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The best gym bags

It can be tough enough motivating yourself for a work out without the faff of getting yourself (and your stuff) to the gym - only to find you've forgotten something vital. These are the bags recommended by Mumsnetters for carting all your kit around.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jul 14, 2021

Woman getting ready with gym bag

Longchamp Le Pliage Bags, from £84.99

These spacious shoulder bags are hugely popular on Mumsnet thanks to their simple, chic exterior and roomy Mary Poppins-esque interior. They're also waterproof and have a handy zip-up pocket. If you fancy separate compartments for different bits and bobs, you can get a bag organiser insert to slot inside, too.

“I use a Longchamp Le Pliage travel bag. It's so light and not sporty-looking.”

“It doesn't have compartments, but I'm contemplating a Longchamp Le Pliage travel bag for my swimming and gym trips. I've always liked them as they aren't fussy-looking. They're lightweight, too.“

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Stella McCartney x Adidas Studio Bag, £99.95

Once you spot Stella McCartney's name, it's no surprise that these gym bags are fashionable and wonderfully functional. With a zip pocket, padded laptop sleeve, detachable shoe compartment and adjustable strap, you'll be carting all your gear to and from the gym in style.

“I have a few Stella Adidas bags and love them all. They're great quality and have lasted years without a scuff.”

“I have a Stella McCartney for Adidas one. Bit spendy though.”

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Related: The best gymwear for any class or work out

Weekender duffel bag, from £25

Sometimes you just need a bag that will keep all your gym paraphernalia in one place – without too many bells and whistles. These holdalls from Amazon are the perfect option. With prices starting from £20, they're sizeable – 55cm long and 24cm high – and come in a large variety of colours and styles.

“I use something like this for gym stuff, backpack stuff and lunch, then just a small cross-body bag for the essentials like phone, travel card, wallet and keys. Use lightweight travel organisers inside the big bag to separate stuff you need in the office from stuff you need in the gym.”

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Lululemon On My Level Bag, £128

Lululemon are lauded on the Style and Beauty boards for their long-lasting and supportive leggings, but they also have a huge range of gym bags, too. The On My Level bag is modeled like a tote, but with all the internal compartments you could ever need. Sure, it's pricey, but Mumsnetters say it's worth the cost.

“Have a look at the Lululemon website. I have one of their bags and it's fantastic – it has loads of space, but when the bag isn't that full you can squash the sides in to make it much smaller to carry (which is handy when I'm on the tube or bus).”

“I have one from Lululemon which always gets compliments and takes me from the gym to work with ease.”

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Lonsdale Barrel Bag, £6.99

When you need sports bag for your gear, what better option is there than Lonsdale, a brand which started as a boxing equipment company? This barrel bag is designed with a workout in mind, and is spacious enough for all your kit – plus, it costs less than a tenner.

“Mine was £6 from Sports Direct. It's a purple Lonsdale one. It fits in the locker, my clothes fit in it, and it has a bag for my trainers inside, too.”

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Sweaty Betty Quilted Luxe Kit Bag, £95

Whatever your exercise of choice, Sweaty Betty have you covered. This bag has a separate pocket for wet kit, one for trainers, and a zip pocket for valuables. Plus, it has straps on the bottom if you prefer to take your own yoga mat to class.

“I have the Sweaty Betty one and I absolutely love it (though I must confess to not exactly being a hardcore gym user!)”

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Related: Mumsnetter-favourite fitness trackers for any budget

Under Armour Duffle Bag, £39

This duffel bag is a hardy addition to our round-up, thanks to a UA Storm technology water-resistant finish and reinforced bottom and side panels. It has both a shoulder strap and grab handles, and has more than enough pockets to stash all your workout gear.

“I am currently using an Underarmour bag which my son bought for me for Christmas. I usually take a gym outfit, swimming costume, a towel, my make-up bag, shampoo and conditioner, a hairbrush, a plastic carrier bag for wet clothes and my water bottle, and it all fits.”

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Omm Classic 32 Backpack, £80

If you're planning on running to or from the gym, a running backpack is a great option. This one by OMM is plenty spacious enough for all your gym essentials, but still lightweight enough to sit comfortably on your back while you run. There are also padded shoulder straps and two belt pockets, making for quick and easy access to your valuables, house keys, and music.

“I have a lightweight OMM backpack. Rather expensive, but it fits all my sports clobber and fits really snugly so I can warm up by running to the sports centre.”

“An OMM Classic 32 Rucksack – I don't want to undo all my good work with a holdall over one shoulder, which would skew my posture and muscles”

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FACT+FICTION Charli Backpack, £145

Having won a Mumsnet Best award for being a top changing bag, it's no wonder the Charli Backpack is also a great way to stow away all your gym clobber. With a separate zippable compartment for your trainers and a laptop pocket to boot, this stylish rucksack can take you from work to the gym and back home again.

“They're expensive but so worth it. It's the best gym bag I have ever had, and I get asked about it all the time.”

“It's not remotely cheap, but it is currently holding a small towel, wallet, hair brush, small wash bag and make-up bag, a towel, gym gear and trainers, boxing gloves, and two cans of olive oil spray that I bought in Lidl at lunchtime. It saves me from two-bag hell and, for that, it is worth the money.”

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Kipling Women's New Shopper, £79

If you're after a gym bag which doesn't look like a gym bag, this shopper from Kipling is a great choice. Available in pretty much every colour you could want, it's got a zip closure, removable shoulder strap, and the cute monkey keyring which Kipling are renowned for. Add to this its handy size, and you're on to a winner.

“I've switched to a Kipling, which is ideal for me. I have a wet bag inside for wet or sweaty gear, and if I didn't have a stupidly bulky towel (hate the feel of microfibre) I'd have room for a laptop, too.”

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Prices correct at time of publication.