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The Nike One Club bag Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Gym Bags of 2022

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The Nike One Club bag Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Product image of Nike One Club
Best Overall

Nike One Club

The Nike One Club is our favorite gym bag for its extra storage, durability, and ease of use. Read More

Pros

  • Lots of organization and storage, including for a yoga mat
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Difficult to fold and store
Product image of Under Armour Women's Undeniable Signature Duffle Bag
Best Value

Under Armour Women's Undeniable Signature Duffle Bag

You get a great bag for your money with the Under Armour Signature duffel. It’s durable, lightweight, and comfortable to carry, though lacks adequate toiletry storage. Read More

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Minimal toiletry storage
Product image of Lululemon Curved Lines Large Duffle Bag

Lululemon Curved Lines Large Duffle Bag

For a high-end gym bag that doesn’t look like your typical duffel, consider the Lululemon Curved Lines bag—if you’re willing to splurge. Read More

Pros

  • High-end look and feel
  • Comfortable to carry

Cons

  • Shoulder strap isn’t fully removable
Product image of Puma Medium Gym Duffel Bag

Puma Medium Gym Duffel Bag

The Puma duffel is lightweight and comfortable to carry, but has minimal organization options beyond a separate shoe compartment. Read More

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Separate shoe storage

Cons

  • No interior toiletry pockets
Product image of Athleta Kinetic Gym Duffle

Athleta Kinetic Gym Duffle

The Athleta Kinetic duffel is a great option for anyone who needs organization and storage in their gym bag. But it’s heavier than some others and its three carrying strap options are overkill. Read More

Pros

  • Abundant storage for small items
  • Soft and comfortable straps
  • Durable fabric

Cons

  • Heavier than others
  • Excess strap options get in the way

Whether you prefer to exercise at the gym, take a spin class, or get your flow on at the local yoga studio, you need a way to carry your gear back and forth. Gym bags don’t necessarily need to have fancy features or cost a good chunk of change—but they should be durable, comfortable, and make your trip to the gym or studio easier. We put popular options from brands like Athleta, Lululemon, and Adidas to the test, but in the end, found the Nike One Club duffel bag (available at Nike) is the best gym bag you can buy. We also named the Under Armour Undeniable Signature (available at Nike) our Best Value pick.

Here are the best gym bags we tested ranked, in order:

  1. Nike One Club
  2. Under Armour Undeniable Signature
  3. Lululemon Curved Lines
  4. Puma Medium Gym Duffel
  5. Athleta Kinetic Duffel
  6. King Kong JNR
  7. FocusGear Ultimate
  8. Adidas Sport Duffel
  9. Dalix 20-inch Sports Bag

A woman putting a water bottle in a duffel bag.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Nike One Club duffel bag is our favorite for its ample storage.

Best Overall
Nike One Club

The Nike One Club duffel makes it easy to tote your gym wear back and forth while staying organized. It has internal and external pockets to securely store toiletries or accessories, and a vented compartment to keep dirty shoes and clothes away from your non-sweaty items. This bag also has bungee cords on the front to hold a yoga mat or foam roller—a useful feature no other gym bag we tested had.

The bag’s material, made of polyester, repelled water and scratches during testing. The zippers are easy to grasp and smooth to move back and forth, making it easy to access your stashed items. There are two ways to carry this bag, by the handles—which can be snapped together for ease of use—or by a shoulder strap that is completely removable if you find you prefer the hand straps.

The only minor downside: That durable fabric is thicker and stiffer than others, making the bag heavier (though not intrusively so) when empty and more difficult to fold up and squeeze into particularly small storage spaces, like, say, a locker when you’re wearing most of the gear you carried with you.

Pros

  • Lots of organization and storage, including for a yoga mat

  • Comfortable to carry

  • Very durable

Cons

  • Difficult to fold and store

A photo of the Under Armour Signature duffel bag with a water bottle in the pocket.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Under Armour Signature Duffel is a lightweight, durable option.

Best Value
Under Armour Women's Undeniable Signature Duffle Bag

The Under Armour Undeniable Signature bag is a simple, high quality option that costs less than the Nike One Club. Like the Nike One Club, it has separated shoe storage, but it doesn’t have as much small-item storage—only one larger zip pocket on the outside, an open mesh pocket on the end, and a zip mesh pocket on the inside. It’s a lighter weight option that’s comfortable to carry around and easy to fold up and store in smaller lockers.

