If you play ball, then you know that the type of gear you use can have a big impact on your performance, from the type of basketball to the shoes and even the training gloves you wear. But what about a basketball backpack? Is it even necessary? Many b-ballers swear by using the best basketball backpacks since these bags are specifically designed to accommodate a basketball, plus all of your basketball gear. But considering how popular this sport is, how can you find a bag that comes with all the features you need and a design that you know is going to last?
That’s where I come in. I’ve tested out many of the leading models on the market and have narrowed it down to six models that have what it takes to carry your gear with you, wherever you go and keep everything organized, secure, and dry. These bags are built tough, so they can handle daily use and your commute to and from the court. I’ve also put together a buyer’s guide that includes information regarding all of the features you need to look for, what type of material options are available, and much more. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists the six models that made it onto my list, in addition to their best features and how each model rated.
Basketball Backpacks Comparison Chart
MIER Basketball Backpack Large Sports Bag for Men
This bag measures in at 12.6×9.8×19.7 inches and features an exterior that’s abrasion-resistant and built tough. The bag is large enough to hold all of your gear including your ball, shoes, and gym clothes. The ball compartment consists of a large ventilated pocket located on the bottom of the pack. It can also be used to store wet muddy shoes or clothes, keeping them separated from your other gear. The inside of this multi-pocket backpack includes a large laptop space, a tablet pouch, one mesh pocket on the side, a couple of side open pockets. On the outside, you’ll find one side equipped with a mesh pocket, and the other with one zippered pocket with an aluminum film liner.
The bag is made out of tough, water-resistant fabric that’s also abrasion-resistant. The bottom panel of the bag is padded and also made out of abrasion-resistant material. On both sides of the bag, you’ll notice an adjustable buckle, which can be used to tighten the bag and keep items securely in place.
The included carry handle gives you an additional way to carry your pack. The large wide shoulder straps are heavily padded and include a sternum strap that works to evenly distribute the load, reducing the pressure placed on the back. The back panel is ventilated with mesh padding, for ultimate breathability.
- Large pack can easily store all of your gear
- Heavily padded shoulder straps and sternum strap
- Pack is made out of abrasion-resistant material
- Multi-pocket design
- No we compartment
This model is loaded with all the right types of pockets, with the exception of a wet storage compartment, which can be used to store wet or dirty gym clothes. This is a feature-heavy model that comes with a variety of storage options, including a large ball compartment and laptop compartment. This is a durable, functional multipurpose pack that can go right from the court to the classroom.
Mootygy Sports Basketball Backpacks
This is a large pack by Mootygy that measures in at 11.8×220.127.116.11 inches. It features a basketball net located on the bottom outside of the pack. You’ll also find a headphone hole and a USB charging port. With the charging port located on the outside of the bag and a charging cable built-in inside the pack, you can charge your smartphone more conveniently. Keep in mind that the pack doesn’t come with a power bank. The included USB port will only provide easy access to charge. This model comes with a variety of compartments that allow you to safely and securely store your clothes, basketball shoes, books, phone, and laptop. The material is eco-friendly and made out of tough oxford fabric, complete with strong zippers. The back panel is heavily padded, but not breathable, so your back may sweat excessively in hot weather.
- Built-in USB port
- Made out of eco-friendly material
- Laptop compartment
- No wet compartment
- Back panel is not breathable
This pack is large, built tough, and features a variety of pockets and storage compartments that will allow you to store all of your gear and stay highly organized. It doesn’t come with a wet compartment, which would keep your wet and soiled gym clothes separate from your personal items and other gear. The lack of this compartment may be a deal-breaker for some people. Additionally, the heavily padded back panel, while it provides an extra layer of comfort, can make your back sweat excessively in hot weather. Overall, this is a durable, well-made bag that can easily withstand heavy-duty use.
