The 10 Best Duffle Bags
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in June of 2015. There's no substitute for a tough and versatile duffle bag, whether you're packing for an adventure, going to your next sporting event, or simply heading to the gym. The models in our selection were chosen based on factors like overall storage capacity, carrying options, organization, and durability, and are available in a myriad of styles to suit every person and application. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
March 09, 2020:
Duffle bags have been used since the 17th century and are often found on the shoulders of military service personnel thanks to their reliable design and overall ruggedness. Of course, as with all forms of luggage, they have evolved over time and are no longer only available in a basic cotton or canvas design with limited, if any, pockets. We wanted to make sure our list encompassed the many forms of duffle bags out there, so while you'll still find that basic canvas option here, specifically the tough Rothco Parachute Cargo, we have also included a wide variety of other models that boast more modern features.
The Osprey Transporter 130, which can accommodate a ton of stuff, is both a backpack and duffle, making it ideal for a variety of use. When fully loaded, you'll appreciate the well-padded dual shoulder straps, and multiple grab handles make it easy to toss onto or retrieve from all forms of transportation. The Travelpro Bold is another versatile option. It features wheels and a telescoping handle, just like rolling suitcases, yet can also be carried slung across a shoulder. It also fully unzips, allowing for convenient packing and unpacking.
If your needs tend more towards sporting activities than travel, you'll want to consider the smaller Under Armour Undeniable 4.0, Nike Brasilia 6, and Adidas Defender III, instead of the aforementioned items. All feature a dedicated shoe/laundry pocket to keep your smellier items away from your clean stuff.
Watergoing individuals also have the option of a high-quality duffle now in the Gonex Waterproof, which has the name suggest, will keep all of its contents completely protected from moisture. Coming in three sizes, there should be one to suite all individuals no matter how much gear you need to lug along.
Cotopaxi Uyuni Made from high-quality remnants from other companies, the Cotopaxi Uyuni is an eco-friendly option you can feel good about carrying. It features a top-to-bottom zipper, allowing for easy packing and unpacking, multiple grab handles, and a stowable shoulder strap. It is also equipped with a padded laptop compartment and collapsible laundry pocket. cotopaxi.com
Land's End Waxed Canvas Travel With a rugged exterior and tough leather carrying handles, the Land's End Waxed Canvas Travel should see you through a lot of adventure. It is equipped with large pull rings on its zippers, and its interior, which features a mesh pocket, boasts a soft cotton lining that won't scratch any valuables. landsend.com
What's The Deal With Duffle Bags?
Sports and outdoor enthusiasts, in particular, can benefit from the bag's extended length.
When you can't fit all of your belongings into a regular backpack or handbag, it's time to consider investing in a duffle bag. Duffle bags are designed to hold a ton of stuff, so you won't have to make any tough calls when it comes to choosing what to pack. With one of these bags, you can bring it all.
The duffle bag, which is sometimes also spelled as the duffel bag, takes its name from the Belgian town of Duffel. The city was famous for its tough textiles that were used to create durable carry-all bags. Duffles became popular because of their versatility. They stand up well to wear and tear and are suitable for carrying items of many shapes and sizes. These are a few of the reasons why militaries all over the world prefer this style of bag for hauling supplies.
The main characteristic that distinguishes duffle bags from other packs is their cylindrical body design. The elongated main compartment is perfect for storing awkwardly-shaped equipment that might not fit into traditional bags. Sports and outdoor enthusiasts, in particular, can benefit from the bag's extended length.
Duffle bags can also act effectively as luggage. Since they're soft, they're easy to lift and fit into overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you. As long as your bag meets the airline's size guidelines, it can make a great alternative to that bulky rolling suitcase.
So, whether you're a professional athlete, an adventure seeker, or a frequent traveler, a duffle bag will serve you well. With bags like these, you can pack whatever you want and rest easy knowing that your possessions are protected by a thick layer of fabric. It's a perfect combination of function and convenience.
What To Look For In A Duffle Bag
There are so many duffle bags on the market, choosing the right one can be a challenge. But, as long as you keep these common features in mind, finding a bag that's perfectly suited to your needs will be a cinch.
On the other hand, anyone looking for a duffle that can serve as a weekend bag will want to pick up a smaller, more manageable option.
The first thing to take into account is the capacity of the product. If you're an athlete who intends to transport large, heavy objects that come in unusual shapes, you're going to need a pretty big bag. On the other hand, anyone looking for a duffle that can serve as a weekend bag will want to pick up a smaller, more manageable option. Finally, if you travel frequently by air, make sure your potential purchase meets the limitations published by the airline you're flying.
Pockets are an aspect of the duffle bag that can help you keep your things organized. Some models boast interior and exterior pockets. Duffles that come without pockets are appropriate for individuals who plan on primarily transporting items that take up a lot of space. Think of it this way: the more small items you have, the more pockets you'll likely need.
Don't forget about the material. If you know your bag will be exposed to less-than-ideal weather conditions, make sure to opt for an model constructed from water-resistant fabric. Similarly, there are models out there that are made out of reinforced material that won't rip or tear under strain — a feature that should please campers and hikers. Canvas is a popular material, too, because it's durable and easy to clean.
Those who can't bear the thought of toting a simple, utilitarian duffle around are in luck. There are plenty of bags available that are not only practical but visually appealing, too. You can find bags in colorful prints, with stylish logos, and in various designs.
If you can, choose a bag that comes with an attached shoulder strap. This detail will make lugging your belongings through the airport or across town a much more pleasant experience.
How To Keep Your Duffle Bag Organized
Once you have your duffle bag, how do you pack it so that all of your goods are in order and readily accessible? Here, we've outlined a few simple tricks that will aid you in your quest to keep organized when you're on the go.
Similarly, you should put small, lightweight items on top and larger, heavier ones below.
Since duffle bags tend to have one large, main compartment, you'll want to consider dividing your possessions by category and storing them in separate bags or containers. This way, when you need to pull something out of your pack, you won't have to remove its entire contents — all you'll have to do is locate the bag containing the item you're looking for.
Regardless of your packing strategy, it's wise to arrange your things so that the items you reach for least often are positioned at the bottom of your bag. Similarly, you should put small, lightweight items on top and larger, heavier ones below.
When it comes to packing, saving space is the name of the game. An easy way to make more room is by rolling clothes instead of folding them. With this method, you'll be able to create quite a bit of extra space for things like souvenirs.
Another note: store your odds and ends, such as chargers and sunglasses, in the pockets of your duffle. This will help keep them from getting lost among the rest of your things in the main compartment. When you're out and about, you won't have time to fish out a tiny tube of chapstick from the bottom of your bag, so make sure it's right there for you to quickly retrieve in one of the bag's exterior pockets.
There's so much more to packing than just throwing everything into your bag and hoping for the best. If you take these travel hacks to heart, you're certain to have a much smoother trip.