Vessel Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0
Review, Test, & Advice
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Dig around long enough, and you’re bound to stumble upon Vessel’s Baseline Racquet Bag, a best-in-class premium offering that delivers above and beyond the average tennis bag.
Now four years after its initial release, Vessel brings to market its second-generation take on its eye-catching luxury bag, which is less of an overhaul and more of a refinement.
Like the previous generation, the Vessel Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0 delivers exceptional attention to detail and a laundry list of practical features, but it’s not for everyone.
From its specs, design, and features to where I see opportunities for improvement, this buyer’s guide details everything you need to know about Vessel’s latest release, including my buying advice to help you decide if it’s a good fit or worth exploring other options.
|Vessel Tennis Bags
|Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0
|Perforated Black, Pebbled Navy
|Baseline Racquet Bag 1.0
|Baseline Racquet Bag Lite
|Perforated Black, Pebbled Navy
|Perforated Black, Pebbled Navy, Grey Tech
|Pebbled Black, Pebbled Stone, Pebbled Navy, Neo Mint, Rose Gold
You can check out all of these bags on Vessels’ website, and I’d encourage you to explore their other products, including golf bags, luggage, watches, and accessories.
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Founded by Ronnie Shaw in 2012 and based in Carlsbad, CA, Vessel is a luxury bag company with roots in golf. Today, their bags are the preferred carry for over 100 PGA and LPGA pros.
In 2019, the brand released its Baseline series for tennis, including a racquet bag, backpack, and tote, quickly becoming some of my favorites, with exceptional materials and craftsmanship.
With the Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0, Vessel continues to push the boundaries of elevated high-end bag design for our sport.
Beyond creating excellent products, I love their Buy a Bag, Give a Bag initiative, where for every bag they sell, they donate a school backpack to children in need globally.
Before jumping into the details around the bag’s design and features, let’s start by reviewing its specs, including weight, size, dimensions, and materials, so you know what to expect.
The Vessel Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0 weighs 4.25 lbs (1.93 kg), while the included straps weigh 0.50 lbs (0.23 kg) for a combined weight of 4.75 lbs (2.16 kg).
As a result, it’s not lightweight, but it also doesn’t feel too heavy either, so if you’re looking at this metric and taking a pause, it’s not an area I’d be concerned about.
Moreover, because of the bag’s neoprene line shoulder straps and back padding, it is one of if not the most comfortable bags to carry, so even packed solid, I don’t find the weight to be an issue.
Size & Dimensions
Compared to some of the best racquet bags on the market, the Baseline is mid-sized – not too big or small. Here’s what you can expect from the bag’s dimensions.
- Height: 29 in / 73.66 cm / 736.6 mm
- Width: 12 in / 30.48 cm / 304.8 mm
- Depth: 13 in / 33.02 cm / 330.2 mm
Vessel designed the racquet compartment to store two racquets, while you can stash another four in the larger main compartment if you don’t plan on keeping any other big items in your bag.
It’s more than enough space for most players, but if you carry upwards of the maximum number of racquets the bag can handle, there’s a good chance you’ll find this bag too small.
One of the areas where Vessel stands out from the crowd is the high-end materials they use to construct their bags, and the Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0 is no exception.
Premium Synthetic Leather
A highlight of the Baseline racquet bag is its use of premium synthetic leather for the exterior, which is durable and weather-resistant while looking luxurious and sporty.
Most of the bag uses smooth synthetic leather, but you’ll find a perforated panel on both sides for a stylish addition.
Like the previous generation, I like the material for its looks as much as I do for helping the bag maintain its structure. It stands tall even when empty, which also benefits users when packing or digging around for items as it doesn’t lose shape.
The bag also cleans easily, so if you spill something on it or it needs a wipe down from general use, a little warm water and a towel will likely be all you’ll need to freshen it up.
As for downsides, the bag will be more susceptible to scuffs or scratches than your average polyester bag, but having experience with several of their bags, it’ll hold up better than you expect.
Plus, a few minor scuffs will give it some character, and if you’re super concerned, you can keep the bag off the court by attaching the new carabiner at the bag’s top to the fence.
