Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Swim bags are indispensable companions on a bathing trip. Since you should pack a lot of bathing clothes as well as a change of clothes and sun protection, swim bags are very important. They are characterised above all by the fact that they are water-repellent and dry laundry can be separated from wet laundry. With our swim bag test 2023 we want to help you find the best swim bag for you. Therefore, we have listed some aspects that should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.


  • Swim bags come in different sizes and are made of different materials. Depending on the size of the swim bag, the capacity also differs.
  • Most swim bags also have different compartments. Special features are the cooling and wet compartments.
  • There are also some alternatives to the typical swim bags, such as the swim backpack or swim bag, which is particularly suitable for children.

The Best swim bag: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for swim bags

Below are some aspects that can be distinguished in swim bags. The criteria with which you can compare the swim bags are as follows:


Float bags can be made of different materials and combinations of materials. The most common materials used for swim bags are:

  • Polyester
  • Nylon
  • Cotton.

Polyester: This is a synthetic, i.e. man-made material, made from man-made fibres. The man-made fibres are obtained from various basic materials such as hard coal, lime, crude oil and natural gas.

Polyester is used in most swim bags.

Polyester is often used in combination with other materials because it combines well with cotton, for example, creating a strong yet elastic fabric. Furthermore, polyester is very easy to clean, easy to shape and resistant to light and weather. Nylon: There are also some swim bags that are made of nylon. Nylon is also a synthetic material. Nylon consists of fully synthetic fibres that are made from inorganic substances such as carbon, water and air. Nylon is characterised by its tear resistance and stretchability. However, nylon fabrics are usually specially coated for outdoor use or replaced by polyester, as nylon alone can absorb less liquid. Cotton: Cotton is produced from the cotton plant. Cotton is grown on plantations. The fruit of the cotton consists of a capsule that contains a fluffy content when it blossoms. The cotton bales are then collected and processed. Cotton is characterised by the following properties: Absorbency, tear-resistant, skin-friendly, heat-resistant, durable and easy-care as well as hard-wearing and the high stretchability. Sometimes a special cotton fabric called Oxford is used for swim bags. The main reason for this is that Oxford has a slightly shimmering appearance and is somewhat stronger.

Storage options

Many swim bags or sports bags are characterised by the fact that they have several pockets. There is often a front pocket on the outside and an inside pocket on the inside. These are usually equipped with a zip. The inner pocket is usually rather small, which makes it particularly suitable for storing keys or wallets. Another detail that makes swim bags recognisable is the additional shoe compartment, which is usually called a wet compartment. This is usually fitted with a zip on the side of the bag. These compartments usually have a ventilation function so that the clothes dry quickly and the smell of shoes, for example, is minimised. However, some swim bags also have less storage space. These are usually called beach bags. They usually have an inner pocket with a zip and an outer pocket without a zip.

Larger swim bags or sports bags can have up to 5 compartments. There is the so-called main compartment, the shoe and wet compartment, a large side pocket, an extra compartment, a long front pocket and an ID pocket

Many bags also have a double pull zip for the larger main compartment instead of a single zip. Swimming bags for children usually also have 2 drawstring pockets on the sides, where you can store drinks, for example. With most bags, you can also choose whether you want to carry them with hand straps or with a shoulder strap. In some cases, the shoulder strap is also detachable.


There are several sizes of swim bags to choose from. It should be noted that every manufacturer offers different sizes, but the size is not the same for every manufacturer.

There are no standardised size specifications for swim bags.

The most common size specifications for swim bags refer to the age group. However, it is safe to assume that there are at least 3 to 4 sizes to choose from. Most commonly, swim bags are available in sizes S, M, L. Some manufacturers also offer swim bags in size XL.

Size Size in cm Suitable for Age group in years
S approx. 25 x 38 x 15 children and bambini 1 to 6
M approx. 37 x 25 x 20 teenagers and children 6 to 16
L 51 x 23 x 26 teenagers and adults 16+
XL 58 x 22-38 x 44 adults 18+

However, ages and sizes may still vary. This is very individual and depends on the size of the person and whether you are packing the swim bag for one or more people. The sizes in centimetres indicate the internal dimensions of the bag. The first number stands for the length, the second number for the width and the third number for the height of the swim bag. Sometimes, however, only the barrel volume is given.

Barrel volume

Just as there are different sizes of swim bags, there are also swim bags with different capacities. These are given in litres. For smaller swim bags, which are mainly used for small children, the bags with a capacity of approximately 8 litres are ideal. For teenagers and children older than 6 years, swim bags with a capacity of approximately 13 to 32 litres are suitable. Bags for adults can have a capacity of up to 76 litres. For adults, the range starts at around 40 litres. The size of the bag and how much capacity it can hold also depends on the manufacturer.


Swimming bags are available in a wide range of colours. For children, there are also often swim bags with motifs. The most common colours of swim bags are: Red, grey, black, blue and pink. There is also a larger selection of motifs for children’s swim bags. For example, there are swim bags with unicorns, spiderman, starfish, footballers, cars and many more.

Cleaning and care

Many swim bags can be cleaned in the washing machine. However, there is often advice that you should wash the swim bag or sports bag by hand to preserve the longevity of the bag. It is also best to let the swim bag dry lying down.

Note: Allow to dry thoroughly after washing!

If the bag is heavily soiled, it should be washed in the washing machine at around 30 – 40 degrees at low speed. For cleaning the inside of the swim bag, it is recommended that you wipe it out regularly with a damp cloth. This is particularly effective against odours.

