16 Best Gym Bags for Women & Backpacks Reviewed 2021

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Best Gym Bags for Women & TOP 16 Women’s Gym Bag Reviews 2021

A good gym bag can make a big difference to your gym experience.

If you take your gym time seriously, you’ve probably spent a bit of money on your kit already. So, you can justify spending a bit on the bag that’s going to carry your kit, right?

Gone are the day’s where your running shoes will travel in a supermarket bag.

This article will introduce you to some of the best gym bags for women 2021 so the decision will be easy to pick out your new essential gym companion.

What Makes Good Gym Bag for Women?

closeup image of women's fitness bag

There are many reasons for owning a good gym bag, including psychological and practical benefits.

Yes, you heard me.

A gym bag isn’t just about practicality. I mean, yes, you do want to be able to fit your running shoes, maybe a change of clean clothes, and definitely some personal toiletries for the shower.

But, when motivation is running low, a cute gym bag that cries out to be used it going to help to get you out of the door. And you’ll feel good about being seen doing it too!

Having a stylish gym bag on your shoulder means you have the option of joining pals for some sneaky post-gym drinks without feeling too out of place.

And don’t worry newbies, you too can justify a nice gym bag too!

But, back to the practicalities… let’s be adults for a moment.

Gym bags should serve their purpose. All the style in the world won’t stop you from looking silly if you can’t fit everything in your bag or have to up-end the whole thing to find what you need.

However, requirements will vary from person to person depending on when you go to the gym and how much gear you need space for.

It pays to know what you want to use your gym bag for so you don’t end up with something too annoyingly large or small for your stuff.

For example, do you want something with space for work clothes or boxing gloves?

fitness women holding pre-workout and gym bag


Generally speaking, you’ll want a bag that is big enough for a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, a towel and some personal items.

If you’re more into CrossFit and need something with room for a little more gear, check out our article for CrossFit gym bags.

Pockets and Compartments

Having different pockets and compartments is essential for keeping your things organized and in their place so you don’t have to rummage or risk having your phone tucked up against your damp towel.

It’s ideal if your bag has a separate shoe compartment as this will mean you can use the main compartment clothes and other items.

Water bottle pockets are always useful too, and have the extra advantage of keeping potential leaks away from the rest of your gear.

Young athlete couple is ready for training.


This is especially important if you’re a morning gym junky and will be leaving your used gym kit to ferment in its bag for the rest of the day while you’re at work.

Gym gear gets damp, mostly from sweat, but if you shower you’ll also have a wet towel to deal with.

Keeping everything in a bag that doesn’t breath will be a recipe for some pretty powerful odors.


This is a personal choice, but does have some practicality implications.

If you’re going to be cycling, running or walking any distance to the gym, a backpack will be your best bet.

A holdall or duffel style bag will be the best option if you have a lot of gear, and a smaller tote can be a nice compromise if you don’t have much gear.

Though there are many bags on the market that are specifically designed for the gym, for some people, a more versatile bag that can also be used as carry-on luggage or for weekends away is a great option.

The list below will provide a number of style and size options to fit all preferences.

TOP 16 Best Women’s Gym Bag Reviews 2021

Herschel Supply Co. Strand Gym Tote

Review: This unisex tote is the perfect gym bag if you don’t have too much stuff to carry and appreciate the sleek, androgynous style.


  • Reasonably priced.
  • Very stylish, not out of place as a large handbag or carry-on item.
  • Side pockets for drink bottles.
  • Handles are long enough to comfortably go over the shoulder.
  • Made of durable fabric that is stiff enough to hold its shape.


  • Doesn’t have any internal pockets or compartments so while there is plenty of space for shoes and a change of clothes, they wouldn’t be separated.


This is a simple, unfussy but stylish tote that is just the right size for transporting your gym kit.

Adidas by Stella McCartney Small Gym Bag

Review: This is the stylish gym bag option for shoulder bag devotees who don’t need to carry too much.

The removable shoulder strap allows the bag to be carried as a duffel bag or over the shoulder in a messenger bag style.


  • Separate shoe compartment at the bottom.
  • Shoulder strap is detachable and adjustable.
  • Durable polyester material.


  • Not breathable.


