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The Best Gym Bags For Men

A good gym bag will complement your active lifestyle and allow you to effortlessly grab your gear so you can focus on the workout at hand.

However, a bad gym bag can destroy your gear by trapping some questionable smells while growing mold or mildew after a few uses.

In this guide, we share with you some bags that look great and are incredibly functional.  

3 Tips for Buying a Gym Bag

1. Activity 

Depending on the activity 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.

If you have an intense cardio regimen where you sweat profusely, then consider a water-resistant bag along with one that has separate storage for your running shoes.

The takeaway: look at what you plan on carrying to the gym and make sure the bag fits all your gear with room to spare.

2. Compartments

Two types of guys go to the gym:

  • The speedster: This is a guy that goes to the gym, gets what they need to be 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 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 essentially two types of bags for each of them, one with compartments and one without.  If you plan on doing your grooming regimen while at the gym, then you will need a gym bag that has a few extra compartments to keep things organized.  

3. Carrying Options

A shoulder strap and handles give you versatility for transporting your bag.  If you are putting quite a bit of weight into the bag, then a padded shoulder strap can help to alleviate pressure and make carrying quite a bit more comfortable.

Best Gym Bags For Any Man

1. Adidas Team Duffel Bag

adidas Team Issue 2 Medium Duffel Bag, Jersey Onix...

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.

2. Rothco Canvas Equipment Bag

Rothco Canvas Equipment Bag, Olive Drab

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.

3. Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffle Bag

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).

4. Carhartt Legacy 20 Inch Gear Bag

Carhartt Legacy Gear Bag, 20-Inch, Black

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.

5. Filson Small Navy Duffel

Filson Duffle Bag

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.

6. Fjallraven – Greenland Duffel 30

greenland duffle

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.

7. Matador Pocket Duffel

Matador Travel Duffle, Titanium Grey, 30 Liters

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.

8. MIER Gym Duffel Bag with Shoe Compartment

MIER Gym Duffel Bag for Men and Women with Shoe...

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.

9. Topo Designs Mountain Duffel in Black

topo duffel

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.

10. Under Armor Roland Duffel Bag

Under Armour Men's Roland Duffle Bag , Black...

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.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more.

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