For the sessions when travelling light just won’t cut it, our pick of the best gym bags has your back.

Do you spend hours searching for the best workout clothes, only to carry your new kit in a plastic carrier bag? If that sounds familiar, it might be time to invest in a high-quality gym bag. Combining style with practicality, these are the best we’ve tested.

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Best gym bags 2024

There are a few contenders vying for the Best Gym Bag crown, but in our opinion the Built For Athletes Pro Series Backpack clinches it on points. It’s nigh-on indestructible, has more zips and pockets than you’ll ever need and spreads whatever load your carrying evenly across your back so there are no pinch points.

Other gym bag recommendations

Best for build qualityThe KNKG Everyday Tactical Backpack is a beast of a pack and its 1000D nylon body will withstand a proper beating. It’s no surprise that KNKG stands for King Kong. If this was waterproof it may have given our winner a run for its money.
Best for travelIf you’re as partial to a weekend escape as much as a weekday gym sesh, the Stubble & Co Adventure Bag will be up your street. Use its full 45L capacity or just a fraction – and use those compression straps so everything stays put.
Best for sustainabilityCertified B Corp company Red Equipment takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. It makes kit like the Adventure Waterproof Backpack to last, and built from recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials.
Product shot of a Built For Athletes backback and dry bag

1. Built For Athletes Pro Series Backpack

Men’s Fitness verdict

Durable and built to last, this backpack will swallow everything from lifting shoes to massage guns, with plenty of room for tech, fuel & clothes. A worthy investment for serious gym-goers.
  • Superb design with plenty of storage options
  • Rugged construction that’s built to last
  • Spreads load evenly across your back
  • Twice the price of previous design
  • No colour options like the Gym Hero 2.0
FeaturesWaterproof compartments; 2-year warranty; anti-microbial lining; vented shoe compartment; shock absorbent laptop compartment
Capacity11.9 gal / 45L
Dimensions12.2 x 18.9 x 8.7in / 31 x 48 x 22cm

One of the toughest gym bags we’ve tested, the Pro Series 45L bag has plenty of space for all your gear and an indestructible design that will last for years. It may be pricey but we think it’s worth every penny.

Featuring military-spec rip-proof fabric and dedicated laptop and shoe compartments, the Pro Series has more zips and pockets than we’ve had protein shakes. Its load-spreading design means it’ll go easy on your back too.

Read our full Built For Athletes Pro Series Backpack review

Product shot of Stubble & Co Adventure Bag

2. Stubble & Co Adventure Bag

Men’s Fitness verdict

If you’re paying almost £200 for a bag, you want it to be practical, cover a range of uses, and be built to last, and the Adventure Bag ticks all these boxes. Perfect for gym-goers and adventurers.
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Robust waterproof construction
  • Four colour options
  • Expensive
  • No external access to shoe compartment
FeaturesWeatherproof design with additional rain cover; trolley sleeve; detachable waist strap; waterproof shoe compartment; padded laptop compartment
Capacity11.1 gal / 42L
Dimensions22 x 15 x 9in / 55 x 38 x 24cm
ColoursBlack / Ember orange / Urban green / Tasmin blue

The Adventure Bag is an ideal choice for those who spend as much time jet setting as they do bench pressing. It’s a 42L waterproof bag with all the compartments you could ever need, as well as horizontal and vertical handles.

Look beyond the bombproof Ripstop fabric and you’ll find neat touches like detachable waist strap with bum bag and a trolley sleeve that lets you slip it securely onto your trolley handle. We appreciate its compact dimensions, which make it carry-on compatible too.

Read our full Stubble & Co Adventure Bag review

Product shot of a waterproof backpack

3. Red Equipment Adventure Waterproof Backpack

Men’s Fitness verdict

Red’s feature-rich pack is almost half the price of our winner but punches well above its weight. It may not be the perfect gym bag, but for those who like outdoor adventures it’s the ideal compromise
  • Waterproof rolltop design
  • Reinforced base
  • Three colour options
  • Sustainable materials
  • No shoe compartment
FeaturesWeatherproof rolltop design; padded laptop compartment; reinforced base; reflective detail; emergency whistle
Capacity7.9 gal / 30L
Dimensions22.4 x 16.5 x 7.9in / 57 x 42 x 20cm
ColoursObsidian black / Olive green / Storm blue

While not an out-and-out gym bag, the Red Equipment Adventure Waterproof Backpack can easily do workout duties. However, its reliably waterproof rolltop design, as well as details like reflective strips and emergency whistle, point to a more outdoor-focused design.

