Monday, January 2, 2017

Ready, Set, Go Bag: How to Pack your Tri Bag

Let’s face it; it’s a hectic time before any race. The house or hotel may be in a state of chaos, but don’t let that throw off your race. If packed well, your transition bag can make your race day a breeze. Here are some ways you can bring peace through planning your transition bag.

What do I pack?

This is a general list of what is needed for triathlons. If you find that you need to add a different item, or if you are finding that you don’t need all the items in your bag, feel free to add or subtract these items from your bag. Always find what works best for you.

Swim Portion:
  • Goggles
  • More goggles, possibly different color lenses for different weather conditions
  • Anti-fog for the goggles (baby shampoo also works as does good old saliva – yep!)
  • Wetsuit
  • Swim cap (silicone caps keep you warmer and don’t get sticky)
  • Lubricant for your wetsuit (make sure your skin is okay with it before race day)
  • Brightly colored towel (this helps you find your bike faster)

Bike Portion:

  • Cycling shoes
  • Water bottle(s) that fit(s) in your bike
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Socks
  • Nutritional fuel
  • Race belt
  • Air cartridges
  • Extra tubes and levers

Run Portion:

  • Running Shoes
  • Hat or visor
  • Water bottle
  • Nutritional fuel


  • Water bottles for transition area
  • Sunscreen
  • Tape
  • Safety Pins
  • ID
  • The items that came in your race packet


  • Bike Pump
  • First Aid Kit (I always bring one of these)
  • Post Race Gear (what will you wear after the race?)
  • Weather Gear (warmer clothes, plastic bags, arm warmers etc.)
  • Money
  • Phone
  • Cheap Flip-Flops (for before the race)
  • Directions to the race
  • Timer or watch (if you like to time yourself)

How to pack your bag before the race

When you open your bag, you don’t want to scramble around for the items pertaining to what leg you are transitioning for. Pack your bag in the order of events that will take place. Most of the time the race order is swim, bike, run. Anything worn post-race should be at the bottom, the run items on top of that, the bike gear in-between running and swimming, and swim gear and pre-race items should be on the very top.

Any of the Miscellaneous gear or extras should be packed with the portion they would be useful for, like the bike pump should be with the bike portion of your bag, or side pockets for easy access, like the first aid kit. Some of the things you need to pack will be emptied before the race starts, like your wetsuit and swim cap.

On your way to the finish line

Now that you are packed and ready to go, you can stop fretting the small stuff. Remember to stay calm and enjoy the race.

Happy Packing and Happy Racing!

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