What to put in your (Apera) gymbag: Review & Giveaway

It took me a while, well over a year to figure out how to pack my gymbag and what not to pack. Actually, its probably more important to know what not to pack since I have to carry my bag on the train or walking from my house (about 15 minutes) instead of my car bearing the burden.

Now I just needed a bag. While I loved my little gymbag from Old Navy that I got for $11, it took about 2 weeks before it was falling apart. As I get older, I’m learning more and more that you get what you pay for. I guess that bag is meant for people with cars and not people who walk. I then migrated to using those reusable grocery bags. Problem is, they’re really uncomfortable to walk around with and I look like a crazy bag lady! Not cute, not comfortable, not fun.

So when Apera contacted me and offered to send me a bag of my choice in exchange for my views, I figured perfect! I did gasp a little when I saw their retail value, but after using the bag for a few weeks to travel and the gym, I have to confess that just like a well made designer purse, it is worth every dollar! 

Apera Bag (2)

I picked out one of their Performance Duffel Bags in fuchsia. First of all, it’s beautiful, but also since I go from home to gym to everything else between, I needed a bag that can handle it all for the day or for the weekend.

Why I love my Apera Bag

  • It’s super versatile.  I use it for work, for the gym and for weekend traveling. 
  • There are pockets for everything!  I have to confess, I’m a bit of a bag lady because I like to keep everything separate, but since this bag has so many pockets, I can finally get rid of all the gross bags I use. I have a place for my shoes, water bottle, fuel, gum, shower stuff, ipad, book, and so much more that I’ll mention later.
  • It has a washable insert to put your wet/sweaty/muddy clothes or in my case, my stink ass swimsuit as well.
  • It’s easy to clean! Apera makes their bags from an antimicrobial bag that protects the bag and everything I put in it from bacteria and odors.  All I gotta do is wipe it and it’s feeling fresh again.
  • Apera’s bags are also vented to allow for airflow which helps to keep everything in my bag dry and smelly free like my shoes!
  • Apera is charitable. Apera donates one Sprint Pack to the Special Olympics for every three Apera bags they sell.  Any company that promotes charity is good by me!

Let’s take a closer look at the bag, shall we?

Apera Bag (4)

There’s two small compartments on top where I keep my keys, cell, wallet and glasses case. The bag features two vented pockets on each side. I keep my running shoes on one side, while my flipflops go on the other side.Apera Bag (3)

There is a large side pocket on the back that I keep my ipad in. On the inside between snacks, shower stuff, and gym stuff, let’s just say I find a use for each and every one of the pockets.

What I keep in my gym bag

First and most importantly I always pack it the night before because when I pack in the morning I forget crucial things like socks, sports bra and worse of all underwear.

  • Running Clothes – Even if I’m planning on swimming, I still bring them because when you get in the mood, you want to have means to the go!
  • Swimsuit, goggles, cap, and that ear water drying drops – because even though I haven’t swam in months, I like to think when I finally talk myself into it, I’ll be ready
  • Underwear and socks – I always keep extra in case I forget, because I’ve forgotten countless times and it sucked to say the least
  • Running Shoes
  • Flip-flops – While I don’t use at them at my work gym, the Malden Y has so many strands of unknown diseases that I would never risk it and that’s a lot saying for me
  • Shower stuff – Shampoo, shower puff, conditioner, body wash, face scrub, moisturizer. I usually go home stinky and sweaty in the summer, but in the winter I have to put up with the horror of showering at the Y. In addition, I have dry shampoo for when I run at work. Hairbrush that always stays in my gym bag because forgetting that sucks too.
  • SNACKS & Fuel – Nuun, Gu, Kind bars, gum, leftover lunch because I really am always hungry
  • Work stuff – Wallet, glasses, my lunch for the day, a few basic make-up stuff that I never wear but sometimes carry
  • Sweatpants and hoodie – if I workout after work, I don’t really want to change into my office clothes, so I wear my hoodlum outfit home.

See, I wasn’t joking when I said I find a use for every pocket!

Apera Bag (1)

I may still be a secret bag lady, but at least my bag is looking mighty good!

The Performance Duffel sells for $124 but Apera is also running a sweet promotion where all BLUE bags are on sale for 40% off and a duffel bag of any color is also 40% off!

Apera Blue Bags

If you want to learn more about the Performance duffel or any of the other 6 bags Apera sells, check out their website where they also have videos available to give you a better idea of which bag will work best for you.

Giveaway

Apera is giving one lucky Run To Munch reader a Sprint Pack of their own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

QOTD

1. Do you use a gym bag? I’m currently using the Apera Duffel mentioned above. I’m thinking of buying their backpack for when I start running to work if the snow ever melts.

2. What are your gym bag essentials? Dry shampoo and a facial scrub, everything else I can almost wing it.

39 comments

  1. Danielle Kempe says:

    I’m crossing my fingers that I win, because the gym bag I use now is falling apart.

