Gym and Work Backpacks

10 Best Gym and Work Backpacks in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: September 19, 2020)

If you intend on getting a workout everyday, it’s a smart choice to find the best backpacks for gym and work. You can conveniently carry all your work-related things with you with the right pack, and you still have space for your exercise shoes, fitness wear, and other required equipment. Instead of just purchasing a random backpack and thinking it would fit for you, you should know what features to search for and then find out the best options. A separate shoe compartment, a designated laptop pocket, professional appearance, and internal organization are some of the features that we’ve considered in this guide.

Searching for a needle in a haystack may sound like discovering the best gym and work backpack. With your everyday needs such as software and business items, you would need compartments while also leaving ample space with small stuff like clothes and shoes. And although you might just be able to use a regular gym bag, most workout bags may look too sporty and out of place for the job. The best gym and workout backpack is a special need and several backpack manufacturers struggle to offer the elusive mix of job-appropriate elegance and workout-friendly versatility. This is why we’ve delved deep, did some searching, and this compilation of the best gym and work backpacks available in the market.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 10 hrs of research

Thule VEA Backpack

Thule VEA Backpack – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • The laptop and tablet sleeves are well padded
  • The base has a compartment to put a pair of shoes or dirty shoes
  • Zippers have nice grips hanging from them
  • There is a small velvet type lined pocket for your phone

Targus Large Commuter Work and Gym Fitness Backpack

Targus Large Commuter Work and Gym Fitness Backpack – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • Bag expands quite a bit when you start storing a lot of clothes and other items
  • Side expandable bottle holders
  • Laptop holder has a lot of padding and closes up
  • Backpack stands up even with the shoes there

Best Gym and Work Backpacks – Overview

Need a gym bag or an everyday backpack that could also hold some essential workouts? You may select between a sports backpack with external functionality such as a tablet compartment or a specialized job backpack with extra advantages such as shoe compartments. If much of your items are workout things such as sneakers, clothes, and water bottles then you may want to concentrate on backpacks with bigger key compartments that can be used as a typical duffel bag. When you choose to bring light in the gym and much of your carry is work and personal things, your best option will be if you go for a backpack focusing on everyday items.

Gym and Work Backpacks Reviews

1. Thule VEA Backpack – Premium Pick

Thule VEA Backpack

The Thule VEA Backpack can take you anywhere you need to go, this easy to organize pack has everything you need! Constructed from polyester melange and 800D nylon for durability. Duffle-style zip closure with branded Thule pullers and YKK zippers featuring Duraflex hardware. Top carry handle, padded backpack straps with a secure sternum strap.

Backpanel features an airflow channel. Exterior features reflective elements for nighttime use and a plush-lined stash pocket perfect for your phone. Interior features ultimate organization with a padded 15″ laptop compartment, padded 10″ tablet compartment, a mesh zip pocket, file compartment, dedicated shoe section to keep your belongings clean with access from the exterior of the bag.

Key Features:

  • Quickly access your phone in the plush-lined, exterior stash pocket
  • Store shoes in the separate, expandable pocket
  • Can be carried 3 different ways
  • Laptop and tablet pocket

Specifications:

  • Brand: Thule
  • Capacity: 21L
  • Dimensions: 19.7″ H x 12.2″ W x 9.4″ D
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs
Pros
  • The laptop and tablet sleeves are well padded
  • The base has a compartment to put a pair of shoes or dirty shoes
  • Zippers have nice grips hanging from them
  • There is a small velvet type lined pocket for your phone
Cons
  • Could be lighter

2. Targus Large Commuter Work and Gym Fitness Backpack – Best Value

Targus Large Commuter Work and Gym Fitness Backpack

The Targus Large Commuter Work and Gym Fitness Backpack is ideal for professionals with active lifestyles. Intelligently designed, with three dedicated compartments for your laptop, work accessories, and sports gear. Built with insights from athletes and designed with the active professional in mind, this backpack provides great protection for your technology while giving you everything that you would demand from a sports or fitness bag, from a large compartment for your sports clothes and towel to a ventilated compartment to hold your sports shoes.

It includes a detachable laundry bag to separate wet and dry clothes and a compact washbag so that you don’t have to tow two bags to the office. It’s a breeze to rummage through your bag in the locker room. It opens up flat for easy access to your belongings and hangs in a gym locker with its handy integrated hook at the top. Minor bumps are no problem for this backpack. It has a laptop cradle for a snug fit inside your pack. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best commuter backpacks.

