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12 Days of Triathlon Gear: Day 2 - Transition Bags

The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family, look back on the year's accomplishments, and give thanks for everything we have. But they're also an excellent excuse to stock up on triathlon gear for next season! Obviously, we're partial to our own Switch Aero System, but in this 12-part series we'll highlight and recommend some of the best triathlon gear that will get you to the finish line faster in your next race.

For Day 2 we will be looking at Transition Bags. If you missed it be sure to checkout the first post which was all about triathlon wetsuits.

What's a transition bag?

The key to a great race is preparation, and there's nothing worse than stuffing your gear into a duffel bag in the early morning only to get to transition and find that you forgot your bike shoes. A transition bag is a purpose-built gear bag that lets you stage all your important race-day gear in one place.  So when the alarm goes off at 4:30am, you're focused on eating bananas and not scrambling around gathering your gear.

What makes a good transition bag?

Gear isolation - When you're dealing with lots of gear that ends up soaked in various levels of lake water, sweat, road dust, or mud, you want to be able to keep the worst of it quarantined.  Having a separate water proof section can go a long way to keeping your dry gear from smelling like a river bed.

In addition, having sections dedicated to different legs of the race makes it harder to forget something major when packing up.  Are all the pockets filled?  You're off to a good start.  

Quick Access - External pockets for water bottles, and easily accessible zippered pockets for keys and wallets can make quick work of getting around in the morning, and lowers the risk of a bottle spill soaking your entire kit.

Size - Some athletes like to be prepared for the worst, and that means needing a bit more packing space to work with.  Luckily, transition bags come in a range of sizes, from svelte carry-on sized, to borderline hockey-bag sized.  Round up your standard gear before making a decision.  You don't want to have to be stuffing your gel packs into the air channels in your helmet.

We like: 

OGIO Endurance 9.0 - This one's got it all. Separate compartments for your wetsuit, shoes, electronics, nutrition, as well as plenty of storage space in the main compartment.  Even though it's closer to duffel sized, it has backpack straps so you still have both hands available when getting around.  A bit on the pricey side, but it also works well as a generic sports/travel bag when you're not using it for the race. Price: $150.

Zoot Performance Transition Bag - This one's great for a Sprint Triathlon and it's priced just right at only $59.  Enough space for the necessities without being overly bulky.


2XU Transition Bag - With 35 liters of storage and lots of pockets this bag will definitely hold all of your race day gear. It has a lined bottom pocket so that you can keep your sweaty and wet clothes separated from everything else. It is not waterproof which is a little bit of a drawback but at $99 its not a bad buy.