Sports Bag
Last updated: 08/13/2020

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There are hundreds of innovative products that make practicing sport more efficient and enjoyable, regardless of the sport. From running shoes to fitness tracking watches that measure your heart rate to specialized sunglasses for cycling, there are so many amazing products that help make sport more enjoyable. The sports goods industry is a rapidly expanding market that is continually producing new and improved products.

A sports bag not only helps to keep all your sports things in good condition as you travel around but also helps to keep everything that you need for practice well organized. Sports bags are specially designed products that are used by athletes, professional or amateur, to carry extra clothing or equipment, store and protect food or carry drinks to stay hydrated. A good-quality sports bag helps any athlete stay organized and well-prepared so that they can focus on simply performing in their sport. In the following guide, we will teach you everything there is to know about sports bags so that you can find the perfect product.

Key Facts

  • There are generic sports bags that can also be used as cabin baggage or even as check-in luggage when traveling on an airplane or train.
  • Some sports bags are made for specific sports, such as tennis, boxing or swimming.
  • The size, capacity, design, durability, and materials of sports bags are important purchasing criteria to consider prior to selecting one.

Our Selection: The Best Sports Bags on the U.S. Market

On the market today there are so many sports bags with different designs, styles, and uses, that it is difficult for consumers to know which one is the best option. There are even sports bags that can double as travel luggage, either cabin baggage or check-in luggage, as they are resistant yet lightweight products. With all these options, making a final selection can be a really difficult decision. To help you out, we present four of the best sports bags from different categories that are currently available on the market. We hope that one of these products suits your needs and budget.

Best Small Sports Bag

The HOLYLUCK Drawstring Sports Backpack is the perfect small, collapsible bag for your gym gear, soccer boots or wet towel and googles. Made from 100% polyester, this bag is durable and easily washable so that you can always keep it clean and ready to use. Available in more than 15 colors and designs, there is sure to be a style to suit you.

Best Small Duffel Sports Bag

The Adidas Defender III Small Duffel is the perfect sports bag to use as your daily gym bag as well as your ‘weekender’ bag for trips away. The main compartment has a zip to ensure nothing falls out and is roomy enough to stash your gym clothes or fit everything for that short trip away. The reinforced fabric is built to last and features a lifetime guarantee to prove it.

Best Gym Sports Bag

Available in 22 colors and designs, the Under Armour “Undeniable” duffle 3.0 gym bag is the ultimate accessory for taking all your gym gear with you. This well-designed sports bag features a large vented pocket for laundry or shoes, one mesh pocket and an additional large zippered pocket for organization. To keep all your gym gear conveniently organized, take a closer look at the Under Armour “Undeniable” duffle.

Best Sports and Travel Combination Bag

The Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag is specifically designed to be both a sports bag and a hand luggage option for when you travel. Made from unique high-density nylon fabric that is water-resistant and extremely durable, this is the ideal bag to carry all your sports gear. When it comes to travel, this bag can transport everything you need, with dimensions designed specifically to fit inside overhead lockers on airplanes.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Sports Bags

Choosing a sports bag can actually be far more complicated than it seems. The appearance and price are some of the obvious factors to consider when choosing a bag, however, defining the use and what goods will be placed inside are equally important aspects to determine. In the following section, we will explain the ins and outs of sports bags so that you can make a successful decision when it comes to choosing a product.

Sports Bag

The most common materials used to make sports bags are nylon, polyester, and plastic.
(Source: Dinis Tolipov: 86414648/

Are sports bags suitable for any sport?

The first and most obvious point to consider is what the sports bag will be used for. For example, a tennis or squash player will require a bag with far more space than a soccer player or someone who does CrossFit. Below have listed the most common sports bags and their key characteristics.

  • Tennis bags: These are bags that have a specific shape and size to fit and carry tennis rackets. They also usually have a section for clothes and footwear, as well as additional pockets for small objects such as jewelry and other valuables. The majority of tennis sports bags have room to fit more than one racket.
  • Squash bags: The bags used for the sport of squash are very similar to those for tennis, although slightly smaller. They feature a compartment for the racket and another section to carry clothes and shoes.
  • Soccer bags: Soccer specific sports bags are compartmentalized to separate your clothes, your boots, and the ball. In addition, they usually have smaller pockets to carry products such as strapping tape, separate from the sports equipment.
  • Swimming bags: Sports bags for swimmers are made with a waterproof lining inside, to prevent damage that can be caused by moisture from wet objects. They usually have mesh pockets on the inside or outside for carrying flip-flops or flippers.
  • Hiking bags: When it comes to hiking, the best style bag is a backpack, as this makes carrying heavy items over long distances far easier. The materials used to make a hiking backpack are very important to consider, as this often determines how comfortable the bag is to wear. We highly recommend looking for a hiking backpack that is both waterproof and made from quality materials, as these bags are often subject to challenging weather conditions.
  • Gym bags: When it comes to a gym bag, a backpack option is recommended to facilitate easy transport, while a duffel bag is recommended for carrying more items. In addition to big compartments for your gym gear and shoes, some gym bags have specialized compartments for carrying food or drinks, such as protein shakes.

Sports Bag

Most sports bags feature hand straps and a larger shoulder strap to carry more weight.
(Source: Alexsey Kurguzov: 60144014/

Are the materials of a sports bag important?

The most common materials used to make sports bags are nylon, polyester, and plastic. The first two materials, nylon and polyester, are stronger and more durable than plastic. In addition, nylon and polyester sports bags are usually waterproof, which is makes them ideal for water sports, cycling or hiking.

