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While this is frustrating for some, it has caused an interesting trend. In the present day setting, more men either go to the gym, workout, take a shower, and go straight to work or go to the gym/run immediately following the workday than ever before.
For this reason, more and more men are carrying a bag commonly called a gym bag. While some men don’t think about a bag like this, since it is carried daily, the gym bag has evolved from just the basic bag to another platform to show one’s personal style.
As we know how important tool has become to a man’s life, we did our research and found some of the best gym bags for men out there that fit all budgets and needs. Upon shortlisting our favorites based on quality as well as value for money, we’d concluded to our top 4 bags.
Our recommendations are S-Zone Vintage Canvas Leather Gym Bag for a canvas bag with leather accents that comes in surprisingly low price, Vooray Burner 16” Compact Gym Bag for a well priced gym bag for daily use. Finally, if you’re looking for the very best, Royce Leather Deluxe Sports Bag as well as the 2XU Gym Bag are both beautiful, wonderfully made, jaw-dropping gym bags and not only.
Best Gym Bags For Men
What is a gym bag and where did it come from?
Since a gym bag is a subcategory of the duffel bag, it finds its roots in the same place. A duffel or gym bag is a large bag that can be carried on the shoulder or by hand that is either cylindrical or rectangular with a zipper or drawstring closure on top of it.
The original duffel can be traced by to the mid 17th century where it got its name, Duffel, from a small town in Belgium where the cloth used for the bag was originally made.
The bag had a slow rate of growth until it made a huge, worldwide impact after World War II. Soldiers realized this was the perfect vehicle to carry their stuff such as pants and dress whites. Almost instantly, they began to be used by the public on the east-coast of the USA and Australia and Navy Men took them to many other regions such as the UK and other parts of Europe.
Due to the association with the navy, these bags began to assume the name Seabags or Ditty bags. These heavy canvas bags, while already being purchased by the public, were, mostly, only available at Army surplus stores.
Slowly over a period of time, different countries and regions began to modify the bag’s shape and color to create early models of many of the forms we have today.
By the 1960s, the duffel bag or gym bag did an “about face” as Australian surfers began to use it and it began to be associated with an anti-establishment label called “surfies.” By this point, Australian duffels were still made of canvas and resembled the beachy theme with a light khaki or faded color. It still had a drawstring to close it and perfectly fit the towel, swimsuit, and basic beach necessities.
Since this time the duffel and gym bag has evolved into three shapes and styles.
The different types of gym bags
First there is the classic barrel style bag
This is bag is typically made of heavy duty cloth or canvas and looks tube-shaped with straps that can be carried by hand.
A bag in this group usually has one of two forms or variations. One of those is the classic top closure duffel.
A duffel bag has an opening on the top so the bag is to be stuffed vertically and closes with a drawstring. These tend to be really large and are often used for sports equipment and longer, larger, heavier items. It may carrying baseball bats, hockey sticks, or serve as an all-in-one stuff bag where everything can be quickly placed inside. This resembles the military bag mentioned above.
The other form of this bag has a similar shape but has a zipper on the side that run from one end to the other and items can be stuffed horizontally. These tend to be a good bit smaller than the top closing version and are more commonly used as a daily gym bag. It, like the top closure version, has just one large compartment that allows everything to be stuffed inside. This bag is not for the professional that cares about clothes being wrinkle or damaged before or after work because it lacks structure and items inside the bag are easily tossed around and disorganized.
Next is the squared style bag
Most modern gym or duffel bags tend to fall in this category. It is identified by its square, rectangular, boxy shape.
It, like most smaller bags, has a side zipper so that it can be worn or packed horizontally.
Unlike the barrel bag, often has separate, smaller compartments on the ends of the bag making it easier to keep toiletries (instead of using a dopp kit) and shoes in a distinct place for other clothes. These bags have moved away from the canvas origins are usually made from a tough plastic reinforced woven polyester. It often has a plastic or rubber like frame that goes around the entirety of the bag for more durability and structure.
