The Best Duffle Bags

The Cotopaxi Chumpi 35L Duffel Del Día, on a stone wall next to a water bottle and surrounded by plants.

Few bags are as simple, versatile, and satisfying to use as a duffle.

Its utilitarian design—a soft, oblong bag with one zippered opening plus two handles and/or a shoulder strap—suits anything from a daily commute to a weekend away to a fishing trip.

Though that basic form works in many situations, no single duffle bag (the word is also spelled duffel ) can fit everyone’s taste or needs.

A small, barrel-shaped duffle may be perfect for toting a couple of towels and lunch to the beach, for example, but it doesn’t offer the organization or space to pack for a three-day business trip.

The seven bags we recommend—plus three alternates—are well made, comfortable to carry, and intended to fill a range of roles, including as a versatile adventure bag , a weekend-away duffle , a daily-carry bag , a lightweight convertible backpack , an ultra-packable duffle , a rolling duffle for checking , and a waterproof gear hauler .

The research

Why you should trust me, most versatile duffle: patagonia black hole duffel 70l, also great: decathlon forclaz duffel 500 extend, best weekender: lands’ end waxed canvas travel duffle bag, best for daily carry: herschel supply co. sutton duffle mid-volume, also great: cotopaxi mariveles 32l duffel bag del día, for traveling on foot: cotopaxi chumpi 35l duffel del día, for when you need a spare bag: matador freefly packable duffle, also consider: waterfield packable duffel, best as checked luggage: dakine split roller 110l bag, best for keeping things dry: yeti panga 50l waterproof duffel, other good duffle bags, how we picked and tested, the competition, what to look forward to.

I’ve reviewed bags for Wirecutter since 2014. In that time, I’ve interviewed countless bag designers, brand executives, fabric specialists, zipper zealots, and a host of bag hobbyists and satchel obsessives. These interviews and my own years of research have earned me at least something of a journeyman’s understanding of how a good bag should feel and what makes it work in a given situation.

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel (100L

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 70L

A rugged, versatile bag to hold your gear.

This bag is the most versatile gear duffle we’ve found. It’s tough, water resistant, and great for toting clothes and equipment in almost any travel or outdoor scenario.

Buying Options

Get this if: You need a sporty, water-resistant bag that can handle anything from toting sports gear to holding stuff for a two-day camping trip to going on a weeklong vacation.

Why it’s great: The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 70L is a true jack-of-all-trades. The exterior is made of polyester ripstop that is laminated with thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to protect against abrasion and has a water-resistant coating. Over the years, I’ve dragged, thrown, kicked, and carried these Patagonia bags across most of the country, and they’ve never failed. You can carry the Black Hole at your side using the two handles or over your shoulder using the strap, or you can wear it as a backpack with its two padded straps. The Black Hole is available in three other sizes, too: 40 liters , 55 liters , and 100 liters . (We originally tested a now-discontinued 120-liter version.) For all practical purposes, the bags are identical except for their increasing size, though the two smaller sizes come in a wider range of colors than do the two larger sizes. The Black Hole folds down into its own stuff sack, which turns into a storage pocket when you unfold the duffle. Patagonia has a highly regarded replacement and repair guarantee that we’ve tested many times without complaint.

A person attaching the shoulder straps on the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel bag.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: There’s little about the Black Hole to critique. It does what it needs to, and Patagonia’s reputation for high-quality materials and craftsmanship has set the standard for this type of bag for years. One small detail: The shoulder straps can take a moment to situate because of their unusual eyelet attachment, but once you figure them out, adjusting them is easy to do with one hand.

Dimensions: 28 by 13 by 17.5 inches (LWH) Capacity: 70 liters Other sizes: 40 liters , 55 liters , 100 liters

The Decathlon Forclaz Duffel 500 Extend duffle bag outside on gravel with a water bottle nearby.

Decathlon Forclaz Duffel 500 Extend

If you need a versatile bag that expands.

This expandable bag is an absolute bargain, considering the quality and strength of the materials. However, Decathlon is still a lesser-known brand in the US, and we haven’t tested this bag for as long as we have our other picks.

Get this if: You need a durable and water-resistant bag for travel, sports, or longer adventure trips. With its extra 20 liters of expandable space, it’s a particularly good pick if you tend to travel with a small load and return home with a larger one—so consider this bag if you anticipate receiving gifts or doing some shopping while you’re traveling.

Why it’s great: When we first compared the quality of the Decathlon Forclaz Duffel 500 Extend against its listed price, we thought there must have been some kind of mistake. We rarely see a bag with coated thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polyester, both of which offer water resistance and durability, of this quality for less than a hundred dollars. In many respects, the Forclaz Duffel is similar in material quality to the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 70L , yet it’s less than half the price. That said, we have some small concerns that we can’t address without further testing, namely the stitching at critical points (more on that below).

The black shoulder attachments of a green Decathlon Forclaz Duffel 500 Extend, outside near plants and a water bottle.

Beyond the price, the standout feature of the Forclaz bag is its Transformer-like ability to expand from a 40-liter backpack to a 60-liter bag with the adjustment of a few zippers and clips. The expansion process is a bit fiddly at first, but it’s well worth the effort if you find yourself frequently packing more than you expect during your trips.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Upon close examination of the Forclaz bag, we found that our biggest concern involved the stitching at certain critical points, such as at the shoulder attachments and along key seams; we’d prefer to see more double stitching and bar tack reinforcements, as we found on the Patagonia Black Hole. This bag has notably high review scores on the Decathlon website, and its sturdy materials lead us to anticipate that it will wear well. That said, Decathlon’s limited warranty does not look as rock solid as Patagonia’s. There’s really no way for us to address this bag’s potential flaws without spending a lot more time with it, which we plan to do.

Dimensions: 21.5 by 15.5 by 12.5 inches (LWH) Capacity: 40 liters (expands to 60 liters) Other sizes: none

Lands’ End Waxed Canvas Duffle Bag

Lands’ End Waxed Canvas Travel Duffle Bag

A buy-it-for-life travel bag.

The more you use this rugged weekender, the better it will look. The canvas body, leather reinforcements, and brass hardware all promise durability, though we’d prefer more waxing in the canvas.

Get this if: You want a bag with a heritage look, to carry on quick trips, that can take a few knocks and age well with the wear.

Why it’s great: The Lands’ End Waxed Canvas Travel Duffle Bag is the toughest bag we could find—it’s made of sturdy canvas, with leather trim and brass hardware—that is also consistently available. The shoulder strap comes off, which is useful if you prefer to carry your bags by their handles. A small internal pocket is convenient for tucking away, say, your wallet or your house keys. The waxed duffle fits a specific aesthetic: It’s maybe not the bag you’d take on a business trip but rather to a cabin in the mountains. That outdoorsy look, however, has practical benefits, as with a little care a duffle like this should last a long time. (We should note, however, that Lands’ End no longer offers a lifetime warranty—you now have recourse only within a 90-day return period.)

A close up of the hardware on the Lands' End Waxed Canvas Duffle.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Waxed canvas is heavier than most modern fabrics (such as nylon and polyester), and we noticed the extra heft of the Lands’ End bag in comparison with the weight of other duffles we tested. Although Lands’ End describes this duffle as waxed, we’d call it lightly waxed at best. The canvas is mildly water resistant, but liquids won’t roll off it in the way you might see with more heavily waxed items. If you do want more protection, you can add more wax to the canvas yourself . When we tested the bag, it came in brown and navy. Currently, it’s available only in navy.

Dimensions: 24 by 11 by 11 inches (LWH) Capacity: 40 liters Other sizes: none

A person carrying the Herschel Supply Sutton Duffle Mid-Volume bag with the strap over their shoulder.

Herschel Supply Co. Sutton Duffle Mid-Volume

An affordable bag for daily use.

This midsize bag is for anyone who wants a simple duffle to use during the day. It’s great for commuting, going to the gym, or toting supplies on a park or beach excursion.

Get this if: You need an inexpensive bag with a casual style for your day-to-day activities and hobbies.

Why it’s great: If you were to ask a random person on the street to picture a small, basic duffle, they’d probably imagine a bag like the Herschel Supply Co. Sutton Duffle Mid-Volume . It has the classic shape, look, and feel of a traditional barrel duffle. Like most of the duffles we looked at, it comes with a removable shoulder strap, but you can carry it comfortably by its top handles, too. This decently constructed polyester bag with a center zipper running down its length is small enough that you can’t really overpack it or make it too heavy; basically, it’s the perfect size for daily tasks. Herschel bags are backed by a limited lifetime warranty . One thing to note for anyone who likes internal organization: The Sutton Duffle Mid-Volume has no internal pockets. It comes in a range of colors and a couple of patterns—six in all.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: This Herschel duffle is not the best-made bag we’ve encountered—the fabric feels thin, and the stitching is a bit slapdash. However, it is one of the better-made bags we’ve seen that cost less than $75. Even with light daily use, the Sutton Duffle Mid-Volume should last a good amount of time. Oddly, Herschel placed six small grommets on the bottom of the bag to (we assume) let out moisture. Unfortunately, that placement also lets plenty of moisture in if you accidentally put the bag down on a wet spot or coffee spill, which is not an inconceivable scenario in a gym or office.

Dimensions: 20.25 by 10.25 by 10.25 inches (LWH) Capacity : 28 liters Other sizes: none

A bright blue Cotopaxi duffle bag resting on the ground with the logo on its side and a water bottle next to it.

Cotopaxi Mariveles 32L Duffel Bag Del Día

A daily-use bag made of upcycled material.

Similar in size to the Herschel bag, this duffle is strongly constructed out of upcycled materials. But it lacks a shoulder strap, and the color-block appearance may not be to everyone’s taste.

Get this if: You need a durable but inexpensive bag for simple daily use, but you also want a duffle made of sustainable materials, from a B Corporation.

Why it’s great: This kind of barrel-shaped 30-liter bag is something of a platonic ideal among duffle designs. Like the Herschel bag, the Cotopaxi Mariveles 32L Duffel Bag Del Día has the classic shape and feel of a barrel duffle. In contrast, however, it’s made of repurposed ripstop nylon that’s of a higher quality than the Herschel’s polyester, and it’s available for a lower price (though it lacks the Herschel bag’s included shoulder strap). We also continue to be impressed by Cotopaxi’s overall transparency and social mission. It’s a listed B Corp , and it takes pains to be as sustainable in its bags’ construction as possible, with a particular focus on labor practices. Like many of the company’s bags (indicated by the Del Día name), the Mariveles duffle is made from discarded material otherwise destined for the cutting-room floor, left over from other companies’ larger production runs. This is why each run of the Mariveles is distinct—the precise colors vary depending on what’s available.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: We’d love to see a shoulder strap included. Although the Mariveles does have loops so you can add your own shoulder strap, even a simple nylon one provided with the bag would go a long way toward making it one of our best overall picks. (There’s also a better likelihood that an included strap would coordinate with the motley colors of the bag.)

Dimensions: 17.5 by 10 by 10.5 inches (LWH) Capacity : 32 liters Other sizes: none

The multi-colored Cotopaxi Chumpi 35L Duffel Del Día duffle bag on a stone wall, near plants and with a water bottle nearby.

Cotopaxi Chumpi 35L Duffel Del Día

A duffle that’s also a backpack.

This bag can be a backpack or a duffle—and it works well as either. If you plan on walking long distances and want multiple ways to carry your gear comfortably, this is a great option.

