Swim safety buoys, also known as swim buoys, are an essential piece of equipment for open water swimmers. In this article, I’ll give you my review of the best swim safety buoys for open-water swimming and triathlon in general.
I’ll guide you through the key features to look for in a swim safety buoy and answer some frequently asked questions.
The 5 best Swim Safety Buoys
- Xterra Wetsuits Swim Buoy
- New Wave Swim Bubble for Open Water Swimmers and Triathletes
- T6 20L Swim Buoy Waterproof Dry Bag
- Hikeen Swim Buoy
- Sunlite Sports Swim Buoy
Xterra Wetsuits Swim Buoy
In my experience, the Xterra High-Vis Swim Buoy is a reliable and efficient companion for open water swims. Its bright color significantly enhances visibility, making me feel safer as I’m more noticeable to boaters and other watercraft. I’ve found that it creates very little drag, which is a huge plus as it doesn’t interfere with my swimming rhythm.
One of the best features of this swim safety buoy is its natural buoyancy. Although it’s not a lifesaving device, it provides a sense of security knowing that I can use it as a temporary flotation device if I need to rest or if I cramp up. It’s also incredibly lightweight, making it easy to bring along on any open water adventure.
The Xterra High-Vis Swim Buoy also comes with a dry bag storage compartment. While it’s not particularly large, it’s sufficient for storing essentials like identification, car keys, and even a small waterproof camera. However, it’s important to note that the storage compartment requires multiple folds to close properly, so it’s not ideal for larger items.
Despite its many positives, I did notice that the buoy seemed to leak air over time. This didn’t drastically affect its buoyancy during my swims, but it’s something to keep in mind.
New Wave Swim Bubble for Open Water Swimmers and Triathletes
The New Wave Swim Buoy is a top-notch Swim Safety Buoy. It’s highly visible, lightweight, and comes with a comfortable adjustable belt. The storage compartment is a great addition, keeping essentials dry. However, the inflation valve can be a bit tricky, and deflating the buoy takes some effort. Despite these minor issues, it’s a fantastic product that enhances safety during open-water swims.
T6 20L Swim Buoy Waterproof Dry Bag
The T6 20L Swim Buoy is a reliable and functional swim safety buoy that significantly enhances open water swimming experiences. It provides high visibility and buoyancy, allowing swimmers to venture into wider open areas with confidence. The dry bag feature is useful for storing items, although it’s not recommended for electronics. Some minor issues include a disappearing waist strap and a slightly small size. Despite these, the buoy is highly recommended for its safety features and the peace of mind it offers, especially for solo swimmers.
Hikeen Swim Buoy -Waterproof Touchscreen Storage Space
The buoy is made from a durable material that has held up well during my open water swim training. The bright orange color of the buoy, coupled with a fluorescent green belt, makes it highly visible in open water, which is a crucial safety feature.
One of the standout features of this swim buoy is the dry storage with a touch screen. This feature has been a game-changer for me. It allows me to keep my phone and other belongings dry while I’m swimming. The touch screen functionality is a bonus, as it lets me navigate my phone and even take pictures during my swim.
The Hikeen Swim Buoy also features an adjustable waist belt that fits comfortably and securely. The belt is long enough to accommodate swimmers of all sizes, which is a plus. The inflatable valve is reliable and easy to use, and the buoy inflates quickly and easily.
Sunlite Sports Swim Buoy
In my experience, the Sunlite Sports Swim Buoy is a fantastic companion for any water sport. Its bright neon color makes it highly visible, providing a sense of security when I’m swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking. The buoyancy is impressive, thanks to the premium PVC material and reinforced inner bladder. It’s comforting to know that I can hold onto it when I’m out of breath or need a break from swimming.
The adjustable waist strap is a great feature, providing a secure and comfortable fit. However, if you have a waist larger than 36 inches, it might not fit. This is a minor drawback, but it’s worth noting.
One of the standout features of this swim safety buoy is its dual functionality as a dry bag. I can store my important items in it, and they stay dry, even when I’m in the water. It’s a great solution for keeping my belongings safe and dry during my water adventures. But be careful not to put anything sharp inside, as it could potentially puncture the bag when inflated.
The Sunlite Sports Swim Buoy is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport. It’s not overly large, so it’s important to use it proportionately to weight appropriately. Despite its size, it’s still very visible in the water, which is a huge plus for safety.
In terms of durability, the material seems to match other nautical materials, suggesting it should last a long time. However, only time will tell how well it holds up in the long run.
In summary, the Sunlite Sports Swim Buoy is a reliable, highly visible, and functional swim safety buoy. It’s a great investment for anyone who enjoys water sports and values safety and convenience.
What to Look for in a Swim Safety Buoy
When selecting a swim safety buoy, there are several key factors to consider. These factors will ensure that the buoy you choose will serve its purpose effectively and provide you with the safety and convenience you need during your open water swimming sessions.
Visibility is arguably the most crucial factor when choosing a swim safety buoy. The primary function of a swim safety buoy is to make the swimmer visible to other water users, such as boaters, jet skis, and even other swimmers. This visibility is essential for ensuring your safety in the water, as it helps prevent collisions and allows others to locate you quickly in case of an emergency.
A good swim buoy should be brightly colored—usually neon orange or pink—to stand out against the blue or green backdrop of the water. The size of the buoy also plays a role in its visibility. It should be large enough to be seen from a distance, but not so large that it becomes cumbersome to use. Some buoys also come with reflective strips or lights for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions.
