Whenever you plan to go swimming, it is important to make sure you have a convenient way to carry and store all your belongings and supplies.
This is where swim bags come into the picture. Although they might look like regular bags, swim bags offer superior water resistance to protect your belongings from water damage.
Using swim bags to carry and organize your personal items and swimming gear can make a trip to the beach or the pool much easier. These are great options to consider when you want a swim bag that can protect your things while also being convenient to carry and easy to use. Here are some of the best swim bags for 2021.
In my opinion, a swim bag is a swimmer's most important piece of gear aside from their suit and goggles. My classic Speedo backpack has been my trusted companion since I was eight years old (yes, it's still holding up!).
When thinking about purchasing a swim bag, you'll first need to think about your personal needs. Different types of swimmers will likely need a different amount of space or type of swim bag. For example, young competitive swimmers or high school swimmers may need a larger bag to carry extra towels for swim meet days, but they may also prefer a smaller practice bag for carrying their swimsuit, goggles, a towel, and a water bottle. Many swimmers like a mesh practice bag to carry additional equipment like a kickboard, fins, snorkel, or pull buoy if they aren’t provided by the facility where practices are held. Personally, I like having everything in one place, so my swim bag needs enough space to carry all of my key swim equipment, plus shampoo and conditioner, a hair brush, and my swim log.
Swim bags also come in primarily backpack styles with extra pockets to help you keep organized, but there are options like drawstring bags or duffel style gym bags as well, and some more hobby-focused swimmers may be fine with a simple tote bag. You’ll want to think about how often you plan to use the bag and what style you prefer when deciding what type to choose. As mentioned above, if you have a lot of extra equipment, you may like a mesh bag for keeping everything together and allowing your equipment to dry completely between practice sessions.
The final consideration as you think about your swim bag is durability. Ideally, your bag will be made of heavy-duty materials that dry easily, since you may be carrying around wet equipment or have your bag on a pool deck where it will get splashed.
This backpack has a water-resistant bottom and an abrasion-resistance shell which makes it extremely durable. It’s also equipped with multiple pockets for extra storage and a removable dirt bag that can be used to keep dirty or wet garments separate from the rest of the bag’s contents. It’s a great choice for beach or pool supplies with many fun and stylish colors available.
The Speedo Unisex Teamster is an elite backpack designed to withstand the most grueling conditions. That makes it a tough and practical option for athletes and swimmers.
Spacious interior holds most of your swimming gear easily
Convenient and secure zippered pockets and compartments
Comes in several fun colors
Contains a pull-out bleacher seat for extra cushioning and protection against wet surfaces
The straps might feel uncomfortable if the backpack is overloaded
Only the bottom is waterproof, not the entire backpack
This bag is made of 100% polyester with separate compartments to store wet or dirty gear, as well as an inner sleeve for your laptop. One of the best features of this backpack is its ergonomic design which is meant to support your back when you’re carrying too much weight.
Available in many different colors and sizes, TYR Alliance Backpack is a versatile and functional bag designed to keep all your swimming gear safe and organized while giving you a reliable way to transport it from the beach to the pool.
Adjustable and padded shoulder straps to make the backpack more comfortable to carry
Ergonomic design for lumbar support
Available in multiple colors and styles to choose from
The backpack has a rigid base making it difficult to store in small lockers
This backpack is made with high-quality material to make it more durable. It also has an elevated laptop sleeve and waterproof bottom, making it a great swimmer’s bag to keep your gear safe and dry at the pool or the beach.
Athletico Swim Backpack is spacious enough for storing most of your camping, swimming, or gym gear. It is easy to carry and has multiple inner compartments to make storage more efficient.
Secure zippers and drawstring opening to keep the bag’s contents safe
Waterproof bottom keeps the bag’s contents dry
Extra large size can fit most of your swimming gear
The large size of the backpack might be too bulky for some people
It has dual compartments to store wet and dry gear separately. The wet compartment is made with translucent EVA material and is entirely waterproof This bag is easy to carry, spacious, and made to last.
