To play tennis, you’ll need a racket, balls, and shoes – perhaps even a change of clothes. That’s why a regular backpack won’t suffice: you need a tennis-specific backpack for all your gear. With all the tennis backpacks out there, how do you choose the best one?
Choose a tennis-specific backpack because regular backpacks can’t fit tennis equipment. Tennis backpacks come in many sizes, but choose one based on the number of tennis rackets that you need. It should also have space for your other extra items such as shoes, balls, apparel, hydration, and snacks.
On top of these, there are many other things you should consider when shopping for a tennis backpack. Read the guide below to learn more.
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Features of the Best Tennis Backpacks
Rackets, balls, and other tennis gear can be bulky. That’s why you need a reliable, durable tennis backpack made specifically to help you travel with your essentials.
It should also be said that tennis racquets are costly. Beginners may shell out a few hundred dollars for one, while more advanced players can spend $1,000 or more on a quality racket. When you spend this much on sports gear, you want to make sure it is protected at all times.
A quality tennis backpack is an excellent investment, no matter what level of player you are. Unlike a tote bag or duffle bag, this style of bag lets you travel with all your tennis gear on your back while also keeping your hands free.
With all the options on the market, how do you find the right tennis pack for you?
Storage capacity is the most important consideration for tennis bags. When choosing the size of your tennis backpack, think about your skill level, frequency of play, and the number of tennis rackets you need. Beginners need smaller packs, while the pros use substantially larger backpacks.
Tennis backpacks come in a range of sizes to accommodate one to as many as 15 rackets. Tennis coaches and seasoned players may need to carry more than 6 rackets at a time, while recreational players may need a bag that can hold 3 rackets.
Tennis bag sizes are usually designed to carry 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and 15 rackets. Here’s more information on tennis bag sizes:
If tennis is a hobby, you play a few times a month, or you’re a beginner who is learning the ropes, consider a 3-pack backpack. It’s the smallest size of all tennis backpacks but has ample features for storage and organization.
Three packs come with one racquet compartment that can carry up to three rackets, plus one or two smaller pockets. Even if you don’t have to carry three rackets with you, the extra space can be used for clothes and other tennis accessories.
A six to nine-pack is a comfortable middle ground for many players. They are roomy and have two racquet compartments, yet are smaller than backpacks designed for tournaments. This size has enough space for the needs of seasoned players: rackets, shoes, gear, a towel, and other extras plus it’s compact enough to carry to and from the courts.
The 12-15 pack is the biggest option available for tennis backpacks. They are used by professional athletes, tournament, and league players because they need significantly more rackets, clothing, and gear, particularly when traveling. These packs have ample space for up to 15 rackets and will usually have three extra pockets for smaller belongings.
Even if you don’t need to carry 15 rackets with you, the additional content can come in handy for everything you need for a long day of matches. Additionally, their pockets are usually designed with thermal lining for extra protection.
Types of Tennis Backpacks
There are two main types of tennis backpacks: the racquet bag and the tennis backpack.
It’s easy to tell them apart: racquet bags have the same shape as a tennis racket. They are usually larger around the front while the back is tapered, enabling rackets to be stored securely in a snug position while preventing them from moving around too much. These are ideal for tennis players who need to take several tennis racquets with them at a time, plus a few other accessories they’ll need on the court.
Then there are the tennis backpacks, which are backpacks that are designed with tennis-specific features. These may include a separate compartment for tennis rackets and shoes, plus compartments for wet clothes, tennis balls, and other essentials. Tennis backpacks are suitable for beginners and hobby players, as well as those who occasionally hit the court.
Considering that a tennis racket costs around $200, it’s important that the backpack you choose does a good job of protecting it. Higher-end bags offer significantly more support and padding with lined material to protect your rackets.
However, the kind of racquet protection you’ll need also depends on your skill level as a tennis player. Recreational or hobby players may not see as much value in paying for cushioned bags or lined interiors. On the other hand, tournament players will appreciate the superior protection offered by well-known tennis bag brands, since they go the distance and even ensure that the tensions of racquet strings aren’t affected by heat exposure.
