A key part of a grappler’s equipment is the bag they use to get to training. A good BJJ backpack can make a grappler’s life much easier. However, not all bags can play the role of BJJ backpack with much success. To that extent, there are products that are intended specifically for people’s Jiu-Jitsu needs. We bring you the best of the best in this review.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that requires a lot of gear. When you first begin training you might be able to get away with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. As you keep going, though, you’ll inevitably get your first Gi and there’s no turning back. Actually, the more you train Jiu-Jitsu, the more gear you have. Keep in mind that this is gear that you need to have with you every time you go training. First, you replace the shorts and t-shirt with a Gi. Then, you start exploring the world of rashguards for No-Gi training or wearing under the Gi. Once you start No-Gi, you’re going to need shorts too. By now, you already have a tweaked finger, a bad knee, or some other “small” injury that requires supportive gear. What you’re missing to be mobile and well organized is a solid BJJ backpack.
On top of all the stuff, we already mentioned there are your gym essentials like water, towel, soap, shaker bottle… The list goes on and on and you’ll be surprised at how much stuff you actually need to store when you go training. To that extent, we’re going to cover the basic requirement a grappler has of a BJJ backpack. Once we all know what and why we’re looking for, we can move on to discover what’s on the market. There are great products out there that also need to fulfill certain design requirements, apart from the grappling specific needs. In order to spare you the blushes of being fooled by slick marketing, we’ll take apart the best BJJ backpacks out there and let you choose the best fit for your grappling needs.
The Best BJJ Backpacks On The Market
Now, that we have the anatomy of the perfect BJJ backpack, let’s see what’s available on the market for grapplers. Along with the worldwide spread of BJJ, so do companies that focus solely on products intended for grapplers. After all, a good BJJ backpack can and should double as a travel bag. The other way around is a much more rare occurrence. Here are our top picks:
This backpack is a hybrid between a backpack and a drawstring bag. But only at first sight. The only similarity with a drawstring bag is the drawstring itself. The main compartment of this BJJ backpack closes via a drawstring which is preferred by some. The backpack has more than ample space to fit everything that you might need for Jiu-Jitsu. The material is very durable, yet surprisingly light, making the backpack very comfortable to wear. Furthermore, it has state-of-the-art ventilation, meaning no foul smell is going to stay trapped.
As far as organization goes there are two outside compartments, one to either side of the backpack. Where it lacks a little bit is with inside compartments. Apart from a few strategically placed small inside pockets, the inside is one big compartment. All in all, this is a great bag for any grapplers to have.
A traditional shoulder strap bag rather than a backpack. It comes in a bunch of color varieties to keep things fresh. The bag is big enough for Jiu-Jitsu needs and has a great compartment system. You have enough space for two Gis without mixing sweaty and clean ones, in the main compartment. Furthermore, there are lots of pockets on both the inside and outside. This means you can arrange everything to be accessible and well organized.
It is made of breathable mesh, once again guaranteeing that it won’t retain unwanted smells. The only trouble with this bag is that you can’t use it as a backpack. It is perfect for people preferring a single shoulder strap. Those that lie to have their weight distributed evenly across their back, might be better suited with one of the other BJJ Backpack options
This is a clear fan favorite and many consider it to be the cream of the crop when it comes to BJJ bags. Everyone who’s seen an EBI event knows the commercial for this product. After all, how can anything related to Eddie Bravo and hemp not be at the same spot? The backpack is entirely made of hemp which many consider being the best material. For reference, hemp is far stronger and lighter than cotton. The Datsusara is very spacious and has unrivaled accessibility. The zipper of the main compartment goes almost all around, allowing great access. Once again, hemp helps the antimicrobial properties of the backpack, which are very high level.
There are four total outside compartments, two of which are more than big enough for your water bottles. There are two more on the top. Inside compartments are also perfect for anything you might need to bring. The only drawback of this BJJ backpack is the price tag. Although it is definitely worth the money, it might be out of reach for some Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.
This bag has more of a traditional gym bag design than that of a backpack. That said, it is not much worse than any other BJJ backpack, apart from the way you carry it. Still, some people prefer a single shoulder strap to the two that a backpack has. This bag is not only durable but it is also scratch-resistant. It is completely ventilated meaning smells are not going to be an issue.
The bag has more than ample space, but no inner compartments. Moreover, there are no outside compartments meaning that accessibility to bottles is limited. However, the bag has an amazing 70l capacity which makes it the biggest one on the list. So, for all those that prefer a padded shoulder bag to a backpack, this might be the right choice. Plus, the price is very affordable.
What this bag has, that most other contenders on this list lack, are plenty of outside compartments. Actually, this one is the clear winner, at least in that department. It even has a mesh pocket to store anything, from water bottles to stuff you don’t want mixing on the inside.
It is large enough to store everything you need and very accessible. Similar to the Datsusara, the zipper allows unrestricted access to the main compartment. IT is very durable and double as a backpack and as a duffel bag. it is durable and practical, as well as reasonably priced.
This one has a very traditional duffel design, making it both a gym bag and a backpack. It is one of the largest capacity bags on this list, so everything is going to fit in perfectly. The material is a breathable mesh that is extremely light. An amazing property is that despite its breathability the mesh is not see-through at all.