Get this if: You expect to walk a lot on your trips—touring cities, say, or doing some light adventuring—and need a comfortable way to carry your stuff, but you don’t require an extra-tough gear bag. Also, this bag is a good choice if you want to support a B Corp and its social and sustainable missions .

Why it’s great: The Cotopaxi Chumpi 35L Duffel Del Día has dedicated backpack straps built into the top that hide away behind two flaps secured by metal clasps when not in use. Many combo backpack-and-duffle designs rely on the handles serving double duty as backpack straps, which usually means they aren’t very good as either. The Chumpi’s dedicated straps allow it to perform as an actually comfortable backpack. When you’re finished wearing it, converting it back into a duffle is simple: Just tuck the backpack straps away and grab the bag by its handles. Unlike several other backpack duffles we tested, this Cotopaxi bag positions its zipper against your back while you’re using it as a backpack. It’s a simple, seemingly obvious (but rare) design choice that lends more peace of mind when you’re walking down a busy street or absentmindedly taking in the sights.

The back and shoulder straps of the Cotopaxi Chumpi 35L Duffel Del Día duffle bag, near plants and a water bottle.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: Is a duffle with shoulder straps as good as a backpack? No. Like most backpack duffles, the Chumpi has a tendency to slouch a bit when it’s on the shoulders. That said, I carried the Chumpi fully packed for several miles while on a trip, and I found that using its backpack straps was a nice alternative to shifting a single shoulder strap from side to side. Note that when we tested the Chumpi, it was available in a range of solid colors. Since then, Cotopaxi has switched to making the duffle using a patchwork of remnant fabrics, which is what the Del Día name refers to. This means that each bag will be one of a kind—but also possibly more boldly colored than some people may like.

Dimensions: 20 by 10.5 by 10.5 inches (LWH) Capacity: 35 liters Other sizes: none

A black duffle bag with two snap buckles and a mesh bottom resting on the ground.

Matador Freefly Packable Duffle

Lightweight and packable.

This ultralight duffle folds away into its own front pocket or compresses further into a cinch sack. The weatherproof material is paired with sealed zippers, which should keep everything inside dry in moderate rain.

Get this if: You want a lightweight alternative bag for emergencies, a day bag when you travel, or a last-second hauler for going around town.

The Matador Freefly duffle bag packed into a small, fist-sized mesh bag in someone's hand.

Why it’s great: Unlike many packable or ultralight bags, which tend to behave like unruly sacks unless they’re filled to the hilt, the 30-liter Matador Freefly Packable Duffle manages to keep its shape whether it’s empty, partially packed, or stuffed like a sausage. It doesn’t pack down quite as small as some bags we’ve tested in the past, but it comes close enough—shrinking to about the size of a mango—and it’s much more pleasant to use as an actual bag once it’s on your shoulder. Where this Matador duffle truly excels, though, is in the high quality of its materials. With reinforced, treated nylon and sealed zippers, the Freefly is especially robust for a lightweight packable. Matador added a few compression straps on the side, too, though personally I find them more trouble than they’re worth on most bags.

If all that seems like too much for what you need, Matador also makes the 25-liter On-Grid Packable Duffle , which typically costs about $30 less. However, with unsealed zippers, it’s not as waterproof, and it doesn’t appear to be as durable. We’ve concluded that having something that should endure years of use and abuse is well worth spending a little more.

All Matador products are backed by a decently trustworthy three-year warranty.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: One glaring flaw is the shoulder strap. Although the strap is adjustable, it’s nothing more than an inch-wide strip of nylon. Even for a pared-down packable bag, that’s pretty meager considering the bag’s 30-liter carrying capacity. For shorter-term carries, this bag does just fine, but if you need a duffle to constantly haul around town, one of our other picks is likely to keep you (and your shoulders) happier. However, if you need a spare bag to tuck into your suitcase, an extra gym bag while traveling, or a way to carry purchases you pick up on a trip, this bag is a great choice. This duffle comes in only one color, black.

Dimensions: 22 by 11 by 8 inches (LWH) Capacity: 30 liters Other sizes: none

A green WaterField Packable Duffel, our pick for a packable bag for travel, on a beige background.

WaterField Packable Duffel

A packable bag for travel.

Like the Matador, this packable duffle folds into its own pocket and is weatherproof. A few thoughtful details—including a luggage loop—make the WaterField more suitable for travel than other models we tested.

Get this if: You need a packable duffle that easily doubles as a carry-on item—it has a luggage handle slot—and provides extra weather protection.

Why it’s great: WaterField continues to make some of the best overall bags we’ve come across in the past few years, and the Packable Duffel is no exception. It’s more expensive than the Matador Freefly , but its upgraded materials and more-robust stitching and build may make the higher cost worth it for certain people. Travelers especially will welcome the luggage loop, which fits over suitcase handles. The exterior of the bag is made from Taslan—a lightweight but substantial woven fabric with an added water-resistant coating, which is complemented by self-sealing waterproof zippers similar to those on the Matador. The interior is lined with a ripstop nylon. Both fabrics are very high-quality materials, helping the bag stand out from the competition. How, exactly? You can scrunch this bag down to about the size of a couple of pairs of socks (it fits into a 9.5-by-8.5-inch pocket), store it for weeks, then open it up and shake it out, and the bag will look fresh and presentable without creases or stress lines. It doesn’t pack down quite as small as the Matador, but many people might prefer its more-structured design. The bag has no shoulder strap, but the handles are long enough to let you shoulder the bag and carry it under your arm.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: We wish the nylon strap made for looping over your suitcase handle were more robust. Many companies making underseat bags have opted for an entire “slip-through” panel, which holds the bag securely against your luggage without letting it slouch over.

Dimensions : 8 by 18 by 10 inches (LWH) Capacity : 24 liters (expands to 30 liters) Other sizes : none

a man standing with a blue suticase

Dakine Split Roller 110L Bag

A rolling duffle to check.

This bag offers the space and easy-to-maneuver wheels of a good suitcase in the flexible shape of a duffle bag. Multiple interior and exterior compartments let you easily organize and separate all of your gear, too.

price may vary by color or style

Get this if: You want a rolling duffle that’s well organized. Also, this is a good choice if you need a bag that’s great for checked-luggage excursions and other types of long-distance travel but want something a little more pliable and easy to maneuver than a traditional wheeled suitcase .

Why it’s great: The Dakine Split Roller 110L Bag combines the best parts of checked luggage—internal organization, wheels, and a cavernous interior—with the soft, flexible frame of a duffle bag. The Split Roller opens like a clamshell; one side of the “shell” is divided into top and bottom compartments, and the other consists of one large main compartment. Mesh dividers separate all three compartments to keep everything in place. When you expand this duffle, it holds about 110 liters—nearly 20 liters more than our top pick for checked luggage . But the Split Roller can also adjust to carrying lighter loads, as it works similarly to an expansion case: The bag has a collapsible brace in the front section that can either fold out for extra space or fold back to let the top of the bag lie flat. Two external pockets let you easily access your everyday things and travel items without opening the bag itself. (The duffle also comes in an 85-liter version .)

a suitcase unzipped and being packed

Similar to many of the rolling duffle models we tested, the Split Roller has dependable #10 YKK zippers and 8 cm urethane wheels. Both features are good enough for a bag of this design and price. Dakine also uses a variety of polyester and Cordura nylon materials for various versions of the Split Roller, ranging from 600-denier polyester (good for most people) to 1,000-denier Cordura blend with DWR coating (useful if you abuse your gear or travel through tough or wet conditions). We tested the 600-denier polyester fabric in the black color, and it seemed plenty durable for a travel duffle. It’s also the least expensive fabric option that Dakine offers; if you instead opt for one of the tougher, water-resistant options, you pay a little more. Dakine covers its products with a limited lifetime warranty .

Flaws but not dealbreakers: If the Split Roller is not packed properly—with the heaviest items toward the wheels—the bag can lean and even tilt over when left upright. More often than not, the Split Roller stays upright, but it isn’t as stable as the Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag 100L . However, the bag’s well-thought-out organization and durable construction more than make up for this small frustration.

Dimensions: 32 by 17 by 13 inches (LWH) Capacity: 110 liters Other sizes: 85 liters

A person carrying the Yeti Panga 50 duffle bag on their back. The bag is structured in a cylindrical tube shape.

Yeti Panga 50L Waterproof Duffel

A tough bag for wet adventures.

If you want the toughest possible duffle, this is our choice. It’s comfortable to carry, waterproof, and close to indestructible. However, it typically costs nearly twice as much as the 55-liter version of the Patagonia Black Hole.

Get this if: You want the absolute toughest, most durable waterproof duffle for your adventures—particularly if those adventures leave you wading with your gear through streams or torrential rains.

A close up of the hardware on the Yeti straps.

Why it’s great: A waterproof nylon shell and zipper keep your stuff dry even if you submerge the Yeti Panga 50L Waterproof Duffel completely. I didn’t quite believe it until I tested the duffle several times, carrying it fully packed into the beach breaks of Oahu’s North Shore, where its impermeable barrier held in enough air to easily float my 220-pound frame and still kept the towels, clothes, and sneakers inside bone-dry. If you’re on a trip where your bag might end up in the water, you’re sure to appreciate this feature. Like the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel , the Yeti Panga Waterproof Duffel comes with a plethora of lash points that you can use to secure your bag on your adventures. Thanks to its rigidity, the Panga is also surprisingly comfortable to use as a backpack. (Its handles serve as the backpack straps.) The Panga comes in two larger sizes, as well: 75 liters and 100 liters .

A person wading into the ocean with the Yeti duffle bag. There are several surfers riding the waves nearby.

Flaws but not dealbreakers: The price of the Yeti Panga is nearly double what you pay for a similarly sized Patagonia Black Hole. All that weatherproofing isn’t light, either—the Panga is the heaviest bag we tested, weighing more than 5 pounds when empty. If you need a waterproof bag as tough as the Panga that also includes wheels for load assistance, the Ortlieb Duffle RS is a good option. However, wheels are just one more thing to break on a bag, and the necessary skid plates and axles tend to make rolling duffle bags like the Ortlieb a bit less flexible than the Panga. The Panga comes in two colors: gray and tan.

The writer struggling to submerge the Yeti duffle bag in the ocean.

Dimensions: 23.5 by 10 by 14 inches (LWH) Capacity: 50 liters Other sizes: 75 liters , 100 liters

If you don’t mind a stylized look for your everyday-carry bag: Previously we listed the Topo Designs Classic Duffel 20″ in the Competition section, but we now believe that you should consider it if you like its look. This is a great 27.5-liter duffle with Cordura nylon and rucksack details, but it has a specific style that many people may not like. Topo has a reputation for making excellent gear, though, and if you find this bag appealing, you won’t go wrong with it.

If you transport heavy stuff that can’t get wet: Consider the 85-liter Ortlieb Duffle RS , which is a decent waterproof alternative to the Yeti Panga 50L Waterproof Duffel, especially if you prefer built-in wheels to assist with the load. The Ortlieb bag, which is made with PVC-coated polyester fabric, has a rigid aluminum floor plate; this piece protects the base of the bag without taking up a significant amount of space (an issue with other rolling duffle bags). Note that all the extra parts mean more complexity and more things to break. Our biggest complaint, though, is that when the bag is left upright, it has a tendency to tip over because of its narrow wheelbase. (The bag also comes in 110- and 140-liter sizes.)

a person dragging a duffle bag behind them

We began our research by poring through brand websites, reading bag blogs, and surveying a multitude of review sites. We divided the field into several broad categories: duffles for everyday use plus weekend trips and longer travel, backpack duffles, packable duffles, and duffles meant to haul adventure gear. Working from an initial list of 88 possible contenders, we considered each duffle’s design, accessibility, size, features, organization, materials, price, and brand warranty. Using those criteria, we narrowed the list down to 33 bags that we called in for hands-on evaluation.

