The perfect gym bag will keep you organized, streamline your getting-ready process and help motivate you to actually make it to your workout. You’ve invested in stylish activewear, the perfect running shoes and even the best water bottle on the market. Why not pack it all up in a stylish bag that does everything you need it to, plus a whole lot more?
So toss that old canvas tote or college backpack to the curb and dive into our picks for your new workout buddy, all of which we’ve tried ourselves and love.
Icon Luxe Kit Bag ($148; sweatybetty.com)
If you frequent the gym before or after heading to the office and you want a bag that can keep those two parts of your life separate, there’s no better option than the Icon Luxe Kit Bag. It has two main compartments, with a smaller pocket in the middle. That smaller pocket is perfect for anything you need on hand, like your wallet, headphones or phone — and it’s big enough to comfortably fit all those things.
The larger two compartments are ideal for separating out your gym and work items. The interior of one of the compartments is completely waterproof — perfect for any dirty clothes, swimsuits, used towels or leaky water bottles. The other side is lined with a standard polyester material and is big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop, along with a lot more. There’s also a mesh water bottle holder and smaller zippered pocket within that compartment. All in all, if you want to keep your gym things separate from your other things, there’s nothing as simple (yet effective) as a roomy, waterproof pocket.
The other big benefit to this bag is just how comfortable to carry it is. There are two strap lengths, one of which is perfect for carrying the bag in your hand and the other as an over-the-shoulder bag. The size of this gym bag makes for a comfortable distribution of weight, so even if you pack it full, it doesn’t feel too heavy. The material is soft yet durable, and there’s a yoga mat strap at the bottom (which is actually quite easy to miss) — just another winning feature in our books.
Go-Bag, Mini ($139; baboontothemoon.com)
The Go-Bag isn’t your typical backpack/gym bag combo. For starters, it’s made from what Baboon to the Moon refers to as an “OM Stardust Ballistic shell material” that’s secured by a double-stitch construction. That’s all to say it’s seriously indestructible as well as waterproof and sandproof. Features like a lockable zipper head closure, four external handles and a lifetime warranty make for a versatile yet utilitarian gym bag option that will last years, if not forever.
One of our favorite parts of the Go-Bag is its detachable, adjustable and super-comfortable shoulder straps. In addition to the bag’s external handles, these straps make it possible to carry the bag in a variety of ways — backpack-style or as a shoulder bag or briefcase. However you spin it, it’s comfortable and easy to use. An added bonus is that it’ll fit in all airline overhead bins and meet those pesky TSA guidelines too.
One thing to note: If you do plan to use this as an everyday bag that doubles as your gym bag, there isn’t a compartment made for a laptop or tablet. So if you want to bring one along, we’d recommend a protective case. There is a discrete side pocket, but no front pockets, which some reviewers see as a big plus — no “extra pockets for any curious strangers in cramped spaces.”
Sport Tote ($325; caraa.com)
This gym bag (which arguably doesn’t look like a standard “gym bag” at all) has quickly become our go-to everyday bag for a couple of reasons. The first is how seamlessly you can switch between carrying it tote-style and backpack-style.
Made from waterproof Italian nylon and buffed Italian leather, the tote straps are a perfect length (and feature a gripping fabric, so no slipping!), and the detachable backpack straps are surprisingly comfortable. Other key features include yoga mat straps at the bottom of the bag, a dust bag and a built-in key fob.
The bottom portion of the bag sports a separate shoe compartment that’s chicly disguised by its leather exterior. There’s also a waterproof wets compartment so you can keep everything used in a separate portion of your bag. Keep in mind the wets pocket isn’t huge, but it’s big enough for a small towel and maybe a top. If you’re not using the shoe compartment, you can expand the interior of the main bag, which is super useful for if you’re trying to pack more into that main compartment.
For instance, we noticed that a 15-inch Macbook Pro only fits into the bag when the interior is expanded. Another huge plus to the bag is its handy built-in phone charging station. The bag comes with a Caraa-branded Anker charger, one of our favorite, reliable brands when it comes to portable chargers, and a USB charging cable. There’s a handy internal compartment to fit the charger and an opening that allows you to connect that charging cable to your phone, which sits in a roomy side compartment of the bag that’s accessible via a zippered pocket on the outside of the bag.
