Stash your stuff in style with the best gym backpacks

·8 min read

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A man with his gym backpack
A man with his gym backpack

If you like to exercise outside of your home, whether it’s at a gym or a studio, you need to carry your essential gym gear. Regardless of how frequent or intense your gym workouts are, every gym fanatic needs to carry a water bottle, some extra clothes, and a towel. It can be a bit of a hassle to carry all these items around while you’re switching machines and trying to focus on your gym routine. A good solution for this problem is getting a gym backpack.

These backpacks have different compartments for all your belongings and are great for carrying your sweaty gym clothes in style. Gym backpacks are especially useful if you find string bags a little too flimsy, duffle bags unfashionable or tote bags too small to hold all your belongings. Here are some of the finest gym backpacks for 2022 to help free up your hands.

Top Picks

Best overall: Adidas Alliance II Gym Backpack

Zippered exterior pocket for your phone or small stuff
Zippered exterior pocket for your phone or small stuff

Adidas is known for its amazing sportswear and athletic accessories, and this option is no exception. With two mesh pockets for holding water bottles, this backpack helps keep you hydrated while you exercise. It also has an exterior pocket for storing smaller items like your phone or wallet. The two cording straps are also very sturdy and can hold a decent amount of weight. Another cool feature of this bag is all the additional space inside that can fit clothes, shoes, and even a soccer ball. With the iconic Adidas logo printed on the front and nearly unmatched quality, this gym backpack has earned the best overall spot on this list.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 1 x 18 x 13.75 inches

  • Available in 30 different colors and designs

  • Cinch opening for keeping items secure

Premium materials: Kalesi Floral Gym Backpack

Made of water and scratch resistant oxford fabric, it is durable, sturdy, skin-friendly and easy to clean or wipe
Made of water and scratch resistant oxford fabric, it is durable, sturdy, skin-friendly and easy to clean or wipe

This versatile bag can be used at the gym and also for hiking or traveling since it's got plenty of space inside. Not only can you use this option to store your gym essentials, but it also has inner compartments for things like your iPad, power bank, and camera. There are also two side pockets for water bottles and umbrellas, helping keep you hydrated during workouts and dry during rainy weather. The greatest thing about this backpack is that it's made from high-quality material, making it perfect for carrying around on a consistent basis. This product is also skin-friendly and has breathable back pads, giving you more back support. You can also wear this bag in different ways, such as a crossbody or as a handle bag.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 11.75 x 9 x 20 inches

  • Weight: 1.98 pounds

  • Waterproof and scratch-resistant material

Most weather-resistant: VOORAY 23L Flex Gym Backpack

This bag carries everything you need to rock your workout! Store shoes, a pair of clothes, and your wallet inside. It has a large interior sleeve for your water bottle, too
This bag carries everything you need to rock your workout! Store shoes, a pair of clothes, and your wallet inside. It has a large interior sleeve for your water bottle, too

This is another lightweight, drawstring backpack with enough space for all your gym essentials. There’s a side pocket for your water bottle, and this option is also suitable for outdoor adventures. The material used in its construction is waterproof and weather-resistant too, so you won't have to worry about it breaking down on you. Instead of the usual zipper design, this backpack has a cinch closure, keeping all your belongings safe and sound. The shoulder straps are also adjustable and won't dig into your shoulders when you wear it. Another amazing feature of this option is the tote handles on top that allow you to carry this bag conveniently, giving your shoulders a break.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 12 x 7 inches

  • Nylon lining with waterproof base

  • Storage capacity: 6 gallons

Elite design: Under Armour Adult Gym Backpack

Front valuables pocket to keep your stuff safe
Front valuables pocket to keep your stuff safe

