The Gym Junkie’s Guide to the Best Gym Duffel Bags for Men and Women

If you are a gym junkie (or just head over there whenever you can) then you are going to need a good gym duffel bag. This will help you to be properly stocked while you are working out and always ensure that you have the right tools on hand. Although it can seem like buying a duffel bag for the gym is quite easy, there is actually more than a few things that you need to know.

A good gym bag contains all of the features and properties that make it a suitable bag for you. So, to ensure that this is precisely what you end up with, we have created a comprehensive guide for you to follow. Here are the elements that you will need to keep an eye out for:

The Features You Need for a Good Gym Duffel Bag

If you are serious about your fitness, one of the things that you simply can’t do without is a gym bag. Now, traditionally, this type of bag has always been of the duffel variety. This makes sense considering that these packs are incredibly versatile. They have plenty of space, are easy to pack, and travel well. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to find out that this is what people are still using today.

At the same time, it will simply not to do to pick out a gym duffel bag blindly. There is quite a bit of variety among these bags which means that you need to pick the one that is most suitable for you and your fitness requirements. This article will tackle this and show you the features that you need to pay most attention to:

Capacity

The capacity of a gym duffel bag is directly related to its volume – just how much can a particular gym bag hold? This can actually vary quite a bit, depending on the bag. So, just how can you decide what volume you should get?

Well, the first thing to figure out is what you will be carrying in your gym duffel bag. For instance, do you need it for sports equipment such as tennis rackets or hockey sticks? In this case, you are going to need a larger, or at the very least, a longer bag to contain all of this equipment. However, if you only need a bag for a change of clothes, some snacks and water, then you will not require such a large model.

  • 25 – 35 liters: a bag of this size is able to hold clothes, shoes, bottles of water, and even snacks. These are good for non-sports related gym bags.
  • 35 – 50 liters: this volume is a great choice for sports or activities that require smaller pieces of equipment. This includes MMA, boxing, or yoga.
  • 50+ liters: if the equipment that you require is either long or hefty, then a larger bag in this range will suit you best of all.

Size

With gym duffel bags, capacity is not the only concern – you also have to consider size. This is where the dimensions of the bag come into play. Much like with volume, you first have to consider what it is that you want to take in your bag with you.

If your equipment is bulky rather than long, then you should look for bags that have a greater width and height. Of course, if the items are elongated, then a longer bag will be much more useful to you. It is important to only choose a bag that is as large as you need. This will prevent your belongings from moving around in the pack as you travel.

Materials

The next thing that you will need to pay close attention to is the material from which the gym duffel bag is made. If you just need a bag that will carry your things from the car to the gym, then you aren’t going to need a hard-wearing option. In these instances, pure polyester is a good choice as it is relatively abrasion resistant and quite light.

If your bag is going to get thrown around and you think that you may need some additional protection, then look for one that is made up of either ripstop or ballistic nylon. Bags made of these materials do tend to come with a higher price tag so they may not be a realistic option for all.

Certain gym duffel bags have a water resistant coating on top of the main material. This can help to protect the items on the inside against spills and a minor drizzle. Depending on how you are using your gym bag, this may not be a feature that you actually require. The most common type of coating used is polyurethane.

Vertical vs. D-Shaped Openings

The main feature in numerous duffel bags is one large main compartment. Due to this setup, you should think carefully about the type of opening on the bag. This will determine just how easy it is to pack and unpack your belongings.

The most common openings on duffel bags are either a vertical zipper or a D-shaped zipper. The vertical zipper runs right down the middle of the bag while the D-shaped zipper forms a D, with the closure being considerably larger. If you want easy access to your equipment or need to pack bulky or long items, then a D-shaped zipper tends to be more useful. It allows you to have unimpeded access to all of your items.

Storage Pockets

Now, storage pockets are definitely something that you should consider. These will help you to keep items separate from one another, which can be important especially in the case of shoes or dirty workout clothes. Of course, the number and the size of the pockets depends on what you will be placing in them.

In case you will be carrying wet towels or clothes with you, you will need a designated place to keep them. Here, exterior mesh pockets are often the best choice. These allow the clothes to dry while also keeping them isolated from other items.