Key Features:

  • Lined and ventilated front compartment for work or gym shoes
  • Internal zipped pouch to protect your small valuables
  • 2 water bottle pockets
  • Detachable laundry bag

Specifications:

  • Brand: Targus
  • Dimensions: 19.29″ H x 12.19″ W x 9.44″ D
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
Pros
  • Bag expands quite a bit when you start storing a lot of clothes and other items
  • Side expandable bottle holders
  • Laptop holder has a lot of padding and closes up
  • Backpack stands up even with the shoes there
Cons
  • Shoes compartment shares the same space with the front pocket

3. Amber & Ash Everyday Backpack

Amber & Ash Everyday Backpack

The Amber & Ash Everyday Backpack is a versatile, sleek carrying solution to keep you organized in your everyday activities – whether you’re headed to school or to the office, traveling on an airplane, or just strolling through the city. With a detachable strap system and optimized travel-friendly design, this backpack is a one-stop-shop for all of your back carrying needs.

Boasting 3 compartments: a large main compartment gives you plenty of space to carry everything you need with thoughtfully designed storage pockets to keep you organized, a separate expandable bottom compartment to store an extra pair of shoes, clothes, or your lunch, and a separate padded, faux-fur laptop sleeve compartment that will secure and protect up to a 15.6-inch laptop or tablet. Six exterior pockets, including a hidden, quick access pocket for items like a wallet or phone, provide extra storage and accessibility to the items you need on the go. Our guide to the best EDC bags offers more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Padded laptop sleeve
  • Bottom pocket for shoes
  • Front slip pocket
  • 2 internal mesh pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: Amber & Ash
  • Dimensions: 17″ H x 12″ W x 5″ D
  • Weight: 2 lbs
Pros
  • The bottom storage is perfect for a water bottle or if you have any tech cords or shoes
  • Inside is lined really nicely to help protect your laptop
  • Plenty of pockets that allows you to keep organized
  • Straps are padded for comfort
Cons
  • No side bottle holder

4. Under Armour Men’s Practical Waterproof Backpack

Under Armour Men's Practical Waterproof Backpack

Designed with high-quality materials, this Under Armour Men’s Practical Waterproof Backpack is ideal for everyday use. The bag features a special slot for holding laptops, keeping them safe and secure. It is crafted from water-resistant material so it is ideal for use in all-weather situations.

The adjustable HeatGear shoulder straps make the sports bag comfortable to carry and can be adjusted to fit. The water-repellent front pocket ensures the safe storage of valuables, while the large folding pocket at the bottom of the bag offers space for dirty clothes and shoes. The bag is made of 100% polyester. You may also be interested in some of the best waterproof backpacks for travel from our list, so check them out.

Key Features:

  • Everyday backpack with adjustable straps
  • Special slot for laptops
  • Water-resistant material for all-weather
  • Versatile straps, pockets and slots

Specifications:

  • Brand: Under Armour
  • Capacity: 29L
  • Dimensions: 17.7″ H x 11.8″ W x 7.9″ D
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • It has large compartments
  • Very affordable
  • Great for a laptop
Cons
  • The fabric is not as thick as other bags

5. KAKA Travel Duffel Backpack

KAKA Travel Duffel Backpack

The KAKA Travel Duffel Backpack is made of very durable Oxford. It is water-resistant. It is a multifunction and fashion travel laptop backpack. This gym bag can be used as a handbag, crossbody bag, and Backpack, designed for men and women. It has an extra free shoulder strap whose length can be adjusted up to 59 inches that can be used as a crossbody bag. It is suitable for travel, college, camping, hiking, it can also be used as a commuter backpack to go to work.

It has a very large main pocket that can hold 4 to 5 pieces of clothes, a few books, a camera, and an iPad. There is also a pocket with a lot of compartments in front of the backpack, which can hold small items in an orderly manner, such as mobile phones, glasses, pens, notebooks, tablets. There is also a pocket with a lot of compartments in front of the backpack, which can hold small items in an orderly manner, such as mobile phones, glasses, pens, notebooks, and tablets. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best duffel bags for travel.