The materials used to construct backpacks will directly influence their durability. Nobody wants to spend money on a tennis backpack, only to have its seams ripped off after a few uses. Quality fabrics and solid construction are key.
Nylon and polyester are always good choices. Both are widely used in many racquet backpacks. They can carry heavy loads without easily breaking, so they can stand up to the heavy load of rackets and other gear.
Always look for nylon and polyester that is at least 400 deniers; this metric is used to determine the strength of the fibers used.
You may also want to consider weatherproof or waterproof fabric, such as tarpaulin. This helps ensure your tennis rackets and gear stay dry no matter what the weather.
Think about your personal needs as a tennis player when determining how many pockets your backpack should have. Many of the best tennis backpacks already have a built-in shoe compartment for tennis shoes, which is a great feature to consider because you’d want to separate them from the rest of your gear. Otherwise, the smell of your shoes may linger with the rest of your gear and you wouldn’t want that.
Here is a list of some items you may want to have special compartments for:
A small pocket or two, placed strategically in the pack’s interior or exterior, greatly adds to the bag’s functionality. Given the large size of most tennis backpacks, it would be convenient when you can access everything in one place as opposed to bringing an additional bag.
The best tennis backpack is made with high-quality zippers. Given how frequently you’ll be reaching for your tennis rackets in zippered compartments and bags, this is a feature that should not be overlooked. Use a zipper made from plastic and it will easily rip off after a few uses.
Ideally, zippers should be heavy-duty and luggage-grade.
Consider the design of a racquet bag and how you intend to use it. If you are only taking it to and from the court, then a regular tennis backpack will do. However, if you want to use the pack for your everyday needs, such as to and from work or school, you may want to go for a design that has more features for your lifestyle.
For example, if you tend to run errands or before matches, you want a tennis bag that is casual but has pockets for non-tennis essentials. These may include your cash, a credit card, a magazine, books, headphones, and extra clothes. It’s good to know that many tennis backpack manufacturers also consider the lifestyle of customers: you are no longer limited to tennis-only packs because you have the choice of going with a more flexible design that can also serve as your everyday bag.
Additionally, there are gender-specific tennis backpacks that have designs and sizes that cater to both men and women. Women’s tennis backpacks are more feminine in design and shape as well as in the colors they come in, while men’s tennis backpacks are usually more rugged. Unisex options are available too – it all depends on your personal preferences and size.
Tennis players who have to carry more than 6 rackets plus other gear may find it burdensome and heavy to wear a backpack for long periods of time. You may want to consider wheeled tennis backpacks for portability, especially if you travel across the country or internationally for competitions.
These rolling backpacks are much easier to transport heavy loads. They are equipped with smaller handles and enable you to wheel them around, but can also be converted into a backpack for extra versatility.
Smaller racket backpacks are more affordable, usually in the range of $50 to $100. Meanwhile, tournament pros invest in bigger, more luxurious tennis backpacks that have a price tag of around $200.
Again, it helps to consider your skill level and frequency of play when deciding how much to shell out on a pack. More expensive backpacks are equipped with higher-end features and design technology. If you’re just starting out or play a few times a week, you may not need to spend as much.
Carrying racquet bags and all their contents can be heavy. That’s why it’s also important to look for features that make it more comfortable.
For example, a lightweight bag doesn’t add unnecessary weight to your gear. Tennis bags that are under 2 pounds would be ideal; it reduces the risk of strain and discomfort on your shoulder when carrying your bag for a long time.
You’ll also want to ensure your bag has padded and adjustable shoulder straps. The good news is that most renowned tennis bag brands will already incorporate padded, adjustable shoulder straps. This feature is easy to find in most products.
Many tennis backpacks come with climate protection features, which are designed to protect your racquet and its strings. Extreme temperatures can have negative effects on how they work, which means that they can result in a loss during your tennis matches.
Exposure to high heat results in substantial tension loss in the racquet string bed. Over time, the strings lose their playability and durability. It can even grow brittle.
Cold temperatures affect both the racket frame as well as the strings. When the racket is exposed to cold for long periods of time, the frame is no longer as responsive while the strings lose elasticity.
