Sometimes you just don’t want to go to the gym.
Whether it’s because you might be nursing a hangover from the day before or simply because work has just been hell and you want to go home and have a stiff drink.
But check this out:
There is one thing worse than actually going to the gym after a rough day – and that is the horrible stench of your gym clothes ruining your favorite bag.
So if you are currently doubling your favorite messenger bag or weekender bag as a gym bag – stop now before it’s ruined for good.
Here are some well-made gym bags that can withstand a beating.
Best Gym Bags For Any Man
Adidas is a leader in sporting goods and accessories, so it only makes sense that they would come out with a convenient carry duffel bag for all of your equipment and gear.
These bags are designed to be as transportable as a lightweight backpack, and despite being labeled as a small duffel bag, this model comes with a very roomy interior.
The main body of the bag is made of polyester, so it is not as breathable as other cloth or canvas bags. It is very durable and can go on an airplane as a carry-on.
It is small enough to be transportable but big enough to keep all of your athletic equipment in one place. The biggest complaint that a lot of buyers seem to have with this product is that the inner lining is not very long-lasting, and has a tendency to crack and tear after a few uses.
However, the bag is rather cheap for a name-brand product, and the exterior does hold up well after weeks of continuous use.
A Rothco canvas bag is not just a functional gym bag; it’s also a very lightweight and versatile bag to carry with you every day.
This bag is styled after old airforce bags, complete with canvas and painted lettering. It has external side pockets to hold your little documents, as well as a very roomy main compartment for all of your gym essentials.
It is a very simple gym bag, with more than enough space to put your clothes, water bottle, and other gym accessories. On the whole, the bag measures 19 inches long by 9.5 inches wide, and its cylindrical design allows you to cram a whole lot in there before you run out of room.
The Rothco bag has a single over-the-shoulder strap that isn’t necessarily comfortable, and two handles so you can lug it around in your hand.
Reviewers say that it is extremely rugged and durable, able to stand up to a lot of abuse if you are one to throw your bag around. Overall, it’s a very good quality bag that does exactly what you need it to do.
Available in your standard-issue green or brown.
Duffel bags are meant to be used, and if you frequent the gym on a regular basis, chances are you’re going to need something to cart your items to and from the gym.
The Herschel Supply Co. Duffle is great for carrying shoes, clothes, and the odd accessory or two with you. This bag features strong polyester material and straps for carrying. An adjustable nylon shoulder strap is adjustable and removable if you prefer to hold it by the short top handles instead.
As far as additional features go, this bag has a separate pocket for shoes or dirty laundry, to ensure that your other clothes don’t get dirty after a hard day of working out.
The material is breathable, and the design is very sleek and cool. It’s also very roomy at 20 inches long and 15 inches high, so you can expect to fit at least a couple of outfits in, along with shoes.
The big sticking point is the price, as it is rather expensive for a simple gym bag. This may be attributed to the company or the size, but many reviewers have expressed concern about the quality and lack of additional features (such as pockets).
Gym bags go through a lot of rough handling, from being tossed into the car, on the floor, in the locker, and back again.
You need a bag that can handle all sorts of hard handling, and the Carhartt Legacy gym bag may just be what you need. This bag is made with a synthetic polyester material that allows the contents within to breathe, while still being water-resistant and breathable to allow for air circulation.
This bag is tough, and the thick, heavy-duty straps are able to withstand a whole lot of weight easily.
This bag has a single large compartment for holding your clothes, your weights, or your equipment; anything that you can possibly put into a gym bag, this triple-reinforced bag can hold it.
Unfortunately, there are only two compartments to store things: the spacious main compartment, and the smaller side pocket for things like wallet, keys, and phone. If you are just using this bag to go to and from the gym, then its 20 x 10 inch dimensions should be more than enough for you.
Just ensure to wash the bag from time to time, as there is not separate area for your dirty laundry.
Sometimes, a simple bag is the best bag, especially for carting around heavy, dirty, or bulky gym attire.
This bag is made out of canvas, and while it is stylistically simple, it’s also deceptive for how useful it is. This small, compact bag is ideal for carting around a couple of outfits at once, it has numerous pockets capable of holding all your small necessities, and even though it’s only 16” long, it has a lot of space for things such as your iPad, laptop, or shoes.
It’s designed after an outdoor bag, so its primary purpose is to be durable. You won’t have to worry about shredding the thick canvas exterior too bad while you’re going to the gym, but it’s nice to have the additional security going to and from your destination.