To test the duffles, I packed and unpacked each one and used them as much as possible in my day-to-day life. With every bag I tested, I asked myself, “Would I live with this bag? Could it replace something I already have?” Specifically, I looked at the following:

Ease of use and accessibility: How easy is the bag to pack, unpack, and otherwise use in everyday situations? Does it have enough pockets? Are they well organized and well placed? I also kept a close eye on zippers and how they acted, tugging them from different angles. It was especially important to me that the zippers on our picks were easy to open on the go, even when the bag was hanging from a shoulder.

Carrying comfort: A great bag is pretty useless if it isn’t comfortable to heft and cart around. After I loaded up each bag with as much gear, clothes, sneakers, books, and usual ephemera of life as I could, I carried it around. I spend a lot of my time on the move, so each of our potential picks became—at least for a short while—something of an everyday-carry companion in my life until I understood the bag’s character.

Quality of the materials: Most bags are made from one of a handful of fabrics (nylon, waxed canvas, polyester). I paid special attention to the material’s weight, heft, and weave, as well as any special tech like TPU coatings.

Weight: Duffles should be light enough to carry easily but not so light that they feel flimsy or about to tear. Most of our picks weigh less than 3.5 pounds.

Cost: We eliminated any duffles that we determined were overpriced for what they were. You do get what you pay for in this category, though, and better quality and materials are often worth spending just a little more.

Guarantee or warranty: Not all company policies are equal. We favored bags that came with a warranty of two years or more.

Versatile/adventure duffles

Sea to Summit Duffle Bag : Although this heavy, water-resistant adventure duffle is good for the price, we were more impressed by the consistent performance and simplicity of the Patagonia Black Hole (our pick among versatile duffles) and the sturdier construction of the Yeti Panga (our pick among waterproof duffles).

The North Face Base Camp Duffel L : This duffle is similar to the Sea to Summit Duffle Bag, except it lacks that bag’s rigidity and attention to detail.

Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe : We liked the separate compartment at the bottom of the bag that allows you to pack a few pairs of shoes, say, or to separate out dirty laundry as you travel. But the materials of this duffle weren’t as good as those of other picks, and it didn’t carry as comfortably.

Everyday duffles

Mission Workshop Transit Duffle : We aren’t sure who this laptop duffle is for. The bag was so divided up and over-organized that we had trouble carrying much of anything in it. In addition, the main zipper was too short, which made it hard for us to open the center of the bag all the way.

Bellroy Lite Duffel : We very nearly made this one of our picks except for the odd design of its top zipper closure. That zipper extends out past the edges of the bag’s main compartment, which makes it easier to access the interior but also leaves two large openings on either end of the bag when it’s closed. The extra length of zipper does fold down, but the bag doesn’t have buttons or clasps to keep it shut. The gap feels like a large oversight, especially given the duffle’s price.

Backpack duffles

Osprey Transporter Duffel 40 : This duffle bag wasn’t great to pack or carry in our tests. The materials felt thin, and the straps didn’t sit well on our shoulders when the duffle was fully packed.

Piorama A10 : An adjustable duffle bag that’s both a day bag and an extra-large backpack? Seems like it should be great, but in practice the design felt fiddly, and the cinched sphincter-like ends were unsettling.

Topo Designs Mountain Duffel : The one flaw of this Topo backpack duffle is that the shoulder straps are placed on the bottom of the bag, which means that as you wear it, the zipper is worryingly exposed to the world.

Rolling duffles

a man wearing flip flops standing beside a rolling duffle bag

Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag 100L : The rolling Black Hole’s design is identical to that of the non-rolling version that we like, except for the addition of wheels, a reinforced base, and haul handles. Those additions do make it heavier and less flexible than the non-rolling bag. The best part of the design is that it stands upright unassisted, even when empty. But most travelers are better served by the organization and extra pockets in the Dakine Split Roller .

Amazon Basics Ripstop Wheeled Duffel 30″ : Inexpensive and well organized, this Amazon Basics duffle could almost qualify as a budget pick. However, you get what you pay for in this case, and we found that most of the internal materials, such as the pocket dividers, weren’t especially durable. Most people are better served spending a bit more for quality materials.

eBags Mother Lode 29″ Checked Rolling Duffel : The Mother Lode is more of a hybrid piece of checked luggage than a true rolling duffle. Most of the bag is shaped around a hard-shell bottom, which seems to take away from the flexibility of a rolling duffle. You’re likely to be happier choosing one of our other duffle picks or one of our checked-luggage picks.

Osprey Transporter Wheeled Duffel 90 : This Osprey model is a large, cavernous bag on wheels similar to the Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag. But the Patagonia duffle has a sturdier frame and tougher materials than the Osprey, which needs a bit more structural reinforcement to compete. Again, however, we ultimately preferred the organization and split interior of the Dakine Split Roller in this category.

We also tested duffles from American Apparel, Incase, Marmot, Osprey, Thule, and Tortuga that have since been discontinued.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

We’re testing Peak Design’s Travel Duffel in both the 35- and 65-liter sizes.

Meet your guide

soft travel duffel bag

Kit Dillon is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. He was previously an app developer, oil derrick inspector, public-radio archivist, and sandwich shop owner. He has written for Popular Science, The Awl, and the New York Observer, among others. When called on, he can still make a mean sandwich.

Further reading

Three of our favorite backpacks, totes and duffle bags on display

Wirecutter’s Favorite Bags, Totes, Backpacks and Carryalls

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Whether you’re going to school, work, the gym, the store, or on vacay, you need a bag. Here’s the Wirecutter-recommended carrying gear we love most.

A person at the gym carrying a duffel bag.

The Best Gym Bag

by Kit Dillon

After stuffing more than 40 gym bags with clothes, gear, water bottles, and more, we want to carry the KNKG Plus Duffel  to our next workout.

Our pick for The Best Underseat Personal Items to Pair With Your Carry-On Bag, the Waterfield Air Porter Carry-On Bag.

The Best Underseat Luggage and Personal-Item Bags

There’s more to a great in-flight personal item than being small enough to stuff under a plane seat. Here’s how to choose the right one for your travel needs.

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The Best Travel Backpack

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For trips ranging from a week to multiple months, the Osprey Farpoint 55 and Fairview 55 carried everything we needed comfortably.

9 Best Duffel Bags for Your Next Vacation, According to Testing

These versatile bags are ideal for road trips and air travel alike.

the best duffels for your next vacation, according to testing

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tests all types of travel bags, including travel backpacks , underseat luggage and suitcases . We test their durability by assessing abrasion resistance, drop testing, water resistance and more. Lab analysts also pack each bag to see how much it can hold and rate the ease of packing. We also consider the weight and strap padding to find the most comfortable bags. Whether you prefer a small weekender style or a rolling duffel, GH experts tested a variety of styles in the Lab and reviewed hundreds more online to make these selections. These duffel bag picks include top-tested styles as well as picks from brands that have previously impressed us in Lab testing.

Our top picks:

Black Hole Duffel Bag 55L

Best Overall Duffel Bag

Patagonia black hole duffel bag 55l.

Novel Duffel Bag

Best Value Duffel Bag

Herschel novel duffel bag.

Cotton Large Travel Duffel Bag

Best Duffel Bag for Road Trips

Vera bradley cotton large travel duffel bag.

The Catalina Deluxe

Best Weekender Duffel Bag

Lo & sons the catalina deluxe.

F.A.R Duffle 55L

Best Versatile Duffel Bag

Away f.a.r duffle 55l.

Migrate Duffel Bag

Best Adventure Duffel Bag

Eagle creek migrate duffel bag.

Large Adventure Rolling Duffle Bag

Best Duffel Bag with Wheels

L.l.bean large adventure rolling duffle bag.

Mackenzie Rainbow Heart Duffel

Best Duffel Bag for Kids

Pottery barn kids mackenzie rainbow heart duffel.

 Evercat Candidate Duffel

Best Gym Duffel Bag

Puma evercat candidate duffel.

After shopping our top duffel bag picks for your trip, keep reading to learn more about our testing protocols and shopping tips from fiber science experts.

Patagonia has been a top-performing brand in the Textiles Lab for many years with its durable bags and winter coats . The Black Hole Duffel is a popular bag with its sturdy top straps, side handles, a longer shoulder strap and the option to wear it as a backpack for easy toting. With reinforced exposed daisy chains on the side, you can hook on all types of gear. GH analysts especially love that t his whole duffel can actually compress into a small bag , taking up very little space when not in use. Note that the Black Hole duffel is water-resistant, but not entirely waterproof. This pick also comes in a wheeled version , too. Patagonia also has a renowned commitment to sustainability , offering a trade-in program and a shopping interface for used items.

Herschel bags and backpacks have impressed GH analysts by featuring durable materials with simple designs, making them versatile enough to take to the gym or use as a weekender. This duffel bag aced Lab testing. The bottom kept its shape as we packed it making it easy to load and unload, and it showed no signs of wear after abrasion testing. The separate shoe compartment held two pairs of shoes in testing or it could be used to keep dirty clothes separate. GH analysts found the synthetic leather handles comfortable to grip and appreciated the padding on the shoulder strap. However, the plastic hooks for the shoulder straps were not so sturdy. One tester said a hook broke after extensive use.

Vera Bradley duffels come in the brand's classic paisley designs as well as other bright colors and bold patterns. In our tests, we appreciated just how spacious this duffel is. It was able to hold every item in our packing test plus more. Testers liked the flexible fabric that made it easy to shove in the trunk of a car but did note that items shifted around inside the duffel. To keep things where you want them, there are multiple zippered pockets that keep items easily accessible . Reviewers rave that they've had these bags for years and they've stayed in pristine condition long-term. The side handles are long enough that you can also wear them over the shoulder. This pick is made with 100% cotton fabric, and while it's not as durable and nylon or polyester, it didn't show any changes in appearance during our abrasion testing. We do wish that it had a trolley strap so it could easily sit on top of a suitcase.

Lo & Sons The Catalina Deluxe

This classic duffel from Lo & Sons is perfect for a weekend trip as it has a separate shoe compartment and a spacious interior to hold everything you'll need. This bag is available in both canvas and 600D recycled polyester, depending on which style you prefer. With two sizes available, the site has excellent reference images to show what the bags look like when people of different heights and shapes wear them . For a more luxurious option, one GH analyst especially loves the brand's O.G. 2 Bag for being extremely easy to clean by just using a wet wipe.

Away recently launched new adventure travel products with its F.A.R. line. GH analysts especially liked the F.A.R Convertible Backpack and this duffel. Both styles have the option to carry it like a duffel or wear it as a backpack with comfortable padded straps . The large interior held everything in our packing tests and built-in compression straps kept items in place. There are two small zippered pockets — one on the outside and the other inside. We like that it has both top handles and smaller side handles, making it easier to put in a car or the overhead bin. (The smaller 40L version is carry-on compliant!) There are also exterior daisy chains to easily attach extra gear and a side trolley strap to help it sit on top of a suitcase. Analysts did note that the zippers are quite noisy when opening and closing.