The Gonex Swim Bag is a multi-purpose bag that doesn’t just store your essential swimming gear but also serves as a luggage bag to carry with you on your travels. The bag comes with webbing handles to hold it in your hands but its detachable padded shoulder straps make it a great cross-body bag as well.
Waterproof wet compartment to store soiled gear separately
Includes detachable shoulder straps, can be carried as a cross-body bag
Available in fun, bright colors
Gonex Swim Bag might be a little small for swim gear
You can store a lot of gear in this swim bag, thanks to the large size. Its quick-dry mesh makes the bag suitable for swim gear. You can use this bag for several purposes, such as camping trips, hiking trips, and beach days.
This swim bag has separate wet and dry areas to keep your towels and clothes dry in different parts of the bag, allowing you to store items in different compartments when going swimming, camping, or to the beach.
Adjustable straps to make the backpack more comfortable to wear
Reinforced stitching to give the backpack more strength
Two mesh side pockets to hold water bottles
Drawstring and cord lock to keep the contents secure
The straps might dig into the shoulders since they are not padded
This durable swim bag features mesh venting for enhanced drying time and drainage as well as a spacious main compartment for maximum storage. Both recreational and professional users use these swim bags for workout gear, swimming, or gym workouts.
This backpack is designed to be the perfect companion for all your swimming or gym activities. Crafted with the highest quality material.
Has a barrel lock closure to keep the contents secure
Contains mesh venting for quick drying
Spacious main compartment can fit most of your swimming gear
Available in multiple colors
Doesn’t have a zipper closure or an interior pocket
The swim bag also has different compartments to keep all your things stored safely and separately. The mesh side pockets are great to hold water bottles.
This Mickey Mouse-themed swim bag is ideal for children to store their swim gear. Its dimensions make the bag a good size for kids of all ages to carry. They’re made of light polyester material with a drawstring closure for easy access to the bags’ contents.
Colorful design makes it very kid-friendly
Has an adorable 3D printing of Mickey Mouse
Has mesh side pockets to hold water bottles
Due to its small size, the bag is not suitable for carrying too many items
Buying the perfect swim bag can be a hassle, but it’s really not that complicated. You just need to know what your needs are because those will dictate the type of bag that's right for you. We have compiled a guide to help make your choice easier.
How To Choose The Perfect Swim Bag
This largely depends on your needs. For some swimmers, the bigger the bag, the better its utility. For others, a compact bag is more suitable. If you will not be carrying a lot of items to swimming, then it’s logical to get a portable small-sized swim bag, one that you can carry around comfortably and easily fits in your car or your seat on the bus.
If you are just going to the pool or beach to get a quick tan or swim, then a portable swim bag is the way to go. Something simple and portable to contain your sunscreen, sunglasses, and bottled water. It alldepends on what you need to carry. If you are going to the pool alone, the basics are fine. If you’ll be taking the kids along, then you’d need something bigger that can also carry things for your kids.
If you’ll be engaging in an activity that requires you to take your gear with you, maybe snorkeling or kayaking, then you need a swim bag big enough to fit your equipment.
With swim bag materials, there are things to consider: Are you looking for a water-resistant material or a material that feels comfortable on your skin? Or, even better, are you looking for a material that combines both?
Here’s the thing; you shouldn’t have to choose. Simply go for a swim bag with a material that has both. Getting a water-resistant swim bag is important to keep your things safe at the beach or pool, especially if you’ll be taking your phone or other essential items with you. This way, you don’t have to worry about your bag getting wet.
You should also go for a swim bag that is durable - something guaranteed to last you for a long time. With proper care, a swim bag can last for several years. But none of that will matter if the bag is of poor quality.
