What to pack in your pickleball bag: Essentials for a day at the court and for tournaments
Although pickleball doesn’t require much equipment to get started, there are a variety of items that can help elevate your game to the next level. When you’ve expanded your game needs beyond a paddle and ball, you must select a bag that can hold all the tools of a champion.
What to look for in a pickleball bag
A good pickleball bag should be more than just a container — it's a game-changer that enhances your overall experience. Here are some key features to consider when choosing the ideal pickleball bag:
- Comfy straps: Since you'll be carrying your pickleball bag to and from the court, comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps are a must. Look for bags with padded straps that distribute weight evenly, reducing strain on your shoulders and back.
- Ample space for gear: A spacious bag is essential to fit all your gear seamlessly. Opt for a bag with multiple compartments or pockets to keep things organized. Look for dedicated sections for your paddles, balls, court shoes, snacks, and other personal items. Extra pockets for your phone, keys, or wallet can also be a bonus.
- Ventilation and shoe compartment: After an intense game, nobody wants their sweaty shoes mingling with clean clothes or gear. Look for bags with a separate ventilated shoe compartment to keep your court shoes isolated and fresh.
- Fence hook or carabiner: Having a hook or carabiner to hang your bag from the fence during play is incredibly convenient. It keeps your bag off the ground and easily accessible, so you can grab your essentials between matches without fuss.
- Lightweight and Portable: Nobody wants to feel like they're carrying a boulder on their back. Look for a bag that's lightweight and easy to carry, even when fully loaded with your pickleball gear.
What to pack in my pickleball bag
Everyone’s needs on the court are different, so everyone’s bag looks different. However, there are a few essential items you should consider for different types of situations. Whether it's just a day at the court or a high-stakes tournament, here’s a comprehensive list of essentials and some bonus items that can support you on and off the court.
What to pack in your pickleball bag for a day at the court
For a normal day at the court, you’ll likely need fewer items to support your play, so you may prefer a smaller bag. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for various situations and have a few fun items on hand.
Day at the court: The essentials
- Paddles and balls: Let's start with the obvious. Your pickleball paddles and some extra balls should always be the first items in your bag.
- Hydration: Keep yourself hydrated during those intense rallies. Pack a water bottle or two, and consider bringing an electrolyte replenisher for an extra boost.
- Sunscreen: Don't let the sun ruin your fun! Bring your sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful rays.
- Court shoes: Invest in a good pair of court shoes to support your movements and prevent slipping on the court.
Day at the court: The extras
- Medicine and bandages: Accidents happen, so keep some basic medicine and bandages handy for minor injuries or headaches.
- Grip tape: Ensure your paddles maintain a firm, comfortable grip throughout your gameplay by having extra grip tape available.
- Towels: You'll be sweating a lot, especially during intense matches. Keep a towel nearby to wipe off that sweat and stay fresh.
- Snacks: Bring along some energy-boosting snacks to keep your stamina up during long play sessions.
- Change of clothing: Pack an extra set of clothes in case you get sweaty or need a fresh outfit after the game.
- Back-up socks: If your socks get damp, having a backup pair can save the day and prevent discomfort.
- Jackets, hats, and sunglasses: Make sure to have extra layers and protective gear to be prepared for any type of weather.
What to pack in your pickleball bag for a tournament
When preparing for a pickleball tournament, you’ll need to include some additional items in your bag to help give you a competitive advantage, so a larger bag is essential. Take a look at what Selkirk pro Catherine Parenteau packs in her tournament bag and then peruse our list of recommended items.
Tournament: The essentials
- Two or more paddles: In a tournament, having a backup paddle is crucial in case your primary paddle breaks or malfunctions.
- Court shoes and extra socks: Bring your pickleball shoes to help support your sprints to the kitchen and lateral movements. Don’t forget an extra pair of socks to help keep your feet dry throughout the day.
- Spare balls: Although tournaments will provide you with balls for the games, you’ll want your own to warm up before the competition begins.
- Water bottle and electrolyte replenisher: Stay hydrated, especially during those back-to-back matches.
- Snacks: After working up a sweat, you will get hungry. Make sure to bring some high-energy, healthy snacks to replenish yourself.
- ID and credit card for tournament check-in: Don't forget your ID to check in at the tournament venue. Credit cards may be necessary to pay outstanding fees or to support local vendors.
- Sunscreen and general medicine: Keep your skin safe and be prepared for any minor health ailments.
- Grip tape: Make sure you bring extra grip tape and overgrip to keep your paddle handle comfortable and slip-free.
Tournament: The extras
- Specialty medicine: Consider bringing items like Icy Hot or leg cramp relief if you're prone to specific issues.
- Extra clothing and towels: Tournaments can get intense, so an extra set of clothes or a towel can be refreshing between matches. Just make sure your clothes follow tournament guidelines.
- Sandals: Allow your feet to breathe and relax by switching into sandals between matches.
- Extra glasses, contacts, and sunglasses: Accidents can happen, but it’s important to ensure clear visibility throughout the tournament.
- Stocking cap or jacket: Stay warm during the chilly downtime between matches.
- Compression sleeves and sports braces: Provide support to your muscles and joints during intense competition.
- Cooling towel: Ensure you can cool off in between matches.
- Small pen and notebook: Handy for jotting down notes or strategies … or the phone number of potential future partners!
- Earbuds: If music helps you get focused before a match, bring along your earbuds so others are free to focus in their own way.
- Deodorant: A little freshness goes a long way!
Shop pickleball bags at Selkirk Sport
Now that you know what to pack in your pickleball bag for both a day at the court and a pickleball tournament, you're all set to play your best game! Just make sure to double-check your bag before heading out.