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12 Of The Best Gym Backpacks In The World (2021 For Men & Women)

Do you even lift? With these gym backpacks, nobody will ever question that again. We’ve put together a list of the 12 best gym backpacks for everyone so no matter what you need, there’s a backpack that’s exactly what you’re looking for. 

Most of these backpacks also work for both the gym and as everyday bags you can use for work or school. They’re ultra-comfortable, easy to carry, and almost all of them come in both men and women’s color options. So without further ado, let’s check out the best gym backpacks for men and women.

Our top 3 picks for the best gym backpacks


Our Top Pick

Under Armor SC30


Editors Choice

Under Armor Hustle 3.0


Best Value

Amazon Basics

The 12 Best Gym Backpacks For Men & Women Reviewed

Under Armor SC30 Backpack


As an athlete, you'll be happy to know that this is the Stephen Curry signature backpack.

It's designed to be an all-around sports enthusiast backpack that can accommodate everything from a basketball to gym clothing and everything in between. But don't let the utilitarian functionality fool you.

It has extra comfortable padded shoulder straps, it's made from a breathable material, features a dedicated laptop pocket, and foam reinforcement throughout the interior of the backpack.

The SC30 is ideal for someone who goes to the gym either before or after work and needs plenty of space to carry more than just gym clothes.

So if you’re someone who both exercises at the gym but also does outdoor activities and/or takes your bag to work or school, you’ll get plenty of use from this bag. 

It comes in multiple styles, has tons of storage including two outer pockets for water bottles, and opens from the top so you can fit all kinds of gear into it. 

At the time of this writing, it comes in black, blue, grey, and red. Basically, all colors are unisex friendly so it works equally well for both men and women.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Two drink holders on either side
  • Unique top opening that makes getting things in and out very easy
  • Stephen Curry’s signature design

See more by Under Armor >>


  • 100% polyester
  • Machine washable
  • Water-resistant
  • Padded laptop pocket

Adidas Excel III Backpack


If you need an extra-large gym bag for carrying many things, the Adidas Excel backpack is going to be your new best friend. It's big enough to carry pretty much anything you need for the gym and it can work equally well as a school or commuter backpack. 

It has four outer pockets that are easy to access so you can toss your keys, wallet, phone, and other random accessories into any pocket without losing them. It also features two water bottle pockets on the outside so you can carry your protein shaker and water without risking them spilling on your clothes. 

With all that stuff in your backpack, you might think it's going to feel super heavy.

Fortunately, Adidas has designed spring-loaded straps that function like the shocks on a bike. They absorb a lot of the pressure that comes from walking so the backpack feels much lighter than it actually is.

It’s also offered in more designs than you can shake a stick at so there’s plenty of options for both men and women. 

What makes this Adidas gym backpack special?

  • Lifetime warranty on the bag
  • Padded laptop pocket
  • XL size and spring-loaded comfort straps

See more by Adidas >>


  • 100% polyester
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Many colors to choose from
  • 13 x 20.5 x 14.5 Inches

Under Armor Hustle 3.0


The hustle 3.0 backpack is just another reason Under Armour is such a great brand. 

The new hustle 3.0 includes a bottom pocket that specifically designed to fit your shoes or dirty gym clothes. This makes it a great backpack for anyone who needs to carry a pair of gym shoes or who showers and gets ready at the gym before going to work. After all, none of us like to mix our dirty clothes and shoes in with the rest of our stuff.

While it's not as big as some of the other gym backpacks, there's still plenty of room for a change of clothes, shoes, weight lifting belt, straps, and all the other stuff that you would need to bring to the gym. 

When it comes to pockets, there are two water bottle pockets on the outside so you can carry both your water bottle and protein shaker.

On the top of the UA hustle, there’s a padded quick access pocket for your keys and cell phone and the inside features two main compartments for your clothes and gear. This is a great bag for the gym, school or work and, at the time of this writing, it’s offered in tons of men and women colors. 

Overall, if you want a simple well-designed gym bag, you can't go wrong with the Under Armour 3.0.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Padded valuables pocket on the top
  • Unique bottom pocket for shoes and dirty gym clothes

See more by Under Armor >>


  • 100% polyester
  • Water-resistant 
  • Padded laptop pocket
  • 9.3 x 13.6 x 18.9 Inches

Nike Brasilia Backpack


The Nike Brasilia backpack is perfect for the gym-goer that doesn't need a whole lot. If you want a small backpack to carry a change of clothes and toss your keys in, this is a great choice.

