I've been trying to find the perfect transition bag for a while. The reason you need one of these bad boys for a triathlon is athletes usually have to park some distance away from transition and it can be tough to tote everything you need in one trip. The last thing I want to do when I'm trying to find my zen and get in the zone before a race is to worry about making multiple trips back and forth from my car for all my stuff. It's way easier to throw on a backpack and ride your bike to transition. Except you need so. much. stuff. to do a triathlon that not just any backpack will do.
Enter the Speedo Triclops Triathlon Backpack. This thing is the Rolls Royce of bags. First of all, it's massive. I've never had a backpack that came with instructions. There are so many zippers, pouches and pockets it's a little overwhelming. On the upside, this sucker has a spot for everything. There's a lined pouch for sunglasses and goggles,
a vented bottom section for a wetsuit, a removable lined bag for wet/dirty clothes,
an expandable outer pocket for a helmet,
spots for water bottles, an area for your ID and valuables, and hip pockets to stash items you'd like easy access to.
There's even a spot to add a hydration bladder, in case you want to take this thing hiking, I suppose.
Because this bag is designed to hold everything (and then some), the straps are heavily padded to help your shoulders bear the weight. There's also a chest and hip strap that buckle to reduce the strain, and a vented panel against your back so you don't get too sweaty.
Overall, this is the most sophisticated, highly engineered and thoughtful item of triathlon gear I own. While I wouldn't say it's an essential item, it does make my triathlon experience much easier. Short of having your own sherpa, this is the best solution for staying organized on race day. I used the bag during the Esprit de She triathlon and it was more than enough room for all my gear, including toiletries and a post-event outfit so I could get cleaned up afterwards.
The only downside of this bag is that there are so many damn pockets, you really have to remember where you put everything, or be in the habit of packing your stuff in the same way every time. Otherwise, it's easy to lose something in this bag. It's practically a portal to Narnia in there. Also, I'm petite and imagine this bag could topple me right over if it was any bigger. This thing is serious business.