Each person will be different, but there are some things that I find essential to keeping in my triathlon gear bag. For sprint, olympic, and international distance triathlons, I typically have just one large duffle. For half-ironman distance, you will probably have three separate bags, provided by the ironman folks so you will have to stash gear into different places. Also, if you’re doing any tri that has two transition areas, then adjust accordingly.
Here’s a list of essentials:
- Swim cap
- Wetsuit (one or two piece) if necessary
- Plastic grocery bag or trash bag for wet gear
- One or two water bottles containing sports drink and/or water
Below is the list of items I use throughout the entire tri or at the beginning/end:
- LED Headlight from Darcy or Coleman. These are invaluable for finding the items in your bag, especially when the transition area opens and it is still dark out!
- Sunscreen (30-SPF) stick from Nivea. Easy application, not messy/greasy, and you can be sure you’ve got things covered.
- Towel for placing gear on the ground and general cleanup afterwards.
- Stapler. The race number that is affixed to the bike can sometimes flap around when riding, causing issues with your legs or just disintegrating. Even though race numbers usually have double-sided tape for bicycle affixing, a stapler ensures really good fit.
- Two sixteen-ounce bottles of water for after the race.
- Shower-cap to cover the bike saddle if it will be left overnight.
- Nutrition gels/bars
- Clean, dry t-shirt for after the race.