What’s in My Summer Gym Bag

What's in My Summer Gym Bag

And when I say “gym bag,” I mean “reusable Trader Joe’s grocery bag.” Yeah…haven’t quite gotten around to buying a real one. To-may-toe, to-mah-toe.

Nomenclature logistics aside, I thought I’d share the workout essentials I’ve been toting around with me this summer. I love discovering new brands and seeing what products other fitness enthusiasts are using, so be sure to share your own current gym bag staples in the comments section!

While I don’t have a monthly gym membership, I’m always taking advantage of Groupons for gym trials; love trying out spinning and boutique fitness studios; and always pack my workout essentials for weekend trips (even though, let’s be real, those sneakers usually collect dust in my suitcase Friday night through Sunday). Here’s what’s been getting thrown in my “gym bag” this summer:


  1. Apple’s EarPods: I have a massive tangle of every different type of headphone you can imagine in my apartment, but these are my current favorites. I like that they’re in-ear, but without that rubber plug. Sometimes I get a weird suction effect with those rubber ear buds that can make them uncomfortable to wear.
  2. M3K’s Barefaced + Fabulous Foaming Facial Cleanser and Toner: Even if I don’t always shower after working out (I’m dirty; judge me), I always wash my face. This cleanser is great because it’s also a toner and I’ve found it removes eye makeup really well. And when M3K offered to send me a sample, I pretty much fell in love with the ingredient list. Peppermint Oil, which I wrote an entire blog post about this winter, gives it a great scent and a really refreshing feel. It also contains goji berry, acacia berry, aloe vera, grape seed extract, ginko biloba leaf—lots of natural skincare superstars.
  3. Scunci No-Slip Grip Skinny Soft Hairbands: No bells and whistles here—I actually love the cheap-o headbands you can buy at pharmacies and grocery stores. For spin class, however, I’ve found that I need to invest in one of those trendy wide fabric headbands to keep the sweat from dripping down my face.
  4. Klean Kanteen Water Bottle: When it comes to reusable water bottles, you’ve gotta skip the plastic. I’ve been using Klean Kanteen’s stainless steel, toxin-free water bottle for years and love it. Plus, they come in Carolina blue—this Tar Heel is sold. I will say, though, I want to switch to one of their bottles with a sip spout so that I don’t have to twist off the cap each time I want a drink.
  5. Tom’s of Maine Deodorant: Blame it on having a hippie mom or growing up in New England, but I’ve always used Tom’s deodorant. Now, don’t get me wrong—if I’m going to a baseball game in August wearing a gray short-sleeve shirt, I’m going to put on something with antiperspirant in it. But everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, so I like to keep it natural as much as possible with deodorant. I love Tom’s (the products, the ingredients, the company’s emphasis on helping the environment and communities)—and this Beautiful Earth scent that Tom’s of Maine graciously sent me is awesome.
  6. Balega Socks: I’ve been obsessed with this brand of socks since college. It’s weird to have such strong feelings about…socks…but I f***ing love Balega. They’re so comfortable and have this awesome little back padding to cushion your Achilles and keep the socks from slipping down into the vast abysses that is your sneaker.
  7. Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Skin Ointment: I’ve had this little jar for so long that the company has since totally revamped the packaging, but I carry it around with me everywhere (even to the gym) and use it for everything—as lip balm, makeup remover, for dry cuticles, cuts, bug bites—tea tree oil is awesome. And although this particular product isn’t organic, Desert Essence has a whole organic line, which will definitely be my next purchase.

What are you lugging to the gym these days?


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  1. My gym bad always has 4 things in it: vaseline (duh), a jump rope, ear buds, and pre-wrap that I use as a headband..I prefer it because I can just throw away the sweaty band after my workout.

  2. I’ve tried so so many natural deodorants and haven’t found one that actually works. I totally agree on trying to use as many natural products as possible, as our skin is our “largest organ”. Perhaps I’ll give Tom’s another chance.

  3. My birthday is in two weeks and I have requested only one gift: Balega socks. This might sound boring but I am SO PUMPED. I also f***in love them!!!

  4. Any recommendations if you sweat like mad even with antiperspirant ?

    • I’m probably not the best person to ask, but I do have several friends who swear by Mitchum–it’s not all natural, but I hear it’s super efficient!

  5. Love Toms! I’m definitely gonna try the barefaced face wash/toner! Thanks for sharing the inside of your trader joes-I mean gym bag! 😉

  6. I also use a reuseable Flywheel bag that I won at a giveaway. My must haves are my earphones, armband and a headband.

  7. I’m sold on cutting a lime slice and rubbing it on, I haven’t had B. O. since! But yes I still sweat, aren’t we suppose to?!

  8. The North Face has the Klean Kanteen rubber (bpa free) spout that you can use with your bottle. I just got it on Friday and am obsessed. Also? It’s a mere 5 bucks.

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