We updated this article in April 2023 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive research done by our team.
Everyone knows that a good workout requires the best running shoes, a great reusable water bottle, and all the best workout gear—but what about something to hold all those essentials in? The best gym bags for women will make it easy to carry everything you need for a sweaty workout or yoga session, making trips to and from the gym more seamless and organized.
The good news is, no matter your style or sport, there’s a gym bag out there for you. You might prefer a handy duffel bag or a stylish tote—or maybe you’re devoted to a good old-fashioned backpack. You’ll want to consider all the specific features you’ll need, too—like a dedicated compartment for your sneakers, waterproof pockets for sweaty unmentionables (you know the ones), and even a handy sleeve for your laptop (if you’re heading to the office afterwards). And of course, you’ll want enough space for multiple sets of clothes—including your best pair of workout leggings.
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Luckily, we’ve done the leg work for you by scouring reviews to find the best of the best. Below, shop the best gym bags for women that are durable, stylish, and will sweating it out in the gym so much easier.
Our top picks
Best Overall: Herschel Supply Co. Strand Duffel Bag
Canadian bag company Herschel gives you the ability to release the snap-down sides for a few more inches of room when you need to squeeze in shoes or other bulky items. A convenient pocket makes organizing all your stuff super easy.
“I bought this bag as a carry-on for a European trip. It was perfect: lightweight, big enough to carry all the things I needed for a long flight, and easy to fit in an overhead bin,” wrote one satisfied reviewer. “The outside pockets allow you to stash things you need at the ready.”
Best Value: LeoLake Gym Bag
This duffel has everything you need in a gym bag with a simple construction and affordable price point. Enjoy its independent shoe compartment and a wet towel pouch for sweaty stuff. Carry it using tote handles or an adjustable shoulder strap. With over 5,000 5-star global ratings, it’s an Amazon customer favorite. Now that’s impressive.
Best Backpack: Lululemon New Crew Backpack 22L
If you’re looking for the perfect backpack that easily transitions from the office to the gym, look no further than this pick from Lululemon. It features everything from an interior padded pocket for your laptop and an exterior pocket for your water bottle—not to mention, it’s also designed with water-repellent fabric.
“This backpack was EXACTLY what I was looking for!” writes one reviewer. “The backpack has a lot of compartments and holds all items I would need for the gym including shoes, outfits and plenty of space for items like deodorant, dry shampoo etc...The material is so nice and I feel it will be easy to clean! Don’t hesitate to buy the backpack!”
Best Classic: Nike Women’s Gym Club
You can’t get any more classic than this simple, no-fuss Nike gym duffel bag. Reviewers rave that it’s the perfect size, being spacious enough to hold all your gym essentials, and is also durable while also being lightweight. The black color way is a classic, of course, but there are also four other colorful options to choose from, too.
“Absolutely love this. Nice and spacey inside and super breathable material. The straps are comfortable and the long strap is detachable,” writes one reviewer on Amazon.
Most Versatile: Calpak Stevyn Duffel
A duffel bag never looked so chic—or more functional. This sleek pick has plenty of interior and exterior pockets, but the real winning feature is a handy bottom zip-up compartment at the base that holds multiple pairs of shoes, which reviewers rave is super-spacious and convenient. Plus, it comes with a removable and adjustable crossbody strap in addition to its sturdy top carry handles, making it perfectly versatile for the gym as well as for travel.
“I am so happy with this duffel bag. It is cute, a great size, and a great price,” writes one shopper. “I think the real winner is the bottom compartment—it is SO much bigger than it looks. This looks so sleek and feels gym and travel ready!”
Best for Yoga: Y.U.M.C. Travel Yoga Gym Bag
Looking for a reliable—and stylish—gym bag to take to your yoga classes? Made of a waterproof fabric, this top-rated Amazon pick has a built-in strap designed to hold a full-size yoga mat, as well as plenty of pockets and compartments to store all your other yoga essentials—including a separate compartment to store your shoes. Plus, it comes in two different size options and six different colors to choose from.
Raves one Amazon reviewer: “I am OBSESSED with this bag. It’s perfect and is everything I was looking for in a gym bag. All the little details, like the plastic lined pocket inside and the two vents for the shoe compartment. Holds everything, so much room. 5 stars!”
Best Outdoor Workout Gym Bag: Athleta Excursion Bag
If you need a gym bag that you can also take on outdoor excursions—whether that’s long walks, hikes, or everything in between—the Athleta Excursion Bag is a great option. It has plenty of pockets to store all your essentials—including exterior pockets for easy access—and is also made of a lightweight, tear-resistant fabric.
“This is the perfect backpack for all different types of occasions/sports,” says one reviewer on Athleta’s website. “It is small, lightweight and yet durable. It has enough pockets that are easy to access when on a hike, going to the gym or just running around town. Perfect, color, shape, size and fabric. It’s become my everyday go-to bag.”