Though the fabric is lightweight and flexible, this bag resisted water and scratches well on our tests. Additionally, the zippers were smooth to move back and forth, rarely getting stuck, and it felt sturdy, like it would last a long time.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Comfortable to hold

  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Minimal toiletry storage

How We Tested Gym Bags

A woman carrying a duffel bag on her shoulder.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

We put these bags to the test to find the winners.

To find the best gym bags, we rounded up some popular options and tried our best to ruin them. We spilled water on them, scratched them, attempted to rip them—anything we could think of to rule out flimsy, low-quality bags. We also packed them with the typical gear you might bring to the gym or studio, to ensure it would fit and be well organized. The good news: Most of the options on this list passed our tests, though some performed better than others.

The Tester

I’m Esther Bell, Reviewed’s health and fitness writer. When I’m not testing large fitness equipment like adjustable dumbbells or exercise bikes, I’m toting smaller objects like fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, and resistance bands to and from the office for testing. Needless to say, I’ve had some practice testing products for Reviewed and spent weeks using these gym bags to find the best ones.

The Tests

One of the most important qualities we looked for in a gym bag is durability. To test this I spilled water on the bags, scratched them with a set of keys, and carried them around stuffed with weights. Additionally, I tried to rip the handles by pulling on them as hard as I could. (Fortunately, the bags all remained intact.)

We also evaluated the bags’ comfortability—the softness of the material and overall how comfortable it was to hold and carry. This is where we saw more variability between options, and found a few standouts.

What You Should Know About Buying a Gym Bag

Gym bags come in a variety of sizes, but we only tested bags from 30 to 45 liters, or 1,830 to 2,746 square inches. This means every bag we tested could hold at least two outfits and a pair of shoes. Some had specific compartments for separating shoes, clothes, and toiletries, and even a storage solution for carrying a yoga mat or foam roller. Whether you need these depends on how many “extras” like hand sanitizer, ibuprofen, or headphones you tend to carry with you, and how “organized” you like to be.

You’ll also want to consider the material and how durable it might be, considering gym bags tend to take a beating. All of the bags we tested were made from nylon or polyester, or a combination thereof, making them all decently water- and scratch-resistant, and easy to clean and deodorize (a necessary feature when you’re stuffing a bag full of sweaty clothes on the daily).

A last consideration is the straps for comfortable carrying. All had at least two ways to carry them, by handheld or shoulder straps. However, only some shoulder straps were removable and only some bags had a padded handle cover to snap around the handles and hold onto—all features you may find useful.

Other Gym Bags We Tested

Product image of Lululemon Curved Lines Large Duffle Bag
Lululemon Curved Lines Large Duffle Bag

For those wanting a high-end bag, the Lululemon Curved Lines duffel is the way to go. Though I can’t personally justify the $168 price tag, I can’t deny this bag looks and feels luxurious—I almost didn’t want to put my dirty clothes in it.

The bag’s material, made of polyester and recycled nylon, feels silky smooth, and its slightly padded appearance makes it look less like a gym bag and more of a fashion-forward tote. The leather-like details on the inside of the handle make it extremely comfortable to hold. This bag has plenty of organization for small items, two large interior pockets for dirty clothes and shoes, and also has a slot on one side to fit around a suitcase handle—not something we tested for, but a nice feature, should you want to use your gym bag when you travel.

But aside from the luxurious look and feel, this bag has a few annoyances that prevented us from crowning it our Best Upgrade. Though easy to grasp, the zippers on the small exterior pockets had a tendency to catch while opening and closing them. Additionally, while this bag has two handle options, handheld and by shoulder, the shoulder strap isn’t completely removable: You can only detach one end and fold it away inside the bag, an unnecessary time-waster.

Pros

  • High-end look and feel

  • Comfortable to carry

Cons

  • Shoulder strap isn’t fully removable

Product image of Puma Medium Gym Duffel Bag
Puma Medium Gym Duffel Bag

The Puma Medium Gym Duffel is ultra lightweight, and a solid option for anyone who wants a no-frills bag. It has shoe storage to keep dirty soles separate, but no interior pockets for toiletries or accessories, which was a downside for me, as I always carry an assortment of necessities with me (including but not limited to: lip balm, hand cream, ibuprofen, Band-Aids, and extra face masks). It has one exterior pocket, but it’s made of mesh and doesn’t snap, zip, or velcro shut, so it isn’t a good option to store valuables or items you can’t bear to lose. Its straps are comfortable to carry around, but I found it difficult to remove the padded shoulder strap due to the tight clasp.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Comfortable to carry

  • Separate shoe storage

Cons

  • No interior toiletry pockets

Product image of Athleta Kinetic Gym Duffle
Athleta Kinetic Gym Duffle

The Athleta Kinetic duffel has plenty of storage for toiletries and other accessories, including a pouch to hold your face mask. It has a side pocket to hold your shoes, and not only is the shoe pocket collapsible, it folds up and snaps out of the way, which makes the interior feel much more organized than other bags we tested. It also has two large zipper pockets on the inside that I used to keep my clothes from getting jumbled. This material felt thicker than others and quite durable, but this also meant the bag was heavier than some options.