There are external and internal pockets for convenience, and the roomy main compartment is ideal for storing your stuff. The small size makes it easy to store and really easy to carry. The straps are adjustable and allow you to carry it as a backpack or a shoulder bag, whichever suits you more.
Very good reviews surrounding this bag and its exceptional quality.
A good quality duffel bag is hard to find, especially if you need one for the gym.
You want the room to put all of your little extras, such as gloves, weights, shoes, and clothes. This duffel bag is small, but it has plenty of room to store most of your basic gym needs. It sits at 18 inches long and about 10 inches wide, more than enough space to toss a few essentials such as your iPad.
It also has numerous pockets that can be used for your small items, like keys, phone, wallet, and ID.
The durable twill exterior is abrasion-resistant and water-resistant, ideal for all year-long use. The quality is great and will stand up to whatever you decide to throw at it.
This is good because this bag is definitely on the pricey side. The regular retail value is around the $300 mark, so it only stands to reason that you would be getting a quality product.
It definitely looks good and is big enough to hold everything you need, but small enough to stuff in a locker for storage. Just be sure to wipe it or brush it clean; this bag is not easy to care for thanks to the leather trim and handles.
This bag makes for a great gym bag thanks to all of the additional features it possesses. For starters, it has a combination of interior and side pockets to fit everything you need for a trip to the gym.
The exterior cotton/polyester canvas material is water-resistant but still allows your garments to breathe.
This bag measures 19.6 inches long by 9 inches wide and 12 inches high, so it definitely has some room in there for at least two changes of clothes.
It’s not as roomy as some other bags on the market, so a lot of the price is attributed to the brand as well as the quality.
This is a high-quality bag that is sure to last through many uses. While it is small, it is durable in all sorts of weather. This bag’s small size makes it incredibly easy to put in a small or full-size locker, so you can lock your bag up and keep it safe while you exercise.
The pockets give you somewhere to put your wallet, keys, and phone while you store your bag in a locker, which guarantees that you won’t forget them later.
Going to the gym has never looked so good; this Gootium product doesn’t look like a gym bag, but it is perfectly equipped to carry all of your equipment effortlessly.
The bag is made with 100% cotton canvas and leather trim, making it exceptionally stylish while holding on to that weather-worn look. The leather is sturdy but flexible, so you can store a whole host of things in this bag such as equipment, clothes, shoes, and more.
It is available in two sizes: the small bag has a 28L capacity and measures 17 inches long by 9.8 inches high, and the large has a 45L capacity and is roughly 19 inches long and 11.8 inches high.
Even at the largest, it is comparatively small when against other gym bags (that tend to run at 20 inches long and 10 inches high). However, you should be able to get all of your necessary clothes and some shoes in there as well.
The biggest issue with this bag is going to be the lingering gym scent. Because it is cotton canvas, it may hold onto odors for longer than other gym bags, and the leather trim doesn’t make this bag the easiest thing to wash.
It can be done, and if you are in the market for something small to stuff into a locker, this is a convenient size for that.
Small, convenient, and effective. If you just want to carry around a single outfit and some shoes, this is a great duffel bag to look at. Its 30L capacity is not much in today’s market, but it’s enough to carry around what you need to and from the gym, and the breathable nylon Cordura fabric is durable enough to get your stuff there in one piece.
It’s not a state-of-the-art backpack with extra features, but the waterproof zipper and reinforced seams make it feel that way.
With this bag, you get a simple, easy-to-use bag that can be used as a gym bag or an overnight bag.
Because of its small size, you can stow it away in the gym lockers or at home in the closet until you need it again, and it doesn’t take up too much space.
Don’t expect to be able to carry a lot of extra things, such as your electronics, as it’s not designed to hold them. There is also a distinct lack of pockets, which could be a problem when storing clean and dirty laundry in the same bag.
There is also not a whole lot of room for shoes, which is a bit of a downside as well.
A great bag for a great price. Duffel bags, especially ones used for the gym, should be simple in their design but stylish, and this MIER product delivers on both fronts.
It is a functional piece designed to get your clothes from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. It features a large main compartment, a small zippered pocket on the inside, and a shoe compartment built into the bag that you can use to put shoes or laundry in.
It’s also a very large bag, at 20 inches long and 11 inches high/deep, so it can hold a good amount of clothes before needing to be zipped up.
This particular model also comes with a complimentary toiletry bag for your travel shampoo or deodorant and turns this duffel bag into a very easy-to-carry weekend bag.
