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The Best Gym Bags to Buy Now

October 6, 2017 Buying Guides By Photo by Joshua + Vela

Last updated October, 2017.

If every personal trainer on Earth could agree on one thing, it would be this: be more deliberate about your fitness regimen. Plan a gym schedule. Count your calories. Jot down your reps. It’s all for the sake of fostering self-motivation. This clear-headed wisdom applies to gym gear, too. Buy better clothes and equipment, and you will feel obliged — excited, even — to use them. A great gym bag that’s perfectly suited to your unique taste and fitness goals just might be the nudge you need. Here are the twenty best gym bags to buy now, spanning a wide spectrum of uses and budgets.

Additional Contributions by Michael Finn, Tanner Bowden, Ted Jamison and AJ Powell.

Editor’s Picks

Topo Designs Classic Duffle

Best All-Around Gym Bag: Topo Designs is known for pairing simple design elements with bold colorways to set off any ensemble, even your gym shorts. The Classic Duffel makes for an ideal gym bag with a tough exterior made from durable Cordura fabric and a seat belt strap material for its handles. The inside of the bag, however, features a pack cloth liner for your softer goods to rest after the workout.

Aer Gym Duffel 2

Our Pick: We chose Aer’s Gym Duffel 2 for its excellent organizational features, rugged construction, versatility and, perhaps biggest of all, its confident, urban-commuter styling. It’s right in the sweet spot for 90 percent of gym-goers and an excellent choice for style-conscious frequent fliers, too. Buy it now at the Gear Patrol Store.

The Ultimate Gym Bag

Everything you need to get in the best shape of your life. Read the Story

Other Notable Options

JOSHU+VELA Small Duffel

Best Natural Canvas Gym Bag: JOSHU+VELA is known not for fitness gear, but for premium, natural canvas and leather lifestyle bags. The Small Duffel‘s hardy canvas construction, complete with American bridle leather straps and hand-set copper rivets, is both cosmetic and functional: it’s strong enough to be crammed into a locker, yet handsome enough for a first-class cabin.

Adidas X 17.1 Team Bag

Best Gym Bag for Team Sports: The X 17.1 Team Bag has all the standard gym bag features: big main compartment, ventilated shoe compartment, various pockets. What makes it a team sports bag, though, is its overall aesthetic. It feels right at home plopped down on astroturf sidelines. (Which explains why it’s popular among soccer players.)

Lululemon Para Duffel

Best Gym Bag for Urban Commuting: To some extent, Lululemon has always been identified with an urban, sleek aesthetic. That sleekness is exemplified by the Para Duffel, which has all the essential elements of a proper gym bag, plus stowaway backpack shoulder straps (good for biking or running), and, of course, that unmistakable Lululemon look.

Under Armour Packable Duffel Bag

Best Packable Gym Bag: Maybe you’re traveling, or maybe you prefer to keep your gym bag separate (and stashed within) your everyday bag. If so, Under Armour’s Packable Duffel Bag is for you. It packs down to about the size of a spiral-bound notebook, repels water and allows stinky gear to breathe.


Best Gym Bag for Brutal CrossFit Sessions: GORUCK is known for their tough, American-made bags and clothing. The founder spent time in the Special Forces, and his experience working with necessary durability is relayed in this 32-liter Bag. The Kit Bag is your choice if you’re looking for a big, durable, no-nonsense hauler that’ll hold a large amount of equipment. And, as an added bonus, each purchase helps fund the company’s leadership-building events and expeditions.

5.11 Tactical NBT Mike Duffel

Best Tactical Gym Bag: Suitable for both the gym and the gun range, the NBT Mike Duffel takes a tactical-inspired approach to the duffel. This highly functional bag features internal compression straps and a removable toiletry kit/organizer. It’s all wrapped up in tear-proof nylon composite material.

The Segment by Mission Workshop

Best Modular Gym Bag: On its own, the Segment duffel is a perfectly sized daily carry bag. But if you demand more, Mission Workshop‘s signature modular system will accept a wide array of peripheral attachments. The Segment is also waterproof, guaranteed forever and entirely handmade in San Francisco.

