These Are the Only Workout Shorts I Pack—And They’re Under $30

They’re high-waisted, comfortable, and even have a side zipper pocket.
A collage.

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When it comes to packing—for a quick weekend getaway, a work trip, or an extended vacation—I tend to rely on a select few all-star pieces. These are items, like my favorite tank top and timeless leather carry-all tote, I depend on time and time again. Their versatility is unmatched, and I know there’s a 100 percent chance I won’t deem them superfluous during my travels. My roster of suitcase staples, while reliable, is also dynamic; I’m always searching for new items to streamline my overall packing process. And earlier this year, I came across a new addition while hunting for elevated, travel-friendly workout attire: The perfect athletic shorts for every occasion.

No matter where I’m going, I always pack some form of activewear, as it allows me to comfortably explore my destination on foot or get in a workout at the hotel gym—both of which help me fight jet lag and travel fatigue in general. Although I’ll splurge on other travel clothing and accessories (namely shoes, coats, and luggage), I’m not the biggest fan of overspending on running or high-impact pieces. Given their purpose, there’s a good chance they’ll need to be replaced on a regular basis. So when it came time to upgrade my summer workout pieces—which I would be bringing everywhere, from Anguilla to Arizona—my search for more affordable options led me to the Amazon retailer BMJL’s women's running shorts.

This particular pair of shorts meets all of my requirements for fit, function, and price range—so at least a couple of them are always present in one of my packing cubes. The high-waist silhouette ensures the elastic waistband hits right above my belly button, making it ideal to wear with slightly cropped workout tanks. The flowy, forgiving material doesn’t bunch between my thighs—but I definitely recommend sizing up; the style does run a little small. I’m typically a size large in athletic bottoms, and I find the XL to be significantly more comfortable.

BMJL women's running shorts

One of the best things about the Amazon running shorts is the convenient side pocket. The zippered compartment is just the right size for everything I usually have with me when I’m doing a Peloton strength workout or going on a long leisurely walk, including a set of keys, AirPods, a hotel room card, or a bit of cash. As far as colorways, the options are vast. Personally, I’m a fan of bright workout gear—so I was immediately drawn to the hot pink, neon green, and royal blue hues—but I also purchased more neutral tones (hunter green, khaki, and white) to round out my activewear wardrobe.

Now for the most important part: The price. The BMJL shorts typically ring in at $29, and they’re usually available with Amazon Prime shipping (a few of the colors are sometimes back-ordered). This price tag always pleasantly surprises my friends, who have separately asked where I found these shorts and if I could send them the link.

If you're also on a journey to update your performance wear, for upcoming trips or just working out at home, I recommend adding at least one or two pairs of these essential Amazon running shorts to your cart. And don’t worry: While the product page suggests hand-washing only—a red flag in the world of travel clothing—I’ve never had a problem with throwing them in the washing machine and the dryer (just make sure it’s on the lowest temperature setting).