If you are just looking to keep your clothes and other items organized, you may want to consider pockets or compartments inside the bags as well. There are usually mesh compartments on the lid of the bag or on the side to help with arrangement.

Durability

If you are going to be carrying incredibly heavy equipment around, you will need to be able to count on your gym duffel bag not to break. In addition to the material, there are a few other things that go into ensuring that a gym bag is strong enough.

One of the most important features here is the stitching along the seams. The stitching should consist of good quality material and should be double-stitched. These type of stitching is quite strong and will withstand quite a bit of weight.

The other thing to look out for is abrasion resistant bottom panels. Even if you are only headed to the gym, you will need to think of just how much time your bag will spend being pulled around. Basically, it is going to have to survive a fair amount of friction and abrasion resistance. If you want your gym duffel bag to last longer, then you should consider bottom panels that are made from an abrasion resistant material this can help to prevent rips and tears.

Carrying System

There are actually three different ways in which you can carry your gym duffel bag. You can use the carrying handles to carry it horizontally to the ground, carry it on your back, or carry it diagonally across your torso. The option that you decide is contingent on how heavy your load is and what design you find most comfortable.

Carrying Handles

This is the most traditional way of carrying a duffel bag. It is a good choice if you are carrying long or unbalanced equipment and need to keep your load steady. This type of design also works well for smaller weights. These are best for short distances.

If you decide on carrying handles, make it a point to choose one with padding so that it is more comfortable to carry. You may also want to opt for one with a longer, shoulder strap just in case you want more options for carrying your bag.

Backpack Straps

Then there are gym duffel bags that have backpack straps. These types of straps allow you to distribute the weight between your shoulders, making it easier to carry slightly heavier loads. So, it is good for smaller pieces of equipment that are bulky and heavy. It is also optimal if you have to cover greater distances on foot with your equipment in tow.

Here, you will need wider straps with enough of padding to keep you comfortable, even if the bag is slightly heavier. The straps should also be adjustable so that you can wear the duffel in a position that is most suited to your height. The bigger gym duffel bags with these straps also come with a sternum strap. If you are going to be carrying a larger bag, this strap will come in handy to hold the bag in place while you are walking.

Crossbody Straps

The main strap on some gym duffel bag is a crossbody strap. These work best for people who tend to run to the gym and aren’t carrying all that much equipment with them. The main benefit of this strap is that it allows you easy access to your bag, even when you are on the move. This type of strap is best suited to smaller loads.

With this strap, you will need one that is slightly wider with at least one padded portion. This is where the strap will meet your shoulder and you will need the weight to be evenly displaced here. You should also consider straps that can easily be adjusted to match your torso length.

These are the features that you should look for if you want a suitable gym duffel bag that you can use for years.

Top 10 Best Gym Duffel Bags


1 – Burton Backhill 25L


Burton Mens Backhill Duffel X-Small 25L
  • Pack light and keep moving with the Burton Backhill Duffel X-Small 25L.

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Burton Backhill 25L:

Reviewers like these things about the Burton Backhill 25L

  • Most users said that this is a great weekend sized bag.
  • Reviewers said that the material and design is good and also easy to grow accustomed to.
  • They said that it is spacious with an excellent space for your shoes, too.
  • Many users said that the whole bag is lined with a rubber-like waterproof liner to keep your things dry.
  • Users also said that this is great for your wet boots, and to keep them separate from your dry clothes.
  • Many reviewers mentioned that the handles are all triple stitched nylon and seem very durable.
  • Buyers said that it seems very durable.
  • Many other buyers said that it has durable straps and the material of this bag ensure years of use.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that the bottom tore open very early.
  • Another user complained that the backpack straps are not padded.

