10 Best Gym Bags Tested & Fully Reviewed
While purchasing one of the best gym bags will make the perfect gift for either you or your loved one, we know it can be hard to pick. When choosing the right gym bag make sure to pick one with the right storage capabilities, features, and that best fits your durability needs.
If you know you are going to be using your gym bag every day, then you will want to make sure you pick one that will last you long term.
Check out the best gym bags currently available below!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Lots of storage
3 different sizes to choose from
Separate compartment for dirty clothes or shoes
Removable, padded shoulder strap
Top 10 Best Gym Bags
1. Adidas Defender III
Lots of storage
3 different sizes to choose from
Separate compartment for dirty clothes or shoes
Removable, padded shoulder strap
Even the smallest size may be too big for some
If you want a gym bag with ample storage space then, the Adidas Defender III gym bag is the way to go. It is one of the best out there and comes in lots of colors and patterns to choose from.Read more
This gym bag is made of 100% polyester, so it is definitely durable and built to last. It uses FreshPak tech to prevent bacteria from building up as well as from developing any odors.
The bag comes in a small, medium, or large option--but keep in mind that it comes larger than expected, I actually have a medium and have more than enough room for my lifting belt, lifters, trainers, change of clothes, and lots of other workout accessories that I like to carry with me at all times.
A little pricey depending on the size and color or pattern you get. However, the price is comparable to other athletic brands, which is expensive when compared to less popular brands.
The bag also uses ripstop material, which makes it much more durable as well. The shoulder pad is cushioned for comfort, although you can remove it if you would like. It also has a mesh pocket for any items you want to remain in a breathable compartment.
The 2 end pockets are zippered for secure storage, one of which is made of mesh. There is also an additional side pocket to quickly stash some stuff--that's typically where I throw my keys and phone when I get to my box.
2. Under Armour Storm Undeniable II
Vented main compartment
Padded top handle
Padded shoulder strap
5 colors available
Abrasion-resistant bottom and side panels
Shoulder strap not removable
If you need a gym bag that can withstand the elements as well as wear and tear, the Under Armour Storm Undeniable II Duffel is a great choice.Read more
Made of 100% polyester, a water-resistant finish is used on this bag to protect it from damage. Additionally, the bottom and side panels are all abrasion-resistant. The padded shoulder strap ensures your comfort while carrying this duffel.
This bag consists of the main compartment, one large interior zipped area, and three exterior pockets for extra storage.
This bag is priced similarly to others on the market.
This gym bag is flexible enough to fit everything. It is durable but still built to give way so you can fit all of your gym gear. It is versatile enough for almost all athletes that could use this size of a gym bag.
The main compartment is vented, making it great for storing shoes or dirty workout clothes.
3. North Face Base Camp
95 Liter capacity
Adjustable and detachable shoulder strap
Not as durable as some users would like
If you want a hardcore gym bag that doubles as a great outdoor duffle bag when you go out on trips, then you will love this one. It is compact in size but it still fits quite a bit, so you can pack up everything you need.Read more
This gym bag is made of Polyester, which makes it breathable and durable. It is made in the United States and is designed to be weather-resistant thanks to thanks to its materials and construction.
As far as size, this gym bag is compact and easily packable. It features a large main compartment, or pocket, and also has a mesh pocket that zips closed. The wet pocket on the end of the bag also zips and is perfect for storing your wet, sweaty, and dirty clothes.
When we looked at the value we found that, although this bag is really expensive, that it is worth every penny given all of the features it has to offer.
This bag comes with a shoulder strap you can adjust and detach, so you can carry it on your back like a pack or in the traditional duffle bag way—with a single shoulder strap.
This bag is really breathable and well-ventilated. It is odor resistant and will prevent bacteria from building up over time.
4. Adidas Squad III
Available in 6 colors
Lots of storage
Mesh water bottle compartment
Adjustable shoulder strap
There have been some reports of the interior lining of the bag ripping easily
The Adidas Squad III Duffel Bag has quickly become a customer favorite. This is a great choice for anyone looking for a lot of storage space.Read more
The Adidas Squad III Duffel Bag is made of 100% polyester.
This bag has a ton of storage space. The main compartment features an interior zippered pocket, open mesh pockets for clothing or gear, a pocket for your cell phone, and an easy-access zippered pocket on the front of the bag. A mesh water bottle pocket is located on the exterior of the bag as well.
This bag is priced averagely compared to others. Additionally, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
The bag’s shoulder strap is comfortable and enables you to adjust it to the length that works for you.
A freshPAK ventilated shoe compartment keeps odors at bay.
