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Anyone who starts or ends their day with a stint at the gym or a workout class will tell you that it’s one of the best parts of their day. But even the purest of endorphins can’t offset the worst part of exercising: getting there, getting back, and toting around all the stuff you need with you—particularly if you’re heading to the office right after your workout of choice, or vice versa. Do you shove your sweaty gym clothes to the bottom of your briefcase? Tie your running shoes around your backpack strap so you don’t forget them? Pile things into the canvas tote you usually use for groceries, and smush the bananas you forgot in there?
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: A gym bag to use in addition to—or instead of—your work bag. These top-rated catchalls will help you schlep your stuff to and from the gym in style and comfort.
1. A bulk-free, all-purpose bag
The Adidas Diablo is consistently one of Amazon’s top-selling sports bags. It’s compact—small enough to count as an airline “personal item,” according to some reviewers—but fits more than it seems; has a wide zippered opening that makes packing and unpacking easy; and comes in a wide range of colors such as pink, blue, and yellow, in addition to classic black. All in all, reviewers think it’s a stellar choice for gym sessions, sports practice, and everything in between.
Writes a reviewer: “I can throw in a pair of sneakers, a towel, yoga pants, tank top, a sports bra, a couple water bottles, and there’s still room for more. I also love the cross-body strap for when I want to be hands-free without a lot of bulk.”
2. The bag for when you have a lot of stuff
If you need a bag that does it all, the top-rated Under Armour Undeniable III is for you. It has a sneaker compartment, a separate space for dirty laundry, and ample room for snacks and a water bottle. It also comes in a range of sizes from XS to XL, but most reviewers recommend the small or medium sizes.
“[The medium size is] huge but it folds like an accordion so I have no problem fitting it into my YMCA locker,” writes a reviewer. “Room for everything and then some…This is the only bag I’ve found that has a separate compartment big enough to fit my shoes without taking up a bunch of space in the interior of my bag. Other gym rats are jealous.”
3. A bag that helps you stay on-trend
For a gym bag that moonlights as a great weekend getaway carryall, get Herschel’s classic duffel. It has a sturdy canvas exterior, a removable padded shoulder strap, a shoe compartment that can be folded away when not in use, and a red-and-white interior that provides a nice pop of color when you peek inside. It also has a lot of options for exterior colors and patterns, like black, gray, yellow, camo, and more. Reviewers love the bag’s versatility and long-lasting quality that differentiate it from other brands.
“I tried to buy a knock-off version that was $50 to $60 cheaper and I returned it and picked up the real thing,” writes a reviewer. “I use it for the gym, mainly. I can get all of my work items in there and gym clothes and a towel. The shoe compartment is a nice added benefit.”
4. A gym bag that fits in at the office
This Lululemon bag has the look of a work-appropriate tote with all the functionality of an all-purpose gym sack. Reviewers love all that the bag has to offer, including a strap that holds a yoga mat, two external water bottle holders, and an internal pouch for an up-to-15-inch laptop.
“Perfect for my work commute,” writes a reviewer. “Fits my gym clothes and lunch and the water bottle holders are very handy. Love the look of the bag and the material is great in wet weather conditions.”
5. The bag that helps you keep it all on your back
If you prefer a backpack for your workout gear, try this Mounteeno pack. It has a zippered bottom compartment for shoes, two mesh side pockets for water bottles, and a small interior pocket for your wallet, keys, and cell phone. It’s also made of a thin, lightweight yet durable nylon that makes it easy to fold up when it’s not in use, or throw in the wash when it’s been used too much.
“I really love this bag! It is big and has space for all the stuff I carry to the gym,” writes a reviewer. “Inside, there are quite a few pockets that can help to organize all my stuff, including an area dedicated for a cellphone or [wallet]. [When empty] it weighs so [little] that I even can’t feel anything when I fold it up. I can’t recommend enough.”
6. A bag that lets everyone know why you’re really at the gym
Sometimes, it’s hard to motivate yourself to work out. On those days, you need a reminder of what’s waiting for you on the other side of a long treadmill jog or a hard cycling class—perhaps tacos? This bag from Bando declares your true inspiration. It also has two side pockets and an eyelet that allows you to thread earbuds or headphones through and makes it as functional as it is fun.