Key Features:

  • Made of very durable Oxford
  • Breathable back
  • Two fixing straps on each side of the backpack
  • Shoe compartment

Specifications:

  • Brand: KAKA
  • Dimensions: 19″ H x 12.5″ W x 9″ D
  • Weight: 2.43 lbs
Pros
  • This backpack is sturdy
  • Padded slot for laptops
  • Separate zipper pocket for shoes
  • Lots of pockets for organization
Cons
  • The zipper does not seem to come pre-waxed

6. AmazonBasics Sports Backpack

AmazonBasics Sports Backpack

From top to bottom, this AmazonBasics Sports Backpack provides loads of useful space for keeping up with an on-the-go schedule. Head to class, the office, or to the gym after work with all necessary gear in tow with help from this convenient backpack. Made of 100% polyester, the reliable sports backpack stands up to everyday wear and tear, while its tough, abrasion-resistant bottom panel offers an added layer of protection between the bag and hard ground or floor surfaces.

The backpack’s main pocket provides room for books, folders, an extra layer of clothing, and other larger items. The main pocket includes a soft-lined laptop sleeve, which offers dedicated space for keeping a laptop securely upright and easy to access. An exterior slide-in water-bottle holder (one on each side) makes it easy to keep bottles of water within reach.

Key Features:

  • Main pocket with laptop sleeve
  • Small padded pocket for cell phone or sunglasses
  • Pocket with organizers
  • 2 water bottle holders
  • Bottom pocket for shoes (not vented)
  • Made of 100% polyester

Specifications:

  • Brand: AmazonBasics
  • Dimensions: 17″ H x 12″ W x 5″ D
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
Pros
  • Well-designed in terms of its compartments and divisions
  • External pocket can hold shoes
  • Top handle is cushioned and 1″ wide
  • Comfortable straps
Cons
  • Not as roomy as other bags

7. Mouteenoo Sport Gym and Work Backpack

Mouteenoo Sport Gym and Work Backpack

The Mouteenoo Sport Gym and Work Backpack is a very lightweight and simple backpack without too many bulky designs. Adjustable shoulder strap so you can wear it at the length that works for you. The shoulder straps are wider with supportive padding which are very comfortable for all-day use without hurting our necks and shoulders. The inside zip pouch is lined with a soft fleece material which is perfect for valuables, cellphone, or wallet.

This backpack is designed with a separate shoe compartment is ventilated with airflow holes to keep your shoes and dirty gear separate with clean stuff which is great for the gym or work. It is designed with two external big mesh pockets which are perfect for water bottles or umbrella.

Key Features:

  • Shoe compartment in the bottom
  • Two external big mesh pocket
  • Inside zip pouch is lined
  • Water-resistant fabric

Specifications:

  • Brand: Mouteenoo
  • Dimensions: 20″ H x 14″ W x 4.5″ D
  • Weight: 0.94 lbs
Pros
  • Has a compartment for shoes
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Very light
Cons
  • The side mesh pocket for a water bottle doesn’t fit large ones, only 16 oz

8. Tocode Laptop Backpack

Tocode Laptop Backpack

Tocode Laptop Backpack is made of heavy-duty water-resistant oxford fabric, with lockable durable metal zippers and large & multipurpose pockets that can store essential accessories very well. It can hold up to a 17-inch laptop with a dedicated laptop sleeve in the main compartment against bumps and falls. It also has a USB charging port so you can easy and quickly charge any of your devices so your gadgets will never run out of battery.

4 zipper pockets, 2 sides mesh pockets, 1 laptop sleeve, 2 small inner pockets, and 2 pen loops, provides a separate space for your laptop, textbooks, magazines, iPhone, iPad, pen, keys, wallet, books, clothes, bottle and more. Effortlessly carry your laptop and accessories, wherever you are thanks to our honeycomb mesh sponge, breathable pack pad which forms a suspension system to protect your back from discomfort and to encourage maximum support. The bag boasts thick padded adjustable straps with a chest strap buckle. Love backpacks? Check out our review of the best tactical laptop backpacks for our top picks.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable shoulders straps
  • Ergonomic top handle
  • Bottom straps
  • Two mesh pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: Tocode
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Dimensions: 22″ H x 12″ W x 7″ D
  • Weight: 1.17 lbs
Pros
  • Tons of pockets
  • There is also adequate padding inside the pack
  • Great USB extension built into the bag
  • The design is stylish and can be used (to a degree) in business settings
Cons
  • The interior stitching is sub-par

9. adidas Prime Backpack

adidas Prime Backpack

Perfect for work or the gym, the adidas Prime Backpack will make carrying your belongings a breeze. With plenty of pockets, including a padded laptop sleeve, this backpack will help keep your things secure and organized. It has dual mesh side pockets for a water bottle or umbrella.

Introducing the next evolution of the Prime Backpack. The updated design features multiple zippered pockets for easy organization and a padded sleeve to protect electronics. The Loadspring shoulder straps offer added comfort, while reflective details enhance visibility in low-light conditions.

