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The North Face Sweeper

September 16, 2009

After completing my first triathlon in June I quickly noticed the need for a bag which can be carried on the shoulders. This is necessary because you often have to walk with your bike and all your stuff for long distances, so to have a product that carries everything you need on your back, really takes away a lot of the hassles I experienced.

Upon beginning my search for triathlon bags, I typed “Triathlon Bags” in Google, just like most people and I clicked on this website. I like their website because it is unique. There is music and graphics and all the fun stuff, but they also have actual triathlon bags, as their name suggests. They have fun names like, Apollo and Zeus, they have testimonials about how great their bags are, they have it all. I totally wanted one, but then I looked at the prices. For any normal person, their prices are totally reasonable, really, they are. But for me, they were just too high. Bags ranged from $70-$149, and while that doesn’t seem like too much, I didn’t want to spend that kind of money.

I decided to look further to find a bag that would work equally as well. And I came upon the North Face Sweeper backpack.

Perfect? YES!

North Face BagI don’t know the first thing about soccer, but I believe this bag was intended for soccer players due to it’s name, and that they advertise that the front “pocket” holds a soccer ball, but this bag is perfect for triathlon stuff. The “soccer ball pocket” fits a helmet perfectly. Safety First.

The two oversized water bottle pockets are big enough for a water bottle and a snack, or garbage, or whatever else you would like to stick in there.

The front zipper pocket holds my wallet, cell phone, keys, sunglasses, bike gloves, race belt, and other little trinkets and do-dads, perfectly. There are a bunch of little “organizing pockets” that hold everything in place. The bigger zipper part holds my towels, running shoes and a change of clothes, while the bottom pocket (where it says sweeper) is made for wet clothes. Before the race I put my bike shoes in there, but after the race I put all my dirty/wet belongings in there to keep the rest of the bag clean.

The price of this bag on the North Face website is about $75. Did I pay that much? No. But after about an hour of searching around on the internet I found the bag for about $40 at a place called Bob Wards. They likely don’t have any left at that price, but with some searching, I am sure you would be able to find this for less than the $75 price (although, now that I own the bag, I would likely shell out the $75.)

The shoulder straps are super padded and very comfortable, the bag itself is light, and the material seems to be very durable.

I am not a North Face snob or anything like that, but this is a quality bag that serves a great purpose, especially if you are looking for a triathlon transition bag.

As a side note, for those that like to take their laptops everywhere, I discovered that there is a special place in this bag for your laptop. I haven’t needed to take my laptop to a triathlon, but when the need arises, I’ll be prepared.

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