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Last Updated on April 21, 2020
One of the nice things about pickleball is that it does not require a large amount of equipment to play. With just a racket, ball, and a net you can have a game.
But beyond the required items there are a number of other things you will likely pack with you to the court – game shoes, a towel, a water bottle, a hat or visor – just to name a few.
As the list of gear you haul gets longer, it will quickly become evident that you need some kind of bag to carry it all.
That is where a great pickleball bag comes in to play. Sure, a generic duffel bag or backpack will do the trick. But a bag that is specifically designed for pickleball players has a number of advantages.
Keep reading to see which ones are the best pickleball bags that we reviewed!
Related Reading: Best Pickleball Shirts
Types Of Pickleball Bags
When you start your search for the top pickleball bag to buy you will find four categories to choose from: the small “sling bag“, a larger “backpack“, the standard sports “duffel bag” style, and pickleball styled “tote bag“.
Each style of bag comes with its own strengths, so depending on what gear you carry and how you prefer to carry it there is a good chance you can find one that works for you at a decent price.
We’ll review the top pickleball bags for sale in each style further on, but for those of you in a hurry here is a quick comparison chart of our top choices:
Click on the button below any selection above to see more details on that pickleball bag. But before we review each item it makes sense to discuss what each style of bag offers to pickleball players.
Pickleball Sling Bags
The sling bag is currently the most popular style of bag among pickleball players.
The main reason why is they tend to offer an outstanding combination of functionality in a form that is both portable and comfortable.
The pickleball sling bag is designed to follow the tear-drop shape of a pickleball paddle. This allows them to comfortably carry several paddles in a small amount of space.
One potential downside to sling bags is that they usually do not have separate compartments to store different items. But if you are fine with most of your gear bunking together it won’t be a problem.
But smaller and more fragile items like your cell phone to get their own pocket to protect them from damage.
Most slings are great for transporting lesser amounts of pickleball gear, and they typically are easy on your shoulders. The better pickleball sling bags come with either one large padded strap that fits across your chest or a double cinch strap that fits nicely over your shoulders.
Given their simplicity, smaller size, and lightweight design, sling bags are perfect if you’re looking for a way to carry basic pickleball gear like paddles, a water bottle, pickleball, and other small personal items.
They are great if you want a simple way to sling your gear over your shoulder and head to the court without toting a huge pack of equipment.
Pickleball Backpack Bags
Pickleball backpacks are great for players looking for a combination of organization and storage capacity.
These bags are designed to offer more of a systematic approach to holding your pickleball equipment than you would with a standard backpack.
Pickleball backpacks are much larger than a simple sling bag, and are built to be better organized than a duffel bag. They are not as large as a duffel, and therefore won’t carry the same volume of gear.
But the typical backpack comes with two primary compartments to separate your larger pieces, and a generous assortment of side pockets with zippers and flaps. This allows you to segregate and hold your various pickleball accouterments.
Beyond storage capacity, a backpack is the reining champ at ease of carry and back friendliness. A collection of pickleball gear that would be uncomfortable to carry in a bag at your side will seem light once it is securely on your back.
The volume of pickleball paddles, shoes, clothing, and other items that will fit into a backpack is surprising. Thanks to all the separated compartments along the sides of the main zippered chamber you will think you have the pickleball equivalent of Hermoine’s handbag.
If your goal is maximum storage space without a duffel bag’s bulk, we suggest you checkout a pickleball backpack.
Pickleball Duffel Bags
When your pickleball game requires more equipment than just the basics, the solution for more space is likely one of the larger pickleball duffel bags.
Like the old-school duffel bag you lugged to gym class or practice after school, pickleball duffel bags come with an expansive primary compartment that can hold enough gear for both a game and a shower after, and maybe your partner’s equipment too.
Most pickleball duffel bags are designed to hold as many as four to six paddles, water bottles, towels, court shoes, water bottles, snacks, a change of clothes, and maybe more.
And as if that wasn’t enough, many of the higher quality pickleball duffel bags available offer a bevy of exterior pockets to keep your cell phone, sunglasses, and keys close at hand.
To put it simply, you cannot beat the sheer volume and functionality of a good pickleball duffel bag. If your playing schedule requires extended says at the gym, club, or rec center, you can’t go wrong with a duffel bag.
Pickleball Tote Bags
Tote bags are relatively new entries in the pickleball equipment market, so there aren’t a lot of different models to choose from. But because they offer an attractive alternative to sling bags they are growing in popularity.
Pickleball tote bags fall somewhere in between the size of a sling bag and a duffel bag. They offer a little more space and easier accessibility than you get with a sling bag, but without the bulk that comes with a large duffel bag.
That makes it a nice compromise between the two styles.
The tote bags on the market are mostly targeted towards female players, marrying a practical pickleball bag with feminine styles and colors.
But there are several available in colors and styling that would work equally well for women or men.
On the inside of a quality pickleball tote bag you’ll find copious amounts of space in the primary main compartment, along with a number of simpler zippered pockets on the sides to securely stow smaller personal items. Better tote bags can easily carry three to four paddles, and still have enough room left over to carry smaller pieces of pickleball gear.
Carrying options vary from one tote to another, so it is important to compare features when looking for a bag.For example, some tote bags only offer long handles, while other models may come with both shorter handles as well as a shoulder carrying strap. Keep that in mind if you think a tote might be the right solution for your pickleball bag needs.
Here is a YouTube video from an avid pickleball player explaining what he carries in his bag:
And, that’s our top pick of bags in each category: sling, duffle, backpack, and tote.
Hopefully, our best pickleball bag review was able to help you choose the best one for you.