Pickleball Bags | Best Sling Bag, Duffle & Backpack Reviews 2018

bags, backpacks and sling bags for pickleball
Best Pickleball Bags

If you landed here, we’re guessing you are looking for a good pickleball bag to organize your paddles and other gear.  To make it easier and save you some time, we’ve research all the options and organized the bag reviews into several different categories with a top pick for each type of pickleball bag.

Based on the bag style you prefer and amount of pickleball gear you have, we’ll help you find the best pickleball bag for your needs.

One of the great things about pickleball is how easy it is to get started- you really just need a good pickleball paddle and a few pickleball balls to get started.  However, it’s easy to get hooked on this sport and accumulate quite a bit of pickleball equipment.

Add a few other items like a water bottle and towel along with extra paddles, pickleball balls and a few other pickleball accessories and you’ll soon need a larger bag to store and transport it all. Some newer bags even have separate zipped compartments to store your pickleball shoes.

In early 2018, Onix released this brand new bag just released, this just launched – see below.

And FILA takes over our top spot for best pickleball backpack – this pick was originally a recommendation from one of our readers who introduced us to the bag:  it’s got lots of exterior pockets, an insulated pocket to keep drinks cold and a separate pocket for shoes!

We’ve researched dozens of options on the market and narrowed the list down for you with our top pick in each bag category (scroll down to read our detailed reviews of each bag).

Best Pickleball Bags 2018

 
Pickleball Bag Bag Style
Neoprene Pickleball Paddle Cover Paddle Cover Check Price 
Franklin Sports Paddle Carry Bag Paddle Case Check Price 
Adidas Alliance II Sackpack Sack Pack Check Price
Wolfe Sports Pickleball Sling Bag Sling Bag Check Price
Fila Pickleball Backpack Back Pack Check Price
Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Duffle Duffle Bag Check Price
Pickleball Ready Pickleball Tote for Women Tote Bag Check Price

**Below, you’ll find our detailed reviews or you can also click the links above to check prices or read customer reviews on Amazon

As pickleball grows there are more and more products available and pickleball bags are no exception- there are lots of bags for sale!   If you are just getting started you may only need a simple paddle case or sling bag.

If you are a competitive player that plays in tournaments you’re probably looking for a bigger bag or pickleball duffle bag that have separate compartments and room for all your gear like this new pickleball backpack from Onix Sports.

Speaking of bags, since our last update Amazin’ Aces has also launched a new backpack specifically designed for pickleball . The bag has enough room to hold multiple paddles and other gear on the inside as well as an exterior side mesh ball holder to store up to four pickleball balls and an insulated pocket to keep your water bottle or snacks cool! How cool is that?

If you’re looking for a bag, this one is definitely a top option – especially if you are looking for a compact backpack style bag.

As the sport of pickleball grows, there are more and more equipment options available and the bag category is no exception. You can now find everything from the most basic neoprene covers used just to cover and protect thepickleball paddle face to more elaborate duffel bags and pickleball specific backpacks with lots of separate compartments to organize your gear or stylist totes with fashionable patterned fabric and shoulder straps.

Types of Pickleball Bags Available:

Paddle Covers: Normally made out of Neoprene, these are designed just to cover the face of the paddle. With a side zipper you can open the cover about half way and slip the paddle in and out and zip it down to the paddle handle. The paddle handle  and grip stays uncovered. Click here to read our full article on paddle covers with reviews and a few top picks.

Paddle Carry Case: These cover the whole paddle including grip, not just the paddle face like the previous option. These are normally made out of nylon and the whole paddle fits inside. They are compact, they generally do not have any additional pockets for gear but do have a strap (which the covers lack).  If this sounds what you’re looking for click here to see our top picks. 

Cinch Bags or Sack Packs: These are very simply designed, a rectangular shaped bag often times made out of nylon material and/or mesh combo with a double length of cord that you just pull from both ends to cinch the bag shut.

Sling Bags: These bags are triangular or tear-drop shaped and have one single shoulder (compared to a backpack that has a strap on either side). The strap lets you “sling” it over one shoulder or ear it with strap at an angle across your chest with bag on your back.

Sports Backpacks: Pretty obvious what these are, however we still want to clarify all the options out there on the list. Similar to a school backpack but these are specifically designed to carry sports equipment and work well for pickleball as they have compartments big enough for more than one paddle and usually incorporate a mesh panel for for ventilation (to store sweaty towel, etc separately).

