Here’s how to find the best bag for your yoga gear

You dipped your toes in, and now you are addicted. Not to the world of flavored Oreos, but to yoga. Now you are a pro. You don’t need to hold the wall to stand in tree pose anymore. You give newbies that look now instead of getting it yourself. You are doing great.

But now you have all of this gear, and it’s getting hard to go back and forth to yoga class and juggle everything in your hands. It’s time to go ahead and get yourself a bag to hold all of your yoga essentials. Do you just use an old backpack? Any gym bag? Let’s see if there’s a different kind of bag you need for your yoga gear.

Woman carrying a yoga mat

Where to start

Okay, before looking for a bag for your yoga stuff, what do you have? What do you need to put in it? Do you borrow a mat from the studio, or do you have five at home that you like to rotate through? What you want to carry to and from class will decide what kind of bag you need to start with.

There’s also the important question of how you want to carry it. Do you want over the shoulder? Backpack style? Tote style? Will you only be carrying your mat? Do you need space for shoes and clothes for work? So many questions mean so many options.

It also depends on what kinds of style you want the bag to be. Plain? Patterned? Do you care about the material? Do you want eco-friendly? It’s like buying a purse — the how, what, and when you’re carrying it will narrow down which bag you should get.

Plain yoga mat bag

If you have decided that you only need a bag to hold your mat, and that’s it, you aren’t taking anything else with you, then here are some options:

  • Sling bags

These bags literally carry just your mat. Not saying you can’t stuff your sweaty, smelly, sticky mat under your arm, but do you want to? No. These styles of bags might have a smaller pocket on the strap to put your phone or keys in.

Some might have a small zip pouch to shove your sweaty, lightweight jacket in. These are great if you don’t bring other items with you but your mat and you don’t want a whole lot of bulk. If you do find your mat smelly after class, go for a mesh one. It’ll help keep the smell down.

  • Yoga mat straps

These attach straight to your mat. So if you literally take nothing but your mat, you can wrap these around your mat, snap them in place, and you are good to go. Strap carriers are the best yoga bag that’s not a bag if you don’t want to spend a ton of money. They are the most affordable option.

Person placing a yoga mat on a floor

If you like to bring stuff

If you go to yoga class before or after another activity and have other items to bring, then you’ll need something a bit bigger:

  • Yoga mat bag

These are fun bags. They have just enough room for your yoga mat and your essentials. Your phone, keys, change of clothes, and water bottle will easily fit into one. The material is more durable than a sling bag. Most of these bags are cross-body style, so they also won’t weigh down on your shoulders.

  • Backpack style

If you carry all of the things or want something that you could use when you’re not in yoga class, then a backpack style is what you want. The quality and durability of these will be great, so you can take them hiking or for whatever other sporty activity you do.

There will also be plenty of room for a change of clothes, shoes, and whatever else you need to bring. They are either long enough for the mat to go in the bag, or they have a fun strap set up so the mat can go under the bag on your back.

  • Tote style

The last main style is the tote. Just like a tote purse. Except it’s deeper so the mat isn’t going to fall out. If you like a tote-style purse, then you might as well get a tote style yoga bag. You can toss your stuff in the middle however you want and have plenty room for all of your things.

Those are the basic, most popular styles for a yoga gym bag. Plenty of options to fit your style, personality, and lifestyle needs. They can get pretty expensive, so make sure it’s a kind that you’ll use for years to make it worth it. Don’t get a really nice bag and then decide that you’d rather do yoga at home. You need to show off your balance skills somewhere.

Want more? We’ve come up with several ways to wear yoga pants – so read on further to learn all about them!

Editors' Recommendations