Best Gym Bags & Duffle Bags Reviewed
Most people going to the fitness center usually need a way to carry their items. However, not many people use bags designed specifically for the gym. Some do not find it a worthwhile investment while others just don’t see the point. For people that have to drive to the fitness center, they usually leave everything locked up inside their vehicle. Others that do not want to purchase something specifically for exercising will use any bag or backpack they may have laying around at home. Despite the fact that we’re talking about just a duffle bag, there are actually quite a few benefits of purchasing one specific for hitting the fitness center.
- Adidas Defender II
- Stands Tall
- Ripstop Material
- Everest Wet Pocket
- Wet Pocket
- Bottle Holder
- Dalix Two Toned
One of the biggest reasons to purchase one is quite obviously to carry all the items you may bring to the gym. However, fitness bags usually have multiple different compartments and separations that allow you to store all your items separately. For instance, dirty and clean clothes can have separate areas so you can leave your fitness center smelling fresh or your protein powders can have to use a different pocket from your keys so that the powder doesn’t accidentally get cut open, this will allow you to be more organized and start your workout sooner.
10 Best Gym Bags
1. Adidas Defender II
Items that you bring to the fitness center may not always fit a standard sized bag. Depending on the equipment you need for your workout, some objects can be quite awkward in size. The Adidas Defender II comes specifically designed for that purpose. It stands much taller than most duffle bags, allowing your full protection of large awkward sized objects. The tallness of the tote is also beneficial if you have larger feet as they will be able to completely enclose the length of your exercise shoes.
Ripstop is a material that is made to be lightweight and durable. It is a material that can be found in hot air balloons, hammocks, and totes. This is because Ripstop is a fabric that is made of other materials entwined with Nylon. Once it is woven together, it is reinforced with a special technique that makes it resistant to being torn or ripped. The materials woven alternate between thicker and thinner threads and are interlocked to ensure it is harder to wear out. The Adidas Defender II Duffel Bag is made of ripstop material, thus improving the integrity.
Cost and Value
Depending on the size and design, the Adidas Defender II Duffel Bag can range from being affordable to quite expensive. Regardless of which you choose, this is a tote that will really pay off and help you organize your life. Adidas is confident enough about their product that they also offer a completely free lifetime warranty. With its many compartments and ability to be machine washed, it is a product that is easy to maintain.
- Lifetime warranty
- Reinforced Material
- Stands Tall
- Some loose stitching
2. Everest Wet Pocket
When it comes to keeping things clean an organized, a wet pocket is a necessity. This pocket will be where you keep the dirtiest of items such as runners that have been used on a rainy day. If you have any wet equipment such as swimming suits or very sweaty clothes, the wet pocket is a great way to separate the spoiled from the clean. It will also prevent odors from developing with all your other equipment. The great thing about the Everest Gym Bag is that their wet pocket is located on the outside. It is an additional pocket that is completely separated from the rest of it and is sewn onto the exterior, eliminating any chance of spoiling what is inside.
As bottle sizes and capacity are changing, the bottle holding compartments need to change as well. Most gym bags are able to hold a water bottle, however, more and more people are finding that their bottle does not fit inside this pocket. This is because the pocket size was constructed years ago, where bottles were smaller and made of plastic. However, most bottles now are made of a type of metal and can hold much more water than before. The Everest Gym Bag has an extra wide bottle holder that can hold a bottle that is three inches in diameter. This is great news as it is extremely frustrating to pack but not be able to fit your bottle into the holder, thus forcing you to use up valuable real estate inside.
Cost and Value
The price slightly varies depending on the color and size you choose. Overall this is an option that is quite affordable and comes into the market at a reasonable price point. This gives you thirty-two liters (eight and a half gallons) of contained space so that you don’t have to worry about running out of space. In case the spacious interior is not enough, there are also two additional pockets that also include an additional mesh sleeve that allows for four extra areas to fill.
- Padded shoulder
- Bottle holder
- Lots of pockets
- Meshing may tear easily
3. Adidas Diablo
Surprisingly, there are quite a few things you need when you go do your exercise. From music, to food, to things you wear, things get subconsciously added to the list. Before you know it, the tote becomes quite large and bulky. When you are carrying something heavy and big over a large distance or a longer period of time, it will become uncomfortable. The handles will start to dig into your skin and leave your hand sore. To mitigate this problem, the Adidas Diablo comes with a padded handle. The cushioning around the handle will serve as an additional layer to prevent the strap from biting into your palm as much.
