Swoon-Worthy, Stylish Gym Bags


If you’ve been following the site lately, you’ll see a bit of a theme emerging – winter running gear, pretty workout tops…yep, we’re talking the #1 new year’s resolution every year, workin’ on your fitness! I’m trying a tough love tactic to improve the odds I’ll still be exercising in February – the barre studio I Grouponed charges you the class fee if you cancel within 24 hours.  (Not that I haven’t called out “sick” one time – it was so cold outside! And dark. And the last season of Nurse Jackie wasn’t going to binge watch itself.) Even more incentive?  On my days home solo with the kiddos I feel like I never “finish” anything before I’m pulled into the cycle of dance parties, diaper emergencies and snack-making; after a class, it feels so good to actually check something off my list. The part that is not so motivating? The arctic walk back to the car in sweaty, damp gym clothes. Blergh. Let’s make finding a cool gym bag resolution #2 – bonus points if it can pull double-duty and look good enough for the daily commute. And 8, 7, 6, keep it up…stylish_gym_backpacks

Cool Gym Backpacks

1. Lululemon Go-Go-Go Tote: I had the backpack collage all done in Photoshop then I saw this beyond cool gym bag and hit the brakes. I’m in love with the almost-heathered navy color and striped straps, but the best part is how it turns from a really stylish slouchy crossbody into the perfect backpack. Check how the model wears it on the site – it looks so so good both ways.

2. Rebecca Minkoff ‘MAB’ Backpack: Gym glam: you win all the fitness style points with this insanely cool nylon backpack from The Queen of ‘It’ Bags. Loving the luxe leather accent on the front pocket and zipper pulls. Also in matte black-on-black neoprene for those who like to keep their fancy on the DL.

3. Honest Company ‘City’ Faux Leather Diaper Backpack: That’s right, a diaper bag. I mean, think about it – if a bag can hold all the bazillion things a baby needs for a “simple” trip to Target,  surely it’ll fit your gym clothes and some Kind bars? It’s a great option for city commuters too since it has a zippered pocket on the back for valuables, and could totally pass for a regular leather backpack. Reviewers love how spacious and dirt-hiding it is.

4. The North Face Vault Backpack: These blurry, watercolory-maybe-floral patterns are everywhere right now and so pretty. This is a great lightweight option that also has a laptop sleeve and “women-specific straps”, which is did not know was a thing. It also has a chest strap and padded back, so could definitely do double-duty as a day pack for <insert sporty outdoor activity here>. Comes in lots of colors, but this one’s my fave.

5. Herschel Supply Co. Settlement Backpack: An awesome graphic design is my favorite way to update old-school styles, and this “rain stripe” pattern is perfect for edging just outside your ‘everything black, forever’ comfort zone . Herschel’s known for quality construction and durability, plus I love the cheery red stripe lining.

6. Skip Hop Forma Pack & Go Backpack: Another incognito diaper bag! Skip Hop does such good bags and this one’s especially cute. Insulated side pockets keep your water bottle cold (or your commute caffeine hot), comes with two cubes that fit in the front pocket – an insulated one for fresh snacks and a mesh one that’s just the right size for corralling makeup and travel-size toiletries. The jewel tone teal is gorgeous, also in black for those that don’t do color. Great for travel or family outings too – think the beach, amusement parks, state fairs (can you tell I’m fast-forwarding to June?)

7. Sherpani Quest Backpack: This minimalist but feminine bag is so cute for hauling a change of clothes and water/snacks in a size would also be convenient for travel or commuting. It comes in two heathered black colorways (yessss) and a handful of poppy brights, if that’s your jam.


Stylish Gym Totes

1. Nike Victory Gym Club Metallic: If Greek goddesses went to the gym I bet they would’ve carried this bag. I love the cool details like layered pockets and feminine, sporty design. Reviewers are loving the ventilated compartment for shoes or wet clothes, plus the entire bag’s made of water-resistant tarpaulin so you can toss it on a wet field or locker room floor without worrying about soggy gear. Not to mention how good it would be in bad weather for PNW girls, and a special shout out to the Mid-Atlantic! When we lived in D.C. a dusting of snow was a showstopper, so I can’t even imagine… At least the smalls will burn off tons of energy building snow forts and staging epic snowball battles  so you can Netflix & chill when they crash.

