Looking for a backpack that you can take to the gym and the office? Well, you’re certainly in the right place – we have ten awesome backpacks to show you, and we promise you’ll love at least one of them!
You will see lots of different backpacks in this review – from packs that are designed as work and play bags, to those that are so versatile you could use them for anything you want.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Backpacks
So, whether you’re looking for a sleek pack for the office or a very sturdy gym bag, we’ve got something for you! Keep reading to find the best work and gym backpack for you!
Best Gym And Work Backpack Overall
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Best Organizational Features
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Most Versatile Backpack
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Most Affordable Backpack
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Best High End Backpack
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The Kah&Kee backpack is one of the best options if you want to have both gym gear and work essentials in your backpack. It has two main compartments, as well as an extra shoe compartment at the bottom of the bag. This means that the smelly gym shoes can be far away from all the other stuff.
One of the main compartments is front-loading, and it features a thick laptop sleeve that can fit devices up to 15.6”, as well as several smaller pockets for the organization of all the cables and chargers. And there’s plenty of space inside these compartments for files, folders, notebooks, and computer accessories.
The other main compartment features double zipper access and it’s just the right size for gym clothes. It’s a spacious compartment, so you should be able to fit your workout outfit and a towel inside, with some room to spare.
Additionally, the backpack also features side water bottle pockets and a zippered top pocket for the small items you want to have easily accessible.
On top of all that, I also really like how comfortable this backpack is. The backpanel is padded and ventilated, for premium carrying comfort. There’s also a sternum strap that will help stabilize the backpack on your body, but no hip belt. Which is fine – it’s a small capacity bag, and it’s not going to get so heavy that you actually need to transfer the load onto your hips.
Last but certainly not least, this backpack features a very sleek design that is perfect for the office. It doesn’t look like a gym bag at all, which is exactly what makes it the best versatile work bag.
The Targus Work+ 32L backpack is another great option, especially if staying organized is important to you. This backpack features a large internal fold-open compartment, as well as side pockets, secret pockets, and various other top features.
This pack technically has one main compartment that is very roomy and features a 15-16” padded laptop sleeve. But there are two additional compartments that are a bit smaller, but still pretty deep and spacious.
The bottom compartment is actually designed to fit shoes and not just sneakers – so, this Targus backpack can easily fit a pair of hiking boots in the shoe pocket, which is pretty awesome. And they are separate from all your other gear and accessed from the bottom.
And you can easily fit your gym clothes in the main compartment. And there are separate compartments on the back and front for cables, notebooks, a tablet and other daily use things.
On top of all that, this pack also features a small top zippered pocket, which is perfect for your phone and wallet – the stuff you want easily accessible at all times. And there is also a side (more secret) pocket on the front for travel documents or a passport.
Oh, and did I mention you can hang your jacket from a loop at the bottom. And there are two stretchy side pockets for water bottles or an umbrella. They seem to have thought of everything!
The Targus pack is going to be super comfortable to wear, thanks to the abundance of thick padding and breathable mesh on the backpanel and harness. You’ll neither sweat nor get hot with the pack, which is another reason why we love it so much. It is a bit pricey though, but that’s pretty much expected considering the awesome features and the amazing build quality you get from Targus.
The MarsBro backpack is a great versatile option that works not just for work and gym, but also for travel. The backpack features a TSA-friendly laptop compartment and a luggage strap in the back, which makes the bag a pretty great carry-on.
One of the best things about this backpack is that it has a large, 17.3” laptop compartment. This makes the backpack a good option for almost everyone, including people with bulky gaming laptops who struggle to find a backpack that can fit them.
However, that is the only big compartment this backpack has, so you would probably have to keep your gym clothes in the same compartment as the work gear. Which is fine if you hit the gym after work, but not really that great if you prefer to get your workouts done before you go to work.
And at least you get a separate shoe compartment at the bottom of the bag. It has an entirely waterproof interior and two vents, which will allow the shoes to air out a bit even while they are inside the bag.
In addition to that, the MarsBro backpack also features two zippered side pockets and a smaller zippered pocket on the front. One of the side pockets is actually insulated, so it’s great for both hot and cold beverages. And there’s a hidden pocket on the backpanel, for the stuff you want to keep extra secure.
Another thing worth noting is that the backpanel of this backpack features thick padding and breathable mesh. The same goes for the harness, which is also equipped with a sternum strap for even better comfort.
