Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 New Gym Bag Accessories

Separate Compartments

Modern gym bag manufacturers rely on rugged, water-resistant materials like polyester or nylon. While these materials can protect your gym gear from rain and sweat, they also provide the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. When you toss your damp, sweaty workout clothing back into your gym bag, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to germs and pathogens that thrive in this type of warm, wet environment. Even worse, you're creating a bacteria breeding ground that leaves your gym bag smelling of sweat, mildew and other unpleasant odors.

Don't carry the smell of the gym home with you. Instead, invest in a bag with separate compartments for wet swimwear or damp clothing. While many people simply use a plastic bag to hold these items, it's easy to forget to bring these bags as you're rushing out the door each morning. Instead, choose a gym bag with a vented pocket that allows air to reach your wet items. Access to the air will not only help these items dry more quickly and protect your other clothing from moisture, but also keep germs from flourishing in your gym bag. Look for mesh side pockets or those with built-in air vents. If you tend to sweat a lot, or frequently include swimming in your fitness routine, choose a gym bag with a removable wet bag that you can wash and dry regularly.