As a full-time basketball junkie, the amount of equipment and accessories that I bring to the court to play can add up – especially if I’m bringing my own basketball to the courts. If all goes well, I plan on staying on the court for at least a couple of hours and need all my must-have gear on hand. So how do I decide which bag is best for me?
You may be in the same position as me. How can you find the most comfortable, durable bag to fit your needs without making the wrong choice? What is your top priority: size, comfort, convenience? How will you enjoy the ease of fitting everything you need in one bag while taking away from the comfort of wearing a backpack?
Well, you’re in luck!
This article has you covered. We have reviewed some of the best basketball backpacks on the market today, arming you with the right information to decide which bag is ideal for your basketball lifestyle.
- The Nike Hoops Elite Gymsack is a quality lightweight option for the busy hooper. This traditional drawstring backpack is simultaneously big enough to pack a basketball but also a compact option if you plan on keeping your ball at home.
- For a sturdier bag that will comfortably hold your basketball and more, the Under Armour Unisex Team Hustle Backpack can’t be denied. This durable, water-resistant bag also has a secure water bottle pocket so there’s never an excuse to skip hydrating after the game.
- The MVP of the basketball backpack, look no further than the Nike Hoops Elite Max Air Team 2.0 Backpack. The bag can hold 2 large water bottles for the busiest baller and has a water-resistant bottom for maximum protection for all of your gear and/or phones, tablets, or laptop. Not to mention, this bag is HUGE.
Who Should Get This?
A top-notch backpack can benefit basketball players at all age groups and skill levels. It could be your 10-year-old about to go away to their first overnight basketball camp, your 15-year-old that is starting to get real serious about the game and showing some great potential, or literally LeBron James. Whoever it may be, the basketball backpack is a must-have to carry your equipment to every playground and/or gym that you ball.
If you aren’t as serious about the game and usually travel light – i.e. basketball sneakers and the clothes you wore to the game – then you can probably skip this purchase.
However, if you attend week-long camps where you need everything in one place, you are on your school and AAU teams and spend more time in hot sweaty gyms than playing video games, a backpack that can carry everything you need and then some is the way to go.
Best Basketball Backpacks & Bags: What to Consider?
In order to find the basketball backpack that fits your specific needs, you should take every factor into account. The last thing you need is buyers’ remorse on a purchase that is with you just as much as your teammates. So what are some factors to consider when selecting the perfect backpack?
Let’s face it, you’re going to be wearing this bag a lot. The most important considerations will start with the straps and their padding and size. For male and female hoopers, this option could be dramatically different. Another comfort feature could be an additional strap in the front, that usually clips and tightens around your sternum. The weight distribution can play a huge factor in everyday usage too. The more awkward the bag, the more stress added to your body while carrying it.
Nobody wants to shell out upwards of a hundred dollars for a bag that won’t last. So what makes a durable bag? First off, what kind of material is it made of? How many asphalt courts and high school bleachers will this bag get thrown on before it begins to deteriorate? I am a big proponent of stretching my dollars and maximizing my bag’s usage for as long as possible. Make sure you do a lot of reading about the lifespan of their bags before making your final decision.
Modern design and technology have gotten very good at creating space while not adding more bulk to a product. The bag you ultimately purchase should be able to fit all of your gear, basketball included, without feeling like carrying your dresser over your shoulder.
The Best Basketball Backpacks & Bags in 2019: Our Picks
For anyone who doesn’t need too much in a backpack other than to carry the basics, this is ideal. It isn’t that big because it isn’t supposed to be. Just a good quality bag that does the job you need it to.
What We Like:
- Lightweight, but thick enough to protect your equipment.
- Zip cord closure to ensure your gear is safe and secure.
- External zipper for added storage of small accessories (wallet, keys, phone, etc.).
What We Don’t Like:
- It does not accommodate everything you may need to carry in it. May need to purchase an additional bag for more comprehensive storage options.
This machine-washable product is durable, with a sleek design to impress anyone at the courts. Under Armour produces quality apparel and accessories for any skill level and this backpack is no different. And with a 15-inch shoulder drop, you can customize the bag for maximum comfort.
What We Like:
- Very spacious. Laptops and other large items can be added to the bag along with your gear for the busy baller.
- Built for longevity. Not a stretch to say this bag will last at least 5 years.
What We Don’t Like:
- The front pouch on the bag could extend out to add more space for smaller items or accessories you don’t want mixing with used clothing and sneakers.
This backpack has it all: size, comfort, and durability. It boasts several outside pockets allowing you to fit your clothes, shoes, ball, and two sports drinks. Nike has gone all-in on this product and once you try it, you may be a believer for life.
What We Like:
- The water-resistant bottom can protect your valuable gear from the elements.
- Max Air units in the shoulder straps providing extra comfort.
- Maximum space while remaining sleek to carry for long periods of time.
What We Don’t Like:
- Drink pouches on the side can spill water bottles if you aren’t careful.
- It’s definitely on the pricier side for some people.
Useful Tips and Resources
If the backpack you end up buying isn’t waterproof, have no fear. There are several great products on the market giving you the ability to take it up a notch for maximum protection.
Forcefield Protector Waterproof and Stain Resistant Spray gives your bag (your shoes and hats too!) that extra layer and offers you peace of mind that you won’t have to drop more money on a reliable backpack in the foreseeable future due to wear and tear. One coat of this spray on your bag will do the trick.
Meanwhile, take good care of your backpack and clean it regularly. Here’s a video tutorial you’ll like:
The price of basketball sneakers and clothing can really add up. And if you play half as much as I do, you know how important it is to protect your gear. The backpacks we reviewed today are a couple of the best options on the market today and can offer something for all types of hoopers.
Have a bag that you love that we missed? Have more questions about protecting your gear from the elements? We would love to hear from you! Drop a comment below and let’s get the conversation started!