Duffel Bags: These are larger than the other options on the list and can carry a lot of pickleball gear. They feature an over the shoulder strap as well as two shorter handle straps to carry it at your side if you prefer.

Pickleball Totes: This is a new category on the market in recent years. A more stylish option that does not resemble a gym bag. These could be used by anyone but are usually marketed to women, have more fashionable fabric and are carried under arm with shoulder straps similar to style of a beach bag or shopping tote.


Best Pickleball Paddle Cover

Our choice for best paddle cover is the top selling neoprene cover by Pickleball Central.

Click here to read our full review of this cover and other top options

Best Pickleball Paddle Case

Our top pick in this category is this Carrying Case by Pickleball-X.  

Click here to read our full review of this case and other top cases.

Best Pickleball Cinch Bag

Adidas Alliance II Sackpack Review

adidas Alliance II Sackpack, One Size, Power Red/Black/White This is a step or two up from other cinch bags I’ve used. This 100% polyester drawstring bag from Adidas features one larger compartment and a zippered front pocket  to hold smaller items and valuables. The bag measures 18 x 13.75 inches so plenty large to fit a pickleball paddle or even two.

The bag has a mesh ventilation panel and two side pockets made out of mesh. They are deep enough to store water bottle or other items that you want in easy reach. The outside of the bag is embroidered with the company logo and the small front pocket has the iconic 3 vertical stripes associated with Adidas brand.

So who are these cinch sacks for?

I would say if you are just heading out for a quick game of pickleball with one paddle and don’t really need much else besides maybe a towel and a few other small items that this might work for you. The nice thing is the bags themselves hardly weigh anything compared to a large duffle bag or backpack.

  • Lightweight
  • Zippered Front Pocket
  • Two mesh side pockets
  • In the end it is a sack pack, there is no real structure to the bag so it offers no support for your back.
  • Thin cord instead of heavy duty padded straps (like you would find on a sports backpack) may be uncomfortable for some people.

A Cinch Bag, Really?

I know!  If you would have asked me a couple years ago about these “Sack Packs” or “Cinch Bags” as some people call them, I would have told you to pass and move on.

These bags seemed too flimsy and didn’t like the thin cord straps. I do think the early versions of these drawstring bags I saw were mostly pretty cheaply made,and many times given away for free as advertising for sports brands.

But then I got one of these Sackpacks by Under Armour as a Christmas gift. It sat in my closet until one day I was going to the gym for quick workout and couldn’t find my regular gym bag. I only had a few things and didn’t really need the big duffel bag anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by the light weight (only weighs 7 oz).

I also thought the thin cord would dig into me more than a regular back pack strap but actually it was pretty comfortable on my back (again, I had very little total weight in the bag, just a towel and bottle of H20).

The main reason I recommend the Adidas Alliance II over the Under Armour is the added features on the Adidas, especially the front zippered pocket and the two side pockets. It really feels more like a lightweight backpack that a simple cinch sack.


Best Pickleball Sling Bag

Wolfe Sports Pickleball Sling Bag Review

Pickleball Sling Bag Our top choice in this category is the Wolfe Sports Pickleball Sling Bag.

This bag is made for Wolfe Sports by Slazenger Sports. Slazenger is one of the oldest surviving sporting brand names on the market today and known for quality racket sports equipment most notable tennis.

Slazenger has been providing Tennis balls for the Wimbledon Tennis Championship since 1902 and the company was established in 1881!  Well, enough history…I just wanted to point out that this is a quality manufacturer – back to sling bags.

This sling bag by Wolfe Sports has a high end feel compared to some lighter, smaller and less expensive sling bags out there. The materials appear to be high quality and the shoulder straps are well-padded and comfortable.

The Wolfe Sports sling bag has some nice added features that I don’t see in other bags, most notable is the earphone access channel at the top of the bag so you can store your mp3 player, iphone or other smartphone inside the bag, thread the earphones through the hold provided and listen to your favorite music or podcast.

​The smaller front zippered pocket provides a nice space for valuables and small accessories but you also have internal pockets to store additional items. The bag also has a deep mesh pocket on one side for storing a water bottle or energy drink.

The main negative against this bag is that internal pockets do not close so although you can store small items, the pockets really aren’t secure since stuff will fall out if the bag shifts or falls on it’s side. This could be an issue if you plan to store phone or fragile items inside the internal pockets although there is the  outer front pocket  to store smaller items.

