I don't particularly love working out. There. I said it. I do it in part because it makes me feel strong, but mostly because of vanity. I will talk myself out of a workout with the slightest excuse, and I've found the best way to combat this natural tendency is to (a) work out before work or (b) work out at lunch.
I used to carry 3 different bags to work: a bag with my laptop, and gym bag with my clothes and other stuff I need, and my purse. And for someone who uses public transit, carrying all this STUFF was a massive pain in the ass. I decided it was time to downsize to 2 bags: a gym/laptop bag and a purse. After some trial and error (2 other bags didn't quite work out), I've finally found the right one: the lululemon city adventurer backpack.
Listen, I know that backpacks don't scream "FASHION!" or "GLAM!" but when you're in your 30s, you have to start taking care of your back. And carrying a heavy laptop on one shoulder misaligns your spine, causing an achy back. So fashion be damned, I'm going for comfort and no back pain. Having used this backpack for over 6 months, I haven't really found any cons to this bag, but a lot of pros.
1. The slim pocket in the back is large enough to hold a 15" laptop with no problem at all. I can also fit in a couple of notebooks. There's another pocket to hold your phone, but I don't use that because in all likelihood my phone is in my hand.
2. There is a separate zippered pocket along the bottom that you could use for dirty clothes, but I put my sneakers in there.
3. The main section has an area for your water bottle, another little pocket for essentials (hair ties and headphones), and a separate thin bag that you could use for shoes or dirty clothes. The main section is generously sized - i can fit my gym clothes, makeup bag, and basic toiletries.
4. The bag itself is very light so it doesn't feel like you're carrying this big thing on your back. At 17L it fits your stuff without feeling bulky or uncomfortable.
5. It is available in a number of colors, including basic black and blush pink!
I picked the black version for myself because its more versatile, and shows less dirt, but I did think long and hard about the blush one too. Both are beautiful, and if you're in the market for a multifunction backpack, you can't really go wrong with this one.
As a self-confessed "bag lady" I'm always in the market for some kind of bag - what are some that you're using right now? Leave them in the comments below, and who knows, we may just have matching bags in the a few months (jk... but it might just happen).