My gym bag held my clothes and running shoes. My yoga mat bag held my yoga mat. My work bag held my lunch bag, purse, and miscellaneous work items. I was tired off lugging multiple bags to work every day.
It was time for a new gym bag.
There were two things I wanted my in my new bag: a shoe garage and a place for my yoga mat. Size was negotiable, but I needed to be able to fit my gym clothes, running shoes, yoga mat, and shower things in at the time without issue. A place to separate my clean clothes from everything else would be a plus. This wouldn’t be too difficult to find, right?
I searched the internet for days trying to find an affordable gym bag that met all my specifications, but it was tough. Eventually I had a few contenders, notably the Haiku Sprint Duffle, the Haiku Weekender Duffle, and the Haiku Gym Weekender Duffle. Notice a trend here? There were a few others that had potential, but the Haiku brand seems to have cornered the market on Things Sam Needs in her Gym Bag.
To be honest, I had never heard of Haiku before. I did some research and they seemed like a decent enough company, so I decided to buy one of their bags. The bags themselves were priced between $80 and $120 on Amazon (the cheapest place to buy them), so price wasn’t a deciding factor. While they all had shoe compartments, the Gym Weekender’s shoe compartment wasn’t ventilated! It thought that was a little odd considering it was the specific “gym” bag, but I crossed it off my list. The Sprint and the Weekender were pretty even contenders for me. The Weekender was larger, but I liked the placement of the yoga mat better on the Sprint. Decisions, decisions.
I waffled back and forth and eventually ended up purchasing the Haiku Weekender Duffle. Since the Weekender had more space I could theoretically fit my lunch box and purse in it, making my bag lady status disappear! With high hopes I made my purchase and waited eagerly for it to arrive.
The Haiku Weekender comes in a few different colors, but I chose black since I would be using it as a work bag as well. The entire top of the bag zips shut. In addition to the main compartment, the interior of the bag hosts a small pocket and two large elastic pockets on the sides of the bag. The inside liner is some kind of wipe-to-clean material.
On the exterior of the bag there a small pocket on the front of the yoga mat sling, the shoe garage on the side of the bag, and a “pocket” on the back with a zipper at the bottom so that it can go through your rolling suitcase’s handle and sit on the suitcase when you’re in the airport/traveling. The exterior of the bag is made of a soft, thick, canvas. In the month or so that I’ve had this bag I’ve managed to spill iced coffee on it twice, but it was a breeze to clean with a damp, lightly soaped cloth.
I wouldn’t recommend using the zippered pocket on the back, as the zipper comes undone fairly easily. There’s so much room inside the bag I’ve never needed to use it for anything. I thought the front pocket would be superfluous, but I really love it for my work badge, keys, and cell phone. The small pocket on the inside is where I keep my bluetooth headphones (and their charger), regular headphones, running watch and charger, and fitbit charger. Yeah, all of that fits in this tiny little pocket!
My running shoes aren’t extra small or extra bulky; there’s a lot of space left in the shoe compartment to accommodate larger shoes. It does take up some of the room inside the main compartment, but the bag is spacious enough that I’ve never had issues with it. I like to keep my gym clothes in one elastic pocket. The other pocket holds shower shoes, a pouch with shower accessories and makeup, and sun screen (full size). My umbrella and water bottle live in the main compartment. I keep my lunch box (full of large tupperware) on the size of the bag opposite the shoe compartment; my purse goes in next, followed by an ever-present cardigan on top. Finally, I can easily fit my standard size yoga mat through the front and I’m good to go!
When I’m at the gym I can fit my bag into a locker, but I do have to squish it a little bit. I don’t keep my purse or lunch bag in it (it’s a work gym), so it’s just my shoes in the elastic pocket where I keep my gym clothes, my regular clothes in the main compartment, and my accessories in the other pocket. If it’s a yoga day my running shoes are in the shoe garage as well. Our lockers are standard size I don’t usually have a problem getting them closed and clocked without issue.
While this bag fits everything I require, it does get heavy. It weighs about three pounds by itself. When I started using it I was slightly disappointed because of the weight. When I removed the crossover strap, something I never used, it did lighten some. A month later and I honestly don’t notice the weight now. The Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag is perfect for my running, yoga, and work needs. If I had a work laptop things might be a little different, but I don’t think it would be too much of an issue to keep it in a sleeve in the main compartment. If you’re looking for an affordable, stylish (but not too girly) gym bag with a vented shoe compartment, place for your yoga mat, and multiple pockets I can’t recommend this bag enough!
I do not work for nor am I affiliated with Haiku or Amazon in any way. I was not paid for my review in any way. I simply love my gym bag and want other runners and yogis to be aware there is a gym bag that can fit all their needs.