Having a legitimate gym bag is as essential to your workout routine as having good gym shoes. Doesn’t matter if you work out twice a week, four times a week or every single day of the week, bags are a must! Besides being a necessity to the gym it is also a fun motivator! Having a cute bag packed and ready to go is just one less excuse you can come up with to not workout.
When I have a bag that not only looks good but helps keep me organized I feel more prepared to go to the gym and get shit done. I don’t have to run on the treadmill and worry the whole time about what I have packed to shower and get ready for the day and what I may have forgotten. Still not sure why you need one? Read on and you will see why you need to get one before your next workout!
Scroll down to the end of this post to take a peek at what women should use a gym bag for and what to pack in it!
I own this bag and love it! The outer material is very dirt resistant; I got the white bag with teal and a purple strap and it’s not stained or worn in at all! It survived a winter in Wisconsin so that says a lot about it (slush, salt, mud, wet, snow, dirty snow plowed everywhere). It has even sat next to my golf clubs and it still stays clean.
- Blue+Black and White Stripe
This has smart technology that prevents order build up. You will find two small zipper pockets on either end, a skinny pocket on the front and one large main compartment that standups on its own so you can easily pack it.
Straps on this Adidas duffle include an adjustable long strap with movable padding and two small straps so you can carry it. Because the middle compartment is just one giant space I suggest getting some type of packing cubes so you can stay organized and access things faster.
Users note: I use the one side pocket with mesh for all my shower things like my shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, brush, and comb. I use the other fully enclosed pocket on the side for my “getting ready” things like perfume, deodorant, face wipes, moisturizers, etc.
If I wear my bra in the steam room and it gets wet I will throw that in the side mesh pocket so it can dry out and not ruin everything in the main compartment. Each side pocket keeps me organized and decreases my time getting ready after my workout.
Dimensions: Small 20.5″ L x 11.75″ W x 11″ H, Medium 24″ L x 13″ W x 12″ H and Large 29″ L x 15″ W x 12″ H
This Nike duffel is water repellant which is great if you are putting really sweaty clothes into it after your workout. The main compartment is secured by a dual zip. Because the body of this is women’s duffle has a single main compartment I suggest getting packing cubes. There is a small front zip pocket to store smaller items and another small zip compartment on the inside.
You get your pick of straps with this cute product, either use the shoulder strap or two smaller carrying straps.
Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 7.9 inches
Gym shoes are often worn in multiple places besides just the inside of the gym. Having a shoe compartment is crucial so you don’t get the other stuff in your bag dirty. Even if you do ONLY wear your shoes inside the gym, you don’t want to put your sweaty shoe post workout in the same compartment as your extra clothes, water bottle and other necessities stored in your main compartment.
If you need to do a quick in and out session at the gym having an easy to reach shoe compartment with its own zipper on the side will save you time from digging around and trying to find your tennis shoes.
On the opposite side of the shoe compartment, you will find a small zippered compartment where you can store small things such as a cell phone holder or headphones. Inside you will also find separate compartments which is useful to store things such as toiletries.
Carry this by the shoulder strap or remove the shoulder strap and carry it by its two shorter straps. The entire product is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about walking into the gym in rain or snow!
Canvas Style Duffel for Women with Shoe Compartment is available in the following colors:
- Berry red
- Gold and navy
- Olive green
- Pink and grey
- Navy red and blue
- Coral and blue
- Salmon pink
Dimensions: 19.5” L x 10“ W x 11”
I personally love bags with built-in compartments. Having compartments allows for everything to have a set home and therefore keeps you the most organized!
This cute product has the following compartments:
- Side shoe compartment- with air holes so your shoes can air out their stank
- Small front mesh compartment
- Side zip compartment – located opposite the shoe compartment side
- Main Compartment – Divided into sections with a wet pocket compartment and a dry main compartment
- Small zip compartment located in the main compartment
- Yoga mat holder located on the bottom
You can carry this by its shoulder strap, two small straps or by the strap located on the side. Welcome to the strap life Chica Bonita. Available in pink, black and grey.
Dimensions: 18″ (46cm) L x 9.4″ (24cm) W x 8.7″ (22cm) H
It is one of the smaller options but is still big enough to hold essentials for the gym such as shoes, headphones, towel, notebook and other small things used during every workout.
A mesh pocket is located on the outer side for your water bottle and on the inside, you will find multiple compartments to keep your basic workout essentials organized.
You will find both pull out pockets and zippered compartments on the inside. This small bag has a shoulder strap and two short straps with magnets so the straps stay together for ya. A faux fur pocket with a zipper is also located on the front which is great to store your phone.
While this is on the smaller end it still has a separate shoe compartment.
- Black marble
- Grey cherry blossom
- Rose black
- Rose grey
- Rose navy
Dimensions are 16 x 9 x 10 inches.
