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The 10 Best Gym Bags in 2021

Jonathan Tayag
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The 10 Best Gym Bags in 2021

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New year, new you, or so they say. And whether going to the gym is something you’re just picking up as part of a resolution, or whether you’re already a regular at one, you’ll need a good bag to carry your athletic gear. Try as they might though, a lot of EDC bags just aren’t built to carry a full day’s load and an extra change of clothes. And we’re sure you’d prefer not mixing in your dirty laundry with the rest of your gear, right? We’re here to help with this list of 10 EDC bags fit for all your daily activities, from the the office to the gym and beyond. By pairing tough construction with thoughtful features built for an active lifestyle, these bags help bridge the gap between work and play.

Osprey Transporter Zip Top Backpack

Osprey Transporter Zip Top Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Bucket top-loading design
Dual water bottle pockets
15" laptop sleeve
Specifications
Capacity
30L
Weight
2.18 lbs
Materials
TPU-coated weather resistant nylon
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
Bucket-style bags offer a unique, quick-access route to your essentials, demonstrated by Osprey’s Transporter Zip Top backpack. The outdoor-inspired (and outdoor-ready) design is just at home in the urban jungle. As its name suggests, its top opening zips open to reveal its 30L worth of contents, including a padded 15“ laptop sleeve, document sleeve, internal organization slots, and plenty of space for the rest of your gear. Rounding out its features are dual water bottle pockets inset into the main compartment to maintain the Transporter’s sleek silhouette, a heat-embossed, scratch-free, zippered slash pocket, and a front attachment point for a blinker light.
Filson Duffle Backpack

Filson Duffle Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Hybrid backpack/duffel
Separate area for dirty/wet gear
Padded laptop pocket for 15" devices
Specifications
Capacity
46L
Weight
2 lbs 4 oz
Materials
600D CORDURA nylon
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
The Filson Duffle Backpack features an expandable coated-nylon pocket that lets you separate sweaty gear from a clean set of clothes, and your other everyday carry essentials. It’ll also help you keep soiled and dirty clothes separate from everything else when you’re on an extended trip. And the versatility of the pack makes it great for extended use, as it’s able to be carried as either a backpack or a duffel pack and its durable 600D nylon construction will strand up to the wear and tear of heavy use as well.
Mystery Ranch Mission Rover

Mystery Ranch Mission Rover

Purchase
Key Features
See-through internal dividers
Carry-on compliant
Shoe compartment
Specifications
Capacity
40L
Weight
3.5 lbs
Materials
500D CORDURA nylon
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
Separating clean clothes from dirty is important not just for athletics, but also for travel. And you might just have to keep up an exercise routine when you’re away from home too. That’s why the one-bag travel wonder the Mystery Ranch Mission Rover deserves a place on your list when you’re picking up a bag in this category. It’s specifically designed to keep apart two separate sets of clothes, while also carrying EDC essentials and tech in a separate compartment.
King Kong CORE35 Duffel

King Kong CORE35 Duffel

Purchase
Key Features
Two external water bottle holders
Sealed shoe compartment
Weightlifting belt support
Specifications
Capacity
35L
Weight
1.8 lbs
Materials
600D Poly / Ripstop Nylon
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
With two bottle pockets, a dedicated sealed shoe compartment, and enough room to fit a rolled-up exercise mat along with all of your gear and clothing, the King Kong CORE35 Duffel packs a punch that’s well-suited for its namesake. It’s even designed to accommodate a weightlifting belt, helping you take your gym setup anywhere even if it’s not to a traditional gym at all. And with 600D poly ripstop nylon construction and YKK zippers, the CORE35 is durable enough for all of your frequent heavy duty use.
Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus

Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus

Purchase
Key Features
16" laptop sleeve
Internal compression straps
External access pockets
Specifications
Capacity
28L
Weight
2.42 lbs
Materials
Water-resistant recycled body fabric
EDC Rating


Price
$$$$
The streamlined minimalist look that the Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus sports helps set it apart from the rest of the pack. But the streamlined shape belies its generous 38 liter storage capacity, with a separate compartment dedicated for a separate change of clothes and gear separation. External access pockets allow for quick access to small essentials like a wallet or passport or a pair of sunglasses without having to unzip the bag in a rush when you’re on the move. And when you aren’t packing the Transit Backpack Plus chock full of gear, you can size things down with the internal compression straps to reduce bulk without ruining the visual aesthetics of the bag itself.
Lululemon New Crew Backpack

Lululemon New Crew Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
15" laptop pocket
Exterior water bottle pocket
Exterior zippered pocket for small athletic gear
Specifications
Capacity
22L
Weight
1.5 lbs
Materials
Water-repellent polyester nylon
EDC Rating