Swim safety buoys need to withstand the harsh conditions of open water swimming. They are exposed to salt water, sun, and sometimes rough handling, so they need to be robust and durable.
High-quality swim safety buoys are typically made of durable materials like PVC or nylon that can resist punctures and wear. The seams should be well-constructed to prevent air leakage, which could cause the buoy to deflate during use. Some buoys also feature a double-layer construction for added durability.
Some swim safety buoys come with built-in storage compartments, allowing you to carry personal items l
Some swim safety buoys come with built-in storage compartments. These compartments allow you to carry personal items like keys, snacks, or even a water bottle during your swim. This feature can be particularly useful for long-distance swimmers or those who like to explore remote swimming spots.
However, it’s important to note that the storage capacity of a swim buoy can vary significantly from one model to another. Some have small pockets for essentials, while others have larger compartments that can fit larger items. When choosing a buoy, consider what items you’ll need to bring with you on your swims and choose a buoy with a storage capacity that can accommodate those items.
Ease of Use
A good swim safety buoy should be easy to inflate and deflate, lightweight, and have adjustable straps for attaching to the swimmer’s waist. It should not interfere with your swimming technique.
The buoy should be easy to inflate and deflate, allowing you to set it up and pack it away quickly and easily. It should also be lightweight so that it doesn’t weigh you down during your swim. The straps should be adjustable to ensure a comfortable and secure fit, and they should be easy to fasten and unfasten.
Swim safety buoys come in a wide range of prices, depending on their features and brand. However, a higher price doesn’t always guarantee better quality. It’s essential to consider all the other factors mentioned above when choosing a swim safety buoy.
Remember, the best swim safety buoy is the one that meets your personal needs and preferences. It’s worth investing in a buoy that is durable, visible, easy to use, and has the right storage capacity for your needs, even if it costs a little more.
Choosing the right swim safety buoy involves considering various factors, including visibility, durability, storage capacity, ease of use, and price. By taking the time to consider these factors and compare different buoys, you can find the one that best meets your needs and enhances your safety and enjoyment of open water swimming. Remember, the best swim safety buoy is the one that meets your personal needs and preferences.
What is a swim safety buoy?
A swim safety buoy is a flotation device used by open water swimmers to increase their visibility in the water and, in some cases, carry personal items.
Why should I use a swim safety buoy?
A swim safety buoy increases your visibility to boaters and other water users, reducing the risk of collisions. It can also provide a sense of security and a place to rest during long swims.
How visible are swim safety buoys?
Swim safety buoys are usually brightly colored and large enough to be seen from a distance. However, visibility can depend on factors like the buoy’s color, size, and the water conditions.
What are swim safety buoys made of?
Swim safety buoys are typically made of durable materials like PVC or nylon that can resist punctures and wear.
How durable are swim safety buoys?
The durability of swim safety buoys can vary depending on their material and construction. High-quality buoys should be able to withstand the harsh conditions of open water swimming.
Do swim safety buoys have storage compartments?
Some swim safety buoys have built-in storage compartments for carrying personal items. However, not all buoys have this feature.
How easy is it to use a swim safety buoy?
Most swim safety buoys are easy to inflate and deflate, lightweight, and have adjustable straps for attaching to the swimmer’s waist. They should not interfere with your swimming technique.
How much does a good swim safety buoy cost?
The cost of swim safety buoys can vary widely, depending on their features and brand. It’s important to consider all the key features when choosing a buoy, rather than just the price.
Can I use a swim safety buoy in any type of water?
Yes, swim safety buoys can be used in any type of water—whether it’s a lake, river, or ocean. However, they are most commonly used in open water swimming.
How do I maintain my swim safety buoy?
After each use, rinse your swim safety buoy with fresh water and let it air dry. Regularly check for any signs of wear or damage.
Can swim safety buoys prevent drowning?
While swim safety buoys can provide a sense of security and a place to rest, they should not be relied upon as a life-saving device. Always swim within your abilities and follow safety guidelines.
Are there different sizes of swim safety buoys?
Yes, swim safety buoys come in different sizes. Larger buoys are more visible but can create more drag in the water.
How do I inflate and deflate a swim safety buoy?
Most swim safety buoys have a valve for inflation and deflation. Simply blow air into the valve to inflate and open the valve to deflate.
Can a swim safety buoy be used for training?
Yes, some swimmers use swim safety buoys for training purposes, such as practicing drafting or sighting.
Is a swim safety buoy suitable for children?
While children can use swim safety buoys, they should always be supervised by an adult when swimming.
Can I use a swim safety buoy for other water sports?
Yes, swim safety buoys can also be used for other water sports like triathlon training, snorkeling, or paddleboarding.
How do I attach the swim safety buoy to my body?
Swim safety buoys usually have adjustable straps that can be attached to the swimmer’s waist.
Can swim safety buoys withstand strong currents and waves?
High-quality swim safety buoys should be able to withstand strong currents and waves. However, always consider the water conditions before swimming.
Are there swim safety buoys with special features, like GPS?
Some high-end swim safety buoys come with special features like GPS tracking or emergency alert systems. However, these features are not common and can significantly increase the price.
Where can I buy a reliable swim safety buoy?
Reliable swim safety buoys can be purchased from sports equipment stores, online retailers, or directly from the manufacturer’s website. Always check customer reviews before purchasing.