Lastly the wheeled duffel or gym bag
This bag, as you guess it, has wheels. It usually has a tough, thicker bottom and has a variety of zipper placements. Often, the zipper is, basically, U-shaped and runs the length of the top of the bag.
It, like the squared bags, has multiple compartments and tends to be on the larger side.
It is often used by travellers who have to walk through airports and to taxis.
Lastly, it falls under a category also called a “weekender” as well. It is easy to carry heavy loads due to its size and wheels.
Criteria to choosing the best gym bag for men for your needs
Now that one has identified what is a gym bag, how does one buy one?
Gym bags can be rather tricky to purchase. It is one of those items that a discount brand looks great on a shelf and comes in at a good price but when going cheap with the purchase it is almost instantly regretted.
People don’t think about what they are going to use that bag for. They don’t think about how comfortable it is on the shoulder, they don’t think about how rough they will be with the bag and how quickly a subpar product will tear up. It is not necessary to break the bank but it is necessary to look for quality.
First, think about what one is going to use the bag for. It should be designed to hold all essentials comfortably for the gym or wherever you choose to take it. In addition to that, odds are that this bag will be used in other ways. It will often double as a carry on bag for the plane or an overnight bag.
Make sure the bag can fit all of the needed uses.
This brings us to things to consider when making a gym bag purchase:
Remember it is best to look for a bag that fits clothes and toiletries for the gym but does not exceed the maximum size allowed on an airplane if it is to be carried on. If one doesn’t intend to use this bag for more than the gym then they should buy accordingly.
There has been a recent trend when it comes to carrying a different form of bag for the gym. This bag has probably made its way into the home of most as a free give away. It is the lightweight, usually nylon, bag with strings, it collapses into the pocket if needed, that goes on both shoulders and carries very light items.
While it may seem handy, it is very one dimensional. It can not carry shoes, is easily torn, and hurts to carry any weight in it over time. In this case it is recommended to buy a proper gym bag instead.
Compartments or Section
in a good gym bag, there can be up to eight places to store things in the bag. It often has pockets on the sides, front and back, and small zipper pockets internally. These pockets or sections can have a wide variety of purposes. Some can be padded to hold breakable items and so may even be waterproof to hold wet clothes are swim trunks.
One thing that is a good idea is to lay out all the items one intends to carry in the bag before purchasing. This will allow for identifying which items need to be kept in a separate location and which need to be protected. If the bag will carry a tablet, laptop, or spillable liquids, buy accordingly.
Materials used to make the bag
This choice should always be made on how the bag will be used and how rough one will be with the bag. The main materials are canvas, nylon/polyester,nylon hybrid, and leather.
- Canvas is the original material of the gym bag. It is less expensive than some of the other bags and usually really light weight. Make sure to touch the bag, if given the ability, because a high quality canvas will last for a long time. Remember, canvas is nothing more that really tightly woven cotton or some form of linen like material. Canvas is a really adaptable fabric and can easily be colored for more options than those of leather. Classier bags often have leather accents like handles and trims.
- Nylon/Polyester is, usually, the cheapest of the gym bags. While they don’t last as long as the other gym bags, it hold shape well and can usually be more customized than any other. It often has logos or designs and is reinforced on the bottom of the bag. Its cheap price will allow one to buy new bags more often and they will need to because most of these bags do not last more than a few months or years.
- Leather is the choice for most professionals. It looks nicer and cost more. While it works well in most situations, it will not respond well to wet clothes unless it has a separate compartment for wet clothes. While one can pay a high price for a leather gym bag, make sure to look for ones that don’t scratch easy and are water resistant. Odds are this bag will be placed in a situation that it can get wet and will touch surfaces that can scratch it.
Color and Design
Obviously this is a matter of personal preference. Some people don’t want a bag that they carry on their shoulder and only need handles on the top. Other people want a strap big enough to go across the body like a messenger bag.
