The Best Bags for the Gym

best bags for the gym for men

Guys, a gym bag, or workout bag, can be more than a transporter for sweaty clothes! It’s time to retire that old duffle bag as your carry-all for your daily or weekly gym outing. The gym may seem like a casual expedition, but you don’t need to sacrifice your killer style by storing your stuff in an old nylon duffel.

Read more Men’s Style Guide features.


A great gym bag can be practical while still reflecting your personal style. Whether you’re heading for an intense work-out or just using a gym bag for extra storage, a new gym bag can be a great way to update your gym style. Let us look at what gym bag you choose, and how you pack your gym bag.

Men’s Gym Bags: What to Consider

When looking for a gym bag, there are a few factors to consider. If you have a reliable gym bag, it can have many uses other than the gym. From the board room to the weight room to a weekend getaway, a great gym bag can be utilised for many different occasions.

duffle bags for men


The Straps

If you’re planning on carrying heavier equipment, like weights, look for a bag with heavy-duty straps. If you’re planning on carrying a bag longer distances, consider a bag with a cross-body strap. This will make the bag easier to carry than one with small handles.

If you are not planning on travelling long distances with your bag, feel free to pick a bag with small handles. Another option is to purchase a bag with multiple strap options. A bag that comes with a cross-body and a handle will adept well to any situation.

best gym bags for men duffle bag for men


Bottom of the Bag

Even though it may seem like a small part of the bag, what the bottom of your gym bag is like is an important feature! If you plan on putting your bag on the ground, perhaps at a bus stop, investing in a bag with small legs may be good idea. A bag with small legs and slight structure to the bottom will allow the bottom of your bag to sit slightly off the ground, ensuring the bag won’t get dirty when you place it on the ground.

However, if you need a bag that will fold up when not in use, it may be a better idea to invest in an unstructured bag. A canvas duffel bag is a great option that will fold up tightly to fit in your gym locker.

best gym bags for men black duffle bag for men



One crucial element of a great gym bag is an adequate amount of pockets. A compartmentalised bag will allow you to keep all your different items separate: you don’t want your change getting lost in your bag! We suggest keeping your headphones folded up in a small pocket – if you have them floating around your bag they have a high risk of getting tangled.

A compartmentalised bag also allows items with an odor to remain separate from the other items in your gym bag. This is especially useful if you favour high-heat work outs – you will want your sweaty clothes to be kept separately after the work out! Look for a bag with a variety of inner or removable pockets to make washing your gym bag easier. Many bags now come with removable pouches so you can store your used gym clothes without contaminating the rest of your clothes.

Consider just what you’ll be using your gym bag for. Will you be storing lots of small items, like your wallet or change, in your gym bag? If you will be, consider a bag with many smaller pockets.


Gym Bag with Shoe Compartments

One of the worst things that could happen after returning home from a great work out is to open your bag and find out that your running shoes have left a funny odor on your clothes! We suggest looking for a bag with a large pocket that will fit your trainers. Having your trainers in separate compartment will keep your clothes from getting muddy or from smelling like feet.

Best Gym Bags for Men

Duffle Bags

Are you one of those fellows who have been using the same old, gym-issued sports duffle bag since you started working out? As useful as it may be, you can get the same utility of your current duffel bag with a new, updated, more style-savvy version. Duffle bags for men come in many different finishes, so you are sure to find one no matter your sartorial inclination.


Leather Gym Bag

A leather gym bag doesn’t seem like the most practical option, especially if you tend to store your gym items in an old back pack. But a leather bag can be a great alternative to the usual canvas duffel bag.

Purchasing a leather gym bag can make your life a whole lot more convenient in the long run – a classic leather bag can double as a travel bag in a pinch. A leather duffel can equally serve as a work bag, a gym bag, and an overnight bag. It’s a multi-purpose bag for wherever your bag takes you. You can throw on a leather bag to complete anything: from a suit to a basic tee and jeans, a leather gym bag is a refined classic.

In addition, a gym bag with a high-end finish is an ideal wardrobe addition for those who hit the gym before or after the office. A leather bag looks equally at home paired with jeans and a tee as it does paired with a suit. A bonus: A leather bag will be durable for decades to come. Leather ages well, so feel free to toss your bag in your locker – a good leather looks better with wear!

man with a leather duffle bag


Sports Bags

Since you’re headed to the gym, doesn’t it make sense to look at the best sports bags for men best backpack? A Nike gym bag has been, and always will be a classic option for hitting the gym, but there are plenty of cheap gym bags that can work well too.

