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The 5 Best Basketball Backpacks: Complete Guide (2023)

tl;dr
My picks for the best basketball backpacks are:

In this post, I take a detailed look at the best basketball backpacks currently on the market.

If you have ever taken the bus while holding your basketball, or struggled carrying multiple things together with your ball, then you definitely know the benefit of a basketball backpack.

Read on for:

Let’s get started!

The 5 Best Basketball Backpacks

Here is my list of the five best backpacks specifically design for carrying a basketball. Scroll down the page for more detailed descriptions.

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ImageNamePriceLink
Best overall:
Nike Elite Pro
$110 Check Price
Budget friendly:
Wilson Forge
$50 Check Price
Best value:
Adidas 365 Creator
$70 Check Price
Under Armour SC30 Undeniable$170 Check Price
wilson evolution backpack for basketballWilson Evolution $80 Check Price

Best overall:
Nike Elite Pro Basketball Backpack

nike elite pro basketball backpack

Best overall:

Nike Elite Pro

  • Huge storage space (32L)
  • Tons of specialized compartments
  • Looks sleek even when full
  • Price (at time of publish): $110

Nike is the definitive leader when it comes to basketball shoes, gear, and apparel. The Nike Elite Pro Backpack is just another prime example.

It is the best designed basketball backpack on the market, with all the little details that make it stand apart.

It has tons of pockets and specialized compartments for quickly storing all your various accessories like keys, wallet, phone, laptop, etc.

The back panel is ventilated to help keep you cool on those hot summer days.

The shoulder straps are air-cushioned for extra padding and comfort. There is also a chest strap for extra support when carrying a heavy load.

Of course, there is also more than enough space (32L) to carry your ball, shoes and other basketball gear. The compartment is also ventilated so your shoes won’t stink up the rest of your stuff.

My favorite aspect is that the main compartment opens from the front (sort of like a suitcase). This makes it much easier to pack/unpack your things, instead of having to pile everything from the top:

Nike Elite Pro main compartment opens from the front

Overall, the Nike Elite is the best basketball backpack on the market. It looks great, and can store a ton without looking super bulky or awkward.

The only real downside of the Nike Elite backpack is that it is expensive. It currently retails for over $100 (USD). Sometimes you can find some deals on Amazon for less preferred colorways (e.g. this Navy Blue one is $93)

Product Specs:

  • Storage space: 32L
  • Measurements: 19″ height x 11″ width x 9″ depth
  • Material: Polyester

Pros

  • Tons of useful compartments
  • Super comfortable shoulder straps
  • Front-loading main compartment
  • Multiple colorways/designs

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Budget pick:
Wilson Forge Basketball Backpack

wilson nba forge basketball backpack

Best budget:

Wilson NBA Forge

  • Great price
  • Durable construction and material
  • Comfortable straps
  • Price (at time of publish): $50

Wilson is the official basketball of the NBA, so it makes sense they also sell some basketball backpacks!

The Wilson NBA Forge is great, simple basketball backpack for those that don’t need all those extra compartments and features of the Nike Elite.

The bag basically features one huge compartment which is big enough to easily store your ball, shoes, and other basketball gear.

There is one additional small pocket on the top flap of the bag which you can use to put your phone, wallet, keys and other small items.

It is made with 100% polyester, and the bottom of the bag is coated for extra durability.

The main downside of this bag is that you can only load/unload it from the top. This can be annoying if you need to find something at the bottom of your bag. I am also not a huge fan of the basic draw string enclosure, although it is more convenient at times.

Wilson NBA forge backpack with basketball

Product Specs:

  • Material: Polyester

Pros

  • Great price ($50)
  • Durable material and construction
  • Large storage space

Cons

  • Only one additional pocket
  • Top-loading only
  • Only one color available

Similar backpacks from Wilson:
The budget-friendly Wilson DRV basketball backpack. It is around the same price, but not as nice.
– The Wilson NBA Authentic Backpack is sort of a higher end version of the the Forge backpack.

Best backpack for the money:
Adidas Creator 365 Backpack

Best Value

Adidas 365 Creator

  • Separate shoe compartment
  • Water-resistant material
  • Sleek design
  • Price (at time of publish): $70

Adidas is the de facto number two brand in basketball. They have great products, but always seem to be slightly outshone by Nike.

The Adidas 365 Creator is possibly the best basketball backpack for the money. It is not marketed by Adidas specifically for basketball, and was actually listed under the “soccer” category on their website. (Maybe that’s why Adidas is always #2).

In any case, it can fit a basketball, so I have included it.

The one main compartment (which fits a ball) opens from the top like so:

It is not quite as convenient as the Nike Elite which opens completely from the front, but better than a bag like the Wilson Forge which opens directly from the top.

The best part about the Adidas Creator is the separate shoe compartment which is located at the bottom of the bag:

adidas creator backpack's separate shoe compartment

This is great for putting your dirty/smelly shoes so they don’t contaminate everything else in your bag. 😷

There are also two side pockets for your water bottle or other small items.

Another nice feature is the backpack’s water-resistant material, which is great for rainy days.

The bag looks great, is not too bulky, and comes in a variety of colorways to match your style.

Adidas also offers a lifetime warranty with this bag, so you know it has a durable design.

Product Specs:

  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Measurements: 13″ x 8.5″ x 20″
  • Lifetime warranty

Pros

  • Separate shoe compartment
  • Water resistant material
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Multiple colorways

Cons

  • Not much

Under Armour SC30 Undeniable Backpack

Under Armour SC30 basketball backpack

Expensive alternative

UA SC30 Undeniable

  • Very comfortable
  • Durable, water-resistant material
  • Lots of storage space
  • Price (at time of publish): $170

Thanks to Steph Curry, Under Armour has become relevant in the basketball world.

