A nice duffel bag can be quite helpful for storage, travel, and many other things. A duffel bag makes packing quick and simple, whether you’re in a rush to leave for an overnight trip or you need a practical way to carry big stuff.
There are several duffel bags available, and the majority of them consist of simply one sizable compartment for packing items. Yet, if you pay close attention, you can spot subtle distinctions that distinguish some bags from others. To assist you in selecting the ideal duffel for your needs, we tested dozens of them.
Best Duffel Bags 2023
Duffel bags are cylindrical-shaped travel bags that are frequently made of durable, lightweight materials such as nylon or canvas. They are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for short trips, gym workouts, and weekend getaways. Duffel bags range in size from small overnight bags to large duffel bags that can hold several days’ worth of clothing and equipment.
The versatility of duffel bags is one of their main advantages. They are appropriate for a variety of activities, including outdoor adventures and business trips. Many duffel bags have multiple compartments and pockets for easy item organization. As a result, they are ideal for storing clothes, shoes, toiletries, and other travel necessities.
Another advantage of duffel bags is their portability. They can be carried in either hand or over the shoulder, and many models include detachable shoulder straps for added convenience. When not in use, their soft, flexible material makes them easy to pack and store.
Duffel bags are also a fashionable and trendy option for travelers. They are available in a variety of colors and designs, making it simple to find one that matches your personal style. Some models also include unique features like water-resistant materials, lockable zippers, and reinforced straps for extra durability.
Overall, duffel bags are a versatile, practical, and fashionable option for travelers looking for a dependable bag for their short trips and adventures.
Read on to learn more about the best duffel bags to buy in 2023:
- Durable and Lightweight
- Simple and Classy Design
- Includes Several High-End Features
- Multiple Zippered Pockets
The Gregory Alpaca offers outstanding value because it is more affordable than the majority of the top competitors and has all the features you could ask for in a high-end duffel bag. The Alpaca offers many storage compartments, full-length daisy chain connection hooks on both sides, comfortable backpack straps, and water-resistant 900D material. It also has a stylish, sophisticated design and is made of high-quality materials. It skillfully strikes a balance between a sizable storage volume, practical carrying alternatives, tough, water-resistant construction, and respectably lightweight.
The alpaca performs admirably across the board and exhibits no notable weaknesses. The only real downside is that it can be a pain to take off the backpack straps. To slide the strap through a girth hitch at the opposite end, you must unweave one end through a doubled-back buckle. Even while it’s not particularly challenging, trying to take the straps off or put them on in a crowded airport could require all of your patience and manual dexterity. Overall, the Alpaca continues to be one of our favorite bags and is very affordable.
Sea to Summit Duffel
- Versatile Carrying Options
- Durable Materials and Construction
- Easily Removable Straps
- Stocky Yet Smooth Double Zipper
A formidable lineup consisting of worthy rivals from several of the greatest outdoor brands is overcome by the Sea to Summit Duffel Bag, which narrowly escapes with a repeat of our top position. This bag distinguishes out thanks to its exceptional build quality, heavy-duty 1000D materials, and unique and adaptable strap system. The bag’s 14 mounting points can be used to attach the two fully detachable straps, which are also conveniently adjustable thanks to built-in metal carabiner-style clips. These can be worn as typical briefcase carry handles, shoulder slings, or backpack straps, depending on your desire.
The briefcase-style carrying configuration is the Sea to Summit’s minor flaw. It feels odd. Traditional carry handles are absent from this bag, but you may adjust the shoulder straps to carry it by your side. The straps also contain tiny magnets built into them to keep them together. While we adore the concept, the magnetic link is not very practical, and holding the bag in this manner is less cozy than with the majority of other versions. It is also one of the heaviest bags in our range due to its sturdy material and the fact that there is only one pocket on the interior of the top lid. We wholeheartedly endorse this piece of baggage due to its premium construction and materials.
REI Co-Op Big Haul Recycled Rolling Duffel
- Good Organization and Compression
- Rolls Well Over Mixed Terrain
- Large Capacity for Weight
- Durable Construction
The REI Co-op Large Haul Recycled Rolling Duffel is the bag we like best if you’d rather wheel your duffel than carry it. This large bag has all the features we look for in a duffel and has robust wheels that move easily over any surface. This large bag has solid handles on all four sides, a retractable handle, and lots of internal and external organization to prevent your smaller belongings from being lost, just like your beloved suitcase. With 1680D reinforcements, daisy chain lash points, and even a piggyback clip for securing smaller luggage while in transit, it is constructed from 400D recyclable ripstop nylon.
The REI Rolling Duffel can’t ensure that your possessions will stay dry if you travel to a wet area or have to wheel your bags through puddles. Although not waterproof like some of the carry-only models we tested, its nylon shell is water-resistant. Even though we adore its roomy interior, we found it all too easy to violate the 50-pound weight restriction for checked bags used by the majority of airlines. The Large Haul Rolling Duffel is the bag for you if you are more restrained when packing and require a luggage that you can easily roll through the congested streets of Manhattan, across the historic cobblestones of Rome, and across the Egyptian sand dunes.
The North Face Base Camp
- Thick and Durable Material
- Internal and External Zippered Pockets
- Simple and Time-Tested Design
- 4.1 lbs. Weight
The North Face Base Camp is our top pick for a straightforward and durable expedition backpack. It has been a staple on distant excursions all over the world for decades and has been at the top of our lineup for a number of years. Its straightforward and timeless design has mostly not changed over time, and its sturdy 1000D material is among the strongest we’ve tested. An internal and external zippered pocket adds further value. During decades-long travels around the world, these backpacks have stood the test of time. We have many Base Camp duffels that have seen years of adventurous travel just within our test team.