Although brand name may be important to some, it is agreed upon that one of the most important things for people is how durable the sports equipment is. Having a highly branded product that rips apart in a few uses is not going to be useful to the user as they will have to invest in a new item. The Adidas Diablo is made to be very strong and resilient and can withstand the stresses of carrying heavier items. The seams on this are strengthened to protect from any wear and tear that may occur.
Cost and Value
This item is of average price point and can be purchased by most people. The tote comes in a variety of colors and will appeal to most people. It is suitable for outdoor and indoor use. The tote is built with extra soft fabric so that it does not knick or scratch you while using it. The long shoulder straps will also allow you to be more comfortable for long term wear. Overall, this tote is worth every penny you spend on it.
- Machine washable
- Colors on website are slightly different than product
4. Dalix Two Toned
Dalix bags are made to be used anywhere and for any occasion. They can be used for various reasons such as a the gym, as carry-on luggage for a flight, hiking, and much more. The idea behind these is that they are small enough to comfortably carry around, but also have a deep enough compartment space to actually store items that you may need. Many totes claim to be able to adapt and be used for many reasons, however they also fail to have well enough designed pockets and separations to actually be useful.
This duffle is fully adjustable, meaning it can be changed until it fits your exact needs. It comes with multiple handles that can be removed to prevent them from getting in your way. The long shoulder strap can be altered to the exact length you need or completely removed if you don’t need or like it. The duffel can be completely functional with the two shorter handles that can also hang easily inside a locker. To ensure complete comfort all the handles come with padded areas that have extra cushioning, thus allowing for use over a long period of time.
Cost and Value
This comes at an extremely affordable price. It is priced much lower than competitors as the Dalix brand believes in accessibility. The idea behind this was to build a good quality item which can be accessible to all. Despite the small size it can store a lot more than it looks like it would, making this a great multipurpose companion.
- Cost efficient
- Variety of colors
- Lining inside quite thin
5. Under Armour Undeniable 3.0
The Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 is a rugged option that is built to last. The Under Armour Storm technology has been added to the exterior, making it extremely waterproof. The UA Storm technology is a treatment that is done to the fabric to make it extremely water resistant. Products treated by this can become very capable in the elements outdoors and when moisture hits, it will simply roll off. It provides all weather protection and can also be washed in the washing machine.
To extend the lifespan, the Undeniable 3.0 also has reinforced side and bottom panels. The side and bottom are usually where the wear and tear start to show as they are often the places where friction is produced against the wall or the ground. As a result, this has an abrasion treatment done to it. The material in that area is also a little thicker which will add to how long it can last before needing to be replaced.
Cost and Value
The Undeniable 3.0 is a little more expensive compared to most duffles, this is because of all the extra technology that has gone into developing it. Not only is it water resistant, the large shoulder strap is also made with the heat gear system which keeps the wearer more comfortable. The handles on the side are also padded so that the straps won’t cause marks on your hand if you are carrying something heavy.
- Heat Gear Technology
- UA Storm Technology
- Machine Washable
- Reinforced bottom
- Variety of Colors
- Cannot fit size twelve shoes
6. Kuston Travel
Having breathable material is important as that is the only way to allow your items to fully dry and also allows for odors to escape. When the moisture cannot escape, it produces odors that will linger no matter how many times you wash it. The Kuston is made of oxford fabric that is very high quality. The fabric is highly breathable, allowing for the warm and moist air from inside to leave and for fresh air to go in. This will create positive airflow which will ventilate all the items inside.
Oxford fabric is also an incredibly comfortable type of fabric. The exterior is soft enough that it will not scratch against the legs of the user and cause any discomfort. There is also a long shoulder strap that is adjustable allowing it to fit the length of your torso. The strap also comes with a padded area for you to rest on your chest or shoulders and prevent it any rubbing or chafing of your skin.
Cost and Value
The Kuston Sports Gym Bag is a little more expensive, however, it is worth every penny you spend. This is a very classy product that looks more expensive than the price you pay. On top of that, this is versatile and can be used in many ways. It also has two mesh pockets on the sides which do not connect to the interior, allowing you to air out the smelliest of your articles. It is also big enough to fit a large pair of shoes and still accommodates more items.
