6 Chic Gym Bags to Carry You Through Life

Whether you are run-commute or ride a bike, treat your work bag as a gym bag, or love a zillion pockets, these bags are coming in hot.
Chelsea Cavanaugh. Propyl Styling by Rachel Stickley at Bernstein & Andriulli

We have a laundry list of requirements for the perfect gym bag. There is need to be enough pockets to stay organized; it has to be enough to get to work on; and most important, it just has to be able to carry all the things.

For this year's SELF Healthy Living Awards, we tested hundreds of athlete- and trainer-approved apparel and gear to find the best of the best in each category. Throughout our testing, we found six gyms that testers have now pledged their loyalty to, which is a hard feat. There is no such thing as the type of gym bag you have to keep around, there's one for you.

Here are our six top picks.

Courtesy of Dagne Dover
1

Best Gym Bag Backpack: Dagne Dover Dakota

This bag seemed to stretch to fit just about everything our testers packed in it, plus it's easy on the eyes. "I got so many compliments on this army green book bag. People it !, "one tester shared. "Everything fit: my laptop, water bottle, umbrella, wallet, keys, pencils ... there are pockets for just about everything."

Try it: $ 175, Amazon.com or DagneDover.com

Courtesy of PacSafe
2

Best Cycling / Biking Commuter Bag: PacSafe CitySafe CX Anti-Theft Backpack

As you might guess, this bag puts safety first with its nifty hard-to-open latches, so you can focus on the task at hand-like biking to work. But do not worry, there are still easy-access pockets on the sides and the front so you can grab your water bottle on the go. And on top of all of that, it's chic. "I felt comfortable going from the gym to work with. I like the gold accent zippers and clasps, "one tester shared.

Try it: $ 130, eBags.com or PacSafe.com

Courtesy of Jemma
3

Best Gym Bag that Doubles as a Work Bag: Jemma Birdie Gym Bag

Made from soft Italian nylon and vegan leather, this durable bag "does not look cheap," and "comes" with a cute matching nylon drawstring bag and a little cosmetic pouch, "one tester said. "It's definitely chic enough for the transition to after-work drinks or dinner," thanks to its leather accents and gold hardware.

Try it: $ 198, Amazon.com or JemmaBag.com

Courtesy of Adidas
4

Best Gym Bag for Functionality: Stella McCartney Shipshape Bag

This lightweight bag had testers "loving the material" and the "tons of pockets, even for your shoes." are four pockets inside and out two, meaning it's easy to find a place for every single thing you carry. One tester is still using this as her gym-to-work bag, she liked it so much.

Try it: $ 150, Carbon38.com or Adidas.com

Courtesy of Vooray
5

Best Gym Bag Duffle: Vooray Burner Gym Duffel

This version of a standard duffle bag is just the right size, especially since it comes with a shoe pocket . The print was one of our favorites, but since there are over 10 options to pick from, you really can not go wrong. Pick up, you automatically feel happy.

Try it: $ 50, EvolveFitwear.com or Vooray.com

Courtesy of Lululemon
6

Best Gym Bag Running Backpack: Lululemon Run All Day

This lightweight run-specific backpack is made to help you run-commute. Our running testers were obsessed, said they'd use this pack every single day. "So glad I won the running backpack lottery," one excitedly shared. With plenty of storage and easy-to-clean material, this got gold stars all around.

Try it: $ 118, Lululemon.com