Looking for your next gym bag?
Is it because your old bag falling apart at the seams from carrying all of your gym clothes multiple times per week?
Or are you just starting your new healthy habit of sweating it off and burning the calories at the gym?
If so, we have several recommendations to start your search!
Explore this in-depth guide further to discover the best gym bag for all your athletic needs and more!
Navigate Our Top 7 Gym Bags
|Bag Image||Bag Name||Shoulder Straps||Shoe Compartment||Price|
|adidas Team Speed Duffel Bag (Editor's Choice)||Yes||Yes|
|Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Duffle Bag||Yes||Yes|
|adidas Defender II Duffel Bag||Yes||Yes|
|Coreal Duffle Bag||Yes||Yes|
|Everest 16-Inch Round Duffel||Yes||No|
|Temperament Counter Canvas Duffle Bag||Yes||No|
|OGIO Locker Bag||Yes||Yes|
That’s the difference a well-chosen gym bag makes, and is well worth it for any kind of gym activity. The trouble is, there’s a sea of interesting bags out there, each with different sizes, number of compartments and other features you might not even be aware of. Making sense out of so much info is thankless and hard.
As with other gym items I’ve reviewed before, I felt a need to share reliable info by examining some of the most well-known manufacturers’ gym bags and their more obscure competitors in search of a few that would benefit people with differing needs and approaches to packing theirs. Be sure to check out the Gym Bag Buying Guide!
Now that the intro’s in the bag, how about we move on to the reviews?
1. Adidas Team Speed Duffel Bag – Overall the Best Gym Bag
One major question all of us ask ourselves when picking out any kind of bag is, “Will all of my stuff actually fit in there”? This might not be much of a concern if you’re mostly focused on weightlifting and all you need is a belt, some straps, gloves and weightlifting shoes. Other gym activities require more and bulkier equipment, so you’ll want a bag that can hold everything and then some. Team Speed is Adidas’ answer to your worries, offering a small universe of space within its seemingly ordinary frame.
This gym bag is practically the definition of roomy – Its smart design offers you many compartments of differing sizes for all of your gym needs. The huge main compartment is where you’ll store the bulkier stuff. On top of it, just below the flap, there’s a convenient pocket ideal for storing your wallet, phone and keys. To the sides, there are two more pockets, one of which is made entirely out of a durable mesh. Perfect for storing sweaty towels and shirts so they don’t mingle with your other stuff and stink it up!
The bag is also superbly balanced. Its strap is both comfortable and adjustable, allowing you to carry even heavy loads comfortably and without strain on your neck. Other than being practical, the bag is also really cool to look at. Depending on which of the many color schemes you choose, it can look sophisticated and subdued, or stand out because of its vivid colors. Either way, expect people to want to find out more about it.
Overall the Team Speed is the best gym bag I’ve tested. It allows you to carry much more than your essential gym supplies wherever you go, and the quality materials the bag is made from will help you keep doing so for well over a decade. Plus, it’s a very attractive piece of kit, and that’s always an upside!
2. Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Duffle Bag – The Best Gym Bag for Men Who Train in all Kinds of Weather
Although the gym is a more or less dry and comfortable place (if you don’t mind all the sweat), getting to it can potentially ruin your experience if you’re a guy who likes to walk or cycle to yours. When it’s raining cats & dogs outside, a run-of-the-mill gym bag might leak and you’d end up with soggy clothes. Not so with this duffel bag from Under Armour!
All of your gym accessories will remain safe from the elements inside of it thanks to an innovative coating called UA Storm. It won’t exactly keep your things bone dry if you chuck the bag into water, but it is still perfect for staving off those pesky droplets on a stormy day.
Its layout is similar to that of the Team Speed – the main compartment is large and, more importantly, tall, so even bulkier items you can’t flatten like a basketball can easily find their place in it. You’ll find two large pockets on the outside. One has a mesh and is very breathable, the other will hold some clean shirts, deodorant and any other smaller items that didn’t quite make it into the bag itself.
Both the sides and the bottom are resistant to wear and won’t tear if you drag the bag along the gym floor a lot. Visually, it’s a nice-looking bag. The Under Armour logo is prominent and blends in nicely with the rest of its design, and the available color combos give you enough options for customization.
With a little bit of care on your end, there’s no reason that the Undeniable II couldn’t be the best gym bag for men you’ve ever had. It’s extremely durable, roomy and will make short work of the elements. Its cost is another appealing factor, and may just seal the deal for you on this useful, good-looking gym bag.
3. adidas Defender II Duffel Bag – The Best Gym Duffel Bag for the Thrifty Athlete
The third bag in the list is another one from Adidas. Dubbed the Defender II, it is slightly less expensive and has a feature or two less than the Team Speed, making it the perfect pick for budget-conscious gym goers, and the best gym duffel bag for that demographic.
Depending on the size you buy, it’s either an excellent small bag you can even use as a carry-on (provided you don’t pack it to the brim), or a large container with ample storage space in its medium and large forms.
A large flap opens up to reveal a high, broad main compartment that ought to hold most of your gym gear. The convenient storage pouch on its flap is here too. A front pocket isn’t present, but the two side pockets make up for this. One of them has been built specifically with shoes in mind and is made from high-grade mesh that allows the shoes to breathe.
I thought that the Team Speed already had a solid batch of colors to choose from, but that’s nothing compared to the diversity the Defender II brings in that segment. A sturdy shoulder strap and the two handles are all generously padded. You can fill the bag up to capacity and still retain excellent grip whichever way you like to carry it.
The Defender II is a textbook example of how even a simple design can give you everything you need and do so even better than an item with more spread-out features. It’s a straightforward gym bag useful for a lot of storage and some basic organization. If durability at a very tempting price is the main focus of your gym bag search, then the Defender is all you really need.
