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Duffel bags are excellent alternatives to backpacks and suitcases. And even though they are relatively smaller than standard suitcases, duffel bags come with a cocktail of features that enable you to travel hassle-free.
First, most duffel bags come with one main compartment where you can easily throw in your travel essentials. That makes them remarkably easy to pack. Also, duffel bags are designed to be physically tough yet incredibly lightweight. And while many of these bags feature plain and simplistic designs, you can always find a duffel bag that suits your style.
Unfortunately, there are thousands of products in the duffel bags market, and finding a bag that suits your needs may not be a walk in the park. No need to fret though. We’ve collected some of the best travel duffel bags to help you hone in on a product that meets your style and budget.
How to Choose a Travel Duffel Bag
Now, not all duffel bags are made equal. But a quality duffel bag must possess certain specifications. The following are some of the essential features to look out for when shopping for your ideal duffel bag.
It’s important to choose a duffel bag that’s made with the right material, as that determines how comfortable the bag feels and how long it will last. Traditionally, duffel bags were made of canvas. However, modern bags come in all kinds of materials, from laminated nylon skins to ripstop nylon, to mention but a few.
In addition to durability and lightweight, also insist on a duffel bag that’s made of water-resistant material. And it’s important to reiterate that being water-resistant doesn’t necessarily make the bag waterproof.
2. Size and Weight
The best way to choose a travel duffle bag based on size considerations is first to understand your airline’s carry-on requirements. Those requirements will determine how many items you can pack for your trip, and ultimately, the overall size of your duffel bag. Most US airlines accept travel bags that fall within the 22 x 14 x 9 inch size specifications, or thereabout.
In terms of weight, you’ll want to establish whether the duffel bag is a wheeled or non-wheeled model. Wheeled models are considerably heavier but come with a larger carrying capacity than their non-wheeled counterparts. However, wheeled duffel bags are only ideal in tarmacked areas, such as at airports and on the streets. Non-wheeled duffel bags will comfortably serve your needs even when traveling on rough and rugged terrains.
3. Carry Options
How you intend to carry a duffel bag is a crucial consideration when shopping for these bags. So, always check a bag’s carry options beforehand.
You can either carry your duffel bag on your back, in which case you’ll choose a bag that comes with backpack-style straps. Or, you could hang the bag around your shoulders, where you’ll need to go for shoulder-style straps.
A duffel bag should come with numerous pockets where you can conveniently store your travel essentials. Your best bet is to go for bags that have both internal and external pockets.
You can use the internal compartments to stash your valuables and the external ones to keep the items you frequently use during your trip.
7 Best Travel Duffel Bags
1. Gregory Mountain Products Alpaca Duffel Bag
Size: 30.7 x 19.7 x 2.1 inches
Weight: 2.99 pounds
Color Options: True Black and Marine Blue
Material: 900D Polyester Diamond Ripstop and 630H HD Nylon
- Heavy-duty, water-resistant material
- U-shaped zippers for higher accessibility
- Lacks cinch straps
Gregory Mountain Products Alpaca Duffel Bag is made from a blend of soft and durable 900D polyester diamond ripstop, which is completed by a TPU coating and 630H HD Nylon. The bag is water-resistant, which makes it excellent for outdoor adventures. It features U-shaped zippers that quickly open the entire top panel for ease of packing and accessing your travel essentials.
To enhance the security of your items, the manufacturer included lockable zippers that come with reflective pulls. The use of dual haul handles that have hook-and-loop wraps make for a comfortable and convenient carrying.
2. Yeti Panga Airtight Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bag
Size: 23.5 x 14 x 10 inches
Weight: 5.18 pounds
Color Options: Storm Gray
- Dryhaul straps for easy picking by hand and carrying on your back
- Tough, durable, and water-resistant
- Limited color options
As the name suggests, Yeti Panga is an airtight, waterproof duffel bag that allows you to travel worry-free even during wet and humid conditions. The bag is designed to keep your clothing, passports, and other travel essentials 100% dry, thanks to a U-dock that comes at the terminal end of its HydroLok™ zipper.
Yeti Panga Airtight Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bag sports high-density nylon construction as well as thick TPU lamination that makes it incredibly abrasion- and puncture-resistant. The bag includes dryhaul straps that allow you to carry it either in your hands or on your back.
