29 best gym bags for women in 2024

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29 best gym bags for women in 2024

As with people, the best gym bags are multitaskers, able to meet the many demands of the modern fitness fan. We're talking shoe compartments, yoga mat straps, bottle holders, weekend-getaway-bag-versatility, and pockets, pockets, pockets.

Whether you're supplementing your running with some well-chosen cross-training, taking to your local gym's treadmill during the winter months or simply embarking on a new fitness kick (good on ya), a good gym bag is an essential piece of kit.

Here's a quick look at the best gym bags for women — keep scrolling for the full list and our reviews below.

If you’ve yet to invest in a proper gym bag, you’ll know the stress of squatting mid-changing room, unpacking a badly organised work backpack in the frantic search for your sports bra. Particularly if, like us, you often arrive with only minutes to spare before the start of your class.

To help solve this issue, we’ve tested the best women’s gym bags to shoulder the burden. They're a mix of stylish and technical, but always functional. Plus many are designed to survive the commute, weekends away and poolside splashes (or UK downpours), because as we all know, a great gym bag is not simply a bag in which you carry your gym gear.

The best gym bags come with pockets for everything (dream!), special straps for yoga mats, clever compartments for shoes and waterproof pouches for damp swimming costumes or sweaty kit. Not to mention there should still be plenty of space for your work gear alongside your running shoes, water bottle, toiletries and towel.

Most gym bags will also be made of toughened or durable fabrics that can tolerate being stuffed into a locker or chucked on a rough gym floor — and many have reinforced bases for this purpose. Some may also be made from waterproof or water-repellent fabrics to protect your gear from splashes round the pool.

So, instead of exposing your laptop to the perils of communal showers and (literally) airing your dirty laundry, get organised and stylishly smug with one of these purpose-built gym bags.

The best gym bag is only as good as its contents, so make sure that alongside your gym kit and trainers, you're packing the following:

Battling with stinky kit? Most gym bags on our list are made from easy-to-clean technical fabric, so they'll wick moisture away, stay fresher for longer and just need a simple wipe down to keep them from smelling. But if the stench does get overpowering, simply pop a Smellwell in your bag to neutralise nasty odours.

Luckily for you, as well as inspiring a fitness kick in the Great British public, the New Year brings about a host of new, on-trend gym bags that have been built based on years of industry expertise — plus plenty of classics that never go out of style and always perform.

From Nike to The North Face, lululemon to Adanola and Gymshark to Sweaty Betty, these are the bags worth buying to make your gym commute not only bearable, but downright enjoyable.

Most bags on this list aren't suitable for run-commuting (check out the best running backpacks for this) but if you’re after a gym bag to fit all your essentials and still complement your outfit at post-work drinks, we’ve got you covered.

This bag has it all: plenty of pockets (inside and out), vented laundry and shoe compartments and elastic bungee straps on the side to hold your yoga mat — genius.

The pictures really don’t do this gym bag justice; it feels luxe and expensive, the pale blue interior means you won’t waste time searching around for your belongings in the dark (ideal if most of your fitness wardrobe is black), and the size is spot on too — small enough to carry around all day but with enough space to take everything you could possibly need.

Plus it’s made from a minimum of 50% recycled fibres, and the subtle branding means it will go with any and every gym 'fit.

This marble-patterned tote bag is one of our favourite pieces from Stella McCarney's adidas collab. It's light, super spacious and the recycled polyester shell feels built to last.

It zips right up, has wide, comfortable straps and has pockets for your phone, keys, padlock, snacks, you name it. Plus it packs down small for storage.

Gymshark is known for its affordable but quality range of kit, and this classic holdall-style gym bag is no exception.

With more pockets than you can shake a stick at (including a wet pocket for swimming or sweaty gear, a shoe compartment, mesh pockets for essentials and a zip pocket for valuables — see, we told you), and a durable, reinforced base, it’s ready to go as hard as you are. It’s pretty roomy too — our tester also used it for a long weekend away.

