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Taking up swimming again - best bag?

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    Taking up swimming again - best bag?

    I'm looking at taking up lap swimming again, and expect that most of the time I'll go before work. I'm trying to figure out the best way to manage that, and what I bring to work in general. I will be driving to the place I'll be swimming, and I think I want something that will hold things, but I don't want my things rattling around in a too-large bag or where I keep fighting with the storage. (I am also not a morning person and have some chronic health issues, so anything that reduces friction in getting out the door or maintenance is a good thing for me.)

    Things I will be bringing to the pool:
    - Goggles
    - Swim cap
    - Waterproof MP3 player
    - I'll wear my swimsuit there, but need to pack it after, in a way where I can let it finish drying out easily in my car/at home.
    - The health club provides towels and also shampoo/etc. but I may end up wanting to bring my own.
    - Some days I may want to use the treadmill or do a class, in which case t-shirt and shorts rather than swimsuit.
    - Few minor things so I don't have to rummage them out of my main bag (ibuprofen, bandaids, etc.)

    My current EDC: Maker's Bag, with a neoprene lunch bag and water bottle inside it, wallet, sunglasses, plus miscellaneous small things. This fits lunch and water bottle great but there's not much spare room. I only need to carry this + whatever I take to the health club a short distance.

    Other TB bags I currently own: Id. Synapse 25. Brain Bag. Aeronaut 45, two Side Effects, Medium Cafe Bag.

    Options:
    1) Use a bag I own, of which the Synapse seems the most likely option but I'd love to hear from people who have a similar kind of use. I use the Cafe Bag often enough for other things (smaller day trips where I don't want to carry as much) that I'd probably rather not use it for this, but might buy a second.

    2) Buy a new bag: I've been vaguely considering the Moveable Feast for Farmer's Market use (in which case I'd probably put the smaller stuff in a side effect, so I could clean it out quickly), or a Packing Cube backpack (though then I dither about color: my Aeronaut is Indigo/Solar, and I'd like something that complements it nicely.) I travel moderately, and I've been contemplating packing cubes anyway.

    3) Something not yet suggested here. Feel free to suggest.

    #2
    I use a Clear Quarter Packing Cube for swim things. Toiletries on one side; suit, swim cap, and goggles on the other. I can also pack a microfiber towel in it. The Dyneema/Halcyon gets a bit damp, though.

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      #3
      I lap swim and also take an "on-land" class pre-pool. I'm a woman so have more stuff than a man. I use a shop bag turned inside out. because I take full size toiletries (don't like changing them often) I keep them all + goggles in a #4 stuff sack. I use a laundry stuff sack to take underwear, and after the swim, put the suit in the other side. I have flip flops, and they also go into the laundry stuff sack. I put clean clothes in the bottom of the shop bag with the laundry stuff sack on top and the toiletries standing upright to the side. I put keys and watch in the pocket now on the outside, and because the Y has coffee, I put a travel mug in the other side to fill in my way out (never have coffee before swimming!) I usually keep a hair dryer in my bag just in case as well as a few plastic grocery bags. I'm plus size and use a large shop bag, so a smaller person can easily use a small. and adjust the size of toiletries etc. HTH, YMMV.

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        #4
        I use a PCBP as my "gym bag" and it works for me. Extra clothes go in a PCSB in the bottom of the BP. There is still lots of room for additional clothes or swimming stuff like goggles. The front pocket is useful for little stuff. The PCBP also fits in the locker. A PCSB MIGHT work for what you are carrying, but it could be a tight squeeze.

        Good for you for getting back into swimming!!

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          #5
          I'd take either my NFDB which is great for use in a changing room as it sits flat and can have things compartmentalised. You could have a plastic bag already nestled in an end section for wet swimmers, or in the middle for wet swimmers and towel.

          Or a shopping bag - these work for EVERYTHING - turn inside out and put MP3 in one of the pockets. goggles and cap in the other for easy access. An organiser pouch for the ibuprofen, etc, clipped to the o-ring. Towel, gym clothes, afterwards clothes in the middle. When you change, put the swimmers in a bag on top to quickly pull out and hang in the car.

          Good luck with the swimming. I used to do that in London before work - the pool had one glass wall and it was amazing swimming along with a few to mist rising above frosty ground outside. SUCH a great way to start the day - you'll feel amazing each morning afterwards!

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            #6
            I've been using a Nordic large shop bag (blue, get it?) as a swim bag for two years now. It dries easily, holds two large towels plus a small towel, extra clothes, cap, pouch with shampoo and soap, and goggles.

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              #7
              I was swimming laps this morning (100 lengths, which is just shy of 1.5 miles!) and noticed that the lane lines on the pool floor are NORDIC (original)! how could I have missed that until now? Blue with white grids. how bad is it when i see Nordic in the swimming pool?

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                #8
                Thanks for all the comments! I have just ordered the PCBP in Fjord (I dithered a lot between that and Sitka).

                I'll post photos when it gets here and I get a chance to try it out!

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                  #9
                  I realized I never actually followed up! I did order the PCBP, and it'll be useful for packing for longer trips, but what I've ended up using for swimming is the Synapse 25. I discovered I really wanted multiple places to stash things.

                  In it, I have:

                  - Bottom front pocket: Underwear and bra (when I go to the pool), swimsuit (when I leave)
                  - Left side pocket: Goggles
                  - Right side pocket: Swimming cap
                  - Front small pocket: Waterproof MP3 player and headphones (makes it really easy to find/check I've packed)
                  - Main compartment: peshtermal towel and one of the weird terrycloth towel twist turbans for my hair (it helps a lot, though.) and a 3D clear organizer pouch. When I'm dressed and it's still very damp, I loop it through the handle on the top and let it air dry in the car while I'm at work.

                  The main compartment will fit a heavier towel wrap (regular weight large towel) with a bit of careful folding and squeezing, but I've found the peshtermal a lot easier to pack and unpack all the time and suitable for my needs.

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