Apart from other essentials, such as sweat-proof headphones and a decent fitness smartwatch, you will need a gym bag if you A) don't want to look silly carrying all your gym gear in a plastic carrier bag and B) want to keep the moisture both inside and outside the bag.
Because no one likes to exercise in damp clothing, it is preferred to store your gym apparel in a bag that keeps rainwater away from it, and once you're done exercising, you don't want your sweaty vests and smelly shoes to stink up all the car/train carriage. I guess that's one way to make sure no one sits next to you on the bus, but otherwise, keeping it all in the bag is a good idea.
Why do we recommend the Built for Athletes Hero backpack?
Instead of 'Hero', Built for Athletes should've named their flagship backpack 'Versatile'. Not only it has a massive 45-litre capacity, it is also comfortable to wear, waterproof, has many separate compartments for snacks, shoes, laptops and more.
The Hero can easily hold two pairs of trainers, towel, gym clothes, meal prep and small training tools too. It is as much of a backpack as it is a day bag, holding anything and everything you can think off. Spare hiking boots? No problem. Five containers of meal prep for the day? Easy. Resistance bands? Put them in the net-compartment and retrieve them easily when needed.
As for ergonomics, the Hero is surprisingly comfortable. Both the straps and the back of the backpack is amply-padded and due to the porous design, it is well-ventilated too. The rear compartment also opens flat to 180 degrees for easy packing/unpacking. Thanks to the molle system, you can hang items, such as D-locks, on the outside of the bag too.
You can even fly with the Hero since it suitable for cabin luggage (although you might want to check airline restrictions, just in case). You can also further adjust the depth of the bag using the fasteners on the side of the bag, should you want the Hero to be a bit more compact.
Pre-order the Hero from Built for Athletes, in stock from Tuesday 24 September. It comes in either black, purple, white, army green or arctic camo colours.