2 – Nike Brasilia 24L


Sale
NIKE Brasilia Medium Duffel Bag
  • Zippered main compartment provides ample storage
  • Padded shoulder strap evenly disperses weight for comfort
  • Dual handles provide an alternative carrying option
  • Exterior mesh pocket for convenient storage
  • Dimensions: 24" L x 11" W x 13" H

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Nike Brasilia 24L:

Reviewers like these things about the Nike Brasilia 24L

  • One user said he’s very pleased with this bag as it served its purpose perfectly.
  • Many reviewers thought the zippers and the straps work great.
  • Some users love how it matches a lot of clothes.
  • A lot of users thought it’s very sturdy and holds weight lifting items easily.
  • Some owners liked the ventilated end pockets.
  • One user said that he can go on a 5-7 day trip with just this bag and a backpack.
  • Many reviewers thought it’s made appropriately well and able to stand up to very vigorous use.
  • Other users liked that the side compartments had room for my running shoes and cycling shoes.
  • Some users loved its lightweight and foldable design for easy storage.
  • Others liked that it came with the pad for the shoulder.
  • Some reviewers liked how it came exactly as what the description states.
  • Many owners thought it’s a good size bag with ample storage for gym clothes and anything else you need to take back and forth to the gym.
  • Some owners thought that the zipper and seams appear to be of quality material and will sustain quite a few years of abuse.
  • A lot of users thought it’s a sturdy and practical bag used for cross country/track gear.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users are sad that there’s no bottom nor lining to it.
  • On user thought it’s very wobbly.

3 – Samsonite To The Club


Samsonite To The Club Duffel Bag, Black
  • This golf duffel bag is made of lightweight, water resistant polyester
  • Measuring 20" L x 13" H x 11" W, this bag is just the right size for everything you need to transport your valuables
  • A neoprene cushion grip handle wrap makes carrying this duffel bag comfortable and effortless
  • An adjustable padded shoulder strap makes transporting your belongings a breeze
  • The shoe compartment has mesh ventilation which helps prevent moisture buildup

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Samsonite To The Club:

Reviewers like these things about the Samsonite To The Club

  • Users said that handling by the baggage personnel caused no apparent damage to the case itself.
  • Users also said that with handles on top and side it is very easy to load and unload the clubs into the car.
  • They love it as the swiveling wheels allow the bag to be maneuvered easily through the airport in an upright position.
  • Reviewers said that they felt Samsonite Golf be very well constructed.
  • Most of the users felt it much more reliable and effective compared to other cases.
  • It has been praised for its wheels which are pretty durable and of high quality.
  • Many users said that the case seems to offer adequate protection.
  • Many of them mentioned that the zipper is well constructed and it would take a whole lot of effort to be pried open.
  • Users love it as it comes with a small lock and two keys.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A few users complained that the bottom of one corner of the case had collapsed and torn apart early.
  • One user said that on his second trip with it one of the screws holding the top handle came out.

4 – Under Armour Storm Undeniable II


Under Armour UA Storm Undeniable II LG Duffle
  • UA Storm technology delivers an element-battling, highly water-resistant finish
  • Tough, abrasion-resistant bottom & side panels
  • Large front zippered organization pocket
  • Adjustable, padded, HeatGear shoulder strap for total comfort
  • Padded top grab handle

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Under Armour Storm Undeniable II:

Reviewers like these things about the Under Armour Storm Undeniable II

  • Many reviewers commend the Under Armour Storm backpack for its efficient way of organizing gear.
  • According to users, the bag has a durable construction.
  • Reviewers note that it has a lightweight design.
  • Testers noted that the pack is able to deliver a water-resistant finish.
  • Several of those who have tried the pack said that it has a robust, abrasion-resistant bottom panel.
  • Other users thought that is could hold up to 15′ laptop.
  • Reviewers noted that its front pocket is water-repellent, allowing the valuables to be safe and dry.
  • Testers said that it has adjustable shoulder straps for added comfort.
  • Other testers found out that it has five exterior pockets for extra organization of things.
  • Users praised the presence of three interior slip pockets.
  • Most users also commended the multitude of colorful and attractive designs to choose from.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some reviewers had issues with the seams of the bag.
  • Another reviewer indicated that it seems to topple forward due to its heavy front.