Eagle Creek continues to impress us by offering durable travel items that last year after year, including the brand's signature packing cubes . One GH analyst especially loves Eagle Creek duffels for how well the material holds up even after being tossed around. Most duffels are prone to their contents shifting, but the outside compression straps on the Migrate help keep all your items perfectly in place . It features a more sustainable bottom material coating that was developed by harvesting windshield plastics from landfills, though we found it felt a bit waxy and did show some marks. It is a very structured bag and keeps its shape for easy packing. The larger tabs on the zippers are convenient for comfortable opening/closing. There are large top handles as well as smaller handles on all sides, so it's easy to maneuver.

If you prefer to roll your bag but still want the option to pick it up and carry it over your shoulder, a rolling duffel is perfect. This pick from L.L.Bean is available in eight colors with options for monograms, making this a great gift too. It has top handles and smaller side handles for easy lifting. The shoulder strap can be attached when you want to carry it but should be removed when rolling. GH analysts like the less structured fabric that's ideal for overpackers to fit as much as possible . The straps attach together to tighten it, so items don't shift around inside. With all the ways to carry it and the massive interior, this is a great pick for family travel.

This Pottery Barn Kids duffel makes a great gift with monogram options and fun designs , including this rainbow design and a dinosaur print. Not only do they feature fun, playful patterns, but these duffels also hold up to heavy use. GH analysts have tested all types of luggage from PBK and continue to be impressed by the durable materials. Lexie Sachs , Executive Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab, uses these duffels with her kids and especially loves how easy they are to pack. The brand offers a ton of pieces to complete the set including packing cubes , backpacks , lunch boxes , toiletry bags , rolling suitcases and more.

A gym bag has to hold everything you need without being too bulky — this PUMA bag is up to the challenge. Its amazing organizational design features zippered pockets and a separate shoe compartment to keep smelly sneakers and dirty gym clothes separate. Available in 18 styles, it's made with polyester and is machine washable . While we haven't yet tested this style in Lab, we have tested a variety of products from PUMA and found they are a great value for the affordable price. This bag has over 30,000 rave Amazon reviews and costs less than $30!

How we test duffel bags


The Good Housekeeping Institute has been testing travel products (including duffel bags) for decades. GH analysts tested duffels using standardized test methods and state-of-the-art lab equipment. We also sent duffel bags to testers to use when traveling. Here is how we evaluate duffels:

a gh analyst wearing a lab coat is loading samples into an abrasion tester as part of good housekeeping's testing to find the best duffels

✔️ Size and weight: Each duffel bag is weighed when empty since online specs aren't always accurate or listed. GH analysts assess the bag's size and construction to determine what it's best suited for. If it's designed to be a personal item or a carry-on, we measure it to ensure it complies with the dimension restrictions of common airlines.

✔️ Abrasion resistance: Swatches of fabric are cut from the luggage and loaded into our abrasion machine, which rubs the fabric over an abrasive material 15,000 times before being graded for signs of wear. A GH analyst is seen here setting up abrasion resistance testing.

a grey duffel on a white table filled with clothes and sneakers as part of good housekeeping's testing to find the best duffels

✔️ Packing capabilities: Our analysts pack each piece of luggage using a standard load with real items like clothing, shoes, toiletries and more. In this process, we rate the ease of opening and closing the zippers, ease of accessing the compartments and how much of our load actually fits inside.

a gh analyst is wearing a blue duffel as a backpack as part of good housekeeping's testing to find the best duffel bags

✔️ Comfort: When the bag is fully packed, we carry it to rate the comfort of the handles and straps. GH analysts also test each bag's features like convertible backpack straps as seen here to rate the ease of use and comfort.

two navy duffels on a curb outside an airport as part of good housekeeping's testing for the best duffels

✔️ Consumer testing: Testers use each duffel on vacations and trips to give feedback on the comfort of the straps and handles, ease of packing and more. Testers have brought these duffels on road trips, cruises, international flights and more!

What to look for when shopping for the best duffel bag


✔️ Material: Most duffels are made with either nylon or polyester. Nylon is a very popular synthetic fiber for softside luggage as it's durable and can withstand abrasion. Polyester is a more affordable synthetic option that's lighter in weight than nylon but is generally slightly less durable.

✔️ Denier: Oftentimes, the denier of the fabric may be listed, which is a unit of measurement used to determine the fiber thickness of individual threads or filaments used in the fabric. The higher the denier, the stronger the fabric tends to be.

✔️ Wheels: If you struggle carrying heavy loads, opt for a duffel with wheels. Because of the bulky wheels, rolled duffels cannot be as easily stored as ones without wheels.

✔️ Capacity: When shopping for a duffel, look for the capacity of the bag, which is usually listed in liters. The larger the capacity, the bigger the bag. Compare the dimensions to the airline restrictions for personal items and carry-ons to ensure a smooth boarding experience. Around 30 L is great for weekend trips while 50-70 L is better suited for a week-long trip.

✔️ Carrying options: Some duffels feature convertible options, so you can carry it with a crossbody strap or wear it as a backpack. Many testers especially appreciated the backpack carrying option!

✔️ Pockets and organization: Most duffels feature one main top zipper with a large internal compartment for packing. Testers especially liked when duffels had a separate zippered compartment for shoes and an easily accessible front pocket for must-have travel items.

Should I use a duffel as a carry-on or a personal item when flying?


Duffels can make a great personal item or carry-on when flying. However, it's important to note the duffel's dimensions to ensure that it complies with the airline's listed size restrictions. If you plan on using a duffel as a personal item, we recommend ensuring that it has a back luggage strap and pairing it with a rolling suitcase for easy toting in the airport. Because duffels feature fabric on all sides, they can be squished more easily in overhead bins and underneath the seat in front of you — this also makes duffels super popular for road trips too!

Why trust Good Housekeeping?


Emma Seymour is a senior textiles product analyst in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab. She’s been at Good Housekeeping for over three years, testing all types of travel products including suitcases, packing cubes and backpacks. She tested a variety of duffels for this story in Lab. She has a degree in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University.

Headshot of Emma Seymour

Emma Seymour (she/her) is a senior product analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute 's Textiles, Paper and Apparel Lab, where she has led testing for luggage, pillows, towels, tampons and more since 2018. She graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor of science in fiber science and apparel design and a minor in gerontology, completing research in the Body Scanner Lab on optimizing activewear for athletic performance. 

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Home » Gear » best travel duffel bags

Best Travel Duffel Bags – Discover the Art of the Duffle Carry

Most people tend to travel with a suitcase or backpack, but we’re here to review the best duffel bags and highlight their many advantages.

Now that big outdoor brands like Marmot, The North Face, and Patagonia have put their know-how and years of experience into this marketplace, the duffel bag has been revolutionized, no longer just an oversized bag to get from point A to point B.

Even the simplest travel duffel, however, have their advantages. For one, they’re the best option if you are traveling with bulkier items such as snow boots, life jackets, or camping gear.

All of that being said, not all duffel bags are created equal. Whether you need a bag for your next adventure or simply a sleek bag to travel for work, we’ve reviewed dozens and dozens of duffels and compiled a list of the top ones on the market.

So if you think your luggage is due for an upgrade, check out our comprehensive reviews of the  best travel duffel bags around, and get yourself a duffel worthy of broke backpackers, adventurers, vacationers alike! We’ve got everything from duffel bags with compartments, those with backpack straps and weather resistant numbers too!

So, ya’ll want to find out what THE best travel duffel bag is, you’re in the right place! Let’s go!

aer capsule pack review

Quick Answer: The Best Travel Duffel Bags on the Market

Top picks of the best travel duffel bags, how to choose a travel duffel bag, how we tested these duffel bags, the best travel duffel bags – comparison table, faq about the best travel duffel bags, what is the best travel duffel bag – final thoughts.

  • Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel – The Overall Best Duffel Bag
  • Black Diamond StoneHauler Pro 30 L Duffel – Overall Best Duffel Bag (Runner-up)
  • Nomatic Travel Bag – High-Utility Backpack Meets Duffel Bag
  • Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack – Best Eco Duffel/Backpack
  • REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled Rolling Duffel – Best Travel Duffel Bag with Wheels
  • Patagonia Black Hole – Best Carry on Travel Duffel Bag
  • Kodiak Leather 60l Weekender – Best Men’s Leather Duffel Bag
  • Under Armour Women’s UA Motivator Duffle Sport Bag – Best Women’s Travel Duffel Bag
  • UNIQUEBELLA Suit Travel Duffel – Best Business Travel Duffel Bag
  • The North Face Base Camp Duffel – Best Duffel Bag for Expeditions
  • The Classic Duffle by Mahi Best Small Travel Duffel Bag
  • Gregory Alpaca – Best Packable Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel

  • Price: > $$
  • > Stowable padded backpack straps
  • > Rain flaps

soft travel duffel bag

Black Diamond StoneHauler Pro 30 L Duffel

  • Price: > $$$
  • > Wonderful design
  • > Laptop compartment

soft travel duffel bag

Nomatic Travel Bag

  • > Highly-functional backpack with a duffel mode
  • > Durable and modern traveler equipped

Monarc Backpack

Monarc Setra Duffel Backpack

  • > Carry on Compliant
  • > Made from recycled bottles

soft travel duffel bag

REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled Rolling Duffel – 30

  • > Integrated wheels
  • > Large for longer trips

Patagonia Black Hole 40L

Patagonia Black Hole Duffle

  • > Backpack handles and grab handles
  • > Nice and light

Kodiak Weekender 60L

Kodiak 60l Weekender

  • > High quality leather
  • > Roomy and spacious

soft travel duffel bag

Under Armour Women’s UA Motivator Duffle Sport Bag

  • > Lightweight
  • > Water Resistant

soft travel duffel bag

UNIQUEBELLA Suit Travel Duffel

  • > Rolls out flat to take suits
  • > Wrinkle-free clothes storage

soft travel duffel bag

The North Face Base Camp Duffel

  • > Just 4 lbs in weight
  • > Come with backpack straps

Mahi duffle

MAHI Leather Duffle

  • > Compact and 28L
  • > Tons of organizational pockets

soft travel duffel bag

Gregory Alpaca Duffel

  • > Comes with packing cube

soft travel duffel bag

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Overall Best Duffel Bag – Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel

The Osprey Transporter

The Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel offers its users the best of both worlds. It has all the features that drew you to a travel duffel bag in the first place, along with a comfortable set of stowable, padded shoulder straps if you have to carry it for a longer period.

This duffel’s zippers are lockable, giving added peace of mind if and when you need to let it out of your eye line – such as on an aircraft or in a hostel room – and also has the bonus of a padded internal compartment to keep your delicate tech safe while on the move.

What’s more, the quickest of touches will convince you of the long-lasting durability of the materials used, together with a rain flap to keep precipitation from ruining your time away!

  • Stowable padded backpack straps
  • Zips can be locked
  • Padded compartment for tech
  • Not fully waterproof
  • 40 liter might be too small for some
  • Not guaranteed to be carry-on compliant
  • Rigid construction

How The Osprey Transporter Tested

I have personally tested dozens of Osprey travel packs now and its rare I encounter one that I don’t love. We took the transporter on a road trip across the Atlantique region of France and packed it full of enough gear for 2 people. It felt very strong, rigid and weatherproof and I have no doubt that it would withstand a goos few years of abuse. The organisational layout is highly intuitive and we found it easy to pack, and retrieve our gear when we needed it.

In terms of downsides, I am just not all that sure about how much I like backpack /duffel hybrids and this one does feel slightly awkward to me when I wore it as a backpack. Sure, the backpack straps do pack away but this adds to the weight and I did feel it.

Is the Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel for me?

