It’s game time, and you need to take all of your gear to the rink: your stick, gloves, skates, helmet, pants, and the rest. That’s where your hockey bag becomes your best friend; it provides enough room for all your gear, so much so that you sometimes spend a lot of time fishing around for your tape.
There are many types of hockey bags to suit specific needs. But which one is best for you?
Bags known as Hockey Carry Bags are the best for hauling general equipment and usually come in several sizes, from small to senior. Prices vary from $50 to $300 for a carry bag.
The most popular types of hockey bags are:
- Wheeled carry bag
- Backpack equipment bag, wheeled or conventional,
- Hockey backpacks
- Hockey puck bags
- Hockey stick bags
- Multipurpose bags
- duffle bag
A carry bag, or any other variety, is a must, as it will make your life a lot easier. Plus, with proper maintenance, these bags can last for years. So, choosing the right model is essential. Read on to find out what are some of the best hockey bags out there.
There are different types of bags to choose from.
Just as there are brands, there are types of bags, each designed to fit specific needs. Here’s a breakdown of each and a summary of their characteristics, based on the website Pure Hockey.
Hockey carry bags: Carry bags are rectangular in form and come with two straps to carry them. They are larger in size, offer a lot of space, and, generally, are durable. One downside is their bulkiness can make them uncomfortable to carry for extended periods.
Hockey wheel bags (also known as wheeled bags): Hockey wheel bags can be similar in shape to the carry bags but come with wheels and a support frame so that you pull them instead of carrying them. They are easier to move from your car to the rink, but some consider them uncomfortable to store, given that they can’t fold onto themselves.
Backpack equipment bags: Backpack equipment bags as their name suggests, are backpacks and come with features like bottle holders and multiple compartments. Some come as wheeled backpacks. These keep your hands free, but some players can find them uncomfortable on their backs.
Hockey puck bags: Hockey puck bags are smaller bags are designed to carry pucks and other items like tape. Given that they can fit 50 or more pucks, these are ideal for trainers, schools, and team equipment managers.
Hockey backpacks: Hockey backpacks differ from backpack equipment bags because they are designed to carry essentials and not all of your gear. You can take fresh clothes, towels, and smaller items that might get lost in larger bags.
Hockey stick bags: Carrying sticks can be uncomfortable, more so when you’re carrying your gear as well. Hockey stick bags are a great tool, especially if you are in charge of equipment. Personal models can take two or three twigs, and the “team bag” option can accommodate 70 or more sticks.
Multipurpose bags: Multipurpose bags are versatile bags that can cover multiple needs. If you are a coach or a referee, or you just prefer carrying smaller items separately, this is the option for you. Their size makes them easy to handle and doesn’t limit them only to hockey, but other needs.
Hockey duffle bags: Hockey duffle bags are an alternative ideal for anyone going for a quick skate or a visit to the gym. Though they have fewer features and compartments than carry bags, they can carry larger gear pieces, and their size makes them more manageable.
Read on to find out more about these bags and how to choose the right one. Frequently, the first question revolves around size.
What’s the ideal bag size for me?
The most common hockey bag is called the carry bag. It’s usually rectangular in form and has two straps for you to carry it. Senior models have a length from 26″ to 40″.
The size of the bag that you should choose depends on the level of hockey that you play. Some parents might opt for an oversized bag for their kids to fit bigger equipment when they grow. But it might be cumbersome and deteriorate before the kids grow into the gear.
If you are a roller hockey player, you might not need to buy the largest bag available. According to the site Ice Warehouse, there are four sizes:
- X-small hockey bags are designed for youth players.
- Small bags are designed for junior players and roller hockey players in general
- Medium-sized bags are ideal for larger junior players and smaller senior players, as well as female players.
- Large hockey bags fit all senior players, and this category includes goalie bags.
What are the best hockey bags?
With so many brands out there, it’s hard to choose the ideal bag. But several sites have reviewed them, so you don’t have to. The Pacific Rink Player Bag ranked as the best overall bag.