It's designed to be a very simple and discreet backpack that doesn’t draw attention. It’s offered in multiple single-color designs, features a large Nike check on the outside, and it's about as clean as they come.  

The simple design is actually what we really appreciate about this backpack. It’s a perfect bag to toss in your trunk for a spur-of-the-moment workout, or an easy bag that you could bring to and from the office.

As far as the actual storage goes, it is not large enough for school books but you can easily fit your shoes and a change of clothes inside as well as your water and protein in the outer mesh pockets.  

Overall, if you want a nice, well-built bag you can keep packed and grab on the go, the Brasilia is there for you.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Simple and discrete design
  • Small enough for the fitness buff that wants a bag to grab and go

See more by Nike >>


  • 100% polyester
  • Water-resistant coating
  • Laptop pocket
  • 18 x 12 inches

Speedo Ventilator Mesh Backpack


Do you like to go swimming at the gym? If so you're going to love the Speedo mesh gym bag. It's designed for the person who swims and works out at the gym so the backpack is made from mesh and designed to dry quickly.

It’s built similar to other drawstring bags except for the fact that it has built-in shoulder straps allowing it to be worn like a backpack. It's made from durable material that can last for many years of regular use, it's super lightweight, and you can pretty much take it anywhere you want. 

This definitely isn’t a work backpack but it does work as a bag that you can bring to the beach, family events, festivals, and the gym. If you attend the gym to go swimming on a regular basis, this might become your new go-to backpack.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Made from a quick-drying mesh
  • Ideal for those who swim at the gym pool

See more by ​Speedo >>


  • 100% polyester
  • Open weave mesh material
  • 33 Liter capacity 
  • 12.9 x 7.7 inches

Amazon Basics Sports Backpack


Want a gym backpack that doubles for work, travel, and school? This Amazon Basics backpack does just that.

Now, you’re probably thinking that this looks more like a school backpack than a gym backpack. You’re right. But, it also has features like a separate bottom pocket for gym shoes or dirty clothes that also make this a great gym backpack.

This bag is ideal for anyone who uses their backpack for more than one purpose. For example, if you bring a backpack when you travel, to work, or bring your laptop and work materials to the coffee shop then it’s going to work well for you.

You can easily swap your gym clothes for a laptop and some notebooks or you can bring both because there’s plenty of room. 

When it comes to transporting gym gear, it has two mesh pockets on the outside that can hold your protein and water. There’s also the separate bottom shoe pocket, two large compartments for your gym gear, and on the outside, there’s a front zippered quick-access pocket for your keys and phone. 

Basically, you can bring anything you would need for your trip to the gym and even a laptop and work materials if you’re headed to the office. 

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Separate shoe compartment in the bottom of the bag
  • 1-year warranty
  • Doubles as a backpack for hiking, weekend trips, or school

See more by Amazon Basics >>


  • 100% polyester
  • Laptop sleeve inside
  • Abrasion-resistant bottom
  • 18.8 x 8.3 x 13 inches

Nike Sport III


The Nike Sport III is a unique, top mouth style gym bag that works equally well for school, sports, and trips to the office. It has an internal divider that gives you two large compartments that you can use for clothing and equipment. 

There's one mesh bottle holder on the side so if you need to bring more than one bottle, you'll have to put it inside of the bag. We like the separate zippered pocket on the bottom that’s designed for dirty gym clothes or shoes and it’s made from a different coated fabric that gives the backpack a unique look.

If you desire an abundance of storage, it’s important to note that this backpack doesn’t have as many pockets as some of the others. There’s no pocket on the top because of the foldable design and there are limited pockets inside. However, if you're only carrying gym clothes and equipment, or basic daily materials like a laptop, notebook, pens, etc. then it works great.

Overall this is a stylish gym backpack with plenty of room to accommodate clothing, shoes, and gym accessories.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Foldable top which gives the bag a unique appearance.
  • Separate shoe compartment in the bottom which is also padded for extra protection.
  • Works for the gym, sports, and as an everyday bag.

