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Pack Like a Pro: 10 Gym Bag Essentials
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Pack Like a Pro: 10 Gym Bag Essentials



Discover the top 10 gym bag must-haves to maximise your workouts. From hydration to the perfect fit, pack smart and push your limits with confidence!

A well-equipped gym bag ensures you always train with all the essential items


Maybe you’re a gym pro, maybe you’re a newbie. Whatever path you’re on in your fitness journey, we’re in this together. After all, working out is hard work. It requires commitment, patience, and passion. Fortunately, we’re here to support you every step of the way. In fact, we’re going to make working out a little easier—by making sure you have everything you need to succeed before your next sweat session. Below, we’re breaking down 10 of our top recommended gym bag essentials so that you can get in, get out, and totally crush it.


#1 Water Bottle

One of the most important items to accompany your workout is a water bottle. That’s because whenever we exercise we’re breaking a sweat, so hydration is essential. By drinking water before, during, and after your intense workout, you can replenish the fluids lost through sweat. Drinking water can even improve your performance by ensuring your body is functioning at its best. This is because when we’re dehydrated, we can feel fatigued and find it difficult to concentrate. And these feelings can become even worse when exercising in the heat, as dehydration affects the body’s ability to regulate temperature.

In short: Hydrate. Bring that water bottle.


#2 Sneakers

You definitely don’t want to forget your gym shoes! Shoes alone can make or break the workout—they could be the difference between facing a plateau or finally hitting your best track time yet. To that end, make sure you’ve got sneakers that are right for you. This doesn’t just mean the right size—it also means the right style. The best shoe for weightlifting may not be the best shoe for running. Depending on how they’re made, shoes can differ in: 

  • Support

  • Cushioning

  • Traction

  • Balance 

So, don’t let the wrong shoes limit you. Find the optimal sneakers for your workout and add them to that gym bag.


#3 Headphones

If you’ve ever hit the gym only to realise you’ve forgotten your headphones, you know it’s an instant vibe killer. Headphones are great for blocking out noise and getting in the zone. Without them, the workout just isn’t the same. In fact, a good playlist can help distract from the pain of your workout routine and make it feel all the more enjoyable. This, in turn, can increase endurance and push us further than we’d expect, enhancing our overall athletic performance.


#4 Hair Tie

We all want to enjoy our workouts without unnecessary distractions pulling us out of the zone—and that includes wild gym hair in our faces. While some people can exercise while showing off their epic locks, it’s often easier to tie hair back so that it’s out of sight, out of mind. So, before you leave for your next workout, make sure to add that hair tie to your bag. Just in case.


#5 Deodorant

Make sure to pack deodorant in your gym bag to keep you smelling and feeling fresh before and after your workout. Our pro tip? Apply deodorant before your workout while your skin is still dry. This will help mask any existing odour and allow you to sweat freely while still feeling confident. Keep in mind, deodorant is less effective once you’ve already started sweating, so it's always a good idea to apply it before you begin your workout.

A water bottle and towel are two must-haves to stow in every gym bag.

#6 Toiletry Bag

For those looking for a quick refresh beyond what deodorant can offer, bring a small caddy for a post-workout shower. In this shower caddy, pack the necessities:  

  • Soap or body wash

  • Shampoo/conditioner/hair products

  • Lotion

  • Thongs

  • Towel 

This is also a great place to store your deodorant.


#7 Slides

As mentioned in the list of shower caddy necessities, slides are probably one of the most important items to pack when showering in a gym facility. So important that they needed their own section on this list. Why? Ever heard of athlete’s foot?  

The wet, humid environment of gym showers provides the ideal environment for bacteria and fungus. Without the use of slides or shower shoes, you’re potentially exposing your bare skin to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, such as the infamous athlete’s foot. Keep in mind that these infections are highly contagious. Even if your gym’s facilities are cleaned regularly, you’re still at risk. So, stay safe. Wear your shower shoes.


#8 Gym Towel

Protect your health in and out of the shower with a small gym towel. The bacteria and viruses that can thrive on public shower floors can also exist on exercise machines. For this reason, it’s best to keep a small towel with you to wipe down the machines before and after use. This not only maintains a sense of cleanliness during your workout, but it also shows courtesy toward the next person who uses the machines. Of course, keep this towel separate from your shower caddy. If you plan to shower after your gym session, bring a second towel specifically for you.

