May 21, 2022

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24 of the Best Gym Bags for Women, From Duffels and Backpacks to Totes

Look, we’re all friends here, which is why we can tell you that if you’re still stuffing your gym clothes, running shoes, laptop and lunch into two totes or a shoddy backpack, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. After all, you deserve a gym bag that works just as hard as you do! The best ones will feature nice, sturdy materials, have plenty of storage and look good on your arm, too. We’ve found no less than 30 gym bags for women that fit the bill, with styles ranging from classic duffels to sleek totes and snazzy backpacks, so you can focus less on your carrier and more on your sweat session.

What to Look for in a Gym Bag

  • Materials: When looking for a new gym bag, it’s important to consider the material it’s made with. You’ll want to choose a fabric that’s water-resistant, like polyester, neoprene, nylon, polyester/nylon blends or even treated leathers. This will not only ensure that your belongings stay dry in inclement weather, but it will keep moisture from your sweaty clothes from getting infiltrating the inside of your bag. You also want your gym bag to last a good long while, so elements such as strong stitching and sturdy zippers are important to ensure it won’t be falling apart at the seams two weeks in.

  • Storage: The gym bag you pick needs to be large enough to carry all the items you require for a great workout. Extra pockets for your water bottle, personal items, clothes and shoes are always a good idea. If you’re a yoga enthusiast, having extra straps on the outside of your gym bag is another convenient feature you’ll love for carrying your mat around.

  • Style: Gym bags come in a wide variety of styles, so it’s best to simply choose one that suits your tastes and lifestyle. Consider how you’ll use it: If you walk or bike to your training, a backpack-might suit you best. Just toting your goods from the car or the subway to the gym? There are plenty of duffel, over-the-shoulder or drawstring styles that will be right up your alley.

  • Washability: In order to keep your gym bags smelling fresh and looking great, check to see if it can be easily washed. Many are hand-wash-only and can be cleaned using detergent or gentle soap, but there are a few machine-friendly options, which is great if you’re someone who values convenience. Make sure to check the cleaning instructions that are recommended for your individual bag to get the best results.

Where to Buy Gym Bags

Gym bags can be found at many box athletic stores, such as Dicks Sporting Goods and Academy Sports, but for a larger variety, you can also look at other online retailers, such as Amazon, Lululemon, Bandier and Gaiam.

The Best Gym Bags at a Glance

RELATED: The 13 Best Yoga Mats, According to Instructors and Devoted Yogis

Best Overall Gym Bag

Seemingly tailor-made for the enthusiastic fitness fanatic, this duffel bag from PUMA can not only carry your basic gym necessities, but it’s got space for rackets, soccer balls or basketballs for the star athletes out there. Made of 100 percent polyester, it’s machine-washable—no stinky gym funk here!—and it also has a removable and adjustable shoulder strap with a 27-inch drop to make sure that you’re totally comfortable while toting your things. The vast majority of shoppers certainly seem to be pretty darn pleased with it—it’s got a staggering 22,000 ratings (and counting).

$40; 26 at Amazon

Best Classic Gym Bag

The Nike Gym Club duffel has a lightweight design that buyers say is easy to carry without making you feel like you’re dragging your entire closet on your shoulders. The single-but-spacious interior compartment has plenty of room for all of your larger belongings, while two pockets at the outside will be great for keeping your phone and keys at the ready. Better yet, its polyester material is 65 percent recycled, making it a friendlier choice for the environment.

Buy it ($40)

Best Lightweight Gym Bag

Perfect for when you only want to carry a change of clothes, this chic gym tote is made from water-resistant Tyvek—a material that’s both lightweight and durable, as well as fabulously slick. It comes with a detachable carrying strap, and there’s a zipper and buckle closure to keep your valuables tucked away securely.

Buy it ($68)

Best Luxury Gym Bag

Break a sweat in style with this splurge-worthy medium duffle from Dagne Dover. It offers a two-way top-zip closure, top carrying handles and a removable strap that adjusts for shoulder-to-crossbody wear. There’s even a 13-inch padded laptop sleeve for those days you’re headed straight to your sweat session from the office.