This bag is great for those looking to pack everything together and be on their way. It has no outer compartments, though, apart from one. While it is great for keeping supportive gear or smaller times, it is not nearly enough to fit your bottles. This is one of those bags that are minimalist and do the trick. If you want something higher-end, look at the other options on this list.
Venum Challenger – EDITOR’s CHOICE
This water-resistant BJJ backpack is one of the best products
available on the market. Also, The Venum Challenger Backpack series is great so make you check them all HERE. The access to the main compartment is from the top, duffel bag style. It has an adjustable size and a very cool outside compartment that’s completely insolated. Talk about a cool way of keeping your dring…well, cool.
This bag has all the necessary compartments for all your major Jiu-Jitsu needs, and then some. there’s even a scratch-resistant pocket for your phone and even a special headphones hole. The material is solid and very durable, as well as antimicrobial by nature. All in all, this bag is the best fit for your everyday BJJ practitioner that also likes to travel!
Sanabul is a top company when it comes to high-quality martial arts equipment. Their BJJ backpack is no different. Once again it is a single shoulder strap bag that can double up as a backpack. There’s more than ample space for everything as well as enough compartments to stay organized. On the outside, there’s a large compartment that can easily fit a couple of bottles. THere’s also a smaller one, intended for little items that you might find useful.
The bag is made of very durable mesh, that allows for ventilation. It is also very light and has a very cool design. the bag comes in multiple color variants. It is affordable, durable, and very portable. All in all a great choice for any BJJ practitioner.
Grips Gi Sack Backpack – Currently Unavailable – Check Other Grips Backpacks
This BJJ backpack seems to be a favorite among lots of Jiu-JItsu practitioners. In terms of compartments, this bag has lots of them, all placed on the inside. All compartments have a zipper so they seal separately, which is a big plus. The Grips Gi Sack has very precisely designed shoulder straps that make it feel very light, They have shock-absorbing technology inside, earning another top mark for this backpack. The whole bag is made of durable material that is also waterproof. In terms of size, the bag definitely can carry everything a grappler might need for training or travel.
As a flaw, there’s a very apparent lack of outside compartments. This means keeping your water and shaker bottle inside along with everything else. While there are inner compartments, and the whole bag is waterproof, this might be an inconvenience to some. After all, pulling a bottle straight out of a pocket when you need it is much more comfortable.
What To Look For In A BJJ Backpack
So, what do you need from a good BJJ backpack? The answer is not as simple as you might think. It is not just about size or accessibility. It also needs to have good organization, to be durable, to be ergonomic, and reasonably priced. The requirements go on and on but let’s take it from the top.
The first thing a solid BJJ backpack should do is hold two Gis. Yeah, you read that right. Although you might go to training with only one Gi on a regular basis, there are times when you’ll need to pack double. Imagine having to carry an additional Gi wrapped with a belt only because you have no space. Space for two Gis is mandatory for any legit BJJ.
Furthermore, you need space to store your No-Gi gear. Who knows, you might have a double class without heading home. Or the class might just change because a visiting black belt has no Gi with them. You need to be ready, so you need to have your rashguard, spats and a pair of shorts always ready to go. Actually, only the shorts are extra here, since you should be wearing the rashguard and spats under your Gi when you train.
Next, let’s cover hygiene. You need a towel, clean flip-flops, deodorant, soap etc. On top of that, you need to store your supportive gear as well. Any bandages, finger tape, knee or elbow braces, headgear, and the like need to have their spot in the bag too. And we’re still not done. No good BJJ backpack lacks a proper spot to hold a water bottle. Not only that, but most grapplers like to chug a shake of some kind after training. That means an extra spot for a shaker bottle.
The Anatomy Of A Good BJJ Backpack
What we covered so far, are the bare essentials you must be able to fit inside your potential BJJ backpack. Now, let’s talk about the organization. A good BJJ backpack needs to have optimal organization and separation of the gear.
For example, you’ll need separation between sweaty and clean garments. To that extent, that second GI space needs to be separate from the space for the used Gi and rashguards. Furthermore, if you carry around a pair of flip-flops for moving around the dressing area, you’ll need to keep them separate as well. Also, a separate belt pocket is always a great idea, although it is not mandatory.
Out of the two main compartments, one can double as a before and after training, and the other needs to stay clean. An extra place in the clean one for the towel and shower equipment is the mark of an excellent BJJ backpack. A hidden pocket of some kind is also usually included and plays a huge role when traveling for competition or for training on the road.
On the outside, pockets that hold liquid (water, shaker bottle, and the like) need to be large enough to hold the appropriate bottles. Furthermore, water-proof compartments intended for bottles are highly recommended. That’s already at least two essential outside compartments. Most of your supportive gear can and should fit in an outside compartment as well, taking the number to three. This is the least amount of outside compartments a good BJJ backpack should have.
Finally, the perfect bag should also fit perfectly. That means state-of-the-art ergonomics and design. You shouldn’t suffer under the weight of a couple of Gis and all that supportive gear. Plus, the backpack has to be stink-proof and made from a material that doesn’t absorb sweat and smells.