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10 Best Gym Backpacks for Men

By Andrew Peloquin  |  Updated November 30, 2023

10 Best Gym Backpacks for Men
Courtesy of Stubble and Co

The gym backpack is the ultimate on-the-go solution for active guys.

I’ll leave mine in the back seat of my car or wear it on my daily commute, and when the time comes to fit in my midday workout, I’ve got a fresh change of clothes, gym shoes, and workout essentials handy.

I don’t always need a full-sized duffel bag for the gym; all my supplements, wraps, belts, straps, and braces fit nicely in my backpack.

And when my workout is done, I just throw my gym gear back inside and head to work fresh and clean.

  • Gym backpacks trend smaller. Typically, they’ll be around the 20 to 25-liter range—small enough to carry along with your work briefcase or messenger bag, but spacious enough to fit clothes, shoes, maybe a towel, and your other workout essentials. However, some may be as large as 30 or even 40 liters to offer extra space for lifting belts, boxing gloves, swim gear, and other bulkier items.
  • Gym backpacks are built to store it all. Most gym backpacks also feature dedicated space for your gadgets—a padded laptop and/or tablet pocket, compartments for your cables, etc.—to serve as a catch-all for anything and everything you want to take to work as well as the gym.
  • Gym backpacks are built tougher and more sport-friendly. Features like waterproof exteriors, waterproof and ventilated internal compartments, and multiple carrying solutions (shoulder strap, backpack straps, and handles) make these bags highly versatile, durable, and ideal for athletes on the go.

To make your daily training sessions easier, I’ve done the research to bring you this list of the best gym backpacks around.

I’ve personally tested every backpack I could get my hands on, researched dozens more, and combed through hundreds of real-life user reviews to ensure you get only the absolute best.

Best Overall

Haven Small Gym Backpack

Why did I choose it?

Amazing internal storage solutions (including space for up to Size 14 shoes), an ultra-tough ballistic nylon exterior, and space enough for all your gym clothes and gear, this is the ultimate backpack for the working professional.

Best Inexpensive Gym Backpack
Gymshark Sharkhead Backpack

Best Backpack/Duffel Hybrid
Stubble and Co The Kit Bag

Toughest Gym Backpack
GoRuck Rucker 4.0

Best Backpack for Beyond the Gym
Patagonia Black Hole Pack

Best Overall

Haven Small Gym Backpack


Keep your gym gear neatly organized in the backpack’s many compartments and pockets, as well as aired out thanks to the integrated venting.

The vented “shoe garage” is particularly nifty—it can house shoes up to men’s size 14 (perfect for my oversized feet) and will ensure your backpack’s interior smells fresh and clean.

If you ever need more storage space, the integrated gear loops make adding on external accessories a breeze.

Best Inexpensive Gym Backpack

Gymshark Sharkhead Backpack


I’m blown away by just how much I can pack into this backpack—everything from workout gear to supplements to gym shoes, and with room to spare.

The bucket opening makes accessing all your contents a breeze, and the spacious main compartment and light mesh pockets allow for easy organization. It’s a backpack purpose-built for your daily workouts, and it absolutely delivers on functionality and durability.

Best Backpack/Duffel Hybrid

Stubble and Co The Kit Bag


The Kit Bag by Stubble and Co. carries like a backpack but packs like a duffel bag. The full-front opening ensures you can make the most of every square inch of storage space and always have easy access to your contents on the go.

The internal compartments let you store your gym gear separate from your work essentials, and it’s built to hold anything and everything you want to pack. Waterproof, travel-friendly, and incredibly versatile—what more could you ask for?

Toughest Gym Backpack

GoRuck Rucker 4.0


Need a bag as tough as you are? The latest-generation GoRuck Rucker is just the thing. Built specifically for rucking (marching/hiking with a heavy load on your back), it’s ultra-tough, features a reinforced construction, thickly padded straps, excellent lumbar support, and opens flat so you can get at your gear in seconds.

You won’t find a tougher or more reliable gym backpack better capable of enduring any weather or outdoor environment.

Best Backpack for Beyond the Gym

Patagonia Black Hole Pack


As its name suggests, this backpack is built to fit everything—laptop, gym clothes, shoes, electronics, you name it, it’ll fit.

The 100% recycled ripstop polyester fabric is light but insanely tough, making this suitable for your daily workout, hardcore hikes, and outdoor adventures. The 32-liter size and multiple top, front, and side pockets offer storage in spades.

Nike Brasilia Training Backpack


Built tough and spacious, this 30-liter backpack can shrug off rain, sleet, snow, and the scraps and scuffs of your daily commute with ease.

A dedicated laptop sleeve and interior organization panel make packing your work essentials a breeze, but it will remain separated from your gym gear so you’ll never have to worry about sweaty clothes ruining your electronics. Best of all, it’s made from 50% recycled fibers.

Lululemon Everywhere Backpack


Lululemon built the Everywhere Backpack for fast-paced, busy professionals like me who need the ideal storage solution to hit the gym and get back to work seamlessly.

The water-repellent exterior will keep your clothes and gear dry, the side water bottle pocket ensures you always have hydration handy, and the compact 22-liter size has space enough for the essentials while keeping the pack light and ultra-portable.

Under Armour Hustle 5.0 Backpack


Whether it’s pouring rain or dumping snow (a regular problem here in Canada), the UnderArmor Hustle 5.0 can handle it.

The water-repellent front pocket will shield your phone, wallet, and keys, and the soft-lined laptop sleeve will keep your laptop or tablet safe on the go.

Thanks to the spacious laundry/shoe pocket integrated into the base of the backpack, you can keep your sweaty gym gear or stinky shoes separated from the rest of your essentials.

Ten Thousand A-L Pack


I love how the A-L pack has dedicated compartments to fit my shoes, laptop, and gym clothes, keeping everything both separated and neatly organized. The integrated ventilation and Odorblock fabric treatment prevents smells even after a very sweaty workout, and there’s plenty of storage space for work essentials alongside my gym gear.

I’m particularly impressed by the compression molded backpanel with its integrated ventilation channels—great for keeping my back dry and cool when commuting on a hot summer day.

TYR Big Mesh Mummy Backpack


This backpack is built big—a whopping 40-liters—with dedicated mesh pockets perfect for making sure your stored swim gear (snorkels, flippers, mask, goggles, etc.) is able to air-dry between uses. Though light, it’s durable and comes in an impressive range of bright, eye-catching colorways.

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