The best gym bags store all your bits and bobs and slot into a changing room locker with ease. Unlike a run-of-the-mill catchall, they ought to be durable enough not to tear after the first use, equipped with organizational options and, as an added bonus, complement your favorite workout leggings. Space is also key, especially if you’re traipsing around half your gym wardrobe to and from work.
Function meets fashion with these stylish gym bags to stash all your workout must-haves on the go Black Umbrella
Before adding a gym bag to your cart, you’ll want to take a closer look at your needs. Does your ideal gym bag have compartments for your assorted equipment? A real time-saver instead of fumbling around for your fitness tracker. What about a pocket to tuck away your phone? And a zippered pocket to (hygienically) store your shoes and sweaty clothes away from your other essentials? If you're toting around a yoga mat, would you benefit from one with a holder?
Whether you choose a duffel for slinging over your shoulder, a sturdy backpack or a double-handled tote for a fashionable edge, there's a gym bag in this world to match your style and needs. Our roundup has scoured customer and expert reviews to generate an assortment of options for all your workout essentials. You may be tempted to buy more than one, and who are we to discourage you? Below, the best gym bags for runners, lifters, yogis and more.
Simple in its design, the Nike Brasilia Training Duffel Bag is a classic carryall that’s always in style. Available in a few colors, the bag features a zip closure and multiple exterior pockets to hold your bits and pieces. It also has separate shoe storage for tucking away your sweaty sneakers, and its main compartment is big enough to store football and basketball gear, according to reviews.
In terms of carrying, the shoulder strap is padded to offer a degree of cushioning, if you prefer this method over handles. Although it’s not fully waterproof, the bottom is coated in a water-resistant material. For the price, the Nike Brasilia is a good all-rounder for both casual and avid gym goers.
One customer said: “Exactly the size I was looking for. Have had it now for 2+ months and it seems to be holding up just fine. I use it everyday.”
The Under Armour Project Rock is a water-repellent gym bag (easy to wipe clean) that has hyper-organized storage for separating your gear across various zip, slip and side mesh pockets. Plus, you can pick from three flat color options. The Project Rock range has been approved by the Rock—Dwayne Johnson— himself and its ‘Blood. Sweat. Respect’ branding suggests the bag is up for any challenge.
Aside from two handles and adjustable shoulder straps, yogis can slide a mat in between two elastic straps for hands-free carrying.
One Customer Said: “This bag can hold everything I need for the gym, shoes, equipment, change of clothes etc. Simple pockets to keep organized but not too many!”
Whether you're heading to the gym or a weekend away, Lululemon’s City Adventurer Large Duffle is a perfect transition bag for storing workout gear or your travel knick-knacks. Water-repellant too, it should hold up in all weather conditions.
Storage-wise, it comes with a small exterior zip pocket for quick access, as well as an outside padded pocket that can snuggly fit a 16-inch laptop—a perfect addition if you’re heading straight to the gym from work.
Other stylistic elements include interior mesh pockets for holding smaller essentials, double handles and an adjustable cross-body strap, plus it comes in two color options. Although it’s on the pricier side compared to other gym bags, you’ll get your money’s worth it you plan to use it daily.
One customer said: “Best bag ever. It fits everything you need for the gym, for a road trip and I even use it for going camping, It has a lot of space and pockets.”
Made from recycled plastic water bottles, the Provence Please Recycle Gym Bag is a perfect match if you’re an eco-conscious consumer. And with the words ‘Please Recycle’ embroidered on the front panel, you may even inspire others to follow suit. As an added bonus, it’s water-resistant too.
A side dual compartment can store your wet or sweaty closing, whilst its double zipper opens to a large, spacious interior lined with small individual mesh pockets to place your phone, keys, hair ties and other on-the-go basics.
Strap-wise, there’s a snap button to hold the two handles in place and a removable shoulder strap. You can also toss it in the machine on a cold wash to save you the bother of spot cleaning.
One customer said: “This is the best gym bag I have ever used! It is perfect for all the items I need for hot yoga. It has a lot of inside compartments and the color is beautiful. I haven't had a good gym bag in ages and I am so excited to use it.”