You can even use this as an everyday carry to and from the office. The entire exterior of this product is made from sturdy nylon, able to withstand rough handling.
Reviewers are very happy with both the product and the price, so if you need a cheap and effective gym bag, this is a great first purchase.
This monstrous 26” duffel bag can hold whatever you decide to put inside.
It is made to be used at the gym and can carry up to 3744 cubic inches of clothes, shoes, and equipment. It’s made out of Cordura, a durable type of cloth that is resistant to wear and tear.
The base is also made out of reinforced, ballistic Cordura, which keeps it sturdy even if it’s being thrown on rough terrain. The material and the volume of this bag are part of the reason why this duffel is so expensive. However, men passionate about quality will love how this bag feels and will appreciate how versatile this bag is.
It has backpack straps, multiple interior pockets, a single exterior pocket, a large shoulder strap, and carry handles.
There is no limit to how you can transport this bag. Aside from being a gym bag, you can also use it for travel, weekends, or even as an overnight bag.
The padded base and side panels ensure that whatever you put in is going to be safe, and the addition of a cloth lining separates your expensive athletic wear from anything that may try to sneak its way in.
Sports enthusiasts know that a good gym bag has all of the features you could ever need and then some. You need a bag that isn’t too big or too small and is easily organized for whatever you are doing that day.
Under Armor’s Roland duffel bag is the kind of bag that is good for any sort of activity, whether for going to the gym or for practicing sports.
This bag features a roomy main compartment that is ideal for clothing and equipment. Store everything from extra gym clothes to your protective gear in the spacious pocket.
The entire bag sits at about 22” long and 10” high, so it’s great for more than just sports as well. Camping and weekend trips can also be used, and the high visibility bag ensures that it won’t blend in with your environment.
Featuring a water-resistant finish, the Roland duffel keeps moisture out of the bag, while also letting your clothes breathe – which helps to minimize the musty gym stench from your sweaty clothes.
The bag is really well made, with pockets for clothes, keys, or even a ball if you need it. Overall, it’s a fantastic product by people who know athletics.
What To Look Out For When Selecting A Gym Bag
Like any other product – you have to find one that is supremely functional for your lifestyle.
Sure, you could plunk down a few hundred bucks and get a designer gym bag and look stylish when going to and leaving the gym – but if it breaks your budget and does a poor job in actually containing your smelly gym clothes – then by all purposes it’s failed at being the best gym bag for you.
Therefore, if you are in a corporate environment or one that is much more casual, you can find in our list below a gym bag that should fit you and your style perfectly.
Generally speaking, if you dress pretty casually when going to the gym, many of the big-name bags such as Herschel Supply, Fjällräven, etc., will look great as to be dressed up/down.
However, if you are in a business-forward environment, a simple cloth bag like the Are Gym Duffel would be perfect.
What’s Your Activity? Swimming, Weight Lifting, Running, etc.?
Depending on the activity that you plan on performing at the gym may very likely determine the type of gym bag that will be perfect for you.
Those men who favor aquatic activities like swimming, diving, or water polo will want to be sure to pick up a gym bag that has a waterproof lining on the interior as it will help contain the dampness from your swimsuit.
Men who have an intense cardio regimen where they sweat profusely will likely want to get a waterproof lined bag as well.
For those men looking for bags where water or liquids aren’t a concern, then options regarding the inner lining are virtually endless.
Lets Talk Compartments
There are two guys that go to the gym:
The speedster: This is a guy that goes to the gym, get’s what they need done in as little time as possible, and will quickly change back to their street clothes and leave immediately.
The gym rat: This type of man basically lives at the gym. Not only do they have no problems if their workout goes over by 15 minutes, but they will also be sure to hit the showers, shave, apply hair products, and be incredibly fresh when leaving through the doors on the way out.
With these two types of men – there are largely two types of bags for each of them – one with compartments and one without.
If you plan on fully doing your grooming regimen while at the gym, then will definitely need a gym bag full of compartments, or at the very least, a Dopp kit within your gym bag.
In order to keep your shaving cream, body spray, deodorant, razor, and every other grooming essential intact, the only sane way to do this is to compartmentalize everything.
This will not only ensure easy access but will save you time in the long run through proper organization.
For the speedsters, you guys will likely just need at minimum a single compartment to throw all your gear in on the way out.
If you plan on re-wearing your clothes we would recommend at least two compartments to keep your shoes and clothes separate.
Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn’s expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.