What Is The Right Tennis Bag For Me?
There are a few considerations when purchasing a new tennis bag from functionality to style and size, we'll highlight some key features and what to look for when selecting a new bag.
The most important thing is that your bag does its job, that it holds all your gear in an organized manner. Make sure that you know how much you'll be bringing to the court prior to choosing a bag, that way you don't take it home and realize it's too small. Multiple pockets make it easy to separate racquets and your other gear and zippered pockets are a great feature for holding your valuables. Most bags will have at least one exterior zippered pocket and bigger bags or backpacks will have multiple. Think about how you want to carry your bag and check that the one you want has that capability. Smaller bags will have a single shoulder strap whereas larger bags and backpacks have two straps which is easier to carry on a bicycle which may be better for you.
One aspect shoppers often disregard is the material their bag is made of. Most manufacturers use a similar plastic finish which gives bags that shiny exterior, however some bags like the Federer DNA 12 pack or the Babolat Pure Line have a harder shell which increases the durability of the bag and protects your gear inside. These are great to look for if you travel a lot or tend to toss your bag around. Wilson’s new commuter style backpack is a great example of higher quality materials (canvas) that are durable and stylish.
Speaking of style, a lot of players factor looks into their bag purchase. Whether it’s the colour, the pattern, or simply matching the brand to your racquet, your bag can be an expression of your tennis personality if you want it to. There are also a lot of ‘lifestyle’ type bags available that are multipurpose outside of the tennis club. Totes are a great example of a flexible design that can be an everyday bag as well as your tennis bag. Duffel bags have risen in popularity with the pros as well due to the flexibility of carrying your clothes and racquets separately or using it as a gym bag on the side. Colour, shape, and function can all be factored into your tennis bag style, you just need to decide what’s right for you!
Perhaps the most important characteristic of your bag is size. Making sure it fits all your racquets, shoes, towels, and whatever else you may bring to the court. There are a variety of size options and we’ll break down each one so you can easily figure out which one suits your game the best!
3 Racquet Bag
A three racquet bag is great for the club player who lives close to their club and only needs to carry their racquet to the courts. These bags have one main compartment and sometimes a small outside pocket for small items like a phone and wallet. There is space at the base of the racquets for a couple cans of balls or water bottles. If you want to carry other items that you need, such as your shoes or a change of clothes we suggest looking at a backpack or bigger bag. This is also a great size bag if you need to stand it up in a locker and not take up too much space. Three pack bags will have carrying handles as well as a single shoulder strap so you can sling it over your shoulder.
Backpack & Tote Bags
If you are looking for something compact and versatile that can fit your racquet and provide you with some storage space a backpack or a tote is a great option. Most backpacks are designed to carry two racquets that sit flat against your back and then they'll have a large main pocket for your gear. Higher end backpacks will have a separate compartment for your shoes, this is a great feature especially for clay court players as it keeps your dirty shoes apart from your fresh towel or change of clothes. Backpacks are great if you enjoy cycling to the courts or if you want your tennis bag to double for everyday use. A lot of junior players are using backpacks now because they are easier to carry than the large 6 or 9 pack bags. Tote bags offer a similar functionality to backpacks, most have space for 2 racquets and lots of accessory pockets for all your essentials. Some of our designer tote bags from Ame & Lulu offer more space and are very stylish, these are great bags that accentuate your everyday look and get you to the court with your gear.
Tennis duffel bags have been rising in popularity since a lot of ATP players have started using them and bringing them on court with their other large bag. The purpose of these is totally up for you to decide but they’re very versatile which is why they’ve gained popularity. The tour players use them to keep clothes separate from their racquets, shoes, and sweaty gear. You may not have as much stuff and can fit your racquets and gear in the duffel which is what they’re commonly used for. Then the bag can double as a gym or workout bag because it’s more conspicuous than a classic tennis bag. Whether you need a second bag for space or just want a bag that doesn’t scream you’re a tennis player; duffel bags are a great new option that are flexible in any situation!
6 and 9 Racquet Bags
Having extra space can’t hurt, it is better to have extra space then not enough space. The greatest benefit of having extra space is that you can bring all your equipment with you to the court. Racquet bags that can store 6 racquets are likely to have two large compartments, which is great for storing your shoes, towel and anything else you may need.
“I only have one racquet, why do I need a 6 or 9 racquet bag?”
This is a common question for newer players who just have a single racquet. When you're new to the sport you just think of bringing your racquet and a can of balls when you go to play. Once you start advancing and playing matches you realize that there's a never-ending list of useful things to pack for a couple hours of hitting. Towel, change of clothes, multiple water bottles, snacks, socks, tape, the list goes on. A 6 pack or larger ensures that you have the capacity to bring everything you need. Once you have more than one racquet you should consider moving up to a 9 or even 12 pack. Most 9 pack bags also come with a temperature control system that helps to manage the temperature in your bag. A major benefit of the temperature control compartments is that it helps to maintain your string tension and helps protect your racquet from extreme weather or changing pressures when traveling.
12+ Racquet Bags
Some players have many racquets, especially competitive juniors. They can carry more than 4 racquets in their bag at a time. Players prefer to keep their clothes and their racquets separate from each other as it is easier for storage and not getting your equipment entangled with you dirty clothes. The benefit of having a 12 racquet bag is that there are usually three compartments to help you keep your racquets separate from your other on court necessities.
“Who has 12 racquets, why do I need such a big bag?”
Very few of our customers have 12 racquets but it's common for tournament players to have between 4-6 racquets which means at least one or two pockets will be all racquets. The other pockets fill up with their gear but with more small accessory pockets it's much easier to organize your stuff in a 12 pack than it would be with the smaller bags. Most of the bigger bags also have built in shoe compartments where you can store your dirty shoes away from everything else in your bag. If you’re looking for a bag that can store all your racquets and equipment in separate compartments a 12 racquet bag would be perfect for you.
Storing Your Bag
We don’t suggest storing your racquet bag in the car for long periods of time as the extreme temperatures inside a car can play havoc with the playability of racquet strings and even on the integrity of the racquet frame. However, if you need to store your bag in the car for shorter periods of time look for a bag that has climate control material in the racquet compartment.
“Does it matter where I store my bag?”
The best temperature for your racquets and gear is room temperature, try not to leave your bag somewhere that gets really hot or cold for long periods of time, if you expect to have to do this try to make sure your racquets are in a climate controlled pocket of your bag.
Whatever your tennis needs, there's a bag out there to fill them. Whether you're starting small with a 3 pack or are progressing to tournaments and need to pack for a weekend in a 12 pack, we have the bag for every player!