Best gym bag 2022 fit for gym kings and queens

The best gym bags will help you carry around your sweaty workout gear in style

The best gym bags will make you look cool, almost as cool as this person looks, leaning against a wall while the sun is rising behind him
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You'll need the best gym bag if you don't want to carry your kit around in a plastic bag. Unlike fashion backpacks, gym backpacks and duffels are versatile, hard-wearing item carriers designed to be hurled over to the nearest empty bench or locker as soon as you arrive at your chosen gym.

Many – if not most – gym bros will tell you that the only way to establish dominance in the gym is to use duffel bags – don't be fooled, though, as real pros use backpacks, as they distribute weight evenly between the two shoulders. Want to learn more about how to pack a gym bag? We've got you covered. We can also tell you which type of gym bag is better (you might know the answer to this already).

Whether you're pounding the treadmill at 6 AM or have to drag yourself to the gym after work each evening, we approach workouts differently. However, no matter your level of expertise (and ability to not repeatedly hit the snooze button), the humble gym bag is an essential kit for beginners and pros alike.

Need some new gym gear? Check out T3's best workout shoe guide, best workout top and best workout shorts guide for inspiration. For advice on supplementation, you might also want to read through our best protein powder and best protein bar guide, not to mention the best weight gainer roundup.

Best gym bags to buy right now

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How to buy the best gym bag

There are no set rules to follow here, but plenty of considerations to weigh up when buying your gym bag. If you plan to exercise on your way home from work, you’ll need a bag to carry your kit and trainers, but also leave space for anything you take to the office – and, preferably, a way to keep them separate.

But, if you pick a bag with space for trainers, your packed lunch, and a laptop, then you should check out the lockers at your gym before buying, as some larger bags might not fit.

And of course, this being T3, how your gym bag looks is an important factor to consider. After all, who feels inspired to head out and hit the gym for an hour if the kit bag staring back at you is a tatty, smelly mess?

Speaking of which, the material of your bag is important if you intend to carry wet swimming trunks and a damp towel home each evening. Waterproof rubber or neoprene is good for the swimming gear and shower stuff, but the inferior airflow of these bags means they can start to smell if not aired out properly.

Canvas is better for starving off that distinctive damp smell but may wear out more quickly if used often. If you walk or cycle, look for lightweight bags made from Nylon or polyester. Finally, there’s leather, which gives you the luxury looks and even smells nice if your trunks don’t get involved - but brings with it a high price and some regular maintenance to keep it looking its best.

Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab).