Choosing and Customizing Your Ice Hockey Bags
Few other sports have as much equipment as hockey. From skates to helmets to elbow pads, a normal equipment set can weigh as much as 22 pounds. Since all that gear cannot possibly be dropped in a single ordinary carrier, choosing and customizing your ice hockey bag is a very essential aspect of any hockey player's seasonal preperation. Selecting the right hockey bag can be a tough decision, as you will have to carefully consider its material, size, and portability. Likewise, the ability for air to flow inside should not be overlooked, as it is important to eliminate possible odor problems when packing your equipment. Durability is also a very crucial factor when making your choice, as you need something that will handle the wear and tear of, hopefully, multiple seasons.
1) Consider The Size
Choosing the right size is the most basic part in acquiring an efficient gear carrier. The dimensions should be based on the size of the equipment they will contain. For example, goalies need a larger bag compared to other players to accommodate all of their large pads and gloves. Mites and squirts, being small kids, have relatively smaller gears compared to their teenage-to-adult counterparts like the midgets and the juniors. Likewise, their needs for extra stuff outside the game should also be considered. If you are a senior player, you might also want to consider the number of compartments each bag contains. Some have larger compartments than others while some have specialized smaller compartments designed to hold various personal things such as car keys, mobile phones or mp3 players. It is up to you to decide what size you need. Just make sure the one you are about to buy has enough space for your skates, shoulder and elbow pads, neck guard, pants, shin guards and gloves - then determine if you need room for any "extras."
2) Decide What Kind of Features You Will Need
Most ice hockey bags are made of nylon or polyester to prevent them from trapping any unwanted odors. You can try checking out high quality carriers with mesh holes for proper ventilation. Those with wheels and suitcase-like handles are preferred by players who want to maximize the portability of their gear. While this may be a good feature, the downside of wheeled ice hockey bags is that they cannot be folded as easily when compared to non-wheeled carriers - which may sometimes cause issues with transportation. It will be very helpful to look at the fundamental features of the bag you want to purchase and make sure they fit your specific needs. One good feature which should never be overlooked is the quality of the straps and the zippers. Nothing is more frustrating than a broken zipper, especially when the safety of hundreds of dollars worth of hockey gear is at state (to say nothing about ease of transportation). It is also a good practice to check the bottom of the bag to ensure it is strong enough to carry a huge amount of weight, as hockey gear weighs a lot, and having the bottom falling off your bag is no good for you or your equipment.
3) Choose The Best Design For You, And Your Team
Personalizing your ice hockey bags can be a great opportunity to graphically represent your team. Ice hockey bags can come in different colors, though most are sold in black. Since teams come with unique names and logos, customizing the exterior can be done to reflect your affiliation. The first step is to buy a professional-looking design with a neat exterior preferably monochromatic or plain. It is a good practice to identify the material used in order to know what to expect when it comes to customization. Bags made of polyester have the ability to remain intact even after being subjected to heat-pressing and silk-screening methods. Polyester-made bags can also handle long-lasting and non-fading graphics, which include names and team logos. Of course, ice hockey bags made of other materials like nylon can also be customized for a better surface.
The silk-screening method is known as the most economical and most common process in bag and apparel customization. Special inks are applied to the bag to print the design while using screens that are separated with colors. Although this may be the cheapest way to design bags and apparels, prints made through the silk-screening method will soon fade away after repeated washing and exposure. Other methods include ironing vinyl designs to the surface, sublimation (directly dying logos and names into the fabric), embroidery, and machine-embedding. A combination of these techniques can be done to maximize better results. Just remember that ice hockey bag designing and customization can be a very rigorous work so make sure you have enough experience when planning to modify your gears. Otherwise, you would have to ask a professional to help you with the overall customization process after choosing the basic design.
Where Can I Buy Ice Hockey Bags
Every leading hockey brand name: Easton, Bauer, CCM, and others, produce hockey bags that are specially made for your equipment. Wheeled hockey bags with handles have increased in popularity recently, as they minimize energy expenditure before and after games with their ease of transport. These usually sell for between $40 and $80. Easton, Bauer, and CCM all have bags that fit this description and price range. You can find these bags on any of these hockey equipment producer's websites, or in sporting goods stores such as Sports Authority (USA) and Sport Check (Canada).
Another place you can shop for ice hockey bags online is Amazon.com. They stock hockey bags from all the major suppliers, and thus is a great place to conduct comparison shopping. While these companies tend to be quite competitive price wise, their bags often have subtle differences in terms of dimensions or features, so you can find something that best suits your needs.