9 Best Bags for Swimmers (Pack for Success)

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Store your swim gear like a pro and go from poolside to podium with the best swim bags for every kind of swimmer.

Swim bags are the unheralded workhorse for swimmers.

Our trusty swim bag stores and carries all of our swim equipment, protects dry gear from getting soaked, and stores snacks, keys, smartphones, and that trusty spare set of swim goggles.

When trying to pick the best swim bag, there’s lots to consider, including bag volume, compartments, ventilation, ergonomics, and bag materials.

Swim bags do more than just store all our soggy stuff, they keep us organized and prepared so that we can focus on swimming like a boss.

Whether you are just getting started in the world of competitive swimming or looking for something new to replace your old, tattered age group swimming bag, this is your ultimate guide to finding the perfect swim bag.

Let’s dive in.

Best Swim Bags – Overview

The best swim bag is the Speedo Teamster 2.0, which builds on the wildly popular Teamster bag with an updated design, tons of color options, and plentiful storage for wet and dry gear.

Other excellent options include the Arena Spiky III, Arena Team 45, Sporti Backpack, Xterra XW Transition Bag, and the Speedo Ventilator Bag.

Here is a quick look at our top choices:

And here is how all the bags we evaluated for this round-up compare in terms of volume and price:

Swim Bag Volume Price**
Speedo Teamster 2.0 35L $68
Arena Spiky III 35L $85
Arena Team 45 45L $72
Sporti Backpack 38L $45
Xterra XW Transition Backpack 35L $79
Speedo Ventilator Bag 24” x 17” $28
Funky Trunks Broken Circle Elite Squad Backpack 36L $78
Dolfin Medium Backpack 20L $35
Aqua Sphere Transition Backpack 35L $159.99

** Prices are accurate at the time of writing.

Next, we will look at each swim bag individually, highlighting key pros and cons, and help you determine which swim bag is perfect for you.

Speedo Teamster 2.0

⭐ Best overall swim bag

Best Swim Bags - Speedo Teamster 2.0

The Speedo Teamster 2.0 is an update on a long-time classic, the most popular swim bag for nearly two decades, the original Speedo Teamster bag. Speedo has cleaned up the bag, stiffened up the spine to help it stand up more rigidly, and given it a narrower profile.

In terms of functionality, the Teamster 2.0 has everything swimmers need to store and pack all of their swimming gear for training and competition.

Ventilated side pockets easily store wet swim goggles and caps, while the mesh pocket on the left side of the bag is large enough to carry a Nalgene water bottle.

The main section of the bag has two compartments for splitting wet and dry gear, and a large ventilated front pocket is easily accessible and perfect for storing wet swim gear after a long day at the pool.

One of the underrated updates to the bag is the stiffened design. One complaint of the original Teamster bag was that it collapsed and folded over when opened from the top.

The Teamster 2.0 stays relatively upright when placed on the floor, making it easy to open and sort through your swimming gear (and also why the Teamster 2.0 made the cut in our gift guide for competitive swimmers).

Even though the overall volume specifications from the Teamster 1.0 and Teamster 2.0 are the same on paper, the Teamster 2.0 does feel smaller. So there is that.

Speedo offers the updated Teamster swimmer’s bag in a ton of different colors, has adjustable shoulder straps, and can hold up to 35L of goggles, towels, fins, paddles, and, of course, assorted snacks!

✅ Reasons to Buy: ❌ Things to Note:
Best overall swim bag Doesn’t feel as big as the Teamster 1.0
Ventilated front pocket, large mesh pocket for over-sized water bottles
Separate compartments in main chamber of the bag for dry/wet gear
Rigid design that stands up

Arena Spiky III Backpack

⭐ Runner-up: best overall swim bag

Best Swim Bags - Arena Spiky III Bag

The Arena Spiky III Swim bag takes the silver medal when it comes to the top overall swim bag. The Spiky III is in its third iteration, and the bag has improved in a couple of key respects.

