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The gym bag is our go-to satchel. We carry it nearly every day, so it has to be tough. And we never know where we’re gonna end up, so it needs to look presentable, too. On top of that, it has to be versatile enough to handle whatever we throw into it (usually way more than just gym gear).
No matter if you’re a student racing to the gym for a pick-up game between classes or an editor at a magazine in the Big City who just wants a few quiet, glorious minutes on the treadmill after work (ahem), the trusty gym bag might be your most important everyday carry item.
What do you look for in a gym bag? When putting together a Buyer’s Guide of the best gym bags, there were a ton of important factors we considered. Is it waterproof or at least water-resistant? Does it have easy-access stash pockets on the outside, for things like our gym card and ID? Are there secure inner pockets for valuables, like our wallet, tablet, keys, and phone? Is it easy to lug around, with shoulder straps or (even better) backpack straps? Does it look classy enough to take to the office, so we can hit the gym after work? Most importantly, how much does it cost?
We took all of this practical functionality into consideration, and if that were our only criteria, there would have been a million gym bags, backpacks, and duffels that we could have included here. But style and character gave certain bags the nod over others for this list. Function is intrinsic, but form is invaluable; those satchels that combined the best of both are the ones we’ve presented here.
Here are 17 of the best gym bags you can buy.