For design, go with a swim bag that comes with numerous compartments. Any good swim bag should offer a compartmentalized design to separate different types of items. Even with a water-resistant bag, you still need one with different compartments that will allow you to store your wet gear separate from your dry ones.
Also, a compartmentalized bag helps you keep your things organized. If you are just going to the pool for a quick swim, then a swim bag with many compartments might become more of a hassle than a convenience. You don’t need the inconvenience of sorting through different compartments before finding your swimsuit or sunscreen.
Even if the swim bag comes with many compartments, it might not be optimized for organizing items. For example, a bag with too many small compartments might not offer any space to carry clothing items. It’s important to look out for the optimal combination of compartments so you don’t end up with a bag that proves to be more hassle than convenience.
Comfort is crucial, especially if you plan on using your swim bag frequently. For instance, a big swim bag with thin straps can hurt your shoulders. Even if you are not carrying the bag frequently, it can still feel uncomfortable even over a short distance.
To avoid discomfort, go for a swim bag with padded, wide, and adjustable straps. These are perfect for carrying your bag for a prolonged duration.
Another thing to consider is the weather. During the summer months, you don’t want to carry a bag that will add to your discomfort.
To avoid sweaty discomfort, go for a bag that’s made with breathable materials and has a well-ventilated structure. The best choice is a swim bag that uses mesh fabric. This ensures the bag remains dry and cool and does not cause you to sweat when you're wearing it.
For weight, know this: the bigger the bag, the heavier it’s going to be. This will not be much of an issue if you won’t be carrying it as much. If it’s an occasional trip to the beach, a heavy bag is not really an issue, especially as they often come with more compartments that can prove to be very useful.
If you’ll be using the bag frequently, and carrying equipment with it, a heavy bag is not the best option. A heavy bag may be unavoidable, however. If you have to get one, get one with adjustable and padded straps.
What Should You Have in Your Swim Bag?
Each situation and scenario is different. What you pack in your swim bag depends on the activity at hand. Here are a few of the typical essentials to include in your bag.
This is important, especially on a hot day. You’d be surprised at how often people forget to take water when going to the pool or beach or swim practice; don’t be one of them. Take a water bottle or two with you to stay hydrated. Consider bringing an ice pack or coozie that will keep your water cold for the duration of your stay at the beach or swim practice.
This is for your phone or anything else you’d like to keep dry inside the bag. With a water-resistant bag, you wouldn’t need this, but it never hurts to get one for some extra protection. After all, you could make the innocent mistake of putting your wet gear in the same compartment as your phone, damaging or destroying it.
If you are a frequent swimmer, earplugs are a necessity. You need them to keep water out of your ears and prevent earaches. You can leave them in your bag permanently (except for when you need to wash them) so you don’t forget to take them with you.
Long-distance and long-duration swimming can often cause chafing or skin irritation, especially in saltwater. A lubricant serves as a barrier between your skin and the water, offering sufficient protection. For long-distance or duration swimming, make sure you carry some hydrating lube in your swim bag at all times.
Swim Bags FAQs
What is a swim bag?
A swim bag is an important piece of gear for athletes and non-athletes alike. It is used to store swimming equipment or equipment for swim-related activities. It is usually water-resistant.
What should I pack in my swim bag?
To get the best pool or beach experience, there are essential things to pack. Some of them include a water bottle, sunscreen, toiletries, snacks, a towel, swim caps, earplugs, and goggles.
How can I tell if my backpack is waterproof?
Some backpacks often come with a waterproof label on them. But, to be certain, submerge the bag in water. If the contents inside your bag stay dry, then it’s waterproof. Of course, don’t try this with valuable items inside as they can get damaged if the bag is not waterproof.
Lucy spent the better part of her young life traveling and competing in swim meets and gymnastics. Being a dedicated individual sport athlete, Lucy knows that being at your best at the competition is everything. As a freelance writer, Lucy joins our Product Reviews Team to provide all of her insight on the best products to keep you at the top of your game.