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Man in white shirt and jeans picking up gym bag

15 Best Gym Bags For Every Activity In 2021

When you’re heading to the gym, you need gear. Whether it’s a change of clothes and protein shaker or a set of gloves and lifting straps, you need a gym bag. So, if you’re buying a bag, you might as well get the best gym bag for your money. 

Below we review the top gym bags in all categories – whether you’re a navy seal, swimmer, or an average joe looking to shed some pounds. 

Many of the bags below can also double as travel packs, are nice enough to bring to the office, and you can use them for school. Whatever tickles your fancy. 

With that said, let’s get right to the reviews…

Our Top Picks


Under Armour 3.0 Duffle Gym Bag

Best Overall


The Under Armour duffle bag is a tough, water-resistant, abrasion-resistant gym bag that comes in sizes ranging from x-small to x-large. No matter how much you have to carry and what your style preference is, they have a bag for you. 

Its 100% polyester material with heavy-duty stitching for long-lasting durability. You can toss it around and cram it in a locker a thousand times with no issues. It also has an adjustable padded shoulder strap or you can carry it with the shorter handles if that’s your preference.   

The Under Armour 3.0 also has a mesh pocket on the side, a shoe pocket on the other side, and ample storage in the main compartment. In short, no matter what you need to carry, it can accommodate. 

However, there are some things to be aware of. The small is the perfect size for a gym bag. But with the small, the largest shoe you can cram in there is a size 10. If you wear larger sneakers and the compartment is important to you, then you’ll want to opt for the medium where you can fit a men’s size 12 with room to spare. 

Pros:

  • Tough water-resistant material 
  • Multiple sizes & colors available 
  • Padded shoulder straps 
  • Lots of pockets
  • Side pocket for dirty shoes & wet clothing 

Cons:

  • Does not have a dedicated water bottle holder 
  • The shoe compartment on the small bag can only fit a men’s size 10

WolfWarriorX Gym Bag for Men

Best Large Gym Bag


A perfect gym bag to pack everything you need, the WolfWarrior is a sizable multi-compartment bag with plenty of storage for a variety of venues.

It has a huge 68 L capacity with 4 main loading spaces. Separate side compartments that expand are designed to store your wet clothes and shoes. Zippered pockets can be used to store your iPad and other electronics, and it has a mesh pocket to keep your small items like keys, cards, and other accessories safe and accessible. 

The WolfWarrior is also water-resistant so if you do pack an iPad or simply want to keep your clothes dry, you won’t have to worry about minor spills. And when it does get dirty, a gentle wash or just wiping it with a wet cloth is enough to clean it up.

It’s available in a wide variety of colors and styles with our favorite being the tan and camo versions because they look badass. 

As far as durability goes, it has reinforced handles, the material is tough, and it’s easy to clean. That being said, the zippers could be improved. They’re not terrible but we would love to see some beefy zippers on a bag that’s designed to be rugged. 

Being so large, it’s probably too big if you’re only bringing the normal items to the gym (shoes, clothes, straps, gloves, water, etc.). This is a great bag for sports events, packing items for several people (like kids if you bring them to the gym), and even for travel. If it’s just you and you specifically want it for the gym, it might be too large for everyday items. 

Pros:

  • Huge bag with 4 main zippered sections
  • It has self-healing zippers 
  • Easy to carry with an adjustable reinforced shoulder strap
  • Has an independent shoe compartment that fits almost all size shoes
  • Water-resistant and safe to carry your electronics

Cons:

  • A few users reported the shoe compartment material tearing after just a few months
  • Zippers could be better

Adidas Women’s Sport To Street Tote Bag

Best Women’s Gym Bag


The Adidas Sport To Street has been around and updated for years. At first glance, it looks smaller. But once you open it up, you have a generous main compartment with a variety of smaller pockets to store everything from your keys and phone to makeup and hair products. 

It’s designed for the fashion-forward woman who wants a gym bag that doesn’t necessarily look like a gym bag. This could just as easily be a beach bag or an overnight bag. 

But it really shines for the fit woman at the gym. On the sides, you have two bottle holders for your protein and water. Inside the bag, you can fit a change of clothes, gloves, belt, etc. then within the compartments you can store all of your smaller items. 