It’s unfortunate Wolfe didn’t add zippered internal pocket especially since the bag has cool option to thread earphones through hole.  A secure pocket for phone would have been nice feature -but not a deal killer.

Pros:

  • Good size for individual player or couple.
  • Stores 2 paddles and some additional gear (towel, etc).
  • Comfortable feel and comfort.
  • Quality build and materials.

Cons:

  • Mesh on external water bottle holder could have more stretch although it does hold most standard water bottles fine.
  • The internal pockets do not close (no zippers or velcro).
  • Not much padding on the bottom of the bag.

Best Pickleball Backpacks

This gamma backpack has consistently been out of stock over the last month. Word has it that Gamma will be releasing a new version of this bag so for now we are in a holding pattern on this one.

FILA Backpack

 

Fila Ultimate Tennis with Shoe Pocket, Red/White/Blue In the meantime we recommend the Fila Ultimate Tennis Backpack with Shoe Pocket. It’s a very versatile bag, with plenty of exterior zippered pockets, a unique insulated pocket to keep drinks cool (energy drink, water, etc) and a separate shoe pocket which is a great option to store your pickleball shoes and only put them on when you get to the court- a great way to extend the life of your shoes and store them away after your match (sweaty and stinky…great to separate from the rest of your gear 🙂

Amazin’ Aces Backpack

Amazin' Aces Premium Pickleball Backpack | Bag Features Pickleball Holder/Sleeve | Pack Fits Multiple Paddles | Convenient Pockets For Phone, Keys, Wallet | Padded Back & Straps For Added Comfort
Amazin’ Aces Pickleball Backpack

We are seeing a lot of new gear recently. Amazin’ Aces also released their own solution to a pickleball bag with the Amazin’ Aces Premium Pickleball Backpack. It’s a very similar backpack to the Fila model. The main difference we noticed right away was that on one side the two pockets that Fila has, Amazin’ aces decided to use that space for a mesh sleeve that holds up to 4 pickleball balls. So you sacrifice two external pockets for the ball sleeve. While this does free up extra space in the bag’s interior by not having to store the balls inside, you do lose the convenience of the 2 extra external pockets.

This bag also has a zippered shoe compartment as the Fila does. We’ve tested it out and we’re able to easily fit a women’s 10 shoe in the zippered pocket but we’re not able to zip it shut with a Men’s size 12, so the max seems to be somewhere around a Men’s 10 1/2, if you have larger shoes, you’d need to try to rearrange things and try to fit them in the main compartment where the paddles go.

So there are pros and cons to each. The Amazin’ aces backpack still gives you two pockets on the outside which for me is enough for loose items (wallet, keys, phone, coins, etc) and it does have insulated pocket just like the Fila which can be used for keeping drinks/snacks cool.  At the time of last updating this, the Amazin’ Aces bag was selling for about $15 less than the Fila which makes it attractive.

ONIX Pickleball Backpack

ONIX Pickleball Backpack Onix recently enter the race with their version of a pickleball backpack. The size, dimensions and features are almost identical to the Fila Backpack: 13″L x 12″W x 20″H, with five zippered storage areas, an insulated pocket for drinks/snack and a carry loop at the top. The outer panel material on both the front and the back of the bag is made of a perforated breathable mesh that is designed to keep you cooler when it’s on your back.

Visually this bag is hard to differentiate from the Fila backpack even when they are side-by-side.  The main difference I see is the color and Onix logos. I’d say for me one bonus over the big brand (Fila) is that you are buying from a smaller company that is active in the pickleball community and Onix is a well respected pickleball brand known for their customer service.

Gamma Pickleball Backpack Review

Our choice for Best Sports Backpack for Pickleball is the Gamma Pickleball Backpack.

This backpack is designed to carry all of your pickleball gear in one compact bag. The two main large compartments can hold up to a total of four pickleball paddles plus room for other gear, change of clothes or towel.

This is a unique offering from Gamma since it really is designed with the serious pickleball player in mind. This provides the one bag solution that could be used to store all the gear you need for a full day of pickleball tournament play while being more compact than a duffle bag.

