Best Backpacks for Athletes

10 Best Backpacks for Athletes in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2021)

If you’re a committed athlete, perhaps you’ve realized that a standard school backpack is not as handy to hold your things. But it’s not always simple to select a backpack which is specifically built to meet the needs of your sport. There are various features on the market specifically built for different kinds of sports like basketball, bowling, and soccer. There are other items where you obviously need to distinguish stuff, like waterproof material and separate ball compartments. Other precise specifications that depend on the sport you play, especially if you choose to carry your sports gear with you.

Obviously, if you’re playing a sport like baseball or lacrosse, you’re going to want a sports bag that’s properly shaped for carrying your gear. Even if you’re playing a sport with limited equipment like soccer, basketball, or volleyball, you should get through with a big, top-loading backpack. The more complex your sport is, the more complicated your desires are and that relates to children and adults alike.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 8 hrs of research

Under Armour Hustle 4.0 Backpack

Under Armour Hustle 4.0 Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • Has a useful pocket to carry sneakers
  • Very nice and comfortable cushioning for the laptop
  • Zippers are smooth
  • Lightweight

Speedo Teamster Backpack

Speedo Teamster Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Hassle-free experience packing and unpacking
  • Incredibly comfortable padding
  • Abundance of storage and pockets
  • The outside mesh pockets are a bit taller too, which means a water bottle will actually stay put better

Best Backpacks for Athletes – Overview

From soccer players to basketball players, to runners, to long-distance cyclists, to baseball players, any sportsman wants the best backpacks for athletes. Anyone who takes part in one form of athletics or the other will usually need a backpack due to their gears and sports clothing. And from experience, it’s not a good choice to use a standard backpack; therefore you have to buy a bag built for sports. This is why we have reviewed some of the best backpacks for athletes on the market to help you make an informed decision.

Backpacks for Athletes Reviews

1. Under Armour Hustle 4.0 Backpack – Best Value

Under Armour Hustle 4.0 Backpack

Built to deliver exactly what each athlete needs to stay on their game. The Under Armour Hustle 4.0 Backpack includes sophisticated technology, including plenty of storage solutions to better secure including organizing your belongings. UA Storm technology delivers highly water-resistant, element-battling finish to keep your stuff dry.

HeatGear is a super-breathable fabric that wicks sweat and regulates body temperature so you feel cooler, drier, and lighter than ever. Soft-lined laptop sleeve—holds up to 15″ MacBook Pro or similarly sized laptop. There is also a large, gusseted front laundry/shoe pocket placed at bottom of the bag.

Key Features:

  • Two water-repellent front valuables pocket
  • Large, gusseted front laundry/shoe pocket
  • D-Ring on the front panel
  • Two side water bottle pockets
  • Tough, abrasion-resistant bottom panel

Specifications:

  • Brand: Under Armour
  • Capacity: 26L
  • Dimensions: 13″ H x 5.9″ W x 19.3″ D
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
Pros
  • Has a useful pocket to carry sneakers
  • Very nice and comfortable cushioning for the laptop
  • Zippers are smooth
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Although this bag provides a pocket for shoes, once you place the shoes in the backpack, it creates this huge lump in the main pocket

2. Speedo Teamster Backpack – Premium Pick

Speedo Teamster Backpack

Designed for competitive swimmers and athletes, the Speedo Teamster Backpack features an abrasion-resistant shell and water-repelling bottom equipped with a pull-out foam bleacher seat. Organizational features include multiple pockets, a protective laptop sleeve, and a removable dirtbag that keeps dirty or wet gear separated from clean garments.

