The 10 Best Gym Bags

Updated May 23, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

10 Best Gym Bags
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If you've ever had to lug sweaty, stinky clothes to the office in a plastic grocery bag, then you know how handy a good gym bag can be. The right one can keep all of your gear organized, so you can work out without worrying about losing your keys or wallet, and some of these options can double as excellent weekend travel luggage, as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best gym bag on Amazon.

10. Ogio Crunch

With its unique styling and innovative design, the Ogio Crunch makes a great multifunctional option. It has a wide U-shaped opening for easy access, and there's a pocket with a headphone port, so you don't have to stop your music or podcast just because the workout's over.
  • durable plastic handle
  • slip-resistant straps
  • zippers are poor quality
Brand OGIO
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Mier Barrel

If you're looking for something that can be stored in a locker when you're pumping iron, the Mier Barrel is compact enough to be put away while offering plenty of room for your essentials. Plus, its sleek, modern look will make you the envy of all your fellow gym-goers.
  • good value for the price
  • high-quality zipper
  • shoe pocket is small
Brand MIER
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Runetz Sport

Count on the Runetz Sport to meet the rigorous demands of your daily routine, as it has reinforced-stitched seams that make it extremely durable. It doesn't have much in the way of pockets, but that gives it more room in the interior compartment for larger items.
  • well-padded shoulder strap
  • machine-washable
  • not good at keeping moisture out
Brand Runetz
Model Bago Duffle Bag-DuffelN
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Thule Chasm

Made of a waterproof tarpaulin fabric, the Thule Chasm lives up to its name, thanks to its cavernous interior. This makes it ideal for sports with bulky equipment, like tennis and hockey, but it's also great for camping, as you can fit an entire sleeping bag inside.
  • easy to access your gear
  • full-length internal mesh pocket
  • pricier than most other options
Brand Thule
Model 221404-P
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

6. Lug Puddle Jumper

If you need to shower and do your cosmetic routine after your workout, then the Lug Puddle Jumper is built for storing toiletries and makeup. There's a compact mirror inside it as well, so you can make sure you're presentable before heading back to the office.
  • 2 water bottle slots
  • big enough to hold a laptop
  • seams are prone to ripping
Brand Lug
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Bago Travel Duffel

Sometimes you have to pack workout gear for more than just yourself, and in those instances, the Bago Travel Duffel is the perfect choice. It's absolutely massive, with nearly three cubic feet of interior space, and yet when empty, it folds up for easy storage.
  • can still access pockets when folded
  • excellent for backpackers
  • convenient corded zippers
Brand bago
Model Duffel-85-Blue
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

4. G4Free 3-Way

Perfect for hiking and climbing, the G4Free 3-Way has double straps, so you can carry it like a backpack. Plus, it sports a separate ventilated compartment for storing used gear without allowing the funk to spread to the rest of your belongings.
  • tear-resistant fabric
  • lightweight and breathable
  • includes carrying pouch for storage
Brand G4Free
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Everest Gym Bag

The Everest Gym Bag is a medium-sized choice that features a useful layout with plenty of compartments, including a very handy padded water bottle pouch. It also has a special side pocket made for keeping shoes and other messy items separate from the rest of your stuff.
  • great for martial arts equipment
  • exterior pockets zip shut securely
  • holds an impressive amount of gear
Model S223-RD/BK
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Under Armour Undeniable 3.0

The Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 is highly water-resistant, keeping your belongings safe from the elements in almost any type of weather. It's got plenty of room, but is also small enough to be used as a carry-on when flying.
  • abrasion-resistant bottom and sides
  • available in a variety of sizes
  • handy d-ring on the front
Brand Under Armour
Model 1261834-P
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Adidas Defender II

With three different size options, the Adidas Defender II can fit almost anyone's needs. It's made of a polyester rip-stop fabric with contrasting accents, and sports an easy-access shoe tunnel that's ventilated to wick away moisture when your kicks are wet.
  • roomy main compartment
  • choice of over 15 colors
  • backed by a lifetime warranty
Brand adidas
Model 5136409
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

How Do I Choose the Right Gym Bag For ME?