If you’re on a tight budget consider getting the Amber & Ash work and gym backpack. It’s not the highest quality bag out of the bunch, but it retails for some $40 – great for those of you that are looking for an affordable backpack.
And it has some really great features for such a cheap backpack. The laptop compartment is lined with fleece, for excellent protection of your expensive electronics. And the main compartment is very spacious, with an abundance of slip and zippered pockets inside.
On top of that, this backpack also features a shoe pocket at the bottom, a slip pocket on the front panel, a hidden sleeve behind the backpanel, and a hidden zippered pocket in the back.
The sleeve behind the backpanel also doubles as a trolley sleeve when you unzip the bottom, making this pack a decent option for travel as well. With so many different pockets and compartments, you can easily fit both your gym and work gear in this bag, all the while keeping everything neatly organized.
But there are some downsides to this bag as well, like the poorly constructed backpanel. It has some padding, but it entirely lacks breathable mesh, so ventilation could be an issue. You also won’t get a sternum strap or a hip belt, so you should be careful not to overpack the Amber & Ash bag – it won’t be very comfortable to wear if you do.
The Hayabusa Ryoko backpack is a good choice if you’re primarily looking for a gym bag. It is comfortable, durable, and very spacious, with enough different pockets and compartments for easy organization of all of your work and gym gear.
That includes a padded laptop compartment, which is separate from the roomy main compartment. There’s also a phone pocket with the headphone port so that you can listen to music without taking the phone out of the dedicated pocket at the top.
Additionally, this backpack is the perfect option for any boxers out there, since it features a ventilated glove pocket. Non-boxers can use this as a shoe pocket – the ventilation really helps air out the sneakers, and stop them from getting too smelly.
The Ryoko bag is also equipped with a stretchy side pocket, a zippered side pocket, and a small pocket on the front panel. That’s plenty of room to keep even the smallest items neatly organized, with even more space for the big and bulky stuff.
The backpanel of this bag features thick padding and breathable mesh all around, for excellent ventilation. And it comes with a sternum strap and a hip belt, so it will be comfortable to wear no matter how much stuff you put inside it. The hip belt helps keep you comfortable even when the backpack gets really heavy since it transfers the load onto your hips – the largest muscles in your body.
Also, it’s worth noting that this backpack has a pretty sleek design, even though it’s obviously a very sporty bag. Which makes it perfectly suitable for the office, despite it being a gym bag.
The Undeniable backpack by Under Armour is one of the best backpacks for the gym. It’s quite roomy, so it can easily fit your work and gym essentials, and then a couple of other items. But it doesn’t have a lot of different compartments, so you might struggle with the organization a bit.
This backpack has one top-loading main compartment. It is equipped with a padded laptop sleeve, and it’s spacious enough to fit both the office and gym essentials. But it doesn’t have a lot of internal pockets or dividers, so you’d have to put everything in the same place.
The shoe compartment does help a little, as do the roomy side pockets. And there’s also a small pocket on the top cover of the backpack, which is perfect for those small items that you want to have handy at all times.
Additionally, this backpack is equipped with daisy chain webbing on the front panel, which allows you to attach some bulkier items to the exterior of the bag – a feature that could come in handy both in the gym and at the office.
It’s also a very comfortable backpack to wear, thanks to the really thick padding in the backpanel and harness. But there’s no breathable mesh, so don’t expect great ventilation – an issue you’ll have to deal with only on really hot days.
And the Undeniable backpack makes up for the lack of ventilation with excellent durability and water resistance of its exterior. The bottom panel is exceptionally tough and abrasion-resistant, while the front pocket features a water-repelling coating for ultimate protection.
The Matein Business backpack is another great option for everyone who needs to carry work and gym gear at the same time. This bag has three very spacious compartments, so there’s more than enough room to organize everything.
This backpack features dedicated sleeves for a laptop, tablet, phone, wallet, keys, and even pen organizers. The only thing it does not have is a dedicated shoe pocket, but you can easily fit your gym shoes in one of the two largest compartments.
The laptop compartment can fit a standard 15.6” device in the larger sleeve, and a smaller laptop or a tablet in the other sleeve. There are also enough slip pockets for your mouse, charger, USB sticks, and all the other accessories you might want to pack.
In addition to that, the Matein backpack also has two stretchy side pockets and a small zippered pocket on the front panel. And there’s even a hidden zippered pocket in the backpanel, which is perfect for the valuable items you want to keep extra secure.