MIER Large Sports Backpack
This is the Cadillac of basketball backpacks. It comes with a large front zippered mesh compartment that’s ventilated and designed to keep your dirty clothes and shoes separate from the rest of your gear. The bottom of the bag is heavily padded to improve durability and water-resistance. The waterproofing design will also protect your laptop, which has a dedicated spot inside the bag in its own compartment. This compartment can accommodate laptops up to seventeen inches. On the front of the bag, you’ll also find a detachable carabiner that you can use to attach any additional gear. This model is also pocket heavy, featuring one top small zippered pocket that can be used for important personal items, such as your phone or sunglasses. There are also three large side pockets including one zippered pocket with an organizer, one mesh pocket, and one elastic pocket. You’ll find another side zippered pocket that comes with an aluminum film liner, complete with a reinforced inner pocket inside.
The durable outer shell of the pack is abrasion-resistant and measures in at 20.9×14.2×8.3. The sternum strap is highly adjustable, as is the waist strap, both of which are designed to balance your load when your bag is full to capacity.
- Wet compartment
- Adjustable sternum and waist straps
- Large capacity
- Pocket loaded
- Back panel is not breathable
This bag is perfect for the basketball player in need of a multipurpose bag they can use at the office, school, or on the court. The durable design consists of thick oxford fabric, while the broader, breathable, and adjustable padded shoulder straps improve wearer comfort, minimizing the strain placed on the back. This backpack is versatile, multifunctional, and designed to last.
TRAILKICKER Basketball Backpack with Ball Compartment
This backpack is made out of high-quality polyester and comes with a waterproof coating and a bottom that’s made out of water-repelling material. This waterproof base will allow you to put your bag on the ground, without the fear of getting your gear or laptop wet. The laptop compartment comes with a sleeve and is designed to protect laptops up to seventeen inches. The storage pocket comes complete with a soft interior lining that will prevent scratches and other damage.
The pack also comes with an attachable bag that can be used to store your dirty laundry or shoes. The bag is hidden and folded at the base of the pack when it’s not in use, so it won’t take up any space. The bag’s hidden ball compartment allows you to store your ball out of sight and keeps it safe and secure when not in use. The pack’s larger opening on the top will make it easier and faster to access your gear or personal items. This pack is also feature heavy and comes with a wide variety of front, top, and side pockets that will help you keep your personal belongings and basketball gear organized and secure.
- Wet compartment/bag
- Waterproof base
- Waterproof coating
- Back panel is not breathable
- Straps can be difficult to adjust
This model is loaded with all the right features, including a separate laundry/wet bag that you can use to store your muddy shoes or wet gym clothes. The pocket-heavy design will keep all of your gear neatly stored and organized, so you won’t waste time searching for a particular item. This bag is a great buy if you’re looking for a multipurpose bag that you can use for the gym, outdoor court, school, and/or the office.
Adorence Basketball Backpack
This pack features a large external mesh ball compartment that’s located on the bottom of the pack. It also comes with a USB charging port which you can connect your own mobile charger. The USB cable allows you to easily charge your electronic devices on the go. The headphone port located on the top of the bag makes it easier for you to listen to your favorite music, without opening your bag. This is a multifunctional bag, so you can use it for work, class, and the gym. It comes with a dedicated laptop compartment that can accommodate laptops up to fifteen and a half inches, and provides ultimate protection against damage. The shell is made out of eco-friendly material that’s durable. In fact, the oxford fabric has a reputation for its durability and comfort, so it’s a great choice for a pack. The broad, heavily padded shoulder straps are coated in a breathable mesh fabric that will help to keep you cool and dry in warmer weather.
- Includes USB port and headphone port
- Laptop compartment
- External mesh compartment for balls
- Can only accommodate smaller laptops
- Does not come with a wet compartment
This multipurpose basketball backpack comes with many of the features you’ll need when it comes to storing your ball and your basketball gear when not in use. It also has several compartments and pockets that you can use to store b-ball gear and your personal items. The durable eco-friendly material is designed to withstand heavy-duty use, so you can rely on this bag daily for gym, school, or work use. The highly adjustable shoulder straps allow you to wear the pack in total comfort and work to evenly distribute weight, preventing shoulder and upper back strain and discomfort, which is a huge plus for any user.