5. Nike Gym Club
Available in 20 colors
Adjustable/removal shoulder strap
This bag is a bit too large to fit in standard gym lockers
If you're looking for an affordable bag with plenty of room for your stuff, consider the Nike Gym Club Women's Training Duffel Bag.Read more
The Nike Gym Club Duffel Bag is made of polyester. This makes for a water-resistant, durable exterior.
The main compartment of this bag is dual-zippered, keeping all your gear stored away safely. Several interior and exterior pockets give you extra storage for smaller objects such as your keys, cell phone, or wallet.
This bag is relatively inexpensive compared to others on the list.
This bag has dual handles and a removable, adjustable shoulder strap so you can carry it comfortably.
Constructed with breathable materials, this gym bag is also constructed to be well0ventilated, which ensures none of your gear gets smelly.
6. King Kong Junior Kong
Magnetic strap closure
Reinforced seams for durability
Lots of colors to choose from
Larger model available
If you want a durable gym bag that is built to last, then you will love this one. It is smaller than the original version—so if you want something bigger than this one but love this bag, take a look at its predecessor. This one is also available in several colors and patterns, so you can have your pick of the litter.Read more
This gym bag is made of Military Spec Nylon, which is what makes it so durable. It is abrasion-resistant and will last you until you feel like getting a new gym nag. It is also water-resistant, so if it gets wet, you can trust your gear will be fine. The steel buckles will hold up too, so you don’t have to worry about random parts of the bag breaking.
As far as size goes this bag is more compact than its predecessor and holds 8.7 gallons of gear. So, just because it is more compact doesn’t mean it can’t handle its load. It comes with several storage pockets for all of your stuff, one of which is a water-resistant shoe compartment.
If you want a flexible and versatile gym bag then you will love this one. First of all, it holds all of your stuff, so you can easily pack it up. Secondly, it is perfect for all athletes—from CrossFitters to Triathletes, this bag will work for you.
When it comes to breathability, this bag well-ventilated and keeps all of your gear fresh and dry. Its straps are adjustable, so you can set them to be comfortable for you.
7. Adidas Team
FreshPAK ventilated compartment
Removable shoulder strap
Lots of storage
Interior zippered pocket for valuables
10 colors available
A few customers have experienced issues with the bag's zipper getting caught.
If you’re looking for a reliable, durable gym bag with lots of storage, you should consider looking into the Adidas Team Speed Duffel Bag.Read more
This bag is made of 100% polyester. The bottom of the bag uses ClimaProof technology to protect your belongings from a wet floor or grass.
The main compartment of the bag features a zippered interior pocket to store valuables such as money or your cell phone. One side of the bag contains a zippered end cap with additional storage.
This bag is priced averagely compared to others on the market.
The removable shoulder strap with a cushioned air mesh shoulder pad makes this bag super comfortable to carry.
On the other side, there’s a freshPAK ventilated compartment which is great for storing shoes and other gear that may be smelly.
8. Puma Contender
Several colors to choose from
3 outside pockets
Doesn’t have a lot of storage space for athletes with lots of gear
Not as durable as other gym bags on our list
Can only be hand washed
If you are on a budget, you will love the Puma Contender gym bag. If you are a minimalistic packer who just likes to bring the bare essentials in a single, bag this may be the perfect fit for you. It is available in several colors to choose from as well, so you will get a bag that looks great at an awesome price.Read more
Made of 100% polyester and with a polyester lining, this gym bag is lightweight and durable. Polyester allows it to be moisture-wicking and fast-drying as well!
If you don’t have a lot of stuff to pack, you will love this gym bag’s smaller and more compact size. It zips closed and has 3 pockets for you to stash your stuff in on the outside of the bag.
This bag is one of the most cost-effective options on our list. It is durable and lightweight—but remember hand wash it because it can’t be thrown in the washer.
The Puma Contender gym bag is flexible enough to fit all of your stuff, but it has less room than other bags on our list. It features an adjustable strap as well, so you can adjust it to fit your comfort needs.
When it comes to breathability, this one is lightweight and breathable—although it doesn’t offer any additional features when it comes to odor resistance and bacteria resistance.
9. Everest Wet Pocket
FreshPak side compartment for dirty shoes or clothes
Lots of storage pockets
Adjustable and padded shoulder strap
Not large enough for those looking for a large bag
Some users don’t like the interior pockets
This bag comes highly rated as well as highly recommended. It's a perfect option for those of you looking for an everyday bag to store all of your belongings in.Read more
This bag is made of 600D Polyester and its dimensions are 18 x 11.5 x 10.5--making it an average-sized bag.
This bags carrying capacity is 32L.
This one is really affordable and averagely priced among other gym bags.
Its adjustable shoulder strap is comfortable and its main compartment is spacious.