3. Bago 80L Duffle Bag
Size: 27 x 11 x 15 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
Color Options: Black, Blue, Purple, Snow Gray, Snow Blue, Red, Pink, and Green
Material: Honeycomb Waterproof Ripstop Fabric
- A variety of colors
- 100% warranty and money-back guarantee
- Weak shoulder straps
- Some users find it too thin
If color is your primary consideration while shopping for a duffel bag, then you’ll find this product by Bago to be worth your money. But the numerous color options isn’t the only thing to love about the bag.
The outer compartment is made from water- and odor-proof material while the inner compartments are soft enough to protect your fragile travel essentials from breaking. There’s also a separate shoe compartment where you can stash your extra pair of shoes, socks, and sandals.
4. Wandrad Hexad Access Travel Duffel
Size: 9 x 14 x 22 inches
Weight: 4.85 pounds
Color Options: Black, Watatch Green, and Aegean Blue
Material: Tarpaulin and 1680D Ballistic Nylon
- Innovative design
- Clamshell opening for quick access to your items
- Large storage space
- Looks sloppy and awkward when fully packed
- Relatively costly
The greatest selling feature of the Wandrad Hexad Access Travel Duffel is the high number of compartments that the bag comes with. The 45L duffel bag has numerous pockets where you can stash your clothing and shoes, travel documents, smartphone, camera, keys, laptop, etc. Wandrad Hexad has two slots that are built into its sides, which are intended to house camera cube inserts. That makes it a favorite of travel photographers.
In terms of convenience, this duffel bag comes with stowaway shoulder straps that enable you to wear it like your regular backpack. The bag sports a tarpaulin and 1680D ballistic nylon construction that’s completed with WR army coating for extended durability.
5. Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Duffle
Size: 22.8 x 11.5 x 3.1 inches
Weight: 1.68 pounds
Color Options: Black, Silver, White, Blue, Pitch Gray, Orange Glitch, etc.
Material: 100% Polyester
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Durable and Lightweight construction
- Water-resistant material
- Shoe compartment is small
Like the Wandrad Hexad Access Travel Duffel, Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Duffle also ranks among the top travel duffel bags that are preferred for their sheer number of compartments. The bag has a large front-zip organization pocket and a vented pocket for storing your shoes or dirty/wet laundry. It also includes a mesh pocket for keeping most of your items, as well as another zip pocket where you can stash items that you frequently use while traveling.
Under Armour comes with an 8-inch long adjustable shoulder strap, making it ideal for travelers of different heights. Made with 100% polyester, this duffel bag is soft, durable, and machine-washable.
6. Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag
Size: 19.5 x 9 x 13.5 inches
Weight: 1.6 pounds
Color Options: Dark Gray
- Adjustable shoulder strap and trolley strap
- Incredibly lightweight and chic design
- Water-resistant interior lining
- A bit costly
Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag is made from a durable, water-resistant, and lightweight dragon nylon. Besides being the go-to duffel bag for all-season traveling, this bag is also spacious enough to house all your travel essentials.
It has a main compartment where you can keep your regular travel gear, as well as hidden compartments for storing your valuables. Not to mention, a shoe pouch for keeping your shoes or dirty laundry. Other additional features include the use of TSA-friendly locks, YKK double zippers, and adjustable shoulder straps.
7. Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel
Size: 8.7 x 11 x 4.3 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds
Color Options: Black, Kingfisher Blue, Westwind Teal, Pointbreak Gray, and Ruffian Red.
Material: 800D Nylon
- Lockable zips
- Padded compartments
- Stowable backpack straps
- Relatively small
- Rigid design
Like most duffel bags that we’ve reviewed here, Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel is made of 800D nylon that’s coated using thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) for extra weather-resistance. The 40-liter duffel bag comes with zippered end-pockets that offer quick access to your travel items.
In the interest of your comfort, Osprey Transporter features stowaway contoured harness & yoke that enable you to carry the bag as a backpack. There are additional convenience features, such as an adjustable shoulder strap as well as an adjustable sternum strap that comes with a safety whistle.
While shopping for an excellent duffel bag, you should always look beyond its primary function of housing your travel essentials. Aspects like design, comfort, durability, etc. must also feature prominently among the list of factors to consider. The seven products that we’re reviewed above are a great place to begin your search for your ideal travel duffel bag.