Buy it ($170)

Best Drawstring Gym Bag

You can never go wrong with a classic drawstring bag. But instead of those basic ones you used to carry back in the ’90s, you’ll want to reach for this new-and-improved model. It’s got room for your sneakers and workout leggings, plus a zippered front pocket for other small necessities (think Band-Aids, snacks, towels—you know the drill). For the important stuff, like your cell phone or house keys, there’s even an incognito zippered pocket at the back.

$20 at Amazon

Best Gym Backpack

Proving that a classic never goes out of style is this training backpack from Nike. It holds everything you’ll need for hitting your next workout and then some—we’re especially pleased with that zippered sleeve for our laptops that makes it a dual-purpose buy. The straps are padded so as to take it easy on any sore post-lifting muscles, and the inner and outer zippered pockets will help to keep your stuff in order.

Buy It ($50)

Best Hybrid Gym Bag

A backpack/drawstring hybrid, this cool pick gives you the best of both worlds, since you’ll have the convenience of the easy-open top a drawstring would provide with all of the space of a backpack. It’s made from weather-resistant polyester, which makes it ultra-durable (and extremely convenient on those days you forget your umbrella).

$40; $35 at Amazon

Best Yoga Bag

For all your yoga needs, there’s this bright beauty (also available in black and gray). It can hold your mat, yoga block and water bottle (which, BTW, comes free with your purchase along with a built-in infuser for fruit). It’s got two added pockets at the front and the side for your lip balm or cards, and the cotton canvas will air out your goods after a particularly sweaty session.

$30; $20 at Amazon

Best Yoga Mat Bag

Let’s face it: Yoga mats can be a burden—particularly when they’re on the heavier side, as many natural rubber options are. Thanks to this multi-purpose gym bag, which has an optional mat pocket at the front, you won’t have to switch it out on days you do yoga and days you do HIIT. Wrote one reviewer: “I chose this bag because…I just wanted one bag.” She also noted that it was quite roomy, adding, “I [can] put barre socks, straps and gloves. For the spontaneous day when I want to lift weights, I [can put] a water container, cell phone, towel or two, headband, mask and a foldable mat inside.”

$35 at Amazon

Best Foldable Gym Bag

Speaking of multi-faceted bags, say hello to this spacious and aptly named Stash duffel, which packs down when you want to save space (like when you’re traveling, for example). Simply fold it up and slip it into a nook. Like the Nike bag above, this one’s also made with 65 percent recycled materials, giving it a sustainable edge.

Buy it ($40)

Best Gym Bag With a Shoe Compartment

Featuring dual handles and an adjustable, detachable and padded shoulder strap, this gym bag ensures that you won’t get that bothersome shoulder burn when you’re lugging it around. Even more attractive? There’s a handy shoe compartment for your kicks, plus a waterproof pocket for any wet items you may soak through during class.

$22; From $19 at Amazon

Best Convertible Gym Bag

Great for when working out isn’t the only thing on your agenda, this adidas find can be worn as a backpack to maximize space for your workout gear, then transformed into a crossbody when you need to hit the grocery store. Better yet, it’s made of a sturdy polyester material that the brand is so confident in, it comes with a lifetime warranty (yes, you read that right).

Buy It ($40)

Best Commuter Gym Bag

Folks on the move, this one’s for you. You can head straight from that big business meeting to your fitness club with this genius carryall, which is cute enough to function as a regular bag. There’s an organizer pocket within the main compartment, which can be used for pens, mobile phones, power banks and more work essentials, and when it’s time to do your deadlifts, you can easily swap your heels out for your gym kicks, since there’s a hidden shoe compartment at the base. The padded, removable shoulder strap drapes across your body or over a piece of luggage, too, making this the gold standard of travel.

$27 at Amazon

Best Waterproof Gym Bag

Made with Under Armour’s proprietary storm technology, this small duffel will keep your valuables nice and dry, even in inclement weather. Elastic straps at the front are just right for toting a yoga mat or block along to your practice, and the two zipper pulls for the main pocket can be used as hair ties: How convenient! Oh. And did we mention that it’s also Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson-approved?