4. Coreal Duffle Bag – The Best Gym Bag with Shoe Compartment
Do you find that most regular-sized gym bags are a bit too big for your needs, but don’t want to give up on a dedicated place for storing your shoes with a smaller model? Provided you were nodding enthusiastically while reading this, Coreal is the company to turn to.
This duffel bag is definitely on the smaller side, and yet it is still the best gym bag with shoe compartment because of its smart design. There are many smaller zipped compartments inside of the main one, giving you a chance to organize all of your smaller essentials neatly and within reach.
The dedicated shoe compartment is this bag’s main selling point though. It is completely separate from the rest of it and does a fine job of keeping their odor away from your other belongings. People with bigger feet might find it has a tight fit, but since the bottom isn’t rigid, a little creative wiggling ought to help put your shoes into place.
All in all this is a purposeful little gym bag you’ll absolutely love if you can’t leave the house without a million little knick-knacks that are “essential” for your gym experience. Given its size, the bag will take care of them, and your shoes afterwards, like a champ!
5. Everest 16-Inch Round Duffel – The Best Small Gym Bag
Most of the bags on the list try to impress you with their large carrying capacity. Sometimes however, that’s not what you really need. Some of us just like to carry a set of light workout clothes and a necessity or two to the gym and an over-sized bag feels pointless for that. If you feel the same way, then Everest’s 16-inch round duffel ought to pique your interest.
Let’s get things straight – this bag doesn’t have room for stuff like boxing gloves or protective knee pads on top of what was mentioned in the first paragraph, and that’s the beauty of it! When using the duffel you get to carefully think about what items you can do without, and what remains will fit snugly inside.
Once you’re done using it for the gym, you can just as easily carry some spare work clothes inside, or a few days’ worth of items needed for a short trip. That’s about as much as its two zipped compartments will allow, and can prove to be more than enough nevertheless.
This is the kind of bag to get when you know what your real needs are. It is the best small gym bag useful for so much more than storing your gym clothes, and when you weigh how well-made it is against its more than attractive price, you’ll recognize it is a bargain to boot!
6. Temperament Counter Canvas Duffle Bag – The Best Gym Bag for Work
Are you an early bird and enjoy doing brisk workouts in the morning? More often than not, this means that your dirty gym clothes have to accompany you to work. Some workplace environment are fussy about their employees’ belongings and an ordinary gym bag might be unseemly there. With the stylish duffel bag from Temperament Counter, you can be perfectly at ease.
I must say that this is one good-looking bag! Its canvas exterior and genuine leather trim give it that original duffel bag feel. Its stitching is excellent, as are the zippers. After some use there’s still no fraying or loose stitching anywhere on it.
Similarly to the bag by Coreal, it relies on well-placed, smaller pockets for better item distribution, and a larger central one for clothes etc. Especially useful are the outer pockets that are convenient for when you have to take out or store smaller items you use all the time.
As a bag that’s as useful as it is likely to get you a compliment from your coworkers, this gym bag is hard to beat. You can easily see and feel the quality and effort put into manufacturing it, and with a little persuasion, soon you won’t be the only person at work sporting one!
7. OGIO Locker Bag – The Best Gym Locker Bag
Don’t you hate it when your preferred gym bag that’s perfect for everything else doesn’t fit into a cramped gym locker? It actually might “fit”, but getting it into that small space can lead to jumbled-up items and creased clothes. OGIO has a solution for you in mind in form of a gym bag designed specifically for lockers.
It is taller than it is wide, mimicking the space you’d find inside a typical gym locker. You’ll need to pack your things with that verticality in mind, but it’s a great thing that you aren’t losing out on any space, just using what you have more effectively. For that reason alone, it’s the best gym locker bag in the guide!
It’s a very breathable bag –its main compartment and a separate one for storing you shoes are connected and have access to fresh air. If you don’t plan on putting your shoes inside it, just remove the shelf and take advantage of the added space.
Speaking of which, space is plentiful inside its pockets too. There’s a protruding outer side pocket meant to store valuables and quick-reach items. On it there’s a mesh you store sweaty clothes in. It is rather small, just big enough for a shirt or two, but that will usually be just fine.
I couldn’t imagine a better bag for situations where the locker is your main obstacle in terms of space. It helps you make optimal use of that space, not letting a square inch of it go to waste. As both a smart and attractive way to get the most out of your locker, this bag is a must-have.
Gym Bag Buyer’s Guide
Those were all pretty good, don’t you think? Hold off on grabbing one for just a bit and make sure you’ve chosen a bag that satisfies all the criteria below:
- Size and Versatility – Your gym-going habits as well as the amount of stuff you feel you need are the biggest factors here. Larger bags are handy to have when you take almost daily trips to the gym, or need more room for bigger items used for your particular sport. Smaller bags are lighter, can double as carry-ons even with strict airlines, and are great as part of a minimalist lifestyle.
- Materials – The most frequently used ones are leather, canvas and synthetic materials like nylon and polyester. Leather is the most expensive and offers great protection from the elements. It requires some maintenance though, otherwise it can become brittle or moldy. Canvas bags offer a good price to performance balance, are sturdy and fashionable, but won’t put up much of a fight against water. Synthetic materials are the cheapest, but advances in their research allow production of sturdier ones over time. They’re also the best when it comes to customization and available color options.
- Compartments – closely tied to the bag’s size, the number of compartments determines how many different types of items you can carry at the same time. The best gym bag doesn’t necessarily need to be chock-full of them – sometimes a single spacious compartment for large items like yoga mats is more important than a separate small pocket for wet socks. Regardless of your preference for the bag’s number of compartments, do make sure that at least one of them is ventilated.