What is a tow float? When to consider one for open water swimming.

If you are relatively new to swimming outdoors, you may be wondering why many swimmers choose to swim with a tow float.  Sometimes known as a swim buoys, tow floats are essentially inflatable bags attached to a waist belt and trailed behind you while you swim. 

In this Waterblog post we will explain the main purposes of a tow float.

Sea swimmer wearing a Puffin Eco Billy 15 Tow Float

1. Visibility

The main aim of using a tow float while swimming outdoors is for improved visibility. A brightly coloured orange or yellow float makes it easier for other water users to see you and prevent collisions. 

2. Valuables storage

Many tow floats have an internal dry bag storage space which allows you to store valuables such as your phone and car keys rather than leaving them on the dry land. It is a good idea to place your valuables in an extra dry bag in case of a leak. 

Phone and key with dry bag and tow float

3. Point to point swim adventures

Some large capacity tow floats such as the Puffin R35 Rucksack Tow Float come with rucksack straps. This kind of float allows you to carry gear on swim walks or point to point swims. These larger style tow floats allow you to carry a towelling poncho or lighter weight changing robes, a change of clothing and shoes.

Finally, it is important to remember that a two float is not a substitute for a buoyancy aid. They can be handy to take a little break and rest while holding on the the inflated float, however it will not function as a life saving device should someone get into difficulty. 

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