- Waterproof pocket
- Variety of colors
- Runs a little small
7. Mier 20 Inch
Apart from the fabric itself being worn out, generally bags get retired because of the zipper breaking. If the fabric tears, it can be repaired, however, once the zipper breaks there is no other choice but to buy a new one entirely. It’s incredibly frustrating when your zipper is caught on the material or needs extra tugging as it breaks down the integrity. The worst thing that can happen is when the zipper completely gives up and no longer locks both sides together. Mier has tried to prevent this from happening by using a high-quality zipper known as the “SBS”. This is much higher quality than normal zippers and can be ten times more smooth and durable, allowing for a longer lifespan.
Vented Wet Pocket
One of the most repelling feelings is taking wet or sweaty items out of your duffle. If you have been wearing it for a long time, those items absorb your body heat and end up being wet and warm. At that point not only does it smell terrible, it also feels disgusting. Mier has gone and constructed an option that has a wet pocket that can be ventilated, meaning there’s a chance that your items may dry before you take them out. Although it isn’t recommended for you to leave those items in overnight if you’re home, the ventilation will help greatly when you can’t make it home right away.
Cost and Value
This is a moderately affordable item but it is worth every single dime that is invested into it. The MIER brand has worked to improve the research and development has mitigated a lot of the problems that often occur. This point alone means that it will last longer than most and will be long-lasting. At the end of your packing, the MIER duffle also includes a strap that wraps around, allowing you to compress it so that it doesn’t take up as much room.
- High Quality Material
- Large Storage Space
- Ventilated Wet Pocket
- Upgraded Zipper
- Strap can be rough on shoulders
8. Puma Contender
The PUMA Contender is great because it is multifunctional. It can be used for multiple occasions whether it is to bring it to a sport or used overnight. The inside is deep and wide enough to store large sized items. It can easily hold a pair of large fitness shoes or any awkwardly shaped object. It is incredibly frustrating when you cannot hold everything you need to bring. In order to mitigate the problem, PUMA has constructed two additional pockets, one on each end that will give you a significant amount of extra space to use. It also has two additional small pockets at the front allowing quick and easy access to your most commonly used items.
The most frustrating thing is to have a heavily used tote break on you. The PUMA Contender is designed to put up a fight. It has heavily reinforced edges to prevent early bursting at the seams. It also has a zipper built into every pocket and compartment to make sure your items are completely protected. It is reinforced with a second lining to give your items double the protection, and is made from one hundred percent Polyester which will give a little flexibility to the material and prevent it from early breaking.
Cost and Value
This is more expensive compared to many other options, however, it is still a great value as it is from a well-known manufacturer. The multi-pocket design is great as it almost guarantees that you will fit everything you need. It is also made from high-quality materials that will lengthen the lifespan. The Contender also comes with a separate shoe compartment that allows you to keep your other items from becoming smelly.
- Many pockets
- Good Quality Material
- Long lasting
9. Marsbro Sports
This tote is popular because of its trendy design. The outer pockets were placed strategically so that they match with the way the duffle looks. The zippers also have short tails attached, allowing for easier grip and access when trying to open a pocket. Unlike many other bags, the Marsbro Sports has little feet sewn onto the bottom to protect it from being placed directly on the floor. These little rubber feet will increase the lifespan by ensuring the fragile fabric does not constantly rub against hard surfaces such as flooring or concrete. These feet on the bottom also help it in standing straighter, thus allowing you to pack more easily.
Water Resistant Lining
The Marsbro has a water-resistant pocket. It is a large side pocket that is lined with a water-resistant lining made from a Polyurethane coating. The treated fabric will not absorb water and simply wick it away and let it evaporate through the ventilation. Having a water resistant pocket is beneficial as you can store any wet items you may have accumulated in your shower. The pocket will also come in handy when you want to store sweat or rain covered articles.
Cost and Value
This comes into the market at an average price point. An added bonus is the water-resistant lining of one of the pockets as it can prevent getting your other items wet. This is a versatile option that can be used to travel, go to the gym, or even take hiking or camping. This one also comes with multiple small pockets on the front that allow you to easily access certain items. With all the technology and a durable fabric, this is a duffle that cannot be beaten.
