The Best Gym Bags for Men 2020
The Most Stylish Way to Transport Your Gym Gear
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Whether you live to sweat or frequent your local gym every few days — or weeks, no judgment — you know the importance of a quality gym bag, especially when toting it around town before hitting the gym or using it as a weekender for quick getaways. Nobody wants to see (or smell) your raggedy trainers thrown under the desk in your cubicle, and you certainly don’t want them mingling with your lunch in your day-to-day bag. You need something more conducive to your active lifestyle — that being a carryall that holds all fitness garb and supplements, as well as the necessary post-workout deodorants. So, whether you’re a backpack fan or you’re loyal to the duffel, we’ve rounded up the best gym bags for men in 2018 to ensure your fitness gear stays safe, secure and smell-free.
Types Of Gym Bags
- Backpack: Easily portable bags for hyper-functional types on the go, with reasonable storage for clothing and equipment.
- Duffel: Designed specifically for gym purposes with mesh air vents for circulation, multiple pockets, and two thick straps for practical mobility.
- Holdall: The most urbane of the batch, they’re better known as weekenders and ideal for getaways or storing your finest threads when making moves.
- Rucksack: A shoulder strap with sporty features made from strong, waterproof material and widely popular amongst outdoor conformists.
- Sackpack: Drawstring bags that are super-lightweight and hold a variety of items in a large single pocket.
- Tote: More of the covert-style of bag made from different materials that offer plenty of inner and outer pockets with two different ways of carrying it.
Enter the modern day gym bag. The days of throwing your funky gym clothes into the trusty old duffel are dunzo. With all types of bags for men hitting the market lately, from sophisticated backpacks to duffel bags, the array of athletic options available has never been greater. And before running off to the local sporting goods store, familiarize yourself with these popular form factors.
So like DJ Khaled, you’ve just been blessed with the major keys. Now comes the time to do some window-shopping, and eventually settle on your next exercise companion. From rugged duffel bags to roomy weekenders, we’ve scoured the net to find the best gym bags to stash your shoes, socks, shorts and toiletries without sacrificing your style or your budget.
Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffel Bag
Why We Love It: Fashionable and functional. Integrated shoe compartment.
Best Gym Bag For: All-Purpose Fitness
Herschel’s top-selling duffel reigns supreme for its minimalist look, refined craftsmanship, and versatility. Not too big, nor too small, the Novel is the perfect size for what many consider an elite weekender bag. You’re given a comfortable amount of real estate to lay out anything from a blazer to sweatpants. One of the best things about the bag is that it actually comes designed with a separate compartment for your gym shoes — meaning you can stash your runners away and use the main bag as a multi-use carryall for your sweaty attire or whatever else you may be toting.
Detailing proves to be Herschel’s strongest suit, with some of the most basic of features, such as the two-way waterproof zipper, serving as a testament to the brand’s design pedigree. A multitude of prints from classic bold to printed stripes give the Novel some millennial appeal. The combination of a padded-webbing shoulder strap and carry handles yields enough leverage to lug it around in any fashion. Plus, because of its durable hemp/rayon outer shell, this duffel can handle anything from the locker room to baggage claim, should you require a last minute weekender bag. A lifetime warranty only confirms its stamp of approval.
$72.81 at Amazon.com
Lululemon Command the Day Duffel
Best Gym Bag For: Traveling Gym Goers
Life is hectic and finding the time to squeeze in workouts before and after work is never easy. Especially if you’ve got a family or side-hustle to take care of outside of the 9-5. Enter the lunch break workout. The optimal solution for maintaining a wellness routine throughout a busy week. But what about your gear? Of course, you don’t want to attempt stuffing your running shoes into a briefcase and you also don ‘t want to lug around multiple bags to and from the office on the daily. That’s where this Lululemon duffel bag comes in.
Featuring a padded pocket for a 13″ laptop, a designated pocket for sweaty running shoes and workout wear and interior pockets to hold all your essentials, this bag is designed with the commuting worker in mind. In addition, thanks to a water-proof easy to wipe exterior you can keep your bag fresh and clean effortlessly.
