Friends, we are here to stage a gym bag intervention. Please, just put down that
flimsy freebie tote that was foisted on you at that work conference five years ago, or the cool thrift-store find with unique, Memphis-y design but non-working zipper — save it for an Instagrammable picnic come summertime. These literal sad sacks have no place acting as the trusty workout and commuter bag your lifestyle deserves.
In our era of
competitive wellness and uniform-like devotion to activewear, there are gym bags on the market for every lifestyle, schedule, and taste. And they don’t have to break the bank, either. We know you’re doing your best to keep your New Year’s resolution of working out more, and trust us, having an attractive, functional bag will make this easier. (Remember how motivated you felt about school after buying a new backpack and supplies every September? It’s the same thing.)
Scroll through our exhaustive list to choose a bag that’s right for you. With a new gym bag, you’ll find yourself reveling in the process of packing up and sprinting out the door feeling organized and on top of your game.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Get yourself a gym bag that practically does the hard work for you. OK, it's not exactly going to take your spot in spin class, but it will protect and carry everything you need... and then some. It has internal mesh organizers for all your various fitness fixings plus a bottom pocket for separating shoes or dirty laundry.
The Carryall 40L Duffel Bag, $178.95
This vibrant and durable gym bag is made from and innovative, biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethane material, so it's easy to clean and — in true Stella McCartney form — easy on the environment.
adidas by Stella McCartney
Studio Bag M,
$220.00 $187.00 Buy
Stay organizing without compromising on style. This sleek duffle bag has a subtle pop of color and offers compartments and pouches for storing all your gym-going essentials. It even has a separate compartment for shoes and a coated bottom to keep your gear dry.
Radiate Duffel Bag, $60.00
This bag is for the chic commuter that likes to sneak in a workout on the way home from the office. It's roomy enough to fit everything you'll need and stylish enough to earn you a compliment or two at work.
Lululemon x Roksanda
Face Forward Backpack lululemon x Roksanda, $198.00
It’s difficult to find words to explain the cult status of Dagne Dover’s Landon Carryall. People really, really like this bag — our executive creative director
Piera Gelardi swears by her citron-colored one
. There’s kind of nothing that this sturdy and stylish neoprene weekender can’t do.
Medium Landon Carryall, $155.00
This bag definitely stands to become your next go-to considering its durable construction and optimum storage space. Its greatest feature is its detachable padded shoulder straps and padded haul handles, allowing it to be carried as a backpack or a duffle depending on where you're headed.
The North Face
Stratoliner Small Duffle Bag, $120.00
Why settle for one bag when you could have three? This option can be worn as a tote, a crossbody, or a backpack. Extra points for the fact that it's partly made from recycled plastic.
The Andi Tote, $198.00
If you're looking for bag that doesn't add extra weight to your gym load, look no further than this waterproof option from Caraa. It's light as air and features ample space and compartments to suit your needs.
Nimbus Weekender, $250.00
There's lots to love about this versatile bag, but don't just take our word for it. It's got an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars on Walmart.com and customers are in agreement that it's perfectly sized for hitting the gym.
DALIX - DALIX Signature Travel or Gym Duffle Bag in Navy Blue and Red, $21.95
If you're the type of person who keeps like to keep things simple and streamlined, this smaller tote option is just what you need. It's got a dependable structure with just enough space for your reusable water bottle, phone, and headphones.
Sporta Tote Bag,
$94.00 $47.00 Buy
It doesn’t get much sleeker — or much more affordable — than this cool-hued packable carryall. In a sturdy, super-lightweight ripstop fabrication and a stowaway pocket, it’s the perfect bag for your ever-changing workout schedule.
Herschel Supply Co.
$49.99 $34.99 Buy
A motivational sentiment that any gym-goer can get behind.
Work It Out Gym Bag,
$35.00 $22.99 Buy
Ask your outdoorsy friend about this cultish gear-maker and get ready for a really strong reaction — the Colorado-based brand’s backpacks and rucksacks have an ardent following. They’re designed for heavy-duty mountaineering, but this drawstring tote with two exterior pockets definitely suits the urban explorer’s lifestyle, too.
Topo Designs Cinch Tote,
$88.95 $61.99 Buy
Going to the gym sucks sometimes, so we suggest finding a bag that's going to cheer you up a little. Enter this super-lightweight, packable, throwback
option from Nike
— with a vintage-feeling design and a very reasonable price tag, this duffle will put a definite spring in your step.
