The 8 Best Hockey Bags
8. Tronx Backpack XR8
- padded shoulder straps
- grab handle on the top
- low-quality zippers
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
7. Jamm Sports Cargo Carry
- available in black or navy
- attractive white piping
- straps are not adjustable
|Model||26" Carry Cargo Sports|
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. Jetstream 36-Inch 3-Pocket
- made from 600-denier polyester
- 2-inch polypropylene handles
- doesn't have a shoulder strap
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
5. Northwest NHL Steal Duffel
- packs down small when empty
- padded shoulder strap
- a little short at only 28 inches
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
3. Grit HTFX Tower
- straps to carry a stick
- removable mesh bag
- dedicated spot for a team logo
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
2. Tronx Locker
- comfortable to carry
- subtle black and silver color
- measures 38 inches long
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
1. Warrior Pro
- mesh skate pockets on the inside
- vented top panel
- very durable construction
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
What Separates a Good Hockey Bag From a Great One?
Hockey bags are required to carry a considerable amount of equipment, including jagged pads and sharp blades. With that in mind, a consumer's first priority should be confirming whether a bag is durable. Most bags are made out of heavy fabrics, including nylon and polyester blends. A lot of superior bags are double- or even triple-stitched with reinforced lining along the central compartment and the pockets.
An average equipment bag measures between 24 and 36 inches long, allowing enough space for all of a player's pads and other gear (with the exception of a stick) to fit inside. Certain upscale bags are also designed with extra straps along the back so that players can fasten their sticks to the unit.
It's safe to assume that any hockey equipment bag will get damp and dirty, which is why you'll want to confirm that a bag's material is machine-washable, water-resistant, and perhaps even odor-resistant. It's also beneficial for any bag to include at least one ventilated pocket, so that your sweaty attire can breathe.
The majority of hockey equipment bags weigh between 3 and 10 lbs., which could represent a burden once combined with 15 extra pounds of gear. Top-of-the-line bags account for this by placing extra padding along the shoulder straps, a pull-out handle in the front, and a pair of casters at the rear. Features such as these are especially important if you play on a traveling team, as your equipment bag needs to double as a piece of luggage, as well.
How to Organize a Hockey Bag
On the surface, it might seem okay to simply toss your gear inside a hockey bag without much thought. But this is a shortsighted approach that could - and probably will - result in items getting damaged, crushed, or lost. If you value your equipment, it's best to train yourself to organize a hockey bag efficiently until the process of doing so begins to feel more like a routine.
The best place to start whenever organizing a hockey bag is determining where every item should go. Ventilated pockets (located on the outside) should be reserved for skates, socks, and dirty clothes, as each of these yields the potential to leave a stench. Any of the remaining outer pockets should be reserved for smaller items (e.g., grip tape, mouth guards, energy bars, and water bottles) that yield the potential to spill, spoil, shatter, or get squashed.
Your shin pads, shoulder pads, and helmet should be placed around the edges of the hockey bag's central compartment. Filling the inside of the bag this way will leave a wide berth in the middle for any minor pads, unused towels, (clean) jerseys, and breezers. If your equipment bag includes a hidden, or otherwise secure, pocket, this is the best place to store any keys, digital devices, or other valuables that could get stolen in a locker room.
Any hockey sticks should be placed horizontally across the top of an equipment bag. Attempting to jam half of a stick into the central compartment of a bag will confine that stick's flexibility (particularly if the bag is zipped three-quarters shut), and that, in turn, could result in damage to the shaft or the blade.
A Brief History of Ice Hockey
Games involving a wooden stick, a ball, and some type of frozen surface date back more than a millennium. The 9th-century Vikings, for example, were known to play a frozen-pond game called "knattleikr," just as the 18th-century Irish were known to play a winter-ice game called "hurling," and the 19th-century British were known to play another winter-ice game called "bandy."
Ice hockey, on the other hand, has been in existence since the 1700s. As legend has it, British soldiers began to play the game for recreation while manning forts along the colonial east coast during the American Revolution. American civilians eventually picked up the game, and they continued to play it long after the revolution was over. During the 1800s, ice hockey trickled north toward the colder climates. It was adopted by the Canadians, who transformed it from a pastime into their national sport.
The first organized indoor ice hockey game was played between a pair of nine-player teams in Montreal on March 3rd, 1875, with most of the rules being based on British field hockey. Over the next decade, Canadian ice hockey formed its own governing body, and it reduced the number of players on the ice from 18 to 12 (including goaltenders). In 1883, Canada held its first "world championship" ice hockey tournament. Six years later, the Canadian Governor General, Lord Stanley, commissioned a silver bowl trophy for the annual tournament. That trophy became known as the Stanley Cup.
By the early 1900s, ice hockey had spread across most of the northern United States and parts of Europe. Several Canadian organizations merged to form the National Hockey Association in 1909, and then the National Hockey League, or NHL, in 1917. The NHL started off with four teams, all Canadian, before expanding to include the Boston Bruins in 1924. Since then, the NHL has flourished, and the league continues to attract the greatest players and coaches from around the world.