Key Features:

  • Padded computer pocket so you’re school ready
  • Fully reflective accent panels to keep you seen day or night
  • XXL size built with durable material
  • Internal zippered organization pocket

Specifications:

  • Brand: adidas
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 20.5″ H x 14.5″ W x 14″ D
  • Weight: 2.21 lbs
Pros
  • Cool honeycomb texture that looks & feels great
  • A lot of pockets
  • Even when heavily loaded, excellent back & shoulder support
  • Shoulder straps are wide, contoured, & supportive segmented design
Cons
  • Loadspring segments are short

10. Bear KompleX Military Grade Tactical Backpack

Bear KompleX Military Grade Tactical Backpack

Highly anticipated and full of space for all your fitness and adventure needs. The Bear KompleX Military Grade Tactical Backpack is loaded with pockets and storage compartments to keep all your gear together. Inspired and made from the highest quality military grade 1000D nylon, this pack is made to last. Interior pockets, a spot for your laptop, vented pocket for your wet clothes, shaker/water bottle holder, sternum strap; this bag has it all!

Reinforced grab & go handles, featuring a spacious main storage area with multiple components. Inner & outer pockets, MOLLE web platforms for attaching all of your tactical accessories. There’s even a shoe compartment, vented pockets for your wet clothes & side water bottle holder. There’s a hook & loop area for nametape and flag patches. With two external compression straps and a contoured yoke shoulder strap system, you’ll be kept secure and comfortable! Our handy guide to the best military backpacks features more great products like this.

Key Features:

  • Military-grade 1000D nylon 
  • Has a reinforced grab-and-go handle.
  • Zippered fleece-lined pockets and inner/outer MOLLE web platform.
  • Has a mesh and nylon admin compartment

Specifications:

  • Brand: Bear KompleX
  • Dimensions: 24″ H x 13″ W x 10″ D
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
Pros
  • Zippers rocks, they all have loops to grab more quickly
  • There is also a zip out feature in the bottom to expand this already huge bag into a mega bag
  • Velcro and compression straps
  • Great styling
Cons
  • Might be too big for some

Buying Guide

Size

The first thing to remember is the overall size of the bag you have selected. You want one that can also work in your workout locker with space for anything you need and not be too large or hard to bring. Your ideal size for a bag is not going to be the same as anybody else so you can also take the time to consider. Think of the things you want to frequently carry with you, and choose a size from there. Some items to consider include your fitness wear, gymnasium shoes, toiletries, hairstyle supplies and equipment, cosmetics, laptop, and lunch.

Dedicated Shoe Compartment

Even preferably you should have a gym and work bag with a different pocket to carry your sneakers and dirty clothes. Above all, you don’t want to stain your work clothes with these stinky things or even get sweat and dirt on your hairbrush or towels. You may also select a bag without a shoe pocket, of course, and simply place your shoes in a separate bag within the backpack.

Organization

While everybody is special, most believe that there should be plenty of pockets at the best backpacks for gym and work, both inside and outside. This helps you to quickly locate something you’re searching for, in both the gym and the workplace. In the very least, you’ll definitely want pockets for your keys, smartphone, earphones, wallet, and any other items.

Comfort

When you’re using the same backpacks for gym and work, depending on your job you should make sure everything looks nice. In a corporate workplace, you don’t want to carry a brightly colored backpack with an anime superhero on it into your work. Because of this, strong colors like black, brown, or other professional-looking neutrals would be the perfect exercise bags for work.

Straps

If you’re wearing the backpack many hours a day, you should always make sure it has convenient, flexible straps. It should mean you’re not harming yourself, particularly though if the bag is loaded. Note that after a good workout the muscles can get exhausted, which makes this much more important.

Frequently Ask Questions

What is a work and gym backpack?

Work and gym backpacks are any bag that is designed to handle in a single bag or backpack everything you need for the office and the gym. The best gym and work backpack provides ample space for your job important things such as tablets, laptops and accessories while still being able to store your exercise gear such as sneakers, water bottles and clothes.

Do you really need a work bag or gym bag?

You can choose between a gym backpack with additional features such as a laptop compartment or a specialized work backpack with additional advantages, such as shoe compartments, to determine your carrying preferences. If much of your carry is workout things such as sneakers, clothes, and water bottles than you may want to concentrate on backpacks with bigger key compartments that can be used like a typical duffel bag.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best gym and work backpacks as well as our guide on features to look for in a gym and work backpack. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.