Patagonia Arbor Duffel

Best Retro-Style Gym Bag: When designing its gym bag, Patagonia took inspiration from its clean and simple climbing equipment. Rugged and field-ready, the Arbor is water repellent with a large U-shaped opening into its main compartment where you’ll find plenty of internal pockets for storage.

DSPTCH Gym/Work Bag

Best Multi-Purpose Gym Bag: The DSPTCH Gym/Work Bag has the versatility of a Swiss Army knife, the dependability of a Ford pickup and styling that Jason Statham could get behind. The bag consists of a laptop and tablet compartment, a wet/dry pouch and a hidden security pocket on the bottom of the bag.

Datsusara Gear Bag Mini

Best Organizational Gym Bag: If you enjoy the tactical look of GORUCK’s Kit Bag but need more organizational features, the Datsusara Gear Bag Mini is a great choice. It’s constructed from anti-microbial, breathable, durable and eco-friendly hemp so your bag won’t get stinky.

OGIO X-Train 2 Backpack

Best Gym-Ready Backpack: Not everyone is the duffel type. For those thinking outside the cylinder, we bring you the OGIO X-Train 2. With all of the space and features of a gym duffel, the X-Train 2 defies expectations, with a compartment for a hydration bladder, a dedicated shoe compartment, a crush-resistant valuables pocket and a removable helmet-carry.

Best Made Co. Bonded Canvas Gear Bag

Best Gym Bag for Stylish Gentlemen: This bag isn’t only for the gym, and its price reflects that. A heavy, bonded canvas exterior, water-repellent core and non-fraying technical webbing put it into consideration as an adventure grab-bag; lug it from the barbells to the deer stand to the office and know that it will never wear out.

The Ultimate Gym Bag

Everything you need to get in the best shape of your life. Read the Story

Herschel Studio Coast Duffel

Best Roll-Top Gym Bag: Made of tarpaulin (a rubber-like canvas that resists water) and complete with a watertight roll-top closure, the Studio Coast Duffel is a big and burly gear hauler that’ll withstand years of abuse. It’ll also withstand style haters; its all-black, subdued look displays the kind of quiet confidence that all urban things should have.

Carhartt Legacy Gear Bag 20-Inch

Best Workwear-Inspired Gym Bag: If you don’t consider the words sleek or urban as legitimate selling points, then the Legacy Gear Bag is for you. It’s built much like Carhartt’s overalls: simple, timeless, nearly indestructible, no BS. It comes in three sizes (20, 23 and 30 inches) and three colors (black, tan and Realtree camouflage.)

Nike Vapor Max Air Bag

Best Gym Bag for Average Gym Rats: There’s not much to say about the Vapor Max Air Bag, other than the fact that it’s Nike. And that’s exactly what makes it so great: it’s simple (no more than a few pockets), light and inexpensive. It will satisfy the needs of most dumbbell pumpers and treadmill runners.

The North Face Apex Gym Duffel

Best Gym Bag for Weekend Warriors: The Apex Gym Duffel is another wonderfully simple gear hauler. It has only a few pockets, a rugged underbelly, convenient strap options and more. But, being a bag from The North Face, and because of its burly 45-liter capacity, it’s not hard to imagine this duffel at the base of a crag or in the cargo hold of an airplane.

Defy Cargo Hold Tote

Best Gym Tote Bag: What qualifies a gym bag? Duffel shape, shoulder strap, shoe compartment, technical pockets? To hell with that worn-out logic. Tote bags are as simple as it gets. Defy’s Cargo Hold Tote is free of all frivolousness; in essence, it’s just one giant pocket made of heavy-duty waxed canvas. Good luck breaking it.

6 Pack Fitness Beast Duffel

Best Gym Bag for Meal Planners: The Beast Duffel is a rugged bag that, as its name implies, holds up to six meals (it comes with reusable containers), along with your shoes, water bottles and whatever else you can stuff into the main compartment.