Disclosure: this is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.
For a long time, my “gym bag” was a reusable bag from an Athleta purchase. It was cheap and convenient but not so great in terms of durability, practicality and aesthetic appeal. When it finally fell apart, I began using an old duffel bag. It held all my stuff, but I didn’t love that everything was jumbled in one giant hole. I also disliked that all my stinky gear was locked in with everything else when it was closed up.
I began researching bags to see if I could find the perfect gym bag for my CrossFit-centric needs and I believe I have found the solution.
Datsusara Gear Bag Mini
Datsusara is a gear company whose mission is to make truly functional, high quality gear. Initially designed for the MMA community, Datsusara has gained a loyal and enthusiastic following among the CrossFit crowd. I was attracted to the company and the bag itself for the following reasons:
The bags are made from hemp. I had not used hemp products before, but the more I learn, the more I like it. Hemp is eco-friendly, strong, anti-microbial and breathable.
The bags are well-made. My bag looks great and feels like a quality product. I did not want to spend a fortune on a gym bag and then have it rip or give out in a few months. I have no fear of that with my Datsusara bag, and even if I did have a problem, the company has a comprehensive three year warranty and stands behind their product.
The bags are thoughtfully-designed. The company was created when owner Chris designed a better bag to haul his MMA gear. The mini-bag was designed when CrossFit athletes requested a smaller bag. Chris interacted with athletes on the CrossFit forums and asked a lot of questions about what kind of features athletes wanted, what kind of gear they would be carrying and what size worked best. The result is a small(er) bag that is full of pockets and features, offering tremendous flexibility in how the bag can be used.
So, now you know why I love this bag, here’s how I use it.
How I Pack My Gym Bag for CrossFit
The Datsusara Gear Bag Mini is 10″H x 18″W x 9″D. Initially, I thought, “Hmm, it seems kinda small.” But when I started packing my gear, I found it held everything I needed and was comfortable to carry. Here’s how the bag looks compared to my 5′ 6″ frame.
Here’s a close-up of my bag showing the side and two end pockets.
The “Front” Side
This is the long side of the bag and it has 3 different pockets on the outside. Two shallow pockets are stacked on the left and one deeper pocket is on the right. There are also cargo straps for attaching items. All the items I pack in these pockets are displayed in front of the bag.
In the top left pocket, I keep my Bison chalk. Beneath that, I keep my athletic tape and breath mints (not pictured). In the deep pocket on the right, I keep my lacrosse ball, voodoo band, Pioneer gymnastic grips, and duct tape.
I love the webbing straps. I keep a carabiner hooked there and loop my JerkFit Nubs and my Qalo ring when I’m not using them. It makes it very easy to rinse off the nubs and let them air dry on the outside of the bag.
The Main Bag Compartment
The main bag compartment is quite roomy for my gear. I basically keep two layers of stuff in this section. The bottom layer is the stuff that stays in the bag: oly shoes, weight belt, lifting straps, mobility ball, and jump rope.
The top layer tends to be whatever I add on that given day: Extra shoes — either my Inov8s, or if I’m wearing those, I stick a pair of flip flops in for post-wod shower or comfort. Extra clothes, dry bag for dirty clothes, water bottle, etc.
Note: a dry bag is included with the purchase of the Gear Bag and is quite handy for stashing stinky clothes post-workout.
There’s also one small zippered pocket attached to the opening that is good for storing small valuables, like jewelry you might take off during the wod, or a slim wallet or phone.
And here’s an example of what I typically carry in the main section:
Here’s what that interior bag looks like loaded with all that gear (minus the water bottle).
The two ends are identical. Each has 2 mesh pockets on the outside, and a zippered pocket.
Here’s what I put in one end.
On this end, I use the mesh pockets to store my Strength Wraps and my Sling Shot Hip Circle — two items that I use almost every training session. I like keeping them on the outside pockets because they are easy to grab and they can air out when not being used.
In the zippered pocket I keep spare workout clothes — Strong Mama socks, Coaching shirt and extra workout clothes in case I ever forget or need them.
Here’s what I keep in the other end.
In this end, I use the mesh pockets to keep my workout log. I’ll also stick my phone or sunglasses in the extra pouch.
This zippered pouch holds my toiletries and other random stuff I might need for a shower or post-wod freshen up. I love my sport towel for its ability to roll-up small and dry quick.
So there you have it. That’s the contents of my gym bag and why I love it.
Are there any negatives to the Datsusara gym bag? Well, I learned it’s not a great backpack. The other day I used it when I had to bike from the mechanic to the gym and it wasn’t super comfortable or balanced, but then, it’s not designed to be a messenger bag.
I’d love it if the bag was made in the USA, but it is manufactured in China. While I’d prefer to support American-made products, I was willing to make this concession because I love everything else out about the bag. “Made in China” does not necessarily mean junk — every stitch of this bag is well constructed.
Price would be the only other negative. These bags are not cheap — the Mini Bag sells for $85. But I decided a while ago that paying more for a quality product is a worthwhile investment.
The purchase price made me think carefully about what I needed in a bag and if it was worth spending so much for just a gym bag. Having had the bag for over a month, I am truly satisfied with my purchase and I feel it is well worth the price.
I really love this bag and would recommend it to anyone, especially CrossFitters, who carry a decent amount of gear to and from the gym on a regular basis. The bag holds all my necessary gear and makes it easy to find what I need. Additionally, it is well made and I feel good about supporting a small business that is very customer responsive and stands behind it’s product.
Are you in the market for a new gym bag?
Datsusara is offering a special discount to readers of this blog.
Use the discount code mm-5 to receive 5% off your entire purchase.
Visit their website, www.dsgear.com to check out their gear bags and other items.
Note: I received a discounted price on my gear bag in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my wholly my own. Also, this post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase an item. There is no additional cost to you. These links help support my blog allow me to provide content for free.