5 – Adidas Squad III


adidas Squad III Duffel Bag
  • pockets: 2 zip, 3 exterior

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Adidas Squad III:

Reviewers like these things about the Adidas Squad III

  • Most of the reviewers said that the color of the bags looks nice.
  • Many reviewers said that the extendable area of the main compartment can store extra items.
  • Reviewers mentioned that the zippered compartment has soft interiors and buyers can place delicate items like jewelry and phones etc.
  • Users said that the straps of the bag are thick and highly durable.
  • The water bottle containment of the bag is big enough to hold a big water bottle as confirmed by the users.
  • Most of the buyers said the size of the bag is apt for gym or short travel.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Users said that the bag does not have padding on the shoulders.
  • Some users mentioned that the shoe compartment of the bag is too tight to fit bigger shoes.
  • A user mentioned that the inner lining at places is too thin.

6 – Fila Donlon


Fila Donlon Small Travel Gym Sport Duffel Bag, Neon Lime
  • DESIGNED FOR YOUR ACTIVE LIFESTYLE - Love tennis? Swim everyday? Gym goer? All of the above? Take your pick! This spacious bag can fit everything you'll need for any of your activities and then some. Have fun knowing you have everything you need in one place without worry.
  • HASSLE FREE MAINTENANCE - EXOVENT ventilation helps keep your bag fresh and odor free but if you happen to have an intense day of sports or activities, the interior polyester lining is easy to clean.
  • GREAT FOR ALL AGES - We've heard stories from children to adults using this bag and loving it! The adjustable, padded shoulder strap makes it customizable to your height and preference so you can truly call it your own. Don't like the strap at all? Use the detachable clips to lighten your load.
  • DURABLE - Made of durable ripstop nylon fabric, this bag is has reinforced stitching at all stress points for durability. Buy today!

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Fila Donlon:

Reviewers like these things about the Fila Donlon

  • Most users said that It has enough compartments for their needs.
  • Users also said that it seems to have great durability.
  • Reviewers said that it is large enough to hold their gym gloves, shoes, shorts, shirt, towel, shower shoes, shaving gear etc.
  • Some travelers said that it fits under even the smallest airplane seat.
  • They also said that the cushioned strap is well enjoyed.
  • Several reviewers mentioned that it is great and well.
  • made.
  • Many users also said that it is very nice sturdy bag and they love the size.
  • Many buyers said that the price was great and it was bigger than they expected.
  • Some other buyers said that it is a great bag at a great price.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users mentioned that this bag was too small.
  • One user said that it can be more serviceable.

7 – Dakine EQ 51L


Dakine EQ Bag
  • Pockets: 1 exterior

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Dakine EQ 51L:

Reviewers like these things about the Dakine EQ 51L

  • A lot of users thought that the Dakine EQ duffel bag has ample storage for necessary equipment and personal belongings.
  • Other users noted that its padded shoulder straps are removable, making it less stressful when transporting the bag.
  • Many of those who have tried the pack thought that it is ideal for travel, storage of gears, or everyday use.
  • Several users indicated that they could get their stuff quickly from the main compartment through its large U-shaped opening.
  • They also mentioned that the bag is durable due to its polyester material.
  • Reviewers have found that its external end pocket makes it easy to store and secure small things such as headphones and medicine in place.
  • Users thought that its designs were attractive and stylish.
  • Testers noted that its fold-flat storage makes it easy to save space.
  • Many testers stated that the bag is lightweight and versatile.
  • They also thought that its main compartment could stuff a lot of things for travel.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • A user remarked that its fabric is fragile.
  • Another user thought that it does not hold shape unless he fills the bag with things.

8 – Under Armour Undeniable 3


Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Large Duffle Bag, Black (001)/Silver
  • Tough, abrasion-resistant bottom & side panels
  • Large front zippered organization pocket
  • Adjustable, padded, HeatGear shoulder strap for total comfort
  • Padded top grab handle

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Under Armour Undeniable 3:

