Man in hi-viz swimming wetsuit sitting on rock by the seaside. With a bright orange Orca Tow Float beside him.

Why Tow Floats Should be an Essential Part of Your Swimming Kit

Stay safe and be seen on your next open water swim

Increase your visibility in the water to keep yourself safe. This is important so that other water users can see you, but also so that your friends know where you are.

When heading out with my local swim group, we usually wear either tow floats or hi-vis swim caps or both which makes it easy to do a headcount in the waves.

Let's have a look at the different types of tow floats on offer. One very important thing to remember is that as a rule, these are not life-saving devices unless specifically stated. That means, they don’t have the level of buoyancy to carry your weight. They are for visibility and while you can of course hold on to your tow float to take a breath and bob around in the water for a while, if you are looking for a floatation device, make sure to buy one that specifically states that, like the Restube range which we’ll mention below.

The most popular colour is orange, but pink and yellow (Restube) are also available.

Tow Float

A basic tow float that is all you need if you take nothing with you on your swims. Perfect for locations where you can leave your car keys/phone on the shore/lakeside and don’t need to worry about them.

Tow Donut

This is what I used for my very first swim course where we swimming from a busier car park, so I could take my keys on the water with me. The tow donut is a tow float with a small integrated dry bag that would be big enough to hold keys, a phone or even a small water bottle. It can of course be used empty for the times that you don’t need to bring anything.

Tow Float with Hydration Bag

Zone3 offer a unique tow float design with integrated hydration bladder so you can drink on the go on longer swims without having to get out a water bottle. This would be great for athletes during longer swim races.

Tow Float with Dry Bag

Other tow floats offer bigger dry bags and come in several sizes, for example 9 litre or 28 litre. These come in very handy if you are going on a longer swimming adventure or are swimming from point to point rather than turning back to your starting point. In the bigger ones you can bring clothes, a towel, hydration and other bits and pieces with you.

Tow Float with Dry Bag and LED lights

The ultimate tow float to bring equipment with you and be seen in the dark with the LED lights inside. Perfect for early risers or swimming after work in the winter to be seen on the water.

Restube Safety Buoys

The Restube Active safety buoy has a buoyancy of 75N. It is a belt worn around the hips and can either be inflated on emergency with a trigger handle or be inflated by mouth and used like a tow float on swims. When manually inflating it can be used over and over and be repacked easily. A great option for swimmers (and other watersports enthusiasts) who are looking for a floatation device to bring on the water that does not get in their way. This will carry the weight of an adult.

With the increase in popularity of sea swimming, a great range of hi visibility tow floats is now available to cover all eventualities making it easier than ever to increase your safety on the water.

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Tow people swimming in lake with bright Tow Floats attached

Two people on the beach blowing up Tow Flaots and getting ready for a swim.