The main improvement is the top compartment opens from the very top of the bag, making it easier than ever to reach and grab your swim stuff.

The Spiky III is similar to the Teamster 2.0 bag in that it stays relatively upright when placed on the floor. Both bags also have a total storage capacity of 35L.

Adjustable shoulder straps and an ergonomic back pad make the bag suitable both tall and short swimmers, and extra thick bottom panel prevents water from wet pool decks and bleachers from soaking the bag’s contents.

The Arena Spiky III has plentiful storage, with loads of side pockets made of mesh and water-repellant fabric to dry swim gear and keep valuables from getting wet.

The Arena Spiky III is available in an eye-watering number of colors and prints, including tropical and camp prints, certain to scratch the creative itch of competitive swimmers.

✅ Reasons to Buy:  ❌ Things to Note:
Runner-up for best swim bag Main compartment isn’t split; wet gear needs to be added to exterior pockets and mesh compartments
Tons of solid color and vibrant print options
Sits upright when on the floor or pool deck
Easy access from the top of the bag
Bonus mini swim bag for storing wet gear

Arena Team 45 Backpack

⭐ Best extra-large swim bag

Best Swim Bags - Arena Team 45

The Arena Team 45 Backpack is an absolute tank of a bag, logging an expansive 45L of volume (that’s 10L more than the two swim bags reviewed earlier, BTW), making it the ideal bag for swimmers who pack a TON of gear.

The Arena Team 45 is essentially a larger version of the Spiky III, with a top loading bag zipper that is easy to access, tons of mesh-lined pockets on the front and sides of the bag. It also has a padded sleeve in the main compartment of the bag, perfect for protecting laptops or tablets.

In terms of comfort, the Arena Team 45 nails it with padded and adjustable shoulder straps and a ventilated back panel.

Arena also bundled the Team 45 Backpack with a separate mini swimbag that can store wet towels and swimwear separately from the contents of the main bag.

Whether you need to pack swimming and dryland gear, multiple sets of swim fins, or enough towels to last a four-day swim meet, the Arena Team 45 is the best option for you pack-hounds.

✅ Reasons to Buy:  ❌ Things to Note:
Spacious: 45L volume, ideal for swimmers with lots of gear Potentially bulky for light packing or everyday use
Easy access top loading zipper
Multiple mesh-lined pockets for quick drying
Additional mini swim bag for separating wet items

Sporti Athletic Backpack

⭐ Best budget-friendly swim bag

Best Swim Bags - Sporti Athletic Backpack

The Sporti Athletic Backpack is the best priced bag for swimmers, retailing for around 30-40% less versus competing swim bags.

For those unfamiliar with Sporti, it is SwimOutlet’s inhouse swim gear brand, made more affordable thanks to a no-frills marketing strategy.

Despite being a value pick, the Sporti Athletic Bag does not skimp on volume; at 38L it packs more stuff compared to the Speedo Teamster 2.0 and Arena Spiky III bags.

A large ventilated pocket is perfect for storing wet swim gear, large side mesh pockets allow goggles, caps, and other essentials to dry off after swimming, and the Sporti bag features a laptop sleeve that can accommodate larger laptops.

Budget-friendly, and packing more storage space than the most popular swim bags on the market, the Sporti Athletic Bag is a great option for swimmers who want maximum storage with a minimal price tag.

✅ Reasons to Buy:  ❌ Things to Note:
Best budget-friendly swim bag Only one color option
Tons of space; slightly more than leading swim bags
Separate compartments for wet and dry gear
Side mesh pockets for storing wet gear and/or water bottles
Large laptop sleeve

Xterra XW Transition Bag

⭐ Best for open water swimmers

Best Swim Bags - Xterra XW Transition Bag

Looking for a bag that stores wetsuits, triathlon gear, and all the equipment needed for conquering open water swims? The Xterra XW Transition Bag is your best bet.

The 35L bag’s main feature for open water swimmers is a zipped compartment at the bottom for storing a wet, err, wetsuit after swimming.

