Chances are if you’ve been looking for a suitable gym bag, you’ve scoured Amazon, reading multiple reviews attempting to decide what’s the best gym bag on the market today. And the answer is simple: AER’s Gym Duffle 2.
An improvement on the previous model by AER, the Gym Duffle 2 by AER is a refined do-all gym bag with enough storage for things you readily carry with you to work, as well as your workout clothes, with enough storage for a little bit extra. Being able to accommodate your essentials is paramount especially for a gym bag, and it seems like every other bag is missing what another has including a water bottle holder, a separate compartment for sweaty clothes, or even just storage for your laptop so you won’t have to carry a secondary bag with you on your daily commute. Now that’s no longer the case. Here are some features of the AER Gym Duffle 2:
• 1680D Cordura® ballistic nylon exterior
• YKK® Japanese zippers
• Duraflex® plastic hardware
• Ventilated main compartment for spacious storage
• Ventilated shoe compartment (fits up to men’s size 13 shoes)
• Padded laptop pocket (fits up to 15.6” laptop)
• Separate compartment for clean clothes
• Quick-access front pocket for small valuables
• Multiple internal pockets for accessories
• Padded, adjustable shoulder strap and dual grip handles for versatile carrying
• Exterior and interior water bottle pocket
AER has clearly listened to their fans, as they’ve redesigned what you think a gym bag should be, by making the internal pocket wider than even their own original Gym Duffle, adding a bit more room for their shoe pocket that fits up to a size 13 shoe with ease, but they’ve integrated the laptop compartment with enough outside padding that you do not have to worry about your valuable MacBook or iPad being crushed, or having your gym water bottle spilling on it. Airflow is also a huge component to the Gym Duffle 2, as there’s two mesh panels on the sides of the bag to increase airflow which means all of your other items won’t smell on your commute from the gym. In my practice this is great because there’s enough ventilation to not be concerned about the smell seeping through the bag itself which is great if you tend to have smelly sneakers.
The AER Duffle is also made of water-resistant 1680 Cordura ballistic nylon, including its durable zippers that I’m personally a fan of compared to what I’ve used in the past. Too many times I’ve ruined a gym bag due to the zippers being worn down, or just the bag itself not holding my items securely, especially at the base of the bag. This isn’t the case with the AER as even the bottom of the bag has enough padding that it doesn’t feel like your lugging around a bunch of items. That being said, the tradeoff of quality materials being used on the bag is obviously the more you travel with, the heavier the bag will ultimately be. So if you carry shoes, clothes, a laptop and potentially a basketball, you’ll feel the weight on your shoulders when walking. I’ve attempted to take some of the weight off of my shoulders by simply carrying less, but I’m a creature of hoarding things in my bags (spare headphones, heart rate monitors, and pre-workout protein), so that certainly does tend to weigh a lot. The trick to this is simply adjusting the AER Gym Duffle 2 a bit higher so it sits in the middle of your back instead of by your waist like a messenger.
I love the bag, and if you’ve been attempting to condense your daily bag and gym bag into one, you can’t really go wrong with the AER Gym Duffle 2. At $170 it’s not the cheapest bag on the market, but it’s easily the most durable, and possibly the last bag you’ll need for the next 5-10 years if you use it frequently.
If you’re not a fan of the one strap bag, you should possibly check out the Fit Pack, which is a lot of the same, in a smaller footprint, but will suit your fancy as well.
If you’d like to check out the Gym Duffle 2, head over to AER’s site.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Durable bag that will hold over time; Multiple compartments fit virtually everything from shoes to your laptop
What Needs Improvement: Price may be on the high-end at $170 but worth every penny