A padded and comfortable back with airflow panels and adjustable straps mean you could walk, hike or fastpack all day. Its 30L volume will cope with almost all your equipment needs on the trail or in the gym while MOLLE webbing is ideal for attaching climbing equipment for epic adventures.

Back in the gym and a removeable padded laptop bag and plenty of zipped compartments will be enough for your post-gym work and nutrition needs too. The best thing about the Adventure Waterproof Backpack? It’s almost half the price of its competitors.

KNKG Everyday Tactical Backpack being held up with one hand

4. KNKG Everyday Tactical Backpack

Men’s Fitness verdict

Thanks to tough-as-nails construction, plenty of pockets, and clippable MOLLE webbing around the exterior, there’s a lot to like about this rugged bag. Overall ergonomics could be improved though.
  • Ultra-rugged 1000D nylon body
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Unique MOLLE webbing
  • Plenty of pockets, inside and out
  • No hip strap
  • Only two color options
  • So-so ergonomics
Features1000D nylon body; Ripstop nylon lining; Full-grain American cow leather accents; Duraflex buckles; Expandable bottle pockets; MOLLE webbing
Capacity4.8 gal / 18.2L
Dimensions12.2 x 18.9 x 8.7in / 31 x 48 x 22cm
ColorsBlack / Tan

The KNKG Everyday Tactical Backpack (EDT) stands out as a robust and stylish option, and it offers good value compared to its competitors. Despite the absence of a hip strap, it shines with features like MOLLE webbing and expandable bottle pockets, ensuring versatility and convenience.

With a dedicated laptop sleeve and multiple compartments for organization, it proves its worth for daily use. While the shoulder straps could be more ergonomic, they still provide adequate comfort. The 18.2L capacity, although modest, can be added to with attachments, enhancing its utility.

The EDT represents a solid investment for those seeking a reliable and enduring gym bag. While it may not suit those with extensive gear, its durability and functionality make it a good choice for both the gym and more adventurous outings.

Read our full KNKG Everyday Tactical Backpack review


Product shot of a Under Armour duffle bag

5. Under Armour Own the Gym Duffle Bag

FeaturesHighly water-resistant finish; large main compartment with zippered closure; removable dopp kit with moulded internal organisation; soft-lined laptop sleeve; foam padded back panel and ergonomic shoulder straps for comfort; large, gusseted front laundry/shoe pocket placed at bottom of bag
ColoursBlack / Grey

Overall: 4/5

A gym/work crossover capable of fitting training kit, a change of clothes and a pair of trainers with room to spare.

When it’s not full to capacity the top compartment sags down slightly. However, it’s a minor gripe for a sports bag with a number of compartments and several practical additions like a water-resistant finish, laptop sleeve and side water pocket – it’s more than worthy of a spot on our roundup of the best gym bags.

Product shot of a Salomon rucksack

5. Salomon Trailblazer 30

MaterialsPolyester, polyamide and polyethylene
FeaturesSpace for hydration bladder; computer hanging sleeve; adjustable elastic sternum strap; compression straps and load lifter straps for stability; 3D comfort harness and belt with padded and vented foam for maximum comfort; extra loops for hooking or securing items
Capacity8 gal / 30L
Dimensions20.5 x 11.5 x 8.5in / 52 x 28 x 22cm

Overall: 4/5

If you’re after a reliable sports backpack that does all the basics well, you’ll love this 30L Trailblazer Bag from Salomon. Designed with long-day hikes in mind, the adjustable waist belt keeps excessive weight off your shoulders and ‘load lifter straps’ distribute the weight further.

The main compartment is complemented by an external top pocket, two side pockets for bottles and a front-zipped pocket for anything else you can cram in. We’ve crammed more into this 30L bag than we thought possible.

Product shot of a Kooples X Sport bag

6. Kooples x Sport

FeaturesLarge main compartment; spacious side pockets; detachable shoulder strap
ColoursKhaki / Red / Black

Overall: 4/5

With looks like these, who needs other bags? The Kooples X Sport (buy now) is stylish enough to be used as an everyday or travel bag, but functional enough for fitting in all your kit, making it one of the best gym bags we could find.

The large main compartment is accompanied by spacious pockets at either end and the shoulder strap detaches to allow the sports backpack to be carried by hand when packing light.

How we test the best gym bags

Our team of reviewers are experienced testers of all manner of fitness kit. While testing out these backpacks, they assessed them in terms of style, storage and comfort. They also paid close attention to the durability of the design and whether they worth the price tag. The testing process involved packing the backpack with a range of items – from workout clothes and gym shoes to a laptop and headphones – to assess the storage capabilities, before wearing it over varied periods to assess the comfort factor.