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The Best Sports Bags to Take to the Gym

A man walks with a black backpack, a sports bag with a basketball inside, and a man sits on the bleachers with a sports bag

A good sports bag can make a huge difference to your workout routine. Sure, you can head to the gym with just your keys and phone, but the odds of forgetting something important are pretty high. These days, it’s much easier to find the perfect-sized bag to carry everything you need. Here are our favorite gym bags for any sports or workout routine.

Depending on the type of workout you do, you might not be able to carry everything you need in your pockets. That’s where a reliable gym bag comes in! Whether you prefer one that’s big or small, you’re sure to find one to suit your needs on our list.

Best for Minimalists: Adidas Diablo Small Duffel Bag

A black sports bag and a shirt and a basketball in a sports bag

Many people only need to take a few things to the gym, like a water bottle, headphones, wallet, keys, and maybe a small towel or an extra T-shirt. When that’s the case, you don’t want to be lugging around a large bag or digging through various pockets to find your phone.

If you’re a minimalist who doesn’t need a lot when you work out, the Adidas Diablo Small Duffel Bag is for you. It measures 18.5 by 10 by 11 inches, making it large enough to hold the essentials but not big or bulky. It also comes in 11 different colors so you’re guaranteed to find a pattern that fits your personality.

Each bag has two small handles for carrying it at your side and an adjustable shoulder strap for throwing it over your back. This bag also comes with a lifetime warranty and will last as long as you need it to.

Adidas Diablo Small Duffel Bag

Carry only the essentials in this small, but sturdy, bag.

Best for Swimmers: Kuston Sports Bag

A man sits on the bleachers next to a gray sports bag

While some people only need the basics when they work out, others have a routine that involves more gear and items. If you go straight from work to the gym, for example, you need a bag with multiple pockets to keep your nice clothes safe from your sweaty ones.

If you’re a swimmer, you need a way to keep your swimsuit or trunks from soaking the rest of your clothing and belongings when you’re done.

If you’re looking for a more substantial sports bag, this Kuston Sports Gym Bag is a great option. Measuring almost 20 inches long and over 10 inches wide, it has plenty of room to carry at least two outfits.

It also features plenty of pockets to keep all your things organized, including a side compartment for shoes and an inner zip pocket for valuables. It even has a waterproof pocket to keep your wet clothes or towels away from the rest of your gear.

Best for Swimmers

Kuston Sports Gym Bag

Separate pockets for keeping your gear safe, dry, and organized.

Most Reliable: Under Armour Undeniable Gym Bag

Front and back view of a black sports bag
Under Armour

Few fitness brands are more well-known than Under Armour. Its workout clothes and training shoes are particularly popular, but the brand also makes a decent gym bag. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and is a solid option for any athlete.

The material is tough and abrasion-resistant, meaning this bag will probably last the rest of your life. Made with UA Storm technology, the material will stand up to being shoved into a locker or thrown to the side on the basketball court.

It has two zippered pockets on the front as well as internal slip pockets, and a large vented pocket for dirty clothes or shoes. In other words, this bag has it all.

Most Reliable

Under Armour Adult Undeniable Duffel 4.0 Gym Bag

Top quality from one of the biggest names in fitness.

Most Stylish: Fila Sprinter Sport Bag

Front and back view of a teal sports bag

If you want to stand out at the gym, a simple black bag won’t do. Turn instead to Fila’s Sprinter Sport Duffel, which comes in four vibrant colors. However, color isn’t all this bag has to offer.

Measuring 20 x 10 x 10 inches, it’s a great size for anyone who needs to take a few items with them to the gym. The material is sturdy and the bag features four plastic supports on the bottom to keep it stable on the ground.

The vented side pockets help prevent that dreaded sports bag stink. Overall, it’s a great bag that just happens to look really good, too.

Most Stylish

Fila Sprinter Sport Duffel Bag

When you need something that's both stylish and functional.

