For far too long, any need for gym-goers to carry with them a duffle bag for their gym locker was redundant as we took to workouts from home. Thankfully, gyms and studios are back in action, reinstating the necessity for a roomy, high-quality sports bag that balances easy-access functionality with some luxe stylings that’ll help you transition from office to squat rack with elan.
Boasting plenty more storage space than the backpack, tote or briefcase you rely on for your laptop and the odd document, a quality gym bag will closer resemble a weekend bag, in that it should boast copious space for a full change of clothes, water bottle pockets and separate compartments and zip pockets for gym shoes, toiletries, supplements, notepad and the rest. Plus, to get you through the rigamarole of your daily routine, it should boast durability in a water-repellent and abrasion-resistant fabric, with a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap to ease carrying.
As you can see, we’re not asking for much… Worry not, however, the fussy fitness folk at GQ have done all the hard work of pinning down the perfect gym bag for your fitness needs, sourcing sporty styles from the likes of Nike, The North Face and Adidas alongside more sartorial offerings that will pair nicely with a suit and tie until it’s time to roll out the yoga mat or get weightlifting. Shop our full edit below.
The idea that a gym bag has to be a holdall or duffel bag is a dated one – trust the very modern sportswear mindset of Gymshark to know this and change with the times. Its X Series 0.3 backpack is a game-changer when it comes to getting organised for the gym, built for the modern fitness influencer with compartments for camera tech to film your workouts and food prep to fuel them, organised via an adjustable T-frame that you can alter for your priorities. Thanks to the contoured, air-mesh back panel, it’s particularly commuter-friendly should you be after a backpack that works for cycling too.
Nike always nails utilitarian sports style and that is best exemplified in its bags offering. Multi-pocketed for meticulous organisation, it’s ultra-durable on the move in a cleanable polyester construction and easily handled via either shoulder straps or dual handle. As with Nike’s Dri-Fit tees, it’s also ventilated so you won’t have to hold your nose when you go to throw your kit in the wash.
Bennett Winch might sell holdalls better suited to daily use, but its weekender bag is a fine choice for gym regulars thanks to its copious storage space and separate shoe compartment to swap Metcons for monk straps and hit the office once a morning session is done. Not only that, but a separate quick-access zipped pocket to the other side is perfect for keeping sweat-soaked activewear from office uniform. And if you’re taking some time off from training, it makes an excellent travel bag or long-weekend carry-on.