What's in My Bag

What’s in my gym bag? — Jordan Calhoun

What’s in my … ? issue #125

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Jordan Calhoun is Editor-in-Chief at Lifehacker and host of the podcast, The Upgrade. A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, he holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology, and an M.P.A. in Public Policy. His memoir, Piccolo Is Black, is available for pre-order in December. He lives in New York City.

During the worst of the pandemic, my gym bag was obsolete. Even when gyms re-opened, it took a while before my office building did, so my thoughtfully-packed bag collected dust in a corner of my closet. Now that life is a little closer to normal though, my gym bag has made its grand return.

Aside from the obvious gym clothes and shoes, here are 4 things I keep in my gym bag at all times: a jump rope, GRID foam roller, shower slippers with a toiletries kit, and wireless headphones.

GRID foam roller and jump rope

GRID foam roller and jump rope

Skipping Rope with Ball Bearings ($9)
Some gyms have jump ropes you can borrow, but it’s great to have my own to avoid worrying about having the right rope length. I’m 6’2″, so shorter ropes just don’t work for me. (If you’re wondering how to find the right jump rope length, just hold the handles in your hands and step one foot right in the middle of your rope. The handles should come right up to your armpits.)

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller ($35)
Most gyms have foam rollers, but they’re often the softer ones that are made entirely of foam. The GRID foam roller has a solid core and is a great upgrade once the softer foam rollers start to feel boring.

Toiletry bag, headphones and slides

Toiletry bag, headphones and slides

Adidas Adissage Slides ($30)
I keep a dedicated pair of Adidas Adissage slides in my gym bag for showering at the gym, along with a toiletries kit that has most of what you’d expect: soap, face wash, deodorant, lotion, and so on. I always keep extra pairs of socks and extra hair ties, too.

Insignia Noise Canceling Over-The-Ear Headphones ($50)
Lastly, a personal must-have at the gym is wireless headphones. I don’t spend a lot of money on fancy ones — these $50 Insignia over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones have been perfect for me and have been working great for years.


(What's in your ...? We want to hear about unusual and unusually useful items that you have in your desk, bag, closet, fridge or where ever you keep things. It can be anything really: work bag, pantry shelf, beauty drawer, toolbox, etc. Start by sending an email to claudia@cool-tools.org with a photo of the things in your chosen space (you can use your phone). If you get a reply from us, fill out the form. We’ll pay you $50 if we run your submission in our What’s in my ...? newsletter and blog. — editors)

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