If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best backpack for gym and work is, then I recommend the Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack as the best.
Between work and working out, a guy’s daily schedule is often a race against time.
But, toting around separate bags just to save time isn’t the solution here.
Instead, combine the two by snagging one of these 5 best backpacks for gym and work and give your shoulders and budget a much-needed break.
In this article, I’m also going to review the following backpacks:
- Swiss Gear Scansmart Backpack
- Osprey Daylite Backpack
- Soccerware Legendary Drawstring Gym Bag
- Under Armour Hustle LDWR Backpack
What's Inside This Article?
The 5 Best Backpacks for Work and Gym, Reviewed
- Large capacity
- Secure laptop sleeve
- Ventilated back panel
- Comfy shoulder straps
- Zippers break easily
The Swiss Gear rucksack is actually one of the best backpacks for gym and work I’ve ever used, and I’ll get to the whys ASAP. First off, the bag is ginormous.
It has two large compartments, two roomy side pockets, one front U-zip pocket, and an awful lot of organization features for all my office and gym knick-knacks such as pens, locker keys, arm sweatbands, etc.
The back compartment, in particular, features a laptop sleeve and a padded 17-inch pocket that’s enhanced with the brand’s Scan-Smart technology.
That means I can carry both my tablet and laptop to work when I need to, and pass it through the office’s security check without having to unpack.
The side pockets are also big enough to fit my shaker or water bottle and even a change of clothes.
It’s also made of ballistic polyester, a durable material that can withstand pretty much anything.
So, even if I use it daily, there’s little chance it’ll ever wear down (unless I drag it all over the floor – which won’t happen, of course!).
The backpack is also a breeze to carry around as it comes with a padded back panel and shoulder straps.
And speaking of the back panel, it’s ventilated which means I can stuff my sweaty gym clothes in there without worrying it’ll smell like a pigsty later.
- Waterproof, durable material
- Secure laptop sleeve
- Comfortable shoulder straps
- Special shoe pocket
- Can’t hold much weight
- May contain harmful chemicals
If you look at the bag and think to yourself: “Well, nothing special here,” note that I get where you come from – mainly because I reacted the same way when I first saw it.
Of course, after using it for more than two months now, I did a complete one-eighty, and now the UA best-seller is my go-to option for work-followed-by-gym days – here’s why.
First of all, the backpack is made of polyester which means it’s durable AF.
It also features an abrasion-resistant bottom which allows me to place it on the filthiest of floors without worrying it’ll yank or ruin the stuff inside.
The brand has also enhanced the backpack with their unique Storm technology which provides the bag with a waterproof finish.
That is the reason why the front pocket (yes, I said front pocket!) is the safest place to store my valuables.
But, what I like the most about this versatile backpack is that it has enough room for both my laptop and gym shoes.
Specifically, it sports a padded laptop sleeve that keeps my electronics safe and a front shoe pocket at the bottom for all my gym gear (think shoes, sweaty socks, etc.).
- Sweat-wicking design
- Long-lasting materials
- Breathable back panel
- Padded laptop sleeve doubles as secure pocket
- Small size
Not to sound biased, but if there’s one brand I count on to bring high-quality design to their products, that’s Osprey.
The Daylite Daypack is no exception as it sports an ergonomic and efficient design that helps me pack all the things I need when I go to work and the gym.
The rucksack is also made of nylon for maximum durability.
It even has a few mesh touches that double as pockets, all of which provide me with extra space for my gym and work stuff.
My favorite part, though, is the interior padded sleeve which fits my laptop like a glove.
On those few days when I don’t need to carry my computer to work, I use the pocket to store other “fragile” things like my shaker bottle, documents I don’t want to squish, or post-workout snacks.
The back panel also has a wicking mesh material that absorbs my sweat and keeps the inside of the bag ventilated. #workoutgoals
The only issue I’ve had with this backpack is that it’s a bit small.
That’s why it’s my top option when I need to pack just the essentials, i.e., a laptop, workout clothes, and a water bottle.
- Large capacity
- Waterproof, durable material
- Skin-friendly drawstrings
- Ventilated pockets
- Laptop sleeve isn’t as reliable as others
If I’ve learned anything from using more than 15 different backpacks for gym and work until now, it’s that not all of them are created equal.
But, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Take this Soccerware best-seller, for example.
It doesn’t look like your average rucksack (you know, with the zips, mesh pockets, and all), but it can sure stack up to them.
First off, I really enjoy the fact that I can access my stuff in one move and without having to open multiple zippers.
The bag is also quite big as it sports two large compartments (perhaps to keep your work and gym gear separate), one outside pocket with a zipper for your valuables and one inside pocket for other accessories such as phone, keys, etc.
