The best gym bags 2018: carry all your gym kit with ease and style

Work out the best way to carry your kit with our guide to the best gym bags, from classic sporty styles to fashion-forward holdalls

TODO alt text

Whether a 6am trip to the treadmill is your favourite part of the day, or you have to be dragged from under the covers, groaning dramatically, we all approach exercise in different ways. 

But no matter your level of expertise, or your attitude, a gym bag is an essential bit of kit. Also check out these wash bags, too

How to buy the best gym bag for you

If you like to hit the gym on your way to or from work, a larger capacity bag with separate compartments is your best bet for storing clothes and towels and separating wet from dry. 

Look, too, for handy added extras like laptop compartments, so you can store more without having to up the number of bags and wind up feeling like a pack mule. Just don’t go too big before checking the size of your gym’s lockers.

Where style and function meet, bag magic is made, but be sure to consider the potential pitfalls of different materials. Waterproof rubber or neoprene are good for keeping wet trunks, goggles and shower stuff contained, but their inferior airflow means they can soon start to smell if not aired out properly after every use.

Canvas is better for staving off that distinctive damp smell, but probably won’t last as long. If you walk or cycle, look for a lightweight Nylon or polyester construction that won’t weigh you down post-workout. Finally, there’s leather: looks luxe for infrequent gym trips, but is hard to wash, so steer clear if you’re packing wet clothes on a regular basis.

Below, we’ve rounded up our top gym bags, with an option to suit all types of exercise, and exercise-lover, so keep reading to find the best bag for your needs.

Our pick of the best gym bags to buy today

Herschel Supply Co Novel Duffle Bag

1. Herschel Supply Co Novel Duffle Bag

A timelessly stylish bag with a generous capacity, great for the everyday gym-goer

Best for: Style
Material: Nylon
Reasons to buy
+Stylish+Large capacity
Reasons to avoid

The stylish Herschel Supply Co duffle bag comes in a range of styles, but this classic model proves most popular amongst customers, and with good reason. Many have been surprised by how much they can cram into its 42L capacity, and its internal mesh pocket and inspired shoe compartment keep things organised. Its Nylon construction mean it’s durable and easy to clean, but doesn’t compromise on style. 

Nike Golf Sport Fold Top Backpack

2. Nike Golf Sport Fold Top Backpack

The gym backpack for those on the go

Best for: On the go
Material: Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Shoe compartment+Easy to carry
Reasons to avoid
-A little small-Quite pricey

It might have been designed with golfers in mind, but the Nike Golf Sport Fold Top Backpack is ideal for those who walk or cycle to the gym. It features a separate shoe compartment to keep dirty soles away from clean clothes, and a fold-down top for quick and easy access. People love this bag for its many pockets, which keep things like keys and coins close at hand, but it’s a little on the small side compared to other gym bags, so consider something like the North Face Duffle for more capacity. 

Under Armour Undeniable 3.0

3. Under Armour Undeniable 3.0

The locker-friendly compact gym bag for savvy packers

Best for: Small lockers
Material: Nylon
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-The small option is limiting

This gym bag is great for those who carry the bare essentials. Whilst the Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 is available in small, medium and large sizes, the small option does the job and its compact nature makes it one of the best gym bags for lockers. It features handy external mesh pockets which are great for keeping sweaty, wet kit separate from the rest of your belongings. The many pockets and colour options have proven popular with both men and women, but if you’re not good at packing light, it’s not the one.  

North Face Base Camp Duffle

4. North Face Base Camp Duffle

The all-purpose holdall for those who have a lot of stuff

Best for: Lots of kit
Material: Nylon
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Variety of colours
Reasons to avoid
-A bit bulky-Expensive

This gym bag is huge. With a whopping capacity of 95L, you could say carrying it is a workout in itself, but it’s handy for those who need to carry more than just their gym kit. This is ideal gym bag for personal trainers who meet their clients outdoors for workouts. The interchangeable straps mean you can carry this bag as a holdall or a backpack, plus it’s weatherproof, so it could easily double as a camping or adventure bag. If the size of this puts you off but the style is ideal, it's also available in small and medium options.

Nike Brasilia 6

5. Nike Brasilia 6

A classic-looking gym bag for sportspeople of all stripes

Best for: Everyday use
Material: Synthetic
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Shoe compartment
Reasons to avoid
-Too many pockets-Not as sturdy as some

This Nike gym bag is a true classic. Featuring a spacious main compartment, and a separate shoe section providing optimum ventilation to eliminate odours, it’s the ideal bag for every leisure activity you can think of. Carry as a duffle bag, or over the shoulder using the detachable strap, for the convenient convertibility of the North Face Duffel at a more pocket-friendly price. 

Adidas 3 Stripes Performance Team Sport

6. Adidas 3 Stripes Performance Team Sport

A trusty gym bag for those on a budget

Best for: Budget buy
Material: Polyester
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Very spacious
Reasons to avoid

If your irregular gym habit makes the prospect of shelling out for an expensive bag galling, then the Adidas 3 Stripes Performance Team Sport bag should do nicely. It has a large capacity with an easy to access main compartment and separate shoe pocket with ventilation, and while it’s not the most exciting-looking bag, it’s a great entry-level model from a well-known brand, with a classic gym bag look and feel. Footballers looking for a bag that can hold their kit, towel, change of clothes and boots; this is the one.