I Tried Dozens of Gym Bags and This One Is My Favorite—Here’s Why I Love It
It seamlessly goes from the office to the gym.
If you like to work out and you’re constantly on the go, you know the importance of a good gym bag. And when promotional totes, clunky backpacks, and unorganized duffles just don’t cut it, it’s time to upgrade your exercise accessory—I would know.
I’ve been an avid gym-goer since my high school volleyball days when I grew accustomed to working out regularly. Over the past 10 years, my workout routines have changed, but I try to do some form of physical activity at least a few times a week, whether it’s a hot yoga class, a run in the park, or visiting a HIIT studio. All the while, I’ve hauled dozens of bags full of workout essentials.
While I didn’t think too much about the size and functionality of my gym bag when I lived in Los Angeles and could stow my belongings in my car, after moving to New York City, I quickly realized my bulky gym bag wouldn’t cut it on public transportation. So, in search of the best gym bag for a seamless transition from home to the gym to the office, I carried countless bags around the city. They came with me on crowded subway trains to the gym, a variety of fitness studios, and the office, and they each had their pros and cons.
I experimented with large totes (this one from Lululemon is a total workhorse, but I simply didn’t need that much storage space), sporty backpacks (this Sweaty Betty bag was a close runner-up, but strapping my yoga mat on the bottom felt like a hazard on busy city sidewalks), and more. After testing out all these gym bags, I finally came across one that stood out from the rest.
The Landon Carryall bag from Dagne Dover has quickly become my favorite workout companion. The medium size is just large enough to hold all of my gym bag essentials, which typically include a pair of running shoes, a change of clothes, a water bottle, and a few skincare products and beauty tools for when I manage to exercise before work. It has a padded pocket that fits most 13-inch laptops if you don’t want to bring along a separate work bag, and it also comes with a mesh pouch for small items, a secure compartment that holds a water bottle upright, and a shoe duster to keep clothes clean.
Surprisingly, the shoe duster—a small, zippered bag for storing shoes pre- and post-workout—was the factor that skyrocketed this bag to the top of my list of favorites. It ensures my sneakers won’t get my exercise gear dirty throughout the day and keeps my clean work outfits separate from my walking shoes on the way home. I didn’t know I needed one and now that I have it, I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
Not only is the bag stylish and well-organized, but it’s also incredibly versatile. It includes a detachable cross-body strap so you can sling the duffle over your shoulder or carry it by the neoprene handle. Plus, its unique design allows you to expand the bag by simply unclasping metal snaps on both sides, offering more space while maintaining a structured shape.
After using the bag regularly, I wasn’t surprised to learn it had sold out on popular retailers including Nordstrom, Bandier, and Shopbop. Luckily, you can still purchase the compact duffel directly from Dagne Dover. The medium was the perfect fit for me, but the bag is also available in sizes ranging from extra small to extra large. Pick your size and then choose from 10 pretty colorways like Dark Moss, Ash Blue, Dune, and Heather Grey. But if history is any indication, there’s no telling how long the gym bag will stay in stock.
To buy: From $95; dagnedover.com