The Best Gym Bags For Shoes, Style, and More

Carry your gear to and from the gym with one of these top picks.

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With so many bags to choose from on the market, it can feel overwhelming when shopping for something as specific as a gym bag. Luckily, we’ve curated a list of some of the best gym bags on the web. A gym bag should be constructed with several compartments and pockets to help organize all of the essentials necessary for a workout. Typically this means proper space for training shoes, a change of clothes, and all the other go-to gym items. 

We looked at bags that were designed for good organization, strong fabrics, and strategic strapping. Let’s dive into the best gym bags on the market.

Best Gym Bags

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

Best Gym Bag

The Rogue Gym Bag is simple, effective, and efficient. Measuring in at 24 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 10 inches tall, it is made in the USA with 1000D Cordura, a nylon fabric. It is available in two different kinds of black or gray, sports a full-length primary zipper and an internal and external pocket. The shoulder strap is adjustable (or removable) and attaches to metal D-rings via metal clips.

Rogue Gym Bag
Rogue Gym Bag
Rogue Gym Bag

This gym bag is an all-purpose, go-anywhere, take-a-beating carryall manufactured in the USA. It is made of 1000D Cordura that measures 24 inches by 10 inches by 10 inches and weighs 1.5 pounds.

Who Should Buy Rogue Gym Bag

  • Anyone who needs their bag to fit in a smaller locker.
  • Those who want an easy access bag.
  • People who prefer duffle-style gym bags.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Gym Bag

  • Folks who need access to a lot of pockets.
  • Anyone who needs a larger gym bag.

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Best Backpack Style Gym Bag

This hand-made backpack-style gym bag, manufactured in the USA, is made of 1000D Cordura and a fully-lined, moisture-resistant interior to protect your gear better. The straps of this rucksack are reinforced with quality seatbelt webbing, and its hardware and zippers are made of heavy-duty plastic. There are two water bottle pockets (one on each side), and it is available in black.

In addition to being used to transport gym gear, this bag can also function well for travel or hiking outdoors. There is a protective inner laptop sleeve, and the bag has a volume of 22.4 liters.

Topo Designs 22L Klettersack
Topo Designs 22L Klettersack
Topo Designs 22L Klettersack

This gym bag is hand-made in Colorado with the intent to be a functional, no-nonsense backpack. Manufactured with 1000D Cordura externally and a fully-lined, moisture-resistant interior. It measures six inches by 12 inches by 19 inches.

Who Should Buy Topo Designs 22L Klettersack

  • Anyone who wants a bag that can double as a gym bag and travel backpack.
  • People who want to carry both a water bottle and a second bottle (for pre-workout, BCAAs, etc.) as there are two water bottle pockets.
  • Those who prefer backpack-style bags over duffles.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Topo Designs 22L Klettersack

  • Folks who need a bag that can fit in a tighter space.
  • Anyone who wants a duffle bag.

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Best Lightweight Gym Bag

This bag is equipped with large pockets that can carry a variety of gym essentials. The main compartment is roomy, and the hanging pocket can hold smaller items like electronics and other non-bulky items. It is designed primarily with polyester, and the side pockets have a mesh top to allow for ventilation when carrying used or sweaty gym clothes.

Available in a whopping 18 different colors, this bag is machine washable. It measures 28.5 inches wide, 14.1 inches long, and 15.7 inches tall, with a volume of 88 liters.

Under Armour Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym Bag
Under Armour Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym Bag
Under Armour Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym Bag

This gym bag was designed with performance in mind. Its design is simple enough for the no-fuss athlete, and also tasteful in its unique color scheme and patterns offered. The colors range from simple blacks and grays, to funky block patterns and camouflage.

Who Should Buy Under Armour Adult Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym Bag

  • Anyone who needs a gym bag with a large amount of space (this bag has an 88-liter volume).
  • Those who are happy to have a machine-washable bag.
  • Folks who appreciate having many color options.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Under Armour Adult Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym Bag

  • Anyone looking for a smaller gym bag that can fit in tighter lockers.
  • Those who prefer a backpack-style bag rather than a single-strap duffle.

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Best Small Gym Bag

This duffle-style gym bag is made of oxford fabric, is waterproof, and sports anti-theft features. This is available in 10 different color options. This lightweight bag has a large main compartment, an inner zipper pocket, a side compartment for weightlifting shoes, and a waterproof pocket for personal items and electronics.

This bag sports a large strap that is both adjustable and removable, allowing for multiple carrying modes. There are three different bag sizes available — medium, large, and extra-large — ranging from 19.69 inches in length to 24.8 inches in length.

Kuston Sports Gym Bag
Kuston Sports Gym Bag
Kuston Sports Gym Bag

This gym bag was designed for gym-goers and the organized travelers. The bag is lightweight and made with oxford fabric. It is equipped with multiple pockets and storage space.

 

Who Should Buy Kuston Sports Small Gym Bag

  • Those who want a bag with multiple pockets to more easily separate sweaty gym clothes from clean clothes.
  • Anyone who plans to train outside or in environments where it might get wet — potentially a great pick for swimmers.
  • People who like the versatility of a handheld bag that can be carried crossbody thanks to the adjustable strap.
  • Those working with a tighter budget — this is one of the more affordable options on the market.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kuston Sports Small Gym Bag

  • Anyone who needs a larger bag to carry more fitness gear.
  • Those who want a backpack-style bag.

