The Best Gym Bags for Every Type of Exerciser

To haul your sweaty clothes, spin shoes, and whatever else you need.

The Best Gym Bags for Every Type of Exerciser in 2024

Courtesy of brands/Wesley Hall

Look: A lot of folks don’t need a dedicated gym bag—you can simply throw your stuff into whatever canvas tote you have lying around and be on your merry way. But trust us when we say that, for a lot of people, having the best gym bag for your workout of choice—one that’s designed with your specific packing and commuting needs in mind—is a worthwhile investment. Whether you’re hauling your clothes and toiletries with you to a HIIT class before you head straight to work or want to properly organize all the intramural sport equipment that you’ve just been throwing in your backseat, these duffels, totes, backpacks, and knapsacks can help you keep your things in order, contain any sweaty stuff with ease, and are actually cute. We’ve rounded up editor-tested and well-reviewed gym bags from Nike, Béis, Lululemon, Free People, Dagne Dover, Adidas, and more, including options for all kinds of workout styles. Happy schlepping! (No, seriously—with these picks, carrying your gear might actually be enjoyable.)

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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    Alo Yoga

    Traverse Duffle

    Best Big Bag: If your current bag is always bursting at the seams, go for this oversized duffel from Alo. Reviewers praise its roomy dimensions (its 22 inches long, 10.25 inches wide, and 13 inches deep), durable and quality feel, and adjustable straps. If you like taking everything you need for your workout and the rest of the day in one bag, this is an excellent choice.

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    Compakt Duffel Bag

    Best Collapsible: If you don’t want your gym bag taking up precious real estate in your closet, this Calpak duffel is perfect for you. It collapses down into a small pocket and takes up virtually zero space when you’re not using it. Another bonus: The water-resistant ripstop fabric makes for easy cleanup if you spill the protein shake or electrolytes you’re carrying with you.

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    Everyday Gym Bag Medium

    Best Budget: This option is a bit less expensive than the other classic duffels on this list, but it’s still a quality bag. “It fits a pair of shoes; a change of clothes; and extra essentials like hair ties, hand sanitizer, extra socks, and a water bottle pretty seamlessly, and I like that the separate shoe zipper keeps my gym clothes clean,” says one SELF editor, who also noted that this bag is a great fit for petite folks. “I like to travel light, which is why I don’t normally use gym bags, but this GymShark one feels small enough on my 5’2″ frame.”

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    City Adventurer Large Duffle Bag

    Best for Commuting: The padded outer pocket on this bag can fit a 16-inch laptop so it’s protected from the sweaty clothes you might put in the main compartment. There’s also a separate space for your shoes on the bottom. You can carry it by the handles, over your shoulder, or across your body, making it a great option for commuting from work to the studio and back home. One reviewer called this bag “very sturdy,” and “convenient” and said the size was “perfect for the gym and not too bulky to bring anywhere else.”

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    One Training Tote Bag (18-L.)

    Best Tote-Style Bag: If you prefer the look and feel of a shoulder bag, pick up this Nike one. It has the body of a tote but the perks of a gym bag, like a designated water bottle sleeve inside and an adjustable bungee cord on the outside to hold anything you want to air out or keep easily accessible. Even though it’s from Nike, it toes the sporty-chic line well. One reviewer said, “I wanted a sports bag that didn’t look like one. This ticked all the boxes.”

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    All-Day Neoprene Duffle Bag

    Most Versatile: You can actually adjust the size of this duffel: The flaps on either end of the main compartment can be opened to create more space or snapped closed to make the bag more compact, and reviewers say they love the flexibility. It also has multiple strap options and plenty of internal compartments for max organization. “This bag holds so much and is not super heavy,” one reviewer wrote. And the durable neoprene fabric and muted colors make it a Dagne Dover duffel dupe you could easily bring to the office too.

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    FP Movement

    Quilted Carryall

    Best Casual Bag: This soft tote is roomy enough to hold your cycling shoes or weight lifting gloves alongside a change of clothes and will look good thrown over your shoulder during your post-workout errands. One reviewer noted that it “holds everything without becoming a bottomless pit since it has the inside pockets”—a major win for a bag that has a more unstructured look.

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    FP Movement

    Dribble Pocket Sling

    Best Sling: If you tend to get dressed before you head to the gym and just want a carrier for your headphones, wallet, keys, chapstick, and water bottle, this bag is it. It has a roomy main compartment, three exterior pockets, and an adjustable strap that lets you wear it across your body or as a fanny pack.

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    Dagne Dover

    Dakota Neoprene Backpack

    Best Backpack: One SELF editor says this was her go-to gym bag whenever she was biking to work with plans to hit a bootcamp class later that day. “It held my workout clothes, toiletry bag, and shoes, along with my laptop and other essentials I needed for the office. The long, internal zipper pockets are great for storing dirty clothes on the way home from the gym too,” she says. “It’s lightweight and one of the only backpacks that hasn’t given me chafing problems thanks to the soft neoprene straps.” It comes in three sizes, so you can decide which one works for you based on what you typically need on-hand for the gym.

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    Brasilia 9.5 Training Duffel Bag (95-L.)

    Best for Equipment: If you’re lugging shoes, clothes, towels, and bulky paddles, balls, or bats to the gym or practice, you need a big duffel that can fit it all. This one has plenty of zippered pockets to organize your stuff and sturdy straps that can handle the weight of heavy workout gear.

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    Alliance Sackpack

    Best Lightweight Bag: A drawstring bag like this one from Adidas will do the trick if you’re just carrying small items from your car to the locker room. You can still pack all your essentials and keep them organized in the mesh interior pockets and exterior zipper pocket, and the thick straps on this bag won’t dig into your shoulders.

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    Alana Duffel

    Best for Wet Clothes: If you’re a swimmer or do hot yoga, you know the struggle of hauling your soaked gear home. This duffel comes with a wet/dry bag you can toss a bathing suit or any other saturated gear in, along with a drawstring bag for shower sandals or shoes. It also has five interior pockets to help you stay organized.

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    Travel Yoga Gym Bag

    Best for Yoga: If you BYOM, grab this duffel that’s designed with yoga and Pilates in mind. You can slide your yoga mat through the long space between the handles and secure it in place with a strap for easy carrying. Inside the main compartment, there’s plenty of room for blocks, a water bottle, a towel, and anything else you might need. “I’ve tried many bags for yoga and this one takes the cake,” wrote one reviewer, adding that “you can fit it all!”

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    Two-Tone Canvas Tennis Tote

    Best for Tennis: You don’t need to be a pro tennis player to care if your equipment gets dinged up on your car or train rides to and from the court. Your gear will stay safe tucked into this roomy tote’s racket-shaped exterior pocket.

Jessica is a writer on SELF’s commerce team and covers beauty, health, and fitness products. Previously, Jessica was the beauty editor at USA TODAY’s product review website, Reviewed, where she wrote and edited stories about the best makeup and skincare products and practices. Jessica earned a B.S. in journalism from… Read more

SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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