Contest: Best Bag for Your Buck Results
Carry Your Own
I am a Mite player and I love my Warrior Hockey Backpack style bag in Camo. I have been carrying it all by myself since I was 5 years old. More importantly, sometimes my dad will carry it along with my Mini Mite brother, Parker, almost 4, inside — only his head peaking out! My older brother, Tyler (age 15), also has a backpack style bag. No wheels!
Wheel Your Own
A junior- or senior-size wheel backpack with a pull-handle is the best option. Why?
- It allows players to pull it themselves. (However, if they carry it as a backpack and it’s too heavy, they can tip over.)
- It’s not too long like a wheel bag, so it allows them to get in and out of doors and elevators easily.
- If it doesn’t have wheels your child will drag it anyway and it just gets torn up quickly.
- It allows you to carry just about everything, which is great for travel tournaments.
Make sure is has separate skate pockets and good wheels.
What a Drag
We had a huge issue with the roller bags for my 9-year-old daughter. Where the wheels met with the material was not far enough off the ground, so we now look for bags that have a higher clearance level off the ground from the wheels. We also found that a straight zipper across the top is hard for younger ones to get their gear in and out. She got really frustrated and would lose things in the bags often. We have found the horseshoe opening works well since she can open it up and see what is inside the entire bag.
Shock and Dry
Although larger and more awkward I still support roller bags. They are easier physically on kids already exhausted after a hard practice or game and end forever the need for a parent to carry the bag. We have used a Shock Doctor bag for the past several years and are committed to them for their drying/sanitizing system. The bags generally last only one season, but the drying system is worth the tradeoff especially on travel or tournament weekends. On the other hand, my oldest still uses the old basic Easton duffle and it is fine after nine years.
I feel that our Shock Doctor bag with the dryer system is the best! Little hockey players do not like to or want to empty their bags after practice. I found that during the week if you hook up the dryer for a couple hours then their gear is dry and there is no WHINING! I do take it out once a week to wash the clothing but other than that it is a great bag! It also has wheels so it is easy to drag around to rinks!
A Plethora of Pockets
I prefer the backpack by Reebok. It comes in two sizes and has heavy stitching all around and pockets galore — even in the main compartment! It can be used as a backpack and has wheels with a long gooseneck handle. It’s large enough for goalies and players! We’ve had our bag for two years and it’s shown little wear. This bag gets used! Get the best bang for your buck!
Editor's Note: Thank you to all the readers who took the time to share their love/hate relationships with their bags, and thank you to HockeyShot.com for providing the prize.