Best for Outdoors: Cico Rider Gym Bag

A black sports back with backpack straps
Cico Rider

Need a sports bag that will protect your things when you exercise outside? The Cico Rider Duffel is made from PU leather and 900D polyester, making it tear- and water-resistant. It’s the ideal bag to keep your things safe from the elements.

Along with durability, it’s also functional. It has a shoulder strap and handles, like most gym bags, but it also has back straps that allow you to wear it like a backpack, if you prefer.

There are multiple inner and outer pockets to keep your stuff organized, including one that’s waterproof, as well as a separate shoe compartment. With hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon, you won’t be disappointed in this purchase.

Best for Outdoors

Cico Rider Gym Duffel Bag

Water-resistant and tough.

Best Budget: Vorspack Bag

An assortment of colored sports bags

This simple Vorspack Duffel is great for minimalists who want to keep things low-key and affordable. The cylinder shape isn’t bulky and the bag features a single pocket on the outside. It does come in 23 different colors, but each is a solid print with no crazy designs.

There’s also plenty of space for even the most involved sports and the durable nylon will keep everything safe. Although the material is tough, the bag itself is surprisingly lightweight. You can fold up the entire thing and fit it in a tinier bag for easy storage, or pack it in your luggage as an extra bag for souvenirs when traveling.

Best Budget

Vorspack Duffel Bag

This simple foldable bag is handy and budget-friendly.

Best for Yoga: Gaiam Studio to Street Yoga Mat Bag

A black sports bag with a yoga mat attached

Yoga has many benefits and is fairly easy to get into because it doesn’t require much equipment—all you need is a mat.

While many yoga classes offer complimentary mats, lots of yogis prefer to bring their own. However, this can be a huge pain.

Yoga mats are large, even when rolled up, so they can be inconvenient to carry around. If that’s the case for you, grab this Gaiam Studio to Street Yoga Mat Bag. It has two straps on the outside designed to carry your mat so you can head to class hands-free.

This item can also function as a sports bag. It’s roomy with multiple interior and exterior pockets to help you stay organized.

Best for Yoga

Gaiam Studio to Street Yoga Mat Bag

Easily carry your mat to class in this functional bag.

Best for Basketball: MIER Backpack

A sports backpack with a basketball inside and a man wears the backpack

The MIER Backpack is unique for a couple of reasons. First, it functions as a backpack, which is useful for anyone who doesn’t want to lug a heavy bag over their shoulder when they head to the gym.

Also, this isn’t just any backpack: It has a durable, exterior shell and a 40-liter capacity to hold everything you need. It’s also specifically designed to carry a basket-, volley-, or soccer ball to the gym or outdoor court.

While all of the latter can usually be annoying to transport, the large exterior pocket in this bag makes it easy to take one to practice. If you don’t need to carry a ball, you can use the pocket to keep your dirty clothes or shoes away from the rest of your things.

Best for Basketball

MIER Basketball Backpack Sports Bag

This backpack is made to carry a basket-, volley-, or soccer ball.

Best for Essentials: Vorspack Drawstring Backpack

Two drawstring sports backpacks

Sometimes, all you need is a simple bag to carry your keys, wallet, and phone. If that’s the case, this Vorspack Drawstring Backpack is the perfect sports bag for you. Its compact design is ideal for anyone who only needs the essentials and doesn’t want to be weighed down by a large duffel bag.

It features one main compartment and an exterior zipper pocket. The material is water-resistant and surprisingly durable, considering how lightweight it is. It’s a simple but practical bag that can be useful for pretty much everyone.

Best for Essentials

Vorspack Drawstring Backpack

Small, simple, and perfect when you only need to carry a few items.

If you head to the gym on the regular, you likely need a good way to carry your gear and essentials.  Whether you’re a gym rat, avid basketball player, or devout yogi, you’re sure to find the perfect sports bag for you on this list.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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