thoughts on Body and mind

Best Gym Bags – A Buyer’s Guide & Reviews


A gym bag these days means different things to different people depending on what your gym visits might entail. In fact, you may not be going to a gym at all but pursuing some other sporting activity such as yoga, martial arts, and athletics in fact any sport or fitness activity going. Whatever your sport or exercise regime, there is a bag that will suit you, just follow the advice in the buyers’ guide.

Buyers’ Guide


The reason you want a bag will influence its size. If you want to store a t-shirt, training pants trainers, towel, toiletries and a change of underwear, a small bag might suffice. You will need a much larger bag if you take your family to the pool at your gym or the municipal swimming baths and you need to store several costumes, towels and perhaps an inflatable. You will also need a bigger bag if you need to carry special equipment for your sport.

Gym +

By this I mean, do you just want a gym bag or do you want it to also be able to carry other things at the same time? These could be work-related such as a tablet, note-book, umbrella etc. Or, maybe you are going away overnight directly after your exercise session and want to be packed for that.

Dual Purpose

You might be buying a gym bag with the intention of also using it as an overnight bag or for travelling. This might mean that the bag you buy is larger than you really need for the gym but it is perfect for the other purpose you intend to use it for. How much of a problem will that be for you?

Zipped Water-Resistant Compartment

How important is a water-resistant compartment where you can stores the clothes you have exercised in away from clean items and the rest of the bag’s content?

Number of Compartments

Most bags have a pocket for personal item storage, such as mobile phones, jewellery etc. But what else might you need to put in its own pocket? Most people carry a bottle of water and some like to take a shaker and powder so they can concoct a shake. Will you be carrying food, such as you lunch in a storage box? If you carry a lot with you it is a lot easier to organise, particularly after your gym session, when you have different areas of your bag in which things are stored.


Most sports bags are made from polyester or nylon. Material thickness, coatings, water proofing, breathability are all considerations. You may find a canvas bag but they can get wet. Are you fancying something in leather? If so, that will cost you and gym bags get a lot of rough handling that might quickly mar an expensive leather duffel or holdall.


Check the quality of the product so far as you are able. One way to do this is to read reviews from those who have bought the bag and use it regularly. Make sure the stitching is robust and the seams are strong. Fittings, such as zips and straps should be robust; if the zip breaks, your bag is useless and the cost paying someone to replace the zip is probably not going to be cost effective, even if it is possible.

Carrying the Bag

Do you want handles, a single shoulder strap, both or even double shoulder straps so you can carry the bag like a rucksack? A big bag, in which both clothing and equipment is going to be carried is going to be heavy. Work out your bag carrying preference and factor that into your search criteria.

Keep those things in mind and you will be on the right track. Let’s look at some gym bag reviews.



Vooray Burner 16″ Compact Gym Bag with Shoe Pocket, Rose Gray

By Vooray
With pink roses and green foliage on a grey background, this is an eye-catching bag that, while marketed unisex, is probably best suited to busy female gym-goers who are looking or a bag that is stylish, water-resistant and functional. Measuring 16x9x10 and weighing one and a half pounds, it is hardly gargantuan yet is big enough to store gym essentials. The bag incorporates a separate ventilated shoe pocket large enough to accommodate size 13s and still leave a little space. The bag has a faux fur-lined media pocket and can be carried by leather magnetic handles or shoulder straps.

Adidas Team Issue Duffel Bag

By Adidas
Made principally from nylon and polyester, and available in three sizes, the small version of the bag has more than adequate space for your gym clothes and medium and large will enable you to carry equipment too. With the Team Issue, we are talking heavy duty, so it isn’t surprising it carries a lifetime warranty. A large central pocket with three smaller ones, including a ventilated side shoe pocket, enables you to be organised, which always saves you time. There is also a valuable pocket inside the bag which zips up. Zips on the bag are strong and the pullers are made from nickel. The bag can be used clipped down or unclipped and has a shoulder support and key fob and with a hydro shield water-resistant base, can be used in any weather without fear.

Everest Gym Bag with Wet Pocket, Red, One Size

By Everest
Highly functional bags for the journey up the mountain of life could well be Everest’s motto and this bag certainly fits that ethos. Made from durable 600D polyester and with weaved seams for added strength this bag measures 18×11.5×10.5 and can accommodate your gym essentials in a number of easily accessible, different sized compartments; including a meshed one for wet towels and sweaty sports clothes. It looks good with the red lined pockets making a nice contrast to the black material it is constructed from. Bottle holder, adjustable strap and padded hook finish off this quality offering from a leading manufacturer.