$158 at Lululemon.com
Eshow Retro Canvas Sports Bag
Best Gym Bag For: Goal-Crushing Urbanists
Get a glimpse of Kickstarter’s “most successful bag” of all time. Nice, right? This rugged, lightweight number by Barrel & Company is a great option for the street styler with a light wallet. You’re given two ways to sport the grip bag. One being wraparound, rivet-reinforced carry handles that come with a padded velcro grip for stabilized portability, or the adjustable padded quick release shoulder strap. Neither will ruin your countenance. The bag itself will earn you props from bros for its sleek bomber look that blends well with any casual or business smart outfit.
B&C spared no expense manufacturing this beauty by reinforcing much of its smaller components with high-quality fabrics. This is clearly evident when gazing over the emergency paracord zipper pulls, military-grade clips, and weather-resistant shell. It’s certainly built for climate control. The functional side pocket comes in handy to store valuables and smaller items including wallets and vitamins. Overall, its handsome monochromatic colorway will elevate any gym style, while its roomy interior and multiple inner pockets make it equally as convenient as it is chic.
$27.99 at Amazon.com
Carhartt Legacy Gear Bag
Best Gym Bag For: Crossfit Junkies
Carhartt’s built a reputation for assembling the toughest outdoor wear over the past few decades. So is it really a surprise the brand crafted a traveler that can carry its weight in baggage and performance? Hell no. Featuring a handsome canvas body with black accents and hardware, this bowling bag is a great option if you’re looking for something a little lower key than what the classic gym bag offers. It has far superior protection, with sturdy 1200D polyester construction that surrounds the entire bag with enough strength to stave off abrasions and falls, plus maintain enough maneuvering for supplemental packing. Even putting a pair of ice skates in here won’t scuff up the interior.
It’s a bit larger than your basic duffle, but there’s tons of space to work with, to the point where you can stuff the wife’s or your kids’ workout gear inside without compromising portability. The super heavy-duty metal zipper is practically indestructible and operates smoothly, eliminating common problems such as getting stuck on fabric. Boasting multiple pockets on the interior and exterior, this canvas number is another great option if you’re looking for a gym-and-beyond carryall.
$74.97 at Amazon.com
Adidas Team Speed Duffel Bag
Best Gym Bag For: Team Sports
Despite the athletic giant stepping up its sneaker game with a colossal rollout of insanely dope kicks across the board, it still remains one of the top sports gear makers in the biz. Proof lies in this athletic duffel bag. The Team Speed bag is a practical choice for any fitness aficionado, featuring classic fitness bag aesthetics, a spacious main compartment for all your gear, and a water-resistant base that makes it a solid choice for the guy spending as much time in the weight room as he does on the soccer field or basketball court.
It’s definitely not short of room, with one Amazon customer confirming they packed their bag with a leather jacket, several grooming products, an entire outfit and double the footwear…all at once. Build quality is just as impressive, with mesh material allowing moisture to escape the confines of the carrier, while bringing sturdiness into the mix. Those playing in amateur leagues have the luxury of branding their bags with team logos by using the blank space on the opposite side of the bag and on the end caps. Throw in a wide range of colors, from classic blues to bright oranges, and you’re sure to find a shade to modify your style, and at a killer price.
$44.99 at Amazon.com
GORUCK Gym Bag + Shoulder Strap
If you’re looking for a gym bag that can withstand whatever comes your way, this is it. Made in America and shipped with an iron-clad lifetime guarantee, this bag can withstand up to 400 lbs of force and is composed of special-force grad materials.
While people often think of gym bags solely for gym goers this bag is ideal for the fitness enthusiast who enjoys taking their workouts outdoors. Whether hiking, practicing HIIT routines on the grass or running stairs in the city this bag will keep your belongings safe and secure through rain, sleet and snow. Plus, in recognition of the men and women who serve the country, Goruck offers a discount to those who have or are in service in the USA.