Thermal Lined Compartments
The main racquet compartment and one of the smaller side pockets on the Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0 use a thermal lining, similar to what you’d find in a cooler backpack.
The former helps maintain a constant temperature for your strings, which are susceptible to heat and moisture, while the latter is perfect for keeping a beverage or snack cool.
Neoprene Lined Shoulder Straps & Back Padding
At first glance, you might think using neoprene for padding for comfort is overkill, but it makes for one of the most comfortable carrying racquet bags by a long shot.
Most standard racquet bags include shoulder straps, but the padding is usually sub-par or nonexistent. It’s not a problem for short walks, but if you’re wearing your bag for any length of time, you’ll notice the straps digging into your shoulders.
Like the first generation, the neoprene used for the straps and back padding is plush and resilient. Even if you fill the bag to its max, you can comfortably carry it around without issue, and it feels lighter with less pressure on your shoulders and back.
Premium Waterproof Zippers
It’s easy to overlook zippers when evaluating tennis bags, but quality zippers can significantly affect usability.
The best zippers are durable and long-lasting to withstand the constant abuse of tugging on them. They’re also smooth and easy to pull, making it easy to open and close your bag.
Vessel checks each box, but they take things a step further with a waterproof layer that conceals the zipper as you pull it shut for a clean, finished look that helps protect your gear.
I also appreciate the open design of the zipper pulls, which allows them to rotate and move freely in all directions.
Design & Features
One of the best parts about Vessel’s Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0 is that it looks as good as it functions, with thoughtful features perfectly well-suited for our sport.
Logo & Branding
When it comes to branding, Vessel nails it. Their logos are subtle and tasteful for a clean look that lets the bag do the talking, which is counter to what you’ll find with most mainstream racquet bags.
For starters, the word ‘Vessel’ is embroidered in black over the magnetic quick-access pocket at the bag’s top.
There’s also a tiny black metal logo on one side of the bag and a light grey logo badge on the right shoulder strap.
A few more subtle touches include the word ‘Vessel’ imprinted on the metal shoulder strap adjusters and written across each of the bag’s external zipper pulls.
Finally, the removable hanging clip at the top of the bag has the word ‘Vessel’ written in white.
The Vessel baseline racquet bag comes in perforated black and pebbled navy, which also alludes to each bag’s texture.
The black model has perforated side panels for a fresh look, while the navy version has a subtle pebbled texture for a mature feel. In both cases, I’m a huge fan of the simplicity of each bag.
There aren’t any wild highlight colors, just clean and understated design combined with quality materials.
Thermal Lined Racquet Compartment
The strings of your racquet are susceptible to large temperature swings and moisture, so Vessel uses a thermal lining inside the racquet compartment to maintain a more consistent temperature.
Like the original Baseline racquet bag, Vessel doesn’t skip on their lining. It’s heavy-duty and thicker than most, which translates to better performance to protect your gear.
Regarding size, the racquet compartment can store up to two racquets, and it’s a relatively snug fit, so if you’re wondering if you can squeeze in a third racquet, it’s a hard no.
For the best results, completely unzip the pocket near the handles to expand the compartment fully. There’s enough space for the handles to sit flush next to each other, which also helps reduce the friction of your racquets to protect their paint.
Large Main Compartment
Opposite where you store your racquets, you’ll find the bag’s largest main compartment, which can hold up to four tennis racquets.
However, more often than not, when I use this bag, I’m only bringing two racquets and using the large compartment for bigger items like my towel, a can of balls, etc.
Inside this compartment, you’ll also find a nearly full-length zipper pocket to organize some of your smaller items.
It’s worth noting that this section of the bag shares space with the shoe compartment at the bottom and the quick-access pocket at the top, so if you’re using those, as I find myself doing nearly all the time, you’ll have less space in this section.
Despite that, there’s still plenty of space for additional items I often bring to the court, like my muscle massage gun.
Two Garmet Compartments
Toward the edges of the racquet bag, you’ll find two full-length garment pockets, ideal for storing a change of clothes, extra socks, a light jacket, or a few small towels.
As a bonus, these compartments have two large slip pockets to help keep your items organized.
