Waterfield Boot Camp Gym Bag review: Just right-sized

Waterfield Boot Camp Gym Bag
(Image: © Karen Freeman/iMore)

iMore Verdict

Bottom line: This thoughtfully-designed bag is perfect for the gym and much more.


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    Compact enough to fit gym lockers

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    Sturdy ballistic nylon or waxed canvas

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    Lots of compartments and zippers

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    Gold interior for easy visibility

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    Crafted in San Francisco workshop


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    Cannot be thrown in a washing machine

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Waterfield's Boot Camp Gym Bag is just the right size for your gym essentials and fits inside most lockers. It stands upright on its own. Plus, it looks so good, you might just be more excited than usual to get to the gym.

Not just for the gym

Waterfield Boot Camp Gym Bag: Features

Waterfield Bootcamp Gym Bag

Waterfield Bootcamp Gym Bag (Image credit: Karen Freeman/iMore)

Waterfield's Boot Camp Gym Bag was created for the gym, sized just right to fit into a cubby or locker with plenty of pockets for gym essentials. It stands upright, making it easy to reach in and grab items from the bag as it sits in a locker or on a bench. Constructed from ballistic nylon (in Black) or waxed canvas (in Brown), it has naturally tanned full-grain leather accents and splash-proof YKK zippers. In fact, I've never seen zippers like these before. When zipped, the teeth are invisible.

The clamshell-style zipper lets you open up the bag completely for easy packing. A second zipper also accesses the main compartment, but it's smaller for quick access. The interior is a bright goldenrod ripstop nylon, which lends itself to easy visibility. Two water bottle pockets, one on either side, lay flat when not in use but expand to fit water bottles up to three inches in diameter.

Measuring 12.5 inches (31.75 centimeters) long by 6.5 inches (16.51 centimeters) wide by 13.5 inches (34.29 centimeters) high, it weighs about two pounds (a kilogram) empty. To be precise, if you choose the Black ballistic nylon option, it weighs 1.9 pounds (0.86 kilograms), whereas the Brown waxed canvas option weighs 2.3 pounds (1.04 kilograms). The volume of the bag is 14.5 liters, which is slightly smaller than most backpacks.

With this bag, you might even be more inspired to hit the gym.

Two small interior pockets could hold weight-lifting gloves, cosmetics, or other accessories. Two exterior pockets are held flat by the handles when not in use. One of the outer pockets is open-topped, but the placement of the handle would keep large items from falling out. The other exterior pocket has a magnetic closure for extra security. Inside this pocket are a key clip and two smaller slide compartments.

The handles are lined with premium full-grain leather, making them comfortable to hold. There is also a removable shoulder strap, so you can carry the bag either way.

Though Waterfield's Boot Camp Gym Bag was made for the gym, it's a great size that could serve as a multi-purpose bag. I could see using it as a school, travel, or work bag; just note that there is a no built-in laptop sleeve.

Form and function

Waterfield Boot Camp Gym Bag: What I like

This is a gorgeous bag that has a thoughtful design for fitness fanatics. I like that unlike many gym bags, it's on the smaller side so it fits into lockers and cubbies just about anywhere. The upright form factor makes it easier to grab your stuff. I appreciate that it has not one, but two full-sized exterior water bottle pockets. Hydration is a must! I like the various types and sizes of pockets, which helps organize your belongings. The bright gold interior is a nice touch so that you can see everything in your bag with ease.

Waterfield Bootcamp Gym Bag

Waterfield Bootcamp Gym Bag (Image credit: Karen Freeman/iMore)

Keeping clean?

Waterfield Boot Camp Gym Bag: What I don't like

You'll need to think ahead to keep this bag from smelling, well, like a gym bag. You certainly can't throw it in a washing machine; it's got to be spot clean only. I'd recommend using some kind of washable interior bag to hold dirty gym clothes and shoes; I wouldn't put them directly into this bag at all.

As in common with bags of this quality, the price point is pretty high. This is all the more reason not to put your dirties directly in the bag.

All-around great bag

Waterfield Boot Camp Gym Bag: Bottom line

This is a gorgeous bag you'll be proud to take to the gym. It stands upright so you can easily access your items via two different zippers. The size is just right to fit in most lockers and cubbies. Inside, you'll find bright gold lining, making it easier to see what's inside at a glance. The exterior is either ballistic nylon (in Black) or waxed canvas (in Brown) with premium full-grain leather on the handles for superior comfort. A removable shoulder strap is also included for flexible carrying options.

There are two exterior water bottle pockets, two exterior slide pockets, one of which has two more slide pockets and a key clip. Inside the bag are two zipped accessory pockets. I'd recommend using a separate washable bag inside the Boot Camp Gym Bag to hold dirty clothes and shoes because this is not the sort of bag you toss into a washing machine. You're certainly not limited to the gym: this compact, good-looking bag would be great for school, work, or travel as well.

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at TechRadar and Tom's Guide. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, CNET, AppAdvice, and WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.