This bag comes with a different compartment for dry clothes, a removable mesh bag for damp items, like towels, and a skate compartment with padding so that the blades stay sharp. This bag costs around $220.
The best value option is the Bauer PRO15, which also offers the ability to be carried as a backpack. Its Dry Flow technology helps dry equipment and also comes with a dedicated skate pocket. It costs around $70.
Other alternatives include the Grit Airbox. At $110, it’s one of the largest in the market and made mostly of breathable material, always a plus when it comes to hockey equipment. Then, there’s the Warrior Pro bag, usually made from durable leather, with a cost of $90.
Should I buy a wheeled hockey bag?
Wheeled bags are the subject of debate. Instead of lugging all your equipment around on your shoulder, you simply take hold of the strap and wheel it away. Definitely, it involves less effort and makes transport a breeze.
Keep in mind that most wheeled bags have a frame at the bottom and support on the sides to provide strength.
This structural design means a wheeled bag cannot be folded onto itself and slid under the bed, so storing it might be cumbersome. Since it cannot collapse, it will always be the same size, empty or not.
If you don’t mind having a larger bag and prefer wheeling your gear instead of carrying it on your shoulder, this is the option. If space is an issue for you, then a wheeled model might not be the right option.
We reviewed wheeled bags and found that the BSN Sports Deluxe is the best budget model, with a $95 price tag. The Grit Tower ranked best overall, with a $199 price tag. Other recommended models are the CCM 370 and the Adidas XL wheeled bags.
What are the ideal sizes for junior and youth players?
Youth carry bags have a length up to 26,” and usually, their features are the same as with senior bags. These models typically cost less but are built of the same quality material.
Junior bags will go from 28″ to about 33″. These are ideal not only for junior players but also for female players and roller hockey players.
Given the equipment size and the desire to protect kids’ back, wheeled bags are a good option for younger players.
Backpacks are also an option
While carry bags are the most popular, followed by wheeled bags, you can find other alternatives to carry your equipment. Backpack bags are an option for those who carry lighter equipment or fewer items. Still, a skater who has back issues can find them uncomfortable.
Due to their structure and construction, these options are more expensive than a regular bag. Most backpack bags cost from $120 to $200.
There’s a bag for everything.
As you have seen, you can have a bag for everything, including sticks and pucks. Stick bags are ideal for carrying two or more twigs, making your trip to the rink that much easier.
Generally, there are two alternatives, standard stick bags, and team bags; the latter can fit around 50 sticks. Stick bags cost from $20 to $50 and can hold 2 or 3 senior twigs. Team bags can cost about $100.
If you always spend a lot of time fishing pucks from your bag, you can buy puck bags, which can double as tape bags. Their cost averages $24.
How to clean your hockey bags?
Let’s face it, hockey isn’t the friendliest sport on the nose. Equipment can stink up quickly, and hockey bags are no exception. But there are some guidelines you can follow to help keep yours fresh and, most importantly, last longer.
According to the website Hunker, these are some easy steps to follow to keep your bag clean.
The first and most important is to take out your equipment. Sure, you’re tired after the game, and the last thing you want to do is maintenance, but if you air out both your bag and your gear, moisture and sweat can evaporate.
Ideally, you should clean your bag with hot water and detergent. If such isn’t feasible, spray an antifungal cleaner and wipe down with a clean, damp towel. Be sure all the cleaning products you use don’t have any bleaching agents.
Always let your bag air dry. To further guarantee your bag’s cleanliness, you should also clean your gear frequently. If you follow these steps, your bag will smell less and last longer, and, after all, that’s what you want.
Hockey bags are designed to carry all the big and small items a hockey player needs. Most have multiple pockets as well as purpose-built compartments.
Also, they are durable. So, while some models might seem expensive, you should expect a good quality bag to last for years.
Carrying hockey gear can be cumbersome. With varied designs, such as backpacks and wheeled options, there are options for all tastes. Hopefully, this article helps you find the right one for you.