There are two things to be aware of though. First, there’s no shoe compartment. Second, it’s a tote so there’s no crossbody strap. These aren’t a big deal if you’re driving to the gym and simply transporting the bag from your trunk to your workout but if you’re riding a bike or running to the gym, then you’ll want a crossbody or backpack style bag. 

For more womens bags, check out our post on the best gym bags for women.

Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good zippers 
  • Lots of pockets 
  • Roomy interior 
  • Doesn’t look like your typical gym bag 
  • The polyester fabric stays clean longer
  • Lightweight 

Cons:

  • No crossbody/shoulder strap 
  • No separate compartment to keep dirty shoes 

Under Armour Adult SC30 Gym Backpack

Best Gym Backpack


Stephen Curry’s SC30 gym backpack is a high-quality water-resistant bag that’s durable in every way. The main compartment is spacious enough to fit in a size 5 soccer ball or an NBA-size basketball and your gym gear. 

Adjustable shoulder straps and foam reinforced panels make it easier to carry even with heavier loads over longer distances. It also has an abrasion-resistant bottom and durable water-resistant fabric so you can toss it around without breaking your stuff or tearing your bag. 

If you take your bag to the office and workout after work, you’ll be happy to know it has a padded 15” laptop sleeve, room for gym clothing, and it can fit your gym shoes (the front zipper pocket can hold up to a size 12 shoe). If you’re the type of person who goes to the gym, the park to play basketball, and school or work and you want a bag for all of these, the SC30 is top-notch. 

For more backpacks, check out our post on the best gym backpacks for men and women.

Pros:

  • Comfortable shoulder straps and foam reinforced panels make it easy to carry and reduce strain on your back
  • Made of strong, durable material
  • Water-resistant 
  • Spacious main compartment that can easily fit a basketball and gym gear
  • Has two side pockets for water bottles

Cons: 

  • Has fewer small compartments
  • The shoe compartment will only fit up to about a size 12 and it will be snug 

Speedo Unisex-Adult Large Teamster

Best Gym Bag For Swimmers


With water-repellent bottom and dedicated wet pocket, the Speedo swim backpack is specially designed for swimmers – but don’t let that deter you. The Teamster works very well as both a workout and work backpack. There’s a padded laptop compartment that can fit a 15” laptop and the bottom of the bag is water repelling so your stuff’s protected even when you set it down next to the pool. 

Within the bag, you have a large, 35L storage compartment with a removable wet bag where you can store your trunks after the swim meet. The best feature? There’s a removable bleacher seat from behind the laptop compartment so you never have to sit on hard wet bleachers again. 

If you’re a water athlete, whether it’s surfing or swim meets, this is the ideal backpack for you.  

For more swim bags, check out our post on the best swim gym bags

Pros:

  • Rubber coated bottom prevents water from being absorbed into your bag
  • A removable wet bag that can fit several bathing suits
  • High-quality zippers 
  • It has a removable stadium seat pad that can be used as a cushion for watching swim meets
  • Shoulder straps are padded and comfortable 
  • Lots of colors and patterns available 
  • 15” padded & raised laptop sleeve 

Cons:

  • You may find it a bit small for fins, floats, board, and larger items like these
  • No dedicated shoe compartment

Cobra Grips Backpack

Best Gym Bag For Bodybuilders


The Cobra Grips Backpack has a unique two-in-one design. It can be your classic duffle bag, or with the adjustable shoulder straps, you can make it into a backpack. It has a large main compartment and a separate, ventilated wet storage section for your dirty gym gear or shoes. You can easily fit a large pair of shoes in here (size 15) no problem. 

The PVC-coated polyester fabric makes this bag ultra-tough and tear/fray resistant. The bottom is reinforced with a board and protected by plastic strips to give the bag shape and keep your valuables from banging on the ground when you put it down. 

One thing that shows the attention to detail is the little red pulls on the zippers that makes them much easier to zip/unzip. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you’re on pre-workout searching for the tiny little zipper handle. Another thing we liked is the top cargo net. The bag is large already but if you need more space, you can stuff your towel under the net and it’s held securely in place. 

Whether you practice bodybuilding, martial arts, or you’re using it for travel, the Cobra Grips bag has what you need. 