The Hyc00 Sports Tote is a bargain buy for neatly stowing your workout gear—made easier by the separate toiletry bag (wet pocket included) to protect your clothes from a shampoo leak.
Inside are four separate compartments—a zip pocket, a main pocket, an open mesh pocket and a wet pocket, with plenty of roomy to tuck away your shoes, clothes, towel and toiletries without the squeeze. Plus, it’s water-resistant for an added layer of protection in case the weather turns. As with many other gym bags, you can carry it via a removable and adjustable shoulder strap or handles. It also comes in a palette of colors.
Many customers commented on its versatility for both the gym and an overnight getaway.
One customer said: “Absolutely love this bag for the gym. Holds my boxing gloves & wraps with room for change of clothes & water bottle. Separate compartments for my dirty sweaty wraps.”
Yogis, listen up. The Ella Duffle is a meticulously designed gym bag featuring a concealed yoga mat sleeve for easy hauling from A to B. The fabric is waterproof neoprene that is fully lined with a floral interior for a female touch. Plus, a zipped shoe compartment (also waterproof) keeps your shoes secure from your garments.
There are plenty of storage options too, to save you from rummaging. The bag includes a zip pocket for hair ties, elastic straps to secure a water bottle, velcro straps to fasten in a laptop and two outer pockets to keep your essentials close at hand. There’s even a hook for safe keyring keeping.
Something to keep in mind—a few customers pointed out that it’s tricky to slot in your yoga mat when the bag is filled to the brim.
One customer said: “This bag is perfect for going to the gym/yoga. I can bring everything from my shoes, outfits, etc with me and it expands even more when you unbuckle the side buckles!”
The Small Backpack in the Built For Athletes collection has a 25-liter capacity for storing all your fitness gear—in fact, the brand claims it can hold a pair of shoes, towel, gym clothes and small training tools for a total capacity of up to 33 pounds. It’s also available in a 45-liter (large) size if you need extra room, and both sizes come in a range of colors. Separate compartments, pouches, enclosed pockets and a flat 180-degree opening save you precious time scrounging for your keys and equipment.
Aside from functioning as a gym bag, it features ergonomically designed adjustable compression chest and waist straps for added support when hiking, running or carrying along for other sports. It has water-resistant and rip-proof fabric for the most challenging of elements, and two drawstring side bottle holders keep your water bottle separate from your shake flask.
Eco-conscious customers will be happy to hear the brand follows a sustainable strategy which includes planting one tree for every bag purchased.
One customer said: “Was really hard finding a good backpack that I could fit all my gym, shower and work stuff in, but this fits its all! Amazingly comfy too.”
Zack O'Malley Greenburg is senior editor of media & entertainment at Forbes and author of four books, including A-List Angels: How a Band of Actors, Artists and Athletes Hacked Silicon Valley and the Jay-Z biography Empire State of Mind. Zack's work has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Billboard, Sports Illustrated, Vibe, McSweeney's and the Library of Congress. In over a decade at Forbes, he has investigated topics from Wu-Tang Clan's secret album in Morocco to the return of tourism in post-conflict Sierra Leone to the earning power of Hip-Hop's Cash Kings, writing cover stories on subjects ranging from Richard Branson to Ashton Kutcher to Katy Perry. A former child actor, Zack played the title role in the film Lorenzo's Oil (1992) and arrived at Forbes in 2007 after graduating from Yale with an American Studies degree. For more, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, newsletter and via www.zogreenburg.com. Got a tip on a music, media & entertainment story? Send it over via SecureDrop. Instructions here: www.forbes.com/tips
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Grill With Air Fryer I'm a freelance journalist and product reviewer specializing in parenting and education. My writing has been featured by AARP, Scholastic, Insider, Yahoo, MSN, AAA and more. I spent six years as a high school English teacher, and then began writing full time after my daughter was born. I'm the proud mom to her as well as twin boys (and a fur baby). I have a bachelor of science in education from Penn State and a master of arts in education from Michigan State. You can learn more about me or connect with me on my website.