Hard Work Sports Basketball Backpack with Ball Compartment
This model features an external ball compartment located near the base of the bag. The compartment is made out of mesh and allows you to easily access your ball when you’re on the go. The large main compartment can store all of your b-ball gear, including your shoes. However, the pack lacks a wet storage compartment, which means you’ll have to store your sweaty gym clothes in a separate bag in order to prevent your bag from smelling like a gym or ruining any of your personal items stored in the main compartment. The shoulder straps feature a wide, heavily padded design, yet it does not come with a waist or sternum strap, both of which will further help to evenly distribute the pack’s weight, minimizing upper back and shoulder strain and discomfort. The pack features several pockets, so you can easily organize and store all of your basketball gear and your personal items. The pack itself is made out of oxford material which is eco-friendly and durable. The bag does not have any type of waterproof coating on the shell or the bottom of the bag, which may be a drawback for some buyers.
- Large main compartment
- Heavily padded shoulder straps
- Low price
- Does not include a wet compartment
- Back panel is not breathable
- Lacks waist and sternum strap
- Does not have a laptop compartment
While the other models on my list fell into the multipurpose category, this bag is definitely a dedicated basketball bag, which is fine if you don’t want to use the bag for work or school. However, it lacks a waist and sternum strap, both of which are essential when it comes to even weight distribution, and the back panel, while heavily padded, is not breathable, which can make the bag uncomfortable to wear for long in hotter weather. This model is covered under a lifetime guarantee, so should you run into any issues with this bag, you can contact the manufacturer for a refund or replacement.
Basketball Backpacks Buyer’s Guide
Sure, you can use a gym bag to store all of your basketball gear, but those bags typically don’t have separate storage compartments for your basketball gear, clothes, and your personal items, so your clothes can cause your hoodie to smell like sweat, or a dirty ball and basketball shoes can cause a serious mess if you normally store your books for class or important papers for the office in the same bag. A basketball backpack provides a way to neatly store, organize, and transport all of your gear. The right type of pack will offer plenty of space to store whatever you’ll need on the hardwood. It should be large enough to accommodate a ball, your clothes, and other important gear such as arm sleeves, sweatbands, and even your favorite basketball shoes.
There are many factors to consider before you hit that buy now button, including design, number of pockets, material type, adjustability, and dimensions. Every player knows the importance of using one of these packs and how they differ from a standard backpack. Unlike a traditional pack, these backpacks will accommodate a regular-sized basketball, your shoes, and other gear. But considering this is a special type of pack, you can expect them to cost more than your average backpack. The pack will not only need to be big enough to handle all of your gear, but it should feature heavily padded shoulder straps and an adjustable design that will allow you to adjust the straps in order to pull the pack closer to your body.
Some bags will have dry and wet compartments, which will allow you to separate your gear if needed. This is one of the storage compartments that makes these packs for popular and versatile. Other packs will come designed for the player to use the bag for both school and sports, with a variety of pockets designed to help the player stay prepared as they go from the court to class. These packs can include protective compartments or sleeves for tablets or laptops.
In the end, you need a pack that’s affordable one you can rely on and one that can handle all of your gear, allowing you to make it to practice on time so you can focus on shooting fundamentals and improving your ball handling skills.
The pack should also be made out of tough material, one that can handle daily use and won’t tear easily. A thick canvas or nylon bag are both good options since each type has a reputation for durability. A thicker material rating will mean a bag that’s more durable and able to handle regular use without fraying or tearing.
You can opt for a flashy model, one that has your favorite team’s logo all over the exterior, or a low-key bag in a basic color. You can choose from a variety of colors, designs, patterns, and more. Many b-ballers will search for a bag that comes in the color or colors of their favorite college or NBA team, while other players will make functionality a priority over style. Typically, bags that feature team logos are more expensive than a plain pack in a single color.
