If you’re like most guys, you probably aren’t giving much thought to the bag you bring to the gym.
As long as it holds your
You might be able to do better, and this article will help.
A high-quality gym bag can be important to your overall style. Walking a few blocks in a custom-tailored suit with a handsome gym bag makes you look put together. Traipsing downtown wearing a gym bag with a big and bold label makes you look childish and immature. This is a small detail, but people notice.
If you’re a guy that pays attention to those small details, you need a gym bag that shows it. Sure, any bag can haul your gear, but a bag that flows with your style can level up your game. Whether you’re matching fabrics, materials, or just overall styles, the best stylish gym bag can help you stand apart from the crowd.
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best stylish gym bags you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
What You Need in a Gym Bag
A large part of determining what you need from a gym bag has to do with your favorite exercise routine.
Guys that head to the gym to play pickup basketball games will have different requirements from a bag than those who head straight to the weight rack. Here are some things to consider when choosing a stylish bag for taking to the gym.
If you’re not breaking a sweat, are you even trying? Some of us sweat more than others and throwing sweaty gym clothes in a bag a few times a week can lead to some nasty results. You might consider looking for a bag that you can throw in the washer when it starts to smell.
While polyester bags will work, canvas is a tougher material that will hold up better over time. You can also find some pretty stylish nylon bags, but most synthetic bags look flashy and immature.
If a big part of your workout routine includes some laps in the pool, you’ve got some specific needs. You’ll probably prefer a gym bag with a waterproof pocket. You’ll need it to hold a wet pair of swim trunks without soaking through onto the floor of your car or your office’s hardwood floors.
Several gym bags have waterproof linings, and they’re great for keeping the moisture on the inside. If you can’t find a bag with a waterproof lining in a style you like, you can always purchase a smaller waterproof bag that fits inside one you love.
You can’t win a few games of pickup basketball without sweating a bit, which means you might want a separate compartment for those sneaks. Several gym bags come with sections specifically for a pair of shoes.
These compartments will help keep some of the smell at bay and separate your clean clothes from your dirty gear. They’ll fit basketball shoes, running shoes, or weightlifting shoes without an issue.
Many of these shoe compartments have hooks inside them that allow you to hang your bag inside your locker.
More important than anything else, you need a bag that fits your style (and your gear). Though some bags are better suited for the job than others, you can adapt any bag to work as a gym hauler.
If you’re a guy that wears a lot of streetwear style clothing, then a bold, flashy gym bag may work for you. If you’re more the jeans and chukkas type, a waxed canvas material would probably go great with your style. Finally, if you often head to the gym after the office, you probably would prefer something in leather.
Whatever bag you choose, make sure you love it. It’s an opportunity to show off your personal taste and style without simply settling for the status quo of nylon bags and polyester straps.
The Best Gym Bags Right Now
Taking your tastes into consideration, check out these eight best stylish gym bags. Regardless of your style, you’re likely to find a bag here that will work for you. Also, not all of these bags are “gym bags.” Some are duffels, while others may be weekenders. That’s okay. If you love it, you’ll make it work.
1. Best Overall: The Herschel Novel Duffel Bag
If you’re a fan of simple, straightforward design, then the Herschel Novel Duffel Bag (Amazon affiliate link) might be the right choice for you.
- Masculine styling
- Durable polyester
- Easy to clean
- Not a lot of pockets
This polyester weekender bag has all the function of a gym bag, but enough style to fit in with a casual, rugged wardrobe.
The Novel Duffel bag comes in a ton of different colors, though our favorite is the Peacoat/Saddle Brown combination. It features a rolled grip, a separate sneaker compartment, and plenty of room for all of your gym necessities.
It also has a shoulder strap and mesh interior pockets for storing your phone and keys while you’re working out.
Since this bag is 100 percent polyester, you can throw it in the wash if your gym gear has it smelling funky. If you’re interested in learning more about the Herschel Novel, you can read our review here.
2. Premium Choice: The Regimen Gym Bag from Stuart and Lau
If you need one bag to do it all, and don’t mind spending a little extra, the Regimen Gym Bag from Stuart and Lau is a super functional and stylish option.
