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How To Choose the Best Bags for College Sports Teams: An Easy Guide

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College sports can offer a great platform to launch a future while discovering yourself in the meantime. The setting also facilitates self-growth, as participants learn how they react to a wide range of situations. Athletics and team sports go beyond physical activity, helping individuals develop valuable social skills relevant outside of the sports arena. 

Success in college sports depends on several factors. Participants undergo strict training sessions to develop their physical abilities. Lately, sports psychology has also gained more attention at the college level. Furthermore, all great athletes rely on high-quality equipment to support their performance. This means top quality uniforms, shoes, and sports bags to safely store and transport all the equipment.

What Makes the Ideal Sports Bag for College Teams 

Choosing the college team backpacks can be a challenging task. However, we are here to help make the decision easier. There are a few key aspects to consider in the selection process, including the type of fabric, versatility, and spaciousness. 

Beyond all these practical aspects, the bag should also be representative of the team. You can achieve this by going with the team color or colors. If you wish to take things further, add a logo with the team name or mascot. Rely on your creativity to turn the sports team backpacks into a prized possession for all members.

Strong Fabric

sports bag with ping pong set and reading tablet


All athletes, regardless of their league, need a strong and reliable bag that can handle the weight and pressure of being packed full. No matter what sport you practice, the basics alone take up a considerable amount of space. 

Furthermore, as a college athlete, you have regular training sessions throughout the week. This means that you will be using the college team duffel bag frequently. The fabric and design of the bag must be strong enough to resist tear and wear. 


woman on campus in sports outfit and duffel bag


Since there are many items that athletes carry with them to practice, they need an easy-to-use and lightweight bag. The best college team backpack is one that is very light but resilient. This implies a cohesion of the constitutive elements, like fabric, stitching technique, and overall design.  


water spiral washing


The owner has an essential part to play in securing a backpack’s longevity. Proper care and attention are warranted. A college sports team backpack is exposed to a lot of wear and use. It frequently ends up being dropped on the ground, in the back of a car, or under bus seats. All these places are filled with bacteria and dirt. While dirt stains will show up on the textile, bacteria might go unnoticed.

For athletes, it is crucial to stay in good health to perform in top physical condition. Cleanliness should be part of the daily routine. The sports bag should not be exempt from its own cleaning cycle. 

First of all, a few preventive measures can go a long way. Try to avoid placing bags or your belongings in unsanitary places. If there is an empty seat next to you, use it. If you are on a school bus, try to fit your bag in the overhead compartment. While in the locker room, set them on benches and take advantage of the extra security offered by the assigned storage unit.

Nevertheless, you will still need to wash your sports bag periodically. Look for fabrics that are easy to clean and not overly pretentious. While you might be concerned about how natural textiles (like cotton and canvas) behave in the washing machine, these should not pose a particular challenge as long as you handle them correctly. 


packing purple sports bag


When hunting for your sports team backpack, keep in mind that it should be spacious enough to fit all your equipment. Therefore, a large main section is a must-have. Beyond this, it comes down to personal preference. It does help to have at least a few additional compartments, which allow you to separate some items to which you might need easier access.

Many are in the habit of leaving a few essentials in the bag, so it is easier to prepare for the next training session. You might take out your towel and clothes for a wash but leave your hair ties or bandanas. 


woman with sports duffel bag gym


Versatility comes as a bonus to a great college sports backpack. The primary aspect to consider is for the bag to fit your training needs and adapt to traveling whenever needed. Of course, if you are on the road, you will most likely need an additional travel duffel bag as well.

Another aspect to consider is the bag’s adaptability to different types of sports or even other activities. It is great to have the option of taking your college sports team backpack on a hike as well, or to the gym.


college football supporters


Finally, any college sports team's duffel bag or backpack should represent them. There are several ways to tackle this issue. The classic strategy is through chromatics. 

One of the most famous color combinations in college football (burnt orange and white) is worn by Texas. It is easy to add the sports bag to this chromatic equation. Simply look for an item with at least one of your team colors (like this burnt orange polyester drawstring bag). 

