The 7 Best Gyms Bags Available Today

Whether you're a seasoned gym rat or someone who's making post-lockdown resolutions to get in better shape, you're likely looking for the most efficient way to melt fat and sculpt muscle.

The entire process of working out and getting in better shape (no matter what that looks like) needs to be celebrated, and part of that involves purchasing and using equipment that helps enhance your wellness efforts. A great gym bag allows for so much more than transporting essential equipment to and from your favorite workout scene. It sends a strong signal to others that you mean business.

The Many Functions of a Gym Bag

A gym bag transports necessities to and from your favorite studio, fitness center, or park. Many use the vast varieties and styles of the gym bag for other activities, including backpacking, airline travel, and even overnight and weekend trips. With so many options, how do you choose the right one for your activities?

How the Gym Bag Came To Be: A History

It's nearly impossible to speak to the evolution of the gym bag without giving some attention to the history of the modern gym and how that has shaped contemporary wellness culture.

A gym is where many look for muscle gain, strength, and motivation. Lifting heavy weights was popular in the ancient civilizations of India, Persia, Chia, and Greece. Historians credit the ancient Athenians, who crafted the word gymnasium from the Greek terms "gumnazo" (exercise) and "gumnos" (naked or loin-covered).

Grecian Gods

The first gymnasiums were social gathering places as well as spots to burn calories. These "men-only" institutions offered steam baths, massages, exercises, and even lectures from philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.

Other specialized gyms in different regions of Greece were dedicated locations for soldiers in training, such as Sparta, where children as young as seven entered rigorous physical conditioning programs to become feared war machines.

Indian Akhara Culture

Indian akhara culture, or gym culture, involved ritual cleansing techniques and offerings to Hindu deities to give thanks for increasing strength and stamina. It wasn't uncommon for ordinary citizens and aristocrats to meet on common ground in the akhara and engage in hand-to-hand combat to stimulate both body and mind.

Re-Emerging From Flabby Falsehoods

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the priority of building the physical body soon gave way to the Dark Ages, when religious beliefs took hold of much of the European population. Priests and other religious leaders condemned the body as "an abomination"; many abandoned ways of caring for it in favor of taking on more altruistic beliefs. Sure, war was still occurring, and soldiers trained for battle with military exercises. The majority population, however, put off their physical development until the Renaissance period emerged.

Reviving Gym Culture

Jean Jacques Rousseau significantly impacted the future of physical activity and gym culture in his text Emile or Treatise On Education. In this multi-volume rant, Rousseau cited the importance of education in children's lives and stressed that physical activity and sports were integral parts of educating the whole individual.

Rousseau grabbed people's attention, and gym culture was subsequently revived across Europe and beyond, with people giving attention to bodies and minds once again. The development of the Swedish gym model and Turner gym model advanced gymnasiums across Europe and in the United States, yet they were not as well-equipped as the fitness centers of today. These first commercial gyms were light on the equipment, filled with equipment like pommel horses, climbing ropes, balance beams, and very light dumbbells.

A Common Thread Throughout History

Although no one can accurately cite the appearance of the first gym bag in an exercise facility, it is not hard to conceptualize ancient Greeks and Romans carrying valuables with them as they traveled from station to station in search of enrichment for both the body and the mind.

As women entered the gym scene, carrying items of value and culturally-appropriate clothing and coverings was likely the standard. Carrying their needed gear in a simple satchel would have been preferred over having to find a place to store personal belongings. Thank goodness for this creative thinking and ingenuity, for people now have a plethora of options to store workout gear and gym clothes, making working out more efficient and enjoyable.

Modern Gyms

Modern gyms are the preferred place for folks who work to sculpt longer, leaner, and stronger frames. Nationally-recognized chains and small local strip mall locations offer opportunities to get a good burn going in classes or solo strength training sessions.

Fitness enthusiasts carry everything from basic gym essentials to complete wardrobe changes, technological devices and gadgets, makeup, and hair accessories in a gym bag to ensure that a vigorous sweat session fits easily into a busy schedule. With so many options for the taking, how will you choose the best gym bag for your needs?

Why Use a Gym Bag?

Why do people use totes, duffel bags, and backpacks at the gym? For some, it's all about functionality. They want the convenience of having workout clothes and other gym essentials at their fingertips.

Others prefer to make a style statement with a gym bag. Choosing the perfect color, shape, and style communicates a message to others that you've given some time and thought to how you'll use your gym equipment to sculpt a better body, one workout session at a time.

Regardless of your reason, using the perfect gym bag can take your workout to the next level of enjoyment and efficiency.

