Updated 7th January 2021: Added the latest and best gym bags for Muay Thai training.
Note: This list features all sling/duffel style gym bags. If you prefer backpacks for the gym, click here.
You’re here because you need a spacious bag for all your training gear. I’ve been there – trying to squeeze all that gear into the bag.
On a typical training day, this is a list of items I carry in my gym bag: 2 pairs of boxing gloves, a pair of Muay Thai shorts, 2 dry tech t-shirts, 2 sets of hand wraps, ankle guards, shin guards, mouth guard, groin protector, a bottle of Namman Muay (Thai liniment oil), and a Blender bottle. Whew.
And those are just the essentials. You may be able to strip away a few items like shin guards if you are not sparring. Or you may add a headgear to the list for added protection. The mixed martial artist will also factor in a heavy set of Jiu-Jitsu Gi. If you are going to train Muay Thai or MMA, it’s no surprise that you are going to need a sizeable and durable mma or Muay Thai gym bag to hold all your fight gear.
Click here to jump right to the reviews or check my top 3 picks straight away:
Qualities of a Good Gym Bag for Muay Thai
You want to watch out for a few things when it comes to choosing the right gym bag for your regular fight clubbing.
Durable, good stitching, zippers, breathable, inner lining. You are going to avoid one of those flimsy gym bags that are more suitable for Yoga or weights training where you just need to pack a set of clothes.
Your fight gear are bulky and oddly-shaped so with constant usage, your bag might tear easily. That’s why you are going to need a rugged bag that will withstand plenty of beating and hold up for the long martial arts journey ahead of you.
Canvas and nylon are two of the most common materials used in gym bags. Bags made partially or entirely out of mesh material are recommended as mesh will allow your damp gear to air and dry out. Otherwise, after a period of usage without airing, your gear will stink.
Not only that, damp gloves are breeding ground for bacteria. However, mesh renders the bag vulnerable to wet weather so your gym gear can wet if it rains. And compared to other materials commonly used for gym bags, mesh is also relatively less durable.
Ideally, you want to fit all your training gear into one single bag for easy commute. Most large-size sports duffle bags will meet this criteria. It also depends on your gear setup.
Will you be bringing 2 pairs of gloves? Shin pads and a head gear will take up a good deal of space. Your BJJ gi will also take up a good amount of volume.
If your usual gym gear is minimal, a small duffle bag or average-sized backpack will be able to hold a pair of gloves, training outfit and maybe your shin pads. If you train in everything from Muay Thai to boxing to BJJ to wrestling, then we say go for a L or XL duffle bag.
Compartments will help separate the damp clothing from those you want to keep dry, and the dirty gear from the clean. They will allow easy and quick access to your items. Some bags even have a shoe compartment so you can keep a pair of running shoes for some road work.
This is a strictly personal choice. Some people could care less about the bag’s aesthetic design while some stress over which bag to use for a Friday session versus a Monday session. There’s a good variety of gym bag designs out there so you’ll find something that suits your visual taste bud.
Many of the major Muay Thai, boxing and mixed martial arts brands have their own line of gym/duffel bags for your convenience. These bags are practical, durable and some more aesthetically pleasing than others.
They were also designed to fit the needs of the fighter, with carefully curated compartments to separate the clothes, bulky items like gloves and shin guards, and smaller items like mouth guard.
Without further ado, here are our top nominations for the best gym bags in no particular order:
Hayabusa Ryoko Mesh Duffel Gear Bag
- The Hayabusa Ryoko Duffel Bag is constructed with tear resistant mesh for maximum durability.
- Ryoko is the perfect boxing duffle bag to store all of your boxing equipment.
- The only gym bag you’ll ever need.
Dimensions: 28″ x 18″ x 13″
Fresh off the production facilities! The Ryoko gear bag is Hayabusa’s latest bag model to hit the racks. Huge, sturdy, fully ventilated, awesome quality all over, and at incredibly reasonable price.
As a good martial arts gym bag should be, it is fully ventilated with lavish use of tear resistant mesh, and reinforced with polyester fabric for maximum durability. This is an upgrade from the Recast model that has been decommissioned but you won’t miss it.
The Ryoko is an upgrade that feels great, works great and looks great. Designed with the mixed martial artist in mind, this is the all-rounded gym bag par excellence for all martial artists. These bags are flying off the shelves!
|– “As a cautious buyer, before making any purchase I research each product, carefully considering all available options. The Ryoko Mesh Gear Bag went beyond all expectations.”
– “ I can’t find a mesh bag that even comes close to the quality of this model. Well done, Hayabusa! “
Meister Breathable Chain Mesh Duffle Gym Bag
- CLASSIC for Everyday Use - 22" x 13" x 13"
- Super strong Chain Mesh breathes to allow air flow
- Incredibly lightweight - bag weighs just over a pound
Dimensions: 22″ x 13″ x 13″ (Classic) or 28″ x 15″ x 15″ (X-Large)
Three years on since I first wrote this article and the Meister Chain Mesh Duffle bag continues to be one of my top picks.
This gym bag is made almost entirely out of good quality tight-knit mesh material. Tough, breathable, and ridiculously affordable. Did I forgot to mention that it’s also incredibly lightweight? This bag weighs barely over a pound. Perfection!