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Best Duffle-Style Gym Bag

This duffle bag comes in either small, medium, or large, ranging from 20.5 inches in length to 29 inches in length. Manufactured with durable ripstop nylon, this bag sports two zippered end pockets and one front drop pocket. Its shoulder strap is padded, adjustable, and removable. When empty, the bag weighs in at 3.1 pounds. It is available in 35 different color options — significantly more than a lot of the market.

adidas Defender III Medium Duffel Bag
adidas Defender III Medium Duffel Bag
adidas Defender III Medium Duffel Bag

This sports duffel bag comes in a whopping 32 different color combinations. It is made of 100% polyester including its lining and measures in at 12.5 inches high and 24 inches wide.

Who Should Buy Adidas Defender III

  • Anyone who values multiple sizing and/or color options.
  • Folks who need to travel longer distances more comfortably — the shoulder strap is padded.
  • Those who want a large bag.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Adidas Defender III

  • Those who dislike carrying a bag on one shoulder or crossbody.
  • Anyone who wants a bag that is machine washable.

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Best Shoe Bag

This USA-manufactured shoe bag consists of a top panel — that comes in either green or black — and mesh sides to allow for better airflow on footwear and sweaty gym clothes. It measures 16 inches long, 11 inches wide, and six inches deep. Made from 1000D Cordura, one end sports a nylon-webbing handle for easier travel. If you bring a different set of shoes with you to the gym for barbell work (such as deadlifts or squats), this would be a solid pick-up to carry those shoes separately from your clothes.

Rogue Shoe Bag
Rogue Shoe Bag
Rogue Shoe Bag

This half-pound shoe bag is constructed with mesh sides to allow for better airflow when carrying footwear and used gym clothes. They are cut and sewn in-house in Columbus, OH, and offered with a black or green panel.

Who Should Buy Rogue Shoe Bag

  • Those who don’t want to lug around a full gym bag.
  • Anyone who needs to change shoes before leaving the gym.
  • People who want to keep their training shoes separate from their clothes.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Shoe Bag

  • Anyone who needs to transport more gear than just shoes.

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Best Sack-Style Gym Back

This drawstring carry bag measures 18 inches by 13 inches and includes a pair of paracord shoulder straps. Made in the USA, this gym sack is made from black 70D ripstop nylon and has a breathable, zipper-closed mesh outer pocket. It weighs just about a third of a pound when empty and can easily carry smaller, personal items — think lifting straps and the like — while traveling to and from the gym.

Rogue Gym Sack
Rogue Gym Sack
Rogue Gym Sack

This drawstring carry bag is great for transporting small and lightweight items such as shoes, personal effects, and accessories. Weighing less than a half-pound, this bag comes in black, measures 18 inches by 13 inches, and sports paracord shoulder straps.

Who Should Buy Rogue Gym Sack

  • Anyone who doesn’t have to carry large amounts of gear.
  • People who want a sack that is lightweight and convenient to store in tight spaces.
  • Folks who want a mesh bag so they can see what’s inside.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Rogue Gym Sack

  • Athletes who need to transport larger items like lifting belts.

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How We Decided Our Picks

It’s important to feel prepared and organized to feel ready to crush a workout or get the most out of a quick weekend trip. We looked at gym bags designed with pockets and storage to fit all the essentials, are affordable, and aren’t going to tear or collapse after minimal use. 

Storage

We looked at bags with spacious main compartments for bigger items like clothes, towels, and shoes. We also chose bags with several pockets and compartments for smaller items like a cellphone, toiletries, and more. 

Functionality

A gym bag has to function in a gym setting. This means it has to be waterproof or have pockets that can withstand any water bottle spills or toiletries that may leak. We also paid attention to how each gym bag was internally sealed. We looked at zipper functionality or pockets with some elasticity, ensuring all items are kept safe and snug. 

Appearance

We found simplicity to be key here. Chances are the items in the bag itself are full of personal flare, so as long as the bag does the job of organizing everything, it’s doing its job. We looked at bags that come in different colors, had various pattern options, and included accessories like straps or detachable pockets. 

Durability

Gym bags need to be able to withstand tough conditions. They should be designed to keep all the items inside safe and secure. The outside should withstand all different temperatures and, hopefully, are waterproof. Gym bags often carry a lot inside them, so the material should be durable and resistant to handling anything leaking or otherwise compromising.

Price

We looked at bags that were made out of quality materials for an affordable price. Most of the bags we looked at were made out of polyester, but the inside materials would vary from mesh to oxford fabric and more.

Gym Bag
Image via Shutterstock/LightField Studios

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What To Consider Before Buying

We’re always looking for a gym bag to organize our gear and get us ready for whatever the day has in store. We want a well-designed bag with compartments that vary in size and one that is comfortable to carry. We’ve thought of some crucial tips to consider when shopping for a gym bag. 

Comfort

If a bag isn’t comfortable to hold, that is almost an automatic no. Gym bags should help organize and make traveling to the gym easier. The bag shouldn’t be a pain to hold and should be comfortable enough to throw over your shoulder. Look for bags with adjustable straps. Often gym bags will also come with detachable straps or one big extra strap for an over-the-shoulder option. 

Sizing

Typically gym bags run bigger than a typical backpack or drawstring bag. Gym bags should have different compartments designed for various gym essentials. Look for bags that come with one main compartment (for larger items) and several smaller pockets for different items. Most gym bags will have three sections — one main pocket and two smaller pockets on the sides. Be on the lookout for bags that have more than three and are suitable for all kinds of must-haves you’re going to want at the gym. 

Material

Don’t be afraid to play around with different types of material to see which one you prefer. Gym bags come in all types of materials and fabrics, and some are designed for precise temperatures and activities. Polyester bags are usually a pretty safe bet if you’re unsure.

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Wrapping Up

Now that we’ve gone over five of the best gym bags on the web, we hope that you are feeling ready to get more organized and prepared for your workouts and travel plans. With so many bags on the market, we understand how overwhelming it can be. Hopefully, by now, you’re excited to purchase one, pack it up, and hit the gym!