This has 4.5/5 star rating with over 180 reviews! With stats like that you know this is a quality product.
You won’t beat a better price to quality ratio than with this drawstring bag. It’s made from Oxford fabric which is one of the highest quality fabrics out there. Oxford fabric is durable because of the way it is woven, which gives it a tighter feel and strength.
- Dark grey
- Army green
This small bag has a drawcord to open and close the main compartment and two straps that allow you to wear this as a drawstring backpack. As far as pockets go you will find one zippered drawstring pouch pocket on the outside, two inside pockets, and one zippered inside pocket.
A drawstring product can be used to wear when you run outside or if you run on a treadmill and are training for events such as the tough mudder. If you want to use this outside of the gym most music and sports venues allow you to bring in a bag of this size. I can say this with confidence because my job is touring around with bands so I have been to almost every venue or arena in the US and Canada! Dimensions are 12.6*5.9*17.7 in.
Why women should use a gym bag for the gym?
Using a bag helps keeps you organized and is a convenient way to travel with all the necessities to get ready for the day. Often times you are going to the gym and are then heading somewhere else. Unless you can transport yourself home to get ready with all of your home comforts, you are going to need to travel with everything you need to get ready for the day. Don’t be that person walking into the gym with all their knick-knacks in a plastic bag, you look like a putz.
Having a cute gym bag is like buying a cute new purse. You want to show it off and you just feel more put together carrying one around. I work out longer when I wear a cute outfit and go to the gym more to show off my cute workout bag because I feel like a gym boss bitch. I am here, I am ready to work out and I’m going to get that hot ass bod.
You are now thinking – What to pack?
Here are a few must-haves for every women’s gym bag.
- Reusable Water Bottle – Besides helping the environment and having a way to always quench your thirst (duh), reusable water bottles are another cute accessory to use around the gym. Reusable water bottles are leak free and won’t get all the stuff in your bag wet like plastic water bottles often do.
- Extra Set Of Clothes – I suggest always having an extra set of workout clothes and an extra set of everyday clothes. An extra set of workout clothes are great if you have an impromptu sleepover and don’t want to go home the next morning before going to the gym. An extra set of everyday clothes are great if someone makes plans with you while you are mid working out. No need to go home first, your extra outfit is in your bag and you are ready to go grab that glass of wine with your bestie.
- Tampons – Nothing is worse than getting your period mid-workout and you have zero tampons with you. It’s like playing deal or no-deal on if you’re going to leak through and have a big red spot on your ass. Or even worse you leave red spots on the workout bench. Unsanitary and you now need to switch gyms.
- Deordant – Noone wants to work out next to someone that smells like shit. Applying a fresh coat before you go into the gym world is just basic hygiene. If you shower at the gym it is also great to have so you can reapply.
- Shampoo and Conditioner – Clearly for your shower after the gym, this one is a no-brainer. Even if you don’t shower after every workout session it’s nice to always have some in your bag as a just in case. Pro Tip: If you want to carry a light/small bag fill up travel size bottles that you use for vacation and you’ll have less space and weight to worry about. Second Pro Tip: Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner because most gyms have hard water and hard water really dries out your hair. Dry hair = split ends and damaged hair.
- Face wipes – If you aren’t a shower at the gym type of person you are going to want to invest in some facial wipes. No matter what your age is, if you don’t cleanse your face after a workout you will most likely breakout and have irritations occur on your skin. When you workout you sweat and if you don’t clean that sweat off after a workout than the sweat sits on your face and will clog your pores, thus irritating your skin. Take a minute to wipe your face and you should be good to go. It’s good to use face wipes to wipe makeup off before a workout because wearing makeup during a workout is one of the worst things you can do. You don’t want sweat irritation + Makeup irritation. You’re just asking for it then.
- Shower cap and dry shampoo – If you don’t want to wash your hair in hard water or you simply don’t wash your hair every day I suggest putting your hair in a shower cap and use dry shampoo after.
- Flip flops – Don’t go barefoot in a public shower ever. Flip flops are a must for public showers and a must if you need shoes to walk to and from the gym to the pool area.
- Lunch Box – Packing meals or snacks to the gym is a great way to help you keep y0ur diet on track. Having the proper lunch box in your gym bag will help keep your items at the correct temperatures. Just throwing food randomly in your bag can make you sick because it will go bad. You run into fast food temptations if you aren’t prepared because you will most likely be hungry after or before a workout!
BONUS LIFE HACK
You can use your gym bag as a carry on for the airplane. If you are super organized at packing you don’t even need to check a suitcase.
Most of the products we went over are big enough for at least a four-day trip and can be squeezed as a carry on under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin.
If you’re like me and need a suitcase for even a two-day trip there is still something useful here for you. If you have a gym bag with one big compartment and you use the packing cubes you can reuse those packing cubes from your bag in your suitcase!