Also available in small and large sizes.

Make like the winged goddess of victory (aka Nike) with this cute retro gym bag. With a large interior compartment for sweaty kit, a zipped pocket for valuables and handy exterior pockets too, there’s a place for everything.

It has a reinforced base and shoulder and carry straps, but it’s worth noting the straps aren’t padded. It scores some eco points too, as it’s made from at least 65% recycled materials.

Currently available in sea glass green — but new colours are released on the reg.

Adanola is the authority on stylish tote bags and this khaki quilted number does not disappoint.

Wide, padded straps make for comfortable carrying, while inside there's plenty of space for all your essentials, including trainers, plus a zipped valuables pocket. There's also a large exterior pocket for easy access to your phone and cards on the go.

And because the zip fastens all the way across the top it's also brilliant for travel.

Also available in black and slate grey.

This clever bag packs down into a tiny zipped pouch, so it's easy to store when not in use or tuck inside another bag until you need it.

It's also an absolute bargain at just £5.99 and can comfortably fit all your gear, including trainers, towel and toiletries. To make it as lightweight and packable as possible there aren't tons of pockets — just a zipped internal compartment for valuables.

While abrasion-resistant, it doesn't feel as durable as some, but so long as you're not hurling it across the gym room floor or routinely dropping weights on it, it should hold up fairly well to normal wear and tear.

The straps aren't adjustable but we didn't find this to be a problem, and it's available in five other colours if black's not your thing.

If you've yet to experience a gym bag with a separate shoe compartment, we implore you to to start — it's a real game changer. This one is ventilated to stop shoes getting too stinky and has its own exterior zipped entrance. However, it's worth noting it's not the largest — shoes above a UK size 8 may struggle to fit. But it also makes a great wet gear pocket!

Elsewhere this lightweight bag has front and side zipped pockets, is comfortable to carry thanks to the padded shoulder strap and has a durable coated bottom to stop it wearing through on the gym floor.

Calling your own product an icon is risky, but here we feel Sweaty Betty is justified. At 59cm wide this duffel-style bag can hold everything, plus there’s a genius yoga mat strap at the base and an inner laptop compartment.

We loved the slightly slouchy feel, exterior pockets for all our bits and bobs, and the carry straps are spot-on length-wise, plus it comes with a shoulder strap.

Psst — the pink version is currently on sale!

This minimalistic backpack satisfies all our nerdy organisational tendencies. Everything is neatly compartmentalised, with sturdy zippers on sections for your tech, valuables and snacks, with a large section at the bottom for laundry or your lunchbox.

There are also water bottle pockets on the side (use one for your protein shake), and the back is padded for comfortable carrying.

There isn't a space specifically designed for shoes, but we were able to fit a pair of gym trainers in no problem. Available in pale grey and cement brown.

Have we overstated the importance of multiple pockets yet? We hope so, because to truly appreciate this tote you need to understand just how useful having a place for absolutely everything is.

Yep, this bag is replete with pockets and clever compartments, so it's easy to find anything on the go. It's also lightweight, with space for all your gear, and as such is great for travel and commuting too.

If you want a gym bag that fits all the essentials but don't want to feel like you're hauling Santa's sack around, this stylish duffel from Free People Movement is the answer.

The puffer (but super hardwearing) fabric protects your hips from kit-based bruises as you rush to class and the padded straps make it comfortable to carry too.

The inside is split into helpful compartments so you can always find your gear, and there are multiple pockets (both inside and out) to help you stay organised, plus mesh bottle holders and a separate zipped compartment on the bottom to keep your shoes or laundry separate from the rest of your kit. It's the epitome of small but perfectly formed.

Available in four colours: black, olive, lapis blue and mineral (pictured).

Small but mighty, this bag boasts a host of handy features to make going from office to gym a doddle.