- Plenty of compartments for separating gear
- Waterproof fabric
- Tons of space
- A little expensive
This bag has a ton of storage and plenty of separate compartments to help you stay fit and organized.
The Regimen Gym Bag offers quite a bit of value, even at its price point. There are outside pockets for your work gear like laptops and notebooks, as well as a large center section for gym clothes.
Stuart and Lau use waterproof DureLite fabric to help protect your gear from the rain, but also to protect your electronics from your sweaty gym clothes. The Regimen bag also features a built-in sneaker compartment, so bringing your trainers to the office isn’t a hassle.
The downside is simply the price, but you’re probably not going to regret this purchase, regardless of the price.
3. Most Organized: Aer Gym Duffel 2
For guys that work in casual settings and want a bag to pull double-duty, the Gym Duffel 2 from Aer was built for the job.
- Tons of pockets
- Ventilated main and shoe compartments
- Nylon material might not work for the office setting
This high-end duffel bag can carry work and gym gear in the same bag, while keeping you organized and on your game.
There’s plenty of storage inside and out of the Gym Duffel 2. It has a huge, ventilated main compartment to hold your gym clothes, as well as a ventilated sneaker compartment.
The outside pocket has room for your laptop, phone, and anything else you need for the office. The pockets keep everything separate and organized as well.
While the Cordura nylon fabric is tough and water-resistant, it’s not ideal for a formal office environment. With that said, if you work in a relatively relaxed setting, the Gym Duffel 2 may be the perfect choice for you.
4. Best Leather: Floto Roma Cabin Bag
If you’d prefer a leather bag to compliment your gym-going style, the Floto Roma Cabin Bag is a great fit.
- Premium look
- Full-grain leather
- No shoe compartment
- No outside storage
This full-grain leather weekender is made in Italy of full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather. It has a beautiful finish that will definitely stand out against the other gym bags in the locker room.
The Roma Cabin Bag has plenty of room inside. It measures 10 inches wide and 21 inches long, so you’ll be able to throw your
There are no shoe compartments or outside storage pockets on the Roma Cabin Bag. You’ll also want to keep the leather clean and conditioned so it resists the funk that you may subject a gym bag to.
5. Designer Choice: Kenneth Cole Reaction Duff
The Kenneth Cole Reaction Duff is a bag that can easily pull double duty.
- Doubles as a nice carry on
- Full-grain leather
- Might not be rugged enough for some
- Shoulder strap isn’t leather
It works as well as a gym bag as it does a carry-on, with plenty of interior storage and some outside pockets. The leather is a full-grain Colombian hide, and it comes in three colors.
If you’re heading to the gym after the office, this bag in black will pair well with your business casual gear.
This bag has some decent storage. It has an exterior shoe compartment on one end, which helps keep your dirty gym shoes from touching your clean clothes or personal items. On the other end, there is an outside storage compartment for your keys or phone.
The interior is 18 inches long by 12 inches wide, which is plenty for your gym clothes and a water bottle.
The Reaction is a handsome bag, and thankfully, the branding is pretty subdued. However, it’s not a very rugged looking bag, and the shoulder strap is polyester instead of a leather strap.
6. Best Small Option: Kuston Sports Gym Bag
If you’re looking for a streamlined gym bag but don’t want to sacrifice on storage, the Kuston Sports Gym Bag is a great place to start.
- Handsome Oxford fabrics
- Lots of storage pockets
- Handles are folded, no rolled for comfort
It has a ton of features that far more expensive bags don’t, and it’s pretty good looking as well.
The Kuston Gym Bag uses a high-quality oxford fabric, so it’s lightweight and pretty durable. It has an exterior pocket for your gym shoes, which vents to allow your shoes to dry out. It also has several inner pockets for storing your personal items while you hit the treadmill.
One of those pockets is waterproof, which makes it a great place to store a damp swimsuit.
While the Kuston is a great deal at this price, the handles aren’t rolled, and that makes them feel a little cheap and definitely a bit uncomfortable. With that said, it does come with a nylon shoulder strap, so you don’t need to use the handles if you’d prefer not to.