“This thing fits a LOT. I have a pair of boxing gloves, a gigantic water bottle, hand and knee wraps, a change of clothes, a microfiber towel, deodorant, and face lotion in there, and it all fits easily,” writes a reviewer. “The fabric is sturdy and well sewn, and all the fastenings are metal rather than plastic, so it should last a while. Plus, it’s cute! Can’t beat it for the price.”
7. The bag that has something for everyone
Not sure if you need a backpack or duffel-style gym bag? Get both in one package with the G4Free, which has adjustable and removable shoulder straps that allow you to switch back and forth based on your needs. It also has the gym-bag requisites of a shoe compartment and a side pocket for your water bottle.
“[This bag] holds everything I need to work out or run,” writes a reviewer. “The backpack straps and the sturdy handle at the top are the super features on this bag. There are plenty of bags that can hold this much stuff but few seem to give you the option of switching from shoulder strap to backpack straps. The bag also has just the right balance between being too flimsy and too stiff. For me, it is just the right size.”
8. The bag that makes fitness feel fashionable
This sleek backpack was designed for office-to-gym commutes, which makes it a favorite among Lululemon customers. Reviewers love its slim design, expandable compartment at the base for sweaty gear, and an easy-to-reach side pocket for things like phones, wallets, and keys. It also comes in a range of colors sure to suit anyone’s taste, from light pink to silver to plain black.
Writes a reviewer: “My commute includes a half-mile walk to and from my car each day, so carrying a purse, gym bag, lunch bag, etc. was just getting to be too much. Everything I need for the day fits easily, and the mesh pocket inside is perfect for all the little items I would normally keep in a purse. But the features that really sold me were the separate laptop and shoe zipper pockets. The laptop pocket fits my 15-inch MacBook Pro perfectly, and I can fit my gym shoes in the shoe pocket with no issues—it’s so nice to keep them separate from all of my other gear.”
9. The bag that’ll make you the envy of your yoga studio
Amazon reviewers are obsessed with this yoga duffel because of its spacious interior, which holds a mat and a combination of yoga accessories like blocks, towels, straps, and water bottles. But its exterior, which comes in a range of fun, colorful patterns, doesn’t hurt, either.
“I ended up buying two of these bags in different patterns for my mom and sister’s Christmas gifts and filled them with various yoga-related accessories,” writes a reviewer. “They love them, and when they took them to their class, everyone loved them just as much and wondered where they had gotten such unique bags. I love that the interior holds so much stuff—full-size mat, towel, two blocks, strap, keys, phone… there’s nothing out there quite like it!”
10. The bag that does it all, and then some
This backpack-duffel hybrid has all the components of a great gym bag: ample space for gym clothes and toiletries, a sturdy loop at the top that makes it easy to hang on a locker hook and, of course, a separate compartment for sweaty gear or clothes. It’s also stylish enough to use as a bag for a weekend trip.
Writes a reviewer: “I needed something that could hold a change of clothes plus two pairs of shoes, and this is perfect. I live in Minnesota, so bulky clothes and boots also need to nicely fit, which they absolutely do.”
11. The bag that helps you keep it all together
This mid-sized bag has the look and functionality of a luxury bag at a bargain price. Reviewers love its many pockets, loop at the top to hold a yoga mat securely, venting holes to prevent sweaty clothes from stewing, and that it can hold everything you might expect in a gym bag—plus a little more.
“The price is the best thing, but I can keep two blocks, my knee pads, my yoga clothes and put my mat on the top,” writes a reviewer. “It works great for me, plus the side pockets are great, one for keys, one for the phone.”
12. The one for the minimalist yogi
If your main fitness transport concern is bringing a yoga mat to and from class, you may want a bag that fulfills only that purpose. This one has a large section that can hold most sizes of yoga mats, and a separate smaller pocket on the opposite side to balance out the weight and hold a water bottle and towel. Reviewers love that it has one wide strap that makes throwing it over your shoulder easy and comfortable.
“This bag is awesome,” writes a reviewer. “I always felt like I was moving into my yoga class with all the things I would carry in; water, keys, phone, wallet, towel and mat. This bag holds them all and with plenty of space left over. The bag is well made for the price—you honestly can’t beat it. I love it most because I can pack it all up and just leave it that way; it is always ready for me to grab and head out the door.”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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