What a cricketer needs more than anything is a good bag. I’ve played with people who turn up with one carrier bag for their whites and another for the lager they plan to drink during the game. But those who take their cricket seriously need something more.
A good bag will protect your precious bats and keep everything else in the right place for when you need it. If you’re getting ready in a hurry to face the opposition fast bowler, the last thing you need is to be scrambling desperately for your groin protector. For most players a duffle bag is enough – portable but with enough room to carry all the kit an enthusiastic cricketer needs. The captain may need more, needing extra stuff for the players who’ve forgotten their whites.
We tested these bags during training and on the way to matches, looking for durability, functionality, style, how easy they were to lug around and value for money. There are a number of options on the market, but if you want something you can really rely on, we’d recommend sticking to the main, established brands, as we’ve done here (the last thing you want before a big match is the distraction of a faulty mirror).
Woodstock Deluxe Duffle: £45, Woodstock
Dimensions: 88cm x 35cm x 35cm (height x width x depth)
This duffle bag is very well designed, robust and extremely good value. Bags rarely last as long as you think they will and so price is especially important. With room for two bats, a boot compartment and three other pockets, as well as the main section, the amateur cricketer can fit everything in, for nets or matches. The padding means it is comfortable to carry around, though it has wheels too. A deserved winner and what I will be using next season.
Aero Stand-Up Tour Bag: £93.09, Discount Cricket
Dimensions: 100cm x 40cm x 40cm
This is the definitive cricket bag for players who want to bring every bit of kit they own. Almost a metre tall and 40cm by 40cm, the Aero will fit in everything you need for a couple of weeks away, both on and off the pitch. It separates into three sections – one for kit, with suitably durable material, an overnight bag and one for valuables and toiletries – and has large pockets on the outside as well. There’s also a combination lock for added security. I took an earlier model to India and was ushered through security under the assumption I was an IPL player. Who else could own such a bag?
Millichamp & Hall Pro Duffle Type 2: £70, M&H Online Store
Dimensions: 88cm x 40cm x 37cm
This is another excellent duffle bag with plenty of storage room, two padded bat compartments and places for boots, whites and the rest in the external pockets. Millichamp & Hall makes bags to protect its beautiful bat range and this one is smart and striking, in black with orange piping. It boasts an “airflow system”, promising mould-free kit, and the straps and handles have plenty of cushioning for a comfy carry. The rest of the range is also excellent, if you’re looking for a larger bag.
Newbery Quantum: £59.99, Newbery
Dimensions: 92cm x 41cm x 41cm
Newbery’s Quantum is extraordinarily spacious for a duffle bag with a 145-litre capacity, a bat pocket on each side, a helmet compartment on top, and one for boots at the bottom. There are enough sections for the most organised cricketer and, as you’d expect from Newbery, it is stylish and very durable, promising to last you for some while. It’s comfortable to carry, with a good bit of padding on the straps too.
Gray-Nicolls Legend: £72, Pro:Direct Cricket
Dimensions: 38cm x 38cm x 98cm
Gray-Nicolls has made bats for some of the greatest players in history and its kit is always worth looking at. This durable bag has storage for three bats, a reinforced lower section (meaning it doesn’t fall over on the changing room floor), five pockets for all your training and matchday extras, and well-designed, padded, ergonomic straps. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself carrying your kit to the game.
The Verdict: Cricket bags
We can heartily recommend each of the bags on this list, but our absolute favourite is the Woodstock Deluxe Duffle. It has all the space you’ll need for your gear, is very well designed and presents excellent value for money.