7. Best Canvas Option: Filson Field Duffel
For rugged guys looking for a bombproof gym bag, check into the Filson Field Duffel.
- Very tough
- Simple, rugged styling
- A little pricey for a canvas bag
- Can’t be washed
This simple field bag consists of a waxed canvas, also known as tin cloth, which makes it incredibly tough and water-resistant. It features a zippered opening and a shoulder strap, but that’s about it.
If you’re looking for organization for all of your gym gear, you aren’t going to get it with the Filson; its beauty does not come in the form of individual compartments or zipper pockets.
What you’re getting for this relatively expensive price is a high-end, heirloom-quality bag that you can take anywhere, including the gym, for years to come.
The challenge with the Field duffel is that tin cloth doesn’t like washing machines, so it can be difficult to clean. You can empty it and hose it off, but putting it through a wash cycle will remove its wax coating. You might just want to keep a bottle of Febreze inside.
8. Most Affordable: Rothco Canvas Duffel Bag
Canvas bags can be very sturdy, but also very affordable.
- Extremely Affordable
- Handsome, minimalist design
- Not at all water resistant
- Interior pockets
The Rothco Canvas duffel Bag (Amazon affiliate link) gets its origins in the military, and the minimalist design proves it. It comes in a few colors, but the gray option is handsome and not too drab.
The Rothco Duffel is 100 percent cotton canvas, which makes it sturdy, lightweight, and extremely easy to clean—just throw it in the washer and let it air dry. It’s also very affordable, which allows you to excuse it for its simple cotton webbing handle and shoulder strap.
It has a decent amount of storage, measuring about 19 inches long and 9 inches deep and wide.
Since it’s a simple canvas bag, it isn’t at all waterproof. It will soak up moisture from ice-cold water bottles and sweaty clothing, which could make it smell a bit. Also, the only pocket you’ll get is outside on one of the ends, and it’s just big enough for a cell phone, your wallet, and some keys.
9. Best for Sports: Adidas Defender III Duffel Bag
If you must have a sports bag with a large logo, the Adidas Defender III Duffel Bag isn’t all that bad in its black and silver variant.
- Padded handles
- Branding may be a bit much
The bright white logo on the front and shoulder pad could be worse, and you can always turn them towards you’d prefer to hide the branding.
This bag is very functional, so if you’re a street-style guy that needs a good gym bag, the Defender III is a great choice. It has separate sneaker storage and two zippered end pockets for storing a wallet and keys.
It has a padded shoulder strap and a very well-padded handle, which is perfect for carrying heavier loads. It also has a loop strap on the bottom for hanging in a locker.
The downside of this bag is that it may not be as stylish as the other bags on our list. But for guys that love sports bags, it might be an ideal choice.
10. Most Classic: THE MASTLINE Co. Hudson Barrel Duffel
If you’re a stylish guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously, show it off with THE MASTLINE Co. Hudson Barrel Duffel bag.
- Awesome, fun styling
- Water-resistant lining
- Low on pockets
- A little expensive
This classic bag is ironically retro, looking like a lucky leftover from a bygone, gym-going era.
It’s worth saying that the Hudson Barrel Duffel comes in a few different colorways, but the navy blue option is our favorite.
The bag’s material is a heavy-duty 16-ounce cotton canvas, while the interior has a water-resistant nylon liner. It comes with a nylon shoulder strap, but the leather-closure handles are too cool to ignore
There’s only one small storage pocket in this bag, which is excellent for its classic styling but tough on organization. And although the price is fair for the quality of the bag you’re getting, it’s a little expensive for a canvas bag.
Everyone has their own style, and your gym bag is a chance to show it off. If you’re a smart-casual dresser, go for the Herschel Novel Duffel Bag.
If you’re a business exec, the Kenneth Cole Reaction or Floto Roma Cabin Bag will do the trick. If you’re just a hardcore gym-goer, you might find the Adidas Defender III is more your speed.
Whatever your taste may be or whichever bag you choose, you’ll be able to throw your trainers inside with a pair of tech shorts, and get a great workout with one of these top-notch gym bags.