My biggest complaints are about its straps. This bag has three ways to carry it—two handheld lengths and one shoulder strap—as opposed to the standard two small handles and single shoulder strap. The straps themselves are made of a silky soft material that’s comfortable to hold, but I feel that less is more when it comes to bag carrying. Only the shoulder strap is detachable; the two handheld options are both sewn-in, and having two similarly sized handles made it difficult to grasp the right ones (I found myself grabbing one strap of each length), and the extra straps got in the way when opening and closing the bag.

Pros

  • Abundant storage for small items

  • Soft and comfortable straps

  • Durable fabric

Cons

  • Heavier than others

  • Excess strap options get in the way

Product image of King Kong PLUS33 Jnr Kong Duffel
King Kong PLUS33 Jnr Kong Duffel

If you need the toughest, most durable gym bag out there, get the King Kong JNR. You can tell just from holding this bag that it’s made of a tough long-lasting material. Like many other options, it has a shoe organizer, a few external pockets, and can be held via the hand or shoulder strap.

However, this bag is so purely functional it becomes impractical for an average gym-goer like myself. This bag didn’t have any internal toiletry pockets, and the few external pockets were so secure they were difficult to snap open and close. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after an exhausting workout is struggle to open my gym bag. Additionally the rubber coating on the handles felt sticky and uncomfortable to hold after a sweaty session, and the zipper tags are made of the same rubber material and felt grimy after touching them with my sweaty hands.

Pros

  • Tough and durable design

  • Separate shoe compartment

Cons

  • Minimal organization

  • Difficult to open and close pockets

  • Rubbery handles and zipper pulls felt sticky

Product image of FocusGear Ultimate Gym Bag 2.0
FocusGear Ultimate Gym Bag 2.0

While most duffels have some sort of zipper opening on the top of the bag, the FocusGear Ultimate Gym Bag opens all the way down the side of the bag, allowing the top and one entire size to unzip. I personally didn’t love this feature, as I found items occasionally slipped out of the bag—especially when my sneakers in the shoe storage provided an uneven surface—and it meant there weren’t any internal pockets that would typically be placed along the inside of the bag. However, this design could be useful for minimalists who don’t store too many small objects in their gym bag or those who hate rummaging around inside their bag and want a way to get a better look inside.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Huge opening for easy access to your stuff

Cons

  • Minimal organization

Product image of Adidas Sport Duffel Bag
Adidas Sport Duffel Bag

The Adidas Sport Duffel is a basic, lightweight option. It doesn’t have designated shoe storage or many toiletry pockets, and the two wide pockets inside the bag are too shallow to store much without items toppling out.

The fabric of this bag was the only one to absorb a significant amount of water during testing. Though it didn’t completely soak through, the exterior remained damp after our dousing. The bottom of the bag is made from a thicker, more rubbery-feeling material which repelled water better than the top portion, but that will likely only come in handy when setting this bag down on a wet surface.

This bag also had a distinct plastic-y smell that I found unpleasant. It mostly dissipated after I wiped the bag down and left some baking powder in it overnight, but I felt I could still smell it if I stuck my nose too close.

Pros

  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Minimal organization

  • Not very waterproof

  • Smells like plastic

Product image of Dalix 20" Sports Duffel Bag with Mesh and Valuables Pockets
Dalix 20" Sports Duffel Bag with Mesh and Valuables Pockets

The Dalix 20-inch sports bag was the least comfortable bag I tested. The material feels stiff and scratchy, and the handle padding is inflexible and makes it uncomfortable to hold the bag. I also found it difficult to attach the shoulder strap, as the metal clasp requires a forceful push to open.

Additionally, this duffel doesn’t have enough small storage for my liking. There are two larger zip pockets on either end of the bag, along with one other exterior pocket and a mesh water bottle holder (though , but no toiletry pockets inside the bag. It also lacks a separate shoe compartment.

Pros

  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Uncomfortable to touch and hold

  • Not enough small storage

  • No separate shoe compartment

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Esther Bell

Esther Bell

Staff Writer, Health and Fitness

Esther is a writer at Reviewed covering all things health and fitness.

See all of Esther Bell's reviews

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