Monday, February 26

17 Best Gym Bags in 2022: Do-Everything Bags from Nike, The North Face, Everlane, and More

The best gym bags are built for more than the just the gym. Sure, they come with the product specs you’d expect from a bag designed to store your sweaty workout gear—water-resistant fabrics, adjustable shoulder straps, ample shoe compartments—but these aren’t bags made exclusively for exercising.

Functionality is paramount, but so is form. And now that you’re hitting the gym again with some regularity (or swear this is the week you’re going to start!) you’ll need a bag up to the task. A tote bag won’t do the job. A backpack feels inadequate. But a specialty gym bag (AKA a duffle bag) with a generous main compartment to keep those filthy gym clothes separated from the chinos and button-up you’ll be changing into post-shower? That’s just what the doctor ordered. (Especially when said gym bag comes with an abrasion-resistant laptop sleeve so you can bring your work with you wherever you go, you sick puppy, you.)

And don’t forget: Even the most technical gym bag can double as a slick weekender on a last-minute summer getaway or a lightweight carry-on for your first airplane trip in months—provided, of course, you invest in a style with the right accoutrement. Durability is a must, as is an easy-access side pocket to store your water bottle. A few carefully placed external pockets to hold all your small items never hurt, either. So even if you’re an expert gym-goer getting reacquainted with the day-to-day grind, it’s worth reminding yourself what a game-changer a high quality gym duffle can be, and then tracking down the best one for your routine.

Luckily, GQ Recommends unearthed 17 of the absolute best gym bags on the market right now, so you can hit your PRs—or just hop on the Hampton Jitney—in style.

The All-Weather Pick

Rains waterproof duffle bag

Rains is famous for outerwear that laughs in the face of inclement weather. Its duffle bag harnesses the brand’s trademark waterproof tech to protect your workout gear from the worst of the elements, whether it’s raining cats and dogs or you’re the bedraggled owner of a pet insistent on slobbering all over your gym shoes.

The Retro Pick

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If you’re the type of fella who geeks out on heritage Americana, your thigh-high running shorts and trim ringer tees (we’re assuming here) deserve a home as nostalgic as their wearer. Noah’s durable canvas duffle nods to the sandy totes favored by New England prepsters, but its old-school good looks are ready-made for the here and now. That canvas make and white trim riff on classic country club fashions (or the bag you schlepped to your high school track meets), but they’ll give you a leg up on the spin class competition—stylistically, at least.

The Budget Pick

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Nike “Brasilia” traning duffle bag

This one’s a no-brainer. The Brasilia is one of the most popular gym bags in Nike’s arsenal, and if you can’t trust the Swoosh to provide a spacious, heavily-zippered duffle to store all your swoosh-emblazoned gear, who can you turn to?

The Need-for-Speed Pick

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Red Canoe Boeing stowe duffle bag

Can’t stop thinking about how darn cool Maverick looked cruising along at Mach 10 in the Top Gun sequel? You need a bag that can handle your newfound need for speed. Even if your idea of supersonic travel involves a quickie bike ride uptown bumping Kenny Loggins on your AirPods, this bag is built to be put through the paces. A durable water-resistant construction, YKK zippers, tons of pockets, and a signature orange lining evoke the same cool factor as your favorite bomber—though the only danger zone you’re headed to is dangerously big fits territory.

The “Actually, It’s a Backpack” Pick

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Okay, yes—Aer’s day bag is technically a backpack. But its fan-favorite style comes chock full of the type of product details you’d expect to see in a next-level duffle designed for heavy-duty wear and tear. Its exterior is made out of abrasion-resistant 840D nylon with Cordura side paneling, and a padded interior ensures your laptop stays secure no matter how many dirty socks you’ve wedged in there. Factor in an easy-access water bottle pocket and Duraflex hardware, and you’re looking at a formidable gym bag alternative that might convert even the staunchest duffle devotee.

The Cult-Loved Pick

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Baboon to the Moon go-bag

Why do people love Baboon to the Moon so much? (For one, its name is “Baboon to the Moon.”) But the relatively new luggage brand specializes in endlessly versatile, deceptively durable bags made out of a cheery ballistic nylon you’ll never have to worry about damaging. Its signature go-bag makes traveling a breeze, whether you’re waltzing your way through TSA or hunting down an unused cubby in the locker room.

Plus 11 More Gym Bags We Love

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Saint Laurent orange mesh duffle bag

There’s nothing worse than letting your sweaty workout duds marinate for hours inside a sealed-up duffle. Let your post-gym gear breath in style.

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Y-3 Cordura hold-all bag

All of the inside space you need, plus jumbo-sized outside pockets to keep your precious suede jacket safe from your schvitzy gym gear.

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Lululemon city adventurer large duffle bag

Don’t look those charming retro looks fool you: Lululemon’s modern-day duffle comes with plenty of storage for your laptop, in case you need to bang out some emails after a HIIT workout.

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L.L.Bean stowaway II duffle bag

L.L.Bean’s ultra-practical, lightweight version folds in on itself for streamlined storage between trips.

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Carhartt trade series 2-in-1 duffle bag

A sturdy canvas duffle designed to carry all your sturdy canvas duds.

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All In Motion duffle bag

Your gym bag should be able to take a beating. Grab one for under 50 bucks and you won’t think twice about stuffing it into one of those always-too-small lockers.

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North Face base camp water-resistant duffle bag

Looking to cosplay as a fitness-focused Stormtrooper? North Face’s pristine white gym bag will help you do it, with back straps for when you need to hightail it off the Death Star (or, y’know, hold your phone and coffee at the same time).

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Herschel “Sutton” duffle bag

Cheaper than it should be, handsomer than half the competition. In other words: Herschel did it again.

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The North Face “Berkeley” duffle bag

Ready-made for scaling Everest—or clawing your way up the corporate ladder.

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Floyd weekender bag

The perfectly-sized giveaway from the ’70s-themed bar-mitzvah of your dreams.

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Topo Designs classic duffle

Heavy-duty seatbelt straps mean you never have to worry about your gym bag going the way of the flimsy plastic things they overload with groceries at the store.

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