If you love the idea of a travel duffel bag but worry about how you’re going to transport it further distances, then the Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel has it all figured out thanks to the incorporated backpack straps! It’s one of the reasons it stands out amongst the other duffel bags.

The padded tech compartment is a great addition, as is the ability to lock the zips!

Our team rated this as their “best travel duffel backpack”, which means kinda what it says, a duffel that works just as well as a backpack and they love that versatility. They felt it had most of the features of some of the best Osprey backpacks whilst having the ability to be used as a duffel.

They really love that it opens up more like a clamshell backpack into a super roomy interior. As an added bonus the skate rats on the team loved that it came in well as a travel skateboard bag even if it wasn’t explicitly designed that way.

Overall Best Duffel Bag (Runner-up) – Black Diamond StoneHauler Pro 30 L Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

Black Diamond backpacks are among the hardiest and most respected in the travel world. Their StoneHauler Duffel Bag is no less impressive! If you’re looking for a duffel bag with compartments then this is the perfect option.

This duffle bag was specifically designed for air travel, so it really shines when it comes to internal organisation in the main compartment with a dedicated area for your laptop and chargers. It includes a proper set of backpack straps that really do feel, well, like an actual backpack, which we found to be a great feature when we tested it! Its size makes it perfect for carry-on-only travel for week-long breaks.

  • 3o L perfect carry on size
  • Wonderful design
  • Weather resistant material
  • Fully padded exterior zippered laptop sleeve
  • Backpack straps on the same side as main zipper
  • Zips are a big fiddly
  • No water bottle pocket

How The Black Diamond StoneHauler Tested

To put the Black Diamond StoneHauler through its paces we brought it along on a weekend escape. Firstly, it passed the “will Ryanair actually let me take this into the cabin test?” comfortably which is pretty much 101 for any would-be carry-on piece. Moving on, the Black Diamond StoneHauler feels nice to the touch and its suave, blue-grey shades suited our clothes wonderfully. Zips and fittings all work very well and show no sign of breakage and we found the extra pockets and pouches great for packing in chargers and snacks.

It didn’t rain during our trip so cannot comment on the weatherproofing but all things considered, we were very impressed by the StoneHauler.

Is the Black Diamond StoneHauler for me?

This is a well made and well thought out travel duffel bag. Its features, pouches and external pockets are perfect for a short trip. It’s very durable and aesthetically pleasing. This carry on duffel bag is great for business trips because it stores your tech with ease. The only thing we’re a bit disappointed about is that it doesn’t fit a 15″ laptop — you’ve got other packs for that .

Our team loved this bag and felt it was the best duffel bag with internal compartments. Our team tends to travel with quite a bit of tech gear so they really love how these pockets and compartments can be used to store things like cables, chargers and hard drives. They also thought it was a great size for carry on without becoming too heavy.

Duffel Bag Meets High-Utility Backpack – Nomatic Travel Bag

A man carrying the Nomatic Travel Bag as a duffel bag

This duffel bag is not purely a duffel bag. In fact, it’s not even primarily a duffel bag. And that’s why we like it so damn much!

The Nomatic Travel Bag is a backpack for the modern-day traveller. It’s loaded on the organization without an excess of empty space for unnecessary packing. Tech gear gets sleeves, shoes and dirty laundry get dedicated compartments, and everything else gets a space too!

But the best part is that if you flip this bad boy over and modify the straps, you have a completely functional duffel bag! Could we say it’s like a transformer. Yes, it most certainly is.

It functions as a very structured duffel bag with a lot of interior organisation, however, to be totally honest, that’s kinda rad!

  • 40 L of pure organizational storage
  • Qualifies for carry-on luggage
  • Incredibly durable design
  • Doubles as a backpack!
  • Not a traditional duffel bag
  • Kind of cube-like in duffel-mode
  • Premium pricing
  • Not the right choice for everyone

How The Nomatic Travel Bag Tested

We’re pretty intimate with the Nomatic travel bag now and it has accompanied various team members all over the world. We love its high quality materials and the fact it looks and feels new even after a year of use. We always make the most of its packing and organisational capabilities where everything has its right place. In fact, the Nomatic travel bag performed so well during a recent trip to Barcelona that a street thug could not help but steal it from us…is there any higher accolade that can be bestowed upon a bag?!

Is the Nomatic Travel Bag for me?

For people seeking a traditional duffel bag, no. However, for those that dig the option to wear it as a backpack and travel for work and with a certain selection of gear they need to keep protected (eg. a laptop and tablet), it’s perfect.

Our team are really massive fans of this bag and for a few different reasons. Firstly, the actual functionality between using it as a duffel and a backpack is second to none and it really means this bag can be used in so many different situations. On top of that its organisational features were a real selling point for our team.

If you’re on the fence, we’d recommend checking out the Nomatic Travel Bag review .

Best Eco Duffel/Backpack – Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack

soft travel duffel bag

The realities of travel can really take their toll on the planet. It’s no surprise that Ecological and Sustainable travel initiatives are now really gaining momentum. The Monarc 2-in-1 Duffle-Backpack is the world’s first backpack made from 100% recycled bottles and the producers have been awarded a highly coveted “plastic negative” rating.

But here this, not only is this backpack totally eco-friendly but it’s also a bloody great pack. Firstly, its 2-1 concept design means it can be worn as a backpack or carried as a duffel using the comfortable handle/ shoulder strap. If you do wear it on your bag, there are adjustable straps to help carry the weight. I really love this pack, even though I am not a HUGE duffel fan I have now had this bag for years and tested it extensively.

  • Made from recycled plastic bottles
  • TSA Carry-on compliant
  • 2 in 1 Duffel and Backpack!
  • Kinda heavy
  • No compression straps

How The Monarc Settra Tested

Monarc Settra

I have had this pack for over a year now and so Ive tested it extensively. It performs really well for weekend break type trips by public transport where you can need to pack a change of shoes. It slots into over-head compartments on planes/trains/buses nicely and the organisational layout makes it really easy to find your gear when you need it. I have been rained on quite heavily with this pack and it stayed perfectly dry.

In terms of downsides, it does feel quite heavy after carrying it for a while and I am not a fan of how it feels when worn as a backpack at all.

Is the Monarc Settra Duffel for me?

Then there are the organisational possibilities. Its’ 40L of storage can go pretty far and the pack offers a shoe compartment and a 17” laptop sleeve. Coming in at $149.00, it’s well worth the bucks although if you have the budget we also recommend picking up the full set including camera cube, compression cubes and laundry bags.

Anything else? Oh yeah, it’s also water-resistant, TSA Carry-on compliant and comes with a lifetime guarantee!

Our team are a real environmentally conscious lot and any product that offers features such as being made out of recycled ocean plastic is a winner for them! On top of the sustainable side of the bag, they feel it packs some great features too and they particularly love having the security of both the dedicated laptop pocket as well as the lockable zippered sections.

Best Duffel Bag with Wheels – REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled Rolling Duffel – 30″

soft travel duffel bag

While we love The North Face’s Maleta, we also tested the REI Co-op Big Haul and can confirm it is equally as great. This wheeled duffel provides traction in all conditions, but the Sherpa strap lets you carry your duffel when you need to.

Its handle and back-panel structure add durability to the rolling duffel bag. You also have internal compression straps, external zippered pockets, and a small zippered pocket on top for organisation.

  • Integrated wheels
  • Large for longer trips
  • Good Capacity
  • High quality
  • Wheels can’t be hidden
  • No added backpack straps
  • Might be too big for some

How The REI Co-op Big Haul Tested

Ok, so we found the REI Co-op Big Haul was easy to neatly pack and unpack, and it slotted easily into the overhead compartments. However, the wheels do make it heavy to carry , (and you will have to carry some of the time) and my arm was aching by the end of the day.

In terms of the materials, the main materials feel strong and the weatherproofing stood up to a bit of rain very well. However, I have felt better quality zippers and wonder if the ones on the Big Haul may start to wear and break after a bit of abuse.

Is the REI Co-op Big Haul for me?

Perfect for a month abroad, The REI Co-op Big Haul wheeled duffel bag has 87 litres of interior space and ample organisation to take you (and your gear) around the world. However, there are no removable backpack straps so you’re stuck to wheeling it around!

For those of our team who need to travel with heavy gear, like the climbers and filmmakers in the gang, the REI Co-op Big Haul really works perfectly for their needs. They feel it offers them much more versatility and durability over a traditional wheeled suitcase with both the carry options and the additional compartments and pockets.

Best Carry on Travel Duffel Bag – Patagonia Black Hole 40

Patagonia Black Hole 40L

This mid-length machine can store everything you need for weekend trips or even entire vacations for light packers. We tested it out on a weekend trip across Europe that took in planes, buses and trains so the old Black Hole got a good and proper trial.

Store your goods in a bag that just barely sneaks under strict carry-on regulations while staying light as a feather. Once you’ve unpacked, you can neatly store this Patagonia bag inside of itself, using its own pockets to compact. 

If you are specifically looking for more carry-on options, check out our best carry on duffel bags post if this is what you’re specifically looking for.

Travelling in cattle class? Have a look at our Ryanair carry-on bags for more specific packs.

How The Patagonia Black Hole Tested

Firstly, even though I have said I am not a fan of wearing duffels as backpacks, this one actually feels ok so big hurrah! When we tested this out we were impressed by its versatility and it performed as well for business trips as it did for weekend expeditions. It isn’t a thick as some other duffels on this list which makes it lighter to carry but may mean it doesn’t last as long although we hasten to point out it felt solid and rugged enough to our testers touch.

Is the Patagonia for me?

Carry the Patagonia Black Hole pack as a duffel or a backpack. This all-purpose travel bag is made with lightweight, tear-resistant matte nylon and has protective padding so you can carry everything all day.

Our team have been big fans of this bag for a while and feel the Black Hole is a classic duffel that does what it sets out to do really well without any bells and whistles. Where the back is lacking slightly on organisational features it makes up for with its incredible durability, weather resistance and all-around versatility. The fact it can be folded down into it’s own little bag and thrown into larger packs as an overflow is also something our team is a big fan of.

Want something more? Well, check this out, Patagonia now also make a rolling duffel version of the Black Hole too!

Best Carry On Travel Duffel Bag (#2) –  BAOSHA Canvas Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

Although you could easily use the North Face Maleta as your carry on travel duffel bag, our top pick in this category is the BAOSHA Canvas Duffel! It’s one of the most stylish bags on the market .

So, why’s that? This bag belongs in the ‘weekend away in a fancy hotel’ class of duffel bags; this duffel oozes class with its classic look of canvas and faux leather. Durable thanks to its tough materials, it will survive the knocks, dust, and dirt of travel while weighing just 2.8 Pounds. This might just be the most stylish carry on duffel bag on the market!

It has the potential capacity of 55 litres while still being suitable as an airline carry on. Inside you’ll find two zip-close security pockets and a further two open pockets for smaller items, while the outside of the duffel has a further couple of small compartments and external pockets. It also features a removable shoulder strap for great wearability.

  • Excellent style
  • Durable canvas construction
  • Weighs just 2.8 Pounds
  • 55 liters may be a little large for some
  • No dedicated laptop sleeve
  • Faux rather than real leather
  • Zips can’t be locked

How The Tileman Canvas Duffel Tested

So, this is not a duffel for serious travelers or outdoor heads. When we tested it we soon came to lament the lower quality material and its lack of special features. While it performed adequately for our testers weekend retreat, he commented that he felt like it may begin to fray in the face of heavier usage.

Is the Tileman Canvas Duffel for me?

