Best Soccer Backpack

Soccer backpacks or bags are a necessity. Let’s face it if you are going to play soccer you need a way to carry your gear, your snacks or energy bars, water, sports drinks, and more. That’s a lot of stuff! Plus, what if it rains? You need a back that protects everything while you are on the pitch.

In this article, you’ll find our shortlist of 5 bags that we like. To get to this top 5 list, we’ve tried many different soccer bags over the years, everything from brand names like Adidas, Nike, Under Armor as well as generic bags. We also looked at what other customers have been saying on Amazon and various soccer sites. What is interesting though is, while the more expensive bags are often made better you might be surprised by some of the lesser-known bags that offer high quality at a lower price.

Be Good to Your Back with a Backpack!

First, let’s talk a bit about your health. My favorite type is the soccer backpack compared to a duffle bag. I prefer them mainly because they are easier to carry and it is better for your body to have the weight of the bag on both shoulders rather than one shoulder. 

Studies have shown that carrying a bag on one shoulder can cause major issues with your back. In this article from Time they mention that “However long you’re holding that bag, you’re holding your spine in a curved way.” That can’t be good! This can lead to back, neck, or even shoulder pain. 

So back to my preference: Backpacks for Soccer.

How to Choose the Best Soccer Backpack for You

Finding the best soccer bag can be challenging, there are so many choices, various prices, and styles. So what’s the best soccer backpack for you or your child? There are many things you should consider when choosing. 

man with a sore shoulder from his soccer bag

Be Good to Your Back with a Backpack!

First, let’s talk a bit about your health. My favorite type is the soccer backpack compared to a duffle bag. I prefer them mainly because they are easier to carry and it is better for your body to have the weight of the bag on both shoulders rather than one shoulder.

Studies have shown that carrying a bag on one shoulder can cause major issues with your back. In this article from Time they mention that “However long you’re holding that bag, you’re holding your spine in a curved way.” That can’t be good! This can lead to back, neck, or even shoulder pain. 

So back to my preference: Backpacks for Soccer.

How to Choose the Best Soccer Backpack for YOU

Finding the best soccer bag can be challenging, there are so many choices, various prices, and styles. So what’s the best soccer backpack for you or your child? There are many things you should consider when choosing. 

1. Size Does Matter – Bag Size and Storage Space

Bag size is a bit subjective because it really depends on the individual use for the bag. If you’re just looking for a bag to carry your soccer cleats compared to if you need something to carry a lot of gear: Cleats, water bottles, shin guards, warm-ups, rain gear, etc. Obviously, the second use case will need a larger bag. 

For example, we started out with just a sackpack for our son when he first started out playing soccer and only needed something for his shoes and water bottle. Now with an extra jersey, water bottle, soccer ball, and his cleats, it is just not big enough anymore. It’s time for an upgrade!

puma cinch sack soccer backpack on back
puma cinch sack soccer backpack

But a youth backpack also shouldn’t be too large or they won’t be able to carry it or it will be uncomfortable because it is just too big for their body.

This is an older version, but if you click the images you’ll get a list of current options if you would like to pick up one of these for yourself.

2. OOoh That Feels Good! The Material Makes the Bag

What Are Soccer Backpacks Made of and Why Does it Matter?

Most good soccer bags are made of polyester and nylon.  There are some advantages and disadvantages of polyester versus nylon, but these are the two best materials for bags. 

Advantages of Polyester 

  • Durable and lightweight.
  • It is very wrinkle-resistant.
  • It dries very quickly.
  • It retains its shape well which makes it great for sports bags.
  • It is highly stain resistant making it easy to clean.
  • Good light resistance.

Advantages of Nylon

  • Durable and abrasion-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Mould and mildew resistant
  • Stain-resistant
  • Easily cleaned

Polyester tends to be the main choice of manufacturers mainly because it resists sun damage and doesn’t fade as much as Nylon. Plus, as companies become more environmentally friendly, polyester is a better choice because it is recyclable. 

3. But Will My S&!T Stay Dry? – Waterproof Functionality

All the bags we looked at are water-resistant. Don’t confuse this with waterproof. If your bag sits out in the rain long enough your gear will get wet, but the water-resistant material will help protect it. Although, many of the backpacks we reviewed have special compartments which provide extra protection for things like keys or electronic devices.