#9 Healthy Snack

Pack a snack in your gym bag to boost your essential post-workout recovery. A high-protein snack after a good workout is important as it helps the body replenish the muscles broken down during exercise.

Great post-workout snacks include:

  • Protein bars

  • Nuts

  • Hard-boiled eggs

  • Jerky

Carbohydrates are also beneficial for post-workout recovery. Delicious, healthy snacks full of carbs include:

  • Bananas

  • Oats

  • Bread

PRO TIP: Chocolate milk is one of the best recovery drinks. It’s full of both carbs and protein to recharge your body after an intense workout.


#10 Gym Clothes

If you plan to change at the gym, don’t forget your workout clothes. Just like a good pair of sneakers, the right gym clothes can provide the comfort and confidence you need to crush your workout.  

After all, when exercising, comfort is a necessity. Wear something breathable or fast-drying to ensure you stay cool and comfortable during your workout. For further comfort and ease, find leggings and shorts that are lightweight yet squat-proof—bonus if they have pockets! If you need some more inspiration to help perfect your look and performance, you can refer to our helpful guide on the best gym outfits.


Whether you know exactly what workout gear has you feeling great at the gym or you're just starting out, P.E Nation has performance wear designed with your comfort and style in mind.


Sports Bras

For women, working out often requires a little extra support, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo style. P.E Nation sports bras are supportive, comfortable, and available in a variety of bold colours and fun prints so you can take on the gym with confidence.

For a look with extra support and coverage, go for the Tempo Sports Bra in Black. This design is perfect for everyday use as it blends well with a variety of styles, in and out of the gym.

For a classic look with a compressive feel designed for high-intensity workouts, try the Backcheck Sports Bra, available in various colours. This bra comes complete with:  

  • Adjustable straps

  • An elevated back

  • A scoop neck for security

  • A sleek silhouette  

For a supportive yet captivating statement piece, make the Cyper Sports Bra In Blur Print your go-to. This piece is designed for low-impact workouts and features adjustable back straps so that you can customise your fit. And if those sports bras aren’t your perfect match, no biggie. We offer dozens of unique styles and designs so that you can find the ones that are right for you.


Tees, Tanks, Long Sleeves

Workout tops should be lightweight and breathable so that you remain comfortable throughout even the highest intensity workouts.  


Elevate your fit with a cotton tee like the Full Out Tee In Dark Shadow or the Cyper Oversized Tee In Blur Print. Featuring retro looks with a soft feel, these tees are designed to maximise performance and make a statement so that you can stand out in the gym and on the streets.


If tanks are your go-to, the Crossover Air Form Tank may be the perfect piece of performance wear to add to your gym bag. Simple, yet sustainable and workout-ready, this tank is quick-drying and made from recycled polyester. The Tempo Tank is another fantastic option—it’s sweat-wicking, breathable, and super soft. It also features a built-in shelf bra for easy styling and support.

Long Sleeves

Whether they’re for colder days, warm-ups, or simply to provide more coverage, long-sleeve tops are a great addition to your gym bag. Try the Dedication LS Top for your gym workouts, or to layer over your sports bra for an easy, post-gym look. It’s designed with a crew neck and thumbholes for extra comfort, and its matte look pairs well with any ‘fit.


When it comes to workout bottoms, everyone has a different preference. But whether you lean toward gym tights, skirts, or shorts, P.E Nation has a range of options that suit any aesthetic. If you’re looking for simple, black bottoms great for workouts and everyday use, try the Zephyr Legging or the Redline Short. Searching for more unique pieces? The Visualise Legging and the Cyper Bike Short stand out with vivid colours and eclectic prints. We even offer skirts like the Volley Skirt and the World Tour Skirt that feature built-in shorts to enhance your comfort and on and off the court.


Pack Your Bag with P.E Nation

So, the next time you hit the gym, make sure you’re prepared to go above and beyond with our top 10 gym bag essentials, including comfortable, sustainable, and stylish performance wear from P.E Nation. That being said, we understand performance wear isn’t just made for the weight room. That’s why we also have other activewear recommendations and collections, such as both our tennis outfits and running outfits. Explore our entire collection today to find the workout gear and accessories that will enhance your fitness journey and level up your look.