Running Meets Yoga: The Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag Review

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.

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Front View (Full) with Yoga Mat

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.

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Inside View – Gym Clothes in Left Pocket, Accessories in Right Pocket, Purse, Lunch Box, Cardigan, Running Shoes, Yoga Mat

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.

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Top View (Full) with Yoga Mat

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!

Haiku Weekender Duffle Bag with Yoga Mat
Shoe Garage (Inside)

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.

Shoe Garage (Outside)
Shoe Garage (Outside)

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!

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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.

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Running, Blogging, and a little bit of Yoga

I’ve started running again.  Actually, I started in running in March when, for the first time in my life, I had a required hour long lunch break and no idea how to spend it.  I pulled on my running shoes one fine afternoon and went for a run.  Just like that, I was once again a runner.

After a second run in my old running shoes it was clear I needed a new pair (my ankles were killing me!).  I headed to my local running store (Big River Running, for those in the St. Louis area) and had a fitting done.  I ended up purchasing a pair of Adidas, which was confusing but also very fortunate.  My shoes, the Adidas Supernova Glide 7, are the most comfortable pair of running shoes I’ve ever owned.  I’ll do a review on them in the future.

Since I started running with my new shoes in March I’ve put nearly 130 miles on them!  That’s a huge accomplishment for me, as I was never someone who ran regularly.  A few weeks ago I decided to begin training for a 10k happening in October – the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10k.  Having a goal has already motivated me!  I ran four miles this week, the most I’ve run since before my wedding and honeymoon, when I fell off the running horse for a good six weeks.

Oops.

Since I’m running again I figured I might as well blog about it.  I think it will help keep me accountable and interested in continuing my running journey.

In addition to running, I’ve also started practicing yoga again.  A coworker of mine recently earner her yoga teacher certification, and she does free classes twice a week.  While I’ve realized I’m not flexible at all, I’ve really enjoyed starting my practice again.  I feel exhausted but at peace after every class.  I forgot how much yoga really helps center me.

Thanks for taking the time to read, folks.  I plan to start blogging somewhat regularly again and hope you enjoy my posts!

Samantha or Sam Yoga