Premium quality zips are the highest quality YKK zippers. Removable dirt bag keeps dirty/wet gear separated from clean garments. Pull out bleacher seat rests behind the laptop sleeve and provides an instant cushioned, dry place to sit

Key Features:

  • Durable exterior shell that is built tough with abrasion resistance
  • High-quality durable zippers
  • Removable dirt bag keeps wet items from electronics and dry clothes
  • Raised 15″ laptop and tablet sleeve

Specifications:

  • Brand: Speedo
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 14″ W x 4″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • Hassle-free experience packing and unpacking
  • Incredibly comfortable padding
  • Abundance of storage and pockets
  • The outside mesh pockets are a bit taller too, which means a water bottle will actually stay put better
Cons
  • Bottom material could be a little thicker and stronger

3. AmazonBasics Sports Backpack

AmazonBasics Sports Backpack

From top to bottom, this AmazonBasics Sports Backpack provides loads of useful space for keeping up with an on-the-go schedule. Head to class, the office, or to the gym after work with all necessary gear in tow with help from this convenient backpack. Made of 100% polyester, the reliable sports backpack stands up to everyday wear and tear, while its tough, abrasion-resistant bottom panel offers an added layer of protection between the bag and hard ground or floor surfaces.

The backpack’s main pocket provides room for books, folders, an extra layer of clothing, and other larger items. The main pocket includes a soft-lined laptop sleeve, which offers dedicated space for keeping a laptop securely upright and easy to access. The sports backpack also provides a handy pocket with organizers, a small padded pocket for a cell phone or sunglasses, and a front pocket for medium-sized items.

Key Features:

  • Main pocket with laptop sleeve
  • Small padded pocket for cell phone or sunglasses
  • Pocket with organizers
  • 2 water bottle holders
  • Made of 100% polyester
  • Tough, abrasion-resistant bottom panel

Specifications:

  • Brand: AmazonBasics
  • Dimensions: 18.8″ H x 13″ W x 8.3″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • Made of quality materials
  • It has the typical layout with two major compartments and one smaller one
  • There is a clip centered in the back that could carry a small water bottle or other gear
  • Expandable bottom compartment that would work well for storing wet items
Cons
  • The padding in the top handle and in the shoulder straps is a little on the thin side

4. Under Armour SC30 Undeniable Backpack

Under Armour SC30 Undeniable Backpack

Stephen Curry’s signature SC30 Collection isn’t just some of their best gear. Before he lets anything carry his logo, he makes sure the materials and designs live up to his standards. And as a 2x MVP and 3x world champ, those are pretty high. The Under Armour SC30 Undeniable Backpack does not disappoint.

It has a water-repellent front valuables pocket to keep your stuff safe. Ergonomic foam padded back panel and adjustable HeatGear shoulder straps for extra comfort. Built with storage space to fit a size 5 soccer ball/an NBA-sized basketball. Other features include a row of webbing loops on front for attachment points, zippered front panel pocket with built-in organization sleeve, plus additional quick stash zippered pocket on top lid compartment.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable HeatGear shoulder straps for extra comfort
  • Deep mesh side water bottle pockets
  • Row of webbing loops
  • Zippered front panel pocket
  • Ergonomic foam padded back panel

Specifications:

  • Brand: Under Armour
  • Capacity: 31L
  • Dimensions: 19.5″ H x 12″ W x 9.1″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • The back straps are contoured which is very comfortable
  • It’s also water-resistant as they stated
  • The padded straps are also adjustable so it doesn’t hang to high or to low
  • Durable material
Cons
  • The smaller front pocket/compartment involutes inward

5. Fuel Top Load Sport Backpack

Fuel Top Load Sport Backpack

Fuel Top Load Sport Backpack with oversized main storage compartment offers enough room for all laptops, clothes, sporting equipment, and plenty more. The extra padded back and straps support relieves stress.

The tech smartphone pocket on the top allows for easy access and accessibility and the interior organizational pockets make sure nothing is misplaced inside the bag. Two mesh pockets on each side add extra storage and space for water bottles and multiple spots to clip on canteens. All Fuel products come with a Limited Life Guarantee.

