Supertest: The Best Kitbag for Training and the Gym

Canterbury VS Gilbert VS Under Armour

Kitbags are an often underrated piece of training or match day gear. They perform a vital function, making your training possible by carrying all your essential kit. And although their function ends before the real work begins, having a bad bag just isn’t worth the hassle. You want something dependable, tough and with ample space for when you need to bring extra kit. Then after the game, you want something that’s easy to use so you can get home as soon as possible.

We wanted to find out which kitbag at rugbystore.co.uk performed these functions the best, so we found 3 willing volunteers and sent them off with our best bags.

Group Shot 2

We asked our testers to focus on 4 key areas as they used the bags given for their sporting activities for a few weeks.

Capacity: How much kit it could take, was it too big?

Features: What special features did it have that you found useful or what was it lacking?

Comfort: How it was to travel with the bag, were the straps comfortable?

Durability: How the bag held up to the rigours it was put through.

Read on to find out what they found.


Capacity

Canterbury Training Sportsbag

The bag is a good size to take to the gym, with enough space for water, kit, shoes and a protein shaker but it may be too small for some for matches.

The bag’s design is tall and narrow which keeps it low profile and easy to carry but means you have to rummage to find things if you cant see what you’re looking for at first glance.

Gilbert Club Sportsbag

I found that the bag was a good size for everyday training or for a match day. The bag consists of two compartments with the space at the bottom of the bag suitable to hold shoes, boots or any wet or dirty equipment you might have, which came in very handy at times.

Depending on what level of sport you play this bag may be too big as the main space is pretty large and it can take a lot of kit to fill that space.  The bag is also too big to be placed in a locker, which left me carrying the bag around the gym or leaving it at the side of where I was training unattended.

Gilbert Bag

Under Armour Undeniable Sportsbag

The bag overall is large enough to hold all the kit you need, be it for the gym or off to training. Although roomy, I did find the lack of smaller pockets (in the main compartment) to be a slight negative. A few times I was caught rummaging around trying to find smaller kit items. There is however, a small zip pocket sewn into the side of the back which is big enough to fit a mobile phone.

Even though the bag seems quite large, I did find it fitted nicely into gym lockers and was an easy size to carry around.

Result

Scoring Capacity


Features

Canterbury Training Sportsbag

The colour is eye catching but not overly garish, like a certain other bag in this test. (Pip was not keen on the Under Armour bag style.)

The bag boasts three external pockets, two zipped and one Velcro close. The two zipped compartments are good for stashing a small amount of food or your valuables but not much else. The zips themselves have a small toggle making opening the bag very easy. The Velcro pocket however seems a bit useless, its fastens in the middle so you can’t put anything in it in case it falls out and the openings either side are far too narrow for a bottle of water over 500ml.

There are no extra pockets internally sadly.

Canterbury Bag - Detail3

Gilbert Club Sportsbag

The bag doesn’t have many features and I felt it was pretty basic. It consists of two handles, a removable shoulder strap and two storage compartments. The zip works well as the bag when full still has space for the zip to close and not get caught on any of your kit.

Within the two storage compartments the bag does not feature any side pockets or other pockets inside making it hard to store valuables, as I had to place them in the main compartment with my kit which could end up being a frustrating search.

The main feature with this bag though is the second storage compartment as I could take the different types of footwear I need for training and store them in that area. This was good for me as it allowed me to store them there when my footwear was muddy and wet and not get any of my kit or clothes covered in dirt.

Under Armour Undeniable Sportsbag

One of the most useful features I found was the bags two large end pockets. Both end pockets are ventilated, and one large enough to store your rugby boots or trainers in. I found this handy as it kept my kit separated from possible muddy training shoes. The other pocket is large enough to keep any shower stuff in, so my training kit could be separated out nicely.

A surprising feature this bag had, was a small plastic hook sewn onto the outside of the bag.  This could be used to clip on key-chains etc but I found it a useful place to clip my gym lock onto. (Something I am always losing in the bottom of bags).

Result

Scoring-Features


Comfort

Canterbury Training Sportsbag

Tall design and no plastic base meant it was comfortable to carry around and it wasn’t bouncing of your thighs as you walked.

The lack of a base also allowed it to be stuffed into a locker that bit easier. However it does mean the bag bows when you carry it which is a tad annoying.

Gilbert Club Sportsbag

I found this bag to be comfortable when carrying it. The shoulder strap is padded a little bit and is still comfortable to carry for long periods of time.

The easiest and more comfortable way I found carrying the bag was over my chest on to my far shoulder as the weight of the bag wasn’t dragging me down on one side compared to carrying it on one shoulder.  Carrying the bag on one shoulder is still comfortable to carry with but not if it is too heavy.

Under Armour Undeniable Sportsbag

The bag has both a shoulder strap and carry handles.

Under Armour Bag - Detail1

The shoulder strap itself is padded. I found the bag easily worn by simply having it on one shoulder without any discomfort. The carry handles are also long enough to simply sling the bag over my shoulder and walk around with it that way.

Result

Scoring-Comfort


Durability

Canterbury Training Sportsbag

So far so good, the bag isn’t showing any signs of wear and it’s not like I’ve been going easy on it. It has been carried in the rain, stuffed into lockers and slung on the floor a fair few times.

The bag has heavy-duty material where it is expected to experience friction either against your leg or the side of a locker so I would expect the bag to stay in good shape.

My only concern is that because the bag hasn’t got a base it also doesn’t have any feet so I would expect the base to get worn before anything else.

Gilbert Club Sportsbag

I found the bag to be really durable, as the hard base of the bag helps it keep its shape. I was concerned that the bag was to big when going through narrow spaces and would get damaged but it holds up to bumps and scrapes.

It’s worth noting the two handles did look like they strained a bit if the bag was too heavy. Overall though I was happy with how durable the bag is, as it feels that it would last a long time before any damage or general wear and tear would start to show.

Under Armour Undeniable Sportsbag

Even after being dragged around and in and out of gym lockers, the bag is still in great condition. The bag has Under Armour’s STORM treatment, making it water-resistant, which I found great as I didn’t have to worry about my kit accidentally getting wet when out and about.

The bags base panel is abrasion resistant which I found keeps the bag in great condition even when left of the floor and hard surfaces. The bottom panel also helps keep the bags shape.

Result

Scoring-Durability


 The Final Verdict

Scoring Final

The Under Armour kitbag has come out on top for this Supertest by a narrow margin. It does everything right and a variety of different style are available. It may be worth considering the Gilbert bag however if you take a lot of kit or would like the separate space for muddy kit. And if you’re looking for something lighter that does it’s job well, the Canterbury bag may be the one for you.

Under Armour Bag-2


Check out our previous Supertests:

Recovery Compression Leggings

Canterbury vs adidas Rugby Boots

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