12 Things You Must Have in Your Tennis Bag (Already in My Bag)


If you are a tennis player, you know certain items are always critical to have in your tennis bag.  If you’ve never played tennis but noticed the huge bags people seem to carry around with them, you may be wondering what in the world they have in them.  Although tennis requires minimal equipment, there are many necessities you need for your tennis bag. 

What should you have in your tennis bag? Some essential items to include in your tennis bag are: 

  • water bottles
  • bug spray
  • sunglasses
  • extra balls
  • first aid supplies
  • towel
  • overgrips
  • vibration dampeners
  • extra racquets
  • snacks
  • sunscreen
  • sweatbandsTennis Bag Checklist

Looking at this list may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed and underprepared to step onto the tennis court.  However, most people don’t take a supply like this for a short recreational time on the court. If you are looking to spend plenty of time on the court, you should invest in some of these things.  This article will explain some of the necessities in your tennis bag as well as their purpose. 

Water Bottles

Hydration is critical when participating in physical activities, especially during the warm summer months. According to the Five Seasons Family Sports Club in their article Why it’s Important to Stay Hydrated on the Tennis Court, the loss of fluid leads to reduced blood volume, which makes your blood less efficient at transporting oxygen to your body.  The lack of oxygen results in low stamina and tired muscles. The best way to rehydrate is by having steady access to water or electrolyte replacing beverages. 

To be prepared for this necessary replacement, you need to make sure you include a water bottle or two in your bag.  While some tennis courts have easy access to water, many do not, which could leave you feeling quite thirsty. 

Here are some highly-rated water bottles that you may want to check out:

When choosing a water bottle, it’s wise to consider both durability and insulation.  Remember, your water bottle will likely be sitting in the hot sun for an extended period.  The last thing you want to do is drink warm water while you are playing. 

Bug Spray

Because tennis is played outside, you are likely to meet many bugs that would love to make you their next snack.  To help avoid the painful welts that come along with pesky bug bites, you want to make sure you have a bottle of bug spray in your bag.  When choosing bug spray, consider getting a water-resistant brand that will not run into your eyes when you begin sweating.  

Here are some that you may want to try out:

Sunglasses

In the article How Wearing Sunglasses Actually Impacts Your Eyes, According to Science, Markham Heid explores the importance of wearing sunglasses.  According to Heid, sun exposure can cause permanent damage to the eyes.  Because of this, it is vital to make sure you have quality sunglasses that you can wear while on the court.  

Here are some you may want to check out:

Sunglasses can be a great help when playing in sunny conditions.  It is essential to choose a fit that is both comfortable and functional. When you are playing tennis, the most fashionable sunglasses will likely not be the best choice.  Sports sunglasses are going to provide comfort with wear as well as ample protection from harmful rays. 

Overgrips

Overgrips are essential when playing tennis. If you are an avid tennis player, you will likely go through many overgrips.  Sometimes you may even need a new one during a game. If this is the case, you want to make sure you have a replacement on hand. You might be wondering why you would replace an overgrip if it were still usable.  Al Keiber explains the life of an overgrip is typically only 3-6 hours of play. 

Here are some reputable overgrips you may want to check out:

When choosing overgrips for your tennis racquet, select something comfortable for you.  Some overgrips are thin and tacky, while others are soft and cushiony.  The feel you choose is entirely up to you. 

Vibration Dampeners

If you have ever held onto a tennis racquet that has just contacted the ball, you will likely remember the feel of the racquet shaking in your hand. Many players opt to install a vibration dampener on their racquet to eliminate this uncomfortable reaction.

Typically, vibration dampeners are made of a rubber or silicone material, which means they tend to break or wear out over time.  The last thing you want to do is lose your vibration dampener mid-match and not have a replacement. 

Check out these vibration dampeners:

When choosing a vibration dampener, you will see many different designs and ideas.  Many dampeners are decorative and functional, while others are quite simple. Again, the design you choose is up to you. 

First Aid Kit

If you are playing at a tennis club, this may not be as critical; however, if you are playing in a park where first aid supplies are not readily available, you want to make sure you have what you need.  The supplies you will most likely need are antibiotic cream, band-aids, and medical tape.  

Here are some excellent travel size first aid kits:

Towels

Yes, this may seem a bit extreme, but you will likely want a towel in your bag if you are playing tennis for any length of time. While you may not be dripping buckets of sweat, your hands are probably going to get sweaty, and you will want to dry them off.  This will help stop your racquet from sliding around in your hand, causing blisters.  

Here are some towels that will serve this purpose well:

Sunscreen

If you are playing tennis in the sun, you need to be using sunscreen.  Even if the sun is behind clouds, you are being exposed to harmful rays.  When looking for sunscreen, you want to make sure you choose a sweat-resistant sunscreen so that it doesn’t run into your eyes or make your hands slippery. 

Here are some great sport sunscreens:

Muscle Rub

When you spend lots of time running on a hard tennis court, your joints and muscles will likely ache after.  One of the best things you can do is use a gentle muscle rub to relieve tightness and aches.  

Some of the top-rated muscle rubs are:

Sweat Bands

If you have ever played tennis on a hot summer day or for an extended period, you know how easy it is to begin sweating.  Unfortunately, this sweat can easily cause problems with your grip or even ability to see.  Sweat in your eyes and on your hands can be brutal.  Because of this, many tennis players employ the use of sweatbands. 