Make sure to buy a product with the kind of straps needed because they will be an inconvenience if they are not used. Make sure the color and design fits one’s personal preference because if the bag is not liked, it will not be used.
A couple more things to consider
Other things to think about are the comfort when carried and if it compacts when not being used.
Don’t forget to find a good price point. If one buys a cheap product it will not last but if one buys an item that is to expensive for them they will be afraid to use it the way they would like to.
Here Are 19 Of The Best gyms bags for men
Under Armour is a pretty recent company in comparison to the other big sports brands. It was started 21 years ago by football player, Kevin Plank, at the University of Maryland. While its first big sale happened out of the back of a car a mere 20 years ago, it has since flooded the market.
Although I’m sure you know it already, they are the official sponsor of multiple famous athletes and teams. They make products for soccer, football, basketball, baseball, and gear for just about every sport. They are even in place to become the official MLB uniform maker in three years.
This bag is a quality product from Under Armour. It is made from a thick polyester that was designed to handle any situation with its durability and a highly water-resistant finish.
It has a rigid, abrasion-resistant bottom and sides. You’ll also find a large vented pocket for shoes and dirty clothes. It has a large front zippered organization pocket, a D-ring to hang things from the bag and a padded top grab handle. It is easily and comfortably carried with a padded, HeatGear shoulder strap.
This bag weighs 1.2 lbs with the ability to carry a lot of stuff with a cubic volume of 5000. Its dimensions are 25” x 13” x 11” but does come in a larger and smaller size.
The particular men’s gym bag from Under Armour is definitely a quality product and it comes in a variety of colors and color combinations. The price is great and based on the durable materials and built quality it will surely last you longer than most bags of a similar style and type.
Most people, if not everybody in the world, are extremely familiar with the brand, Adidas. It has been around since 1949 and began as a response to a family feud.
In Germany, two brothers, Adolf “Adi” Dassler and Rudolf Dassler, worked for their families athletic shoe company, Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. By 1948, tension grew among the brothers and Rudolph decided it was time to start something new. He left the company and, rather quickly, began the shoe company, Puma, on the other side of town. This new company quickly began to to rival to the family company. Since this was no longer a company of brothers, Adolf decided to name the company after himself and took his nickname, “Adi” and the first three letters of his last name and registered the name, Adidas.
Today, Adidas makes sports products in just about every athletic endeavor, loved apparel, accessories, and shoes. It for years has been a huge staple in pop culture, particularly in urban culture and the soccer world.
The Defender II bag is a well priced, functional product from adidas. It comes in three sizes and has close to 20 color options. It is made of a 3D ripstop material that is reinforced to added resistance to tears and scrapes.
This men’s gym bag has a thicker padded base so that its contents are given a little more protection than with similar type bags. Its frame helps the bag stay erect so that it is easy to load and access all the pockets. It comes with a ventilated shoe or wet clothes pocket that keeps clothes clean in the main compartment and allows shoes and sweaty clothes to breathe.
The medium and large come with a nice padded shoulder strap. The handles are wrapped in a webbing like material and well stitched to carry heavy loads and prevent them from breaking.
This bag is the kind of product one expects from adidas. It is able to be bought in, both, classy and more eccentric colors. While it may not be great for the business professional, buying the solid block looks nice enough to pass for business casual.
The medium and large versions of these bag are probably the size one would want to go with. The medium is 24” x 13” x12” and holds a volume of 3800 cubic inches. The large has just under double the volume at 6000 cubic inches and has the dimensions of 29” x 15” x 12”.
It is a good product that does what it needs to do and comes in at a great price. It is worth a consideration taking into account the company’s belief that it’s so well made that they offer a lifetime warranty.
Nike is the big player in sports and sports themed products in the market place. The company began, originally called Blue Ribbon Sports, in 1964 but didn’t don the Nike name until 1971. The name, most know, comes from the Greek goddess of victory. It was founded by a former track athlete at the University of Oregon, Phil Knight, and his coach, Bill Bowerman. While they first functioned as simply a distributor for the shoe company now known as ASICS, they have, since, become major cultural and sports influencers.