If you’re a bodybuilder, check out our post on bodybuilder gym bags

Pros:

  • Large main compartment 
  • A ventilated wet/dry compartment to keep dirty gear separate
  • High-quality zippers, zipping/unzipping made easy with loop holders
  • Wear and tear-resistant material that’s built to last for years of daily use 
  • Multiple pockets and sections for smaller items and water bottles

Cons:

  • The bottle holder is small, may not fit larger bottles but fine for a shaker bottle

Olympia 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag

The Best Rolling Gym Bag


Okay, this isn’t your typical gym bag and we know that. But if you’re in the market for a rolling duffel that works for the gym and travel, the Olympia 8 is a top-notch, affordable option. And while it looks huge, it actually comes in several sizes as small as 22” which works great for a gym bag. 

The Olympia 8 rolling duffle bag has 8 pockets (hence the name). It’s made from a polyester material that’s stain-resistant and durable enough for anyone who travels on a regular basis (especially useful if you fly Spirit or Frontier. I’m convinced they just drag your luggage behind the airplane).

As far as convenience and usability goes, it’s solid. First, it rolls which means it’s easy to move around even with heavier items. Second, it has carry straps so you can hold it like a duffel. And finally, there are small pockets on the top and sides for quick access as well as a larger compartment for your change of clothes and towel. 

While the Olympia 8 isn’t designed for the gym, if you have back problems and can’t carry your bag – or you simply don’t want to – then the rolling bag design is a great option for you. 

Pros:

  • ‘U’ shaped large zip opening for easy access to your stuff
  • Stain and dirt resistant material
  • Sturdy roller wheels and strong handle 
  • It collapses completely for easy storage
  • Lightweight and easy to carry 

Cons:

  • The handle is a bit short; you may have to bend while rolling the bag
  • All the pockets are outside; there are no internal pockets or straps to keep things in place in the main compartment

Travel Duffel Bag for Women

Cutest Gym Bag


If you’re in the mood for a super cute gym bag, this one delivers. It’s made of high-density water-resistant material and has enough space and pockets to keep your dry and wet items separate. It’s also an airplane-friendly travel bag that comes with an integrated trolly sleeve to slide over your luggage handle.

On the outside of the bag, it has adjustable straps so you can carry it as a handbag or you can pull out the longer strap and carry it as a cross-body bag. Inside, it has a padded sleeve that can keep a 15.6-inch laptop completely safe. It also has a zippered pocket for wet items, and the main compartment can accommodate all of the items you need to bring to the gym. 

However, this bag does not have a shoe compartment which is definitely something to keep in mind if you wear separate gym shoes. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight & easy to carry with the hand straps or the detachable shoulder strap 
  • It is made of durable nylon fabric water-resistant material that keeps your stuff dry
  • Spacious main compartment with a separate wet pocket for dirty clothes or toiletries 
  • Very affordable 

Cons:

  • No shoe compartment 

Everest Gym Bag

The Best Budget Bag


The Everest gym bag is a no-frills gym bag that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Starting with the outside, it’s made from 600D polyester which is a super durable, water-resistant polyester. 

It has an exterior pocket for shoes or wet clothes (it’s vented), two smaller front pockets for keys, phone, wallet, etc., and a water bottle holder that can hold a protein shaker or similarly sized bottle. On the other end of the bag, opposite the shoe side, there’s a mesh pocket for lifting straps or whatever you need to put in there. 

In the main compartment, it has a 32L storage capacity which is surprising considering the bag only measures 18 x 11.5 x 10.5 inches. Overall, if you’re on a very tight budget, this is a good gym bag in terms of storage. However, the metal shoulder strap clips are actually a very lightweight, cheap metal. So if you’re loading heavy items into your bag, these are vulnerable points. Several people have reported them breaking.  

Pros:

  • Large main compartment
  • Padded bottle holder comfortably fits a 20 oz water bottle
  • Vented pocket for shoes or dirty clothing
  • Good shoulder strap 
  • Several pockets for smaller items 

Cons:

  • Front mesh pockets do not have an elastic lining 
  • The metal clips on the shoulder strap are made from a cheap lightweight metal

Polare Full Grain Leather Duffel Bag

The Best Leather Bag


If you’re the kind of guy who likes the finer things, the Polare retro duffle bag is right up your alley. It’s made with high-quality natural thick Italian full-grain leather that everyone will admire regardless of the environment.

