As open water swimming enthusiasts, we love trying out and reviewing different products so you can get the best items for your swims. This time we tried out Swim Secure’s Tow Float. Read on to find out how we got on with it.
Swim Secure is one of the top suppliers of open water products and accessories producing dry bags, tow floats, swim caps and much more. With the goal of making open water swimming safer for all, Swim Secure creates products for everyone from triathletes, regular swimmers, beginners, and families.
How does the Tow Float work?
The tow float comes with a waist belt and a leash and is built to float above your knees when you’re swimming in the water. When we tested the tow float, we didn’t feel any drag and we didn’t kick it or hit it (apart from once in a strong gust of wind). We even started to wonder if we’d lost our floats. But when we checked, our floats were still there, bobbing along above our knees.
It has a one way valve and two inflation chambers which made it easy and quick to inflate. Although we did make the mistake of initially over-inflating the first chamber. Remember that the first chamber only needs to be half inflated to allow room for the second chamber to also be reasonably inflated.
The waist belt is adjustable and extra belts can be bought and attached to fit people of different sizes. The ability to adjust the waist belt made the tow float feel securely attached. Attaching the waist belt and leash can be a bit confusing at first but we managed to work it out. Here is how we attached the belt and leash to the tow float:
- Locate the tow float handle.
- Put one end of your leash through the handle and through the loop on the other end of the leash.
- Slide the loop down the leash to create a kind of knot around the handle.
- Get your belt and put one end of it (it doesn’t matter which end) through the leash loop that isn’t attached to the handle. You can now fasten the belt around your waist.
After our swim, it was easy to deflate the tow float by pushing the valve in with the back of the valve cap. We found this works best at about a 45 degree angle. The lightweight and small size of the tow float made it really easy to transport to and from our car and the water.
Who Is the Tow Float for?
Although this tow float would be a useful safety product for any open water swimmer, it’s best suited for experienced open water swimmers. As experienced open water swimmers ourselves, this tow float did everything we needed it to do. It didn’t affect our swimming stride, we couldn’t feel any drag and it made us much more visible in the water. This would also make it great for open water swimming competitions.
Although Swim Secure emphasises that the tow float is not made with the purpose of being a buoyancy aid, the float can support an adult's weight. However experienced the swimmer, anyone can get into trouble out in the water. So it’s comforting to know that in an emergency the float can provide some support while waiting for help.
- Deflated float size - 41cm x 32cm - Lightweight and compact.
- Belt length - adjustable between 58cm and 108cm (additional waist belts can be bought to fit larger sizes).
- Available in bright orange or pink - Easy for watercraft, other swimmers and rescue teams to spot you in the water.
- Quick and easy to inflate and deflate with one way valves.
- Can provide buoyancy support in an emergency.
- Didn’t notice any drag.
- Made from strong and durable pvc.
- Two air chambers - so the float doesn’t deflate if it gets a puncture.
- In case of emergency contact details section.
No pockets for your keys
This tow float doesn’t have a mesh pocket or dry bag compartment. We didn’t think this would be a problem as we don’t usually stop during our swim so don’t need a compartment for a water bottle or energy snack.
We usually have a friend staying on shore who looks after our car keys during our swim. But if I went swimming without a friend on shore, I wouldn’t be able to bring my keys with me and I wouldn’t want to hide them on the beach.
However, this wouldn’t put me off using the tow float. Instead, if I went out for a swim without a friend on shore, I would also wear a bum bag to keep my keys safe with me on the swim.
Visibility in Choppy Waves
This tow float is very visible for a far distance and our friend did manage to spot us from shore for the majority of our swim. However, when the wind started to pick up at the end of our swim, our friend struggled to see our tow floats in the choppier water.
Compared to tow floats with similar features, the Swim Secure Tow Float is well priced. Check out our comparison:
- Swim Secure Tow Float - RRP £22.00.
- Puffin Swim Tow Float - RRP £21.99.
- Dippy Wild Swimming Float - RRP £24.99.
- Zone3 Swim Safety Tow Float - RRP £22.50.
Overall, we definitely recommend using the Swim Secure Tow Float and we will be making good use of our floats in the future. Not only does it provide an extra level of safety thanks to its visibility, but it also provides some buoyancy support which can be vital in an emergency. All without drag or affecting your swimming performance. Perfect for experienced swimmers and swimmers entering competitions.