The Oversized Carryall ($68; everlane.com)
If you prefer to keep your gym bag setup simple, you can’t go wrong with Everlane’s Oversized Carryall. With a super-comfortable, adjustable shoulder strap and roomy interior, this is a perfect option for anyone who’s just looking for a simple yet reliable, understated yet stylish gym bag. The overall material of the bag feels super durable and high quality, and it’s easy to clean. What’s even better is that it’s made from 100% recycled materials. The exterior is 100% recycled nylon, while the interior is 100% recycled polyester.
The bag features an exterior slip pocket that’s the perfect size for easy access to your phone or a smaller wallet, and two interior pockets as well as a laptop sleeve. The only downside to the design is that your laptop may get jostled around a bit since the bag is pretty unstructured, but it does carry comfortably regardless.
The tradeoff is totally bearable given how soft and easily collapsible the bag is, making it really easy to store and comfortable to carry throughout the day. The interior pocket is also perfect for a water bottle, and the entire interior can be closed off by a secure zipper closure, so nothing makes its way out, and nobody can easily sneak their way in.
Kinetic Gym Duffel ($159; athleta.com)
This classic gym duffel is the perfect combination of utilitarian and chic. Made from a recycled nylon fabric, the Kinetic Gym Duffel is super soft and lightweight yet durable enough for all your workout needs. It has tons of space for everything you’d want to bring to the gym — including a large, expandable side pocket perfect for sneakers.
The two main interior pockets are cleverly labeled “sort” and “stow.” The sort side features a zippered pocket perfect for valuables, while the stow side is a larger pocket with a snap button, perfect for stashing any sweaty towels or post-workout clothes. Both pockets also have additional mesh compartments, which is all to say there’s no lack of storage spaces in this duffel.
Our favorite part of the Kinetic Gym Duffel is how comfortable and easy to use it is. There are two different sized handles — so you can carry this as a bag or over your shoulder — in addition to a super-comfortable, fabric crossbody strap.
The Everywhere Bag (starting at $165; away.com)
While Away is best known for its travel gear, we found that the brand’s Everywhere Bag works just as well as the perfect office-gym hybrid bag as it does a travel companion.
One thing that sets the Everywhere Bag apart from others on this list is how structured it is. If you prefer to pack an organized bag with just what you need, this is the bag for you — particularly if you pack light for work. The Everywhere Bag can comfortably fit a 15-inch laptop and features six interior pockets for all your necessities. If you’re traveling, there’s a trolley sleeve that was designed to fit perfectly with the brand’s suitcases — Away’s The Carry-On actually snagged a spot as the best carry-on suitcase of 2021.
Our favorite yet unexpected feature of this bag is the hidden waterproof pocket intended for umbrella storage. While you can absolutely use it for your umbrella, it’s also the perfect compartment for a pair of flats. Unfortunately, your sneakers won’t fit into the zippered pocket, but it’s a fun perk nonetheless. Especially if you frequent yoga or barre classes that don’t require sneakers, you can stuff your work flats into the hidden pocket without having to worry about dirtying the inside of your bag or a shoe bag.
Stow Backpack ($128; aloyoga.com)
If you opt for backpacks over shoulder bags for everyday use, this option from Alo Yoga is one of our favorite options, particularly if your preferred form of exercise is yoga or Pilates. For starters, the backpack has bungee straps at the bottom, so you can easily carry a yoga mat around. It’s discrete (and doesn’t look weird if you’re not carrying a mat) while also adjustable, so no need to worry about a certain sized mat either. The backpack’s straps are adjustable and padded, making this bag comfortable to carry throughout the day, even if you’ve packed all your work and gym must-haves. The neoprene material is water-resistant, which is always beneficial when spending time in a gym bathroom or changing room.