This stylish tote definitely does not look like a gym bag, so if you need something that won’t scream “GYM” everywhere you go, this could be your answer.

This is one of the best gym bags for women who prioritize style.

Nike Women’s Gym Club Duffel Bag

Review: This is a good medium sized gym bag for everything you might need without being bulky or cumbersome to carry.


  • Strong enough to carry a reasonable weight.
  • Water resistant.
  • Durable material has a weathered look.
  • Separate shoulder strap and carry handles.
  • A good number of separate compartments for organization.


  • It doesn’t have a specific shoe compartment but there is an internal divider that can still keep your workout shoes separate from everything else.


This gym bag is stylish while still being practical and sporty. It is the ideal size for a pair of shoes, a towel, a change of clothes and some personal items.

Vooray Burner Compact Gym Bag

Review: This gym bag hits all the marks with its shoe compartment, ventilation, drink bottle holder and internal pockets. And, it doesn’t look like a gym bag either.


  • Hard shell base means the bag holds its shape and is water resistant.
  • Ventilated shoe compartment.
  • Adjustable, removable shoulder strap.
  • External drink bottle holder.
  • Internal pockets.


  • Shoe compartment uses up space in the main compartment when it has shoes in it.


There’s not much to fault with this gym bag, it’s got everything you need and is easy on the eyes as well.

This is the best gym bag for ladies who want something compact, functional and feminine.

Runetz Gym Bag for Women

Review: This large gym bag is ideal for people who need to carry a lot of stuff to the gym. It has space for all the gear you might need while also having multiple ventilated compartments for organization.


  • Ventilated shoe compartment.
  • Waterproof pocket keeps wet items separate.
  • Comfortable shoulder strap.


  • Some durability issues with the seams after a time, but at such a low price this is to be expected.


This is a great gym bag if you’re looking for a something big enough for lots of gear and at an affordable price. This is the best women’s gym bag with shoe compartment.

Adidas Diablo Duffel Bag

Review: This extremely popular bag is ideal for trips to the gym if a simple and functional design is what you favor. It is just the right size for your gym kit while feeling compact.


  • Durable with a lifetime warranty.
  • Padded carry handles and adjustable cross body shoulder strap.
  • Wide zippered top opening for easy access.
  • Water resistant.


  • No pockets or separate compartments.


If you want a conveniently sized hold-all where you can quickly chuck everything you need for the gym, the Diablo is the perfect choice.

Under Armour Women’s On the Run Tote

Review: This tote bag is deceptive, being lightweight mesh and yet also durable and water repellent. It makes the ideal gym bag, being big enough for your things but still compact and easy to carry, and smart enough for the office.


  • Storm technology outer is water repellent.
  • Separate carry handles and shoulder strap.
  • Can double as a work bag, carry-on luggage or overnight bag.


  • No external pockets.
  • Doesn’t hold its shape unless full, but this might be a pro if you want to be able to squeeze it in a locker.


This is a versatile bag that will lend itself to all areas of your life while being the ideal size for your gym things. This is the best women’s gym tote bag.

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack

Review: It’s hard not to include this backpack as an option for a gym bag. It would likely be the bag you want to use for everything as well as the gym, but its breathable, water resistant material and good sized main compartment makes it a great choice for gym gear.


  • Durable water resistant material is breathable and dirt-resistant.
  • Ergonomic shoulder straps are comfortable.
  • 16L capacity is large enough for gym gear.
  • Has a front zippered pocket and two side pockets for some smaller personal items.


  • No separate compartment for shoes.


This is the sort of backpack you’ll only have to buy once. It is top quality with excellent durability and a versatile design.

Nike Sportsware Hayward Furtura Backpack

Review: This is a large capacity backpack for when you want the convenience of shoulder straps but with more of the volume of a duffel style.

It has two main compartments so you can keep your shoes separate from the rest of your kit and plenty of smaller pockets for personal items.


  • Two compartments and plenty of pockets.
  • Durable polyester shell.
  • Large capacity for a backpack.
  • Comfortable padded shoulder straps.


  • Not water resistant.


If you prefer the style of a backpack but something big enough to easily fit lots of gear, this is a good choice.