Obviously, the first question you need to ask yourself before purchasing a gym bag is, "What do I need this gym bag to hold?" The answer might not be as elementary as you think. Purchasing the right gym bag requires taking into account whether you'll need to shower after a workout. It also requires considering whether you'll need compartments for medicine and toiletries and such.

As a general rule, you'll want a gym bag to have an insulated, and perhaps even padded, compartment for any items that are fragile, or that hold the potential to leak. Conversely, you'll want a perforated compartment for any items, like, say, a pair of gym socks, that might have the potential to stink.

Beyond that, you'll want to consider what your workouts consist of. If you're a weightlifter, you'll need a gym bag to accommodate gloves, powder, tape, a weight belt, and any other equipment that you're known to bring along. If you're a swimmer, you'll need a bag that can accommodate goggles, flippers, a bathing cap, eye drops, ear drops, and any other accessories that you commonly associate with going in the water.

The idea of a gym bag is to keep everything compact, which is what separates this type of bag from, say, a hockey equipment bag, or a bulky duffel. One of the benefits of owning a gym bag is that the bag itself is lightweight. More often than not, you'll want a gym bag that weighs somewhere between 12 oz. and 2 lbs. Durable, yes, and yet agile enough that you can carry it to the gym.

Several Little-Known Advantages to Owning a Gym Bag

Do not underestimate the power of a gym bag. Gym bags are designed by using strong, lightweight materials, many of which are waterproof at the very least. This, combined with the fact that any gym bag features multiple compartments, means that the bag itself can be repurposed for any number of things.

Gym bags can be used for weekend trips as they provide compartments for toiletries and make-up and medication and clothes. Gym bags can be used for a day at the beach as they provide compartments for magazines and sun block and inflatables and shoes. If you've got toddlers, a gym bag can be used for storing formula and wet wipes and diapers and toys. If you've got teenagers, a gym bag can be used for attending sleepovers, or going to any type of practice after school.

Gym bags are preferable to suitcases if you happen to be traveling somewhere by bus or by train. Along those same lines, a gym bag is considered more acceptable as a carry-on item, which is important if you like to keep everything at arm's length. If you live in an apartment, an empty gym bag can be tucked into a closet or a drawer. If you work in an office, a brimming gym bag can be tucked beneath a desk on the floor.

The point of all this being that a gym bag might hold more potential than you think. Gym bags are a tremendous utility for transporting cargo, and they're intentionally designed to make you look stylish and chic.

How The Duffel Bag Became a Gym Bag

Duffel bags derive their name from a town in Belgium where the bag's heavyweight cloth was originally manufactured. Early duffels were adopted by the military during World War II specifically because they could fit a great deal of cargo, and they were resilient enough to take a beating.

In the years immediately following World War II, American soldiers brought their duffel bags home, whereupon these bags continued to be used for easy storage. Duffels became particularly popular along the California coast, where a local surfing craze had taken hold.

Surfers gravitated toward duffel bags organically. These heavyweight bags were perfect for the day-to-day that accompanied living out of a Woodie, or chasing a wave out on some foreign coast. During the sixties, outdoor enthusiasts began using duffel bags, as did anyone who enjoyed a transitory life.

By the 1970s, the duffel bag had become a reflection of the bohemian culture. You packed a bag, you hit the road. It was around this time that physical fitness became a major trend throughout Southern California. Long-time gymrats were using duffel bags to carry gear and other equipment to and fro.

Manufacturers responded by introducing a much more stylized bag that had a mainstream look and appeal. These newer bags had a lightweight sheen, and they had multiple compartments. Gym bags, as they came to be called, meant athletes no longer had to be concerned about mildewed items or wrinkled clothes. A gym bag represented an all-in-one utility. A duffel bag, on the other hand, represented a no-frills valise for hitting the road.

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Last updated on May 23, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is a writer and hopeful entrepreneur who hails from a tiny town in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she spent a few years in Southern California before moving back to the east coast (but she misses LA every day). An avid and enthusiastic home cook, she is somewhat of an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer.

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