Pack Perfect Gym Bag

Making it to the gym is a feat all on its own. But if you get there and find out you forgot your tennis shoes or socks, the bummer is real. To help you mitigate that kind of workout-time tragedy, we've got tips and products that'll help you keep your gym bag stocked and ready for emergencies, big and small (whether your hair tie snaps, or you desperately need a tampon).

Gym bag

Having the right tote is imperative. It has to be big enough to carry all the many things you'll need on your fitness journey. We recommend this one from Paravel, which can fold up into the size of a book if you need to pack it for travel. You can also have it monogrammed, if you want all your fellow gym-goers to know how fancy you are.

Paravel Fold-Up Bag, $, available at Paravel

Foam roller

This useful little guy is easy to pack and will help you fight sore muscles on the go.

Gaiam Restore Compact Foam Roller, $, available at Gaiam


Laundry bag

There are major perks to getting your exercise in before work. Tossing your sweaty, smelly gym shorts into your gym bag or purse afterwards isn't one of them. It can make for a stinky mess. Enter, this tiny, portable laundry bag.

STNKY Washable Sports Bag, $, available at Amazon



We've all had those dreaded days where we sign up for a workout class, only to realize we left our tennies in the closet at home. You can avoid that problem by constantly keeping a pair of sneakers in your gym bag. Pro tip: If they start to get smell, put unused tea bags in them at night.

Nike Nike Air Zoom SuperRep, $, available at Nike


Tampons or pads

Although many gyms and studios stock tampons these days, it never hurts to be prepared in case you (or your workout buddy!) get in a bloody bind.

Lola Compact plastic applicator tampons, $, available at Lola


Water bottle

The first rule of working out and feeling your best is hydration. Don't be caught without a water bottle during your next sweat session.

Hydro Flask Hydro Flask Water Bottle, $, available at Urban Outfitters


Dry shampoo

Sometimes there simply isn't time to shower post-exercise. In that case, it's dry shampoo to the rescue.

DryBar Detox Clear Invisible Dry Shampoo, $, available at Ulta Beauty



You probably carry some with you in your purse already, but it can never hurt to have a spare pair around, just in case. If you've ever tried running silently, you know these are key to workouts.

Adidas FWD-01 Sport In-Ear Headphones, $, available at Adidas



As they say, food is fuel.

Clif Bar CLIF BAR – Energy Bars – Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea, $, available at Amazon


Extra undies

Just in case you forget to pack them in the morning, it can help to keep a spare pair around. Leaving on sweaty underwear doesn't just feel gross — it can lead to a yeast infection.

Warner's Warner's Women's Blissful Benefits Seamless Hipster Panty 3 Pack, $, available at Amazon


Makeup wipes

When you get really sweaty, it can cause old mascara to run all around your eyes. It's an edgy look, but it may not be your style. Plus, your face, like the rest of your body, probably got sweat-drenched during your circuit workout. Wipes are crucial.

Burt's Bees® Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes, $, available at Urban Outfitters


Extra socks

They're everyone's least favorite Christmas present, but they're essential. I always compare buying socks to buying toilet paper. It's an unglamorous, but highly necessary, expense. Make sure you have a few pairs hidden in your bag, just in case you forget one day. Don't be the girl who has to pull her leggings up over her pantyhose.

Dr. Motion Dr. Motion Women's 2pk Compression Low Cut Socks, $, available at Amazon


Ponytail holders

There's nothing worse than having your hair tie break mid-workout. Especially if you're in the midst of cardio. Stay prepared and keep these cute bands on hand.


Kitsch Pearl Hair Ties, $, available at Shopbop

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