2. Adidas Studio Duffel: Love that happy shot of melon color, it gives a little hint of summer on dreary winter days and the stripey gray pattern brings the urban cool. Smart inside organization separates media and shoes from the rest of your stuff.

3. Under Armour To & From Tote: That color, though. Oxblood is so good in fall and winter paired with sophisticated neutrals, so this oversized classic tote would look great on your commute. Love. It also comes in a few more colors, the Mechanic Blue pattern is really different in a good way (not the Midwestern way, which is the equivalent of a Southern “Well, bless your heart”. Note there’s not a Northern equivalent since we have no filter, so you can trust this is good!)

4. Foley & Corinna Marquise Weekender: ME-ow. I’m head over heels for this killer weekender bag that’s great for ladies who need LOTS of gym bag space. Going out to meet friends straight from the gym (lucky) and need your full-size heat styling tool arsenal plus knee-high boots? Pack it all in, because this well-designed bag has a little secret – the pretty gold zipper that goes all the way around the top opens to almost double the storage space. Also key for traveling when you know you’re coming back with way more than you packed.

5. Tommy Hilfiger Active Nylon Extra Large Tote: You can’t tell from the picture, but this bag is jumbo-sized (for scale, on the site the model pic is based on a 5’9″ lady instead of 5’5″ like other sites. Bag is big.) The front pockets are large enough to hold all your accessories, toiletries, snacks, phone, wallet and more, and the inside will pretty much fit most of your workout clothing wardrobe. It’s lightweight nylon so would be a natural as a travel bag, too. In plain black, bright solids and more dot colors.

6. Trina Turk Jukebox Active Duffel Bag: Bright and cute little compact gym duffel that’s definitely not basic black.  The inside has quippy little labels in the pockets, such a fun detail, and it’s on supersale!

Cute Yoga Mat Bags

1. Lululemon Drishti Yoga Tote: Loving the unique patterns on these chic yoga bags. My favorite is this one, “pigment wind berry rumble”. The other versions are just as pretty and fantastically-named.

2. Nike Victory: Unique shape and tons of pockets inside & out for lots of storage options. It can fit a yoga bag across the top zipper and comes with two removable bags for wet stuff and toiletries. Also in shiny silver for the brave. It’s the perfect size for a short trip, too. Yoga retreat?

3. Mokuyobi Threads Blue Yoga Mat Bag: Much to my daughter’s (and Pax’s) delight, rainbows are a huge trend for spring. Even though this bag would be right up a certain My Little Pony’s alley, it’s just so fun and happy, who cares! Grown-ups should wear more rainbows, I’m sure your kid would agree.

4. Rebecca Minkoff Yoga Mat Bag: Pretty, pretty royal blue with luxe quilting from the uber-cool designer. Even better – it’s on clearance for $66.50.

6. The Ninja BagQuiver of Arrows Yoga Bag: Have you guys seen these hilarious yoga bags from Brogamats? Obviously geared toward manly men (check out the Downward Facing Log bag) but they’re so good I had to include them. I’m still giggling over the guy modeling the arrows bag. Based on rave reviews, these hold a ton – double yoga mats, a few blocks and straps. They’d definitely make a quick & easy Halloween costume too – go ahead, live out your Katniss Everdeen dream.

6. Gaiam Metro Gym Bag: Reviewers love the great size, storage options, subtle design, yoga mat straps on the bottom of the bag, and travel-friendliness. Maximum bang for your buck since it’s only $24.99!

Fabulous Gym Bags Above & More




  1. Yaaasssss! Thank you so much! I was carrying all of my gym stuff in a nylon cord bag and I was BAD! Bad I tell you! I’m kind of obsessed with the Nike Victory bag as I like separating out my shoes as well! Done! Happy Sunday!

Leave a Reply