Sports bags that are made of plastic or canvas tend to last for less time than nylon or polyester. Although plastic is resistant to shocks and protects everything inside better, over time this material tends to crack, especially on the outside of the bag. Synthetic leather bags, often produced by imitation brands usually last even less time, which is why they are the least recommended sports bag.

LeBron JamesBasketballer
“As a professional athlete a lot is going to be said about you – but I just try to move forward and try to achieve my goals.”

It is also recommended to choose a bag that is lined on the inside with a material that is different from the outside. A good-quality internal lining provides the bag with extra padding, which keeps all the objects inside well protected whilst being carried. Finally, in addition to sports bags being waterproof and durable, they also should be easily washable. This will ensure that you can easily clean the inside and outside of your sports bag so that it is always kept in top condition.

What are the other uses for a sports bag?

A sports bag is a product that is characterized by being lightweight and durable, which makes it the perfect travel companion. What’s more, due to their convenient size, they are a great choice to use as hand luggage for air or train travel, where space is often limited. Their soft shape also means they can be squeezed into small gaps, such as under a seat or in an overhead locker.

There are also sports bags with wheels that can easily be utilized as check-in luggage and pulled around airports as wheelie bags. Finally, there are some special sports bags that have a specific compartment for storing a laptop or tablet, which can turn them into a combination sports/work bag.

Below we have listed the most common alternative uses for sports bags:

  • Cabin baggage: Smaller sports bags tend to have a good combination of large and small pockets. The material used to make small sports bags is usually light, resistant, and sometimes waterproof. This is the perfect sports bag to also use as cabin baggage when you travel on an airplane or on a train.
  • Bag with wheels: Sports bags with wheels tend to be more resistant than generic sports bags. Due to the wheels, they are ideal for carrying heavier loads, through airports for example. Keep in mind that without a good surface to wheel the bag on, these models are very impractical when heavy.
  • Sports/work bag combination: Are you the type of person that works out at lunchtime or hits the gym after work? There are specially designed sports bags that are also adapted to carry laptops or tablets so that you don’t have to carry two separate bags. This type of sports bag tends to be more discreet, which helps it to fit into an urban environment and even be used with business attire.

Are the compartments in sports bags important?

Compartments are the absolute key when it comes to choosing a sports bag. Some brands also utilize separators or internal bags, so that different objects inside the bag do not touch each other. Designs such as these are fantastic for keeping food or drinks completely separate from sweaty clothes or dirty shoes.

Sports bags that are designed for specific sports, such as tennis or swimming, are made with compartments designed to carry objects for that sport. In the case of racquet sports bags, they are made with compartments in the shape of a racquet. This is so that the racquets can fit snuggly inside the bag and are kept fully protected against blows or impacts.

Less specific bags, such as those bags that can be used for the gym or hiking, often have small pockets on the inside of the bag to store everyday items such as wallets, cell phones or keys. The compartments that virtually all sports bags feature are those spaces for storing shoes and an outer pocket for your water bottle.

Sports Bag

With a well-designed sports bag, you can easily carry all the items you need for your workout.
(Source: Dinis Tolipov: 76870167/

Buyer’s Guide

If you know the sport for which the sports bag will be used, you can begin to focus on the smaller, more technical details to find the perfect bag. Also thinking about if you want a bag for other uses, such as traveling or going to the beach, will help to define which models are suitable for you. The bag design, size, straps, and durability are all characteristics that you should consider carefully. In the following section, we explain each of the following buying aspects to consider when looking at sports bags.


Most generic sports bags, that are suitable for the gym, feature hand straps and a larger shoulder strap to carry more weight. We recommend looking for bags with padded shoulder straps that are made of durable materials. This will ensure that you can easily carry heavy objects without it being uncomfortable.

Tiger WoodsAmerican Golfer
“The major championships have always been a special focus in my career, and as a professional, I think Augusta is where I need to be.”


Some sports bags use Velcro or buttons to close the bag. These types of closures are not well recommended, as they do not completely close and allow the possibility of small items to fall out. The best option when it comes to the closure system of a sports bag is to choose a bag with a zipper. This will ensure that the bag can be completely closed and all your things will stay safe inside.

Size and Dimensions

When it comes to the size and dimensions of a sports bag, there is nothing worse than a bag that is too small or is only just big enough and you have to squeeze everything in so tight that it is a challenge every time. We recommend making a list of all the objects that you will carry in your sports bag, so you can choose a model that easily fits everything, with a little room to spare. Also, keep in mind the size of the bag if you also want to use it as cabin baggage on an airplane. There are specific dimensions for cabin baggage, which can help guide your decision.


There is a huge range of sports bags with many different colors and designs available on the market these days. From bags made to look more like work cases to brightly-colored printed bags or those fashionable bags used by yogis on a Sunday morning in Brooklyn, there is a bag to suit every person’s individual style. Think about where you will use your sports bag the most in order to purchase a bag that will best suit your situation.


Although the straps and zips are usually the first components to break from wear and tear, it is highly recommended to evaluate the materials and durability of the bag as a whole. The seams of a bag are critical and often split or break easily. When it comes to the durability of a sports bag, pay close attention to the reviews from other consumers to see if they have experienced any issues. You should also avoid imitation brands in order to purchase a bag that stands the rigors of sports and daily life in general.


If sport is a part of your daily life, you will need a bag to carry a change of clothes, some equipment, food, drinks and often a spare pair of shoes wherever you go. A specially designed sports bag is a way to help you take all this gear with you in an easy, well-organized fashion.

Throughout this guide we have described the key features and the most important purchase criteria in order to choose a sports bag that best suits your needs. We hope that you follow our advice and find a product that serves you for many years to come!

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(Source of featured image: Belchonock: 108814250/

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