Key Features:

  • Top felt-lined tech zip pocket
  • Side mesh hydration pockets
  • Reinforced bottom
  • Top wrapped comfort handle

Specifications:

  • Brand: FUEL
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 13″ W x 7.5″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • The main compartment holds a plethora of items
  • The little zipper compartment on top is perfect for small items
  • Very easy to load and unload
  • Seem well-made and strong (seams, zippers)
Cons
  • The stretchy water bottle pockets on the sides are a bit small

6. Diadora Squadra Backpack

Diadora Squadra Backpack

The Diadora Squadra Backpack is a great soccer backpack for any player or team! The Diadora Squadra stands out among your average soccer backpack with its highly-durable 420 denier nylon construction. You are bound to get many, many miles out of this soccer backpack!

Other features include a front vented ball pocket, side vented shoe tunnel, and side accessory pocket, slanted side zipper for easy access to side pocket and shoe tunnel, front jacket straps, and a padded anatomically shaped shoulder straps.

Key Features:

  • 420 denier nylon with PVC backing
  • Front vented ball pocket
  • Padded anatomically shaped shoulder pads
  • Side vented shoe tunnel

Specifications:

  • Brand: Diadora
  • Dimensions: 10″ H x 2″ W x 15″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • The bag is very sharp and is seemingly well made
  • The mesh front ball pocket is useful
  • The interior compartment is roomy enough for cleats, socks and shin guards
  • Well made materials like zippers
Cons
  • No actual water bottle pocket

7. Nike Club Team Swoosh Backpack

Nike Club Team Swoosh Backpack

The Nike Club Team Swoosh Backpack is fitted with different compartments to ensure that your gear is stored and covered. The Nike ® Club Team Swoosh Soccer Backpack provides easy storage for your pitch, gloves, and cleats.

There are zippered cleat and ball compartments for separate storage of your gear, mesh side pockets for easy access storage of water bottles, and zippered pockets at the top and inside to help you keep organized. The shoulder straps are curved to keep them from digging into you and to be flexible so you can hold your things easily.

Key Features:

  • Large, dual-zip main compartment with rain flap for secure storage
  • Zippered cleat and ball compartments store gear separately
  • Top and interior zippered pockets for small-item organization
  • Mesh side pockets for easy-access storage
  • Adjustable curved shoulder straps for comfortable carrying

Specifications:

  • Brand: Nike
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 14″ W x 11″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • Separate compartment for shoes in the top/front pocket
  • Exterior water bottle net is good for a medium sized one
  • It fits in a standard locker, you can easily hang it on a hook
  • The quality is great
Cons
  • Only having one side pocket for water bottle

8. AmazonBasics Casual Sports Backpack

AmazonBasics Casual Sports Backpack

Enjoy dependable, multifunctional use with the AmazonBasics Casual Sports Backpack. This sporty pack can be used for biking, hiking, and other activities, or as a convenient travel bag or carry-on. A dynamic choice that you can count on, the backpack combines a multi-compartment design with a lightweight, durable construction. Bring along sporting goods, accessories, devices, and other essentials wherever you go, and experience simple functionality at its best.

Whether you’re commuting, traveling, or heading to a game, the AmazonBasics compact backpack includes ventilated holes, a top carrying handle, a padded back panel, and padded over-the-shoulder straps that evenly distribute weight for a comfortable carrying experience. Folds down for easy storage when not in use.

Key Features:

  • 600D and 400D polyester construction
  • Multiple compartments, zipper pockets, and slots
  • Padded straps and back panel for comfort
  • Top carrying handle and front bungee strap system
  • Ventilated holes for breathability
  • Foldable when not in use

Specifications:

  • Brand: AmazonBasics
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 20.5″ H x 12.6″ W x 5.71″ D
  • Weight: 0.86 lbs
Pros
  • The handle felt secure, the zippers felt secure, and everything felt “in place”
  • The exterior has a nice mesh pouch for a water bottle
  • First compartment has a very deep channel that goes down and under the bag
  • It also has two elastic mesh pockets and a zippered pouch behind
Cons
  • The zipper on this bag is not smooth to open

9. Mouteenoo Sport Gym Backpack

Mouteenoo Sport Gym Backpack

This Mouteenoo Sport Gym Backpack is very stylish and lightweight, designed with water-resistance fabric which is perfect for gym, basketball, weekend hikes, quick errands, overnight trip or to go hang out with friends, a decent grab and go daypack. The size is good to put in a gym locker, under-seat, or on an overhead shelf.

