If you're heading to swim practice or a meet, you're bringing your swim bag along. Know what to pack for swimming, and you'll save time as you're headed out the door and ensure you bring everything you need to the pool. While swimming bag essentials differ for every competitive swimmer, there are a lot of must-haves.
Create your checklist with help from the list below to keep an organized bag ready to go as you head to the pool. Here's what you need in your swim bag:
Your swimsuit is the most important of your swimming essentials. Choose training and competition suits that are form-fitting to prevent drag in the water and help you swim your best. Depending on where you swim, you can either pick a color or pattern that suits your personality or one that represents your team. It may also be a good idea to pack a second swimsuit in your bag, just in case.
2. Swim Goggles
Goggles are a must-have for swimmers. They protect your eyes from chlorine and help you see the lane and other swimmers around you. When you pick a pair of goggles, you want:
- An accurate fit
You may need to try a few pairs of goggles until you find one that works best for you. Just as you keep a back-up swimsuit in your bag, consider packing an extra pair of goggles. You don't want to break or lose your only pair in the moments before your event or practice.
While earplugs aren't mandatory must-haves for swimmers, many competitive swimmers who experience or want to avoid swimmer's ear find them helpful. If you have trouble wearing earplugs, try wearing an ear band, as well. An ear band goes around your head and covers your ears to keep your earplugs in place.
4. Nose Clips
Like earplugs, nose clips aren't an essential for everyone. If you're a swimmer who worries about getting water up your nose, certain nose care products may help. Wearing nose clips shifts your focus from worrying about water in your nose to swimming instead. Be sure to wear nose clips as you practice to adjust to proper breathing techniques before a meet.
5. A Swim Cap
Swim caps keep your focus on swimming by holding hair out of your face and eyes. They reduce drag better than tying up long hair does, as well, ensuring you swim your best. As a bonus, a swimming cap helps protect your hair from significant chlorine damage, though it isn't meant to keep your hair entirely dry.
When you get a swim cap, you'll want to consider the size and material. Latex stretches for a more flexible size, while silicone is easier to take off. You'll find swimming caps in various colors and patterns, letting you match your team or your swimwear. If you're ordering swim caps for a team, get customized options in bulk that feature a logo or team name.
6. Swim Bags and Backpacks
Of course, you'll need a bag to hold your essentials. What type of swim bag or backpack you choose will depend on how much you want to carry and your other preferences and needs. Choose from these competitive swim bags:
- Swim backpacks: A swim backpack is easy to carry on your shoulders. If you choose a backpack, pack it in a way that makes sense. Have your towel and a poolside bag at the top with your essentials. Keep other things, like snacks, in a separate pocket and put heavy items, like a pair of shoes, at the bottom of your bag.
- Swim duffle bags: Some swimmers appreciate the style of a swim duffle bag more than a backpack. It can be easier to find your items since they aren't stacked on top of each other like they would be in a backpack. A duffle bag could be a bit cumbersome to carry for some. Choose a design with enough pockets and room to hold everything and free up your hands.
- Mesh bags: Find a swim bag that features mesh or get a smaller mesh bag to keep inside your swim bag. A mesh bag insert will be convenient to carry items you need for the water, like your goggles, swim cap, earplugs and nose care. When you plan to keep your bag near the water, you want something that will dry easily if it gets wet, and mesh prevents water from pooling inside your bag.
You'll want a way to identify your essentials from the other competitive swim bags at a meet or practice. Pick a bag or backpack in a unique color, or add your name to personalize it, so another swimmer doesn't accidentally take your belongings.
Whether you have a swim meet or practice, you'll need towels to dry off. You'll want to dry off before you get changed and leave. When it comes to choosing a towel for your swim bag, look for something that:
- Takes up little space: A big, plush towel sounds like it'd be nice to bring to the pool, but think twice. Pool and beach towels will take up a lot of valuable space in your swim bag. Opt for smaller options, so you can easily pack and access your other swim meet essentials.
- Dries you off quickly: You don't want to spend too much time drying off between practices or events at a meet. Choose a towel that's absorbent and helps you dry off quickly, so you have more time between your events or practice laps.
8. Waterproof Cases
The best way to keep your phone protected from the water is to leave it somewhere else while you're at the pool. If you have to keep your phone in your bag, keep it safe with a waterproof case. You don't want to put a wet swimsuit in your bag or set your bag down in water, then realize too late that your phone was inside. Get extra waterproof pouches for your wallet, glasses and other items you want to keep protected from water damage.
9. Resistance Equipment
At practice and training, some swimmers use resistance to improve their strength. You won't need resistance equipment at meets, but during training, it can be a valuable tool. Ankle and wrist weights or resistance cuffs make you use more energy and help strengthen your muscles as you swim. Be sure to use these devices as recommended.
10. A Water Bottle
Pack a reusable water bottle in your swim bag that'll keep your drink cold for the duration of your practice or meet. If you keep your water bottle close to the lanes, label it with your name or personalize it in some way.
Pack Your Swim Bag With Help From All American Swim
With your swim bag checklist in mind, it's time to pack and head to the pool. Find the swimming bag essentials you need with All American Swim. No matter what's on your list, All American Swim's extensive collection has what every competitive swimmer needs to pack their bag. Walk out the door and head to the pool, knowing you have everything you could need safe in your swim bag.
Check out our collection of competitive swim bags and backpacks and swim gear to get what you need for meets and practices.