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    17 Best Gym Bags in 2021: Nike, The North Face, Everlane


    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 accoutrements. 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 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 Budget Pick

    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 Retro Pick

    Fred Perry authentic classic barrel bag (was $95, now 32% off)

    The bag you toss your sweaty tennis gear in—and then gingerly place your trophy—after dominating Wimbledon in the ’50s.

    The “Actually, It’s a Backpack” Pick

    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

    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.

    The Designer Pick

    Bottega Veneta classic “Hidrology” duffle bag

    We’ve sung the praises of Daniel Lee’s bags before, mostly because the Bottega Veneta head honcho knows exactly what not to do: Ruin an iconic design with any extraneous details. There’s not a single intrecciato weave out of place here, only a serious flex of a gym bag elevated to the realm of modern-day grail via luxe calfskin and a shade of blue that’s like catnip for the eyes.

    11 More Gym Bags We Love

    Herschel “Sutton” duffle bag

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

    Valextra “Boston” pebble-grain leather duffle bag

    Valextra’s duffle will take you from the office, to the gym, to the most exclusive reservation in the city, all without losing an ounce of its panache.

    The North Face “Berkeley” duffle bag

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

    Floyd weekender bag

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

    Paravel “Main Line” recycled-canvas duffel bag

    You’d probably never guess it, but Paravel’s water-resistant duffle is made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles. Plastic bottles built to hold your plastic bottles? Meta!

    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.

    Lululemon “Urban Nomad” duffle bag

    Finally, an appropriate place to put all your Lululemon.

    Everlane renew transit weekender

    Everlane’s nifty travel-friendly bag can handle more than a spare pair of sneakers. You can sling it across your body, toss it over your shoulder, or carry it in-hand—a functional design detail you’ll be thankful for when you’re hauling ass to catch the train.

    Filson leather-trimmed nylon duffle bag

    Schlepping your gym gear around in a Filson might seem like overkill, which is exactly why you should use this guy as a weekender on your next trip.

    Carhartt WIP “Wright” duffle bag (was $140, now 36% off)

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

    Porter-Yoshida & Co. 2 way jungle barrel bag

    When you want a military-inspired bag sans the musty, yanked-straight-from-the-surplus store vibe, turn to Porter-Yoshida, the Tokyo-based brand that’s been making ’em for years.



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