Whether you're hitting the gym on a daily basis or getting yourself there whenever you get the chance, having a decent gym bag has a huge impact on your workout experience. When you have gym gear you're proud to wear and show off, you'll be more likely to get yourself there first thing in the morning or after your workday ends.
Women especially need a well-designed gym bag to keep their clothes, fitness gear, makeup and hair tools organized and easy to find in a rush. Let's look at the essential features you should search for in women's gym bags.
What Are Some Examples of Women's Gym Bag Essentials?
From style and design to features and accessibility, there are several gym bag essentials for girls and women to consider before buying. As you go over each of these factors, think about how important that particular feature is to you, then weigh out your options accordingly. Here are six questions related to women's gym bag essentials to think about as you weigh how to pick a gym bag.
1. What Hygiene Items Should I Pack in a Gym Bag?
Anytime you plan on getting your sweat on, you should also have a plan for not smelling afterward. This is especially true if you're heading straight to work or another obligation after your workout. A good women's gym bag will have plenty of pockets for storing personal hygiene items. Even bulky products and tools like hair dryers, curling irons and straighteners should all be able to fit comfortably in your workout bag.
Some of the most important hygiene items you might want to have room for in your gym bag include:
- Shampoo, conditioner and soap
- Dry shampoo and other hair products
- Extra hair ties, bobby pins and hair accessories
- Perfume or body spray
- Hairbrush or comb
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and/or mouthwash
- Shower shoes
Don't let smelling bad or being sweaty stop you from getting in your daily workout. Instead, invest in a gym bag that has plenty of room for everything you need to get your sweat on, then get cleaned up and looking great for the next thing on your to-do list.
2. What Comfort and Convenience Items Should I Pack in a Gym Bag?
A women's gym bag should increase her comfort and convenience. As we discussed above, most women who use a gym bag are out on the go and don't have time to stop home again before heading to their next commitment. So, your gym bag needs to be able to hold everything you could need to get through the rest of your day.
Depending on how often you go to the gym and at what time of day, what's convenient and comfortable for you may be different than another woman's preferences. However, some of the most common things you'll want your gym bag to be able to hold include:
- A fresh change of clothes
- A pair of shoes that matches your second outfit
- Fresh socks, bra and underwear
- Your phone, wallet and keys
- A hat for during or after your workout
Another thing to consider is having a separate area to store your sweaty gym clothes in after your workout. Most gym bags have an inside zipper pocket that's perfect for this.
3. What Security Items Should I Pack in a Gym Bag?
It's always best to leave your valuables at home when you go to the gym, but you still need to bring along items like your cell phone, headphones and other things you need to get your workout done. Most gyms have lockers for members to use, but you may have to bring your own lock depending on the facility.
If you must carry valuables in your gym bag, have a safe pocket — preferably inside the bag — where you can store your lock. You should also investigate the size of the lockers at your gym to make sure you purchase a gym bag that will fit inside comfortably and easily.
4. What Fitness Gear Should I Pack in a Gym Bag?
When you shop for athletic gym bags, you can't forget about all the fitness gear you'll need to store in it. The size and weight of the equipment you need to bring with you to the gym will vary depending on your routine and what kind of equipment your gym provides. However, everyone will need to bring along some of their own items. Some examples of the fitness gear you'll want your gym bag to hold include:
- Water bottle
- Lifting gloves and straps
- Sweat towel
- Yoga mat or block
- Resistance bands
- Bathing suit, goggles and swim cap
While most people expect their gym to have everything they need to work out, it's best to be prepared for anything. If you show up only to find that the machines and weights you normally use are taken, you can at least get started on your workout with the fitness gear you can fit in your bag.
5. What Fuel Should I Pack in a Gym Bag?
Every good gym rat knows the importance of fueling up both before and after a workout. The American Heart Association recommends fueling up two hours before your workout by drinking plenty of water, eating healthy carbohydrates and avoiding saturated fats and even high-protein snacks. After your workout, you'll need to replenish your body with plenty of fluids — including water and high-carbohydrate beverages like sports drinks boosted with electrolytes — healthy carbohydrates and high-protein snacks.
With all this eating before and after hitting the gym, your gym bag needs a safe, accessible place for you to store your snacks so none of the other products or goods in your duffle bag come into contact with them. Individually wrapped items like protein bars are ideal on-the-go snacks to keep in your gym bag because you won't have to worry about crumbs or foods that melt all over everything.
6. What Technology Should I Pack in a Gym Bag?
Technology has changed how we go through daily life, including the way we exercise. Showing up at the gym without your headphones can be a day-ruiner for many, even negatively affecting the intensity of your workout. Keeping a pair of extra headphones in your gym bag at all times is a great way to combat this. Make sure the gym bag you buy has a protective pocket for all the electronics you need to bring with you to the gym or another athletic event.
