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Top 14 Things to Bring to a Swim Meet 

Avoid the packing stress before a swim meet by following our guide on things to bring to a swim meet! 

Some swim meets are hours away, plane rides away, or down the street from your training pool. Regardless, make sure you’re prepared for these all-day competitions by packing in advance. 

New swimmers may wonder, why are those swim bags so big? Because you have to bring a lot of things to be prepared for a swim meet!

Prepare for your next swim meet like a pro with our FREEBIE for you. Grab the Ultimate Swim Meet Packing List here! Yay for less packing stress so you can focus on success in the pool!

Top 14 Things To Bring To a Swim Meet. Pictured is a swim bag, swim cap, swim goggles, a water bottle, and a swimsuit.

*Note, this section includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Make sure to bring your preferred warm-up suit, your tech suit, your team suit, and another backup race suit.

The ladies like to bring Jolyn tie tops to meets. This allows them to slip on the tie top between races and roll down the top half of their tech suits while they wait for their next race to give a rest from the tight feeling on the shoulders.

Swim cap 

Plus extras, don’t just bring a single swim cap. 

You may need to pack:

  • Team race cap
  • Dome cap
  • Warm-up cap
  • Extra team swim cap
  • Honestly, throw in 2 extra just in case one rips!

Swim goggles 

Bring at LEAST 2 pairs of swim goggles; it wouldn’t hurt to bring 3 because you never know how many are going to break or you may misplace a pair of goggles.

Bring extra nose pieces and straps if you have them. 

Swim gear 

Some swimmers like to warm up with swim gear such as paddles, kickboards, snorkels, or buoys. If you are one of those swimmers or your coach requires you to bring swim gear to meets make sure that you pack the gear you will want or need! 


For longer meets, especially in the winter, pack two towels! Maybe even a shammy towel too. 

Towels easily get wet, misplaced, and sometimes mixed up between swimmers. 

Bring bright or patterned towels that are easy for you to recognize. 

You may want them to sit on, bundle up with, or shade from the sun. 


You will want to rest your legs in between events. If you are sitting in bleachers bring a bleacher chair or extra towels to sit on. 

If you are at a meet with a deck and no bleachers bring a fold-up chair to sit in to rest your legs between events. 

For outdoor meets, some teams may have parents or coaches bring team EZ-ups. If your team does not provide shade make sure you bring your cover from the outdoor elements! 

Pack for the weather 

Check the weather in advance to pack for the temperature and any other weather factors such as wind and rain! Make sure to check and see if meets are indoors or outdoors to assist with your packing the night before. 

During hot outdoor summer meets you will want to stay covered and shaded to prevent the sun from draining your energy.

In the winter, you will want to do anything possible to stay warm. A cold, stiff swimmer is a slow swimmer. 

Things to bring to a swim meet for summer meets:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Fan with a water mister
  • Shammy towel (you can get it wet and carry it around to keep you cool)
  • Deck shoes: flip-flops or crocs
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Extra pair of dry clothes and undergarments to change into after the meet

Things to bring for winter meets 

If you are swimming at an outdoor meet in the winter you will especially need these items. Here are some items you may want to pack to stay warm and ready to race at a cold swim meet.

Things to bring to a swim meet for winter meets:

  • Parka
  • Boots
  • Socks and extra socks, we like fuzzy socks- keep those feet dry and warm!
  • 2 sweatshirts 
  • 2 pair of sweatpants
  • 2 pair of dry undergarments
  • Beanie
  • Gloves 
  • Hand warmers 
  • Extra dry, warm outfit to change into after the meet 

Footwear for swim meets 

Regardless of how warm or cool the weather is, all swimmers should bring a pair of flip-flops. The locker room floors are gross. 

Avoid warts and foot fungus by keeping your flip-flops on while in the locker room and on the pool deck when you can. 

During winter months opt for boots to help keep your feet both dry and warm. 

Water bottle 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Not all meets will have snack bars where you can purchase snacks and beverages. Some will have water fountains where you can refill your water bottle but do not count on this every time. 

Bring at least 2-3 bottles of water and 1-2 types of electrolytes to ensure you are staying hydrated during each session. 

Check out our ultimate hydration guide for swimmers for more hydration tips! 


Don’t forget to pack the most important thing– SWIM MEET SNACKS!

Never try any new foods on race day. Stick with your tried and true pre-practice meals and swim meet snacks.

Check out our Swim Meet Snack blog.

Fuel is key for recovering between events and staying energized throughout the long swim meets! 


Bring personal items to freshen up between events or after the meeting.

Do not forget lotion! After a day full of chlorine and getting wet and then drying off your body will feel dry, pack lotion and thank us later. 

Here are toiletries to pack for a swim meet:

  • Lotion
  • Deodorant 
  • Bodywash
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Chapstick 

Contacts or glasses

If you need contacts or glasses to see make sure to bring them! And if you are a contact wearer make sure to bring extra contact and contact solution just in case.

Hair ties and feminine products 

For the ladies, always bring your period products in your swim bag. You never know when it will strike or if your teammate will be in need. 

Keep extra hair ties in your bag to put your hair up before putting on a swim cap. Keep extra in your swim bag in case one breaks. 


Swim meets can be seriously long! Keep yourself occupied by packing fun things to pass the time. 

We recommend packing:

If your coach allows phones at swim meets:

  • Headphones
  • Heads up (fun phone app game!)

Be sure to keep track of the time and meet progress to avoid missing your meeting. 


Bring extra cash in case you need to buy an extra suit, goggles, caps, or snacks! 

Some swim meets have meet vendors that carry swim gear and snacks. 


We hope this gives you a better idea of the things to bring to a swim meet!

It can feel like a lot, pack your swim bag the night before when you have a clear mind and aren’t feeling rushed!

Make sure you have packed everything you need with our swim meet packing list! 

Download our FREE swim meet packing checklist PDF here!

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