Gym Bag Essentials: What We Always Carry!

There are a lot of aspects of going to the gym or a bootcamp that freaks people out.

What will people think of me?  – Where do I get started?   and…   What do I even bring to the gym?

Perhaps it was an unnecessary worry of mine, but I really was at a loss with that last question. The first time I stepped into a formal gym I totally forgot to bring a lock and a few other items that I now deem essential. Luckily, my gym has plenty of amenities that tide me over in the hygiene and hydration department, but visiting other studios for classes always brings me back to that same question.

Call me a worrywart, but now my gym bag (a gorgeous and functional Rowve carryall) now packs all the essentials any girl (or guy!) could ever need. I am always prepared.

Take a look at what I always carry around with me and why. You might just add a couple of these to your shopping list and I promise you will never go wrong. Better yet? The majority of these items are totally unisex and can be used by just about anyone.

gym bag essentials

1. Herban Essentials Yoga Towelettes, Herban Essentials | $18

Whether you’re doing yoga or pumping iron, the truth of the matter is that you are probably coming into contact with a whole lot of germs – the majority of which are not yours. Clean up after your workout with these easily portable towelettes. I also use these to clean my feet before I step on my mat. Nothing distracts (and mortifies) me more than dirty feet!


Herban Essentials Towelettes-Yoga

2. Juicy Bamboo Cleansing Cloths, Kaia Naturals | $15.50

I actually received this item only recently through my Yogi Surprise box. I always loved how easy cleansing wipes seemed (especially after a sweaty session at the gym), but wasn’t such a fan of the residue I felt it would leave behind and consequent breakouts. These, on the other hand, were a pleasant surprise. They left my skin totally clean which is very important when banishing clogged pores post sweat sesh.

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths, 30 Count

3. Brown Yoga Towel, Hanputai | $7.54

Chances are that your gym already stocks towels, but I have found that some smaller studios require you to bring your own. I like one in a non-white color… For obvious reasons.


Hanputai Microfiber Quick Drying Sports Towel Small Volume Super Absorbent For Traveling Running Yoga Swimming Daily Life(Brown)

4. Klorane Dry Shampoo, Birchbox$19.50

OK, perhaps this one isn’t so necessary for the guys. However, if you are planning on running some errands after working out or meeting someone for a (healthy) meal, you might want to spruce up a bit, but not have enough time to shower. This French dry shampoo has a cult following and for good reason. It’s virtually a shower in a bottle.


Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – All Hair Types , 3.2 oz.

5. Lock, Master Lock | $6.96 

Don’t make my mistake! Always carry a lock with you. Being a health & wellness editor, it doesn’t matter where I am going that day, I always have a lock on me. You never know when you can squeeze in a quick workout and need to store your stash!



Master Lock Padlock, Standard Dial Combination Lock, 1-7/8 in. Wide, Assorted Colors, 1505D


6. Ultra Facial Moisturizer, Kiehl’s$18.50 – $38.50

Putting on a full face of products and cosmetics after working out just feels… wrong. Instead (after washing, of course) I swipe on some of this ultra light yet effective moisturizer. If I don’t have hand creme on me, I will use this as a body moisturizer as well. You get what you pay for and this moisturizer does its job well.


Ultra Facial Cream 1.7 Ounce

7. First Aid Kit, Amazon | $3.23

You never know what scrapes, bumps or bruises may come your way after a brutal workout. Band-Aids or a mini first aid kit are super necessary for me. You can buy this on Amazon or your local drugstore in the travel-sized products section.


First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Essentials Kit, 299 Pieces, Fabric Case

8. Shaker, Blender Bottle | $9.99 

I don’t always lug around a protein shaker, but I like to bring it along if I am getting in some strength training. You can pour in the protein of your choice or a powdered green blend as well. My pick? ALOHA. The Blender Bottle helps dissolve it easily and effectively.


Blender Bottle Classic Loop Top Shaker Bottle, Colors May Vary, 28-Ounce 2-Pack

9. GoMacro MacroBars (Peanut Butter), Amazon | $27.95/12pk

When it comes to post-workout nutrition, all I know is that I need something with protein, carbs, and good flavor – because that is when I feel most ravenous. My go-to choice are GoMacro bars. They’re vegan and totally clean. Buy a 12 pack online or check out your local health food stores to buy single bars.

GoMacro MacroBar, Organic Vegan Protein Bar, Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip, 2.4 oz (Pack of 12)

10. Water Bottle, CamelBak | $15

Instead of buying a new water bottle every time you hit the gym, save money (and the planet!) by investing in this water bottle and refilling it at a water fountain.


Camelbak Products Chute Water Bottle, Sage, 1-Liter

11. Compact Hair Brush, Tangle Teezer | $20

Feeling like your hair is a frizzy mess after bouncing around for an hour? Don’t worry about it. We’re only human! Revive your locks with a compact and portable brush. This one is my favorite and can be found at your local Sephora. Tangle Teezer The Compact Styler, On-the-go Detangling Hairbrush for All Hair Types – Gold Rush

12. Hair Ties, Goody | $2.99

While I cannot say that my hair ties are not in a nest at the bottom of my bag, they are certainly there. In the movies everyone seems to be working out with their hair down, but for us real gals, that head of hair needs to be tied up. If you’re a guy, consider trying a man bun. We hear they’re all the rage right now….

Goody Ouchless Elastic Thick, Black, 27 Count

13. Head Buds, Skullcandy | $39.99

Nothing is more obnoxious than headphones flying everywhere when you’re just trying to not pass out on the treadmill. I’m sorry Apple headphones that came with my iPhone, but you’re the worst. These head buds are so much better.

Skullcandy Smokin’ Buds (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

14. Natural Deodorant, Kiss My Face | $5.99

When it comes to natural beauty products, I really am trying to get better about it. One area where I am not willing to compromise, though, are my pits! Natural deodorants are certainly the way to go. With so many sweat glands in that area, make sure that you are not putting anything into or on your body that might cause irritation.

Kiss My Face Active Life Aluminum CHLOROHYDRATE Free Deodorant, Cucumber Green Tea, 2.48 Ounce Stick

15. Mini Lip Balm, Esowemsn | $10

This lip balm may seem a little “random”, but let me tell you one thing: With Korean beauty products, you cannot get more bang for your buck even if you tried. Forget trendy or big name brands that you thought have been tried and true for generations. Looking for ultimate moisture? This Tony Moly lip balm works like a charm. Swipe on post workout to rehydrate your pout after all that huffing and puffing.

12Pcs 15g Silver Aluminum Metal Tin Storage Containers with Secure Screw Top Lids for Cosmetics Aromatherapy Limp Blam Accessories and More (15g)

16. Gym Bag, Adidas | $80

Finally, there’s the bag. There’s no need for something ginormous, but there is a need for something that can wick sweat and feel like it can carry everything while keeping it organized. Rowve is a company I happened upon a while back and I’ve been in love with their product ever since. This particular style also has straps to tuck your yoga mat into. Double duty at its finest.

adidas Defender II Medium Duffel Bag, Medium, Jersey Onix/Black/Light Onix

For more Athletic Gear – 11 Websites for the Coolest Athletic Gear

What are your gym bag essentials?


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