Of course, you don’t have to use these for storing your clothes, but keep in mind that they’re narrower, so although they’ll work well for various items, the smaller and flatter, the better.
The only area for improvement I can spot in this section of the bag is to have the slip pockets be zipper pockets to ensure the items you put in them stay put if the bag tips over.
Magnetic Quick-Access Pocket
New for the bag’s second generation, Vessel adds one of their quick-access magnetic pockets to the top of the bag, which is one of my favorite new features.
From the outside, it functions like a hidden pocket. If you didn’t tell anyone, there’s a slim chance they’d recognize it because Vessel stitches the magnets into the fabric.
Overall, the execution is impressive. The magnets sit flush and have a super firm hold, so it’s unlikely that anything you could fit in there would ever fall out.
Inside, the pocket has an antimicrobial microfibre lining, and it’s a decent size, perfect for items like your phone, a pair of sunglasses, or your keys that you want to grab quickly.
Ventilated Shoe Compartment
To help keep your dirty shoes separate from the rest of your gear, the Baseline Racqeut Bag 2.0 has a large ventilated shoe compartment at the bottom. It’s also perfect for dirty clothes.
In the previous generation of the bag, this compartment lived at the top. However, I like the new location because it allows Vessel to incorporate a larger opening, making it easier to put your shoes in or pull them out.
Also new for the latest model of their racquet bag is the ability to unzip the internal pouch for this pocket so that you can use it as a standalone shoe or dirty clothes bag or forgo it entirely for extra space in the main compartment, which is super handy.
The only change I’d love to see Vessel make to this compartment is to have the pouch be waterproof so that if you have some super wet clothes or a towel, you can be confident they won’t soak through and get on the other items in your bag.
Insulated Beverage Compartment
You’ll find an insulated beverage pocket on one side of the racquet bag, using the same thermal lining that you’ll find in the racquet compartment.
It’s perfect for keeping a beverage out of the sun and cool, and there’s a vent on the side to keep moisture down while also acting as a drain if you have a spill inside.
I use a double-walled stainless water bottle, which works best for keeping my drinks cold. However, I still love this pocket because I can throw a snack in there with a small cold pack that you might use for a cooler, and it works super well.
For example, I’ve had protein bars melt into an inedible mess in the past, but if I put the bar in this pocket with a cold pack, I’m good to go. It’s super handy, and I’d love more bags to follow suit, especially tennis backpacks, which are more versatile.
Accessories Pocket + Key Clip
Opposite the insulated beverage compartment on the other side of the bag, you’ll find a dedicated accessory pocket filled with all sorts of pockets for organization.
You have a zippered pocket lined with antimicrobial microfiber, another zippered pocket for extra small items like a pack of overgrips, and two smaller mesh slip pockets.
Finally, there’s a clip for your keys so you always know exactly where they are and can easily reach and pull them out when needed. I love this pocket because it gives you dedicated space for all those smaller items you’ll want to keep in your bag without having them floating around in your main compartment.
Here are the types of items I’m talking about:
- Extra grips
- Suntan lotion
- Small first aid kit
- Hydration packs
- Lip balm
- Yoga strap
You get the idea. It an excellent and works well for various items you need to keep organized.
Removable Backpack Straps
The Vessel Baseline Backpack 2.0 also has removable backpack straps padded with neoprene for above-average comfort and an ergonomic shape for a perfect fit.
Vessel has also implemented a unique swivel design where the straps connect to the bag, allowing them to move freely and adapt to each person’s unique shape, ensuring added comfort.
When traveling or if you prefer to carry the bag at your side, you can easily remove the straps so they don’t get in your way or get caught in transport, such as an airport conveyor.
I wouldn’t change anything about these straps, but in a perfect world, I’d love to see the addition of a sternum strap, which helps distribute weight more evenly across your shoulders and is ideal when you pack the bag to its maximum capacity.
Two Grab Handles
At the top of the bag, you’ll find a convenient grab handle ideal for picking your bag up when it’s leaning against a fence or pulling it out of your car. There’s also a grab handle at the center of the bag, which is perfect for carrying the bag at your side.