See also: 8 Best Open Water and Triathlon Swimming Goggles

Fold it and pack it into the bottom of the bag and don’t stress about getting the rest of your gear wet. Storing it in the bottom of the bag also protects your neoprene wetsuit from getting scratched and damaged.

The exterior of the Xterra XW bag is littered with mesh pockets and compartments for storing water bottles, goggles, swim caps, sunblock, and everything else you need to conquer the elements during open water swims.

For days where the bag is overflowing with gear, a drawstring closure and flap can “close” the top of the bag to protect your gear.

The Xterra XW bag also has a dedicated compartment at the top of the inner compartment for storing sunglasses and other small valuables. Like that!

✅ Reasons to Buy:  ❌ Things to Note:
Best bag for open water swimmers Might be too small for swimmers looking to store multiple wetsuits for race day
Dedicated wet-suit compartment that protects wet-suit and keeps gear dry
Tons of mesh pockets and compartments on the shell of the bag
35L of total storage

Speedo Deluxe Ventilator Swim Bag

⭐ Best backpack and mesh bag combo

Speedo Ventilator Deluxe Swimming Bag

Part swim bag, part mesh bag, the Speedo Deluxe Ventilator Swim Bag takes a bit of both to create a complete storage bag for beginner and intermediate swimmers looking to store goggles, caps, and swimwear.

Experienced swimmers (and swim parents) understand that a swim bag is just the beginning of the gear storage journey. As swimmers progress, they accumulate more and more gear, and the necessity of a separate pool-side mesh bag grows.

Mesh bags are designed to store equipment at the end of the lane, including fins, paddles, pull buoys, kickboard, and so on. Everything swimmers need to dominate practice. They are also great for fast drying thanks to the mesh shell.

The Speedo Deluxe Ventilator is more mesh bag than a swim bag, but it does feature back straps and a compartment for separating goggles and other swim essentials.

Of course, being more of a mesh bag does impose some limitations, including less compartmentalization and a less “stiff” design, and when full of wet gear, the bag will seep water.

Inexpensive, available in a ton of colors, and almost fully ventilated (it is called the “Ventilator,” after all) with a mesh lining to fast dry swim gear, the Speedo Deluxe Ventilator Swim Bag is a great option for swimmers who want the ventilating benefits of a mesh bag and the storage of a swim bag.

✅ Reasons to Buy:  ❌ Things to Note:
Best swim bag/mesh bag combo Not as sturdy as other swim bags
Backstraps and lots of storage space Very wet swim gear will leak through the shell of the bag
Mesh lined exterior for fast drying between swim workouts
Separate pockets for storing smaller items and valuables
Lots of color options
Easy drawstring opening for fast access

Other Swim Bags:

Other swim bags that we evaluated that are worth mentioning include:

Funky Trunks Broken Circle Elite Squad Backpack. Large, at 36L, and featuring a neat little cooler pocket for keeping drinks cool, the Funky Trunks bag has many of the same features as other popular swim bags. Only available in one color pattern, unfortunately.

Dolfin Medium Backpack. A good option for beginners and swimmers who don’t pack a ton of gear, the Dolfin Medium Backpack has less storage compared to alternatives (and also a lower price point).

Aqua Sphere Transition Backpack. The Aqua Sphere Transition Bag is an alternative to the Xterra bag, with both bags featuring 35 L of storage. The Aqua Sphere bag is heavier duty, with thicker waist and shoulder straps and more premium, but it is markedly more expensive.

Wrapping Things Up

Ultimately, a swim bag is a type of gear that most swimmers don’t think about… until they absolutely have to.

But a quality swim bag is more about just storing your goggles, caps, swim towels, swim paddles, and so on: it’s got your back, protecting the tools of the swimming trade, for the countless swim practices and competitions you’ll attend this season and into the future.

Choose a swim bag that matches your needs, including overall volume, compartments, budget, and colorways, and streamline your swim routine and packing.

Happy swimming!

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About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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