See more by Nike >>


  • 100% polyester
  • 20 x 15 inches 
  • Bottom is a different, abrasion-resistant material
  • Padded laptop pocket

Outlander Ultra Light


If you’re searching for a super affordable gym backpack that you can take anywhere, you’ll love the Outlander. The Outlander Ultra Light is made from a durable water-resistant parachute-like nylon material. It weighs less than 0.5 lbs and folds up into a little pouch that you can clip on your belt if you want. 

It’s so compact that you can literally fold it up into its pouch and clip it onto another backpack for extra space when you take trips or go hiking. It’s ideal if you often travel and deal with overweight bags because you can just unfold the backpack and use it for your carry on items. 

The main benefit of the Outlander as a gym bag is that it’s affordable, comes in several sizes, and it’s super lightweight. You can easily fit your clothes and gear in the bag and head out. However, I would never use this as a work bag or put delicate things like a laptop in it because there’s no padding. 

Overall, if you want an easy gym bag that you can take almost anywhere, the Outlander is a great bag.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Super lightweight and it folds up into a little zippered pocket.
  • Affordably priced at the time of this writing.

See more by ​Outlander >>


  • 0.46 lbs
  • Water and tear-resistant nylon 
  • 20 L and 33 L sizes
  • Multiple color options

MIER Gym Backpack


So, it’s not the trendiest gym backpack we’ve ever seen but don’t let that detour you. The MIER gym backpack is well thought out and loaded with storage options. 

It features a separate front pocket that’s large enough to fit a basketball or your shoes and dirty laundry. The pocket is separated from the rest of the bag by a water-resistant nylon that means you can carry wet clothes in the pouch without fear of ruining your other stuff. 

Inside the bag, there are more pockets than Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”  jacket. It has pockets for your phone, keys, pre-workout, and more.

It also has a drink holder on one side and another decent sized pocket on the other side (obviously for protein bars). The generous use of pockets, as well as the two padded laptop pockets inside, makes this a good backpack for the gym as well as school and work. 

Overall, this is a top-notch, highly functional gym backpack. And if you can get past the somewhat flat aesthetics, it's one that has everything you need. 

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Separate front-facing mesh pocket for dirty gym gear and shoes
  • Two padded laptop pockets for up to 17” laptops

See more by MIER >>


  • Padded, water-resistant bottom
  • 20.9 x 14.2 x 8.3 inches 
  • 40 L capacity
  • Lots of pockets inside 

The North Face Recon Backpack


Who doesn’t love The North Face right? They’re known to produce quality items that last a lifetime and this Recon backpack is no different. First, it comes in MANY colors and styles so you’re definitely going to find one you like. Second, it’s a great looking bag that you’d be happy to use at the gym, work, school, or for travel. 

It comes with a lifetime warranty so you never have to buy a new gym backpack either. 

But who’s this bag really for? 

This is a bag for the guy or gal that likes to hit the gym and do other stuff. It has enough space to accommodate shoes, several pairs of clothes, a towel, and your gym gear. On the outside, there are several zippered quick-access pockets, and water bottle holders on both sides. Basically, it can hold everything and work for any activity. 

However, this isn’t a bag for someone who often gets their bag wet. It’s made from recycled polyester material so it has some water resistance but very little. In other words, you wouldn’t want to put wet swim trunks in the bag next to your laptop. However, if you’re not swimming at the gym (or you have a plastic bag for your wet clothes) you can’t go wrong with The North Face Recon gym backpack.

There’s also a women’s version of the backpack on Amazon here.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Made from recycled material
  • Lifetime warranty

See more by The North Face >>


  • Recycled polyester material 
  • 30 L capacity 
  • 19.2 x 14 x 9.5 inches 

Speedo Teamster Backpack


If you need a durable bag that’s good for wet and dry activities, look no further than the Speedo Teamster Backpack. It has an extra-large 35 Liter capacity that’s big enough to fit your clothes, towel, shoes, and pretty much anything else you could need at the gym. 

It also comes in many colors that make this a good daytime or travel backpack as well. It doesn’t scream “only for gym use” if you know what I mean. 

There are tons of pockets for storage both inside and out. On the outside, there are multiple zippered pockets including a front pocket for your phone and keys, a side pocket for protein bars, another side pocket for your water, and a larger zippered pocket for your wet clothes.