Decision: What types of swim bags are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy a swim bag, there are several options to choose from:

Type advantages disadvantages
Swim bag with cooler compartment drinks and food stay cool cool packs are usually not included
Swim bag without cooler compartment less weight no cooling effect
Swim bag with wet compartment wet clothes can be stored separately from dry clothes bag has more volume
Swim bag without wet compartment less carrying volume dry clothes get wet through the wet clothes

With swim bags, you have the choice of whether you want to have an integrated cooling compartment to keep food cold or not. You can also buy swim bags with or without a wet compartment.

Schwimmtasche – Kühlfach

Swim bag – cooling compartment

Most swim bags have a cooler compartment. This is ideal for taking food with you on a day trip that can perish more quickly. However, there are also disadvantages of swim bags with a cooler compartment.

  • Drinks and food stay cool
  • more space in the bag
  • Cool packs are not included
  • more carrying volume

Smaller swim bags or swim bags for children and young people usually do not have cooling compartments. Therefore, swim bags with a cooling compartment are usually intended for families or several people.

Schwimmtasche – Nassfach

Swim bag – wet compartment

Many swim bags have a wet pocket. This is sometimes called a shoe compartment, as it has been adopted from sports bags. The shoe or wet compartment also has advantages and disadvantages.

  • wet clothes can be kept separate from dry clothes
  • shoes can also be packed in
  • the bag has more volume
  • unpleasant odour can occur

With wet compartments, it is especially important that the swim bag also provides ventilation. Otherwise you can expect an unpleasant smell from your shoes or wet clothes. Furthermore, you should make sure that the bag is left to dry for a sufficiently long time after using the wet compartment.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about swim bags answered in detail

If you want to buy a swim bag, there are certainly questions that should be answered beforehand. In our big swim bag guide, we have filtered out and answered the most important and most frequently asked questions from customers. The guide should help you find the perfect swim bag for you.

What is a swim bag?

A swim bag is similar in structure to a sports bag.

There are different types of swim bags, and they are often called something else. Some bags can even be taken into the water.
(Image source: Dylan Alcock /Unsplash)

The following items should be taken in the swim bag for the perfect swimming trip:

  • Swimwear (bikini, swimming costume, swimming trunks)
  • Bathing slippers and possibly bathrobe
  • Shower accessories
  • Blankets or mats
  • Money
  • Sunscreen
  • Change of clothes
  • Food / snacks and drinks

There are usually several compartments in the swim bag to fit all the items listed.

What size swim bag should I buy?

Swim bags are available in different sizes. The most common sizes are Small, Medium, Large and X-Large. Depending on whether everyone uses their own swim bag or if several people share a swim bag, the size will differ.

Swim bags come in different sizes. Smaller swim bags also offer space for the most important things. (Image source: Anna Hamilton /Unsplash)

For children, a small swim bag is usually enough. For teenagers, you often reach for the medium size. For individual adults, large swim bags are also sufficient. The size of the swim bag is always chosen individually. If several adults share a swim bag or only one swim bag is packed for the whole family, you should choose a very large swim bag like the X-Large bag.

How much does a swim bag cost?

There is a wider price range between swim bags. It depends on the size but also on the quality of the swim bag. The price range is from about 15 to 42 euros, although most good swim bags are also available in the price range between 20 and 35 euros.
Size Price
Small approx. 13 to 26 €
Medium approx. 20-33 €
Large approx. 20 to 41 €

When it comes to swim bags, the size of the bag is the main factor that determines the price. The larger the swim bag, the higher the price. It also depends on whether you buy very well-known brands of swim bags or less well-known brands. You should also look out for discount offers.

What alternatives are there to a swim bag?

There are several alternatives to swim bags that you can use. For example, a backpack, with or without wheels, or a swimming bag are good alternatives to a swimming or sports bag. Swimming backpacks, like swimming bags, have a relatively large amount of space and several compartments to choose from. However, backpacks usually do not have a cool/wet compartment. Backpacks are usually more expensive to buy than swim bags.

Swim bags are often also called sports or beach bags. (Image source: Debora Cardenas /Unsplash)

With the swim bag, you usually only have one compartment available. Therefore, the swim bag is more suitable for children who needed less space for their swimwear and change of clothes. These are the cheapest to buy.

How can you make a swim bag yourself?

You can also make your own swim bags for children. Cotton fabrics, oilcloths and truck tarpaulins are particularly suitable for this purpose, as they are also waterproof. The easiest way is to make a swim bag. In most cases, free patterns are available on the Internet. For the bag itself you need the following materials: two strong woven fabrics, oilcloth or truck tarpaulin. For the handles, 3cm wide webbing. First you should prepare the pattern pieces from the pattern. You will need two of the outside and two of the inside. Markings can be made with small incisions. In the next step you can fold a pocket pattern, which you can fix with a short seam. Then it is important to lay the 2 outside or the 2 inside sides right sides together. Then you can start to sew the long sides together. When sewing, you should add a seam allowance that you iron apart after sewing the long side together. Do this with the outside and inside. Next comes the bottom seam. Before you do this, fold the corners inwards with the help of cut marks. When all the edges are flush with each other, pin them in place. Then you can sew the bottom seam. Do the same with the inside and outside pockets. Then turn one of the pockets right side out and insert it into the second pocket. Then pin both pieces in place so that the side seams and the folds are on top of each other. Leave 12 centimetres open when sewing the straps together.

Swim bags or pouches can also be easily sewn yourself. These are particularly suitable for children.
(Image source: Morning Brew /Unsplash)

Next, cut in the seam allowances at even intervals around the curves. Once this is done, you can turn the bags through one of the straps. The first pocket, which was previously tucked into the second, becomes visible as an outer pocket. Then pin the straps to both sides, right sides together, the straps of the outer fabric and the straps of the inner fabric. Then you can sew the straps of the outer fabric together. Do the same with the inner sides. Finally, iron the edges and fold them over so that they have a nice shape. Then sew the straps together on the inside and the outside.

Image source: Yastremska/