$140 at Huckberry.com
Gootium Canvas Duffel Bag
Best Gym Bag For: Traditional Trainers
A vintage throwback, this gym bag is made from rugged canvas and features a varsity-inspired silhouette, antiqued brass hardware, and classic colorway stripes that most collegiate athletes will appreciate. Certainly not your grandpa’s gym bag — but in some way, it could have been — this tote is more handsome and handy! Boasting canvas top handles and a removable leather strap, this canvas bag echoes the past in all the right ways, yet still offers modern day comfort and convenience.
Much of the workmanship exhibited in this duffel bag puts the competition to shame. It’s big and spacious enough to hold several days’ worth of workout gear. One of its more underrated features is the panel sewn into the bottom of the interior, which is normally ideal for keeping items flat to make the most of space. A variety of zippered pockets let you transfer all the junk in your pockets into the bag. Sturdy canvas material adds some heft to the design, though it’s a trivial give-and-take when considering it’s been molded to withstand years of use. Its compact size earns it a flight-friendly badge for it can be tucked underneath your seat or stowed above the overhead compartment. The overall integrity of Gootium’s holdall is splendorous.
$45.99 at Walmart.com
Owen & Fred Men’s Work Hard, Play Hard Duffel
Best Gym Bag For: Metropolitan Gym Rats
Quality is an attribute you pay for no matter the product. Case in point with this gorgeously crafted duffel bag. Owen & Fred’s offering is one of the more attractive options available, that favors a clean appearance and durable construction. Design-wise, it combines tough Duck canvas with Denier Nylon touches to balance its ruggedly chic appearance. Complementing these materials are leather pull-tabs and a four-inch leather nickel button-closed grip that’s soothing in hand. It also promotes a water-repellant shell to fight off wet conditions, be it a hail storm outside or the perspiration dripping from your brow.
For such an elegant piece, it’s surprising how accommodating it is in terms of storage. This thing is spacious enough to hold two soccer balls, cleats, and a full ensemble, or if you’re going the gent route, a fully loaded dopp kit, MacBook Pro and a weekend’s worth of casual wear. Suffice to say it’s tailored to manage your day-to-day cargo as well as your gym laundry. This is a work-hard, play-hard carrier with distinguished flair.
$115 at Amazon.com
Oakley Link Backpack
Best Gym Bag For: Crossroad Training
Some just refuse to give up the knapsack life. So why go against the grain? Oakley convinces you to stick with what works for you with a lightweight backpack that specializes in rugged performance. Layering is everything here. For starters, the Link is built with specialized compartments for expanding baggage. You’re actually afforded separate pouches for specific items (shades, shoes, etc.) to create better organization for stowing away exercise necessities. Then we have the padded back mesh panel and straps that produce enough airflow circulation to relieve the bag of humidity and lingering odors. On those same straps you’ll find pouches that act as water bottle holders.
Security is where the Link shines most, as elite stitching ensures the bag can handle the wear and tear of your everyday travels. The metal buckle keeps your property tightly locked in. Its safety attributes also benefit your outdoor active movements. Reflective accents, for example, improve safety when hauling ass to the gym in the dark by increasing visibility when crossing through blind spots. The same applies when cycling in low-light environments through congested main strips.
$87.93 at Amazon.com
Everest Gym Bag
Best Gym Bag For: Water Sport Activities
A typical over-the-shoulder duffel with super-sturdy assembly — Everest constructed this bag to utilize every inch of space, while surviving the wettest conditions. It’s hard not to appreciate the structural makeup with a mildew-resistant exterior and scuff, tear, rust, and scratch-resistant top. Athletic types will find the side pocket accommodating for storing shoes or wet gear.
The main compartment is spacious enough to throw all your gym accessories. If not for water sports, storing it in a gym locker proves to be just as efficient. Two front-sided pockets offer easy access to commonly small items such as fitness headphones or workout gloves. The integrated bottle pouch is also a nice touch for storing top-of-the-line water bottles. Some have even find it to serve as a quality hiking pack thanks to durable polyester fabric that keeps everything protected without sacrificing breathability.
