8 best gym bags for women

Put the finishing touch to your work-out kit and perfect the gym-to-office transition with a good-looking and functional bag

Got your Nikes, fancy patterned leggings and slouchy racer-back vest combo down, but still lugging the (dodgy-smelling) gym bag you used for PE in your hockey days? Whether your priority is budget, label, genius pocket combos, or getting on-board the neon trend, put the finishing touch to your kit with one of these fashion-forward carry-alls.

1. Nylon Pack Cloth Gym Bag: £21, amazon

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This brilliant no-frills water-resistant duffel bag is more than big enough for all your kit, towel included, at 50cm long and also scrunches down really small for storage when not in use. Our favourite part is the huge range of colours: if this neon coral isn’t your cup of tea, you can get it in eighteen different strap-body combos.

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2. Summer Lovin’ Tote: £72, Lululemon

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Yoga bunnies will particularly appreciate the straps on this, from the high-end active-wear brand, which unsnap to store your mat on the outside of the bag. There’s also a waterproof pocket inside for your swimsuit (or really sweaty gear). We like this monochrome pen-stroke pattern to add a bit of interest to your bag without going OTT on colour, but you can also get it in plain black or abstract florals with coral straps.

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3. Adidas by Stella McCartney Studio Bag: £84, Zalando

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The best thing about this streamlined Stella McCartney number, aside from the slick black design and designer label, is the straps, which can be altered to carry over the shoulder or as a backpack. There’s a separate shoe pocket at the bottom and a detachable pocket inside the main compartment for your valuables.

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4. Hey Holla ‘Off To The Gym’ Bag: £18, Notonthehighstreet

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For reluctant gym-goers who need a little egging-on, this canvas tote offers plenty of encouragement. It hasn’t got lots of fancy features (just one small inner pocket for your valuables), but it more than makes up for it in colour – this orange or neon pink – and humour. Other slogans include ‘Bend It Like Bikram’ and ‘Drop It Like A Squat’.

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5. Sophia Tote: £145, Gymtote

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If you work out en-route to the office and don’t want to carry a separate handbag and gym bag, this genius faux-leather tote is well worth the price. Inside, it’s divided in two, with work stuff on the top (including an A4 document pouch), and breathable, water-resistant sections for your gym stuff underneath. The main bottom compartment opens on the back, with separate sections for your water bottle and trainers on either side, and the small valuables pocket has an eyelet to feed your headphones through. The finishing touch is a sleeve for fixing your yoga matt on the base.

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6. Adidas Versatile Colour Block Backpack: £17, John Lewis

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This Adidas rucksack has the neon and colour-blocking trends all stitched up at a bargain price. There’s an external zip pocket and a wet compartment inside for keeping soggy stuff separate, and it also comes in Rothko-eqsue shades of blue or orange, pale pink and black (nicer than it sounds).

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7. The True Gym Bag: £52, Fabletics

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Fabletics is an online subscription service that sells a curated selection of sportswear, co-founded by Kate Hudson, but non-‘VIP’s can still get their hands on pieces (albeit at a higher price). This bag is roomy – plenty of space for trainers, towel and a change of clothes – and made from soft, distressed-style grey polyester. The attention to detail is excellent, with padding on the (removable) shoulder strap to stop it cutting in and pockets inside and out, and the lime green zips give a bit of neon without going overboard.

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8. Adidas Stellasport Print Tote: £40, John Lewis

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If you can’t quite stretch to paying full-whack for designer gear but love the style, Stellasport is the more affordable diffusion line of Adidas by Stella McCartney (sort of like Marc by Marc Jacobs, or L’Agent). This brand-print polyester bag has two different carrying straps and an interior compartment with a fastening tab, to keep smaller bits and pieces or electricals, and also comes in rucksack version.

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Verdict:

Ok, it's not cheap, but if you're a regular gym-goer and willing to invest, the Sophia Tote is everything you could wish for to take you from work-out to office to post-work drinks. At the other end of the price spectrum, Adidas's colour block backpack offers no-frills practicality and a good burst of colour. Lululemon's mid-market tote is our favourite for it's combination of fun pattern, clever design and excellent value for money.

 

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