The bag could benefit from one additional grab handle at the bottom of the bag for easily picking it up or pulling it out of a tight space, e.g., a car trunk. However, since the bag has backpack straps, which I always keep attached, it gives you another place to grab the bag at the top and bottom quickly.
Removable Fence Clip
Another new addition to the latest generation of the Baseline racquet bag is a removable clip that attaches to the bag’s top, allowing you to hang it from a fence to keep it off the ground.
The clip is the perfect addition to this bag because some players will want to keep it off the ground to prevent scuffing.
The clip is highly rigid and durable, and the loop that attaches it to the bag appears well-stiched. However, when it’s at maximum capacity, it does feel like a lot of weight for the fabric loop.
With that in mind, you’ll likely want to be gentle with attaching and removing it from a fence if you carry a lot of weight.
Short of that, it presents an opportunity for Vesselt to consider reinforcing the loop in a future bag iteration.
If you want to level up your Vessel racquet bag, consider personalizing it with custom embroidery, which is also an excellent option for anyone buying the bag as a gift.
When you personalize your bag, you have two options. You can add a few words, like your name, for $35 or upload a logo or image that you want for $85.
Name or a Few Words
You can add up to twenty characters for the text embroidery, with a maximum of ten per line. Once your text is ready, you can choose between three fonts: Arial, Arial Bold, or Script.
Then, you can select the color stitching you’d like to use, including black, white, navy, red, pink, orange, green, and yellow.
On the racquet bag, I’m a fan of going with white or black on the perforated black bag and white or navy on the navy bag.
Logo or Image
Alternatively, you can upload a logo or image as a PNG or JPEG, which must be at least 200 x 200 px with a 72 ppi resolution.
If you have a PDF, SVG, EPS, or AI file, you can email their design team to have them help you out. It’s also worth noting that they need written permission from the organization to put any trademark or copyright logos on your bag, including club logos.
One of the reasons I appreciate this option is that even if you want someone’s name on the bag that doesn’t fit with the text option above, you can create a file in Photoshop or a similar program, then upload it. Doing so also gives you unlimited flexibility with the font, colors, etc. Although you’ll pay a little extra, you’ll likely get your desired design.
The Fine Print
It’s worth noting that personalized bags are non-refundable and that it can take 6-7 weeks for Vessel to fulfill the order, so you’ll have to plan if you’re buying as a gift.
Returns & Warranty
When you purchase a premium product like the Vessel Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0, it’s helpful to have solid refund and warranty policies you can lean on if necessary. Here’s what you can expect from Vessel.
30-Day Return Policy
Once you receive your Vessel bag, you have a 30-day window to return it if it doesn’t meet your needs, which is relatively standard among the top tennis bag manufacturers.
Remember, personalized items aren’t refundable; the same goes for shipping and handling if you return your bag. However, Vessel offers free shipping on orders over $100, so you wouldn’t have paid this to receive the bag only to return it.
Overall, this is a perfectly acceptable return period, as you’ll quickly gauge whether it’s a good fit.
Although unlikely, if your bag has any defects in materials or workmanship within one year of your purchase, Vessel will help make it right. Things like stitching coming undone or a zipper malfunctioning would fall under this category.
Of course, the warranty won’t cover normal wear and tear or issues associated with misuse or abuse.
The Vessel Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0 delivers exceptional performance with thoughtful features and design far exceeding expectations, making it my top pick for the best racquet bag.
Although an excellent option for all players, the bag is ideally suited for those who appreciate high-end goods with strong attention to detail and have the budget to pay a premium.
Why I Love It
- Stylish with durable premium materials
- Excellent organization throughout
- Extra comfortable neoprene shoulder straps
- Thermal-lined racquet & beverage compartment
- Magnetic quick-access pocket
- Dedicated/removable footwear compartment
- Removable fence clip for hanging
Areas for Improvement
- Zipper pockets vs. slip pockets in garment enclosure
- Waterproofing the removable shoe compartment
- Adding a sternum strap to backpack straps
- Reinforcing fence clip loop
Overall, I recommend the Vessel Baseline Racquet Bag 2.0 as a great purchase if you feel good about spending a little extra money and appreciate its features.
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