When you’re picking an outfit to wear with your sports bag, feel free to pick an outfit that’s more laid-back. When paired with a suit, a sporty bag can look out of place. Pair a sporty bag with a pair of jeans or cargo pants and a laid-back topper, like a bomber jacket or motorcycle jacket. Cuff the hems of your trousers for an even more casual-cool look.


Gym Backpacks

You’ve been relying on a good backpack since your first day of kindergarten. For good reason too, backpacks are an easy way to carry around lots of items with minimal strain on your shoulders. A back pack is also a great way to bring back the school day staple!
Beware, most backpacks can look more like you’re headed to your freshman class. To avoid the collegiate look, pick a backpack with minimal branding or labels. If you’re more of an outdoor adventurer, a canvas back pack can be a great bag to take you from the streets to the trails.

leather backpacks for men


Cool Gym Bags

When you’re looking for a gym bag then it’s important to know what you want from it. it has to serve its purpose, but it also has to look good. Poler and Porter-Yoshida are brands that are synonymous with quality, practicality and style; take them from the office to the gym afterwards, perfect for the everyday essentials as well of your gym kit.


Small Gym Bags

As most of the city dwellers among us are looking for something small, yet practical when it comes to choosing a gym bag – soft material backpacks make a great option, also, you can put your daily essentials in as well. Go for an understated black, or go for something a little more bold with a burgundy or navy.


Cheap Gym Bags

While we’d all love to splash out on a opulent leather lined, multi-feature extravagant number – sometimes we just need a little staple steal to get us by. One of Mi-Pac’s classic backpacks will easily do the trick until you can justify spending a few more quid on something a little fancier. Does it hold your gym gear? Yes. Easy to carry? Yup! – Job done.


The Best Gym Bag

While I’m sure the idea of a ‘best gym bag’ can certainly be perceived as a subjective choice, Herschel’s Novel Backpack is one of the most practical options out there. Hitting that size sweet spot, not too big, not too small – the Novel backpack features a cross body strap, double zipping and an incredibly handy shoe compartment on the side. Now if that’s not ideal, I’m not sure what is.


How to Pack Your Gym Bag

Now we have covered what to pack your gym items in, we will break down how to properly back a gym bag.

To save time and make your life a little easier, we recommend packing the night before. Not only will you have one less thing to do in the morning, but you’ll be less likely to forget anything. It’s also a great idea if you’re not a morning person – you will have one less thing to do if you’re running behind!

what to pack in a gym bag for men

One tip: wash your bag! With all your exercise gear in your bag, a gym bag can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. If you can, try and wash your bag as frequently as possible. This will remove any unwanted crumbs or odours from your bag.

Another option to combat odours is to ask at your local sports store if they have any gym bag deodoriser. We recommend this option if you tend to work out before or after work and keep your bag in the office. A deodoriser will prevent any unwanted odours from floating into the office.

What to Pack in Your Gym Bag

There’s nothing worse than arriving at the gym and realising that you forgot something! Our tip – to avoid forgetting anything you need by keeping a list of gym essentials in the notes portion of your phone. Scroll through it before heading out to the gym and double check your bag. If you head to the gym in the morning, try packing the night before. That way, you can roll out of bed, grab your bag, and hit the gym

  • Wipes
  • Band-aids
  • A water bottle
  • Shower shoes
  • Plastic bags
  • Snacks
  • Deodorant
  • Personal care products
  • Icy hot balm

The Best Bags for the Gym

  • Pick a bag that works the best for your work out.
  • If you carry weights, pick a bag with a strong strap that can support them.
  • If you’re a runner, pick a light-weight back pack.
  • If you’re heading to the gym after the office, pick a bag that won’t look out of place when running around the city in a suit.
  • If you’re a yoga enthusiast, debate purchasing a bag with additional straps for your yoga mat.

best mens bags for the gym


On That Note

Leave the drawstring nylon rucksack at home and opt for a gym bag that will give you a few more style points. The gym is a daily part of routine, but so is looking stylish, so it’s time to make sure those two aren’t mutually exclusive! With these tips, you’re well on your way to getting a killer work out.


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