Being that it’s made from leather, it ages with class. As you beat it up it gets a nice patina that says you’re the kind of guy that does things. On the ends of the bag, there are two zippered pockets that can hold water bottles, gloves, straps, and whatever else you need quick access to. The main compartment is large enough to fit your clothes, shoes, belt, protein powder, etc. 

As far as the overall quality goes, the zippers have had complaints in the past but the company stated that they recently upgraded them to more durable ykk zippers. Also, they upgraded the stitching and handle clasp and it has a 1-year warranty. 

Overall, this bag was designed for travel more than anything but functions well as a gym bag. However, it’s on the pricier side so if you’re looking for something cheaper that you can just beat up and get wet, I’d consider one of the other options on this list. 

For other mens gym bags, check out our post on the best gym bags for men.

Pros:

  • Very classy appearance
  • Upgraded zippers 
  • Soft interior lining and reinforced bottom 
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Ages well 

Cons:

  • Thick leather makes this bag heavier
  • It’s expensive 
  • Not designed to get wet 

OGIO Endurance Duffle Bag

Best Bag For Outdoors Activities


The OGIO Endurance Duffel Bag meets all the requirements for any serious athlete. It’s also on the pricier side for a gym bag but if you’re outdoorsy and need a rugged bag for a variety of activities, it’s worth the investment. 

It has two water bottle compartments, helmet storage, and a crush-resistant lockable armored pocket for your cell phone and glasses. 

On the inside, there’s plenty of storage for your clothes, helmet, lifting gear, and pretty much everything else you need at the gym. Additionally, the outside of the bag is reflective and it has shoulder straps so you can wear it like a backpack which makes it easier to carry heavy items. 

The Ogio also ranks as our top pick as the best bag for martial arts

Pros:

  • Comes in two sizes 
  • Large main compartment 
  • Has ventilated shoe compartment, wet/dry compartment
  • Has lots of smaller internal and external pockets for keys, gear, etc
  • Reflective exterior 
  • Comfortable padded shoulder straps
  • Has hard-sided vault to keep your sunglasses, goggles, or electronics safe 

Cons:

  • Pricey 

King Kong PLUS45 Duffel

Best Medium Bag


King Kong is known for its high-quality bags. And while the price may be deterring, it’s worth the money if you’re serious about the gym. The truth is that many cheap bags aren’t worth even their low price. Considering the quality and durability, we think the PLUS45 is worth the investment. 

Few bags are really designed to carry heavier gear. However, King Kong bags are made for weightlifters who carry heavier items. 

When it comes to storage, the PLUS45 has a large main compartment, multiple exterior pockets, and even dual shoe compartments. The material is super tough and reinforced at all of the most important spots. You won’t tear this bag. 

When loaded down with heavy stuff, it’s still almost effortless to carry. You don’t find that with most over-the-shoulder bags. Overall, you’ll love this bag. If you’ve ever had a cheap gym bag, you’ll immediately notice how much nicer the PLUS45 is when you pick it up. 

Check out our full review of the King Kong PLUS45 bag.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable 
  • Two shoe compartments
  • Plenty of small compartments 
  • Heavy-duty zippers 
  • Large inner compartment 

Cons:

  • On the pricey side

Adidas Team Issue Duffel Bag

Best Small Bag


The Adidas team duffel is a great bag for the gym and weekend getaways. It has a large main compartment with ample storage, outside zipper pockets for smaller items, a mesh side pocket, and a vented shoe pocket for shoes or wet clothing.

On the outside, it has a hydro-shield water-resistant base that prevents the bag from absorbing water when you set it down on damp floors. And as far as durability goes, it’s made of durable hexagon ripstop material and has a padded shoulder strap to make it easy to carry.

For basic everyday gym gear that’s not too heavy, this is a solid choice. It also comes with a lifetime warranty so if anything happens, you can send it back. Which you may have to do because the zippers seem to be a weak point. 