There’s even a USB port on this pack, which allows you to charge your phone without taking the power bank out of the backpack. And with the handy luggage strap, the Matein backpack makes a great carry-on bag as well.
This pack also features a thick backpanel that’s covered with breathable mesh for excellent ventilation. And there’s a sternum strap that keeps the shoulder straps in place, for better stabilization and premium carrying comfort.
There’s no hip belt though, so try not to overfill the backpack with heavy items. But I doubt that’s going to be an issue if you plan to use this just as a work and gym bag.
The Mouteenoo backpack is a great option if you’re looking for a bag that you could use for work gear and gym gear, just not at the same time. It has a pretty small capacity, so it will only work for you if you don’t need to pack a lot of items inside the bag.
The main compartment is top-loading and it is very roomy. It features a small organizer panel inside, with a key clip and a couple of zippered pockets for all those smaller items you want to keep easily accessible. And the main compartment is actually large enough to fit a basketball, as long as there’s nothing else inside it.
And you could probably fit both gym and work gear in the bag, but you just wouldn’t be able to have everything organized neatly.
This bag also features a dedicated shoe pocket at the bottom, as well stretchy water bottle pockets at the sides. But that’s it, in terms of storage. You don’t get any other pockets or compartments in this bag – if you wanted to get a backpack with a small capacity that could work for either occasion, then this is still a great option for you. And don’t worry – if you don’t think this is the right bag for you, there are plenty of other options here!
It’s also worth noting that the Mouteenoo backpack has a very durable exterior with excellent water resistance. This bag even features a pretty comfortable harness that’s completely covered with breathable mesh, for excellent ventilation. And that makes up for the fact that there’s no mesh on the actual backpanel – the one on the harness is enough to keep you cool during summer days.
The Under Armour Hustle backpack is another great option that can work for both the work and the gym. It has two main compartments, a smaller organizer compartment at the front and a dedicated shoe compartment. This lets you pack the essentials for both the office and the gym in the pack while staying organized and keeping the two sets of gear separate.
This backpack is made from polyester, so it has pretty good tear resistance. It also features a highly water-resistant finish, for excellent protection from the elements. And the bottom panel is reinforced for improved durability and abrasion resistance.
The roomiest compartment features a padded laptop sleeve, which can fit devices that are about the same size as a 15” MacBook Pro. Which means you won’t be able to fit any 17” computers inside, nor any bulkier 15.6” devices.
But the good news is that there is plenty of room inside this compartment for all your other work stuff. And with the water-repellant front compartment, you also get plenty of storage for all the smaller items. You also get stretchy side pockets that are large enough to fit nearly all water bottle sizes.
The Hustle Backpack features thick padding in the backpanel and Heat Storm technology adjustable shoulder straps. They are very comfortable to wear, but they won’t provide you with great ventilation. The entire back system lacks breathable mesh, which is pretty much the only downside of this gym backpack.
And that’s not such a big deal, especially since this is such an affordable bag. The exact price depends on the color you want, but on average it retails for some $50.
The WindTook backpack is an excellent option for everyone. It is surprisingly versatile, durable, and very affordable, making it a great choice no matter what exactly you are looking for. This backpack is made from 600D water-resistant polyester and it features YKK zippers, for excellent durability and sturdiness.
It has two main compartments, a front compartment with an organizer and a hidden sleeve behind the backpanel. The pack features a 15.6” laptop sleeve, a smaller tablet sleeve, and lots of open and closed pockets inside. The only thing it lacks is a dedicated shoe pocket, but I’m certain you will find somewhere to put them.
This pack has a backpanel that is entirely covered with breathable mesh, in addition to being heavily padded. And the shoulder straps are S-shaped, for a perfect fit on your body.
The front panel of the WindTook backpack is equipped with a MOLLE panel, making this bag a great option for various outdoor adventures as well. The durable exterior is certainly up to the task, and with so many external attachment points you can easily carry all your outdoor gear. There are even D-shaped loops on the shoulder straps, which allow you to have certain items handy at all times.
The pack also features side compression straps for load stabilization. And there are open pockets on the sides, which can work for water bottles or just items you can’t find a place for. You can even use these for really bulky items like tripods or walking poles – the compression straps will ensure the gear stays put, even if it’s protruding from the pocket.
Are you primarily looking for a work backpack that you can also take to the gym or a gym backpack that’s also good for work?