For these reasons, it’s beneficial to use a racquet bag that comes with climate protection. Without it, moisture and sunlight can penetrate the fabric, which may damage your racket as well as other tennis equipment.
Different bag brands have varying climate protection technologies and names. These include:
- Isothermal protection
- Climate Control Technology
Racket bags designed with these technologies come with a higher price tag. They do help when you live or play in locations that have high or low temperatures.
However, even if your backpack comes with climate protection, it’s still important that you protect your racket by keeping it out of extreme hot and cold temperatures. One of the biggest mistakes many novice players make is leaving their racquets in the trunk of their car. Even with climate protection, this is a bad idea.
Other Features To Consider
Before you decide on a tennis backpack, be sure to check out these other handy features that some products include:
- Thermal lining, to protect your backpack contents from moisture and extreme weather
- Moisture-protective pockets, for storing used clothes and shoes after a match
- Shoe bag, to keep your shoes separate
- Laptop or tablet sleeve/pocket, ideally with padding, which is helpful if you need to travel with your tech
Our Recommendations for the Best Tennis Backpack
To make shopping for a tennis backpack easier, below are products that are popular with our team. Check out this helpful list:
Wilson Roger Federer DNA Backpack (Black): Wilson Sporting Goods Co. has been supporting the tennis industry for more than a century now, with their superior-quality gear. Whether it’s tennis racquets or equipment, you can count on Wilson to always deliver the best.
The same holds true for the Wilson Roger Federer DNA Backpack. It’s been given the stamp of approval from no other than the iconic tennis superstar, proven by his signature printed on the backpack exterior. This 2-racket bag secures your belongings with locking zippers, though the side accessory pockets make it easy to reach for smaller belongings.
The Wilson Roger Federer DNA Backpack comes with a Thermoguard compartment, which helps protect your smaller belongings such as snacks and other gear from extreme temperatures. There are also several other pockets inside and outside of the bag: a fleece-lined accessory pocket, shoe compartment, interior water bottle pocket, and several more. Staying organized is made so much more convenient!
Carry everything you need with ease and flexibility. The adjustable and padded shoulder straps provide comfort, while the top carry handle makes it simpler to grab the bag for carrying. This racquet bag is considered among the best men’s tennis backpacks, and it’s easy to see why.
Athletico Compact City Tennis Backpack: Athletico specializes in making backpacks and gear for all kinds of athletes. They are renowned for their excellent quality but affordable price, making them accessible choices for novice tennis players on a budget.
The Athletico Compact City Tennis Backpack can fit two rackets, while the spacious main compartment is roomy enough to store towels, your clothes, tennis balls, shoes, and other accessories. Each side has a large pocket for your water bottles, and the reinforced bottom ensures that the bag and your hydration stay upright.
Carry everything you need on and off the court with total comfort: its ergonomic design and adjustable, padded shoulder straps make sure you are comfortable all day long.
Babolat Pure Aero Backpack: Babolat is the oldest racquet sports brand in the world, founded in France in 1875. Leave it to them to design some of the best-quality sports backpacks, bags, and equipment. The Babolat Pure Aero Backpack is among the world’s best tennis backpacks, trusted by players constantly on the go.
The 3-racket bag separates your rackets in one insulated compartment while all your other belongings are in another. An integrated laptop compartment safely keeps your laptop in place. When you aren’t heading to the courts, there’s no need to switch to another backpack: simply fold up the racquet compartment and it stays in place thanks to the magnetic fastening.
The Babolat Pure Aero Backpack has a functional and practical design without sacrificing aesthetics. It’s constructed with numerous world-class materials specifically for the purpose of protecting your tennis gear and other belongings. The backpack exterior is made with Lifeproof Tarpaulin, which is waterproof and will last you many years of use.
In addition, the extra-durable insulated compartments are dye-free and recyclable. Your racquets will always be safe from temperature fluctuations and the elements. More importantly, it’s easy to find what you need inside this racquet bag: color-free lining on the interior helps you easily find what you need, while the transparent shoe compartment enables you to check if your shoes are packed.