ACG Packable Duffle Bag, $39.30
This ultra-lightweight tote bag converts easily into a backpack to accommodate heavier loads. With a water-resistant finish, drawstring top, and designated water bottle pocket, this chameleon-like bag will be a great companion for a variety of adventures.
Ultralight Black Hole 27L Tote Pack, $89.00
We tried our darnedest to remain calm when we saw this
(buffle?), available from Everlane. With a separate compartment for shoes (cue the collective sigh of relief from the after-work team-sports players) and a seriously high capacity, this sleek bag will make you the coolest person at the gym or the campsite.
The Mover Pack,
$150.00 $78.00 Buy
An indestructible weekender/gym bag that comes in several sun-baked shades of canvas for those of you who prefer to channel Nantucket at the gym.
Lo & Sons
Catalina Deluxe Tote,
$128.00 $89.60 Buy
A super-light, extra-large back that will accommodate all of your gym and life needs, thanks to a passport pocket, three zippered exterior pockets, mesh vents, and water bottle pocket.
Caraa Cirrus Backpack, $225.00
We’re so addicted to Baboon’s fun-fun-fun branding and colorways, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The start-up specializes in heavy-duty bags with super-stitched, waterproof materials — perfect for gym-goers who have to lug a lot of stuff.
Go-Bag (Small), $149.00
French luggage brand is one of our go-tos for super-sturdy duffles in colors better than they need to be. Their
24 Hour Bag
is exactly as described — the cute, roomy, rugged carry-all will take you throughout your day in style.
City Plume 24 Hour Bag,
$115.00 $69.00 Buy
This super-lightweight, roomy bag magically folds up to the size of a tablet when it’s not in use. (It can also be monogrammed, for maximum fanciness!) Bonus: Oprah gave it her coveted seal of approval.
$285.00 $228.00 Buy
A fanatically-rated (we’re talking 4.8 stars, people) duffle that has many a gearhead satisfied. “I love this bag,” says Amazon reviewer CW. “It’s a beautiful color, nice material, holds a ton of stuff — 40 oz. water bottle, speed rope, knee sleeves, supplements, wraps, gloves, lifting belt, etc — with plenty of room without being too bulky. I love the wet bag and the shoe compartment, too.”
Gym Bag with Shoe Compartment, $25.98
This cheerful turquoise knapsack is certainly roomy enough for the gym, but will also look very cute tucked into the backseat of the car in preparation for a weekend out of town.
A New Day
Square Backpack, $29.99
For those who haul a little less stuff to the gym, this lightweight rectangular backpack will do the trick. An added bonus? It can roll up into a travel pillow when you’re not toting it to workouts.
Foldable Lightweight Backpack, $16.99
A high-capacity backpack with all the bells and whistles — including a croc-effect base — and the nice price of $78.
This wouldn't be a gym bag round-up if we didn't include
a yoga-mat friendly option
. Luckily, the fitness experts at Sweaty Betty deliver, as usual. This lightweight neoprene backpack has a ton of pockets for all manner of gewgaws (fitness or life-related) and two bottom straps for safely toting your yoga mat from work to class.
All Sport Backpack, $115.00
A roomy and rugged tote made from recycled polyester that will pack easily
expand to accommodate all of your gym-going necessities.
Patagonia Black Hole Tote 25L, $59.00
We're beginning to suspect that this is the best gym bag out — it's quietly selling out everywhere we look, but luckily some are still snaggable on Amazon, in a spring-friendly rainbow of colors. With a drawstring top that will convert the bag from open tote to pillow-shaped duffle in one tug, this bag will enable you to dash around in style, and then seal off sweaty gym goods when the time comes.
Under Armour Women's Motivator Tote, $86.99
We love a convertible backpack/top handle situation, and this Adidas option checks all of the gym-friendly boxes — it sports a front zip pocket, zippered main compartment, and media pocket with tricot-lining for keeping devices protected.
adidas Originals Originals Tote III Backpack, $35.00
A sturdy classic with proven durability and style, along with a
warranty. (Lifetime, people.)
Unisex Santiago Duffel Bag,
$45.00 $35.99 Buy
While it’s on the pricier side, MZ Wallace’s Sutton duffle is long recognized for being one of the best, toughest, and most stylish all-purpose bags out there. With a durable quilted nylon exterior, luxe leather details, a detachable shoulder strap, it will accommodate a whole of gym goods or a weekend’s worth of travel gear. It has six interior pockets and comes with three extra pouches that can go in or out depending on your needs, and on top of it all, it’s crushable and packable.
Large Sutton, $245.00