For the longest time, I would schlep all my workout gear—sneakers, hair ties, toiletries, a change of clothes, and more—in just a large tote bag. It worked for a long time because it was a no-fuss way to keep all my things together (and the tote bag was one of those promotional freebies). But without fail, every time I tried to look for something, I'd be fishing inside for a long time, pulling out this and that and making a mess just for something like a hair tie. It seriously looked like I was an inelegant Mary Poppins taking things out of a bag that doesn't seem to have an end.
That's until I decided on a whim one day to buy a gym duffel on sale (boy, did my life change then). It had pockets and different compartments so I could keep things organized and within reach. I wasn't dealing with a bottomless pit. And the best part? I could use that same duffel for some day trips or even a quick overnight stay.
While I mostly like to travel light when I head to the gym or fitness studio, for days when I don't have time to go back home to get ready, I use my trusty gym bag. I 10/10 would recommend it to anyone. So, if you're in the market for something to bring to your next workout session, take a look at the best gym bags for women below.
There are plenty of pockets here to keep everything organized, like the exterior zip and slip pockets and interior wall pockets. It has both carry handles and an adjustable crossbody strap so there are different ways to tote it around.
The happy orange color and stylish quilted detail set this gym bag apart from the others.
This duffel bag has a shoe compartment so you don't have to worry about your dirty sneakers messing up your other stuff.
First off, the shape of this gym bag is just really cool and unique. And second, it works well as a travel bag, too, since it's so roomy, folds flat for easy storage, and is made with water-resistant technical fabric.
If you prefer a backpack instead, this nylon piece will do the trick. It has a separate shoe storage compartment and two water bottle pockets. Plus, it has a laptop zipper so it can be a work bag, too.
This isn't your average tote bag—it's elevated, which isn't a surprise since it's from Stella McCartney's partnership with Adidas. The nylon tote has interior pockets and an adjustable strap.
If you go to yoga classes a lot, you're going to love this bag. It has an adjustable yoga mat strap at the base so you can easily tote your yoga mat to the studio.
With over 10,000 ratings and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this gym bag is a highly rated option that's also the perfect price. Its smart design features a large compartment for your clean clothes and dry gear, a compartment for shoes or your dirty clothes, and a water bottle pocket.
Made of water-repellent fabric, this backpack has different storage pockets: one for your dirty clothes, an interior pocket for the essentials, and an exterior padded pocket for your laptop.
Nike's duffle bag will hold all the essentials like your workout clothes and shoes. And you don't have to worry about it taking up too much space—it packs down when you want to store it.
This looks like a regular backpack, but I think you're going to be impressed with the amount of storage it has. The water-resistant piece has three exterior pockets, one interior pocket, a laptop sleeve, and a removable interior pouch.
One of the cool features of this duffle is that it's made of fabric that's composed of recycled water bottles. It also folds compactly into a flat zip pouch, so it's great for travel.
Puma's sleek gym bag has a removable and adjustable shoulder strap, side zip pockets, a front zip pocket, and a shoe compartment. It's machine-washable, too.
Lululemon's quilted bag has fun labels on its interior pockets like, "items of importance," "sweaty unmentionables," and "laptop" so it's practically organized everything for you.
The water-resistant finish on this duffle bag can withstand any kind of weather, plus its abrasion-resistant bottom can deal with wear and tear. Inside there's a large vented pocket for dirty clothes or shoes, plus internal slip pockets for other storage.
More Gym Essentials to Shop
Take this dry shampoo with you on the go when you need to soak up some sweat and odor after your gym session.
Don't have time to take a shower, or the lines are too long? These biodegradable shower sheets are an instant refresh.
Store this deodorant in your gym bag so you'll always smell fresh.
Infused with rosewater, coconut water, and hibiscus extract, this spray will feel so cooling and refreshing after a tough workout.
What's a workout without a good playlist? These noise-cancelling headphones are my favorite.
These hair ties are awesome because they won't snag or break your hair. Also, since a lot of hair ties are made of fabric, they can't get really sweaty and gross after workouts—you won't have to deal with that here.