The 9 Best Gym Backpacks of 2019

Conveniently carry your workout with you

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Under Armor SC30 Undeniable Backpack at Amazon

"Sleek, sporty, convenient, comfortable."

Best Budget: Outlander Ultra Lightweight Travel Backpack at Amazon

"Features dual mesh pockets for water bottles."

Best for Women: MZ Wallace Metro Backpack at Nordstrom

"Both chic and practical."

Best for Work: Nike Training Backpack at Amazon

"Great for bringing your gear to work before or after hitting the gym."

Best with Shoe Compartment: Nike Sport III Golf Backpack at Amazon

"The shoe compartment that will work well for everything."

Most Versatile: Adidas Rival XL Backpack at Amazon

"A great option for carrying all of your gym needs."

Best for Laptop: Under Armor Recruit 2.0 at Dick's Sporting Goods

"A great option to safely carry your laptop with you."

Best for Basketball: MIER Large Sports Backpack at Amazon

"Lets you easily carry your basketball on the train or on-the-go."

Best String Bag: WANDF Drawstring Bag at Amazon

"This bag is great for vacations as well as those daily gym trips."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Under Armor SC30 Undeniable Backpack

Under Armor SC30 Undeniable Backpack

Courtesy of Amazon

Sleek, sporty, convenient, comfortable—these words only approach accurately describing this fantastic gym backpack. The Under Armor SC30 Undeniable Backpack is one of the best overall gym backpacks on the market today.

This Steph Curry-branded bag is available in five designs, including simple black or black and white styles. It is one-size-fits-all with 12x19.5-inch dimensions and plenty of storage space. The soft-lined laptop sleeve inside the bag is perfect for office workers looking for a versatile gym bag, while the water-resistant nylon and abrasion-resistant bottom are ideal for rough and tumble uses.

Under Armor’s bag is ideal for the gym not just because of the design and reasonable price, but it also has extra-large mesh pockets for plenty of water bottles, a huge interior pocket for all your gym clothes, and a front-loading for zipper pocket for shoes or anything else. The bag is designed to fit a Size 5 soccer or basketball. The shoulder straps are UA HeatGear for added comfort.

Check out our other reviews of the best gym bags for men available on the market today.

Best Budget: Outlander Ultra Lightweight Packable Water Resistant Travel Backpack

If you're looking for something inexpensive, compact, and effective, consider the Outlander Ultra Lightweight Backpack. This no-frills option features dual mesh pockets for water bottles and a large open interior, and it weighs only half a pound. However, this bag also folds up into a tiny zippable pocket that you can attach to another bag with the included carabiner.

It is made with tough, water-resistant nylon and features two-way, high-quality zippers. The bag includes multiple pockets for easy organization. This budget backpack is perfect for the gym and it comes in more than a dozen solid colors so that you can match your bag exactly to your style.

Best for Women: MZ Wallace Metro Backpack

MZ Wallace

Nordstrom 

There's a reason you've been seeing this bag everywhere. The MZ Wallace Metro Backpack is both chic and practical—the neutral color palette ensures that you'll find an option to go with most outfits and the pockets provide ample storage space. It also comes with a removable interior pouch and smartphone pocket, and fits most 15-inch laptops. An added bonus? The nylon material makes cleaning a cinch.

Best for Work: Nike Vapor Power Heathered Training Backpack

Sleek and stylish, the Nike Vapor Power Heathered Training Backpack is a great option for carrying your gym gear to work. This heathered design available in three simple colors—blue, black, and gray—fits right at home in an office setting and looks stylish in any workplace. The bag is understated, so you won’t need to talk to your co-workers about going to the gym unless you want to.

This is one of the best gym backpacks for the office because of its convenient padded laptop sleeve. In addition to these office job amenities, the bag also has sports contoured Curve Max Air backpack straps, a large main pocket and mesh water bottle holders. Like many bags, this backpack sports small compartments for your keys, wallet, and phone as well as a wet/dry compartment for storing sweaty clothes or swimsuits.

Best with Shoe Compartment: Nike Sport III Golf Backpack

Don’t worry, you don’t have to love golf to take advantage of this fantastic gym backpack. The Nike Sport III Golf Backpack may be designed for 18 holes, but this sleek bag features a great shoe compartment that will work well for everything from the treadmill to CrossFit.

With a timeless heathered design, available in three color options, this gym backpack will match anyone’s style. The main backpack compartment uses a fold-over top and buckle closure, ideal for cycling. The bottom of the backpack sports a separate shoe compartment that zips for secure carrying. You can easily carry cleats, sneakers or golf shoes in this bag without having to squish them or dirty your gym clothes. The whole bag is 13x27x7 inches in size, with lightweight construction and a durable polyester design.

Take a peek at some of the other best gym bags for women you can buy.

Most Versatile: Adidas Rival XL Backpack

The Adidas Rival XL Back is a great backpack for the gym and just about anything else. With 14.5x13x20.5-inch dimensions, this gym backpack lives up to the “XL” in its name with a voluminous main compartment and plenty of small pockets. The bag sports 2 mesh water bottle pockets, a laptop sleeve, internal compartments, four small exterior pockets, and LoadSpring, heavy duty straps. The Polyester bag is tough but features a lifetime warranty from Adidas. This particularly big bag is a great option for carrying all of your gym needs as well as other items you may need for work, school, or a trip all at once.

Best for Laptop: Under Armor Recruit 2.0 Backpack

Under Armor Recruit 2.0 Backpack

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

A gym backpack is perfect for bringing your exercise gear to work as well as bringing your work gear to the gym. The Under Armor Recruit 2.0 Backpack is one of the best gym packs and a great option to safely carry your laptop with you. There is a soft-lined pocket for your laptop on the large main pocket of this traditionally styled backpack. The pack also has the UA Storm water-resistant finish to protect your computer from rain and damaging splashes.

In addition to laptop protection, this backpack has many other great features. It has two mesh water bottle pockets, an abrasion-proof bottom, small pockets for small items, and a sporty overall design.

Best for Basketball: MIER Large Sports Backpack

Bring your basketball to the gym for your next league game or scrimmage. The MIER Large Sports Backpack is a quality, inexpensive backpack that lets you easily carry your basketball on-the-go without having to hold it or squeeze it into a tight bag.

The Mier pack has a large mesh pocket that unzips from the front and easily fits a basketball, a pair of sneakers, or some clothes that need to breathe. The Bag has a large internal compartment as well with an oversized laptop sleeve and a water-resistant bottom. This great gym backpack includes a bunch of small features, like the handy zippered side pocket, the mesh water bottle holder, a key hook, a carabiner loop and much more. The whole bag includes 40 liters of storage capability and comfortable straps.

Need a great ball for your new bag? Read our roundup of the best basketballs.

Best String Bag: WANDF Drawstring Bag

Many people like to use a string bag when they head to the gym. However, even if you’re opting for this simple option, you don’t need to give up on the best features of a standard gym backpack. As expected, this small, lightweight string bag includes a large middle pocket. However, this WANDF bag also features a sneaky shoe compartment with a zipper in the back as well as a separate, small front pocket for smaller items.

The nylon bag is water-resistant and includes wide, comfortable, adjustable straps. While you still get that sleek drawstring design, you avoid the pitfalls of this bag with small interior pockets to prevent all of your gym gear from mixing together. This bag is great for day trips and vacations as well as those daily gym trips.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best gym bags can help you find what you're looking for.

Our Process

Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular gym backpacks on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different gym backpacks overall, screened options from 12 different brands and manufacturers, read over 18 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 3 of the gym backpacks themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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