The Brasilia 6 bag comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large and at least eight color choices. It has the nice roomy main compartment one looks for in a good gym bag with a U-shaped opening for easy access. It has zipper pockets on the ends, one is ventilated for easy storage. It has additional velcro pockets to place items that need to be accessed while carrying. It is made in a polyester that is fairly strong.
The large of this bag is smaller that many other bags. It is 24.5” x 13” x 12” and carries around 4000 cubic inches. It fits more like a medium of other companies.
The material and structure of this bag leaves a little to be desired. It works well but can not handle heavy loads and rough treatment like that of other bags. Still, it does come with a limited, “very limited,” lifetime guarantee.
This bag looks nice and works well but is not as good as other options. The price varies depending on size and color but overall it’s considered decently priced.
This product comes from a smaller company that is making good quality products. It makes a variety of bags from backpacks to totes to gym bags (it does make some nice comfortable apparel and accessories for those interested). They make this bag in seven colors (options from classy looks to floral).
If one is looking for a bag that is a perfect hybrid of casual and class, this is the one. It is made from 100% 600D polyester so it hold up. It is water-resistant and has a hard shell base for added protection.
It comes with the convenient vented shoe pocket but has nice additional features like a padded, faux fur lined media pocket. It has the classy addition of leather magnetic handles. Also included is a nylon adjustable shoulder strap. It has interior mesh pockets to hold loose items and a nice size large compartment.
If looking for a large bag, this is not a good choice. It comes in at 16” x 9” x 10” and only has around 2500 cubic inches of space. Still, it looks nice and some of the colors would work for the professional. It is well built and is made to last. The quality is far superior than the price that you pay for it and it’s one of the best gym bags for a man that is looking for a great price/quality ratio.
A bag that comes from a really small company that specializes in this one product. It only comes in this “medium size” which works well for a small gym bag or weekend bag. It measures 18.9” x 10.2” x 10.2” and can carry up to 44 lbs.
The gym bag is made from a unique Dragon Nylon that is proven to be durable and water resistant. It is lightweight and compact.
It has a side shoe pouch that can hold a size 11 shoe and adds another layer of water resistant with its lining. The side has an handy elastic mesh pouch that can store a water bottle or towels, etc. It has a front zipper pouch and an internal pouch to hold small items and those that need extra privacy like a cell phone. A velcro trolley strap, handles and a shoulder strap give this bag carrying options.
This bag looks nice as it is more of a barrel looking bag then most. It comes in simple, classic colors, black and grey, and looks profession enough for most occasions. It is smaller and wouldn’t work well to carry a laptop or tablet in it.
Mixi describes themselves at an active, lifestyle brand that is open-minded. They are dedicated to create one thing, high quality bags. It comes in at 18.1” x 9.05” x 9.05” and has the capacity capability of 24 liters. It comes in a couple sleek colors but grey is the primary available color. It is made from a water-resistant polyester. This is another barrel shaped bag.
The main compartment of this bag is a nice size that has a hidden internal zippered pocket for items like cell phones. It has a pocket on the back, that is zippered, with organizational slots. It has a pocket on each end. One is for small items and accessories and the other is designed for shoes or wet swimsuits, etc. Carry this product with comfortable handles or an adjustable, removeable shoulder strap.
For a lightweight, smaller, classy bag, consider this option. It is on the small side so it will not hold most electronics and many clothes. Still, it looks nice and is easily carried.
The particular gym bag has a well done design and is build to hold up with a price towards the low end compared to our other reviewed gym bags for men.
A small company that has been making classic, fashionable, functioning bags since 2012. They seek out high-quality materials, top-notch craftsmanship, and interesting designs in all their bags. They test all bags thoroughly for quality control.
