When you first start playing tennis, you will probably just head to the court with a racket, a tube of balls, and possibly a drink. You will wonder why the pros need those huge bags. As you get better and start to play more, you will want to take two or three rackets, a towel, clean tennis shoes, a sports drink, bananas, a first aid kit, a cap, a bandana, and a rainproof jacket.
There will be many more things that you might wish to take with you onto court, and, suddenly, those big tennis bags won’t look so silly after all.
When choosing a tennis bag, players should look for one that will accommodate all their rackets safely, and will have space for all of the extras they need – like food, towels, sunglasses, sunscreen, shoes, strings, and more. In addition, bags should be made of durable and preferably waterproof materials.
In this article, we will look at the key points to consider when making your choice, including the design and size of the bag. We will consider the options chosen by the pros, along with the price and value for money offered by different types of bag. In addition, we will point out one or two of the best bags currently available.
What To Look For In A Tennis Bag
There are many styles and sizes of tennis bags, from modest rucksacks, with space for one or two rackets with the handles protruding, to bags designed to accommodate up to 15 rackets and plenty of extras. Your first decision, therefore, will be how much space you need, bearing in mind that a smaller bag is naturally far easier to carry.
It is not a simple choice between a rucksack or a 15-racket leviathan: there are 3, 6, 9, and 12-racket options. All apart from the rucksack will be shaped to keep your rackets covered and protected, and each will have additional storage space proportional to the number of rackets it can accommodate. If you normally only carry two rackets, a towel, a drink and a tube of balls, a rucksack or a 3 racket bag should be enough.
More serious players will tend to take 4-6 rackets to a tournament, as well as lots of extras, which may mean that a 9 or 12-racket bag is needed (although a 6-racket bag will accommodate their rackets, there will not be room for much else).
Essentially, you need to choose a bag that has plenty of room for your rackets as well as anything else you want to take. Don’t risk damaging the rackets by cramming too much into a modest-sized bag, but equally avoid buying something which you cannot comfortably lift.
Look out for useful extras such as a cool pocket and a shoe pouch. Finally, consider how you will be carrying your bag: any shoulder straps need to be easily adjustable and well padded.
What Tennis Bags Do Tennis Pros Use?
Watch any tournament and you will see the players arrive on court laden down by the enormous amount of equipment they bring with them.
Typically, a top tennis player will carry a large 12-15 racket bag, along with, possibly, an additional shoulder bag or backpack. They need such a large bag primarily due to the substantial number of rackets they take to a tournament, although it will also need to accommodate sports drinks, spare shoes, and food.
As an example, players like Stefanos Tsitsipas and Emma Raducanu use the 15-racket Wilson Super Tour Bag, whilst Djokovic and Nadal use similarly substantial offerings from their long-time sponsors, Head and Babolat respectively. In essence, players will tend to use very large bags provided to them by their racket sponsors.
Are Tennis Bags Worth It?
When you spend $1,000 or more on rackets, you want them to be well protected. Only a tennis bag will have pockets that keep rackets separate from the rest of your equipment, as well as being shaped to keep them securely in place. For this reason alone, a tennis bag is a worthy investment.
In addition, they are easy to carry, considering their size, and help you to look the part.
The Best Tennis Bags On The Market
This is entirely subjective, as there are many nicely designed bags that will transport your tennis gear safely. The latest models from the big racket makers will tend to be expensive, so if you care about value it may be good to buy the previous year’s version, which will inevitably be discounted, or consider a less famous manufacturer. A few good options are described below.
- Geau Sport Axiom 9-Pack Tennis Bag v1.5 – Geau Sport is a manufacturer of premium tennis bags, and the Axiom 9-pack is, in our opinion, one of the best bags on the market. It is made of durable and waterproof materials, and is designed in a specific way to carry all your tennis equipment.
- Babolat Pure Series 12 pack – This is a large bag, aimed at tournament players, which can be purchased in various styles to match your Babolat rackets. It has plenty of storage space and is popular with players.
- Vessel Baseline Tennis Racket Bag – Vessel is not known as a tennis brand, but this bag offers high-quality materials and a look that differs from the norm. This is ideal for a club player who is prepared to pay a bit more for quality and individuality. Its 6-racket design makes it easily portable, but means that it is on the small side for tournament play.
- Nike Court Advantage Tennis Backpack – For occasional players, this bag is affordable and does everything you need. It is especially suitable if you walk or cycle to the courts.
How Much Do Tennis Bags Cost?
For a backpack or a smaller tennis racket bag, it is possible to get a good bag for $50-100. The larger bags favored by the pros will tend to cost $130-200, and if you want the luxury of the Vessel Baseline bag, that will currently set you back $265.
There are many great bags out there. Look for one that will accommodate all of your equipment while remaining easy to carry. If these boxes are ticked, see what is within your budget and simply find a style you like.