Types Of Gym Bags

Choosing just the right bag requires careful consideration, much like selecting the right handbag for a perfect outing on the town. Your best gym bag has to house toiletries, apparel, shoes, and equipment designed to maximize your workout experience and efforts. It should be a nod to your personal style and cater to all of those before and after activities that you'll need to get you through the day.

Here are some of the most popular shapes and styles on the market today:

Hands-Free

The hands-free model has a sporty, youthful vibe. Two straps allow maximum comfort on the back while freeing up your hands to play with gym equipment and accessories. This type of gym bag both brands and reflects your personal style, and the variety of sizes and colors help you accessorize your look. You could even color-coordinate with your workout wear!

Smart Sack

The smart sack has a duffel-bag shape that efficiently doubles as an overnight or weekend bag. A discrete, heat-proof compartment is the perfect place to store curling irons or hair straighteners. Store all your on-the-go items in one place as you preen after a workout.

Pool Jewel Gym Bags

The pool jewel gym bag is a waterproof tote perfect for swimming workouts or rainy days when valuables must stay dry. Leather, vinyl, and other waterproof materials comprise the modern, sleek design. No more fretting over wet clothes; this one's got you covered.

Deep-Stuff Gym Bags

Deep-stuff gym bags are expandable, providing extra panel space to carry extra equipment for more vigorous workouts. The addition of rugged elastic straps makes it perfect for toting around a yoga mat with your other gym gear.

Amplifier Duffel Bags

The amplifier duffel bag features a large, spacious main compartment that easily fits most gym essentials. Featuring a removable pouch to keep sweaty clothes and shoes away from your other equipment, this bag also converts from a duffel to a backpack with an adjustable padded shoulder strap that makes all forms of carrying easier.

Brasilia Duffel Bags

This sturdy training bag is comprised of extra durable polyester with a large main compartment to store workout wear and equipment. Padded shoulder straps enhance carrying comfort, while an exterior mesh pocket sleeve allows easy access to the things you need most.

Three-Way Bags

The three-way duffel bag provides several different compartments for keeping belongings organized and at your fingertips. A zippered inner pocket keeps small items such as keys and cell phones snug and secure. A separate shoe compartment stores sweaty sneakers after each workout, while a third section fits clothing and other workout gear. Carry it as a duffel or backpack, depending on how sore your shoulders are after an upper body day at the gym.

Meal Prep Duffel Bags

The meal prep duffel bag is the ultimate all-in-one tool for fitness enthusiasts on the go. Complete with a supplement container, three freezer packs, and five leak-proof containers, you can sling some grub and house your gym essentials all in one place.

What To Look For When Buying Your Bag

Gym bags keep you organized and efficient while on the go and at the gym. Choosing the right bag for you takes both time and consideration. Determining what you need to carry in it, as well as how much you can spend, are just a few of the considerations you must make as you peruse the shelves, trying shoulder straps on for size. Consider these attributes and see how your perfect bag takes shape.

Comfort 

Comfortable straps and comfortable material are essential factors to consider when choosing a gym bag. Many models offer more than one option for carrying, so think about what will be most comfortable for you. Some have only hand straps, while others include shoulder straps. There are even convertible models that easily switch over to backpacks for hands-free carrying.

Size

Bags come in nearly every shape and size, ranging from those barely able to hold your water bottle to bags that encapsulate hockey sticks and shoulder pads. Most can easily contain items such as a change of clothes, sneakers, shower essentials, and smaller pieces of gym equipment. The bigger the bag, the heavier it will be when it's packed full.

Ask yourself what you'll need to pack to get through the portion of your day that surrounds a workout; quite often, this will determine the number of compartments you'll need as well as the size you're looking for.

Needed Materials

Choosing a bag that is too large or small for needed equipment is problematic. Consider the type of activity you'll be engaging in most at the gym and the equipment you'll need to work out or play that particular sport efficiently. Choosing a bag that easily accommodates all your needed gear will make packing a snap.

7 of the Best Gym Bags Available

The following gym bags represent the best of the best; these bags are perfect for recreational gym participants and serious bodybuilders alike. Choose one or several to enhance your wellness practices and other activities such as weekend travel, backpacking, and family outings.

Which one appeals most to you?

1. PUMA Evercat Women's Candidate Duffel Bag

PUMA is a sportswear and athletics brand that stands out naturally among competitors. Known for producing high-quality products, this Evercat Women's Candidate Duffel Bag doesn't disappoint. Sporting a variety of colors, this stylish gym bag offers a great deal of storage space for clothes, shoes, and toiletries. The adjustable strap design allows for carrying comfort, regardless of how long the locker corridor is.