Price
$$$
If you’re looking for a compact EDC bag in this category, you should check out the Lululemon New Crew backpack, designed for small-footprint low-profile carry. At just 22L of space the New Crew is not too bulky like other gym bags, but its relatively large pockets allow you to store small athletic gear like jump ropes while also keeping them separate from your gear and clothing. There’s also a padded 15" laptop sleeve which means you can transition from work to play without having to change bags along the way. And because the New Crew is made out of water-repellent fabric, you can clean off any stain or grime from hard use by just wiping it clean with a wet cloth.
Matador SEG30 Segmented Backpack

Matador SEG30 Segmented Backpack

Purchase
Key Features
Segmented access to the main compartment
Separate dirty clothes/shoes compartment
Hypalon tie down points
Specifications
Capacity
30L
Weight
1 lb 8.4 oz
Materials
420D nylon / 100D Robic Dynatec liners
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$
The name says it all here, as the Matador SEG30 features a segmented zipper design that lets you access different parts of the interior of the bag based on how you pack it. And for when you get to where you’re going you can unzip the bag fully via the clamshell opening to get at the full 30 liters of gear you place inside. As your clothes get dirty, you can separate them from your clean clothes as well. With a generous amount of storage space you might expect this to be a heavy bag but thanks to its 420D nylon and 100D Robic Dynatec weave it clocks in under two pounds while providing impressive water resistance especially with the self-healing PU-coated zippers built into the bag.
DSPTCH Weekender RND Edition Dyneema

DSPTCH Weekender RND Edition Dyneema

Purchase
Key Features
Quick-release shoulder strap
External zippered pocket for small items
Luggage passthrough
Specifications
Capacity
33L
Weight
1 lbs 7 oz
Materials
Dyneema Composite Fabric
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$$
If you’re looking to maximize your gym bag carry but not weigh yourself down too much with the bag itself, you should check out the DSPTCH Weekender RND Edition featuring black Dyneema material. This extremely lightweight yet durable technical fabric gives you the strength you need to carry a ton of gear but less of the heft as you do it. And there’s a full 33 liters of capacity available as a result in a bag that weighs only slightly above a pound. And if you enjoy the design of the Weekender but you’re not as concerned about using Dyneema or prefer to match the rest of yoru gear, the DSPTCH Weekender also comes in a more traditional ballistic nylon and canvas model.
Aer Duffel Pack 2

Aer Duffel Pack 2

Purchase
Key Features
Vertical zippered opening
Expandable water bottle pocket
Ventilated shoe compartment
Specifications
Capacity
24.6L
Weight
2.4 lbs
Materials
1680D ballistic nylon
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$$$
Aer keeps innovating with their gym/travel bags with the Duffel Pack 2, now with a striking and unique vertical zipper design for easy access to gear and clothes placed inside and a ventilated shoe compartment that’ll fit up to a size 13 athletic shoe. With a padded laptop pocket that will fit up to a 15.6" laptop and a seperate organization space for your daily essentials, this is a great bag for the work commute too. And with padded top and side handles you can retrieve this bag quickly from any position whether on top of an airplane luggage stow or underneath a train bench as you travel.
Patagonia Ultralight Packable Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia Ultralight Packable Black Hole Duffel

Purchase
Key Features
Packable, folds into its own pocket
Duffel or backpack carry
Reinforced daisy chains for lashing
Specifications
Capacity
30L
Weight
8.11 oz
Materials
70D 100% recycled nylon ripstop
EDC Rating


Just released
Price
$$
The beauty of the Patagonia Ultralight Packable Black Hole Duffel that it manages to provide you a full 30 liters of capacity but folds down into its own pocket for easy storage when you’re not using the bag. That reduces clutter when you’re at home (or at your destination). And because it’s made out of 100% recycled nylon it’s also great for the environment as well. As a gym bag there’s a large amount of space for all of your gear and clothes, and you can use the organizational pockets to keep your smaller gear and athletic items separate from the mix. And if you tire of the traditional over the shoulder carry style, you can quickly configure this bag to be a backpack instead.

Are you heading into the gym to start the new year? If so, what are you carrying? Sound off below!

#patagonia #aer #dsptch #matador #lululemon #bellroy #king-kong #mystery-ranch #filson #osprey #bags-pouches #buying-guides #top-10-ykk-gym-bags #everyday-carry-duffle-bag #edc-duffel #concealed-carry-purse see all



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Discussion (2 total)

David K Young ·
Gotta say, I must be a simple person, I'm a fan of the REI Big Haul series, which has a 40 liter bag, so bigger then the ones in this list, but has a lot of functionality. Plus the benefit of being able to store in a compact carry bag as well as carry as a duffel or as a backpack. But I'm a simple person like that and enjoy the easy access to REI bags and this duffel series seems to work well also, and I would recommend it be included on this list.
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