Some tech items you might want to account for include:
- Portable charger for phone and other electronics
- An armband or waistband to hold your phone
- Wearable tech, such as fitness watches
- Heart rate monitor
- Extra headphones
How Should I Go About Packing a Gym Bag for Work?
Figuring out how to pack your gym bag for both your workout and the rest of your day can be challenging. Use these tips to learn how to pack a gym bag.
Make a Gym Bag Checklist
Create a thorough list of all the things you need for workout success. This list will look different for everyone depending on your exercise preferences and routines.
Include everything you need to complete your workout from start to finish, including preparation and getting cleaned up afterward. Go through the six questions we detail above as a starting point for your list, which will likely also include a few things that are unique to your workout. If it's easier, try separating your list into categories to help you stay organized and be sure you do not forget anything.
Look at Your Calendar and To-Do List While You Pack
As you pack the night before or the morning of — whichever fits best into your routine is fine — take out your calendar and to-do list for that day. Read over everything you have planned for the day to make sure you don't forget anything essential.
For example, you might have a big meeting with a client after your workout, so you'll need to bring along a professional outfit and nice shoes to change into after your workout and shower. This might not be the case every day, so looking at your calendar is a great way to remember items you may not normally have to pack.
Plan Your Workouts
Most of us can't control our schedules outside of the gym, but we do have full control over our exercise schedules. Planning your workouts and sticking to a routine at the gym as diligently as possible is a great way to make sure you have what you need. Granted, most of the equipment you need should be provided for you at the gym, but you may have a few items of your own that you'll have to bring.
For example, if your workout schedule is to lift weights on Tuesdays and Thursdays but do yoga on Wednesdays, you might need to pack your gloves on Tuesdays and Thursdays and your yoga mat on Wednesdays. Keeping this schedule as regular as possible lessens the chance you'll forget something essential to complete your workout.
Over-Prepare Without Over-Doing It
If you have the room in your gym bag, it's best to be over-prepared for both your workout and your day. Space permitting, bring along some extra clothes, socks and underwear. You might also want to keep an emergency protein bar or another on-the-go snack item if you forget to eat before you leave the house or forget to pack a post-workout snack. Other items you might want to keep in your gym bag "just in case" include:
- Extra headphones
- Extra reusable water bottle you can fill up at the gym when you leave yours at home
What Should I Look for in a Women's Gym Bag?
Aside from the standard women's gym bag must-haves, every woman has their own preferences for their accessories — especially something they'll use as often as a gym bag. Once you've made a list of the essential items you need your bag to carry, consider the following factors:
- Style: While you want your gym bag to be super cute, be sure it's work-appropriate if you will also transport it to and from the office. You may need something discrete and professional. Having a cute and attractive gym bag will give you one more reason to be on time for your workout every day. Makes sure you absolutely love the coloring, pattern and overall look of your gym bag — if not, chances are slim you'll be motivated to use it every day.
- Size and shape: Your gym bag needs to be large enough to fit all the essential items we've discussed so far, but you don't need one that's insanely big. Carrying a huge gym bag can become an excuse for why you can't make it to the gym — and how silly would that be? Your gym bag should be manageable to carry and small enough to fit in the lockers at your gym, as well as wherever you'll have to store it at work.
- Features: Women traveling straight to work or other obligations need gym bags with features like an array of different-sized pockets and sections to store large and small items. You might also need protective inside zipper pockets for valuables, as well as separate areas for sweaty gym clothes and wet bathing suits. Accessibility is also key, as you won't have time to dig around a bag with one big zipper and nothing else to find small items when you're in a rush.
- Durability: Find a gym bag durable enough to handle daily use. You'll take this bag from home to the gym to work, and you want it to last as long as possible. When you invest in a high-quality, durable gym bag that fulfills all your needs, you can go years without having to replace it. Check out bags from top brands in the athletic industry and shop at reliable stores with helpful staff to find the best bag that will also last the longest.
Purchase High-Quality Women's Workout Bags From Schuylkill Valley Sports
Now that you know what to look for in women's duffle bags for the gym, browse the options at Schuylkill Valley Sports. Our selection of gym bags for women includes options in a variety of styles and colors, allowing you to get the bag that suits your taste and needs best. We carry bags from top brands like Under Armour, adidas, Asics and more.
You can order your new gym bag online today, or visit one of our locations in person to make your decision with assistance from one of our knowledgeable sales representatives. Reach out to our team with any questions