A two-way zipper gives easy access to all of your gym equipment, and the PUMA stores easily in a gym locker, giving you peace of mind that your valuables are stored securely while you make an appearance at your favorite HIIT class. Multiple compartments allow you to store shoes and shower kits away from your new pair of Lululemon leggings, so feel free to step into the gym looking and feeling like a million bucks.

PUMA Evercat Women's Candidate Duffel BagPhoto source: Amazon.com

2. Adidas Diablo Small Duffel Bag

Not in the mood to tote something large and bulky to the gym? The Adidas Diablo Small Duffel Bag is perfect for an overnight bag or a quick trip to the court to play some basketball. Easily storing items like a ball, shoes, and keys in its ultra-roomy main compartment, this bag offers the comfort of a dual-strap handle or a shoulder strap, giving you options for hands-free transport. Storing easily into any gym locker, this bag's polyester design and sturdy zipper mechanism can take some serious wear and tear as you use it for everything from weekend travel to weekend tournaments.

Adidas Diablo Small Duffel BagPhoto source: Amazon.com

3. Sportsnew Sports Gym Bag with Wet Pocket

Sportsnew's Gym Bag with Wet Pocket is the next level of efficiency in effortlessly organizing and storing workout wear. With generous storage space for wet and dry items, you'll easily compartmentalize items like shoes, water bottles, and a wallet away from gym gear. Made from durable, water-resistant material, this sturdy all-in-one tote is ideal for use at the gym, pool, or even at the beach. Easy comfort handles and an adjustable shoulder strap provide many options for travel.

An upgraded, PVC-lined zippered pocket whisks away wet and dirty clothes, swimsuits, and towels, keeping the rest of your equipment clean and dry. Available in an array of vivid colors and designs, this bag will make a style statement while upping your game in the gym and beyond.

Sportsnew Sports Gym Bag with Wet PocketPhoto source: Amazon.com

4. Nike Brasilia Small Duffel

From work to the gym and then home again, this sturdy designer bag gives you several options for efficient storage and functionality. Nike's Brasilia Small Duffel bag sports an extra spacious main compartment with specialized compartments to easily organize your belongings on the go. Made from 100% polyester with an extra durable lining, this tote sports several pockets that can accommodate valuables such as your phone, wallet, keys, and even jewelry.

Solid zipper closures easily withstand wear and tear as you access what you need, while a generous 25" shoulder drop and ultra plush adjustable strap give you the carrying comfort you're looking for, no matter how heavy your gear gets. Enjoy the style and statement of Nike without a hefty price tag; this bag delivers fashion-forward functionality.

Photo source: Amazon.com

5. PUMA Kids' Evercat Transformation Duffel

Get your kids excited about health and wellness as you set the standard for good habits that will yield lifelong vitality. Kiddos need workout gear too! The PUMA Kids' Evercat Transformation Duffel bag comes in an array of stylish colors, with an extremely durable design that takes a beating and still keeps showing up to each workout or practice. A large interior compartment is a perfect place to stow items needed for drills and games, while a mesh exterior pocket easily accommodates essentials such as snacks and water bottles.

Give your young athlete the gift of on-the-go organization and convenience with this high-quality, affordable gym bag.

Photo source: Amazon.com

6. Everest Gym Bag

The Everest Gym Bag is another top contender that offers excellent recreational and professional play features. Multiple compartments provide options to store everything from yoga mats to large water bottles and shoes. A separate compartment inside the main compartment is well-protected from prying eyes; place your money and other valuables inside with confidence that they'll stay put.

Larger items such as tennis rackets and balls fit snugly into the central storage section, leaving room for all other gym essentials to fit neatly into this well-organized and efficient gym kit.

Photo source: Amazon.com

7. Focusgear Ultimate Gym Bag

With over ten separate compartments, the Focusgear Ultimate Gym Bag promises simple and efficient organization. Specialized pockets for phone and keys makes finding these essentials a snap, and a velcroed back pocket puts other valuables at your fingertips. Both wet and shoe compartments make it easy to keep your workout wear clean, while external mesh pockets are perfect for water and protein shakes.

With all the space you have for packing your equipment, there are no more excuses for a sedentary Saturday morning on the couch. Take this bag along and be one step closer to your health and fitness goals. Load up this luxury gym vehicle and get ready to rock!

Photo source: Amazon.com

Final Thoughts: No More Excuses! Get Moving Today! 

With the plethora of stylish, functional designer bags on the market, there are no more excuses for failing to sculpt your dream physique. Take one bag or outfit the whole family with their gym gear, and know that you're doing your part to create a healthier, more active life for yourself and your loved ones.

Was this article helpful?
YesNo