If you’re looking for a travel duffel bag that will set the scene for a luxurious or romantic couple of days away, you’ve found it with the Tileman Canvas Duffel!

But more than simply a pretty face, its durability and relative lightness of weight make it a duffel bag you’ll want to reach for again and again!

For those on our team who aren’t always living the dirtbag lifestyle, this duffel finds the perfect balance between cost, functionality and business style. Here at TBB we feel it’s the perfect duffel for commuting with large amounts of gear or people who need space for their gym kid as well as business travellers wanting to look swish on the go.

Best Men’s Leather Duffel – Kodiak Leather 60L Weekender

soft travel duffel bag

If you need a bag for a weekend getaway, for everyday use, for business, the  Kodiak 60L is definitely the best all-around men’s leather duffel bag. This stylish choice won’t look out of place anywhere: on a high-end weekend getaway, or just running some errands around town.

Made from all thick  top-grain leather  by the folks at  Kodiak 60l Weekender which is sturdy hardwearing and bloody beautiful.

Not a typical chuck-it-all-in duffel, the Kodiak weekend bag has a few organisation options. The bag includes three exterior pockets that use YKK zips, as well as a zipped  shoe compartment and a  dedicated laptop sleeve  at the bottom of the bag. This external pocket means you can easily take your laptop out, and put it in again when it comes to airport security.

Looking specifically for a men’s bag for the weekend , check out our post for more option

How The Kodiak 60L Weekender Tested

When our tester got his hands on this duffel it wasn’t so much love at first sight as love at first scent – the finished leather smelt just lovely! Anyway the bag is not the lightest duffel on this list and our tester did feel the weight of the leather after long periods of carrying. The zips and fittings all felt solid and the pack generally feels built to last.

All in all this is a super simple, stylish pack well and truly earned its place on this list.

Is The Kodiak 60L Weekender For Me?

Speaking of which, this bag is  carry-on compliant,  so you’ll be able to throw it over your shoulder and breeze right past the luggage carousel on your next trip, which makes this high-quality bag all the more convenient.

This is a stylish, hardwearing and uber-masculine duffel option. Oh, and there’s also a removable shoulder strap for a variety of carrying options.

For the ultimate in style and durability, our team felt this Kodiak leather duffel was a real winner. In fact, they felt if you were looking for a bag you’d have for decades to some, this would be a real sound investment. They just loved how high quality the materials and construction felt alongside the sleek and timeless style.

Best 50 Litre Travel Duffel Bag – Kuhl Escape 50

Kuhl Escape Duffel 50l

The KUHL Eskape 50 is a high versatile and durable duffel, custom designed for outdoor travel, and everyday use. 

Here are key features of the KUHL Eskape:

The KUHL Eskape 50 offers litres of storage which provides enough space for a few works worth of travel gear. It has one large main compartment with a U-shaped opening, and then  several external pockets for easy access to essentials.

Its is made from tough and weather-resistant materials, including a 1680D ballistic nylon bottom and a 500D Poly-TPU coated body. This ensures that the Eskape can withstand a bit of battering and is suitable for outdoor use, protecting your gear from the elements.

  • Stylish design – looks great in both urban and outdoor settings
  • Quality materials that both durable yet comfy to wear
  • Loads of storage space.
  • Can be a tad heavy – especially when loaded
  • Not be as breathable as some other packs and can get sweaty
  • It ain’t cheap

Is The Kuhl Eskape 50 For Me?

The KUHL Eskape boasts padded, adjustable shoulder straps as well as a removable padded shoulder strap. This allows users to carry it comfortably as either a backpack or over a shoulder like a classic duffel. It also has reinforced grab handles on each end for easy lifting and carrying.

The KUHL Eskape  50 has several internal and external pockets. These include a zippered mesh pocket inside the lid, a side pocket with a water-resistant zipper, and a front pocket with a key clip and organizational compartments.

Best Women’s Travel Duffel Bag –  Under Armour Women’s UA Motivator Duffle Sport Bag

soft travel duffel bag

Its smaller size compared to some of the travel duffel bags on our list makes it great for throwing in some clothes for a last-minute night away from home, or as an everyday duffel for carrying your gym kit.

Its softshell construction means it also folds down incredibly small and can be used as a spare bag without adding much weight to your other luggage! This duffel has a good degree of water resistance, which will keep your kit safe from light rain showers, with other features including a hanging internal pocket to keep small items safe.

  • Specifically designed for women
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Hanging internal pocket
  • Softshell construction
  • No backpack straps
  • Not suitable for business travel

How The Under Armour Tested

The tester brought this duffel bag along to a weekend athletic meet. She commented that the colour scheme was a bit too bland for taste, but did appreciate the way in which the bag can be packed down and minimised for day and gym use. In summary, we found this to be a perfectly serviceable day duffel but do question how well it would perform on longer trips in testing weather conditions.

Is the Under Armour Women’s UA Motivator Duffle Sport Bag for me?

Women looking for a simple, lightweight duffel to get their kit from A to B without spending hours packing to fill every nook and cranny of a backpack will be very happy to buy the Under Armour Women’s UA Motivator Duffle Sport Bag. A great everyday travel duffel bag, it also has a great price!

Our team felt this was the best small duffel bag because it just got the job done without being heavy or cumbersome. They felt it was a great affordable and lightweight duffel to use for everyday trips like heading to the beach or the gym and it’s light enough to fold up and throw into your backpack to use whenever you need on your trip.

Best Waterproof Duffel Bag –  YETI Panga 50 Dry Duffel

waterproof travel duffel bag YETI panga

Considering YETI makes the most durable coolers, insulated tumblers, and packs, expect the same emphasis of quality and durability from their dry duffel. You could probably throw this duffel over a waterfall and your stuff would still stay dry!

This is the best travel duffel bag if you are doing any type of water activity – rafting down a river; living on a boat; travelling in monsoon season; you name it, YETI’s got you.

You could simply attach this to the side or a river tube and it would hold up! It has 6 lash points and 2 long straps so you can haul your bag in multiple ways. 2 easy-to-access mesh pockets keep your valuables safely tucked away. We think 50 litres is a perfect size, but if you need something bigger, this bag also comes in a 75 litre and 100-litre size.

  • Most durable duffel bag ever
  • Fully Waterproof
  • Heavy (price you pay for durability)
  • Might be overkill for basic trips

How The Yeti Panga Dry Duffel Tested

We’ll confess now, we did not test this duffel by taking it white river rafting. However, we did fill it up with clothes and drop it in a bath tub to test the water proofing and are pleased to report that the inside stayed perfectly dry.

Of course, the waterproofing may begin to wear off after extended periods of use but based on what we have seen the Yeti Panga feels pretty solid.

Is the YETI Panga 50 Dry Duffel for me?

Keep your gear dry on your next trip with the YETI Panga 50 dry duffel. This fully waterproof bag is designed to handle total water submersion while remaining 100% dry on the inside.

Need a seat? Grab your Panga. Need a backpack? Grab your Panga. Need a personal floatation device? Grab your Panga. This is the most durable travel duffel bag on this list. Use it for your craziest adventures!

Our team are big fans of how well-made this duffel is and how much confidence it gave them when it came to protecting their gear. They really put it to the test and our team were super impressed. In fact, one member ended up capsizing on a fishing trip and this bag held tight full of clothing, gear and phones for over an hour as well as keeping our team member afloat too. Pretty impressive!

Best Business Travel Duffel Bag –  UNIQUEBELLA Suit Travel Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

Thanks to the UNIQUEBELLA Suit Travel Duffel, you can still use a duffel bag and travel with the smarter clothes of a business trip. This duffel cleverly opens out flat to create a dedicated compartment for laying suits and shirts flat without folding them tightly; you’ll find them as wrinkle-free when you arrive at your destination as when you packed them away.

There’s also another dedicated compartment for your business shoes, and four internal zip pockets and a small zip-close external pocket. Lastly, at 55 litres, this duffel both has enough volume for a few days away, and is generally airline carry on compliant.

  • Rolls out flat to take suits
  • Wrinkle-free clothes storage
  • Dedicated shoe compartment
  • Internal zip-close pockets
  • Made from synthetic materials
  • No dedicated tech sleeve
  • Not for adventure travel!

How The UNIQUEBELLA Suit Travel Duffel Tested

When we tested this duffel travel bag we were quite taken by the novel design and by the dedicated suit compartment. Whether it truly keeps clothes “wrinkle free” does seem like a bit of an exaggeration although none of us owns a business suit so we could not actually test this out.

Is the UNIQUEBELLA Suit Travel Duffel for me?

Need to keep a suit and shirt crease-free while travelling? Here’s the answer, the UNIQUEBELLA Suit Travel Duffel! Its fold-out design makes it super-easy to transport business wear without the need to iron at your destination and takes care of all those little extras with its shoe compartment and necktie pocket to name just two.

Even us vagabonds need to don a suit from time to time and though our team did feel this bag was a little niche, they felt it cornered position perfectly. They were unsure if the bag would be a little gimmicky but in practice they felt the design actually worked well in practical use and kept their gear wrinkle-free and ready to rock!

soft travel duffel bag

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Best Duffel Bag for Expedition –  The North Face Base Camp Duffel

best travel duffel bags

When you are hitting the mountains for days on end, you’ll need a duffel bag that is up to the challenge. The North Face Base Camp duffel has been an essential piece of kit for explorers, mountaineers, and adventurers for decades.

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Just 4 lbs in weight
  • Ultra Durable
  • Come with backpack straps
  • Lacks a little rigidity
  • Not  fully  waterproof
  • Not all versions carry on compliant
  • The big sizes are awkward to carry when packed full

How Did the North Face Base Camp Duffel Test?

We tested this bag in the depths of the Karakoram range in Pakistan. It has been snagged against a barbed wire fence, stepped on by pack mules, dropped in the mud, and snowed on for hours. Whenever I head to the mountains for an extended adventure, you better believe that this bag is coming with. 10 stars.

Is the The North Face Base Camp duffel bag for me?

Are you going on a serious adventure and needing to haul all of your gear along for the ride? This is the bag for you. Our team really loved the simple but high-quality nature of this duffel and generally North Face bags as a whole. They liked that this duffel added a bit more in the way of organisational pockets than the Black Hole and also offered a matt style rather than the shiny exterior of the black hole, which some of the team really preferred.

Best Travel Duffel Bag for the Trails –  The North Face Base Camp Voyager Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

Well, never thought I would take a duffel bag on hikes and bike rides, but North Face has done it again! This is one of the best all-around travel bags, no question!

You can toss this on top of your car or stow it away on a flight. This bag can easily be used for ANY type of adventure.

The bag unzips for easy access to the main compartment. There is a top padded pocket for delicate items, side pockets for a water bottle and small items, and internal zipper pockets for organization.

The straps and back support are not as padded as The North Face’s hiking backpacks, but it will do the trick for shorter hikes and rides!

  • Ripstop weather resistant Nylon material
  • Versatile backpack/duffel
  • Plenty of organizational compartments
  • Not as comfortable as hiking backpacks
  • 32 liters might be too small for some

How The North Face Base Camp Voyager Duffel Tested

To test this pack out we brought it along on a multi day camping trip into the wild mountains of Northern Spain. Of course, it did not feel quite as comfortable as a proper hiking backpack would and I did miss the additional support from a dedicated backpack. Still, the straps felt OK and the pack had plenty of room to fit our gear.

Is The North Face Base Camp Voyager Duffel for me?

The North Face Base Camp Voyager Duffel is a mobile base camp for all your mountain-biking, trail-running and skiing escapades. It has all the organizational bells and whistles you need to organize your gear, and multiple uses mean it is a functional bag for a wide array of trips.

