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gym bags

Are There Storage For My Shoes? – Choosing The Best Gym Bag For Your Workouts

gym bags

As I mentioned in my article,  "What To Take And Wear To Gym", the first important item on your shopping list is your gym bag. In this article I am revealing my 5 favorite picks suitable for both men and women.

Before running to you nearest sports store and grabbing the nearest bag, hang on a minute. There are a few things to take into consider before buying a bag for your workouts. In my article touched on the minimum criteria that a bag must meet before making a decision. In this guide I am including a few extra items to add to the criteria, as many of you asked a quite few questions I didn't consider before. 

(Questions I came across included: Is there storage for my shoes? Will my son's shoulder pads and helmet fit? Does a basketball fit in the bag? Can the bag be used for carry on luggage? Does the bag have a padded shoulder strap? Can I use it for weekend getaway? Is it machine washable? Is it water resistant?)

Based on the questions above I included few things that may not be be exactly gym related, but acknowledge that you may want to use your gym bag for more than just gym workouts. Here is the list of criteria.

The Criteria 

The reason for setting up this criteria is to make sure that all of my top 5 picks meet at least the minimum standards required and that you won't be disappointed with whatever you choose. You may not need them all, but here they are.

1. Quality And Durability

Your gym bag is not going to have it easy. Everything from gym shoes with rough edges, clothes, training belts and gloves are going to be stuffed in, sometimes in a hurry. Don't forget about your gym towel, supplement bottles and the all important water bottle. It will also have to survive being shoved and made to fit into gym locker. Spills from both inside the bag, and accidents in and around the locker room have to be endured as well. Being well made from a tough quality material that will withstand these punishments over a long period of time is therefore non-negotiable.

2. Space

This actually falls in line with my previous point. As you can see, the amount of items that must fit in your bag may be a lot more than you thought. Make sure the bag you choose have enough space to fit everything you will need, as well as a bit extra for that item you may want to add at a later stage. (If you are unsure, read my article about "What To Take And Wear To Gym" to see if you missed anything).

3. Enough Compartments

The sheer amount of items you stuff in your bag before rushing off to gym can create quite a mess. Digging between small mountains of clothes and gear to find what you need is both time consuming and frustrating. Not to mention shoving your sweaty clothes into your bag with some items you'd rather wish did not get dirty. You get the picture.

This is where a bag with sufficient compartments come in. Having at least 3 main compartments is recommended. You can decide for yourself how you want to separate and organize your stuff, but having main compartment for your clothes, a big compartment for shoes/dirty clothes and one for you gym accessories. Luckily all 5 gym bags I have picked, have more than enough compartments and pockets than you will ever need.

4. Different Sizes and Styles

We are all different. None of us are the same size or have the same taste, and we all have different requirements. So why should our gym bags be any different? As you have different requirements for the amount of space needed in your bags, all the bags listed here come in different sizes to suite your needs. 

All the bags in my 5 favorite picks, with the exception of one, come in a variety of styles as well. No no matter what your gender or personal preference, you should be able to find one to fit your own personal style.

5. Water Resistance

At some point your gym bag will be subjected to some spill or dirt ending up on it. All the bags, with the exception of 2 bags, consist of water resistant material, so cleaning your bag should be very easy.

Just note, by water resistant I don't mean you can submerge your bag under water. It simply means it will keep your items dry in wet conditions and are easy to clean. (Some manufacturers claim their bags are indeed completely water resistant, but I would rather not put that claim to the test.)   

My 5 Favorite Picks

Based on my criteria and personal experience, I have chosen five bags I am sure you will be very happy with.  Suitable for both men and women, they also come in different sizes and styles. Each bag are slightly different and have unique advantages, so depending on how you plan on using them, you may find one more suitable for you than the others. Off course they are not the only good gym bags by far, but you definitely can't go wrong with any of them...

Adidas Defender iii

Not only does this versatile bag meet all the criteria laid out in this article, but it really shines when it come to size. Even the smallest option have been claimed by many users to be more than big enough for all their needs.

Adidas have put a lot of faith in the strength and durability of their product, by including a lifetime warranty with this gym bag. 

Find out more about pricing and available colors and sizes here.

Outdoor-Products Mountain Duffle Bag

If you are looking for a gym bag that does not look like your typical gym bag, this is the one for you. It is especially strong and durable, making it ideal for a weekend getaway.

The only criticism that can be leveled against it, is that it doesn't meet the criteria on 2 points. It only comes in one color and do not claim to be water resistant. 

For most people using this bag however, this really is a non-issue and they love it. 

Find out more about pricing and available sizes here.

Under Armour Undeniable Bag

Apart from fulfilling the whole list of criteria set out in this article, this bag goes a step further. This is one tough gym bag! 

Not only is it water resistant, but its tough, abrasion-resistant bottom and side panels makes it ideal, should you choose to use it for hiking or other outdoor activities as well.

Find out  more about pricing and available colors on the small, medium and large bags. 

Dakine EQ Duffel

If you are looking for a quality travel bag that can also double as a gym bag, have a look at Dakine's EQ Duffel Bag.

Please note that Dakine specifically advise against machine washing and also do not claim the bag to be water resistant. It still remains an excellent choice, but not meant for people who want an outdoor all-weather bag.  

Dakine's good reputation is also reinforced by their willingness to include a limited lifetime warranty.

Find out more about pricing and available colors and sizes here.

Nike Brasilia

Another good quality product from Nike, doing everything that is asked from it well.

Some criticism has been raised against it for its floor/bottom being too flabby and not solid enough. Other users enjoys the flexibility this provides, as it is much easier to fold and fit into more confined spaces.

Its quality can't be faulted, so if absolute sturdiness is not an absolute must for you, this will be an excellent choice for a gym bag.

Find out more about pricing and available colors and sizes here.

I trust you were able to find what you were looking for in this selection. If you didn't, like I said there are plenty of other options available. Just remember the list of criteria I set out for you to keep in mind when choosing your bag. You are now off to a good start to getting all your gear in place for your gym visits and a thorough workout.

As always, feel free to leave me a comment or suggestion, and remember to join my  mailing list  to get informed whenever a new articles or review is released, as well as helpful hints & tips and news on new developments.

Until next time, take care and let me know if you want any specific item reviewed or discussed.

Wessel