Every guy needs a gym bag – whether you actually go to a gym or not. Whether it’s a carryall, a tote or a sling bag, it’s an essential, multi-purpose must-have.
But what should you be looking out for when shopping for one? A sturdy material, preferably water-resistant is a good bet to take all that rough handling. Softly structured or even unstructured makes packing odd-shaped items an easy fit. Pockets and compartments are also a must for keeping the soiled stuff from the clean. Additional features like a padded computer sleeve, no-slip active feature and a handsome exterior are also features to consider.
Here are our picks of the best value-for-money bags that are stylish enough to carry around and be on top of your game.
DRAWSTRING BACKPACK BY RAINS, €95 (S$145)
Danish raincoat specialist Rains makes bags out of the same water-repelling fabric as their coats. Which means this backpack keeps your stuff bone-dry in wet weather or your sweaty post-session gear separate from your other clothes. And its handsome looks makes it easy to double up as a city bag for getting out and about.
U BLOCKTECH SHOULDER BAG BY UNIQLO, S$59.90
Don’t let its canvas exterior fool you into thinking it is a low-tech sac. Its Blocktech technology – meaning windproof and waterproof – protects the contents from the elements. A hidden active strap ensures a secure fit, meaning the bag won’t move around even when you’re running or cycling through town. And as a bonus, we’ve got ex-Hermes creative director Christophe Lemaire to thank for all these extra touches.
RETREAT BACKPACK BY HERSCHEL, S$148.22
The Canadian luggage purveyor has a knack for churning out utilitarian gear we all want. For example, this sand-coloured backpack – it is roomy enough for your change of gym wear, runners and grooming essentials. Plus, it has a built-in laptop sleeve and an internal media pocket. The bag’s magnetic closure keeps the contents right where they should be.
BRASILIA CONVERTIBLE DUFFLE BAG BACKPACK BY NIKE, S$62
Exercise doesn’t just mean hitting the gym. If you’d rather hike than get on a treadmill, you’ll appreciate the hands-free convenience of a backpack – and this two-in-one piece has got your, erm, back.
BASE CAMP COATED-CANVAS DUFFLE BAG BY THE NORTH FACE, £92 (S$140)
This duffle bag checks all the right boxes. It’s over-sized, so you have room to pack everything you need; light, because you really don’t want to lug all that extra weight; durable, to stand up against rough handling; and versatile enough to fold into a smaller mesh bag for easy storage.
BLACK HOLE 90L LOGO-PRINT RIPSTOP DUFFLE BAG BY PATAGONIA, £92 (S$140)
Black duffle bags are always reliable – and this no-fuss, no-frills number from Patagonia is as understated as it is pragmatic. Take it to the gym or use it as luggage for a last minute getaway.