If you’re serious about your gym work and are partial to weekends abroad, the Stubble & Co Adventure Bag won’t let you down either way…

It may sound like the name of a company selling male grooming products, but Stubble & Co is fast making a name for itself as a producer of rugged, practical travel bags. All its bags feature recycled materials where possible and are vegan friendly too. However, Stubble & Co stresses this doesn’t compromise on performance. On paper it has plenty of room for all your best workout clothes. But how does it do on the road and in the gym?

I was keen to test out the Adventure Bag, aimed as an all-in-one travel solution for frequent flyers and weekend escapes. On paper it has all the specs I’d look for in a gym bag too. A waterproof shoe compartment, padded easy-access laptop compartment and elasticated outer bottle pocket are all there. It also has a clamshell design so the main compartment opens fully. 

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.
Pros
  • Plenty of storage options
  • Robust waterproof construction
  • Four colour options
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No external access to shoe compartment

How we tested the best backpacks

Our team of reviewers are experienced testers of all manner of fitness kit. While testing out this backpack, MF writer Laurence McJannet assessed the bag in terms of style, storage, and comfort. He also paid close attention to the durability of the design and whether it was 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.

Overhead shot of gym bag surrounded by gymwear and equipment
At 42L, the Adventure Bag can swallow everything you need for a full day at the gym

Stubble & Co Adventure Bag features

Taking it out of the box, the quality of the Adventure Bag is immediately obvious. Stubble & Co hasn’t cut corners where materials are concerned. It’s mostly made from bombproof Ripstop recycled PET, and features waterproof zip bindings. Thanks to its side compression straps it arrives pretty flat, and looks like it’ll hold nowhere near the 42L it’s supposed to. But when I start to stuff it with gym gear it soon starts to expand.

In go shorts, shirt, towel, shoes, massage gun, laptop, drink and shake bottles, snacks, ab wheel and resistance bands – and it’s still not full.

The good thing is, if you’re only using half the bag’s capacity you can use those compression straps to crunch it down so everything stays put. That means the bag’s only as big as you need it to be. 

Stubble & Co Adventure Bag straps

The straps are heavy duty and feature plenty of adjustability over the shoulders and across the sternum. The detachable waist strap is a neat idea – it even features a bum-bag-like zip pocket for keeping small essentials close to hand. 

With a wide selection of internal and external pockets and compartments, the Adventure Bag will swallow everything you need for a day-long gym session or a long weekend abroad. Its 22 x 15 x 9in / 55 x 38 x 24cm dimensions are designed to meet most airlines’ carry-on restrictions. It even features a clever trolley sleeve for slipping over the handle of your trolley luggage for easy transportation. 

The laptop compartment is easily accessed from the side of the bag. However, unlike the Built For Athletes Pro Series Backpack, you have to open the bag right out to access the waterproof shoe compartment. There’s also only one outer bottle pocket, although that’s elasticated and will swallow large shakers or flasks. 

Stubble & Co Adventure Bag performance

Using the bag on a number of day-long hikes, I was impressed with its comfort levels over longer periods. It spreads the load well across your back, though I would have like to see deeper padded grooves to increase air flow.  

I got caught in a number of showers wearing the Adventure Bag, and it never showed any sign of water ingress. And that was without the extra waterproof sleeve. I’d have like to see the sleeve permanently attached (with an elastic cord perhaps), as it’d be easy to forget or misplace. But waterproof performance without it is impressive so I’m not even sure it’s needed. 

Should you buy the Stubble & Co Adventure Bag?

Overall it’s a well designed and constructed bag that will stand the test of time and has plenty of versatility. It’s rugged enough to withstand years of being tossed in the boot between gym sessions or overhead lockers during flights. But at 1.7kg / 3.7lb it doesn’t add too much bulk or heft. It functions as a gym bag and weekend bag, and doesn’t feel compromised as either.

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. Sure, there are gym bags less than half the price that will do most jobs just as well. But if you’re serious about your gym work (and are partial to the odd weekend adventure) you can’t really buy better.

Features:Weatherproof design with additional rain cover, trolley sleeve, detachable waist strap, waterproof shoe compartment, padded laptop compartment
Capacity:11.1gal / 42L
Dimensions:22 x 15 x 9in / 55 x 38 x 24cm
Colours:Black, ember orange, urban green, tasmin blue