Two friends sitting on a basketball court with a light blue JanSport backpack and skateboard.

The Best Pickleball Backpacks and Kit List Recs To Improve Your Game

Charli Moore Aug 22, 2023

Pickleball might not be a new sport—it dates back to the 1960s, but it’s been gaining popularity in recent years thanks to its sociable style and easy-to-learn rules. Like a little sister to badminton or tennis, it’s the perfect mix of fun and exercise that anyone can try.

And, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, level up your game and get ready to elevate your courtside style with our pick of the best pickleball backpacks and recs for what you should be packing in your bag.


Why You Need a Pickleball Backpack

Stowing your pickleball paddles and balls in a well-made pickleball backpack is essential if you want to save your gear from getting beat up and don’t want to waste time digging around for spare balls during a game. 

After an intense game you need a bag that performs like a portable locker dishing out everything from water and snacks to clean socks.


Key Features to Look for in a Pickleball Backpack

Investing in a cool pickleball backpack that’s built to last is totally worth it. Here’s what to look for.

  • CompartmentsAll the best pickleball backpacks have a dedicated compartment or sleeve to safely stow your paddles.
  • Ball storage: Some bags have a stow pouch for balls, others have smaller zip lock pockets.
  • Comfortable and supportive straps: Padded straps are crucial for comfort and posture, so consider a backpack with both hand and shoulder straps for versatility.
  • Insulated pocket: This can help to keep your drinks and snacks cool during long games on sunny days. Alternatively, you want room to fit an insulated lunchbox.
  • Water bottle holder: You’ll want to carry plenty of water with you to stay hydrated, so ensuring your pickleball backpack has a bottle holder will be key.
  • Ventilated compartment: Ideal if you want to change out of your kicks after a game, but don’t want the smell to sour your snacks.
  • Shape and style: You need enough space to store your essentials in an on point pack that stands out from the crowd. 


5 Best Pickleball Backpacks 


Best pickleball backpack for a paddle sleeve

With two main compartments and a large sleeve for optimal space and organization, the Cool Student defies XL capacity and style. It’s also got a fully padded back panel and ergonomic S-curve shoulder straps for long wear comfort.


Best pickleball backpack for XL capacity

Big on volume, compartments, and zippered organization, the Main Campus FX offers big bag features and serious brawniness thanks to its Cordura® construction. Keep extra pickleballs in the top stash pocket and stay hydrated thanks to its mesh water bottle pocket which stretches to fit even the largest of bottles.


Best pickleball backpack for staying fresh

The fresh fabric in this special edition Superbreak® Plus AM is treated with Protx2W, a smell-busting agent formulated to combat harmful odor-causing bacteria. Pair that with the pack's iconic styling and you’ve got a champion pickleball backpack.


Best recycled pickleball backpack

Made from surplus yarns and textile waste, the Restore Pack is a purchase you can feel good making. Plus, it’s got all the must-have features you’d expect including a roomy front pocket for extra pickleballs with built in organization, comfort-enhancing straps, and a roomy main compartment for your paddles.


Best pickleball backpack bundle

Sick style is all about expressing yourself, and this rad - SuperBreak® Plus Kidcore Charms Bundle makes a stellar pickleball backpack and lunch pack. With all the expected features such as a roomy main compartment, paddle sleeve, and side bottle pocket, you also have the bonus of an insulated lunch pack to keep your snacks cool on court.


7 Must-Haves for Your Pickleball Backpack 

So, you’ve got yourself a dope pickleball backpack, now you need to kit it out.

  • Quality pickleball paddles: Different paddles offer varied weight, balance, and grip which can all completely change your game. Choose the right one for you and then pack a spare. 
  • Extra pickleballs: Because you want to get right back at it after dink shots, falafels, and dillballs.
  • Hydration and snacks: Refuel regularly to maintain focus and endurance.
  • Microfiber towel: This can be a game-changer. Use it for wicking away sweat or drying your hands for better grip mid play.
  • First aid kit: Just a small one, just in case.
  • Clean clothes: This can be handy in case of a downpour, or if you get particularly sweaty on court. It’s also a good idea to carry a couple of extra pairs of socks for the same reason!
  • High protein snacks: Get a quick energy release from wholefood snacks like bananas, nuts, or a peanut butter smoothie to help you power through a tough game.


Maintaining and Cleaning Your Pickleball Backpack

Just like a well-oiled machine, a clean and well-maintained pickleball backpack will ensure you stay on your A-game. Don’t wait for your pack to look (and smell) like it’s been in a mud-wrestling match before you clean it. Empty it out after each game, wipe it out and clean dirty marks with a damp cloth, air dry it if needed, and then restock for your next outing.


Rocking up to a pickleball court well prepared not only improves your gameplay, you’ll find you enjoy pickleball much more when you have the right kit close at hand.