Best Triathlon Bag

by / Tuesday, 08 March 2016 / Published in sport

We’ve visited hundreds of triathlons across the UK and Ireland, met thousands of triathletes and often get asked what is the best triathlon bag or transition bag?  Obviously we are biased towards the original award winning X2Bag, but different people have different preferences, so we thought it worth outlining the various options if you are buying a tri bag.


First subject we should broach is whether there is actually need for a bespoke triathlon bag? Obviously many triathletes and newbies use normal sports bags, plastic bags and storage boxes to cart their gear to and from transition and they are happy to do this.  But this can be awkward for a number of reasons, which will be outlined below.  Indeed we created our transition bag specifically because we went to so many triathlons and found travelling to transition a real chore, that extra hassle on race day that nobody needs, lugging an awkward box or bag along with you. Instead imagine yourself cycling past everyone else with all your gear secure on your back, getting there extra quick & organised.

Need a triathlon bag

Need a triathlon bag?


The first key benefit is size – triathlon bags are designed to carry everything you need for race day and segregate as needed.  Normal sports bags are generally ill-equipped for the purpose so you’ll normally be trying to stuff gear in and risk it falling back out again! Indeed some triathlon backpacks we feel are over-sized and would fit everything including the kitchen sink, which is fine if you are travelling abroad and want to pack a lot of extras in, but unless you are a PRO the majority of your races will be in your home country with limited distance to travel.  The X2Bag is designed specifically to fit everything you need for race day, but is also handy enough to use for training and everyday use. If you cant fit it in you probably don’t need it!


Rugged & Waterproof – triathlon bags just like triathletes are created to survive in difficult conditions, so no matter what the weather or you throw at them they can stand up to it.  This means hard wearing, waterproof materials that don’t mind being dragged about and getting wet. On many a wet day I see bags that have been left alongside transition or in ‘bag drop’ getting soaked with all the possessions and those dry clothes you were looking forward to changing into. With a waterproof lid the X2Bag simply wipes away the rain meaning you have nothing to worry about.

Need a waterproof bag?

Need a waterproof bag?


Storage – yeah you can throw everything in together and hope for the best, but isn’t it preferable if your bag actually organises your gear for you? Most triathlon bags come with a wet storage area for your wetsuit so it doesn’t leak when wet, as well as lots of pockets for your other gear.  You’ve a lot going on in your head on race morning so it’s nice to reach transition and know that all of your gear is organised and ready to go.


Functionality – if you are going to buy a triathlon-specific bag you want it to be as functional as possible. Lots of people like backpacks and indeed we have launched our own ‘BEST BUY’ backpack but for triathlon race day the X2Bag cant be beaten. Other bags call themselves transition bags but they have no use in transition once you take your gear out. With the Amphibia bag you can fold it flat and it becomes your transition area! Just watch the video for tips here.  Some races don’t allow any bags in transition in which case you can still use your changing mat and possibly your waterproof pouch to guard your gear.

Transition Bag with waterproof pouch & changing mat

Transition Bag with waterproof pouch & changing mat


Lightweight & flexible – whats the point having a huge bag or box that takes up half the garage and you only use a few times a year? Better to have a bag that works great for race day but is also handy for training and everyday use. The X2Bag expands to hold all your gear for race day but is also handy enough for light training sessions. We’ve had so much feedback from people that just throw it over their shoulder and use it for everything from work to baby-bags! The convenient shape of a shoulder bag easily fits in lockers and airplane carry-on as well.

triathlon box

triathlon box


Other Features – you’ll see a range of other features available on different bags, everything from lined sunglass pockets to expandable helmet sections, so you can choose what you prefer.  With the X2Bag we kept non-essential features to a minimum to help keep the price affordable.  One cool feature the X2Bag has that nobody else offers is a roll-out changing mat, this is great for triathlon transition area or getting changed in wet changing rooms.  It just means it saves you putting a towel down, one less thing to carry about and then have to wash… though if you are looking for a towel, microfibre towels are the best!


So there you go, a basic breakdown of what you should look for in a triathlon bag or transition bag. Yes we are biased towards the X2Bag because it has been designed specifically to overcome the issues and hassles that training and competing throw at you.  That’s why it consistently gets top marks from reviewers and testers in the top UK triathlon magazines.  But even if you decide to go for a different brand of triathlon bag just make sure it comes with the features outlined above and you cant go far wrong. Anything has to be better than those bulky boxes and bags!

Triathlon Magazine Reviews

You can see more details on the Amphibia website or on Amazon .  There is also an interesting review of various bags on TriRadar here, though they’ve missed some of the many benefits that shoulder bags offer over backpacks…. and lastly a review on ‘Triathletes Diary’ here .

One Response to “Best Triathlon Bag”

  1. […] Tri Bag – some will argue they are a waste of money and its fine to use old sports bags or storage boxes. Your choice but trust us as we have attended hundreds of events across the UK and Ireland, you will save a lot of time and hassle by having a triathlon specific bag. Generally when people buy one they wonder how they ever did without it. Naturally we could recommend our own X2Bag but there are other options out there.  Check out our triathlon bag blog to see what features you should be looking for here […]

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