- Water resistant
- Trendy design
- Multi purpose
- May smell like plastic
10. IX Waterproof
When using a tote, the worst thing that can happen is have it so heavy you don’t even want to move it. While it is understandable that the weight of your sports equipment is predetermined and there is nothing you can do about it, the weight of the tote you choose can change, The IX is made from extremely lightweight material, allowing you to carry it more comfortably and not be drained just trying to make it to your activity. The main material used is Nylon which is very light but also incredibly durable. The lightness of the fabric will allow you to carry heavier items without feeling as tired, and the stretchiness of the Nylon will ensure it does not rip while you are using it.
While wearing this item, it is important to be able to adjust it so you can be comfortable. An uncomfortable duffle will leave your back and your arms sore. It will also decrease the amount of time you can use it before you get tired. The one has an adjustable strap for you to carry it at the correct height for you. It also comes with a padded shoulder protector so that you can have some extra cushioning and prevent your neck from becoming sore. The shorter handles also come with a velcro system where you can lock the handles together and keep them from becoming loose while you carry it.
Cost and Value
This is a little more expensive than most of the other brands, however, the lifetime warranty alone makes it worth every single penny. Having a lifetime warranty is important as most of the time the manufacturer is willing to replace your product when it becomes defective. It is also a sign that they are confident enough in their product that they will replace it if anything happens. This is a great option that is built to be waterproof and protects against scratches while maintaining breathability.
- Lifetime warranty
- Super lightweight
- Variety of colors
- Wet pocket
- May run small
Despite what most people think, once they purchase a fitness bag it is hard to go back to not having one. A gym bag can be very useful as you will accumulate more fitness gear overtime. Before you know it, it’ll be hard just to walk in carrying a small tote . The gym bag is large enough to fit all your equipment while keeping the insides cool so that bacteria do not start to grow. The flow of air will also dry out items faster, preventing them from becoming stinky.
Depending on the bag you end choosing, some come with extra straps and hooks to bring specific equipment to your workout. For instance, some have two additional straps that allow for you to strap on a yoga mat thus freeing your hands to carry other things. Others come with extra carbine clips or areas in which you can clip things such as a helmet or a jug of water on it. Little additional benefits like these can make your exercise routine much more organized and a little easier to carry, thus eliminating any extra stress prior to going to the fitness center.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Gym Bags
Depending on the brand you chose, bags can come in a variety of sizes. The general sizing that they can come is small, medium, and large. Usually, they are measured based on their largest containing area and how much it can hold. Some of the larger bags can hold up to forty liters or more. Based on what your needs are, the size you choose will vary.
Because there are many ways of packing a fitness tote and everyone has individual needs. However, there are certain items that are found in almost everyone’s gym bag. These items can be split into three categories: basics, exercise, and post workout.
The basic items to pack are things that you cannot leave the house with. Items such as wallet, keys, and cellphone. In case it rains, an umbrella would be useful as well. It is important to stay hydrated during a workout, as a result, a water bottle and maybe some trail mix would keep your energy levels up. If you are planning on going out afterward, having a spare change of clothes and socks are an absolute necessity.
Another thing to consider would be items that you may need while you are exercising. A small towel to wipe off any sweat that accumulates can improve your exercising greatly as it allows for better grip and control of your instruments. Some people elect to use weight lifting gloves as well as they can prevent damage to the soft skin in your palm. One of the most important things to remember to include in your gym bag is your music and headphones. Many people like to exercise with their own music as it keeps them focused and energized.
The last category of items to pack in a fitness bag are things you’ll need post workout. Because you are using a shared facility, shower sandals may be a good way to prevent infections and bacteria from spreading. Hand sanitizer is also recommended in case the soap dispensers run out so that you have a way of disinfecting as you leave the facilities. A few simple supplies such as Band-aids, painkillers, and muscle relaxants are recommended in case you injure yourself or exercised a little too hard. If you plan on having a shower, then the basics of shampoo, soap, towel, and deodorant are a must. Otherwise, a small pack of tissues will be sufficient to give your face and hands a quick wipe down.
When you consider the size, it is important to remember all the items listed above may be items you need to pack. It is recommended that you purchase a duffle bag that will be big enough to include all the essentials.