Our team felt this was the perfect duffel for those who love adventure travel and outdoor sports. They were particularly impressed by how comfortable it was to carry heavy gear like climbing equipment, especially when the hike in itself is pretty challenging. They also felt it offered a level of organisation for their gear that is pretty rare with these types of large gear bags.

  The Classic Duffle by Mahi  – Best Small Duffel Bag

Mahi duffle

Looking for the great men’s leather duffel bag days out and short trips? If so, the Classic Duffle by Mahi may be just for you.

Combining traditional elegance with rugged practicality, the MAHI Classic Duffle in Vintage Brown is a lovely luggage piece for those looking for a stylish gym bag , weekend or overnight bag.

It’s made with beautifully supple full-grain leather on the main body and complimented with a fawn cotton lining. Other features include four brass studs on the base, a front zipped pocket for easy access to your essential items, a smaller zipped pocket on the inside and a detachable and extendable shoulder strap with additional padding for comfort.

  • Designed for low-cost carrier use
  • Soft Leather
  • Multiple zippered pockets
  • Heavy for size
  • Not big enough for many trips
  • Not waterproof

How The MAHI Leather Duffel Tested

I’ve tested quite a few pieces from the MAHI leather range. The leather on all of them isn’t exactly high grade, but feels very good for the price point.

Is the MAHI Leather duffel for me?

Being a small bag, this one is approved for carry-on by most airlines either the super strict budget ones. When it comes to packing, this thing thankfully stands up on its own, not falling in on itself as some duffel bags tend to.

Our team felt this was a great compact duffel that still offered good space optimisation. They felt for the minimalist traveller or commuter that doesn’t need a whole heap of gear, it’s the perfect option. They also felt the bag offered decent quality in terms of materials for the money.

Best Large Travel Duffel –  REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

Looking to travel with a lot of kits? You’re going to need a large travel duffel! The REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled Duffel comes in a variety of sizes, much like Patagonia’s Black Hole duffel series , and runs up to the 90-litre XL version. It is available at a very reasonable price tag for the volume size of the bag.

What else do you get for the price? You get a duffel specifically intended for rougher travel, made from 600 Dernier waterproof materials with a large D-zip opening for easy access. You also get two removable shoulder straps and a side zip-close pocket for smaller items.

  • Made for tougher travel assignments
  • 40-90 litres
  • Large opening
  • No major internal divisions
  • Not for business travel
  • Has to go in the aircraft hold
  • Weight of 1.6kg

How The REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled Duffel Tested

We tested this REI Co-op Big Haul Duffel by adding it to our Pakistan expedition arsenal which means that it gets used to carry packed tents and camping equipment up and down mountain sides. Of course, carting a duffel up a mountain side never easy but this one felt relatively light. It was able to withstand classes with jagged rocks and stayed dry despite drizzle. Result!

Is the REI Co-op Big Haul Duffel for me?

This unisex travel duffel bag by REI certainly fits the definition of a large travel duffel with a capacity of 90 litres. Is it the best? Well, we think it is! Tough and ready for anything, simply throw your kit in, and start your adventure!

Our team just loved how rugged this bag felt and many of them described it as pretty much bulletproof when it came to throwing anything at it! In fact, a few of the team have owned this bag for years on end and it’s been abused in all corners of the world and stood up admirably. They also loved the large zippered compartments that were big enough to use for their shoes or bigger items.

Best Large Travel Duffel (#2) –  Thule RoundTrip Snowsports Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

The Thule RoundTrip Snowsports Duffel is a travel duffel bag for anyone who needs to transport larger amounts of baggage since it has a volume capacity of 80 litres.

Rather than having an external compartment at one end of the bag, it has one at either end helping with the organization of large amounts of kit.

The main compartment has a wide D-shaped zip-close opening that makes it simple to load and unload, while the large tags on the zips make them easy to shift even with cold fingers! Water-resistant all around, it has a waterproof bottom so there are no worries about lowering the bag onto the wet ground.

  • Large capacity
  • The external compartment at both ends
  • Wide D-shaped opening
  • Large zip tags
  • Water-resistant but not fully waterproof
  • Too large a capacity for many
  • Weight of 3 lbs. 5.9 oz
  • Not ideal for business travel

How The Thule RoundTrip Snowsports Duffel Tested

When compared to other duffels on this list the 80-litre Thule RoundTrip Snowsports Duffel is a giant and our tested had no issues in fitting all of his camping gear in. Of course, big bags are heavier and bulkier and our tested did remark that a full packed 80-litre duffel isn’t the easiest carry. The waterproof base was kind of put to the test when the bag was laid on wet ground and we’re pleased to confirm that the pack remained nice and dry.

Is the Thule RoundTrip Snowsports Duffel for me?

If you need a travel duffel bag with a large capacity, the Thule RoundTrip Snowsports Duffel could well be the duffel bag for you! Its 80-litre capacity is divided between the main compartment at two end compartments, while the waterproof base is another fine addition.

Our team are big fans of the Thule brand and expected big things from these duffels. They were of course suitably impressed by the durability and high quality of the bag but mostly their feedback featured high praise for the larger end compartments as well as loving the range of sizes available.

Best Travel Duffel Bag for the Mountains (DURABLE) –  North Face Base Camp

North Face Base Camp

The cylindrically-shaped Base Camp duffel by North Face is a 50-litre capacity bag with an empty weight of just over 1.23 kg. They do carry sizes up to 90-liters as well!

As you would expect from North Face, the Base Camp Duffel is made from durable materials of 80% polyester with 20% polyamide. There’s a separate compartment at one end, and a zipped mesh pocket within the main compartment for easy access to smaller items.

The duffel comes with wide, adjustable, shoulder straps designed to avoid twisting, and padded grab handles. External compression straps around the circumference of the main compartment and at either end of the bag help reduce down and secure your contents.

  • Good empty weight
  • Made from durable materials
  • Pockets for smaller items
  • Ergonomically-designed shoulder straps
  • Softshell duffel
  • Synthetic rather than natural materials

How The North Face Camp Tested

Our first impressions upon taking out the North Face camp were that it very much looks and feels like an expedition piece – as such we are not sure how well it would translate to more “normal” travel usage. As a heavy duty camping and expedition piece its certainly rugged although the fact that its not fully water proof does cost it some points.

Is the North Face Base Camp for me?

This is an iconic, super-tough expedition duffel from The North Face. The separate end compartment means you can keep clean and dirty items divided without endless periods of repacking, while the durable materials used will ensure the Base Camp can be used for more than just the one adventure!

Another fine North Face duffel! Our team once again had high expectations but also wanted to know what made this stand out against the brand’s other offerings. Firstly they felt the Base Camp offered the most durable and weather-resistant materials, meaning they could really push where they could take this thing. With it’s larger size they also appreciated the additional of compression straps to keep everything compact and maximise space.

Best Travel Duffel Bag on a Budget –  Sweetbriar Vintage Canvas Duffel

soft travel duffel bag

This stylish bag is one of the best travel duffel backpacks if you’re on a budget! The Sweetbriar Vintage Canvas Duffel is listed under $40 and is perfect for a weekend in the city versus a few days of camping in the wild.

It comes in a very attractive tan canvas and leather-coloured webbing styling. It incorporates zipped compartments on the front of the bag as well as plenty of internal zippers and organisational features. Expansion zips give a total overall volume of 39 litres, plenty for that weekend away, while there are also lock-together carry handles and an adjustable shoulder strap.

  • Lovely design
  • Comprises zipped compartments
  • Expansion zips give 39-liter capacity
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Not very durable
  • Capacity may be too small for some
  • Hand wash only

How The Sweetbriar Vintage Canvas Duffel Tested

What we really loved about this travel duffel bag was that in the flesh, it looks and feels like it cost a lot more than $40. If you are looking for a hardcore travel duffel that will survive all weather and last for years then this may not be the one for you. However, if you are after a budget travel bag for an upcoming trip, then perhaps you have found what you need?

Is the Sweetbriar Vintage Canvas Duffel for me?

Any man or woman about town will readily fall in love with this unisex vintage canvas duffel. The ideal size for a weekend away, it consists of smaller compartments and pockets as well as the main compartment and also boasts an adjustable shoulder strap.

Our team felt that for a pretty run-of-the-mill duffel, this thing doesn’t look cheap and with the canvas material it’s also really durable too. They also loved that it was packed full of features like interior pockets, side shoe compartments and hidden valuable pockets.

Best Packable Duffel Pack – Gregory Alpaca Duffel


The Alpaca Duffel is versatile and resilient carry-all, skillfully merging practical travel functionalities into a robust duffel design. Encased in a water-shielding TPU layer and crafted from 40% recycled material, this duffel ensures solid protection for your belongings. The bottom is fortified against wear and tear, with an additional layer of foam for enhanced durability. Thoughtfully designed for the contemporary traveller, the bag features an expandable zippered end pocket to segregate your clean attire from the soiled, alongside an ingenious packing cube that serves both as a tool for packing and a storage solution.

The detachable shoulder straps deliver comfortable carry and the interior mesh compartments are great for organization of your travel gear. With a range of sizes available, spanning from 40 to 100 liters, there’s a perfect Alpaca Duffel for every adventure, big or small. The product is priced between $139.95 for the 40L version and $199.95 for the 100L.

  • Trusted brand
  • Comes with packing cube
  • Shiny exterior
  • Doesn’t have a rigid structure

How The Gregory Alpaca Duffel Tested

I absolutely love the Alpaca Duffel for its unmatched versatility and durability on all my travels. The thoughtful design details, such as the expandable pocket for separating dirty clothes, and the handy packing cube, truly make packing and organizing a breeze. However, I find the shiny finish a bit too ‘glarey’ for me and it’s not the lightest 60 liter duffel I have tried.

So first of all, Duffel Bags are awesome. They’re physically tough, your belongings are easy to access and kept safe by the waterproof fabric – even the worst baggage handler can’t do much harm! Below are the most important features to pay attention to when you are deciding on your purchase because there are so many bags on the market!

However, not all Duffels are the same. Choosing the right one requires looking at different factors. Our list of factors below will give you a rough idea of what you should be looking out for when being on the hunt for a new Duffel Bag.

From detachable backpack straps to a rolling duffel, there are more options than you might first think when it comes to the best travel duffel.

How to Choose a Travel Duffel Bag

What do you plan to carry in your duffel bag? And where are you travelling to? You may need an ultra-durable duffel backpack that can handle the abuse of long-term and international travel, or you may only need a simple bag to get you to/from the airport.

Perhaps you’re going on a boat or river adventure or travelling around Europe in winter. Either way, a waterproof or weatherproof bag is the ticket! Pay attention to the bags’ materials because the best traveling duffel bags are tough enough to deal with your adventures!

When deciding which travel duffel bag for you, you need to first think about your style of packing. Are you looking for a duffel bag that consists of a single large main compartment, or one with several compartments and an internal mesh pocket in addition to the main one?

If you’re travelling for business, you should consider a bag that protects tech gear, such as a laptop, as well as allows you to pack your clothes without creases. You might also want to look at features such as compression straps that keep everything neat and in place.

If you’ve got heaps of gear to organise and need things easy to access you might also want to consider exterior pockets.

Kodiak Weekender 30L

Ask yourself: what are you using your travel duffel bag for? There are some excellent duffel bags with incredible style if you’re looking for a bag to take your belonging to a hotel for a weekend of relaxation. Likewise, there are a great number of travel duffels more suited to the great outdoors – offering different levels of weather protection, and weighing more or less too.