A pack that’s loaded with pockets will always be more convenient to use since it will allow you to keep all of your gear neatly organized. The front mesh area of the bag is usually the main focus since this is normally where the ball will be stored, so the remaining pockets will be designed around it. You’ll typically find mesh pockets on each side of the pack designed to hold a water bottle, snacks, or even a basketball pump.
Large compartment areas can be used to store your gym clothes and shoes, in addition to any other gear you normally use at practice.
Interior or Exterior Ball Storage
As I mentioned earlier, some packs will feature an exterior mesh compartment that’s designed for a good basketball, however, other packs will have interior storage. The mesh pocket design can be seen as a plus since it allows for more space inside the pack where you can store your other gear, whereas the internal storage spot can take up too much space inside the bag and can make it difficult for you to locate any of your gear with the ball in the way. I’ve included both interior and exterior basketball compartments, which will accommodate a traditional sized-ball. The type you choose will be a matter of personal preference.
Many backpacks will have a waterproof coating applied to the exterior of the pack that will prevent water from entering the interior of the bag. However, these coatings will not make the pack completely waterproof, so they will only be able to handle minor rainfall. In a heavy downpour, the contents of your pack will still get wet.
Before you buy a new pack consider how much gear you plan on hauling. Some people will only need a pack for their ball and a change of clothes, while others will need a pack that’s big enough to store a pair of shoes, books, a change of clothes, lunch, and more. The larger the pack, the higher the price tag, so if you don’t have much gear to store and transport, you may be better off with a smaller pack.
These are the bags that are part basketball backpack, part traditional backpack. These bags will combine the features of both types of bags to create a hybrid bag of sorts that will allow you to separate your regular personal items such as books and a laptop, with basketball backpack specific features, such as a shoe compartment, ball compartment, and a wet and dry compartment. These bags are usually pricier than your standard basketball backpack, but they’ll do wonders in terms of keeping you organized when you’re on the go.
Wet Storage Compartments
A backpack that comes with a small wet storage compartment can prevent your bag from smelling like a locker room. This type of compartment is separate from the main pack’s compartment and is designed as a leak-proof area in the bag where you can store sweaty gym clothes, preventing the smell and moisture from coming into contact with your other possessions.
Bigger packs will come with a compartment where you can store your basketball shoes. For some, this compartment won’t be important, since there are many players who prefer to simply wear their shoes to and from the gym. However, if you don’t want to wear your expensive basketball shoes on the street, then a bag that’s big enough to accommodate basketball shoes is a must.
There are also many versatile bags that will include a laptop sleeve or special compartment where you can safely store your laptop, iPad or other important electronic devices. Bags with this design can be used for more than just your basketball gear, however, they tend to be pricier than your standard basketball backpack.
Just like a traditional backpack, these packs will come with a large central compartment where you can store your personal items and clothing. Most models come equipped with other storage areas both outside and inside the bag that can also hold smaller items.
Packs will come with shoulder straps that are designed to evenly distribute weight across the shoulders and back. Some models will come with shoulder straps that are heavily padded, which can provide a more comfortable fit. You’ll also come across packs that come equipped with a sternum strap, which is designed to reduce the level of stress placed on the shoulders and upper and lower back by further improving weight distribution. Make sure the pack you choose features straps that are highly adjustable, simple to adjust, and built tough.
Another important part of a pack is the back panel. The back panel will typically have padding that can provide additional padding, offering another layer between the gear in the bag and your back. Some models will even feature a back panel that’s made out of mesh, which is designed to reduce sweating by improving ventilation. If you’re wearing the backpack all day long, for school use, then a model with a mesh back panel will be important, in order to keep you cool, however, if you’re only using the bag to and from the court, then this level of breathability may not be essential.
If you’re a diehard b-baller, then you’re going to be wearing this bag a lot. So it makes sense that you need a model that’s comfortable and highly adjustable, a pack that comes with plenty of padding and a breathable design that allows you to wear it both in cold and hot weather conditions. Since weight distribution can play a major role when it comes to how comfortable a pack is, make sure the model you choose is highly adjustable and equipped with the right size straps, one that will work for your frame.
