For most gym goers, this ventilated bag offers the best balance of size, price, and brand modesty.
If you go to the gym more than a couple of times a week, the Everest Gym Bag will serve you perfectly. It combines the durability of more expensive gym bags with some small features that were rare on other models, such as the well-vented laundry pocket and lifetime warranty. It’s the only bag we tested with a water bottle holder, which fits our top water bottle pick perfectly. However, the holder is too narrow for most shake-cups and other larger water bottles.
The Everest, similar to the other models we picked (except our upgrade pick), has a slightly rigid frame, which helps stand the bag upright as you pack it. The bag also comes with an optional removable board which fits the bottom of the back for added rigidity, sort of like a pet carrier.
The shoe pocket has a wide opening and easily fits a pair of size 11 running shoes. The pocket’s 1½-inch mesh vent should provide plenty of air circulation, to help eliminate any lingering odors or moisture. The only unavoidable complaint is how much room those shoes take up once they’re inside the bag. After weeks of testing, I often used these separate pockets to hold my laundry and carried my bulkier shoes by hand.
This bag has metal zippers, D-rings and clips, which is a significant upgrade in quality when it comes to bag construction. On the importance of metal hardware: “If you can find it, I prefer metal over plastic for these areas,” said Danielle Williams, pointing to a plastic carabiner attaching a shoulder strap to a bag. “This? I can break that, no problem. It will be the first thing to fail.” The bodybuilders of KO gym wouldn’t even look at bags with plastic carabiners: “Our gear is just too heavy.”
Despite these metal attachments, the Everest and our budget pick, the Walmart Protege, were both easily ripped from their seams by Squat World Record holder Roy Glenn. While we don’t think most people will ever put their bags through that kind of abuse, if you need a bag that will last longer both the Adidas Team Issue and Jnr Kong Bag are far better reinforced.The Everest holds about 1,950 cubic inches or 32 liters, the size of an average day pack, and measures 18 by 11.5 by 10.5 inches, which fits perfectly inside a standard gym locker.
Similar to nearly every other bag on the market, the Everest is made from 600D polyester. It’s a perfect material for gym bags: easy to clean, durable enough for light use, and very inexpensive.
After zippers, these usually-plastic connectors are the most likely component of any bag to break or get crushed. The Everest is the least expensive bag we could find that still used long lasting metal fasteners to connect the shoulder strap. The Everest, same as every bag we tested, is built around an easy to open U-shaped main compartment. It also includes a small inside pocket, two front-zippered pouches, one larger exterior zippered shoe pocket, and 3 open-top mesh accessory holders. It weighs 2 pounds, 8 ounces unpacked and comes in five colors. Although somewhat bland looking, we find it enjoyable for a gym bag, with no large or garish logos advertising your brand affiliation.