Other than this bag, I think you’d need to look to the tennis industry for something like the Wilson Racquet Sports Tour V Backpack which is designed for tournament players and has space for shoes, gear, multiple paddles, etc.​

Pros:

  • Specifically designed for Pickleball
  • Two side compartments and two accessory compartments.
  • Holds up to 4 paddles.
  • Comfortable straps and back padding.

Cons:

  • Really more of a tour bag so may be too large if you don’t carry much gear.
  • Only comes in black.

*Since publishing this article HEAD, the well-known tennis equipment manufacturer, has entered the pickleball market with a whole line of paddles and other gear including their  Head Tour Team Pickleball Supercombi Bag which is another option for serious pickleball players, especially if you are competing in tournaments and need space for multiple paddles and extra gear.


Best Pickleball Duffel Bag

Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Medium Duffle Review

Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Duffle, Royal/White, One Size Our choice for Best Duffle Bag for Pickleball is the Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Medium Duffle.

There are some duffle bags available that are specifically marketed to pickleball players, such as the “Game On Pickleball Duffle Bag” by Pickleball Central. I’ve seen this bag advertised on lot of sites as a “Pickleball Bag”.

However,  to me that seems more like marketing strategy rather than actual function. Unlike paddle cases and covers which are designed specifically to the dimensions of a standard pickleball paddle or sling bags that were made with the shape and size of paddles in mind, duffle bags have a pretty generic shape. Although branding may make it sounds like they have some special features for pickleball.

The thing about bags like the “Game On” is that apart from “pickleball” in the name- there really isn’t any tangible benefit for a pickleball player (at least the ones I’ve seen currently ones on the market in mid 2017) and really in my opinion the one mentioned is inferior compared to a high quality duffle bag made for general sports use from a top sports brand like Under Armour.

The main flaw I see with the “Game On” is that it has only one main compartment. The problem is when you put all your pickleball gear (paddles, balls, shoes, water bottle, towel and other stuff ) in the bag it all just end up getting mixed together 🙁

If you want to stay organized you really need multiple separate compartments of varying sizes for small and large items. It’s also important to have a zippered compartment for car keys, phone and other valuables.

Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Duffle, Royal/White, One Size All the features that the “Game On” lacks can be found in the Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Medium Duffle. In addition to the roomy main compartment it has a total of 4 exterior pockets and features a large zippered front pocket.

The side pocket has an upper mesh section which allow air flow to ventilate the contents, great for storing your pickleball shoes, damp towel or clothes and to separate them from the other gear and keep them from stinking up your bag.

Another nice feature is the interior zippered pocket to store keys, wallet or other valuables.

Pros:

  • Total of 4 pockets.
  • Enough room to fit shoes.
  • Ventilated pocket.
  • Zipped inside pocket for valuables.

Cons

  • Zippers could be more heavy duty.
  • The hardware (where strap clips on to bag) make a noisy rubbing sound when you walk when bag is loaded down with weight.
  • Strap seams could be reinforced better.



Best Pickleball Tote

Pickleball Ready Pickleball Tote for Women

Pickleball Bag: Large Sports Duffle for Gear, Paddle & Pickleball Balls - Easy-to-Clean Gym Tote with Moisture Resistant Interior, Key Ring & 6 Outer Pockets (Black/Pink) Our top pick for the tote with best overall style is the Pickleball Ready” Tote for Women. This is a nice option for all around use if you plan to run errands or go for lunch after your pickleball game.

With it’s patterned design it doesn’t look like a sports bag and could double as a shopping tote.

It features a main zippered compartment and 6 outer pockets. The pockets do not zip or close but are useful for holding pickleballs, water bottle and other medium size options. Although there is no zipped pocket for personal items it does have a useful key ring attachment on the outside of the tote bag.

The tote measures 18″ long x 7″ so it is large enough for a pickleball paddle and other gear

However, if you are serious about your pickleball game and especially if you plan to compete in tournaments you’ll want a durable bag to carry around all your gear you’ll probably be happier in the long run with a bag made for specifically for the job. One of the options above like a pickleball sling bag or backpack would probably be a better bet.

Pros: 

  • Stylish, colorful patterns.
  • Doesn’t look like a gym bag.
  • Multi-purpose other than pickleball.
  • Relatively low price point.

Cons:

  • Designed for the casual pickleball player.
  • Relatively small, holds less gear than backpack.
  • Not as heavy duty or durable as other options .
  • Not much padding, may need a paddle cover in addition to protect paddle face and edge.

