How to choose a stickbag is a big question! Depending how you get to hockey you will need a different one, sometimes two!
There are generally five types of bag to consider for outfield players: a slim sleeve bag, a basic stick bag, a medium stick bag, a large stick bag and a ruck sack.
The sleeve bag is not carried by Decathlon any longer as it is not practical and is lost quite often by kids. For the same price you can get far greater value in a bigger bag. So at the start of the 2018/19 season we got rid of these.
The basic stick bag carries 1-3 sticks and generally has one large pocket and a small pocket for keys, phone etc. This is great for beginners and intermediate players. The FH100 stick bag can hold up to three sticks easily, with a mesh pocket for a drink bottle, a small pocket for keys and phone, and a larger one for shoes. Most people can put their shin pads in the stick compartment to save space. Typically for this size bag you are expecting to pay £15-£30, the Kipsta FH100 bag comes is currently £12.99.
The larger stick bag can hold up to ten sticks, tends to have three or more pockets for various usage. Good ones will have two straps to aid comfort and stability. This is for intermediate and advanced players. The FH500 stick bag has an enormous volume of space, we have not found a bigger volume on the market so far. The mesh on the side can hold up to a gallon sized bottle of water, while the base compartment is wide enough to hold up to size 12 hockey shoes widthways. Typically you'll pay between £45-£80 for this size bag, the Kipsta FH500 is priced £24.99 at the time of writing.
With both medium and large stick bags think about how you use the bag. If you are transporting in a car do you need additional handle so the side to help get it in and out of the car boot.
The ruck sack is great for cycling and commuting. It is worth considering the position of the stick if you are a cyclist. If the stick is diagonally placed it may interfere with your vision when doing a shoulder check in the UK. If you can find a model with side mounted stick pockets or straps we would recommend this. There is no beginner, intermediate or advanced consideration with a ruck sack - it's about your priorities in usage.
Other things to look out for are additional grab straps to help you get the bag in and out of the car, what materials are used (are they durable for the pitch you play on?), do you need one bag for training because you cycle there and one for games because you need a change of clothes after the match?
So in conclusion think about the following:
- How many sticks do I need?
- How will I transport my bag to the club or pitch?
- What sort of things do I carry in it?
You're good to go!