Lululemon Run All Day Backpack

Review: This lightweight backpack is perfect for running to the gym when you just need something convenient and compact to carry your phone, wallet, towel and a drink bottle.


  • Waist and sternum straps stabilize the bag so it doesn’t bounce when you run.
  • 360˚ reflectivity provides visible for safety in the dark.
  • Durable fabric is water repellent and wipes clean.
  • Surprisingly spacious for such a compact bag, with space for shoes.


  • This is a unisex backpack, but its lack of female specifics doesn’t take away too much from the bag.
  • It is pretty pricey, as most Lululemon stuff is. But if you love the brand, you love the brand.


This is the backpack you’ll want for running to the gym.

Under Armour Women’s On Balance Backpack

Review: Made of 100% durable polyester, this backpack isn’t specifically designed for gym use (it has a laptop sleeve), but that’s no reason to give it the boot.


  • Women’s specific fit is ergonomically designed.
  • Water resistant finish so your stuff won’t get wet if you walk to the gym in the rain.
  • Plenty of pockets for organizing your personal items.
  • Main compartment large enough for a pair of shoes and a towel.
  • Plenty of colors to choose from.


  • No separate shoe compartment.


This gym bag is ideal for women who will be carrying their gym kit over longer distances being extremely comfortable and well designed for the female form.

Hershel Supply Co. Sutton Volume Gym Bag

Review: This duffel style bag is specifically designed for the gym with air holes to aid ventilation. But, it is a duffel bag, so it’s an all in one bag with no compartments or pockets.


  • Removable shoulder strap.
  • Air holes at the bottom allow for ventilation so things don’t get damp and smelly.


  • Straps are squeaky when walking.
  • No compartments or pockets.


If you like the duffel bag style than this is the simple and effective gym bag you’re looking for. This is the best ladies gym bag for those who appreciate the simple duffel style.

Boost Sports Gym Bag

Review: This good quality and well-designed gym bag is surprisingly affordable and very popular. It has some great, functional pockets including a wet pouch for towels or items like body wash that might leak.


  • Shoe compartment with ventilation holes.
  • Made of durable, breathable and water resistant Oxford fabric.
  • Waterproof wet pouch.


  • No drink bottle pocket.


This could be the best women’s gym duffel bag for its balance of value, quality and gym specific features.

Mier Sports Gym Bag

Review: This well designed gym bag has all the features you look for in a good gym bag while being very affordable. It is the ideal size gym kit with a separate shoe compartment and a shape that is comfortable against your body.


  • Shoe compartment with mesh window for ventilation.
  • Padded handles and adjustable, removable shoulder strap.
  • Zippered pockets for small items.
  • Very affordable.


  • Some durability issues with the zip and seams.


If you’re on a budget but want a gym bag with all the features of a more expensive bag, this gym bag may fit the bill.

This is one of the best gym bags for women looking for an affordable solution.

Adidas Daybreak 2 Backpack

Review: This classic Adidas backpack comes with a lifetime warranty so you can be sure that it will always be there when you need it. It is not a gym-specific bag but has enough space and extra pockets for organization.


  • Sleek, compact shape.
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel.
  • Water resistant outer.


  • No separate shoe compartment or drink bottle holder.


This is the best women’s gym bag for die-hard classic backpack lovers, being practical, top quality and reliable.

Nike Heritage Gym Sack

Review: Last but not least, this gym sack is perfect for those going straight to the gym in their gym gear and just need something small and compact for easy toting of a few items.

This sack is deceptive in its size, comfortably holding toiletries, a towel and a drink bottle.


  • Zippered side pocket for secure storage of small items.
  • Durable, water resistant 400D Nylon.
  • Drawstring cords double and shoulder straps.


  • Not big enough for some people’s requirements.


This is a great option for people who want a separate gym bag that can be stuffed inside another larger day bag or work bag to keep a few gym items separate.

Now that you’ve read our list of the best gym bags for women, do you feel ready to hit the gym with your kit safely and stylishly tucked away?

A good gym bag will make it that much easier to get out the door and pumping, knowing that your gear is ready and waiting for you in a convenient package.

Be sure to subscribe and comment below if you’ve tried any of these bags.

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