It has plenty of additional storage pockets--including a convenient side pocket for your dirty shoes or clothes.
10. Elite Sports
Made with Cordura
Ventilates dirty gear
Available in two sizes
Fits many requirements for carry-on luggage
The retractable shoulder straps on this bag can quickly convert it into a backpack, making for a convenient, easy to carrying place to throw all your gear.Read more
Made of durable Cordura, which is the same material that heavy-use military gear is made of. It’s extremely strong and resistant to tearing. You can be sure that you’re going to get years of use out of this bag. Additionally, the lining is waterproof.
The medium bag measures 20"L x 9"W x 11"H and the large one measures 23"L x 11"W x 12"H.
The Elite Sports Warrior Series Gym Bag is priced in the mid-to-high range.
Additionally, there’s a waterproof pocket, specifically designed for your water bottle, which will prevent your gear from getting wet if it spills. Aside from the large main compartment, this bag has a ton of extra pockets to store your valuables.
The interior is very breathable thanks to mesh.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Check out what your gym bag is made from and how it is constructed to make sure you are getting a quality product.
The material gym bags are made of can make all of the difference and, typically, you’re going to want to look for one that is made of polyester. Polyester bags are highly durable and easy to clean while polyester/nylon blend bags are waterproof and tear-resistant. For the interior you are going to want to look with those with a nylon liner, to help prevent odor from emerging and to make it easy to clean.
The most durable and long-lasting gym bags typically are made of polyester. This is because polyester is a durable material that is designed to be moisture-resistant and/or odor resistant. Other bags may incorporate mesh in pockets or throughout other areas in order to ensure it is breathable. In the long run, this will make your bag long-lasting and durable as well since it will prevent odor from forming.
Make sure to take a look at how the gym bag is constructed as well. If you know you will but your gym bag through extra wear and tear, then you will want to look for gym bags with reinforced stitching and a more seamless design. Before you choose your bag, make sure to do your research so you get the best option for your needs.
The right size matters--you don't want anything that is too big or too small.
For obvious reasons, this is also an important factor. If you’re debating between two sizes, it is usually advised to go with the larger one – it’s always better to have too much space than not enough. Additionally, evaluate how important it is for you to have interior zippered pockets to store your valuables in–this is a safe way to store your car keys, cash, or credit cards.
While many bags on the market do contain this pocket, there are still some that don’t. Some bags also offer additional pockets to store your shoes or water bottle. This is all really a matter of personal preference, so make sure to choose based on your specific needs. When considering size, as we already stated, get the one that will definitely hold everything you already have.
You will also want to be able to fit a change of clothes if you need to and one extra pair of shoes, aside from however many you already store. I know I carry 3 pairs of shoes at all times--my running shoes, training shoes, and lifters--and on top of that sometimes I need to bring a different pair fo shoes to change into before heading somewhere.
Whether you are on a budget or not, the bag you get needs to be a good investment for you.
As with anything, finding the perfect balance of value and quality is important. Just because a bag is super expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best quality and vice versa. Take your time, read product specs, and do your research. The majority of the gym bags on the market today are pretty similarly priced, but there are some that are on either far end of the spectrum.
While we made sure to include some really affordable options on here, don't just look at the cost. If you don't need a bag for everyday use or if you know you barely toss anything in there, then you will be able to use the more cost-effective gym bags. However, if you want something that is really durable and built to last you need to place close attention.
The most durable gym bags are designed for hitting the gym every day as well as carrying dirty shoes or clothes then you will want to go with a more sport-specific brand. These offer specific features that are needed by athletes--so, make sure to consider your needs because the last thing you will want to do is to have to purchase another gym bag shortly after getting your new one.
The best gym bags are spacious, comfortable, and flexible!
Walking around with a stiff gym bag is uncomfortable. Finding a relatively flexible bag will solve this problem. Drawstring bags tend to be the most flexible, but if you’d rather have something a bit sturdier, you can always find a happy medium. Typically, the fabric that’s the least flexible is the most durable, so this really is all about personal choice.
Some bags are more flexible than others and typically the larger ones are the most flexible ones. This is typically because they have so much extra room that you don't have to worry about them being rigid from being overly stuffed. if flexibility is an important feature for you then this is another instance where sizing up may be the right move for you.
When we looked at flexibility, we also looked at the versatility of the bag. This meant at looking at what the bag could hold and how well it could do so. A gym bag doesn't have to have a bunch of compartments--although that would be ideal--in order for it to effectively fit all of your belongings. Rather, it has to have the flexibility and give for you to do so.
No one likes a smelly gym bag, so make sure that the bag you get is breathable enough to keep odor at bay.