4. Will The Backpack Stand Up To Everyday Abuse? – Durability

Soccer bags need to be durable. They will get thrown around, dropped, dragged, and generally just, well, abused. So it is important to find a back that will withstand everyday wear and tear. Puncture and tear-resistant are key features. High-quality polyester and nylon are great materials for durability. Strong zippers are also important because there’s nothing worse than a backpack with a broken zipper. This has happened to me with the ball compartment on a few bags and it meant the ball carrier option was useless.

5. I Got Balls, Can I Store Them Somewhere? – Is There A Ball Pocket?

The ball pocket is an extra feature that once you have it is something you might not be able to live without. Particularly if you do a lot of traveling for games. 

When you have all your gear, cleats, shinguards, water bottles, warm-up clothes, and of course a soccer ball, you don’t want the hassle of having to carry your ball in your hands. 

6. I’m On a Budget Here! – How Are We Looking On Price?

Often times the expression “You get what you pay for,” applies when you are purchasing a soccer backpack, but it is also possible to find a bargain with good quality. There are many bags from lesser-known brands that offer great quality. We looked for bags that offer high quality at affordable prices.

7. Hey You Made, Now Stand By It. – Warranty

A good warranty for your bag is important because let’s face Soccer bags take a lot of abuse. They are dragged in and out of vehicles, they are tossed on the ground, they are exposed to the elements (such as sun, heat, rain, cold), and general wear and tear. A good warranty protects your bag and will help ensure that your investment lasts.

8. What Else You Got? – Additional Features

  1. Shoe Compartment
  2. Water Bottle Holder
  3. Internal Pockets

Our Favorite Soccer Backpacks

Adidas Stadium II Backpack

adidas stadium ii soccer backpack
editors choice

The Adidas Stadium Backpack has been around for a long time and is one of Adidas’ best sellers. This is the upgraded version number II. I actually owned the previous version as well. 

There are two main features that set this backpack apart. It has a separate compartment for cleats and dirty gear and an expandable mesh ball pocket. 

The dirty gear compartment runs the full height of the backpack so it has ample room for multiple shoes and dirty jerseys of goalie gloves. 

The soccer ball pocket is large enough to fit a size 5 soccer ball. You could also store the ball in the main pocket, but I prefer to keep it on the outside so it doesn’t get your other gear wet or dirty. 

Compared to the previous version it has 2 bottle pockets for better hydration. The Stadium 1 only had one bottle holder and a small pocket on the other side. I wish they would have incorporated both in version 2 because the pocket was great for holding protein bars, energy gels, Icy Hot, and other small items. 

There is a mesh pocket in the main compartment where you can store smaller items and your phone. There’s also a hook to put keys on. There is also what they call a media pocket on the outside, but if you have a large phone it might not fit. So I recommend storing it in the mesh pocket. 

The backpack is made from 100% polyester material. It includes padded straps and back to keep you comfortable even when the bag is packed full. 

The base of this backpack is water-resistant (not waterproof), which will help keep the contents of your backpack dry if it is sitting on wet ground while you are playing. It also helps the backpack stay upright.

Pros:

  • Has a ball pocket.
  • Carries a lifetime warranty.
  • Available in multiple colors.
  • Two water bottle holders for extra hydration.
  • Extra compartment for dirty cleats and clothes.
  • Water-resistant base.

Cons:

  • Zipper for ball pocket can be sensitive. The zipper on my Stadium I version broke after a few uses, but the Stadium II seems to be more durable.
  • The “media pocket” is too small for large phones.

Athletico Youth Soccer Backpack

Athletico youth soccer backpack

The Athletico Youth Soccer Bag also includes a ball compartment and a separate pocket for cleats with an air vent. However, unlike the Stadium II, the compartment is made just for cleats. I’m sure you could cram a jersey or maybe a pair of shorts in there with your cleats,  but it would be tight. Another option would be to put the dirty gear in the ball pocket.

The ball compartment is inside the back instead of on the outside, but it has a large vent on the top. This will help it dry out if you are putting a wet ball (or other gear) in the compartment. 

There is also a 7 pocket organizer, including two zippered pockets in the main compartment. This is a good place to keep a wallet, keys energy bars/gels, and other small items.

Made with durable polyester and nylon fabric. It has padded straps and back, and two bottle holders.

Even though is not a major brand name, Athletico is also a very customer-friendly brand. They offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. They say, “If you are not satisfied with your new Athletico Bag for any reason, simply return it for a full refund, no questions asked!” This gives buyers the confidence that they will be happy with their purchase.

Pros:

  • Includes a 7 pocket organizer for small items.
  • Dedicated ball pocket
  • Cleat isolation compartment.
  • Both the ball and cleat pockets include air vents.

