Best gym bags: 9 chic styles for your sports gear

Posted by for Shopping

Your kit deserves better than a worn-out rucksack. Whatever your sport, it’s time to give your gym kit an upgrade with these stylish duffle bags, rucksacks and holdalls that you’ll want to carry everywhere, even when it’s rest day. 

Whether you’re strength training or spinning, heading for a hike or hiking across the city to make it to that must-try barre class, half the battle of sticking to your fitness goals is making that class fit around your daily routine. The solution? Having your kit stashed by your side in a stylish gym bag, so you can sneak in a squat session in that rogue hour between leaving the office and meeting friends for dinner. 

There was a time when gym bags meant cumbersome, bulky styles, designed to be hidden away in a locker. The idea of toting one out to a bar or sashaying into work with one at your side had all the style appeal of a burlap potato sack (you may even remember the days when it was far cooler to carry your PE kit into school in a Jane Norman carrier bag than, you know, an actual sports bag). But those days are firmly behind us. Fashion forward brands from Alexander Wang to Adidas by Stella McCartney have spent the last decade making sportswear chic again, and now they’ve come for your gym bag. 

The days of tying your boxing gloves to your tote bag handle are over; these spacious styles are big enough to carry all your training essentials, but streamlined enough to carry effortlessly on the train and into the office. From sleek monochrome styles to mood-boosting colourful designs, these fashion-forward styles are the new season gym bags that you’ll want take out everywhere – even when you’re not heading for a workout.

Best gym bags picked by Stylist

  • Anthropologie

    Crafted from recycled plastic bottles, this spacious duffle bag is the most eco-conscious way to stash your gym kit. The retro sportswear-inspired design feels particularly fresh in this bright clementine and lilac colourway. 

    Shop Anthropologie colourblocked duffle bag, £45

  • Lululemon

    This roomy backpack might be spacious enough to carry all your gym essentials but it’s also stylish enough that you’ll want to make it part of your regular wardrobe repertoire. Even if you’re more of an urban gym-goer than outdoor explorer, the climbing rope-inspired handle and zip details add an adventurous touch to this design.  

    Shop Lululemon face forward backpack, £168

  • Cos

    Yes, this is a gym bag and no, you’re not the only one that had to look twice. Cos’ minimalist black design feels sleek enough to carry as a regular tote bag, but its technical fabric makes it the perfect multi-tasking gym bag. Did we mention that it’s made from 100% recycled polyester too? Sustainable and stylish. 

    Shop Cos technical gym bag, £59

  • Rains

    This weekend bag-inspired style feels smart enough to take into office, to dinner and beyond, while the ultra-resilient fabric will keep all your essentials bone dry, no matter what the weather brings.

    Shop Rains duffel bag at Selfridges, £60

  • Sweaty Betty

    This cool backpack is the design you’ve already seen on stylish fitness lovers everywhere. The secret behind this bag’s incredible popularity? It’s spacious enough to carry your essentials but small enough to work as a chic daytime backpack.

    Shop Sweaty Betty All Sport backpack, £85

  • The Kooples

    Looking for a bag that’s spacious enough to carry your mat, trainers and your boxing gloves? Then look no further than this spacious duffle bag by The Kooples. The streamlined black design will have you feeling chic, even when lugging your kit halfway across the city to get to that must-try class. 

    Shop The Kooples nylon gym bag at Selfridges, £118

  • Nike Vapor Shoe Bag

    Nike gym bag
    Nike gym bag

    Getting in a run before work? Keep your muddy running shoes away from your workout clothes by stashing them in this protective Nike shoe bag.

    Shop Nike training shoe bag, £12.95

  • Adidas by Stella McCartney

    Adidas The Studio Bag
    Adidas The Studio Bag

    When it comes to luxe sportswear solutions, no one does it quite like Stella McCartney. Made from recycled materials, this versatile glossy black tote even offers a separate compartment for shoes to keep your gear organised.

    Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney studio bag, £179

  • Adidas Tirrel Duffle Small

    Adidas duffel bag
    Adidas duffel bag

    Inspired by footballers, this Adidas duffle bag offers all the functionality you need from a carry-all gym bag. Plus it doubles up as the perfect fit-everything carry-on bag for your next weekend getaway too. 

    Shop Adidas trio duffle bag, £34.95

Images courtesy of Getty and brands. 

Stylist Strong is a fitness brand specialising in strength training specifically tailored for women. Our classes are designed to build both physical and mental strength in a smart and informed way.

So, whether you’re a beginner or already have strength-training experience, Stylist Strong has a class to suit you. Come and try our strength-based classes at our own purpose-built studio at The AllBright Mayfair. 

Share this article

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

Recommended by Hollie Richardson