A lot of the time, we throw our dirty workout clothes or shoes in our gym bags. For this reason, you may want to go with a gym bag that has a compartment specifically for these items. These pockets are typically very well-ventilated, which is great for when you’re carrying gear that smells sweaty.
This is why you will notice that a lot of the gym bags on our list offer mesh compartments or mesh features that will ensure they are more breathable This allows dirty or absorbent workout clothes, shoes, or accessories to have access to air that will help your stuff breathe and not retain odor. Some of you may not need any additional breathable features.
However, if you are an avid athlete then you know how effective and beneficial breathability is in a gym bag. When we rated each of the gym bags on our list we also took a look at whether or not they offered any additional odor-resistant and bacteria-fighting materials to ensure that your gym bag last you the long haul.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Have a look at the extra features and compartments in your bags, as sometime you'll need to separate dirty clothes from clean ones. Lots of the gym bags on our list have lots of storage options.
Several of them offer specific storage pockets that will prevent the odor and moisture from dirty clothes or shoes from seeping into other clothes, accessories, or shoes in your bag.
Nowadays, if you need a lot of storage or a variety of storage compartments, then you definitely have options.
This is one of those purchases you're going to want to think about. If you head to work with your gym bag, perhaps you'll want one that looks more professional outside of the gym or maybe you just want something in your favorite color or pattern that you like.
Either way, it's important that you get a gym bag that you like and won't mind carrying around everywhere for the long-term.
Other Factors to Consider
A lot of gym bags offer additional accessories that either come with the bag or that they are compatible with--and you can get separately--so that you can get the most out of your bag. When we took a look at the additional accessories each gym bag had to offer we took a look at how effective they were. Take a look at what we looked for.
Padded straps for added comfort
For comfort reasons, many people like their gym bag to have some padding on the part of the strap that touches your arm. Without this cushioning, skin irritation can occur due to the handle rubbing against the skin. Additionally, it’s nice when a bag’s carrying straps are adjustable. This allows you to shorten or lengthen the straps to best fit your height.
A lot of gym bags offer a separate pocket or compartment for you to store your shoes in. This is a good way to keep them away from the rest of your clothes and gym accessories so nothing gets smelly and all of your stuff lasts you the long haul.
Wet pocket for your sweaty clothes
If you are someone who needs to shower and change at the gym before heading to work or anywhere else, you will love the wet pocket. This is where you can store your sweaty, dirty clothes and socks and keep them away from the rest of your stuff. This will keep odor at bay and ensure that everything stays separate from everything else.
Storage space available
A favorite feature for a lot of runners and athletes when it comes to a gym bag is pockets. My gym bag (the Adidas Defender III) has a spot for everything and it works perfectly for me. Make sure you find a bag that offers the pockets and storage space that you prefer and that fits your needs--we aren't all in the market for the same gym bag.
Although the style is not the most important thing to look for, there is nothing wrong with getting a gym bag that you love and feel it looks great. While we don't suggest you look for this first, the style of the bag can definitely be a deciding factor when you are choosing between several bags that you already know will work best for you.
If you like colorful gym bags or prefer to have patterns or color combinations to choose from, then you will love a lot of the selections on our list. Most of them are available in lots of options to choose from, so you have some styles that you can pick to match your preferences. Just make sure you are first choosing between models that will work or you and your needs.
Last but not least, make sure to check out the carrying style and whether or not it has different ways it can be carried. Gym bags don't have to look like your traditional duffle bag and many of them have straps that allow you to wear them in different ways. If you want something that looks great and works or you, there is something on our list for every type of athlete.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I clean my gym bag?
To spot-clean your gym bag, simply use a wet cloth. If it still appears to be stained, some customers suggest spraying a bit of stain-remover right onto the bag, letting it soak for a few minutes, and then wiping it away with the wet cloth. Some bags are machine washable, also. Check the tag to find out if it’s safe to throw the whole thing in the washer.
q: On average what is the best size for a Gym bag?
There isn’t a standard bag size meant for everyone since it all depends on your personal preference in needs. However, if you need more storage space or want to keep things separated we suggest a bigger one with several storage compartments. There are small gym bags as well as extra-large sizes, so there is something to suit everyone.
q: I’m a runner and my shoes get muddy, any options?
Yes, bags have come a long way in terms of designs and now offer external compartments that are specifically designed to store your dirty shoes. Many of these compartments are odor resistant and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about them getting your clean items dirty or smelly.
q: Which is better–carry handles or shoulder straps?
Nowadays practically all bags offer both options, however, this really depends on your own personal preference. If you know you don't like one or the other than it doesn't hurt to also consider the best gym bags that offer both options since you don't have to use the straps or handle if you don't one too.
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