The Base Camp’s strap configuration is its main flaw. The grab handles and conventional briefcase-style straps are fixed and simple to use. However, the shoulder straps require threading through a doubled-back buckle to be removed or replaced. The removal of duffel bag straps is often required by airlines, which makes it more work to hand off or pick up your luggage. Also, the thick material is more prone to scratches than other styles and has a more functional appearance than some more beautiful choices. Yet the Base Camp is our top pick if you’re looking for a straightforward, dependable luggage that will easily transport you across all seven continents.
REI Co-Op Roadtripper
- Packs Down Small
- Very Light for its Size
- Simple and Affordable
- 1.6 lbs. Weight
While the REI Roadtripper offers outstanding storage and usability at almost half the price, making it an exceptional bargain for a duffel bag on a budget, the Gregory Alpaca stands out for its great value among the robust, high-end bags in our lineup. The Roadtripper stands out from the competition since it is so inexpensive and simple. The Roadtripper is incredibly affordable because of its dependable, lightweight design, detachable shoulder sling, one external zipped pocket, and straightforward daisy chain system.
Because of its straightforward design and thinner materials, the Roadtripper is rather light. However, it misses several of the “fancy” features seen on more expensive models, such as interior pockets, compression straps, backpack straps, and lengthy daisy chains. Although the fabric and zipper are durable enough for normal everyday use, they cannot withstand the abuse that other, more durable duffels can. The Roadtripper, however, is a versatile, lightweight, and cost-effective choice for everyday use.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
- Multiple Zippered Pockets
- Comfortable Carry Options
- Durable, Stylish, Recycled Material
- Easily Removable Shoulder Straps
The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel, one of the best pieces of luggage available, narrowly misses out on our top spot due to its superior performance and exquisite design. In addition to the high-end design elements like the exterior zippered pocket, two interior zippered pockets, internal baggage compression straps, and external daisy chain attachment points, we enjoy the comfy backpack straps that are easily detachable. The strengthened bottom panel aids in preventing wear from dragging and hauling, and the 900D recycled material is strong and water-resistant. Although still being fashionable enough for frequent work travels, this bag is strong enough for the most challenging treks.
The Black Hole is a strong and versatile duffel bag that narrowly falls short of earning our top score. Because of its somewhat thicker and more robust material (1000D vs. 900D) and more adaptable and flexible strap system, our testers favored the Sea to Summit. Others might choose the Black Hole’s design, more storage compartments, or additional daisy chain attachment points. The best option among these two top-scoring bags is dependent on the buyer’s preferences.
- Comfortably Padded Backpack Straps
- Heavy-Duty Padded Grab Handles
- Backpack Harness Includes Load Lifters and a Chest Strap
- 3.3 lbs. Weight
The Osprey Transporter is acknowledged as having the most comfortable carrying system thanks to its supportive and well-padded backpack harness design that is identical to their backpacks. The Transporter is one of the few products we examined with a chest strap and load lifter straps in addition to its comfortable and supportive harness, even though the majority of the models in our range have backpack straps. For seamless airport transfers, the entire harness may also be rapidly unbuckled and placed within a zippered pocket on the top lid. The bag features the high-quality components and construction typical of Osprey products and four sturdy grab handles for carrying it like a briefcase.
Although the Transporter is clearly comfortable when worn as a backpack, most duffel bags have typical carry handles that resemble briefcases. Although the supportive and sturdy grasp grips help make up for this, we prefer carrying solutions that offer more possibilities. Also, although this bag contains both an interior and an external zippered pocket, their placement makes them less useful. For people who value backpack carrying qualities, the Transporter is a great option because it is designed for carrying bulky goods in comfort and style.
In conclusion, duffel bags are a versatile and convenient travel bag option for those who want to pack light and move quickly. They come in a range of sizes, designs, and materials, making it easy to find one that fits your personal style and travel needs. The benefits of duffel bags include their ease of use, multiple compartments for organization, and stylish appearance. Based on the reviews provided in this blog, it is clear that duffel bags are a popular choice among travelers for their durability, flexibility, and practicality. If you are in the market for a new travel bag, we highly recommend considering a duffel bag. Whether you are going on a short trip or a weekend getaway, a duffel bag is a reliable option that can make your travels more comfortable and convenient.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a duffel bag?
A duffel bag is a cylindrical-shaped travel bag that is often made of durable, lightweight materials such as nylon or canvas. It typically has one large main compartment and may also have smaller compartments and pockets for organizing items.
What are the benefits of using a duffel bag?
Duffel bags are versatile and convenient, making them ideal for short trips, gym workouts, and weekend getaways. They are lightweight, easy to carry and come in a range of sizes and designs. They often have multiple compartments and pockets for organizing items, and their soft, flexible material makes them easy to pack and store.
How do I choose the right size duffel bag for my needs?
The size of the duffel bag you need depends on the length of your trip and the number of items you plan to bring. Small duffel bags are great for overnight trips, while larger duffel bags can hold several days’ worth of clothing and gear.
Can duffel bags be used as carry-on luggage?
Many duffel bags can be used as carry-on luggage, but it is important to check the size restrictions of your airline before traveling. Some airlines have strict size limits for carry-on bags.
How do I clean and maintain my duffel bag?
The cleaning and maintenance of a duffel bag depend on the material it is made of. Most duffel bags can be wiped clean with a damp cloth and mild detergent. It is also important to store your duffel bag in a cool, dry place when not in use.