There's a padded laptop sleeve to protect your tech, a hidden zipped bottle pocket on the side and multiple interior pockets to keep things organised. And that zipped compartment on the bottom? Not only does it keep your sweaty kit separate, but it also expands — small shoes can also be stowed in there.

Because the whole thing is padded it's very comfortable to carry, plus there are clever reinforced straps to spread the load, meaning you can go all day. It even has a sleeve so you can attach it to your suitcase when travelling.

This bag is luxe athleisure for a high street price. The sandy beige outer has a touch of sheen to it while padded handles and side yoga mat straps plant it firmly in the practical but classy category.

It scores decent eco points too — it's made from at least 40% recycled materials — and we love the inner and outer pockets which keep everything organised.

Sure, being cosy isn’t a typical requirement of a gym bag, but boy are we here for it. This fluffy tote from LA yoga brand Alo is, frankly, huge, and kind of like carrying a huge hug around with you (no complaints here).

It's slouchy but with a structured base, so you don't feel like you're chucking your gear into a bin bag, and there's an interior zipped pocket for valuables, plus a popper fastening across the top.

There aren't specific compartments for all your gear so if you're on the fastidious side when it comes to bag-packing we suggest you steer clear. But for anyone who wants heaps of space and a super soft, versatile and comfortable-to-carry tote, this is a no-brainer.

Also available in black and camel.

Featuring an on-trend padded design with chunky silver hardware, this duffel from Gymshark oozes both style and substance.

There's a large zipped exterior pocket for all the essentials you need within grabbing distance on the move, plus a zipped mesh interior pocket for sweaty kit.

Clever quick-release clips on the side mean you can strap on your yoga mat, and thanks so the double set of straps you can wear on your shoulder, cross-body or carry it by hand.

Also available in light olive green.

M&S' gymwear line Goodmove boasts some truly brilliant pieces at affordable prices — try the yoga leggings if you don't believe us — and we're pleased to say the same for this gym bag.

It's roomy, zips all the way across the top, has plenty of pockets (including two side water bottle compartments), and because it's made with M&S' 'Stormwear' water-repellent fabric it can withstand pool splashes as well as rainy trips to the gym while keeping your kit inside dry.

Can you truly love an inanimate object? This bag from Danish outerwear brand Rains is testing that theory hard. Simple, sleek, and silky-soft to the touch, we are in lust, at least.

But we know looks aren’t everything, and luckily this bag has more going on under the surface too, with a handy external pocket, tons of space inside and it's made from durable material. But the best part? As you’d expect from a brand named after wet weather, it’s completely waterproof, so will keep your change of clothes splash-free at the pool.

Get it in grey, green and black.

We'll be honest, it was looks that attracted us to this bag initially. But then once we got to know it, we realised it actually had a lot more going on beneath the surface. Call it a love story if you will, because we're smitten.

This bag is simply brilliant quality, it fits all your gear and has a sturdy base and interior shoe compartment to keep things organised. We're big fans of the thoughtful details like the giant zip pull across the top, front zipped pocket for phone and keys, and adjustable shoulder strap.

The inverse shape makes it really comfortable to carry on the shoulder compared to some duffel bags, which can feel too large at the base and get in the way while walking.

You can trust a brand solely dedicated to organisation to make a very useful gym bag, and this one comes with the works, a pouch for shoes or wet gear, elasticated bottle holders, pockets for toiletries and even elasticated loops on the outside to carry your yoga mat.

But the best part? It doesn't even really look like a gym bag — available in black and moss green faux leather, it passes as a simply stylish duffel.

Our tester loved the fact that you can wear this slouchy bag over the shoulder, cross-body or as a carry bag — and that the strap is removable.

While it looks compact, it actually holds 19L worth of kit, snacks and other essentials, with a large zipped interior pocket and a smaller one for valuables. It has a buckle closure so is not as secure as some bags on this list, but unless it’s absolutely stuffed, it essentially folds closed on itself.

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29 best gym bags for women in 2024

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