$21.61 at Amazon.com
Bomber & Company Barrel Bag
Best Gym Bag For: Traveling Gym Goers
Specifically created with the commuter in mind, this retro-inspired duffel features a water repellent outer shell, padded body, and comfortable leather handles in classic hues like dark heather grey and hunter olive. Much of the sport bag’s charm comes from its versatile carrying options, with its soft straps providing a pleasant feel on the hands when carrying heavy loads, whereas the 5mm thick cotton-cushioned shoulder straps lessen pressure on the upper body. You can carry it around as a standard duffel bag, shoulder bag, crossbody bag, tote, or backpack, and it can actually fit larger sports equipment — so your gym shoes and shorts fall into place just fine.
The dark denim feel and leather accents cater to one’s distinguished style, working well with a variety of different outfits. Not to mention each bag comes gender neutral, so both you and wifey can swap out on occasion. Ample space is provided. There are tons of pockets to hold your protein packs, grooming musts, and other travel-sized products. Size is convenient as well, to where it can hide in the backseat of your car on the way to the fitness center. If anything, it’s primed more as an all-dayer/overnighter than a multi-day trip.
$145 at Bomberbarrel.com
Factors to Keep in Mind
- Compartments: Pockets are major for stowing away accessories, clothing, and all other gym or travel goods. The more, the merrier.
- Durability: Again, construction is what defines a gym bag. Canvas, cotton or nylon are three materials in particular that offer long-lasting results, whereas leather adds finesse to the equation with strong quality.
- Functionality: A bag built for organization is the way to go, so fancy one that separates clean clothes from your dirty ones, maybe one that can double as both an EDC and gym bag.
- Size: Be it handheld or something thrown over the shoulder, make sure it’s something that is as portable as it is stylish.
A good gym bag is only as good as its construction. You obviously want a bag that not only grants the flexibility to carry all everyday essentials and gear, but also withstand the abuse you’ll put it through on the daily. Take these determining factors into account when staking out your next carry-on.
Gym Bag Essentials
Workout gear: Check. Sneakers: Check. Your gym bag is still feeling a bit light. The best way to optimize your workout experience is to bring along some other handy gym essentials. Load up on some of these must-have accessories.
Mini Moso Natural Air Purifying Bags
Spray deodorizers only last for so long. These air-purifying bags are designed to last for two years. Each one is made from porous moso bamboo charcoal, a substance that continually eliminates odors and absorbs moisture to keep the interior of your gym bag (and everything else) “fresh and dry.” Place them outside in the sun once a month to re-active their odor-eliminator properties. Feel free to upgrade with options available in 200- and 500-gram sizes.
$9.95 at Walmart.com
Lifestraw Go Water Bottle
Hydration is everything when exercising. Consume H2O the right way with these reusable water bottles, which removes close to 99% of waterborne bacteria through a 2-stage filtering system. Get up to 1,000 liters of drinkable water and maximize every last drop through LifeStraw’s leak-proof design.
$36.84 at Amazon.com
Axe Advanced Collection Deodorant
Deodorant is a given. Is it not? Axe has made significant strides in the product category with its Adrenaline – combining subtle, uber-manly scents with smooth glide action and long-lasting performance. We recommend stocking up on this offering, as its smell proves to be quite soothing to take in post-workout. That price is unbeatable too.
$5.03 at Amazon.com
Adidas Stadium Team Shoe Bag
Sneaker preservation isn’t as simple as tossing your runners into a duffle. What about odor? Spills? Exposure to damaging materials? Think in layers. In this case, a bag within a bag. Adidas’ portable shoe pouch keeps kicks protected for any environmental hazards, while airing them out via ventilated compartment. Light and durable, you can even go workout bag-free and make this your EDC gym carrier for smaller items.
$19.98 at Amazon.com
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