This bag comes in at 20.4” x 10.6” x 9.4” and weighs around 3.7 lbs. It comes in three color choices, gray, black, and army green. It is made from a high density cotton canvas that is built to last. It is trimmed out with genuine crazy horse leather.
The bag has a magnetic snap pocket on the front and a zipper pocket on the back. Each side has another zipper pocket and one of the pockets is specifically made to carry shoes. It is large enough for a small business trip and comes with a one year warranty.
Men love the look of this bag. It has a vintage look that is somehow fashionable and professional looking. It can be carried with a handle with a leather grip or a shoulder strap with a leather connection point. This bag seems like a bargain and don’t be surprized if random people start asking you where you got it from.
This is a no frills bag with a bunch of color options. It comes in with a good size of 27.25” x 13.5” x 12.75” with the volume of 4,690 cubic inches.
The gym bag has the standard U-shaped main zipper compartment that works for easy access. It has two small zipper pockets on the front of the bag and two larger side pockets. It has a padded set of handles and an adjustable shoulder strap.
A bag made from 600 denier polyester. It contains small, half-inch plastic feet to barely lift the bag off the ground. It weighs around 2.4 lbs. This is a bag on the lower end of the market. It looks nice but will not last as long as many of its counterparts.
Although the quality of the bag isn’t the highest, this is one of the lowest priced bags reviewed on this guide. As long as you keep in mind that you haven’t paid much for it, you won’t experience any frustrations along the way.
Another product from Nike that functions well and has a nice sporty look. It is made from 100% polyester that is coated in a durable, water-resistant tarpaulin to keep contents dry and protected.
This men’s gym bag has one of the better shoulder strap cushions and sturdy handles for easy carrying. It has zippered pockets on each side. One is called and insulated fuel pocket, wet pocket, and cooler pocket. The other is a ventilated shoe compartment.
This is a nice bag but the price point is a little high for the quality in our humble opinion and isn’t look any nicer than cheaper bags of a similar size. It has classic color options like black and grey and comes in at a size 25” x 12” x 12”. One will like this bag if they finially purchase it but there are better options for the price.
This is an interesting design from a trendy company. They made this bag to resemble an exotic sports car and it accomplishes that mission. It is build from a high quality PU leather. This makes the product water, dirt, and scratch-resistant that is easily cleaned and maintained.
It is loaded with 16 separate compartments that serve a variety of functions. It has a ventilated shoe pocket. It has a front utility hatch and even comes with a slot to keep a tablet or netbook safe. The main compartment is surprisingly spacious and it comes with zipper loop locks to keep all items safe.
Another bonus is a secret compartment that needs to be looked for to find. It is carried with handles or a 28” shoulder strap. It is a little heavier than other bags at 4.4 lbs and has a size of 23” x 12” x 8”.
It is modern and works great for the professional. It has four, dark color options to go with any style. It is an expensive bag but that is to be expected for a leather bag. It meets airline requirements and works well as a weekend bag as well.
Another classy option from S-Zone. This bag is made of soft canvas and has a PU leather trim. It is airline friendly and stylish. It comes with a removeable, adjustable shoulder strap and handy leather handles. It comes in four, classic canvas colors and serves well for the average man.
This bags only true feature is a separate shoe compartment. It has a large main compartment and that is it. It is 19.7” x 11.8” x 9.7” and weighs 2.8 lbs. It is a good bag for someone that wants little more than a classy, simple bag. It has a nice look and a really good price point.
As stated above, Puma came from a split between two brothers that ran Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory. The brand was originally called Ruda but later changed its name to Puma. It is now known mostly in the soccer and fashion world and is easily identified by its classic, jumping puma logo.
A bag made from 100% polyester that gives the appearance of expensive. It bares the ferrari symbol and italian flag. It comes in a black and bright red.
The bag has the added feature of a two way zippered large compartment so that one can quickly get contents. It contains external and internal pockets to divide up items that need to be separated. It has plastic studs on the bottom to lift the bag slightly off the ground.