Under Armour is another great company known for its athletic products, which is why this knapsack-style gym bag is a good option. You can find this gym backpack in different colors and patterns too, letting you choose something according to your preferences. It also has two front pockets for all the smaller items you can't keep inside your gym shorts while exercising. This product also has an adjustable, cinch-style closure and some straps made of cords to help keep your shoulders sweat-free. What's even cooler is that this backpack has a D-ring you can use to attach different things to using a carabiner. There is also a sternum clip, letting you keep this bag secure from both ends while you wear it. You don’t have to worry about storage space with this option either, it is spacious enough to hold a soccer ball.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 19 x 15 x 2 inches

  • Storage capacity: 6.6 gallons

  • Available in 19 colors and patterns

Great value: WATERFLY Gym Backpack

Versatile features perfect carry-on bag for weekend traveling, hiking, cycling, amusement parks, schools, outdoor recreation activities
Versatile features perfect carry-on bag for weekend traveling, hiking, cycling, amusement parks, schools, outdoor recreation activities

This next option has a unique shape and is easy to carry around with its crossbody design. Not only does it have a large capacity, it also has seven different pockets for stashing your items away. This versatile backpack is great for the gym but can also be used as a school bag. It also has a large main pocket that can store a 13-inch laptop or your gym shoes. There is a mesh pocket at the bottom for items like wet umbrellas or dirty gym clothes that you may want to keep separate. This option also has a spacious water bottle holder that can be used for larger bottles like a hydro flask. The greatest feature of this gym backpack is all the comfortable padding that won’t dig into your skin.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 2.75 inches

  • 8-inch shoulder drop

  • Storage capacity: 4.7 gallons

How to find your next gym backpack: A buyer’s guide

A good-quality gym backpack can be a game-changer, especially if it includes cool features. The best part is that most gym bags are durable and versatile, so you can use them on outdoor excursions as well. But finding the right gym backpack from all the choices out there can be a little daunting. We have done the legwork for you though and curated this handy buying guide with some need-to-know information on how to pick the right gym backpack.

Things to look for in a gym backpack

1. Storage space

This is the most important factor to consider since most people take quite a bit of equipment to the gym. Whether it's extra clothes or a water bottle, these items tend to take up space in your bag. This is why it's essential to get a gym backpack with multiple pockets and plenty of storage space.

Separate pockets also help keep things neat, which is good since no one wants their gym shoes touching their clothes. Look for a gym backpack with several pockets so that you don't risk losing your belongings while you’re exercising.

2. Easy to clean

Whether you use it for hiking or at the gym, your backpack can get dirty pretty easily. You don’t want a backpack that's hard to clean since it can develop odors over time. Most gym backpacks are made of waterproof materials that can be cleaned by wiping them down with a wet towel.

Also, look for gym backpacks with breathable padding so that they don't soak up sweat while you're wearing them.

3. Lightweight

This is another important feature to look out for since no one wants to carry a heavy backpack after an intense workout session. Some gym backpacks have extra layers of fabric that can weigh them down. A good gym bag should be made of lighter fabric which is still durable.

Opt for cord straps rather than thicker ones too, they will put less pressure on your shoulders.

Keeping your gym backpack safe

If you tend to store your phone and wallet inside your gym bag, you definitely want them to stay safe. A cool hack is getting a tracker button and putting it inside your gym backpack. This way, if you ever lose your bag, you can just use a tracking app to locate it easily.

People also asked

Q: How do I remove the musty smell from my gym backpack?

A: Gym backpacks tend to develop odors after a while, but don't worry because there's a good solution to this problem. Simply mix warm water with equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Use this solution to wipe your gym backpack and the smell should go away.

Q: What are some essentials I should keep in my gym bag?

A: Other than the usual things like water bottles and extra clothes, there are a few other essentials it's good to have on hand. If you have long hair, make sure you store some hair ties or a headband. Also, keep flip-flops if you plan on using your gym’s shower.

Q: What size gym backpack is ideal for me?

A: It depends on your height and preferences. Generally, it's better to use a medium-size backpack that can hold up around 8 to 10.5 gallons inside.