The rest of the backpack has everything you need without any unnecessary bells or whistles. There’s a padded laptop sleeve that fits a 13-inch laptop, a removable pouch for valuables and one interior pocket perfect for any wet clothes or small towels that you don’t want touching the rest of your stuff. There are two side pockets, one of which is meant for a small water bottle or umbrella, and the other of which has a zipper for any smaller items. Finally, the pocket at the front is always super useful for anything you need safe yet easily accessible. Overall, the Stow Backpack is a great option if you’re a yoga lover looking for a backpack that’s sleek, minimal and simple to use.
Medium Metro Tote Deluxe ($275; mzwallace.com)
Perfect for anyone on the go, MZ Wallace’s Metro Tote Deluxe is a brilliantly designed bag that checks all our boxes when it comes to space, functionality and style. Made from MZ Wallace’s signature REC Nylon material, it is absurdly lightweight, features natural Italian leather trim and protective feet and has an optional crossbody strap.
The bag has a seemingly endless amount of room, and enough pockets to keep everything in it organized. There are four exterior pockets as well as a luggage sleeve, which transforms into yet another pocket for when you’re not traveling — so you have space for all your gym essentials and much more.
The included pouch is perfect for stashing sweaty gym clothes post-workout, and the whole bag is water- and sweat-resistant, so no worries if there are any spills or messiness — it won’t be ruining this bag. Our favorite part of the Metro Tote Deluxe, if you’re someone who frequents studios with small lockers, is that it’s smushproof! You can roll it, fold it and stuff the bag into any gym locker or cubby — it’ll come out looking good as new.
Landon Carryall Bag, Medium ($155; dagnedover.com)
One of our all-time favorite bag brands, it’s no surprise that Dagne Dover carries a dream office-to-gym duffel. Made from 100% premium neoprene — one of the brand’s signature materials — the fabric is perfect for any spills, stains and smells that might linger after a trip to the gym. Simply hand-wash and air-dry for a bag that’s as good as new the next day. It’s durable yet lightweight, and also soft enough to fit into lockers or cubbies.
When it comes to organization, there’s a place for everything. There’s a padded laptop sleeve (that comfortably fits a 13-inch Macbook Pro), useful shoe duster, handy key leash and covert back pocket (on the exterior of the bag) so you can easily access your phone whether during your commute or at the gym. The interior side pockets are super handy for storing necessities like a water bottle or gadgets like over-ear headphones.
And the main compartment is sizable enough for any range of athletic endeavors — we could comfortably fit a pair of shoes, change of clothes and workout accessories like boxing gloves or ankle weights. If you need the extra space (or want to keep your bag more compact) there are snaps on the side that’ll transform the size of your bag.
Luka Duffel ($110; calpak.com)
A winner from a well-known travel brand, the Luka Duffel is one of the larger bags in this lineup, but it absolutely epitomizes the all-in-one gym bag. Plus, it’s so lightweight you won’t even realize that it’s a bit on the larger side. To start, the exterior of the bag is made from an absurdly soft polyester material that’s also scratch-resistant, which means you can opt for one of the super-adorable metallic or light neutral shades without worrying that you’ll ruin it within a week.
There are nine pockets in total, and each is thoughtfully placed to make organization a breeze, whether you’re headed to the gym or away on a weekend trip. Of the external pockets, there are two on the side — one perfect for a medium-size water bottle, and the other that’s actually a roomy shoe compartment. The outer front pocket is actually perfect for a laptop if you already have a soft or hard case, since there’s no laptop compartment in the interior of the bag.
It’s even large enough to fit a notebook and pencil case (in addition to your laptop), which means you could fit all your work essentials in the front pocket, leaving the entire interior to your gym equipment — spare shoes, clothes and anything else you need. The interior is super roomy and has a couple pockets for organization, including a small mesh one for any valuables. And like many of these versatile gym bag options, the Luka Duffel features a luggage trolley sleeve in case you do bring it along on more substantial trips. Reviewers also mention that the bag fits perfectly under airplane seats — just another reason it’s destined to be your new favorite all-in-one bag.