Sports Gym Bag with Shoes Compartment for Men and Women

By Boost
This is a versatile unisex bag available in pink, blue, grey and lilac and suitable for using for a range of sports. It is constructed from Oxford polyester, know for its strength, rip stop tear abilities and water-resistance. The bag is fully lined and incorporates a shoe pocket and a vented compartment and other pockets for personal items, toiletries etc. The bag is large enough for the needs of most users but not so large that it won’t slot comfortably into the average gym locker. Equipped with both an adjustable shoulder strap and handles and with an end metal hoop to facilitate hanging, this bag has everything you would expect to find in a medium-sized holdall.

Venture Pal Packable Sports Gym Bag with Wet Pocket & Shoes Compartment Travel Duffel Bag for Men and Women

By Venture Pal
Venture Pal has produced a bag that is ideal for those who need more than a gym bag. You can fit in your gym gear, trainers, toiletries and any lightweight equipment you need to carry and still have room in one of the many pockets for a tablet, foldable umbrella, note-book etc. There are pockets designed for carrying bottles and a shaker. The bag is made from strong nylon material and potential structural weaknesses are mitigated by extra strengthening where required. A useful feature of this bag is that it folds into its own pocket. This is a large bag that holds a lot; its weight when empty is slightly over 1 lb.

Adidas Defender III Duffel Bag

By Adidas
Another winner from Adidas with a choice of three sizes. The small bag measures 20.5″x11.75×11, the large a massive 29x15x12 and medium is sized between the two. Manufactured from strong polyester and with a hydro shield coating, this bag can take some punishment. A main compartment makes ordering the contents easy and it benefits from FreshPak technology which keeps unwholesome smells at bay. There are two zipped pockets at either end and a side pocket. This holdall can easily double as a school bag or work bag. Shoulder straps come as standard (padded in the medium and large options) and there are also carrying handles. The bag come in arrange of colours, all bearing the famous Adidas logo.

Kuston Sports Gym Bag with Shoes Compartment Travel Duffel Bag for Men and Women

By Kuston
This is the ideal bag for men and women who need a bag to carry their gym essentials but don’t want bulk. It is available in a range of attractive colours and styles and is waterproof and scratch resistant. The inner compartment lined with plastic is super waterproof and will keep your sweaty gym attire away from your clean clothes. It is also ideal for wet swimming costumes and towels. The bag boasts a separate shoe compartment which has a venting hole. In addition, there is an interior zipped pocket for valuables and an exterior netted pocket for drinks bottles at the opposite end to the shoe compartment. The detachable strap means you can use as a shoulder bag or handbag.

Adidas Diablo Small Duffel Bag

By Adidas
For a bag labelled as small this carries a lot of gear and certainly all your average gym user would need plus room to spare. Constructed from polyester it is strong and durable and comes with a lifetime guarantee. This bag is top loaded and has only one compartment, so you may have to carry your own plastic bag to put dirty clothes in. However, if you don’t want pockets it’s ideal. The black and grey version looks stylish and its size means if you have to carry it about after your exercise, it isn’t too much of a burden. It fits easy into gym lockers too. If grey and black doesn’t suit, a range of other colours are available.

Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Duffel

By Under Armour
Under Armour listen to customer feedback to adapt and improve their bags accordingly. This is the third iteration of the 3.0 Duffel, a bag large enough to use for a weekend away should you need to. As a gym bag it will hold whatever you might conceivably need, including a basketball. It measures 18.5×11.5×11, although the bag has strong seams, it does stretch a little. Manufactured from polyester and subject to Under Armour’s storm technology, this bag is built to last. It has a water-resistant finish and a tough scratch resistant base. There are pockets to keep dirty clothes away from clean and to store shoes separately in a vented pocket. Personal items should fit nicely in the front pocket.

MIER 20 Inch Gym Bag with Shoe Compartment Men Duffel Bag, Medium, Black

Mier makes great looking bags and this black and grey offering is no exception. This duffel belies its medium size tag and it can easily be used as a weekend or travel bag. If using as a gym back, the separate, ventilated shoe compartment is just over one foot long and allows you to store footwear and dirty items away from other clothing. The main compartment, accessible through the U-shaped zip top, has a separate zipped storage pocket for valuables. A built-in riser vent prevents odours building in the bag. The outside benefits from a mesh pocket for bottles and a padded and waterproof bottom to help it withstand the wear and tear that gym bags suffer.


One thing is certain, there is a gym bag out there ideally suited to your needs. Your homework is to decide what those needs are. Will it be solely a gym bag or do you want to use it for other purposes? How important is size? Do you want a functional holdall or a bag that is also a fashion accessory with a designer name? What about colour and how important is having a waterproof compartment? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself. Once you know your search criteria, your task will become much easier and you should be able to source a bag within the price range you want to pay, that will serve you well for a long time to come.

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