What Are The Gym Bag Essentials For 2023?


Thankfully, the recent restrictions mean that we can all get back to the gym in relative safety!

With so much time away from the cardio and the weights, it may be challenging to get back into the routine of things, especially if you had a routine going before the pandemic hit.

It is always great to do a refresher on essential gym bag equipment, whether you are a season gym pro or you like to go regularly for fitness and leisure. 

It is also super important not to overload your gym bag too; being portable and easy to carry is one of the most essential features of your kit. Some essential gym bag items are entirely non-negotiable to at least have with you when you go to the gym. Some things you may not class as necessary may surprise you!

Let’s take a look at what you need in your 2022 gym bag!

1. Gym Shoes

This point goes without saying, right?

To be a successful gym-goer, you need excellent (and appropriate!) footwear. It needs to be comfortable for the longevity of wear and in any design you feel comfortable with. You should always pack your gym bag with footwear that is appropriate for the exercise you will be doing.

2. No-Spill Water Bottle

No-Spill Water Bottle
Hydration is super important at the gym, but you also need something you can sip on the go that won’t drip inside your gym bag during transportation, so a no-spill bottle is essential!

Flip lids and sports caps are designed to be sipped on during movement, making them the best ones to have.

3. Face Mask (if required)

This is a new addition to your gym bag, and while it may not be required for your workout, it may be a requirement in the more public areas of the gym, so it’s best to always have one with you just in case. 

They don’t take up a lot of room, so grab a couple and keep them with you!

4. Shower Toiletries

Speaking of showers, having a perfect shower post-workout is one of the best feelings! However, most people carry way too many toiletries in their gym bag to have that clean and fresh feeling!

You only need:

  • A shower gel
  • Shampoo/conditioner combo
  • Deodorant

And that is all that is required.

If you have one product that does all 3 elements, then great! If not, opt for smaller bottles, either travel-sized items or small bottles you can transfer your product into to make them lighter to carry.

5. Towel

Yes, we are probably preaching to the converted. Still, a towel is a necessary item to put in your gym bag!

We recommend taking 2 towels, one smaller hand towel to actively carry with you during a workout, and a larger bath sheet to use after your workout shower.

You can wrap one inside the other in your bag, and if you roll them as opposed to folding them in squares, they will take up much less space to carry.

6. Headphones and Favorite Workout Playlist Ready to Go

You may find that gyms are operating time slots due to restrictions. If they are not doing this, you may be fitting a workout in with limited time to exercise. If this is the case, the last thing you want to be doing is trying to figure out what to listen to while you workout! 

So have your playlist ready to go and your headphones in a travel case in your hand towel so you can pick it all up and be prepared to go when you arrive with no music procrastination!

7. Antibacterial Wipes

This entry in your gym bag may surprise you, but it is essential!

It is customary in most gyms to wipe down your equipment after you have finished using it. This is for health and hygiene reasons, and it makes sense to do this even more now, so before you start working out too!

A small travel pack of antibacterial wipes can be purchased in any drugstore and are light and easy to carry. It can ensure that everything is clean before and after you touch it.

8. Makeup

Wearing and taking makeup to the gym may not be a consideration for everyone. Still, it may be a requirement for some!

If makeup is something you deem essential, make sure that you use the “less is more” approach and have waterproof or at least sweatproof cosmetics that allow your skin to breathe and not clog your pores!

Stick with the basics that make an impact, such as mascara, a tinted moisturizer, and some tinted lip balm for effect and confidence.

9. After Workout Snacks/ Drinks

After Workout Snacks/ Drinks
After your workout, you may need a small snack and a drink!

We don’t want to go and undo everything we have done in the gym with high-sugar snacks and drinks. Still, it is wise to replace some electrolytes that we have lost through the workout, so a low-sugar electrolyte replacement drink or a sugar-free isotonic sports drink will work well.

As for a snack, there’s nothing better than an energy bar with lots of protein and fiber to give us that full feeling with a boost post-workout. A muesli bar and a banana are a great combination!

10. Fresh Clothes to Change Into

Again, this seems like a really obvious point, but fresh clothes are essential post-workout, and there is nothing better! However, depending on your climate, you may want to be a little bit clever about what you take and how you use it!

Fresh clothes are best when they are light and easy to carry, especially those that are not easy to crease in your gym bag!

Some essentials would be a fresh pair of pants or leggings, an oversized light sweater, and a light tank (and fresh underwear).


All in all, a gym bag should contain the essentials for your gym visit that are light, easy to carry along, and most of all, essential!

The best tip we can give you is not to take too much or not take enough to make sure your gym visit makes it the best visit ever!

Nothing too heavy, nothing too cumbersome, but essential!

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