I pride myself on being a low maintenance girl. When I started playing badminton, I borrowed a racket, wore the clothes I came in wearing and only needed some water and a sweat band to play.
Now I need:
2-5 different shirts
shorts, leggings, undies
ankle, wrist, elbow guard
cooling muscle spray
As many sweat bands as humanly possible
And I’m still considered quite low maintenance for a badminton player. Other players carry multiple rackets, things like extra grips, scissors (for breaking your strings if one snaps), socks and containers of birdies (I always rely on others for them).
Especially with shoes and a bunch of extra clothes it’s not a light load, so badminton bags need to be big. There are several different options for bags and I’ll briefly go through them.
The Small Bag Your Racket Came in
This is just your basic bag that can fit your racket and maybe your wallet and phone while you play. But if you use this one you definitely need to carry another bag with you for your stuff. The benefit is this bag is cheap and convenient because it probably came free when you bought the racket. Too bad these bags aren’t more multi-purpose because I have a few but I don’t like to use them for my rackets, but I don’t wanna throw them away. Problems, problems…
The Slightly Bigger Racket Bag
Advantages: This is what I used for a long time before I was very serious. These bags are racket shaped, but more open and wider at the handle part so you can stick a bunch of stuff in their like a shirt, some sweatbands, a tube of birdies if you got it. It’s more slender than other bags and as long as it’s on your back, it doesn’t really get in the way.
Disadvantages: What it won’t hold is anything bulky, like shoes. And there is usually no interior pocket in it, so if you put your keys or wallet in the bag, trying to dig them out on your front stoop in the dark is a total pain in the ass. It’s also a bulky shape bag to wear any other way then slung on your back..
The Badminton Backpack
My current bag of choice!
Advantages: The badminton backpack is far superior to a normal backpack for several reasons. There is a specific back pocket for your racket with some Velcro straps and its own zipper so you never have to worry about the zipper falling down and your racket sticking out awkwardly perpendicular to you.
It has a special shoe pocket in the bottom, that has it’s own inner sleeve so you can keep your shoes there all the time and it won’t dirty the rest of your stuff.
I don’t know if this is just my backpack design or all, but it has this little zippered pocket that goes against your back. It’s small and a perfect place for you to put your phone, keys and wallet. It’s totally safe and when you are carrying it and need something, you just slip off the backpack from one shoulder and reach around and open the pocket. My badminton clothes never have pockets so I need a good way to keep my keys and wallet and phone without having to dig through a huge bag every time. This works well.
Disadvantages: It’s big. It’s clumsy. It’s heavy. It’s clearly not a backpack I would use to carry things other than badminton. Also, because the shoe sleeve goes into the bags, I always find my tiny things slip under the shoes. Also, the shoe sleeve isn’t that big so I cram my shoes into it and it’s always kinda annoying.
It’s also not a badminton shaped bag so your racket sticks out of the top, unprotected. I can’t decide if this is an advantage or a disadvantage because I don’t like the awkward shaped badminton bags but I also end up catching some stuff with my racket (like when I duck under low branches, the racket snags it. Or sometimes the racket handle will catch something like a plastic flap on a door, and kinda tug me backwards.) Right now this is the best choice for me and my stuff.
The Big Ass Bag
I have not upgraded to this bag yet because I’m scared. This is the bag that you see the pro’s using. It’s a racket shaped bag that is so big it goes on your back over both shoulders. But unlike a backpack, you can’t sit down while wearing this monster because it goes lower than your waist.
Advantages: It holds a ton of stuff, and protects your entire racket. Also, whoever sees you wearing it knows you are not only a badminton player, but a serious one.
Disadvantages: The big-ass size. It’s too big for me to want to use it. It’s basically the same size as my travel backpack (which comfortable fits every item I need for 1-2 months travel.) Not something I want to lug around everyday.
That’s a quick rundown of the basic badminton bags. Which one do you have? Which one do you prefer, or you just old-school it and any ‘ol bag will do? Let me know in the comments!