"Zipper Top" Tote Bag features a secure zipper top with a large main compartment which will easily hold at least THREE Pickleball paddles as well as balls, clothes, and numerous personal items. New/Embroidered - Yellow & Grey - PICKLEBALL MARKETPLACE If you are looking for another tote option, check out the Pickleball Marketplace “Zipper Top” Tote Bag. 

Although it’s marketed for pickleball, this tote a multi-purpose tote for more than just pickleball. It could easily be used as an all around shopping or travel tote.

This tote features measures 14.5″h x 19″w x 4″d and holds up to three paddes with additional space for balls and other equipment. The tote has two side mesh pockets for water bottles. There is also a small zippered pocket on the outside, the one feature that was lacking on the other tote reviewed above.

Either one of these totes would be a decent option for a casual pickleball player who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money nor have a bag dedicated just to pickleball.

These can easily be used everyday for shopping, errands, groceries or as a shoulder tote when travelling or a day at the beach. And they appeal to some woman who don’t want to lug around a bag that is obviously a sports or gym bag.


Unfortunately, most Pickleball Paddles currently sold on the market do NOT come with a protective case. For whatever reason, paddle manufacturers rarely include a case with the paddle. Decades ago when you bought a racket for tennis, racquetball or badminton it would almost alway come with a branded cover.

But now the tendency seems to be that they come naked without any protection and the buyer is expected to come up with a solution, often times a bag or cover sold by the same paddle company. Luckily some pickleball companies, like Upstreet, do include a case with the paddle purchase.

On the one hand it is true that more and more tennis players now carry more one racket and the same is true in pickleball (at least one backup paddle if they are playing in a tournament) and other gear so the racquets are usually packed up in some kind of sports bag (racket bag or backpack).

Apart from that, the sports equipment companies do save money by not included a case so in my opinion that is probably the biggest reason. To me it seems easy enough for them to ship paddles out in a case but does add to their cost.

Anyway sorry for the rant, my point is that if you just dropped $50, $100 or even more on a new pickleball and want to protect your investment it’s a good idea to make sure it’s either cover, stored inside a larger duffel bag, sling or backpack to make sure that it’s not getting banged around or even better do a combination of both (a protective paddle cover and then paddle stored inside larger bag). 

Do you just need to protect your paddle or to carry other equipment?

Maybe you already have a sports duffel bag or backpack around the house that works fine to carry your gear back and forth to the pickleball courts but just need to protect the paddle face with a simple​ paddle cover.

Which Kind of Bag Should I buy?

Paddle Covers: The paddle handle stays uncovered so these are best used in together with a larger pickleball bag (duffel or backpack where you store the rest of your gear).  I slip a neoprene cover over my good paddles to protect the face and then put the covered paddle into a backpack where I keep the rest of my pickleball gear.

Full Paddle Covers: These cover the whole paddle, not just the paddle face like the previous option so are a good option for someone that maybe just carries a paddle to the court (your friends bring the balls?) but wants the whole paddle covered, including the grip.

Cinch Bags (Sackpacks): You don’t carry much gear and are looking for a simple and lightweight option.  These are good for people that just carry one paddle, a few balls and maybe a towel and a few other small items.  They do not provide back support and the shoulder straps are not padded so we would not recommend these for carrying heavier loads.

Sling Bags: You are looking for a compact option and only need to carry a relatively small amount of equipment. If you are carrying gear for you and your partner or a family pickleball this option would be too small for you. You don’t mind casually slinging the bag over one side. Some people do not like this feel of having weight on one side or find it uncomfortable strapping it at an angle across their chest with bag on their back. Sling bags are really designed to be worn this way.

Sports Backpacks: You have quite a bit of gear including multiple paddles, balls, towel and possibly want to store your pickleball shoes in the bag when going to and from the courts. You are fine with carrying the weight on your back and using two back straps rather than a single shoulder strap or handles like a duffle bag would have.

Duffle Bags: You need to carry a lot of pickleball gear and need more space than a sling bag or smaller backpack. You play in tournaments and/or play as a couple and you and your partner play together and share a bag for both of your paddles, balls, extra pickleball t-shirts, etc. You’re fine carrying the bag over shoulder strap but would also like the option to carry it at your side using the middle handle straps.

Pickleball Totes: You are looking for a more stylish option that does look like a typical gym bag. You find it comfortable to carry a tote back over one shoulder.

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