But if you’re in need of a bag that’s portable, comfortable and able to carry up to three rackets, a change of clothes and a handful of accessories, you’re probably best opting for a tennis backpack.
Fortunately there are lots of great options out there with a range of styles and prices.
If you’re in a rush, our favourite overall is the Geau Sport Axiom 2.0 which ticks all of our boxes.
But if you’d like a more nuanced opinion, keep reading.
Our Top 8 Tennis Backpacks
Best Overall – Geau Axiom 2.0
Best Value – DSLEAF Tennis Backpack
Best for Women – Ame & Lulu Hamptons Backpack
Best for Boys – Wilson Junior Tennis Backpack
Best for Girls – Ame and Lulu Little Love
Best Head Backpack – Head Tour Team
Best Wilson Backpack – Wilson Roland Garros
Best Babolat Backpack – Pure Wimbledon
Before we get into the reviews, a quick word on how we made our recommendations.
When choosing a backpack you’re obviously looking for a high level of portability. Your priority is not how many rackets can I cram in but can I sling this over my shoulder and get myself on court.
We’ve looked only for bags that you can carry easily and throw in the back of the car without much fuss.
The best backpacks should be designed for comfort. You need two padded straps to spread the weight of your equipment. Lightweight materials that won’t slice into your shoulder.
All of our picks prioritise the user’s comfort.
The beauty of a backpack is you can sling it in the trunk of the car, battle with it through public transport and chuck it down on court. Downside? It’s going to take a beating.
Therefore you need a bag that’s built to last. Proper stitching, durable materials. All of our choices are well made and hard wearing.
And with that, we present to you our favourite tennis backpacks.
Dimensions: 20” x 14” x 8”
- Huge capacity for a rucksack
- Foam divider for organisation
- High quality feel
- Separate shoe compartment is a squeeze
While many of the backpacks on the market are produced by the big tennis brands, sometimes as a bit of an afterthought, there are a few companies who design tennis luggage exclusively.
Geau Sport is one of them.
As a result, more thought has been put into their designs and production and we think they make for a better product.
This Axiom backpack has a separate sleeve to store two rackets at a head size of up to 108 sq in, or just one if you prefer a super oversized head.
The main compartment is surprisingly spacious and comes with a nifty foam divider to help organise your gear. It’s like a miniature shelving system.
There’s room in there for a change of clothes and a towel plus two hidden internal sleeves for smaller items – overgrips, dampeners, wrist bands, valuables.
They’ve included a waterproof side pocket which is great for shoving wet clothes or even a pair of tennis shoes. Admittedly it’s a bit of a squeeze though and won’t be large enough for a wet towel.
Two elasticated side pockets are perfect for a water bottle and a can of balls but they’ve also included a satisfying magnetic fastener which is a nice attention to detail.
The material feels rugged and nicely cushioned making for a comfortable but really durable high end backpack. A definite recommend.
Please note that in our round-up of the best tennis bags overall we recommended the Geau Sport Aether, the Axiom’s smaller (and cheaper) cousin. Worth a look if you like the quality here but are more budget conscious.
Dimensions: 13.3″ x 10.6″ x 18.5″
- Amazingly good value
- Separate shoe compartment
- Useful hanging hook
- Adequate capacity
- Internal pockets lack zips
Many of the more budget tennis backpacks sold online these days seem like just regular backpacks with a different logo.
The DS Leaf though has some smartly thought out design and good build quality.
The first thing that sticks out is the racket sleeve which sits away from the wearer’s back. Some users find that uncomfortable but it gives a nice separation between the handles and the back of your head. It stores one or two rackets, held smartly in place with a clickable buckle.
The second thing you notice is a handy separate shoe compartment that sits at the bottom of the bag giving isolation to your stinky sneakers.
The main compartment has enough room for a change of clothes and some accessories and there’s an elasticated inner sleeve. Small gripe but we’d prefer that to be zippered to protect valuables.
A large exterior sleeve is enough to keep a water bottle and some balls if you choose. Plus there’s a useful hook for hanging the bag on a chain link fence and saving it from wear and tear.
While the bag is surprisingly well made for the price some users have complained of failing zips in the long term. But at this price it’s still extremely good value.
Dimensions: 16” x 6” x 16”
- Extremely stylish two tone bag
- Smart drawstring design
- Decent capacity
- Limited storage optionality
If you’re hoping to hit the court in style, this two tone Ame & Lulu number in cream and blueberry is hard to beat.
While it lacks the storage options of some of the other bags on our list, it does make up for it in sleek design. In addition to a single racket sleeve, it has a drawstring opening on the main compartment with enough room for a change of clothes and a towel.
There are two slip pockets on the inside for valuables and a pair of outside pockets to keep your water bottle separate from your clothing.
