectangular profile. Designed with three separate compartments made specifically for swim, bike, and run, the 40L size puts it in the middle of the transition bag size spectrum.

Pros

  • High-end, sleek material
  • Premium padded and adjustable straps
  • Large main compartment
  • Durable material on bottom section

Cons

  • Boxy design
  • Helmet compartment is clunky
  • Huge openings make pockets hard to zip closed
Huub TT transition bag

Huub TT Bag | $130

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

This 40L bag comes with a hidden mesh helmet section that can be zipped away when not in use, wet and dry compartments, and expandable side pockets for drinks.

Pros

  • Despite its large capacity, sleek enough for everyday use
  • High-quality everything
  • True backpack design for those who don’t like the feeling of carrying a duffle
  • Pockets in all of the right places

Cons

  • Can’t lay flat and access all compartments at once (a feature many bags now have)
  • Third compartment may be too small for anyone looking to completely separate swim, bike, and run gear
Zoot Ultra transition bag

Zoot Sports Ultra Tri Bag | $150

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Basics

This brand-new 42L transition bag from Zoot includes an EVA molded helmet protective compartment, a substantial removable wet/dirty laundry bag, and a lay-flat design.

Pros

  • Full-on Big Island vibe, including unique green interior fabric and a Kona patch on the outside
  • High-end zippers and durable nylon canvas fabric
  • Easy-to-reach waterproof essentials pocket

Cons

  • Majority of items only accessible when bag is lying flat
  • Broader base might be a lot for smaller athletes to tote around
Synergy transition bag

Synergy Triathlon Transition Bag | $100

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Basics

This 40L option from wetsuit brand Synergy offers a lot of punch for its $100 price tag. Included are several smaller pockets and a main center compartment that’s large and has removable dividers and a race checklist.

Pros

  • Two-piece carabiner and front straps let you bring along accessories
  • A place for everything
  • Affordable for the space it provides

Cons

  • Super-specific (and often small) compartments make it hard to use
  • Extra large straps are too long for some
Orca transition bag

Orca Transition Bag | $150

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Basics

This 70L transition bag has space for everything you could ever imagine. Made with a 100% polyester main body and 100% nylon side panels, it’s a durable option with wet and dry compartments.

Pros

  • Large enough to fit travel essentials in addition to triathlon gear
  • Nice hard-shell integrated helmet pouch
  • Clever side zipper with integrated mesh pockets keeps keys, wallet, and phone organized and accessible
  • High-end, durable material

Cons

  • You have to want (or need) something this big
  • Back pad, meant to provide comfort, results in a stiff feel and makes the main zipper harder to open