The 8 Best Gym Bags to Buy in 2018

Top picks for stashing and toting your workout gear

Yes, you could toss your workout clothes into a regular old tote or stuff them in your purse, but not only is that icky (sweaty duds next to your phone and gum pack? No thanks!), it also doesn’t do much for your workout motivation. A dedicated bag for the gym can put you in a get-in-shape mindset just like a fresh pair of sneakers can. Tip: Pack the bag the night before and put it by the front door—or better yet, in the car—so that you have no excuse to bail on the workout.

When picking a gym bag, you’ll want to consider the style of bag that you prefer (do you like one that you can carry in your hand or swing over your shoulder?), as well as what sports you’ll use it for. A swimmer may want different features in a gym bag compared to someone who frequently does yoga, for example. Here, some of the best gym bags for keeping your fitness getup and gear both tidy and transportable.

Best Overall: Adidas Defender II Duffel Bag

Gym bags aren’t exactly handled delicately (think tossing them in the trunk, shoving bags into a gym locker and kicking them under a bench), which is why a sturdy, built-to-last bag is best. Luckily, the Adidas Defender II is made from reinforced ripstop material and comes with a lifetime warranty. A spacious compartment and two zippered end pockets will hold all of your workout needs with room to spare.

With three different sizes available (small, medium, and large) and more than 25 color options, you’re sure to find a bag that suits your style. People who own the bag say that it’s perfect for the gym, but that they also use it for everything from camping to traveling internationally.

Best Duffel: Vooray Burner Gym Bag

The easy-to stuff shape of a duffel bag makes it a great option for gym goers, and the Vooray Burner Gym Bag is no exception. It features a water-resistant base, ventilated side shoe pocket, easy-to-clean nylon liner and a faux fur-lined media pocket to keep your phone safe. Choose from multiple patterns and colorways (our favorite is the rose navy floral print).

People who own the Vooray Burner bag say that it’s ample in size, and can easily fit sneakers, shower sandals, workout clothes, a change of clothing, and a makeup bag. Bonus: This roomy duffel can pull double-duty as a cute weekender bag.

Best Backpack: Packsafe Metrosafe LS350

A backpack that goes with you from the gym to work will make your commute that much easier, and the Packsafe Metrosafe does just that. The 15L backpack comes in three different color options (black, tan and merlot) and looks chic enough to carry into the office. It features enough space for both exercise gear and your work outfit and also has a sleeve for a laptop, allowing you to zip to your job post-workout.

Reviewers say that the backpack is comfortable to wear, even when it’s on the heavy side. And if you use the Packsafe for travel, it’s nice to know that it features a zipper system that’s designed to be difficult to pickpocket and is made from a material that protects IDs and other cards in your wallet from hacker scanning.

Best for Yoga: Gaiam Metro Gym Bag

Even the most spacious gym bag rarely has room for a fitness mat, which is why yogis should consider investing in a yoga-specific bag. The Gaiam Metro has everything you’d find in a normal gym bag, including a sizable interior and multiple pockets for staying organized. But it’s the cinch-cord mat carrier (found on the bottom of the bag) that makes this pouch perfect for bringing to your next flow or vinyasa class.

People who own the Gaiam Metro bag say that it’s easy to get a mat in and out of the carrier cords, and one reviewer even uses the cords to tote around a foam roller.

Best for Swimmers: Everest Gym Bag With Wet Pocket

A dry gym bag and damp swimsuit typically aren’t a great combo (think mold and mildew), but the wet pocket in the Everest Gym Bag solves that problem. Great for both suits and sweaty clothes or sneakers, the pocket keeps soggy gear away from the rest of your belongings. Other highlights include a padded water bottle holder, zippered front pouches with mesh pockets, a large side mesh pocket, and a padded shoulder strap.

Reviewers say that the bag is extremely durable and that the extra pockets frequently come in handy. Stuff them with your keys, earphones, sunglasses, post-workout protein drink and more.

Best Bag with a Shoe Compartment: FocusGear Ultimate Gym Bag

There’s no such thing as too many pockets, as proven by this souped-up gym bag. The FocusGear Ultimate Gym Bag has not one but two wet pockets. The larger, ventilated one is perfect for sweaty or muddy shoes, while smaller objects can go in the second wet pocket. But wait, there’s more: The bag also has an interior pocket for corralling your keys and phone, and the outside of the gym bag features additional pockets, including two water bottle holders.

Reviewers say that the bag allows them to stay exceptionally organized and that the oversized opening lets them quickly find what they’re looking for. But despite being so generous in size, people who own the gym bag note that it fits into a standard-sized locker.

Best for Women: Under Armour Women’s The Works Tote

Today’s gym bags are more fashion-forward than ever, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice style for function, and the Under Armour tote is a great example. The 21.6L bag is city-sleek yet designed with UA storm technology, which repels water, so there’s no need to worry about the contents of your bag getting ruined if you’re caught in the rain.  It also has both interior and exterior pockets and comes with a removable laundry bag so that your sweaty duds can go straight from the gym bag to the washing machine.

People who own the Under Armour bag say that they like the fact that it doesn’t look like a traditional gym bag. And it’s true: The tote, which comes in both a clean black and pretty purple color, could also pass for your everyday bag.

Best for Men: Mier Gym Duffle Bag

Whether you’re headed to the gym or a baseball game, the Mier Gym duffle has you covered. A ventilated shoe compartment keeps sweaty, dirty gear separate from everything else, and a soft neoprene handle and non-slip padded shoulder straps make the bag comfortable to carry. Choose between a capacity of either 40L or 50L, depending on how much gear you have to schlep around.

Reviewers say that they appreciate the vents in the shoe pocket (it keeps the stink away from their clothing!) as well as the high quality, durable fabric. This is a bag that will last you through countless trips to and from the gym—or wherever else you choose to take it.

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