For full sparring or MMA training days, go with the X-large. The one downside that may bother some people is the lack of a proper shoulder sling/strap. But for its price and overall quality, this is unparalleled. This Meister Chain Mesh duffle continues to be the most popular gear bag among my blog readers.
|– “The bag is badass! It holds so much of my MMA gear. It’s light weight and flexible.“
– “Over a year in, I still love this bag. “
Venum Trainer Lite Sport Bag
- Large pocket able to receive shinguards and boxing gloves
- Separate side pocket for an easy storage
- Mesh panels deliver enhanced breathability
Dimensions: 26″ x 13″ x 10″
Let’s name drop some of the bag’s lovely features: A large main compartment for your gear with a separate side pocket to hold your sweaty clothes after training; mesh panels for breathability as all good gym bags should possess; durable and water-resistant polyester fabric for all-weather commute; foam padded shoulder strap for comfort; practically everything you need.
The bag comes in a few colors including a bad-ass all black. Good size, good quality, cool design. What’s there not to like about this bag? Well, there have been many reports of the quality of the zippers that are used so you might want to take note of it.
|– “Vents everywhere ensure things don’t get stinky and pockets and storage galore.“
– “ I feel like I have to be extra careful when opening the bag or they’d break off in my hand. Why use quality materials, but skimp on the zippers!?The use of a heavy grade, high quality YKK zipper would make this bag a 5-star for me.“
Fairtex Gym Bag (Duffel Bag)
- New #BAG2 gym bag in camo theme, Waterproof nylon ,wet cloth compartment underneath,shoes compartment,ear plug exit
- Largest size of shin pads + head guard + boxing gloves etc can fit in this bag
- Heavy-duty lockable zipper gear bag is made of tough rip-stop nylon mesh material, Hand made in Thailand
Dimensions: 24″ x 14″ x 12″
Muay Thai fan-favorite Fairtex offers gym bag solutions in both duffel bag and backpack designs.This is an old favorite about Muay Thai aficionados and continues to be a very popular option, for all the right reasons.
As with their other products, the heavy duty nylon-satin bag is durable, tough and practical for martial artists. The duffel bag comes with several pockets and compartments as a good gym bag should. This bag can pack everything you need for a regular training day and even more!
Fairtex duffel bag originally came in 3 primary colors that are but outdated. Thankfully, they have revamped with 2 modern camo designs that look trendy and inline with their attempt to keep up with the times. Highly recommended!
|– “Great bag for Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu! I am able to fit all my stuff in it for both classes!“
– “Fairtex makes the best, high quality gear we’ve ever had, now we won’t buy anything else.“
Top King Gym Bag
Dimensions: 35″ x 14″ x 14″
Another Muay Thai fan-favorite. I would expect nothing but high quality products from Top King. Reasonably priced for a large gym bags with Muay Thai/Boxing/MMA -friendly compartments. Aesthetic design is tame compared to their gear. A little tribal or Thai accented designs on the bag might be more befitting of the brand’s usual style. Still, if you are Top King supporter, this is THE bag for you.
–“This bag is big enough to hold my thai pads, 16oz gloves, Mits, shin guards, 4oz gloves, and a bunch of junk in the pockets which are quite large. Only complaint is the openings on the end pockets are too small for the size of the pocket.“
Elite Sports Gym Bag
- Stop the spread of bacteria the warrior series boxing mma bjj gear gym duffel backpack bag incorporates a mesh compartment
- It will take haymakers with ease made of heavy-duty cordura which is high-grade ballistic 1200 denier
- A bag for all occasions & sports the convenient retractable shoulder straps transform your bag into a backpack for everyday purposes
Dimensions: 20″ x 9″ x 11″ (Medium) or 23″ x 11″ x 12″ (Large)
This very new California-based mixed martial arts brand has come up with arguably the martial arts gym bag to end all gym bag search quests. The bag is everything you need and more!
First, the bag is made using military-grade heavy duty Cordura fabric. It is durable and tear-resistant so you could be stuck with this bag for a while. Not that it’s a bad thing because it has tonnes of nifty pockets and separate compartments for shoes, gear, and your smelly workout clothes.
A mesh panel will keep the latter ventilated and your bag fresh-smelling always. Best of all, the shoulder strap is retractable and voila! Your shoulder bag transforms into a backpack with backpack straps (duh). And all at an amazing price point!
This is a very cool product in the market. Back when it first came out, I had a feeling this will shape up to be a very popular martial artist favorite and my hunch has been proven right.
|– “This gym bag is phenomenal! Perfect for someone like me who trains 4-5 times a week.“
– “The ultimate gym bag.“
For many Muay Thai or martial arts enthusiasts, training is a major part of our daily routine. An ideal gym bag will go through thick and thin with you.
Personally, the MMA brands like Hayabusa, Venum and Fairtex seem to do really well when it comes to the choice gym bag design. They factor in the requirement that the bag will be used for a variety of fight sports.
But the traditional Muay Thai and Boxing brands are highly trusted and recommended too. I’m confident you won’t be disappointed with our gym bag recommendations. With so many great options, “baggers” can certainly afford to be choosers.