Cons:

  • Ball compartment is not outside the bag.
  • Some players have complained that the seams are not very sturdy and start to fray after a short time
  • Basic design
  • The smaller size may be too small for bigger kids.

LUX Soccer Backpack with Ball Holder

Lux Soccer Backpack with Ball Holder

The Lux Soccer Backpack is a versatile multisport back that can be used for Futsal, Basketball, even Volleyball. It can even be used as a school bag!

The Lux backpack has the most storage options of any of the bags we reviewed. 

The bag includes a large vented ball pocket (for size 3/4/5 size soccer balls) and 2 small zipper pockets, one on each side. It also takes hydration to the next level with two mesh pockets on each side of the bag. The manufacture recommends using one of the for shinguards. 

The main compartment includes a laptop sleeve. There is also a small pocket on the front that is perfect for a cell phone, sports creams, wrist bands, or snacks. As an extra bonus, there are two removable straps for extra storage. I’ve used them for caring a towel, jacket, or attaching another bag.

There is no pocket dedicated to carrying soccer shoes, but you could use the ball compartment instead though. 

Pros:

  • Lots of pockets for storage.
  • Versatile backpack for sports and school.
  • Currently has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating.

Cons:

  • No dedicated cleats of dirty gear compartment.
  • Difficult to the ball in the ball pocket if there is anything in the main compartment.

Diadora Squadra II Soccer Backpack

Diadora Squadra II Soccer Backpack

The Diadora Squadra II BackPack is a highly rated soccer backpack with adequate storage space that comes in multiple colors.

This bag made our list because it has the main things we look for in a soccer backpack and it is normally a bit cheaper than the other big brand names. 

It includes a dedicated ball compartment with venting and a shoe tunnel. This means it has a pocket that is accessed from the left side and expands through the main compartment to fit your boots. 

The main compartment also includes a media pocket with a headphone passthrough hole for your old-school wired headphones. 

The straps and back are padded for comfortability and there are extra removable straps for extra storage. Plus a small pocket for cell phones and other small items.

It is made from a durable nylon fabric with PVC backing making it water-resistant for use in all weather conditions. 

Pros:

  • Dedicated vented soccer ball compartment that fits a full-size ball.
  • Vented cleat tunnel.
  • Media pocket with headphone passthrough. (For old-school headphones)

Cons:

  • Items in the main compartment slip under the ball compartment.
  • Only includes one bottle holder.

Nike Academy Team Backpack

Nike Academy Team Soccer Backpack

The Academy Team Backpack is a no-nonsense 100% polyester bag for everyday practice, game day, or even casual use. 

Nike is a household name, but we chose this as one of our favorites because it covers all the bases for a good soccer backpack. It has a ball pocket that can hold a full-size ball. The pocket is open so there is no need for venting or worrying about it getting your other gear wet. There is also a wet/dry pouch that is vented. You can store your boots, sweaty jerseys, and other wet gear. 

Other great features include the main compartment that has a double zipper for easy access. A felt back pocket that’s perfect for your phone, keys, watch, or other valuables. 

The one letdown is that there is only one water bottle pouch. This is likely because of the position of the wet/dry pouch vents. 

Pros:

  • Affordable, for a Nike brand backpack.
  • Dual zipper main compartment.
  • Open ball pouch for easy ventilation.

Cons:

  • Only 1 bottle holder
  • May be too small for some players that carry a lot of gear.

Our Favorite Soccer Backpack: Adidas Stadium II

adidas stadium ii soccer backpack

Our top pick is the adidas Stadium II Backpack. It checks all the boxes for a quality soccer backpack. It has a ball pouch, multiple bottle holders, and a wet/dry compartment for cleats. While I did prefer the location of the cleats pouch in the Stadium I, the Stadium II’s is larger, so you can put even more wet gear in there.

Another feature that we love is the water-resistant base that also helps keep the bag upright when sitting on the bench. This is something that is not found in many other bags. 

It doesn’t have as many pockets and the LUX Backpack, but the amount is just enough. It also has a smarter design than most soccer ball bags. The ball pouch is on the outside and doesn’t take up a lot of space from the main compartment. 

Athletico youth soccer backpack

If you’re looking for a backpack for your child the Athletico Youth Soccer Bag is a great choice. 

Speaking of kids, if you’re not sure what size ball the youth players in your family should use, check out our guide for the best soccer ball by age.

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