This may have you flashing back to 80’s workout videos where everyone has a sweatband on their head and two on their wrists.  Fortunately, fashion as moved forward and there are some quite nice sweatbands you can find. 

Here are some you may want to check out.

Snacks

Like any athlete, you want to make sure your bag is stocked with a supply of snacks.  Because the snacks are in your tennis bag, they need to be portable as well as nutritious.  When playing in the heat you may not be hungry, but your body will need extra nutrients.  

Here are some top-rated snacks to keep on the court with you. 

  • Clif BLOKS – Energy ChewsThese chews provide a nice burst of energy and are very portable, which makes them ideal for on the court snacking.
  • FitJoy Mini Protein BarsThese protein bars will provide you with the boost of energy you need to get through the match without making you feel weighed down by a heavy snack.
  • Zing Plant-Based Protein Bar – These bars come in many flavors, so you are sure to find something you will like.

Each of these suggestions contains extra protein and sugars.  When eating a protein-based snack, you need to make sure you are consuming enough water at the same time.  This will help you to avoid stomach upset. 

Tennis Balls

One of the most obvious necessities when preparing your tennis bag is extra tennis balls.  You want a couple of cans of fresh tennis balls. Make sure they are sealed to retain their pressure while being stored in your bag.  You also want to carry a supply of pressureless tennis balls.  These are great for hitting around before playing.

Full pressure Ball Choices:

Pressureless Ball Choices:

Read our full article on the best tennis balls and pressureless tennis balls.

Why Extra Racquets?

If you are playing tennis recreationally and infrequently, you likely won’t need an extra racquet in your bag.  However, if you play frequently and competitively, an extra racquet or two is ideal. When playing for prolonged times, you are more likely to break strings or have loose overgrips that you don’t want to deal with in the middle of play.  This is when switching out a racquet will come in handy. 

Should They All be the Same?

After playing tennis for some time, you will come to realize you have a favorite racquet brand, style, or weight.  When you find that favorite, make sure those are the style of racquets you carry for backup. Some people choose to carry less expensive backups, while others prefer to carry multiple racquets that are identical.  The choice is up to personal preference.  

Miscellaneous Items

Many other items could be included in a tennis bag and likely some that you are thinking of after reading the list above.  

  • Extra clothes – You will sweat and will likely want to change after playing. 
  • Snacks – Small snacks are great to keep on hand like dried fruit, nuts, or energy bars.
  • Hairbands – If you have long hair, these are a necessity; your hairband will inevitably break at the most inopportune time. 
  • Deodorant – No explanation needed here!
  • Change – There are typically vending machines around tennis courts. If you find yourself in need of a quick pick me up, this spare change will be your best friend. 
  • Pain reliever – After playing a long match or matches, pain reliever will help reduce any inflammation you may experience in your joints and muscles.  This enables you to get ahead of the pain. 
  • Extra shoes and socks – While this may seem a bit bizarre, your feet will thank you after taking a pounding on the court when playing for an extended period.  
  • Hat or visor – The sun can be brutal on the tennis court.  Having a hat or visor tucked away can be a lifesaver, especially if you aren’t a fan of sunglasses.

Knowing what to pack in your tennis bag isn’t a science.  It ultimately comes down to your needs and wants.  Always remember to think about the temperature as well as the duration of your playtime and adjust accordingly.  

You can read more about Best Tennis Racquet Brand.

The Bag

When it comes to choosing a bag, you need to be wise with your decision.  If you are a recreational player that only hits the courts occasionally for a few hours a year, you will likely want a more modest bag.  If you are an avid player that calls the court their second home, a larger bag may be more beneficial for you. 

You will find when you search for tennis bags that there are several styles.  The two most common styles are backpack and over the shoulder.  

Backpack Style

The backpack tennis bag style is quite handy, as it easily slips over your shoulders.  Most backpack style tennis bags also come equipped with a separate shoe pocket, so you don’t have to worry about the smell of sweaty shoes mixing with other items in your bag.  

Here are some excellent backpack style tennis bags:

Over the Shoulder Style

Perhaps you don’t like to wear a backpack, or you prefer to have your tennis racquets entirely concealed in a bag.  The other option is an over the shoulder style. While these are a bit more cumbersome, the storage they provide is remarkable.  This style of bag can also be purchased in a size that is considerably larger than the backpack style of bag. 

Here are some you may wish to check out:

You can read more about tennis bags here.

Considerations

When you prepare to choose a racquet bag, be sure to consider the following things before purchasing:

  • How often will I use the bag?
      1. Do you play tennis daily, weekly, monthly?
  • What exactly do I need to carry in my bag?
      1. Is the bag large enough?
      2. Are there multiple compartments in the bag or just one large compartment?
  • Will the bag allow me to expand what I am choosing to carry?
      1. Maybe you start out taking minimal things but begin to spend more time on the court and need to add to the list.
  • How travel friendly is the bag?
    1. Is the bag easy to carry around?
    2. Could you easily take it wherever you need to go?

Final Thoughts

What you include in your tennis bag can range from minimal to very extensive. If you are planning to spend a significant amount of time on the court, many of these items could prove to be beneficial.  Know that what is included in a tennis bag is strictly up to personal preference and need. 

David Lee

Hey there, my name is David Lee and I am the person behind this website. I started playing tennis over 20 years ago and on this site I will show you how to enjoy tennis.

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