It’s also made of a no-rip sheath which means it’s not just durable but also waterproof.
I tell you: Mine has seen its fair share of rainy days and still holds strong – no loose stitches or discoloration.
The bag is also equipped with padded drawstrings which keep my shoulders from getting hurt.
We all know how these things dig into our skin, no?
The pockets are also ventilated, keeping foul odors at bay.
If I had to change one thing about this bag, I’d add an extra layer of pads around the laptop sleeve.
- Huge capacity
- Abrasion-resistant material
- Stable laptop sleeve
- Uncomfortable shoulder pads
- Top handle isn’t padded, so it hurts when you grab the bag
While some of you may have the luxury of living in a place where the sun is always out, others (including me) have to deal with actual weather conditions on a day-to-day basis.
The worst one? Rain!
Annoying drizzles and heavy downpours were actually the reason I decided to invest in a water-resistant backpack that’d protect both my laptop and gym gear without sacrificing breathability.
So, this is how I came to own this UA sack.
But, to my benefit, the waterproof, breathable finish was just one of the perks.
The backpack is also made of polyester, proving that it’s in it for the long haul.
It also has a sturdy bottom that keeps my stuff safe and sound – even if I place it on a wet floor.
The rucksack features a soft-lined laptop sleeve which “hugs” my laptop and keeps it safe for me at all times. But, what I enjoy the most is the sack’s size, specifically how large it is.
Truth be told, I’m a fan of bulky rucksacks as they allow me to pack a lot of things in one go, from pens, documents, and electronics to deodorant, towels, and gym shoes.
And thanks to its 29-liter volume, this backpack is up to the task.
The Best Backpacks For Gym And Work Buying Guide
The first thing you need to consider when shopping for a work/gym backpack is the material – and specifically, how durable it is.
I appreciate how the hustle 3.0 goes through a lot and still be in a good shape, from carrying your work and gym gear to touching the dirtiest of office and locker room floors.
So, to avoid dealing with loose threads and prone-to-tearing bottoms, opt for a bag that’s made of either polyester or ballistic nylon.
Both of these fabrics are resistant to abrasion and can last a lifetime if maintained properly.
Of course, these two aren’t your only options.
The Sheath is another excellent choice due to its long-lasting nature, but the material is usually reserved for smaller backpacks since it’s kind of difficult to work with.
If you’ve ever used a work bag (and chances are you have since you’re reading this), you know that laptop/tablet sleeves are real lifesavers.
These ultra-protective pockets help you carry your fragile electronics to and from work without worrying about breaking them or scratching the screen.
But, things get a little complicated when you throw your workout habits into the mix, right?
Well, not exactly.
You see, most gym/work backpacks these days feature insulated laptop sleeves which help you store your electronics right next to your gym gear without having one interfere with the other.
What does that mean?
Let’s just say that keeping your work and gym lives separate is easier than you think!
Size also plays a huge role in picking the right gym/work backpack.
So, to spare yourself the inconvenience, always choose a model that has enough space for the stuff you’ll need throughout the day, whether that’s your gym clothes, laptop, or documents.
Also, if this is your first time buying a gym/work backpack, note that these are three of the most common volume sizes available on the market.
First, there’s the 10-liter backpack which has enough space to fit a change of workout clothes, and possibly a small laptop.
Then, you have the 18-liter rucksack which can hold all of the above plus a couple of other things such as your gym shoes and dossiers.
Finally, if you want to go big, opt for the 25-liter backpack which can fit practically everything, from your laptop and documents to fresh towels and a shaker bottle.
Comfy Shoulder Straps
You also need to keep an eye out for the sack’s shoulder straps.
Since you’ll be carrying the bag all day long (and yes, that means from morning till late in the evening), you need a set of straps that are comfy and won’t dig into your shoulders.
That said, make sure the straps -or drawstrings- are padded and specially designed to distribute the weight as evenly as possible between the two shoulders.
By now you probably know that I’ve owned a LOT of gym bags over the years.
But, my go-to options aren’t always up to par with my work life – which is why I had to make room for a backpack that’d marry my nine-to-five with Ryan’s (that’s my trainer) 6 pm Crossfit class.
Wonder which one that is?
Say hello to Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack!
The rucksack not only looks hella good but it’s also big enough to fit everything I may need during a typical workday (that later turns into a workout frenzy).
I also like that it’s made of polyester which means it’s going to stick with me for a long time.
And since I live in a place where rain is as common as dirt, I appreciate the waterproof finish that keeps my gym and office goodies intact.
But, I want to hear your thoughts.
Do you think the Under Armour Hustle 3.0 is the best backpack for gym and work?