Best Gym Bags with Yoga Mat Holders to Hold All Your Stuff

I usually have a laundry list of items I need to bring with me to my yoga classes. I need my mat, a towel (for the mat), a towel (for sweating), yoga block, water bottle, change of clothes, my wallet and cell phone etc. In the past, I used to just grab my mat on one hand and put the rest of the stuff in a small plastic grocery bag. I felt like a hobo when staggering in with all those items. Don’t even get me started on trying to get in a yoga class after your gym session. The amount of stuff you carry when you do that is unreal!

I realized that there must be an easier way than this. I set out to look for the best gym bag that holds yoga mats. However, there were many yoga mat gym bags out there and some of the first ones I purchased were somewhat low quality. I created this guide to highlight some of the better gym bags with yoga mat straps or compartments.

Things To Consider

There are several factors you need to consider before can choose a yoga gym bag. Here are six of the most important of those factors. These are also the same factors I will be using to judge the individual bags.

Price Range

Compared to other products like yoga mats, the price difference between bags isn’t huge. This is great because it allows you more freedom in choosing the one you want without being constrained by price.

Styles

There are three main styles of yoga bags or general gym bags that come with some kind of yoga mat holder. Whatever the style is, they always come with a yoga mat holder and several compartments to keep your yoga stuff organized.

  • Duffel - These bags are shaped like your typical duffel bag (although slimmer) but they come with a yoga mat holder. These bags usually house the yoga mat on the inside of the bag.
  • Backpack - The backpack style bags are somewhat like a backpack but they are a sling style backpack. That means instead of two straps it only has one. It makes it a lot more comfortable to carry. Not to mention you don’t look you are in high school anymore, walking around with a backpack with two straps. They typically have a strap or holder for the yoga mat on the outside.
  • Tote - Tote style yoga gym bags are also very popular. They typically have the yoga mat strap on the outside (great if you do hot yoga).

Support thick and heavy yoga mats?

The maximum thickness yoga mat that your bag will support will depend on how long the strap is for the yoga mat holder. Also, some yoga mat holders themselves have a mesh housing for the yoga mat. That will also limit how thick of a yoga mat may be used. All the bags here will support standard sized yoga mats (about 1/8 inch thick). However, if yours is one of the newer super thick mats then you are going to want to make certain it can support your mat.

Compartments

There are several compartments to these bags including:

  • Water bottle holder
  • Yoga mat Holder or Strap
  • ​Large Compartments (blocks, towels, shoes, laptop etc)
  • ​Smaller compartments (cell phone, keys, money).

Some bags have more compartments than others but almost all of them have these basic compartments.

Quality

The amount that quality varies these days between yoga products in huge. Some things last for years, while others start coming apart in a few weeks. I mainly attribute this to the fact that most yoga products are made overseas where the quality of work varies greatly between factories. This is certainly true for these yoga gym bags as well.

Warranty

Some of these bags come with warranties ranging from 6 months to 5 years. I have found (though not always) that the companies who offer the longest warranties, usually also have a very high quality product as well.

Our Yoga Gym Bag Reviews

We have rounded up the best gym bags with yoga mat holder and rated them based on: 

  • Quality of Materials Used
  • Compartments
  • ​Looks and Style
  • Support for Thick and Heavy Yoga Mats

Compact Yoga Mat Gym Bag

This bag is small, light and is probably the best suited for travelling of all these bags. If you don't have a lot of stuff then this bag may work for you. It was a bit too small for me but I have quite a few items I bring with me to the studio (especially for hot yoga). 

I did have some issues with the zipper and stitching becoming undone. I may have just been unlucky but I thought it was worth a mention. 

Pros

  • Very compact and lightweight for when you want to travel light.
  • Adjustable strap for securely holding yoga mat.
  • Plenty of mesh and zipper pockets to hold your stuff.

Cons

  • A little too small for me, wouldn’t hold all my stuff.
  • Zipper pocket tends to break easily.
  • Stitching tends to become undone even with normal use.