Despite what people may think, color is actually incredibly important for your fitness bag. Depending on where you use it, you may or may not want it to be too obvious. For instance, people that are going to exercise on their lunch break prefer more subtle tones with logos as they do not want their colleagues to think they are using work time to exercise. However, there are quite a few people that prefer to choose more colorful and bright options. This is because the colors are bright and remind them they have to go to the fitness center. Many people also find going to the fitness center very hard and boring, so having a colorful outfit or bag encourages them to go to exercise more.
Bags come in a wide range of colors. Some can be very simple, black and have no logos. Others can be cleverly designed so they don’t even look like an exercise tote. Others are designed with bright and flashy logos. Depending on personal preference and where you will be using this bag, there are a plethora of colors and designs to choose from.
A gym bag can be made of various materials and, depending on what you need it for, different materials may be needed. The most basic fabric that is used in a fitness bag is canvas. While a canvas one looks really nice, it is not as durable as the fabric is not treated with materials that can increase the lifespan. It is also not waterproof and may not ventilate as well.
Another option is for a gym bag to be made of leather. Leather is a very popular material as it looks great and is very durable. The leather fibers are very strong and can withstand a lot of use before it breaks down. It is also very thick and can easily protect the items inside. Leather is also slightly stretchy and can be flexible, allowing you to jam a few more items inside if you need. However, leather is an organic material and does not ventilate well. It also cannot be placed in the sun for long periods of time as the sun will dry out the natural moisture in the leather, causing it to crack. If leather is exposed to rain or water, it also takes a lot of time to dry and tends to retain an odor.
Polyester is a type of material that is synthetic. It is a large number of synthetic fibers that are bonded together. The material is better than canvas and leather as it is treated. It is a lot tougher and not as forgiving as other materials. Though it is more durable, it is not flexible and will easily rip if you overload. However, the synthetic material has good ventilating properties and can easily dry, allowing you to use yours sooner.
Nylon is the most favored material when it comes to making fitness bags. This is because it is an incredibly lightweight fabric that keeps them protected while minimizing the overall weight. Nylon is also waterproof and ventilates very well. The air flows through the material quickly, allowing for everything to dry inside. It is a strong synthetic material that is resistant to rips and has fibers that are tightly bound together to prevent any breakdown.
The design of a fitness bag is very important as you may have different uses for them. Apart from the most basic form, there are bags that are designed for specific activities. Most gym bags are rectangular in shape and come with straps that you can hold. They usually have multiple pockets, allowing for easier organization. Shoe compartments are also popular as they separate your footwear from everything else. When purchasing, look for something that will be able to hold everything you need and has separate pockets that are big enough to be useful. It is also important to consider whether you need it to be waterproof or not as the price will be affected by these things. Specific sports such as yoga, CrossFit, and running have their own types of bags which can increase the price depending on your requirements.
Straps are something most people forget, but this is the only way to hold it if you do not want to hug it. Most bags come with two short handles that allow you to carry it around with ease. However, carrying your tote this way over long distances or periods of time will tire out your arm muscles easily. It may be worthwhile to invest in one that has a long shoulder strap so that you can sling it over your body. However, carrying a bag may affect your posture as the weight distribution on your body will be uneven. Many people prefer a backpack style where there are two shoulder straps, allowing for even distribution of weight while ensuring your arms do not tire out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where can I buy a gym bag?
Most sports markets large box stores will have them available, the recommendation is to purchase them online as there are more options and are more affordable.
Q. Can my child use a gym bag?
They are suitable for all ages.
Q. Can a gym bag be machine washed?
Most can be but there are specific ones that state they must be hand washed. It is not recommended to put them in the dryer. Simply air dry them.
Q. Can I use my gym bag for school?
Absolutely! Duffle bags are very versatile and can be used for just about anything!
Q. Do gym bags fold?
Most fitness totes are soft-shelled, meaning they can be folded and stored easily
Q. Does my gym bag come with shoulder straps?
Many will have two short handles for carrying and one long shoulder strap for you to wear over your body.
Q. Are shoe compartments necessary?
They are very beneficial as many people do not want to carry their shoes separately. Having a compartment within the tote will allow them to bring their shoes without worrying that they may dirty the other contents inside.
Q. What are benefits of having a mesh pocket?
A mesh pocket will allow you to put small items that you want to quickly reach or items that are wet or smell. Essentially it works as a separator to keep you organized.
Q. Are zippered bags or Velcro bags better?
It is recommended to purchase a bag that has zippers as it will be more secure. In the event that it falls over, the contents will not spill out.