One can easily carry the bag with an adjustable webbing shoulder strap with a padded connection point. It comes in at 22.9″ x 13.1″ x 4.4″ and only weighs 1.6 lbs.
The gym bag looks nice but one is clearly paying for the ferrari logo. A bag without that logo would be under $50 but probably the brand and logo seems to bring the price higher.
2XU is a brand that many may not know as well but it has become a big player in the sports world, particularly in compression wear. They provide products that many competitive athletes are using. There products are pricey but known for their quality and comfort.
This bag comes in one black color. It is made from 100% nylon. It comes with an adjustable strap that is padded and feels nice on the shoulder. It has durable handles and multiple zipper pockets. It has a shoe compartment and a water bottle holder. It has those protective bottom studs for extra durability.
The dimensions are 22.6″ x 11.9″ x 3.4″ and it weighs 2.5 lbs. This makes it a nice size bag that will last.
It is a little more expensive than one would think if they are not familiar with the quality products that 2XU makes. The solid black color makes it a good fit for any environment.
A company that has been making leather bags for over three decades. Each bag is made with care and love and has its own level of individuality based on the leather. The company is based in the UK and while it had mostly been in the handbag market, it comes out strong with this duffel.
High end, quality product made from vintage brown leather. It is a good size at 21″ x 13″ x 12″ and weighs 2.2 lbs. It has an inner zipper pocket in addition to two large zipper pockets that will fit shoes. It comes with an adjustable and removeable shoulder strap that is make from the highest quality buffalo leather. The main compartment of this bag is a nice size. It comes with nicely stitched handles as well.
It is cheaper than one would think a bag of this quality would cost. It is a beautiful leather gym bag that exudes quality. Trust that when a bag like this was purchased, great care was taken in constructing it.
An Australian immigrant and leather craftsman, Eugene Bauer created this company with a rich tradition of high end, leather goods when he made his first wallet. Three generations later, the company is still family owned and sharing the same vision of making products with a level of originality and tradition. Their products are still mostly handmade and given great care.
This bag comes in a nice black Flordia Genuine Cowhide Leather. It is 21 ½” x 10″ x 9 ½” and is heavy at 5.3 lbs. It contains sturdy handles and zipper pockets on each side. There is a zippered pocket on the front and the bag has a two zipper form for the main compartment.
This bag is expensive but it is some of the best quality gym bags for men money can buy. This bag is great for the professional or someone who wants a very nice quality gym bag.
A company that loves the outdoors and is inspired by them. They want to make quality products that really function. They are from German and was founded in 1981. It is made with two shell types. One is 100% polyester and the other is 100% polyamide. The particular men’s gym bag is lined with 100% polyester.
The bag is a nice size a 23.6″ x 13.4″ x 1.6″ and weighs 2.3 lbs. It has a shoe compartment, a large main compartment, and two additional compartments. Inside are a few mesh pockets that will hold a phone, wallet, etc. It has two padded handles and an adjustable strap.
It is durable and nice looking but a little over priced compared to other similar bags. It will last and its solid black design works for most occasions.
A brand that has been around a long time (1910). They are known, largely, for their tennis and golf equipment. It is headquartered in Shirebrook, England. Dunlap existed as a rubber company before but began to make rubber golf balls in 1910 and entered the sports world. In 1924 in began to make tennis balls.
This bag a very cool, vintage look that will make people believe the bag is really old. It comes with a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap and nice grab handles. It is 21.3″ x 10.2″ x 9.8″ and weighs 2.4 lbs.
Design wise, this gym bag has a small separate zippered compartment on one end and the interior lining has another zip pocket for small valuables. It has metal studs on the bottom for protection. Its leather style is great for those that want a bag that looks like an old bowling bag or a bag like was used 50 years ago. It is not meant to be treated roughly and can not handle it.
Gym bags are a staple to most men’s shoulders throughout the week. They come in a variety of styles and with lots of different features.
Our hope is that this guide helps one understand how to make the decision and gives them good options.