Inside, there’s a raised and padded laptop pocket, large storage pocket, and even a removable foam sitting pad for those times when you need a more comfortable seat. 

Overall, we really like this bag for its universal utility, style, and durability. It’s a high-quality gym backpack anyone would be happy to own.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Includes a pad for more comfortable bleacher seating
  • Designed for swimmers and people who swim for part of their workout
  • Includes a removable dirty bag for wet clothes

See more by Speedo >>


  • 91% polyester / 9% Nylon
  • Padded laptop sleeve for up to 15” laptops
  • 15 x 6 x 20 inches 
  • 2.3 lbs 

King Kong Backpack II


The King Kong II is one of the coolest gym backpacks from a design perspective. It carries and fits just like a normal backpack but they’ve included this extra-long zipper around the entire side so it opens like a suitcase.

This gives you easy access to all of your gym gear and without having to remove everything from the bag. However, you can also open it from the top if you need quick access to something. 

Inside, there’s a padded laptop pocket and three internal pockets so you can keep everything separate. On the outside, there’s a separate compartment for your shoes or even a lunchbox if preferred. On the top of the bag, there’s a padded quick access pocket for your phone and keys and there are two additional pockets for your water bottle and protein shaker. 

In short, this bag has been designed specifically for the avid gym-goer but works equally well as an everyday bag for the digital nomad.

What makes this gym backpack special?

  • Features a laptop pocket for the digital nomad that works out
  • Opens like luggage and provides easy access to everything in the bag
  • External shoe compartment

See more by King Kong >>


  • Military-grade nylon material
  • Padded laptop pocket
  • Water-resistant
  • 22.8 x 13.4 inches
  • Padded foam top pocket for cell phone and keys
  • Headphone outlet for wired earbuds

Our Top Choice For Women 

Our top pick for the best gym backpack for women is a toss-up. We really like the Under Armor Hustle 3.0 and The North Face Recon for women. It comes down to what you’re going to do with your backpack. If you want something for everyday wear that looks like a normal backpack, the Recon is it. If you want a gym backpack with a separate bottom compartment that’s designed for the gym but ALSO works for everyday use, the Hustle 3.0 is it. 

Both backpacks feature ample storage, come in tons of styles, and they’re from reputable brands so you can’t go wrong with either choice. 

Our Top Choice For Men

Our top choice for men is the Under Armor SC30 backpack. It’s sleek design, abundant storage, and separate shoe/dirty clothing compartment make this our favorite gym backpack for men. Plus, it’s designed by Stephen Curry with athletes in mind. 

Who needs a gym backpack? 

The short and sweet answer to this question is anyone that goes to the gym. But not every gym-goer actually needs a gym backpack or duffel bag. Really, the backpack is for those who go to the gym on a regular basis and need to bring things with them.

This can be someone who goes from work to the gym and needs to bring a change of clothes. or maybe you are a serious weightlifter and you need a backpack that can accommodate your protein shaker, pre-workout, change of clothes, shoes, lifting belt, gloves, and all of your other training supplies.

Whether you go to the gym after work, or your work is the gym, a good backpack provides a comfortable way to bring all of your stuff with you. It's easy to toss in the locker, many of them have separate shoe compartment, and you can pretty much fit anything you need in it.

A gym backpack can also double as a normal backpack. If you want to go for a hike it's great to have with you. It also works equally well if you want to toss your laptop in the bag and head to the local Starbucks to get some work done. The point is that a gym backpack can be used for anything by anyone. It doesn't have to be exclusively for the gym but it makes your gym visits a lot more convenient. 

Backpacks Vs duffels and other gym bags 

The primary differences between a gym backpack and a gym duffel are the way they’re carried and the storage compartments. A gym backpack offers the most comfortable carrying. You can load your backpack with tons of stuff, make it heavy, and then equally distribute the weight across your shoulders making it far more comfortable to carry, especially for long periods of time. 

A backpack generally has lots of smaller zippered pockets, outer pockets for water and protein shakers, and two large main compartments for your stuff. A duffel on the other hand usually only has one large internal compartment and limited smaller pockets. 

Both the backpack and duffel bag work very well for the gym. However, if you want a bag you can multipurpose for work, school, travel, and the gym, we recommend using a gym backpack. 

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