Another great option is to decorate a blank bag with a text or symbol representative of your team. There are numerous techniques to choose from, but the most accessible ones are printing and embroidery. You can either try your hand at this yourself or contact a professional customization service.

Types of Bags Sported by College Teams

When choosing a college sports team’s next backpack, consider the type of sport practiced. Also guide yourself based on personal preference. Consider what some players are packing for their regular training and find a bag that can securely hold all their essentials.


black sports backpack


Backpacks are a rather popular choice for college sports teams. Their main advantages are durability, versatility, and comfort. These items tend to be created out of resilient fabrics and are reinforced at stress points. Backpacks are ready to be packed full, regardless of going to classes, the library, on a hike, or training. 

Many prefer backpacks over other options due to the compartmentalization options. This is optimal if you have a large number of smaller items, as it favors their distribution. You can easily separate them in different pockets and still have easy access to them.

Another benefit is the added comfort of having the weight evenly distributed on two wide shoulder straps. Many backpacks have added padding to further prevent any strain on the muscles. An additional handle at the top of the bag offers a secure grip option.

Some might argue that size is the backpack's biggest downside, as it does not necessarily offer ample enough space. However, nowadays, these items come in many shapes and sizes. Therefore, such a concern is no longer valid. 

Duffel Bags

guy on campus with sports duffel bag


A significant number of college sports teams opt for duffel bags. If selected well, they can meet all the criteria mentioned in the first part of the article. Their main selling point is offering a generous main compartment to safely store the bulkiest items. Many bags also have additional pockets both inside and on the exterior to distribute the smaller products. 

The battle between duffel bags and backpacks often comes down to personal preference. However, the latter ones might fall into a small disadvantage over the summer season. Carrying a backpack for a long time in hot weather prevents your back from properly airing. Therefore, after you put down your luggage, you might face the unpleasant surprise of a sweaty back.

Drawstring Backpacks

canvas cinch pack


College sports team drawstring backpacks are particularly well-fit for promotional use. The design offers an ample and smooth enough surface to print the team logo or name. However, if you decide to take this path, be mindful of protecting the customized design. Prints, in particular, can be pretentious. You can read our easy guide with 15 ways to make a print last, where we cover everything from washing to folding techniques. 

The main downside of drawstring backpacks is their size. These offer only a limited space to pack your goods, so you will have to be selective. For some sports, this might be enough. While for the ones that require more equipment, cinch bags can serve as an additional option or a purely promotional item.  

Travel Sport Bag

brown travel duffel bag


As a college athlete, you may have the wonderful opportunity to travel nationwide and even internationally. A reliable travel duffel bag is a must for such occasions. While on tour, you will also need to pack everyday personal items next to your sports equipment; additional space is welcome. There is a wide range sizes available, from small to extra large, so choose a model that best meets your needs. 


large cotton laundry bag


Some additional accessories can be of great service to you in maintaining a clean and orderly bag regardless if you are going to regular training or on tour. For starters, a shoe bag will surely turn out to be a great investment. 

Simply slip your shoes into the bag and then place it into your backpack. This will help protect clothes or any other items you might have in the same compartment (and the inside of your sports bag) from getting dirty. At the same time, your shoes will also stay sheltered from any scrapes during transportation. 

In addition, a laundry bag can be quite handy as well. Traditionally, these are meant to store and sort laundry, but you can adapt them to different uses. For example, you can place selected clothing items in canvas bags to separate them from your other belongings and protect these from damage during transportation. 

Furthermore, the bags will be particularly useful while traveling, as you can more easily separate your laundry. However, bear in mind that other people might use simple cotton or canvas laundry bags with the same purpose. To avoid any confusion, add a design detail on your laundry bag to better differentiate it from others.

Final Thoughts

Being part of a college sport is a magical experience that may also open up some bright future opportunities. To ensure that you are at the top of your game, having the right equipment is essential. A college sports backpack is a must-have companion, which will not only keep your belongings safe but also help you represent your team wherever you go.