The SC30 Undeniable basketball backpack is undeniably one of the best bags out there.

It has multiple pockets and compartments for storing everything you need.

The main top compartment, and bottom compartment are both large enough to fit a basketball. You can choose which is more convenient for you. This is great if you want to keep things separate from your dirty basketball.

SC30 basketball backpack open front compartment

After you put in your basketball, there is still plenty of room for all your other gear — shoes, clothes, water bottle, etc. There is even a padded laptop sleeve in the top compartment.

One nice feature of this bag is that the material is water-resistant. The front pocket is specifically water repellent. This is great to keep your phone, and other valuables from getting wet or damaged.

If you live somewhere than rains a lot, then you would really appreciate this detail.

The only real downside of the Under Armour SC30 is that it is undeniably expensive (currently much more than the Nike Elite).

Product Specs:

  • Material: 95% Polyester/5% Elastane
  • Measurements: 19.5″ x 12″ x 9″
  • Capacity: 31L

Pros

  • Two large main compartments
  • Water resistant material
  • Very comfortable
  • Multiple colorways

Cons

  • Super expensive ($170)
  • No chest-strap

Note: Under Armour seems to no longer be selling the SC30 Undeniable backpack on their official website, so get it off Amazon while you still can!

Wilson Evolution Basketball Backpack

wilson evolution backpack for basketball

Good Value

Wilson Evolution

  • Front-loading main compartment
  • Great ventilation
  • Comfortable
  • Price (at time of publish): $80

The Wilson Evolution is my favorite indoor basketball, and this is the backpack that was made to go with it.

It has a lot more features compared to Wilson’s other simplistic backpack offerings like the Forge (listed above).

The best part of the bag is the huge main compartment which opens completely from the front like so:

This design makes it super easy to pack/unpack your gear. The main compartment is extremely spacious and can easily fit your ball, shoes, clothes, and more.

At the back of the main compartment is a slot for your laptop, as well as a nice hidden compartment to keep valuables (i.e. keys, wallet, phone, etc.).

Apart from the main compartment, there are two side pockets, and two front pockets. One of the side-pockets is even thermal lined side pocket to keep your drink cool.

One unique feature of this bag is that it has a phone sleeve on the shoulder straps for quick and easy access (Wilson knows we’re all addicted to our phones).

Overall, this is a solid basketball backpack. It is not really cheap (approx $80), but also not as expensive as other bags (i.e. Nike Elite, Under Armour SC30).

Maybe the only downside is the aesthetics. For some reason, it looks more like golf or tennis bag to me.

Product Specs:

  • Material: Polyester

Pros

  • Large front-loading main compartment
  • Thermal lined drink pocket
  • Comfortable straps
  • Multiple colorways

Cons

  • Aesthetics

Things to consider before buying

Here are a few things to consider before buying your basketball backpack:

  • Purpose
  • Size & Space
  • Material & Durability
  • Comfort
  • Aesthetics

What do you need the backpack for?

Are you using this backpack just for carrying a ball around? Or do you also want to use it as an everyday bag for school, work, travel, etc.?

If you need a bag for more than just basketball, make sure the design is practical for everyday use (i.e. finding items, putting stuff in, taking stuff out, etc.)

Also make sure you get a large enough bag that has pockets and compartments for everything you need.

This brings us to the next point:

Size & Space

Do you want a bag to carry a basketball, shoes, clothes, books, computer, etc.?

Or do you just need to carry your ball around and maybe some fresh socks?

Pick an appropriate size. I would suggest picking a bag that can at least fit your shoes and basketball.

Material and durability

Make sure you choose a bag that is well constructed using quality materials. Sometimes your bag is going to get thrown on the ground, bumped around, etc.

If you live somewhere that rains a lot, make sure the material has some water-resistant features.

Don’t just get a bag that looks cool, but then falls apart after a month.

I suggest buying from a reputable brand that will provide you with product warranties in case something happens.

Comfort

If you can, go to a store and try to carry the bag around for a bit. Make sure the straps are comfortable, and don’t dig into your shoulders or anything.

Everybody’s body is a bit different; a specific bag might be comfortable for some, but not for others.

Design and Aesthetics

The last thing you to consider is how the bag looks.

We all want to look cool, but shouldn’t sacrifice function and comfort for looks. 😎

Other FAQ

What size bag do you need for basketball?

An official men’s size basketball has a circumference of 29.5 inches (75cm). This is equivalent to a diameter of approximately 9.4 inches (24cm).

So, if you don’t like any of the products on this list, just make sure the bag you get has enough space for a basketball.

How much does a basketball backpack cost?

Prices range from around $50 to $150 for a quality backpack.

What should I put in my basketball backpack?

Apart from an actual basketball, you can put all your basketball gear: shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, mouthguard, water bottle, towel, etc.

If you get a bag like the Nike Elite, you can also fit all other daily items like books, laptop/tablet, phone, etc.

How big is a Nike Elite Backpack?

The Nike Elite Backpack’s official measurements are: 19″ height x 11″ width x 9″ depth.

Its storage capacity is 32L.

Summary

Any of these five basketball backpacks will make carrying your basketball around a lot easier and more convenient.

Overall, the Nike Elite Pro is my favorite backpack. It has the best compartment design for everyday use, and is also the nicest looking bag (in my opinion).

If you just want a cheap, no-frills basketball backpack, the Wilson Forge is a good choice.

Let me know in the comments:

Which of these backpacks did you buy?

Or, did I miss one that you recommend?

Leave a comment below!

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Larry Lee

Larry Lee

Larry is a basketball addict, and the founder of Hoop Dojo. He started Hoop Dojo to share his love of the game and help the next generation reach their full potential.