The OSS Eco Tow Float

Environmentally friendly tow float with a unique reflective panel. Pre order for May 2021

Designed for swimming adventures, The OSS Eco Tow Float is a new inflatable dry bag made out of recycled plastic bottles. Comes with SOLAS reflective material stripes, safety whistle and external tag for glowsticks (or cameras). Designed in consultation with  RNLI safety experts.

All pre-orders will receive a free Nite Ize Glowstick, to attach to their tow float front tag.

MADE OUT OF RECYCLED PLASTIC BOTTLES

This OSS Eco Tow Float is a highly durable float made out of rPET, or recycled plastic bottles.

UNIQUE FEATURES

  • SOLAS Reflective strips, front and back. SOLAS is coast guard approved for use at sea, with the tape specifically designed to enhance the visibility of life jackets, ring buoys, survival suits, and inflatable life rafts in marine environments. Applied to a tow float it will increase swimmer visibility in low and poor light.
  • Bright yellow green – in tests, the most conspicuous colour for floating objects, and seen from a greater distance than other colours. (The study tested colours in marine environments).
  • Designed with RNLI safety experts, by ULU
  • Comes with safety whistle to signal for help
  • External attachment tag for a Niteize Glowstick (also available in the shop), camera or easy-access snack pack
  • Two handles – easy to carry, good for ottering (floating with your tow float)
  • High quality build, including valves and clips: made to last
  • Two inflatable chambers, front and back
  • Created by swimmers, for swimmers: little or no drag

Disclaimer: The OSS Eco tow float is not a buoyancy device.

WHAT FITS IN?

The OSS Eco Tow Float will carry a changing robe such as the Storm Poncho, hamman towel and flip flops, for A to B swims where you want to swim there and walk back.

It will also fit full outfit of clothes and a towel.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • £37.99 – all pre orders will receive a Nite Ize glowstick with their bags
  • Weight 0.56 kg
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions deflated: 70cm long, 37cm wide
  • Dimensions inflated: 51cm long, 26cm wide, 20cm depth
  • Buoyancy 13 kg
  • Max load: 5 kg
  • Fabric: Nylon, rPET
  • Registered Design No. 6099048, 6099049, 6099050, 6099051

HOW TO USE A TOW FLOAT

For storage, as a floating kit bag

Tow floats are designed to carry things, with minimum drag. Tow floats can be used to store car keys and other valuables on a swim. They can also be used to keep food, drink, or inhalers on longer swims. Or clothes, towels, flip flops or changing robes for A to B swims.

Swimstaman and his Swiss friends use theirs for exactly this reason.  “In the winter we have no lockers or storage so usually one of us will take the short straw and carry the whole groups wallets and keys,” says Swimstaman. “I also use one to carry water and food, usually for swims over 1.5 hours and, of course, my GoPro!”

Be wary not to overload them as the additional weight could encumber you. Double bagging electricals (putting them in a second dry bag) is popular, as is wrapping or bagging sharp items such as keys. Attach to your waist. Or swap in a surf leash and attach to your ankle.

To increase visibility

Bright swim hats and flashes of colours on wetsuits can also help this.

In areas where there are high levels of boat, jet ski and windsurfing traffic a tow float increases a swimmers visibility in the water, with some harbour masters considering programmes that lend them to swimmers, and swimmers in boat-traffic lakes and waters saying they not swim where they do without one.

The choppier, darker, mistier the water, the harder it is to spot a swimmer. Even with a tow float, you need to stay alert to other water users as much as they be alert to you, particularly in areas where swimmers may not be expected. There will also be places and swims where a tow float is not enough – a SUP or support kayak is needed.

Wearing a towfloat can make it easier for friends, family and lifeguards as well as boats to follow the progress of a swim. OSS Special Envoy Swimstaman says: “For swimming any sort of distance within Lake Zurich, a tow float is almost mandatory. As the days get longer and the weather improves, the early morning hours are a competition between rowers, sailors, tourist boaters and swimmers in a potentially lethal game of Frogger. Even a shoreside swim can involve crossing harbour mouths and ferry ports, so it’s important to be visible.”

For children

For children who are starting out on their open water journey anything that floats can increase their confidence in the water. SUPs, lifejackets, buoyancy aids and inflatable toys fulfill the same function – provide a handy body weight support and giving them a rest. Nothing is a replacement for one-to-one adult supervision in the water.

For ‘ottering’

Ottering is a phrase coined, we believe, by Gilly MacArthur. “When we are in a river, drifting downstream, we lie on our backs, wrap our arms around the float and quietly enjoy the nature around us.”

Waterproof stow bags – for SUPS and boats

The OSS Eco Tow Float makes a great waterproof bag that can be stowed on SUPs, kayaks, boats etc.