Move Mountains Simply Black Yoga Mat Bag

I was skeptical of this bag at first. There was no way I was going to put my mat in there after hot yoga. I usually use a bag where the yoga mat goes on the OUTSIDE when doing hot yoga. However, I decided to put it to the test. 

​To my surprise, it actually didn't smell when I got home and my bad didn't feel damp inside either. I am guessing this is due to the "Dual Airflow Technology" that it talked about when I ordered it. They have it vented in a way that gets a good amount of airflow through the bag. If it can survive my hot yoga session with no odors, I think it can survive pretty much anything! 

Pros

  • Plastic pocket inside for keeping wet or sweaty items.
  • Very stylish design
  • Designed for high airflow to reduce odors.

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option.
  • Yoga mat goes on the inside.

Aurorae Yoga Backpack

This is usually my goto bag when I am going to yoga. I really like the sling style of it. I don't think I would be as big of a fan if it was a traditional style backpack. I ended up getting the "Orange Stripe" design for this bag and I always get complemented on it when in class.

It has a yoga mat, water bottle and cell phone holders all on the outside. This comes in handier than I expected. I often go to some local yoga meetups in parks and near hiking trails. Sometimes I need to use my phone repeatedly until I find the location.  Having it right there on the sling has been a real treat. 

This bag even hold my super thick yoga mat. I have not seen any other bags that were able to hold it besides this one. 

Pros

  • Holds a 15.4 laptop making it a good bag to use as a multipurpose yoga/work/school bag.
  • Felt very strong and durable, held up with months of use.
  • Holds even the thickest yoga mats
  • 2 year guarantee from Aurorae
  • Comes in very cool looking patterns

Cons

  • Priced somewhat higher than other yoga mats.

MERU Yoga Sling Backpack

This bag is very similar to the Aurorae Yoga Backpack. It also has cellphone, yoga mat and water bottle holders on the outside.  It is usually a bit less expensive than the Aurorae so if you are on a budget you will probably want to take a look at this one also.

The colors left me a bit unimpressed. They were either plain colors like black, navy blue, grey or some funky colors like pistachio (green) and lavender (purple). ​They didn't really pull off the funky colors well in my opinion.

It was able to hold every mat I threw at it except one especially thick one. ​

Pros

  • Has pouches for laptop and cell phone.
  • Pretty durable. Very good for the price.

Cons

  • Doesn’t hold extra thick mats. Seems to work well for standard size mats. and below.
  • Has a chemically plastic smell that lasted a week or two.
  • Somewhat plain look.

Lotus&Go Gym Bag with Yoga Mat Straps

This bag is somewhat of a tote style bag. The first thing I noticed about it was that it was quite spacious. It had a lot of room for my stuff and it has 7 different pockets or compartments to keep it all organized. 

One unique thing about this bag was that it came with a free yoga mat cleaner (when I ordered it). I thought that was a nice free add on. I ended up cleaning two of my dirtiest mats with it ​and I was surprised how well it worked. 

The one issue I had with this bag was that it only comes in one color (which is kind of an aqua blue). I'm not really a fan of that color so I don't see myself using it in t​he long term.

Pros

  • Has 7 pockets/compartments.
  • 5 year warranty from Lotus&Go (longest of all mats reviewed)
  • Came with a free yoga mat cleaner

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well with thicker yoga mats
  • Wasn’t a fan of the only color it comes in (Aqua Blue)

Winner?

The Aurorae Yoga Backpack was the clear winner between all of the bags. While it wasn’t the most expensive bag on the list, it felt very durable and high quality when holding it in my hand. Also, I have been using it for 8 months at the time of posting this and it is still in one piece! That is more than I can say about other bags I have owned for far less time.

Another reason I chose it is because of the sling backpack style. It is my personal favorite of all the bag styles because it keeps my hands free. That comes in handy when I arrive to the yoga studio and need to put money in the meter, open the door to the studio, sign in and open my locker.

Well, I hope this post helped you find the perfect bag that suits your own unique needs. Please let me know in the comments if you liked it or even if you thought something was missing. I love hearing from you guys!

Harry
 

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