The cotton straps are soft and cushioned and stick to the two-tone Hamptons style theme.
Dimensions: 11″ x 6.5″ x 16.5″
- Perfectly sized for younger players
- Adjustable straps
- Good quality
- Lacks the features of an adult bag
This Wilson backpack would make a great gift for the young player in your life.
Made from a sturdy polyester it has a zipped section for one or two junior sized rackets and a larger main compartment, big enough for a small person’s gear.
Straps are cushioned and adjustable to grow with your child and most kids will appreciate the Wilson branding they’ll have seen on court.
Dimensions: 11″ x 4″ X 15″
- Loads of fun designs
- Holds two rackets
- Interior zip pockets
- Can be pricey. Check for deals.
Ame & Lulu have cornered the market in cute bags for your wannabe Serena Williams. They’ve got a huge range of fun designs but we like this pink shooting star number.
Although these are dedicated to fun more than function they hold two junior rackets and have enough space for most kids’ sized accessories.
There’s an interior zip pocket for secret items and two elasticated water bottle or ball can pockets. Like the Wilson Junior above, the padded straps are adjustable to cope with growth spurts.
Dimensions: 12.5″ x 19.5″ x 7.5″
- Great storage in a compact package
- Separate vented compartment for shoes or sweaty gear
- Storing shoes takes away a fair amount of space from main section
Head have a great reputation when it comes to sports bags and we really like this surprisingly compact backpack from them.
It comes with the storage you’d expect: A racket section for up to two sticks, a main section for clothes and a towel.
Some of that space is taken up with a separate ventilated shoe compartment which you can access from the bottom of the bag. It’s a nice feature although if you’re storing shoes it does limit how much room you have for other things.
Plus side, if like me you don’t need to take a spare pair of shoes to court, that section is GREAT for putting sweaty shirts.
Dimensions: 13″ x 8″ x 19″
- Classic French Open style
- Good quality locking zips
- Great value
- Lacks the features of Wilson’s higher end bags
Wilson produce some slightly higher end backpacks than this but we love this French Clay inspired Roland Garros bag.
Imbued with classic Wilson design features it has your standard two racket sleeve plus a main compartment for your other bits and pieces. The inner lining features a Wilson/Roland Garros print that sets off the clay and navy exterior.
The compartments come with locking zips which are a higher quality than many we’ve seen and help keep your gear safe and dry.
If you’re into more bells and whistles such as thermoguard pockets it’s worth taking a look at the Pro Staff Tour.
Dimensions: 30″ x 8″ x 13″ (when fully extended)
- Fold out racket sleeve for adaptable storage
- Classic Wimbledon colours
- Isothermal protection
- Additional laptop storage
- More pricey than most
On the subject of tournament tie-ins, this Babolat Pure backpack is a really smart nod to the All-England Club.
Featuring the classic Wimbledon colours, the bag is made from a recycled polyester blend which feels nice and rugged and hardwearing.
The big design difference here is the fold out racket sleeve which enables you to wear it as a normal sized compact rucksack or something closer to a full size racket bag. So it’s a bit of a cheat code.
In addition to the larger than average three racket sleeve, there’s also a laptop sleeve so you can use this for work and study as well as play.
Those sleeves give isothermal protection to your equipment, guarding it from extreme temperatures.
Although a touch pricey, with its waterproof exterior and higher end details like magnetic fastening this has the feel of a premium product – as you’d expect from Babolat.
How to choose the right tennis backpack for you
If you’re opting for a backpack over the array of other tennis bags on offer, you’ve decided you favour mobility over capacity and comfort over bulkiness.
That said there are a few things you may want to consider when making your choice.
How much gear do I intend to bring to court?
While capacity is limited in backpacks THERE ARE DIFFERENCES so consider how much gear you’re likely to want to cart with you.
Do I need a separate shoe compartment?
If you like to keep your tennis shoes away from the rest of your equipment (particularly clean clothing) you should consider a bag with a separate compartment.
What’s my style?
This last point is obviously completely subjective but of course you should choose a bag you feel confident wearing on your back. It’s an extension of your style.
Some players like to match their bag with their racket and there are lots of brand tie-ins that enable you to do that.
Many of our choices come in a range of colours and prints so be sure to look around for the one that suits you.
Be the Head of the (back)Pack
Hopefully you’ve managed to make a call on the right backpack to up your style game.
Remember, if you’ve got this far and decided a backpack is not the best option for you, you should have a look at our guide to the best tennis bags overall.
Can I use a regular backpack for tennis?
Short answer: yes, you could. But it will be pretty uncomfortable, it won’t offer great protection for your racket and you’ll be forced to throw it in with the rest of your gear.
If you value comfort, organisation and the health of your equipment, better to opt for a specialist tennis backpack. You can always use it for everyday too!