There is one separate shoe compartment at the bottom that can fit sneakers/flip flops or other stuff that you want to separate from the main compartment. Its also designed with two external big mesh pockets which is perfect for water bottles or umbrella. Inside zip pouch is lined with a soft fleece material which is perfect for valuables, cellphone or wallet, next to this zip pouch it has a useful key holder, user-friendly design makes you don’t have to dive deep to get your valuables.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Separate shoe compartment
  • High-quality water-resistant Nylon material
  • Two external big mesh pocket

Specifications:

  • Brand: Mouteenoo
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 14″ W x 4.5″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Zippers run nicely
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Super durable
Cons
  • The side mesh pocket for a water bottle doesn’t fit large ones

10. MIER Large Sports Backpack

MIER Large Sports Backpack

Whether you attend water exercise classes or plan to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. The MIER Large Sports Backpack shows up as a friend of you with features. An inner padded laptop computer compartment for your laptop and reinforced four exterior pockets provide strength and durability, while the below mesh pocket provides a large wet/dry compartment for quicker drying and reduced odor with good ventilation.

MIER Sports Backpack is perfect not only for swimmers but also for dry use purposes. Specially equipped with a laptop compartment, carry your tablet and laptop easily. Adjustable, Breathable, Broader padded shoulder strap provides great comfort, it doesn’t put any strain on you back even if the bag is heavy.

Key Features:

  • Top small zipper pocket
  • Detachable hanging carabiner
  • YKK zippers
  • Durable waist strap buckle
  • Adjustable curved shoulder straps for comfortable carrying

Specifications:

  • Brand: MIER
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 8.5″ H x 14.2″ W x 21.2″ D
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
Pros
  • Very wide opening
  • The bag has outside and inside pockets that are good for organization
  • Durable
  • The carabiner clip is useful
Cons
  • The zipper opens from the bottom up which makes it sort of awkward to open or close when you have something inside

Buying Guide

Sport

Athletes engaging in a sport such as baseball will need a backpack that can suit their bats. While a basketball or soccer player will need a backpack with a dedicated ball compartment for easier handling. A backpack for an athlete must be able to handle any clothing the athlete requires and a change of clothes.

Materials

Plenty of sports backpacks are constructed of a range of varieties of polyesters and nylons with differing fiber firmness, impacting its weight, toughness, water and abrasion tolerance, look, and, of course, size. Other materials used to make backpacks for athletes include Cordura, Nylon, Rip-nylon, and Polyester.

Wet & Dry Pocket

A wet/dry pocket in a backpack or a different pocket in certain backpacks allows competitors to place dirty laundry or something that gets damp in the bag. What this does is not allow the dry side of the backpack compartment to reach the wet compartment. When you take your fitness gear with you, that is a useful thing to have.

Comfort

Because you must bring sports equipment in your backpack, the backpack is expected to be heavy.  So be sure the backpack is easy to use, look at the shoulder straps because they ought to be lined and they can also be adjustable. And there’s the back of the backpack that should be made of breathable material and padded to give your back protection while you wear it.

Durability

Another important thing to note is the backpack’s durability component. When you’re using your backpack to hold athletic gear, there is a really large risk of destroying your backpack. So you should get a backpack which is built to be tough and which has all the seams in place.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best backpacks for athletes as well as our guide on features to look for in a backpack for athletes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.