In this month’s AOC we took a look at some of the best (and biggest) cricket bags on the market. Whether you’re an occasional player or the biggest kit badger on the planet, every cricketer needs something capable of performing a multitude of functions. Below are the bags that have caught our eye this season.
Gray-Nicolls Legend, £124.99
Cavernous in its volume (it’s 100cm x 42cm x 44cm), the most appealing feature for us is the extraordinary number of additional pockets – wherever storage space could have been created, it has been. Down one side: three extra pockets, down the other: one large one, then, along the top, two massive additional zip-ups, and that’s before you’ve reached into the vast inner quarters.
And, for those days when you turn up to an opposition changing room blessed with all the square footage of a Subbuteo pitch – and floor space is at a premium – you’ll be less frustrated than most of your teammates. One of end of this bag is reinforced, allowing the whole thing to stand upright unsupported. Of course, if you packed this colossal carrier full you’d never be able to move it, so wheels and extendable handle are a must. Pricey, but for a reason.
Marginally less substantial and sturdily constructed than the Gray-Nics (measuring in at 100cm x 40cm x 40cm) the Mongoose Super Premium still has some serious carrying potential. It boasts six additional storage pockets – including one to keep your grubby boots away from Daz white kit. You’ll just need to choose what to put in the others.
The wheels and extendable handle do a solid enough job when you’re lugging the bag around across town, but the presence of a traditional carrying strap over the top is welcome: they’re still required for staircases. The floor of the main storage area is covered with a thin waterproof sheet, with – intriguingly – a zip down the middle, allowing you to keep some neatly hung or folded clothes against the bag’s firm base and separate from any wet/dirty/smelly cricket gear.
While Woodstock do offer an all-singing, all-carrying mega-bag like those we’ve seen above, to get a handle on cricket’s luggage market you need to have a look at a duffle bag, and this is a fine example. In truth, this really is the most straightforward way of carrying kit around. You just slide all your stuff into the large main storage section – though there is an external bat compartment, plus separate footwear stowage at the bottom that zips from the outside.
There’s also one additional storage pocket on the outside for your bits and pieces. But the point with these is really simplicity: shove it all in (the bag’s 90cm x 47cm diameter in total), pull the drawstring, and sling it over your shoulder. A less bulky option, particularly suitable if you have to travel on public transport to get to your games. More than that, it’s the ideal vessel to take to net training and practice matches.
Aero Stand Up Tour, £115
One of the most popular of the top-end efforts, the Aero Stand Up Tour is actually three bags: the main kit bag at the foot of the bed here (100cm x 40cm x 40cm), the take-home sports bag, and a toiletries bag. If you take this away with you on tour, you’ll fit in all your stuff and still have room to smuggle through the erratic leggie who inevitably forgot his passport. The kit bag is, as the name suggests, another stand up job, with an impressively solid base at one end, making it convenient to store and access. With a traditional handle over the top and lots of separate areas, you can also, as your psychiatrist may have advised you to, compartmentalise everything.
Words: Sam Stow
AOC would like to thank the staff at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, for letting us take photos of cricket bags in their five-star facility