The Swim Safe tow floats are a great idea for open water swimmers who want to be safe and be seen in open water. We tested some at Derwent Water in summer to see how they performed and they worked great!
There are a few different types to suit everyone's purpose. There is a basic float or there is a dry bag (you can put stuff in it and then fasten to keep it sealed). This works well with flip flops and car keys etc! The Donut (pictured) has a top section which is clear and can be opened whilst you swim, so you can put your phone, drinks and food in there. The dry bag can't be opened whilst you swim.
So there are 3 key things here:
1. You can put stuff in it and keep it dry.
2. It can keep you afloat, so swimmers who are insecure or for children in particular, it's something to keep you upright and for parents, you can spot your children very easily, so great in the sea!
3. Visibility to boats and other craft are essential. We organise open water swim events and I can assure you, a 'bright cap' in a large lake does not make you visible to other boats, they cannot see you. The tow floats are extremely visible to all, giving you added security.
They work by simply inflating them (blow into the one way valve) and then there is a belt and a strap which goes round your waist. The strap isn't very long and my initial thoughts were that it would get in the way when swimming. Having tried them, I can tell you that you can't even feel them and they do not interfere at all.
For such a small cost, they are a fantastic piece of kit for any open water swimmer and I'd argue that children should never enter open water without one.