Pros:

  • Lifetime warranty 
  • Vented shoe pocket and multifunctional outside zippered pockets
  • Has hydro-shield water-resistant base
  • Quality zippers with nickel pullers

Cons: 

  • Only one water bottle pouch
  • Zippers aren’t the best 

Waterfly Crossbody Sling Bag 

Top Crossbody Gym Bag


The Waterfly crossbody sling bag is a small bag that’s good for anyone who only needs a few smaller items at the gym. The main compartment can fit a change of clothes and maybe some gloves and lifting straps but that’s about it. 

It also has several separate small compartments that can effectively hold items like makeup, phone, keys, etc. The adjustable shoulder strap and the back of the bag is made of breathable material and it has a water bottle holder on the side. If you need something small and simple, and you don’t carry much, this is an easy choice. 

Pros:

  • Small and easy to carry around or stuff in a locker
  • Small pocket on the chest for your phone 
  • Has two side mesh pouches that can fit your water bottles
  • Adjustable shoulder strap 
  • Lightweight, waterproof, and durable 

Cons:

  • It’s small 

King Kong Junior Gym Bag

Best For CrossFit


King Kong is known for making super tuff gym bags with plenty of storage for anything you need. The King Kong Junior gym bag is no different. It’s designed with CrossFitters in mind but anyone who works out can appreciate this one. On the inside, there’s plenty of space for your clothes, towels, bands, chalk, and other lifting gear. 

On the outside, you have a shoe/wet pocket to store either shoes or wet clothing. You also have a variety of pockets on the outside and ends. On the front of the bag, there are two pockets for smaller items like your phone, keys, wallet, etc. On each end, there are two larger zippered pockets for medium-sized items. Then on the outside of the one end, there’s a mesh pocket for your water bottle. 

The only downside with this bag is the size of the mesh pocket. It can’t hold a larger water bottle like a hydroflask. You’ll have to put that in one of the zippered end pockets which costs you that space. It’s not a deal-breaker but something to keep in mind. 

Overall, this is a super tough military-grade gym bag with plenty of storage for anything you need though. If you’re a CrossFitter with a decent amount of items/clothes, you’ll appreciate this bag.  

For more of our favorite CrossFit bags, check out this post

Pros:

  • Super tough water-resistant material 
  • This bag is 30% smaller than the original King Kong bag, is designed for portability and to fit into lockers
  • Lots of compartments and pockets
  • Has a separate pocket for shoes or wet clothing

Cons:

  • Does not have a separate spot for water bottles

How To Choose a Gym Bag 

two men walking in hallway both holding gym bags

Your gym bag needs to match your style and be functional. A good gym bag should make your life easier with enough space to carry your essentials but also be small enough to fit into a locker or set down next to you when you’re on a machine. Below, we look at the most important factors to consider when you’re buying a new gym bag. 

What To Consider When Buying a Gym Bag

Size

Gym bags are available in a wide range of sizes. When choosing the size, consider all the essential items you need to carry to the gym. Ideally, your gym bag should fit a water bottle, a pair of shoes, workout clothes, a towel, and any other accessories you use at the gym.

A word of caution though, if you buy a gym bag that’s too big, you’ll likely regret it. It’s better to go with a slightly more compact version because it’s easier to carry and doesn’t collapse in on itself if it’s not totally full. 

Compartments & Organization

man with gym bag on table and items spread out around it

Compartments keep your stuff organized and make it easier to grab what you need when you need it. Look for a zippered shoe compartment, space for water bottles, and pockets for quick access to items like keys, phone, etc. Also, if you carry your gadgets, you’ll want a padded compartment to keep them safe.

Material 

The most commonly used materials are:

  • Canvas – Durable but not completely water-resistant and can hold stains if you go with lighter coloring
  • Polyester – Water-resistant, lightweight, and durable
  • Nylon – Water-resistant, lightweight, and durable
  • Leather – Looks stylish but may absorb odors and water 

The choice of material depends on your activities and personal preference. Generally speaking, gym bags are all made from durable materials because they’re designed to be rugged. 

Bottom Line

A gym bag is an essential addition to your workout routine. This is especially true if you go to the gym right before/after work, you do martial arts, or you like to bring your own equipment. 

The bags above are all solid choices. Some are better than others though. If you’re a serious lifter, then the King Kong bags are our top choice as the best gym bags. They’re very high quality and, while they’re somewhat pricey for a gym bag, they’re not out of range for most people. When you consider durability and attention to detail, we think it’s a great value. 

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