Reviewers like these things about the Under Armour Undeniable 3

  • Many loved that it has a dedicated side shoe pocket to keep their shoes away from everything else.
  • Some users said it’s great foe weekend trips, tons of room and plenty of pockets.
  • A wife who bought it for her husband thougth it’s the perfect size for a gym bag.
  • Amazing size,great hold up,extra pocket, easy to fold up when not in use,solid construction, were cited as the favorite features of this bag among users.
  • One user thought it’s great that it’s surprisingly larger than anticipated.
  • Users liked how it has separate compartment for shoes and gym accessories plus it’s easy to clean.
  • Reviewers noted how it got lots of room but not overbearing to carry.
  • Users thought the swivel hooks for the strap awesome.
  • One owner said this bag fits all his requirements for a lightweight, durable, spacious duffle bag.
  • Others liked the stitching and the small personal pocket inside the bag.
  • Many owners find the front pockets great for quick and easy access items.
  • One user who had it for a while said that the hand and shoulder straps are well made and will stand up to abuse.
  • Other gym goers described it as the perfect sized gym bag, especially for weightlifters/bodybuilders.
  • One user was surprised that the pack folds up into something so small that she can easily stash it away without taking up much space.
  • Some gym goers liked that it’s tall enough for large shoes, boxing gloves, a bathtowel, jeans, and anything else they’re bringing to a gym.
  • Other reviewers appreciate the vented section, and the separate, large, closed section,adjustable strap and stitching.
  • Many users liked the U-shaped zipper feature of the bag as it provides easy access to all contents.
  • One reviewer described it as a well-made bag that meets the needs of most people.
  • Users appreciate that it comes with dual handles plus a detachable padded shoulder strap to enable an easy carry.
  • One owner was happy with how the bag has held up under heat, rain, and occasionally being dragged along the cement after a long day.
  • Others liked the soft flexible padding at the bottom which adds cushioning and stability to the bag.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One reviewer thought the material feels like it will rip anytime.
  • Others said it’s kind of flimsy and zippers are kind of difficult to use.

9 – Adidas Diablo


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adidas Diablo Duffel Bag-Black, One Size
  • Features logo screen print, webbing carry handles, and top-loading main compartment
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Perfect size for a quick trip to the gym or practice
  • Dimensions: 18.5" x 11" x 10"

Here’s what the reviewers think about the Adidas Diablo:

Reviewers like these things about the Adidas Diablo

  • Most users said that it’s a great simple gym back.
  • Many other users said that it’s durable to withstand the daily abuse of train or bus.
  • Users also said that it’s durable, the perfect size.
  • Some users said that this bag is great for price and quality.
  • Some other users said that its spacious inside and they have used it as a gym bag or weekend bag.
  • Many other users said that the size is cute and they get a ton of compliments on it.
  • Reviewers also said that the pack is perfect for short trips and light traveling.
  • Buyers said that they can usually pack what they need for a weekend trip in here.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • One user complained that there are no inside pockets.
  • Another user said that the shoulder strap isn’t removable.

10 – OGIO Half Dome


Sale
OGIO Half Dome Duffel Bag
  • Front zippered pocket with headphone exit port
  • Standard webbing shoulder strap
  • All metal hardware
  • Side grab handle
  • Fabric wrapped handle

Here’s what the reviewers think about the OGIO Half Dome:

Reviewers like these things about the OGIO Half Dome

  • Users said that all the seams are double stitched.
  • Reviewers who have used the pack said that the d-rings for straps are metal and solid.
  • Most users said that the zipper on the main pocket is sturdy.
  • Users of Ogio Half Dome love the half dome type zipper.
  • One great feature mentioned by many users is that material is easy to wipe off.
  • Several users said that it’s constructed very well.
  • They mentioned that the pack’s price is reasonable.
  • Many users love that it has a removable shoulder strap along with dual hand straps.
  • Reviewers said that material is stiff which avoid floppy feeling.
  • Many users said that it fits easily into a gym locker.
  • Most reviewers agreed that bag is extremely durable.

Reviewers don’t like these things

  • Some users complained that there is only one compartment in the bag.
  • One user complained that one of the seams began to come apart after few use.

About MightyGoods

Here at our site MightyGoods, we have checked thousands of reviews in order to build the biggest directory of backpacks, luggage, handbags and lots of other bags.

So far we have checked more than 2,1 million reviews!

Using our bag review summaries, we aim to help you find the perfect bag without having to spend a lot of time reading an endless list of reviews.


Last update on 2018-11-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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