Fila Heritage Tennis Backpack: Fila, a sportswear brand founded in Italy back in 1911, is a global expert in sportswear and apparel. Trust them to design practical tennis products, such as the Fila Heritage Tennis Backpack, which is packed with features that players will appreciate.
Head to the court in style with this pack, which has a generous amount of space for tournaments or a day at the court. The dual, padded tennis racket sleeves let you bring along 2 rackets that stay protected even while you’re in motion. The easy-access shoe compartment separates your shoes from the rest of your gear, though you can also use them to keep your sweaty clothes after a challenging game.
The Fila Heritage Tennis Backpack has an insulated compartment to ensure your favorite drink is always cool. There are several zippered pockets in the backpack that help you organize tennis balls and other tennis accessories. Unlike other tennis backpacks and totes that are flimsy, this pack holds its shape well for extra convenience.
Geau Sport Axiom Tennis Bag: Tennis players who need roomy storage for 9 rackets will appreciate the features of the Geau Sport Axiom Tennis Bag. Geau Sport has long been in the business of specializing in gear bags, evident in its dedication to creating products that always have thoughtful features.
This backpack can fit 2 racquets in its left padded sleeve, another 2 in the right padded sleeve, plus up to five in the main compartment. However, when you don’t need to bring as many rackets, you can use the main compartment to store something else, such as clothes, an energy drink, and more. The pack’s interior has two detachable and adjustable dividers for versatility.
Keep your wet gear in the roomy waterproof top pocket, designed for keeping wet towels, clothes, and tennis shoes. There are additional exterior pockets that can keep smaller belongings properly organized. Aside from superior organization, the Geau Sport Axiom Tennis Back prioritizes comfort too: each shoulder strap is fully padded and adjustable, so it can fit all body sizes.
With all the gear that can fit into this bag, it also has to be durable because nobody wants to worry about the hassles of a backpack breaking down mid-match. The main backpack fabric is made with 420D polyester ripstop, which is resistant to the weather, tears, and rips. Meanwhile, the bottom fabric is constructed with 500D Cordura – also weather resistant and protects from abrasion.
Head Tour Team Backpack: Head has a long history of designing and manufacturing high-performance clothing and gear for many kinds of athlete, especially tennis players. The Head Tour Team Backpack is proof of their decades of expertise in knowing exactly what tournament players need.
If you are looking for the best women’s tennis backpack, look no further because it comes in feminine colorways. Add to that the pack’s sleek silhouette, and you get a tennis backpack that will easily match your tennis apparel. It also has a handle cover that can accommodate two grips, ensuring that they stay securely in place even while you’re on the go.
The Head Tour Team Backpack has an integrated shoe pocket, separate from the rackets. Other essentials and accessories can be kept in the front pockets. Meanwhile, the side stretch pockets are perfect for storing an energy drink and a can of tennis balls.
Tumi Alpha Tennis Bag: If you’re on the lookout for something more luxurious, the Tumi Alpha Tennis Bag is highly recommended. Brought to you by a world leader in luxury suitcases, Tumi’s answer to tennis backpacks does not disappoint.
The pack can accommodate up to 12 tennis racquets with its expandable design, but it also has a lot of other useful features. Carry it as a backpack or on your shoulders; it comes with stowaway detachable straps so you can carry it in a style that's most comfortable. When you do decide to wear it on your back, the adjustable and padded straps help distribute the load evenly.
The Tumi Alpha Tennis Bag is constructed with Ballistic Nylon, one of the toughest materials out there. Never lose sight of your pack: the 2 D-rings are designed for placing luggage tags, but they are also equipped with the Tumi Tracer, an exclusive feature that ensures you never lose your luggage.
It has several other wonderful features. The leather-wrapped carry handle is always a nice touch! Your belongings are always protected with a vented zip pocket, which is lined and waterproof too.
The Tumi Alpha Tennis Bag is the choice of discerning tennis players. Given all these features, one can see why it fetches a hefty price tag, but it’s definitely worth the investment.
With this guide, finding the best tennis backpack is simpler. Just be sure to check all these features when shopping around for your racquet bag.