Buy It ($75; $57)

Most Functional Gym Bag

Don’t let its compact size fool you: This one‘s small-but-mighty. With a large main section for your clothes, a zipper pocket for your phone as well as a compartment for your shoes, this bag ensures everything has its own designated space—there’s even a waterproof pocket where you can stash your sweaty clothes or a wet towel. Beyond that, you’ll appreciate that its sturdy-yet-comfortable hand and shoulder straps.

From $27 at Amazon

Best Small Gym Bag

Available in a wide range of color combinations is this basic duffle from adidas. It’s small enough to fit in a tight locker space, but still has enough room for all the essentials thanks to its wide main compartment and two side pockets. The padded shoulder strap can be added or removed as needed, and, should the sturdy design fail on your for any reason, you can take advantage of the brand’s lifetime warranty.

$35 at Amazon

Best Large Gym Bag

Coming in a variety of attractive colors, this large, heavy-duty polyester bag offers you space galore what with its sizable main compartment and smaller zippered front pocket. Of course, if you’re on your way to yoga, you’ll also need a spot to hold your mat, which this bag can do with its mesh side pocket. Got a water bottle? There’s room for that, too.

$40 at Amazon

Most Stylish Gym Bag

Those looking to turn heads at the gym need look no further than this weekender bag, which comes in more than 10 chic prints of 100 percent polyester. Beyond its chic aesthetic, however, it’s plenty functional, with three interior mesh pockets to keep all of your gym clothes organized and a zippered exterior pocket besides. It also has adjustable straps and extended handles for easy carrying.

$50 $43 at Amazon

Best Gym Bag With Pockets

This Herschel duffel offers solid proof of why the brand is so popular. With two-way zippers that are fitted with leather pulls and lengthy handles, it ensures that you’ll have no problem accessing your clothes, shoes and other items in a jiff. There are also air holes in the bottom of the bag to keep things breathable and fresh. Its best feature, however, must just be the open phone pocket at the front.

$65 at Amazon

Best Designer Gym Bag

If you live your life in lululemon, you’re bound to swoon for the brand’s City Adventurer backpack. With a look that can only be described as super-sleek, it uses a blend of nylon and polyester for a durable and water-repellent build. There’s an inner pocket for your water bottle and an expandable pocket that’s meant for your post-workout, sweat-soaked items.

Buy It ($98)

Best Neoprene Gym Bag

Alo Yoga certainly knows a thing or two about which features make for a good workout bag. The proof? Its large Traverse duffle, which is made of a luxe neoprene with polyester webbing that customers say has “excellent quality.” Boasting two zippered pockets to give you plenty of space for your gym gear and a shoulder strap that detaches when you want to use the top handles, it’s chic, versatile and it will get the job done.

Buy It ($288)

Most Gym Duffel Bag

Fila’s sporty Sprinter bag is clearly made for those who lead an active lifestyle. Set up like a typical duffel, it gives you plenty of space in the ventilated main compartment, but has convenient pockets at the side to boot. Top handles with comfortable grips and a padded shoulder strap make this bag easier to carry, while the two-year warranty gives you some reassurance that it’s not likely to fall apart on you anytime soon.

Buy It ($66)

Best Gym Tote Bag

Sporting goods brand Under Armour is behind this simple tote, which can double as a carry-on thanks to its sleeve strap. The ventilated main body, water-repellent finish and scratch-resistant bottom will be a Godsend for stinky shoes or dirty clothes, and a there’s a 15-inch laptop sleeve for all of you multitaskers out there. You can even throw it in the washer when it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning.

$55 at Amazon

Best Water Bottle Bag

For the girl who’s in and out of the gym at the speed of lightning, this nifty bag will be just the thing, with a special pocket for a large water bottle (because hydration is paramount). There’s also some room for smaller things, such as your keys, wallets and the like.

Buy It ($38)

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