If you want a versatile work backpack, look for a bag that is sleek and professional. I’ve included several bags that have a very professional exterior, and which will not look out of place in any office. Some of these bags also have hidden shoe pockets and multiple compartments, which makes them great options for the gym as well.
And if you’re primarily looking for a gym backpack, then you can get any one of the sporty packs featured here. These usually have a focus on gym gear, which means sporty features like dedicated shoe pockets with vents, external attachment points, and compression straps.
But most of them will also include a laptop sleeve and some additional compartments – if you don’t have too many work items that you need to put in the pack, these could be really great for you.
Some of the backpacks I’ve featured are also suitable for travel. They’re carry-on size, have a luggage strap in the back, and feature enough separate compartments that you could comfortably pack for a short trip.
I’ve even included backpacks that are so versatile they can go from a carry-on to a camping bag, thanks to all the different features they have. If you’re looking for the ultimate versatile backpack, maybe it’s not a bad idea to pick up one of those!
If you hit the gym just before or after work, then you need a bag that can hold the essentials for both places. The best backpacks for you have at least two spacious compartments and a convenient shoe pocket – this helps you stay organized even with a lot of gear and keeps the smelly gym gear away from your work essentials.
And there are other things to consider, like what stuff do you usually take to work? If it’s just a laptop and the accessories, then you’re okay with a backpack that has one roomy compartment for gym gear and a dedicated laptop compartment. But if you usually carry a lot more stuff to work, then you need to look for a bigger backpack with more than one main compartment.
If you don’t need to carry the gym and work gear at the same time, then you’re with any one of the backpacks featured here. They are all versatile enough that you can take them to both work and gym, but not all of the packs will fit gear for both at the same time.
Additionally, the capacity of the backpack is also very important. Some packs I showed you have just one main compartment, but they’re large-capacity backpacks. This means that they can fit everything you need for the gym and for work – you just won’t be able to keep everything organized.
You can see the capacities of most bags in the product infoboxes, so be sure to check those before you go and buy any of these work and gym backpacks.
It goes without saying that you should look for a sturdy and durable backpack that you will be able to use for years to come. And most of the packs I’ve shown you here will last you ages, as long as you treat them well.
But some bags are tougher than others; if you want a really sturdy bag that can take a beating, then look for backpacks that are made from thick, premium materials. And be ready to pay a premium price for these, since you can’t get top-notch quality for little money.
Even the cheaper bags I’ve shown you are pretty durable, they’re just not as tough as the more expensive ones. So, if you’re thinking about getting one of the more affordable backpacks, just be sure to take care of it properly. Don’t overexpose it to the elements, and don’t expect the bags to protect the belongings in case of heavy rain.
Nylon is generally the better material for packs, but it all depends on the thickness and thread count. 900D polyester is tougher and sturdier than 210D nylon, even though it’s considered to be a material of lesser quality. Just pay attention to the details and look for additional water-resistant coating, reinforced bottoms, and thick fabrics.
It’s also important to look at the hardware on a pack – YKK and SBS zippers are the best on the market right now, and any backpack that includes them is certainly a great option.
Still not sure which of these packs is just right for you? It’s okay – pick up one of our top three choices, depending on the features that you’re prioritizing in your ideal work and gym bag!
My overall favorite is definitely the Kah&Kee backpack. The sleek exterior and spacious interior are a total hit, making this backpack a great option even for people who work in very formal offices.
It’s also a really comfortable backpack to wear, thanks to the padded and ventilated back system. And with multiple compartments, pockets, and sleeves, staying organized will come naturally with this bag.
The Habayusa Ryoko pack is also a definite front-runner. It is a great gym bag with a subtle and sleek exterior that works for the office as well. And it has a laptop compartment, a ventilated glove pocket that’s also great for shoes, and a very spacious main compartment.
On top of that, this is an incredibly comfortable pack to wear, with a sternum strap, a hip belt, thick padding, and breathable mesh all over the backpanel.
In case you want to pick up a more versatile backpack, go with the MarsBro bag. It’s great for work and the gym, but also for travel. The carry-on pack is equipped with a TSA-friendly laptop compartment and a very spacious main compartment.
It also features a dedicated shoe pocket, multiple internal pockets, and a very comfortable back system. Plus, the backpanel has a hidden sleeve that doubles as a luggage strap, which really makes this the ultimate versatile backpack.
Go over to Amazon to see the retail prices of all these work and gym backpacks. And if you still haven’t found the right one for you, check out our related posts for even more ideas!