Best Duffel: Béis Travel The Sport Duffel
If you’re looking for a stylish duffel that can hold all your essentials in one place, this sport bag is it. While many gym bags tend to be on the larger side, this pick was designed to fit perfectly into a gym locker, features padded backpack straps, and comes with a dirt bag to store messy shoes. It also has two carrying handles as well as a convenient removable strap just in case it gets a little heavy.
One reviewer noted: “This bag is a game-changer! I love the space of the bag and how much storage there is! I can hold all my gym things and look fashionable doing so.”
Best Tote: Longchamp Le Pliage Tote
Longchamp’s Le Pliage tote is one of Kate Middleton’s favorite gym bags (the Duchess of Cambridge has been photographed carrying it many times). But the tote has acquired a cult following of its own with more than 1.7K reviews on Nordstrom. Made with water-resistant nylon, this sophisticated gym bag—which disguises as a regular purse—is perfect for running errands around town. And of course, the interior has plenty of space for storing all of your essentials.
“I honestly first started looking for this tote because I am royal-struck enough to want to buy something that Kate Middleton has been photographed with—and I could afford!” one Nordstrom reviewer admitted. “It’s good-sized, very attractive, and sturdy.”
Best Convertible: Thule Subterra Convertible Carry On 40L
This versatile nylon bag is easily convertible from a shoulder bag to a backpack and vice versa, and offers a generous 40-liter-capacity that can hold all your essentials—including your bike clothes and helmet, a towel, and toiletries. Plus, there’s a removable laptop sleeve, a zippered mesh divider, and even a multi-purpose compartment you can keep your shoes.
“While obviously designed as a weekend or carry-on bag, this could double as a daily gym-bag for those of us that may travel with a lot of gear on a daily basis,” writes one Amazon shopper. “I particularly like the several pockets and sections that allows me to organize my clothes and travel gear and the quality of the manufacturing...The hide-away straps that allow you to convert the bag into a backpack are well-padded, strong and reinforced with a connecting strap that helps stabilize it if you decide to use it way.”
Best Size: Lululemon Go Getter 2.0 Gym Bag
Laptop pocket, check. Discreet, smell-proof pocket for sweaty gear, check. Big hauling capacity, double-check. The 18.5 x 8.9 x 12.6-inch dimensions let you pack everything you’ll need for a weekend destination race and still carry the bag comfortably over your shoulder.
One Lululemon customer wrote, “Life-changing bag! I was able to combine my work backpack and my gym tote bag all in this sleek stunner. Can honestly say this bag makes me want to go to the gym.”
Top-Rated: Dagne Dover Large Landon Carryall Gym Bag
This travel-savvy duffel (with nearly a five-star Nordstrom rating) is made for active people. While it looks sleek and compact on the outside, the roomy inside features a padded laptop sleeve, a key leash, and a small nylon bag for dirty workout clothes or sneakers. It also has two pockets big enough to hold water bottles, and an external compartment to store your phone and wallet. With two handles and a removable cross-body strap, this bag offers multiple carrying options to switch it up. Oh, and it comes in five vibrant colors. What’s not to love?
Best Splurge: Mz Wallace Medium Metro Tote
This lightweight, water- and stain-resistant bag holds nearly everything. There are two interior cell pockets, a card slot, and a laptop compartment. The bottom has little leather feet to protect the bag from dirt and moisture, and the handles taper for a good-sized grip.
Alo Yoga Tote Bag
This Alo Yoga pick isn’t your typical tote bag—it features a unique bungee closure for a stylish and functional look, and also has three different types of straps that you can choose from depending on your preference: backpack style straps, short handles, or long adjustable over-the-shoulder straps. Made of a lightweight fabric, it also has multiple pockets and a middle divider for easy organization.
“This bag was such a worthwhile purchase,” writes one reviewer. “It’s roomy yet not bulky. It holds my set of foam blocks, boxing gloves and other gym stuff. I really like the 3 handle/carrying options! This is a great bag!”
Under Armour Women’s Undeniable Signature Duffel Bag
Stylish and functional, this duffel bag from Under Armour is perfect for the gym: It’s made of water-resistant nylon, has an adjustable strap, and features handy side panels—including a spacious vented pocket for storing your shoes or your dirty gym clothes, as well as a mesh pocket on the other.
“I absolutely love this gym bag, from the color to the size,” writes one reviewer on Amazon. “It can carry everything necessary for the gym and after. The material seems very durable and sturdy yet it looks finely made.”
BEULPTN Small Gym Bag
This cute, stylish bag from Amazon is not only made of water-resistant nylon material and has multiple interior and exterior pockets (including a shoe, it also comes with a handy matching toiletry bag that you can store the items you need for post-workout showers. Its sling strap is also detachable and adjustable—not to mention, there’s a whopping 15 total colors to choose from.
Raves one reviewer: “It is perfect! The front pockets are perfect for my personal belongings and snacks (easy access!). The shoe compartment on the side is great because now my shoes won’t stink up my clothes. The colors are beautiful (pink and green) and I’ve already gotten so many compliments on it! Definitely recommend.”
