Choosing the Right Transition Bag
Selecting a triathlon transition gear bag can be a daunting task for the beginner triathlete as well as for the seasoned veteran of the triathlon world. Like with any dilemma, the triathlete must ask him or herself what he or she needs from the new triathlon transition gear bag.
Features That Make a Transition Bag
Generally, most triathlon transition gear bags will offer the following:
- 2 side pockets to carry water bottles on outside of bag
- Shoulder straps so that triathlon transition bag can be worn as a backpack
- Belt buckles and chest buckles so that transition bag can be secured while on your body while riding your bike
- Compartment for holding helmet
- Compartment on bottom or somewhere inside the bag to use for wet clothing (separated by a barrier to keep away from other essentials inside the bag)
- Enough room on inside of bag for goggles, swim caps, towels, race number belt, watches, cell phone, carry shoes, nutritional items, sunglasses, hats, visors, extra apparel, etc.
- Depending on the bag, some will also fit a neoprene wetsuit with no problem, but sizes of triathlon transition bags do vary and if one does plan on using a wetsuit, a bigger bag will be better
What’s In a Price?
With regards to pricing, one can typically find a triathlon transition bag ranging from $50 to $300 and several factors will dictate what a triathlon transition bag will cost. Firstly, the material that is used will be important with regards to pricing.
If the bag is constructed with leather, it will cost more than a triathlon transition bag that is manufactured with canvas or nylon materials. Additionally, some triathlon transition bags will come equipped with triathlon gear check lists that are etched into inner flaps of the bag that act as a reminder to not forget anything on raceday. Another feature offered on higher priced bags vs lower priced bags is reflectivity. Since one may be riding with his or her triathlon transition gear bag in the dark before the race, reflectivity is very important so that vehicles or other riders can see you in the dark. Higher priced triathlon transition bags also are offered that come outfitted with I-pod holders or cell phone holders that allow you to loop the head phones through a pre-made hole in the bag which allows the I-pod or cell phone to stay inside and dry.
The Crème de la Crème of Transition Bags
Below are a few other extras that are offered by higher priced triathlon transition bags:
- Specially built-in compartment with hard barrier for sunglasses to provide more protection than a normal compartment offered by other bags
- Hard molded helmet compartment to offer more protection than entry level helmet compartments that do not offer hard molded compartments
- Extra removable, zippered bag compartments that allow one to separate more easily different categories of products (i.e. wet clothes, wetsuits, etc.)
- Some triathlon transition gear bags even offer foldable chairs
- Side velcro fasteners to allow one to carry a pump on the outside of the bag
- Safety reflective light holders
- Retractable handles which come in handy when travelling
- Wheels on bottom of bag which also come in handy when travelling or when you just want to roll the bag and not carry it
Settling the Debate
In summary, when the time comes for you to select your first (or next) triathlon transition gear bag, ask yourself what you need out of the bag and after you make your checklist, your decision should be a little easier. In the paraphrased words of a wise soul, it is not the size of the triathlon transition bag that is important, it is what is inside of that bag that counts!