You don’t want to spend a lot on a bag that’s not going to last more than a season. Before you buy, check out what type of material that bag’s made out of, how it rated with other users in terms of durability, and whether or not it has a bottom that’s reinforced with thicker material, which will help to minimize wear and tear on the bag.
A pack specifically designed for the basketball player will come loaded with special features that make the bag part traditional pack, part gym bag. The wet and dry compartments will allow you to keep your dirty court clothes and shoes separate from your other gear, while the large basketball storage compartment will make it easier for you to get around without holding onto your ball between classes or from the court to the office. These bags are large, durable, versatile and often loaded with a variety of pockets and storage compartments. Because of this, they’re often much pricier than your traditional backpack, but the type of convenience they provide is often a fair tradeoff for a higher price tag. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from forty dollars up to one hundred, depending on the design, how pocket heavy it is, and the other features it has to offer, such as a laptop sleeve, USB port, and more.
Care and Maintenance
- This type of pack can be a great way to carry your gear, as well as a fashion statement. Whether you’re only carrying basketball gear or personal items as well, at some point, your pack will need to be cleaned. Fortunately, these packs won’t need to be washed frequently, just once every few months. Before you wash your pack, you can use a vacuum with the appropriate attachment and vacuum all the seams in order to remove debris and dirt.
- Before washing, make sure you empty out all of the compartments and pockets. Leave each pocket and compartment unfastened or unzipped, and turned inside out. Remove any metal parts, removable straps, and any clip-on accessories.
- Search for care instructions on any tags. Most backpacks can be machine washed or washed by hand. Leather-trimmed or leather backpacks should be cleaned following the same cleaning instructions used for leather clothing.
- If the straps are removable and need to be cleaned, they should be washed by hand in a solution of water and laundry detergent. The straps should soak for half an hour, which will be enough time to break apart any soil and debris, which can be flushed away using warm water. For any stuck-on debris, use an old toothbrush to scrub the area and rinse the strap in cold water. Allow the straps to air dry.
- To wash this type of backpack, you can use your regular detergent, with warm water on the gentle cycle. The pack should be placed in a mesh bag during the washing process and should be hung outside to air dry.
- Some packs may be in need of a serious cleaning, which is important if you use the bag to store your wet sweat-soaked basketball clothes. Athlete’s foot can easily transfer from shoes and socks to other surfaces. In order to disinfect your pack, avoid using regular bleach, which can cause serious damage to the fabric. Instead, us a phenolic or pine oil disinfectant. You can also try using disinfectant wipes. A pine oil disinfectant is a great choice and one that’s effective. This type of cleaner will not harm fabrics and will kill off any harmful bacteria.
- If you have to wash the backpack by hand, start by filling up the sink or the tub with enough warm water to cover it and one tablespoon of laundry detergent. The pack should soak for fifteen minutes. Move the pack around in the water to help remove soil. Drain the dirty water, then rinse the pack well. Avoid twisting or wringing out the pack since it can damage the trim and zippers. Allow it to hang up to air dry. If this model is waterproof, it may only need to be washed once a year. Washing your bag too often can hinder the pack’s ability to repel water. You can also purchase a waterproof spray and coat the exterior of the pack in order to replenish the lost coating. Before spraying, the bag must be clean and totally dry.
The best basketball backpacks will come loaded with plenty of storage compartments and pockets, each of which is designed to safely store all of your important basketball gear, especially the ball. These bags can be on the pricey side, but if you’re tired of trying to haul all of your gear to and from the court using duffle bags or a traditional backpack, then you’ll instantly fall in love with the basketball backpack, which will neatly and easily contain all of your important b-ball gear. The right pack for you will provide enough space to hold your ball, shoes, clothing, and essential personal items. This buyer’s guide is designed to help you choose a model that comes loaded with all the features you need, whether you want a bag you can use all throughout the day or a model specifically for the court. I’m confident you can find the right pack in my top six list. But if you’re looking for a different style, then you can use the information in this guide to find a bag that will meet your needs, work with your budget, and a bag that showcases your personal style.