    Like you, I need one that I can carry from the T.

    What I pack inside depends on what type of work out I’m doing, but like you I always keep extra sock in the bag, since it does mess up plans if you forget those.

    If I’m running, my running gloves & insulated headband are in there & extra top layers for warmth as well.
    If I’m taking a flywheel class I make sure I have my water bottle (to be filled at Flywheel), cycling pants, a short sleeve wicking shirt, and a hair elastic.
    Danielle Kempe recently posted…Boston BloggersMy Profile

  2. Beckah says:

    Wow, that looks like one amazing, all purpose bag! I usually piece things together as I run out the door, so I could really use this level of organization!

  3. Kristi W. says:

    I don’t currently have a gym bag b/c I workout mostly at home…when I do go to the gym, I closely resemble a homeless person!

  4. Amy Lauren says:

    I actually don’t have a gym bag! Since I work at my house, I change before I go, go, come home and shower, etc. When I worked at a corporate job and took stuff to the gym, obviously I had one then. Typically all I take now is my water bottle and headphones so they wind up in my hoody pocket. I could use a gym bag though… I have washed headphones quite a few times :). If I ever take something, I just throw my stuff into one of those little cinch sacs I get from races. Really like your performance duffel!
    Amy Lauren recently posted…You Can’t Run From Love 8K Recap and Overall WinMy Profile

  5. Michael says:

    I actually mostly use a gym backpack, the Brooks Boulder Bag (I think). I don’t keep much in the bag permanently other than headphones and usually some sort of snack just in case. I also keep some large rubber bands in there because I use them to keep a towel on the treadmill at the gym covering the display. Oh, and Nip Guards and Body Glide must always be in my bag!
    Michael recently posted…#KeepingItRealMy Profile

  6. Gina says:

    I use a gym bag right now but it’s definitely in need of a replacement! I’ve been hearing some really great things about Apera and would LOVE to try it!

  7. Karen says:

    I am using the same tote I’ve had for about 6 years! It does not have separate compartments, so I am constantly searching the bottom of the bag for things. Not very organized, I am going to check out the Performance Duffel.
    The sprint pack looks like it would be great for race days!

  8. Anj says:

    What are your gym bag essentials?

    TWO towels – so now, I pre-pack them as soon as they come out of the dryer. My DH thinks I am a towel freak.

    Love the bag! It’s way better than my grocery shopping bag. :/

  9. Ben J says:

    I use a really old backpack. It’s held together pretty well and works well enough, but I could certainly use something new, and the Apera stuff looks nice.

  10. Samantha says:

    I don’t use a gym bag, because I’ve never been able to find a good one! If I had one, I’m pretty sure I’d keep all the essentials that you talked about!

  11. Jessica Brinks says:

    I don’t have a gym bag, just one of those Victoria’s Secret totes they are always giving away with purchase, but really do need to get one. would be awesome to win!

    What I keep in my gym bag is usually an extra change of clothes, my running shoes and watch, and always, ALWAYS extra hair ties!

  12. Angel B says:

    Currently right now you’ll find dry shampoo, a bar of dove soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and toothbrush. I need this bag though its been over 5 years since i’ve purchased one. Love the color too.

  13. Tina Muir says:

    I am seeing so much positive feedback about Apera, and I really want to get one! It would be so perfect for carrying around my running, coaching, and normal clothes, as well as everything else I need. I currently am using a really thin, cheap bag, and I would love an updade! Hope I win!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Rise Bars Giveaway Product ReviewMy Profile

  14. Ashleigh Dzurik says:

    I could use a new bag…I have a duffle bag that is about 10 years old or so…in pretty bad condition. I leave all my shower stuff in my gym bag, even though I dont shower there if I can help it. I also leave an extra brush and hair ties in there.

  15. Julia Tock says:

    I don’t use a gym bag currently –or rather I use a plastic bag–lol! This would be great for rock climbing gym, dump stuff in locker while skiing, etc, Like the detail on the bag! Great give-away thanks!

  16. Jennifer says:

    My gym bag won’t zip due to its small size and the amount of stuff I have to carry back and forth from work and home. I have to bring running clothes for all seasons since you never know what the weather will actually be like by the time I run after work! This bag would be amazing!

  17. Alex says:

    It seems like a common theme among everyone posting to the comments section for this one, but my current “gym bag” is absolutely falling apart! It’s this adorable bag that an old roommate gave me. It was upcycled from a woman’s sari, and was, in theory, reversible, until I ripped the inside trying to stuff my clothes, shoes, comb, and flip flops into it. I try to keep my gym bag small since I need to carry it on the train, and also shove it into those tiny gym lockers, but I’m thinking it’s time to upgrade to something that doesn’t make it MORE difficult to work out. (Pulling something out of the bottom of a really tiny, tightly packed bag is just the pits).

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