Top 10 Best Reviewed Gym Duffel Bags - Buyers Guide 2018

Choosing the right gym duffel bag might not seem that complicated, but it's actually worth spending some time thinking about your needs vs. the many different models.

There's quite a bit of difference between the quality of the brands and models + not all of the bags are comfortable to use several times every week!

To help you choose, we have checked 31,317 reviews to find the best reviewed gym duffel bags.

Check out the top 10 list below - and the top 3 most popular gym duffel bags, if you just want to check out some of the most popular models (the models that most people end up buying).
How we rate the bags

We have checked thousands of reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Top 3 most popular gym duffel bags 2018

Nike Vapor duffel
Nike Vapor
Rated 4.3 based on 507 reviews.
Adidas Team
Adidas Team
Rated 4.5 based on 5,658 reviews.
Under Armour Storm duffel
Under Armour Storm
Rated 4.6 based on 10,293 reviews.

Below is the top 10 list based on the thousands of reviews we have checked.

Top 10 gym duffel bags 2018

The North Face Apex duffel
The North Face Apex
Size 31 L (1892 CI)
The north face logo
33 reviews

Lug Puddle Jumper duffel

953 reviews

Burton Backhill duffel
Burton Backhill
4 models available. 25, 40, 70 and 90
Size 25-90 L (1526-5492 CI)
Burton logo
33 reviews

Under Armour Storm duffel
Under armour logo
10,293 reviews

Dakine EQ duffel
Dakine EQ
4 models available. 23, 31, 51 and 74
Size 23-74 L (1404-4516 CI)
Dakine logo
631 reviews

Patagonia Arbor duffel
Patagonia Arbor
4 models available. 26, 30, 32 and 60
Size 26-60 L (1587-3661 CI)
Patagonia logo
546 reviews

Adidas Team
Adidas logo
5,658 reviews

Matador Transit duffel
Matador Transit
Size 30 L (1831 CI)
Matador logo
4 reviews

Under Armour Undeniable duffel
Under armour logo
3,224 reviews

Thule Subterra duffel
Thule Subterra
5 models available. 23, 25, 30, 34 and 40
Size 90 L (5492 CI)
Thule logo
296 reviews

Thule Chasm duffel
Thule Chasm
4 models available. 130, 40, 70 and 90
Size 90 L (5492 CI)
Thule logo
123 reviews

Nike Brasilia duffel
Nike logo
8,260 reviews

Carhartt Legacy duffel
Carhartt logo
440 reviews

Thule Crossover duffel
Thule Crossover
5 models available. 25, 32, 38, 40 and 87
Size 25-87 L (1526-5309 CI)
Thule logo
811 reviews

Dakine Descent duffel
Dakine Descent
Size 70 L (4272 CI)
Dakine logo
9 reviews

Herschel Novel duffel
Herschel Novel
Size 43 L (2624 CI)
Herschel logo

Jack Georges Voyager

Review Summary

31,317 reviews of bags checked.

Average rating is 4.5 out of 5.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Top 10 gym duffel bag brands

The 10 highest rated gym duffel bag brands based on the 31,317 reviews we have checked + the highest rated bag from each brand.

BrandAverage ratingTop gym duffel bag
The North Face4.8The North Face Apex
Lug4.6Lug Puddle Jumper
Burton4.6Burton Backhill
Dakine4.6Dakine EQ
Under Armour4.6Under Armour Storm
Patagonia4.6Patagonia Arbor
Adidas4.5Adidas Team
Nike4.4Nike Brasilia
Carhartt4.4Carhartt Legacy
Thule4.4Thule Chasm

Related Ranking Lists

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 (Buyers Guide)

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:


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.


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.


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.


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.

Last updated on March 22, 2018

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