In the Bag
Tennis bags and sports bags, like tennis apparel, continue to evolve. Tennis bags have gone from simply holding racquets to carry-alls that have insulated climate-control compartments, storage areas and multi-uses that cross over from court to life around town or on the road. Bags have become a symbol of preferred racquet brand, identity and personal style.
Racquet manufacturers, of course, continue to produce their own bags of various sizes, and with increasingly more features and improvements. Meanwhile, other, smaller companies also are finding a nice niche in producing stylish bags for the fashion-conscious or for players who just prefer a unique look.
Babolat’s Aero, Club and Team lines cover every need for every range of player — from a one-racquet backpack to a wheeled Team travel bag with an adjustable handle that can serve as a practical piece of luggage if you’re a tennis road warrior. Smack in the middle is the Team Line Racquet Bag X6 (suggested retail $59.95). Two main compartments, one of which is thermal-lined, hold up to six racquets. A small window on the bag allows a player to insert a name tag, and a detachable shoe bag, accessory pockets and adjustable straps convert the bag to a backpack, making it a versatile accessory for any competitor. 877-316-9435; babolat.com
Cinda B is another fashionable bag choice for women. American-made by one of the most experienced quilted bag manufacturers, Cinda B bags and accessories are made of highly durable poly/nylon, are water- and stain-resistant and are machine washable. The tennis tote shown here retails for $153. 877-692-4632; cindab.com.
It’s no wonder that more and more companies are devoting designs to the majority of tennis shoppers: women. Stephanie Sumarsono, owner of Court Couture, designs unique bags in polyurethane or synthetic leather, which are substantially padded to hold two racquets, and have multi-pockets of varying sizes, including one for water. They also can be used for laptops, shopping and travel. Styles include Cassanova, Barcelona and the latest line, Karisa, based on the vintage styles of 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. 408-621-5073; courtcouturetennis.com
Dunlop’s Biomimetic Bags come in sizes suited for three racquets (shown; retail $60), six racquets and 10 racquets, plus a backpack ($40) and Wheelie Holdall ($100). The bags, available in green or red, have three separate compartments and the middle compartment is lined with a thermal insulation to protect racquets in all kinds of climates. Rip-stop nylon material is not only stylish, but long-wearing, and the bags have been ergonomically designed for added comfort. 888-215-1530; dunlopsport.com
Among the bags Gamma features, a Pro Team six-racquet bag ($74.99) and Tour Team 12-racquet bag ($89.99) offer lots of room for the serious player. Thermal and moisture protection ensure racquets are protected from extreme climate changes. Accessory pockets, lined compartments for shoes and clothing, and padded and adjustable backpack straps make these bags serious contenders. 800-333-0337; gammasports.com
Prince’s popular Tour Team Bags are joined by the new Rebel and Carbon line. The Rebel sports the bold black and yellow of the new Rebel racquets and come in a triple, six-pack, 12-pack with adjustable, removable, padded backpack straps (shown; $69) and backpack styles; the Carbon line boasts a triple, six-pack and backpack. Each has areas for accessories, footwear and water bottles. The Rebel 12-pack also has thermal lining to keep racquets safe during extreme temperatures. 800-283-6647; princetennis.com
In addition to its Tour, Elite and ATP bags, Head has teamed with Maria Sharapova to create a new line for women. These black bags are more fashion-forward, but the overall feel is practical and functional. The “Maria Sharapova Tennis Racquet Bag–Court” ($115) has more of a luggage look, made of Oxford Nylon with blue printed interior. A back compartment and separate thermal compartment holds six racquets. Leather tassel details, gold zippers and Head nameplate, detachable and adjustable padded shoulder straps, front and side pockets, and detachable toiletry and extra shoe sack takes this beyond the court. While the Sharapova “Combi” ($100) looks like a more traditional bag, it offers the same type of detail, climate protection compartment and storage for eight racquets. 800-289-7366; head.com
Life is Tennis
One of the first non-racquet companies to make bags designed for a woman’s busy lifestyle was Jetpac under Life is Tennis. Coming up on 13 years, its extensive line includes totes, large and small sling bags, large double-strapped backpacks and a new series — the Cooljet, which accommodates two racquets, has a thermal pocket to keep your beverage cool, and is armed with a ton of storage and accessory pockets. As with all its bags, Cooljet ($75-$77) comes in a variety of smart patterns and colors. Strategically placed zippers allow it to be worn as a sling or backpack. 877-682-7888; lifeistennis.com
Most of Maggie Mather’s stylish totes and racquets bags are made of tough ballistic fabric, with the exception of one, Poly 600. There are two styles: the traditional two-strap racquet bag ($129), which holds three racquets and is great for traveling since it offers total coverage and protection of your sticks; and the adjustable-strap two-racquet tote ($96), where the tennis diva can go from the court to a weekend getaway. Each type has a variety of pockets, with two side pockets on the tote for a water bottle or can of balls. The colorful zebra-print linings are water repellent. 206-940-4055; maggiemather.com
40 Love Couture
Another “couture” choice among tennis bags is 40 Love Couture, made in Colorado. Styled along the lines of designer handbags, cross-over multi-function designs include small (Chloe Hobo, which retails for $250) and large totes with adjustable shoulder straps and embellished with Swarovski crystals. These hold two racquets and a slew of personal belongings. Slim sacks (Paris Sack, $225) allow room for one racquet and pockets for clothing and accessories. And there also are carry-alls (Ellie Carry-All, $149). The bags are available in a wide array of fabrics and faux leathers. 719-930-8150; 40lovecourture.com
In addition to its full line of bags and backpacks for their racquet lines, Wilson has come out with two new “designer” bags glammed out in luxe materials that are functional as well as stylish. Each can hold two racquets, has accompanying cosmetic bag, additional storage pockets, and is available in backpack or tote style. The Milan and Trento bags retail for $95 for both backpack and tote. 800-272-6060; wilson.com
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.