The 9 best gym backpacks

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ByMasha Vapnitchnaia

Whether you like to hit the gym first thing in the morning or squeeze in a workout later in the day, the right backpack will keep your athletic clothes and gear ready to go. The best gym backpacks are durable, comfortable to carry, and have compartments to hold all the gear for your workout of choice.

All of the gym bags below are made from durable synthetic materials, like nylon and polyester, and most are also water-resistant or waterproof, easy to wipe clean as needed, and machine washable in cold water on a gentle cycle. The right backpack for you will depend on what you’re carrying and how versatile you need the bag to be. For example, if you’re only bringing the bag to the gym, a basic drawstring pack might do the trick. But if you’re coming from work, you might appreciate a backpack with a padded compartment for your laptop and other everyday essentials, or one with a sleek look that easily transitions from the office to the gym. Some backpacks also have a separate sneaker compartment so you can keep kicks away from your clean clothes.

Gym backpacks can also be geared toward specific activities. If you’re playing soccer or basketball, consider a backpack with a pocket designed for your ball. For swimming, look for a bag with a removable pocket that holds wet swimsuits and dirty clothes. And yogis should check out a backpack specially designed to carry your mat.

With loads of pockets and specialized compartments, these are some of the best gym backpacks on Amazon.


The fan favorite

With a 4.8-star overall rating and more than 5,000 reviews, this Under Armour backpack has earned tons of praise from Amazon shoppers. It has a water-resistant polyester shell and a separate compartment on the bottom for shoes or laundry. Apart from the main compartment, there’s also a water-repellent front pocket and padded laptop sleeve that’s big enough for a 15-inch laptop. The multi-functional bag also has two side pockets for water bottles and a breathable mesh back panel. It’s available in 42 colors and prints.

One reviewer wrote: “Best purchase I’ve made for the gym, holds everything I need and isn’t bulky looking.”

  • Available colors and prints: 42


The classic one

This Puma backpack comes at a great price and has a main compartment with a laptop sleeve, as well as a smaller front zipper pocket. It also has two mesh panels on the side for water or other accessories, and padded back panels provide extra comfort while you’re wearing the pack. Another popular Amazon product, the backpack has earned a 4.7-star overall rating.

One reviewer wrote: “This is a great Puma backpack that I use for either the gym or carrying a laptop. Comfortable fit around the shoulders, quality materials.”

  • Available colors: 17


The drawstring one

If you’re looking for a compact gym bag, this simple drawstring backpack has a roomy main compartment, as well as front and side zipper pockets for accessories. It’s made from water-resistant nylon and has adjustable straps to keep each side evenly balanced and comfortable to carry. Plus, the backpack has garnered more than 1,700 five-star ratings.

One reviewer wrote: “This bag is great. Perfect for the gym where you can't carry a huge bag. I can fit my shoes, knee sleeves, and belt with room to spare.”

  • Available colors: 8


The convertible one

Made from water-repellent Oxford fabric, this convertible gym bag can be carried as a backpack, duffel, or crossbody. It has a padded compartment for a 15-inch laptop and a separate shoe compartment. There’s also a front pocket with additional sections for accessories and several mesh pockets. It’s available in gray or black and also comes in styles with a built-in lock.

One reviewer wrote: “I searched for a loooong time for a gym bag with a laptop pouch that I could take to work. This bag checks all of the boxes. Should be a good carry on bag for flights as well as it has tons of room.”

  • Available colors and styles: 4


The sleek one

Sleek and durable, this waterproof nylon backpack has no obvious branding, making it a good choice for the gym, work, or school. It has a spacious main compartment, a front zipper pocket, and a side pocket for a water bottle. There’s also a hidden anti-theft back pocket for your phone and valuables, and the back and shoulder straps are padded.

One reviewer wrote: “Use this for the gym. Lots of pockets for holding my gear. Fits my need perfectly.”

  • Available colors: 12


The crossbody bag

This crossbody backpack is available in two sizes, each with a main compartment that has slots for accessories and a small zipper pocket on the front. It’s made from water-resistant nylon and it has a detachable exterior water bag. The back and straps are padded for comfort, and the bag’s compact design has earned it more than 1,300 five-star ratings.

One reviewer wrote: “It carries all the small items I need when I go to the gym or walking around outside. My wallet, cellphone, headphones, etc and detachable water bottle holder fits fine.”

  • Available colors: 7


The one for yoga

If you’re looking for a bag primarily to take to the yoga studio, this polyester backpack will fit a 24-inch wide yoga mat comfortably. The crossbody backpack also has two mesh side pockets for water or a yoga strap, as well as two large zipper pockets on the front for your gear. The shoulder strap is padded and there’s also a hand strap for convenient carrying.

One reviewer wrote: “We carry two yoga mats at a time and have plenty of room for a couple of towels and water. This has been great also to protect everything from the rain and other elements as we travel around the city with it.”

  • Available colors: 3


The one for the pool

Designed with swimmers in mind, this Speedo backpack is especially good for the pool. It features a durable shell with a water-resistant bottom and comes with a removable zippered bag so you can store your wet swimsuit or dirty gym clothes separately. There are multiple storage pockets and a 15-inch laptop sleeve. Plus, there’s a removable cushion so you’ll always have a soft, dry spot to sit on the bleachers.

One reviewer wrote: “Using this as my gym bag and couldn't be happier. Lots of [functional] pockets and its storage is incredible! The side mesh pocket holds my 42 ounce water bottle easily. I find the attached ‘dirt bag’ very useful. It holds all my dirty gym clothes! It fits easily in a small locker at my gym.”

  • Available colors: 44


The one with a ball compartment

This adidas backpack has a zippered internal compartment big enough for a size 5 soccer ball or a basketball — or, if you prefer, you can place the ball outside the backpack using the pull-out mesh pocket. There are also two water bottle slots on the exterior of the backpack. It’s made from durable ripstop fabric and has a water-resistant base, and the shoulder straps and back are padded for comfort.

One reviewer wrote: “Love the expandable ball holder that zips away when not needed, doubles as a wet stuff holder. Good balance in size.”

  • Available colors: 9