Vera Bradley Sport Bag
Wear this innovative design as a backpack or a tote thanks to its adjustable straps. Its material is made of recycled PET water bottles, which makes it durable and water-resistant, and its bottom zipper compartment is perfect for storing shoes separate from everything else.
“I was so happy to discover this bag because it is exactly what I wanted!” one reviewer wrote. “The straps are perfect for hanging it in my locker or shower. I love the drawstring top to easily access my gear. It’s the perfect size and the zipper compartment is great for storing items I do not need every day but want to have with me.”
Adidas Squad Duffel Bag
Some gym bags don’t pretend to be anything else, and the Squad Duffel is one such honest broker. It looks exactly like what it is: an awesome locker-room valet. A side-accessible pocket will swallow your muddy shoes, a mesh pocket on the other side holds your drink, and the spacious inner area takes care of everything else.
One Amazon reviewer wrote, “There are multiple compartments for your small items, dirty clothes, sneakers, and clean clothes. There is also ventilation on the side pocket for your sneakers and dirty clothes.”
Aurorae Gym Cross Body Sling Bag
This bag is definitely cute enough to carry around all day. The outer zippered compartments keep your keys at the ready, while the inner pockets hold your toiletries and wallet, so you can grab them easily. The inner space is devoted to your gear with a designated area for your kicks. Plus, the shoulder straps are adjustable. The best part? It has a specialized mat-locker system that secures yoga mats that are five pounds and under.
“It’s a great sling backpack and I love that it has lots of pockets,” added one reviewer. “It feels and carries like it’s very durable. I can throw my yoga clothes in the main pocket with toiletries in the others.”
Sweaty Betty Convertible Tote Bag
A two-for-one special, this versatile, compact bag can be worn as a tote or backpack. The features include two external tote bag straps, a bungee cord, branded keyring, two scuba side pockets, and internal slip pockets. It’s also made of recycled plastic and comes in two colorways, black and white.
“My new favorite bag,” wrote one satisfied Sweaty Betty shopper. “Great pockets in the right places, easy zips, and computer internal pocket as well. The best part is it can be a backpack, too!”
Wandf Foldable Travel Duffel Bag
This affordable option folds into a slim square, perfect for stowing away in your purse for an after-work bag change, or in your car for emergencies. It’s made of moisture-wicking fabric, has an outside pocket for your phone. And for travel, it can conveniently slide over the handle of your rolling suitcase.
Away The Packable Carryall
This lightweight tote is the perfect gym bag for those who aren’t fans of cross-body bags. Easy to tote on your commute, this bag is made of 100% recycled nylon, has interior zip closures with plastic pulls, and a pocket at the back that can secure it to any suitcase for a hassle-free ride.
One reviewer wrote, “It’s huge, it fits SO much. I used it as a travel bag and then on arrival, it became a perfect beach bag. It’s lightweight and comfy to carry.”
Nike Brasilia Medium Training Backpack
Sportsnew Sports Gym Bag
Whether you’re going out for a hike or running errands, this lightweight gym bag is ideal for storing all of your essentials in one compact spot. It features one large compartment, separated by a shoe spot and two slip-in mesh pockets. There’s also a designated space to store up to two water bottles.
“This bag is well put together and has everything I need,” wrote one satisfied Amazon customer. “I love the area to put my wet clothes and the bottom area for my shoes. The outside pocket is a plus.”
Adidas Unisex Alliance II Sackpack
Prefer something lightweight and easy to carry? Opt for this affordable pick. Featuring adjustable drawstring cords, dual mesh water bottle pockets, and front zip pockets, you can use it for the gym, but also on a trip to the beach.
“Fantastic tote!” one shopper wrote. “Great size for running errands or if you just don’t want to carry a bunch of things loose in your hands. Great pockets, love that it can be a backpack and a tote back. Strongly recommend!”
How to choose the best gym bag
✔️ Consider the durability. If you’re constantly heading to the gym during the week and on weekends, you may want to consider spending a bit more for a quality bag crafted from heavy-duty fabrics and materials. But if you prefer going once or twice a week, you can opt for something more affordable and relaxed.
✔️ Look for unique features. The best gym bags are the ones you can store as many things as possible in. Check for picks that have shoe compartments, water bottle pouches, zippers, removable straps, and more.
✔️ Consider versatility. Gym bags can be both functional and stylish. We recommend finding a bag that can double as a carry-on, hold enough clothes for a few days, and still be a reasonable size to fit into your gym locker.
How we chose the best gym bags for women
To find the best gym bags for women, we poured through through countless customer reviews to find picks that can carry everything you need for a successful sweat sesh, but also have multi-functional usages, too.
Why trust us
For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Additionally, Prevention also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.
Hannah Jeon is an Associate Commerce Editor at Prevention, where she covers expert-driven commerce content for all things health, beauty, and wellness. Previously the Editorial Assistant at Good Housekeeping, she earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing and psychology from Johns Hopkins University. When she’s not on the hunt for all the best products online, you can often find her trying out new food spots in New York City or clicking away behind a camera.