Also, consider how comfortable the bag is going to be compared to other duffel bags. Does it offer a padded shoulder strap or even two removable backpack straps? If you’re going to be wearing it for a long time and it’s packed full of all your travel gear, padded straps are a lifesaver!

Finally, you may want the classic duffel bag functionality or one with wheels and/or backpack straps. Whether detachable or integrated, padded shoulder straps don’t add a lot of weight, but can make a bag a lot more comfortable in the long term.

If you’re planning to carry your travel duffel bag for long periods, such as on a camping trip or up and down cobblestone streets in search of your hotel room, weight is going to be a hugely important factor in your decision-making. The best travel duffel bags are those that maximise their space and minimise their weight.

Duffel bags with wheels can weigh significantly more, but if you’re planning to get a rolling duffel and use the wheels versus carrying it on your shoulder, this won’t be a major concern!

Duffel bag

In order to compare these duffle bags against one another, we threw them into a gladiatorial pit and forced them to fight to the death…OK so no that did not happen. Instead, various members of Team Broke Backpacker tested these duffels over a period of a number of years taking them on trips. That means that some duffels got put through the gauntlet of a month long vacation whereas got off lightly with a weekend trips. As such, the science isn’t exactly exact here.

Still, we stand by our findings. With each duffel we paid close attention to capacity and packing functionality, we compared how comfortable each duffel felt to carry, assessed how rugged and resilient each one felt and awarded bonus points for style.

soft travel duffel bag

Now, you  could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.

So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card!  REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

Still have some questions about the best travel duffels? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

Why should you get a duffel bag?

Duffel bags might not be as handy as backpacks, but they’re just as spacious. If you’re not planning on backpacking, duffel bags are the next best option to store all of your gear safely.

Which duffel bag is the best?

We love the Osprey Transporter Expedition Duffel as it can be carried as a duffel bag and backpack at the same time. It’s the best of both worlds.

What’s a good size duffel bag?

A duffel bag can range from 35 to 65 liters. Most of them have an average of 40L which makes them perfect for carry-on.

What should I look for in a duffel bag?

Look for these key features: 1. Quality of the material and price 2. The design 3. Packability, size and weight

soft travel duffel bag

Our GREATEST Travel Secrets…

Pop your email here & get the original Broke Backpacker Bible for FREE.

In this guide, we’ve covered the 17 best travel duffel bags on the market. From the big players to smaller brands, we’ve reviewed the ones fit for the great outdoors, your next business meeting, or a short hotel stay.

Nowadays, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to travel gear. Do you want a duffel bag with wheels? One that is lightweight? How about a fully waterproof duffel backpack? All you need to do is pick out the best travel duffel bag for you!

  • Should You Buy a Duffel or a Carry-On For Your Next Trip?
  • Calling All Backpackers: Discover Your Perfect Carry-on backpacks with Us!
  • Check out our rundown of the best travel bags and see what works best for you.
  • Prepare for your trip with our backpacking packing list .

soft travel duffel bag

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Ralph Cope

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soft travel duffel bag

Is it possible to travel with a duffle around the world, or you recommed a backpack fot that? Cheers

Sure, but if you travel long term consider that a duffel will mean carrying the weight of your bag with just one side of your body. It also means you won’t always have the option of two free hands, which you can get from a backpack.

where would u place the wandrd hexad all access?

Hi John, thanks for reaching out. The Wandrd Hexad All Access is a great pack, and one I will be adding to this list shortly. I have been traveling with a Wandrd PRVKE 31 for about a year as my primary daypack/camera bag and I absolutely love it – Wandrd makes great stuff. I have had a bit of first hand experience with the Hexad All Access as well – here are my first impressions: The Hexad All Access is a great pack/duffel for 4-5 days of travel, is tough as nails, and has plenty of interesting features and storage options whether you are a photographer or not. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Long story short – this duffle is solid and you can’t really go wrong.

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The 16 Best Travel Duffel Bags on the Market in 2023

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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 63 U.S. States Visited: 9

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Keri Stooksbury


Countries Visited: 44 U.S. States Visited: 28

The 16 Best Travel Duffel Bags on the Market in 2023

Things To Consider With Travel Duffel Bags

1. bargain duffel bag for long weekends and short trips , 2. the classic adventure duffel, 3. spacious and capable duffel bag from osprey, 4. the truly waterproof duffel bag , 5. perfect for long-term traveling, 6. the business travel duffel, 7. the ultra lightweight duffel bag, 8. lightweight duffel that’s roomy enough for any traveler, 9. a large duffel perfect for expeditions, 10. big brand design features in an affordable and compact package, 11. bargain bag for those who want something a little different, 12. this vintage leather duffel shouts sophistication, 1. a rolling duffel that can handle anything you throw at it, 2. affordable wheeled duffel from amazon basics, 3. a capable rolling duffel that expands for more space, 4. top of the range rolling duffel with high-end extras, final thoughts.

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Duffel bags are a great alternative to suitcases or backpacks and are designed to fit as much as you can comfortably carry.

Whether you’re looking for something small to carry on the plane, or a massive beast of a bag with wheels to pull behind you, there are plenty of great duffel bags to choose from.

A great duffel bag is one that has enough room for your clothing, enough extra pockets for your bits and pieces, and one that you’ll be able to carry, wear, or pull along with ease.

There are a number of qualities to consider before you buy your duffel bag.

Size and Capacity

Duffel bag

If you’re planning on being airborne with your duffel, it’s pretty important that it meets the carry-on requirements of your airline . This way, you no longer have to worry about checking your bag into the hold, and you’ll always have your personal belongings within easy reach in the cabin.

Small duffel bags will offer between 25 to 50 liters of usable space, and most of them will meet the 22 x 14 x 9-inch specification for most major U.S. airlines. These smaller duffel bags are pretty useful for weekends away, solo travelers, and those who only like to pack the bare minimum.

If you think you need a little more space to carry your gear with you, consider a 50- to 75-liter capacity bag. Perfect for those who need more space for extra layers, but aren’t worried about carrying bulky equipment, most of these medium-sized duffel bags will need to be checked in when you fly.

For those who do need to take the kitchen sink with them, large duffel bags with a 75-liter or higher capacity are an excellent choice for adventurers who need to haul heavy loads as they go.

From tents to fishing gear, and everything in between, you can fit everything into these oversized duffel bags, but watch your weight as bags over 50 pounds may incur excess baggage fees .

Because not all duffel bags are equal, it means that some can weigh significantly more when empty than others. If weight is an issue for you when you travel, consider the following before you buy:

  • Wheeled models will be heavier than non-wheeled duffels, with some weighing as much as 20% of your total 50-pound luggage allowance — even before you’ve started to fill it.
  • Heavy duffel bags are exhausting to carry long distances or up and downstairs, so think about how easy it will be to walk with your duffel when you need to.

Wheels vs. No Wheels 

Wheeled duffel bags are much easier to lug around airports, and sling in and out of cars, boats, and trains. They usually have 1 main compartment that will hold your belongings with ease, making them the best-loved choice for those who need to take some serious sporting or camping equipment with them.

Duffel bags without wheels are also a strong contender for those looking to explore distant shores as they tend to be lighter to carry. Wheeled or rolling duffel bags can become unstable on rugged ground, causing your belongings to fall or spill. If you’re carrying it close to your person, this won’t happen.

Carry Options

Duffel bag carry options

The size of your duffel bag, how much it weighs, and how long you intend to be carrying it are all important considerations when it comes to choosing your new duffel bag.

Wear it like a backpack or carry it like a tote — there are options out there, and you should choose the one that best suits you.

  • Backpack-style Straps — If you like to throw your bag on your back and do not need to access it regularly, many of the premium duffel bags on the market offer removable backpack straps that have some light padding to make them more comfortable than regular straps.
  • Shoulder-style Straps — If you want easy access to your bag while you travel, and are only covering short distances, carry it using a shoulder strap. Lots of duffel bags come with shoulder straps that are removable.

Duffel bag handle

Whether you choose a wheeled duffel, or one without, at some point, you’ll need to rely on a handle to make simple maneuvers with your bag.

Every type of duffel bag will come complete with a handle of one sort or another. Your duffel could come complete with either or both of the following:

  • Carry Handles — This could be a simple padded handle that connects the backpack straps, a pair of dedicated handles like a handbag, or just a single carry handle. Any of these are useful for picking up your luggage and moving it from one place to another, as you’ll often need to do when you’re hot-footing it around the globe.
  • Grab Handles — Located at either end of the bag, or somewhere on the sides, these handles sit loose to the surface and can be used to “grab” your bag quickly or slide it along. These are very useful if you’re loading your duffel in an overhead bin, or putting it in a taxi.

Access, Pockets, and Organization

Duffel bag compartments

Duffel bags are designed for adventures, and with that in mind, you’ll no doubt want to make sure that you can carry everything with you when you go.

Most duffel bags will offer plenty of useful internal storage pockets to keep smaller items safe in transit and make it easy to find them when you need to.

External pockets are useful for items that you’ll need while you travel, such as your passport, your cell phone, or your noise-canceling headphones . Different brands of duffel bags will have different sizes and types of internal compartments.

If you’re paying bigger bucks for your bag, you may even find that it comes with expandable external pockets that work well for keeping dirty clothing or footwear away from the rest of your luggage.

Alternatively, they may have separate compartments inside the bag itself.

While we’re on the subject, we should also talk about daisy chains, also called lash points.

If you’re planning on traveling via plane, train, or automobile, you might be wondering why on earth you would need to worry about such things, but stick your duffel on a roof rack, saddle it to a donkey, or take it just about anywhere else when you get there and you’ll see how vital they are.

Bottom Line: If you’re planning on taking your bag with you on exotic adventures, you’ll want a duffel with plenty of reinforced lash points to keep your luggage safe and secure.

Waterproof duffel bag

Water Resistance

Being water-resistant doesn’t always mean waterproof , and you’ll do well to remember this while you travel. Duffel bags that are advertised as “water-resistant” are purely designed to keep your bag, and your belongings, protected from light rain and damp ground. If you throw your bag in the ocean, it won’t work miracles.

Usually made from durable, ripstop fabric, water-resistant duffel bags are treated with a DWR solution that will help to prevent the moisture from soaking in.

You should also be wary of zipper openings as these may be the weakest point on your duffel, and the place where the wet gets in if the weather is bad.

If you’re keen on water sports, you may want to seek out a top-of-the-range duffel that is made from fabric that offers better protection against actual torrents of water, but if you’re planning on sticking to dry land, water-resistant should be good enough for you.

Material and Durability

Duffel bag material

If you want a duffel, you’re no longer tied to stuffy old canvas ones.

Duffel bags are available in a wide range of materials, including ripstop nylon, leather , laminated nylon skins, and other water-resistant and durable materials that should stay in good shape, wherever you take them.

The 12 Best Non-wheeled Travel Duffel Bags

Canway 65 liter weekender bag.

Weight: 1.74 pounds

Dimensions: 26.3 x 13.7 x 12.2 inches

Rocking in at under $30, this is one of the most popular and capable duffel bags on the market today. Made from water- and tear-resistant 600D polyester, this duffel will take you anywhere you want to go.

You’ll have no trouble stashing all your gear in here as there’s plenty of space. The main compartment is great for all your usual clothing and gear, but there are hidden extras that will make you grin with delight.

The shoe pouch, for example, is perfect for keeping smelly sneakers or wet flip-flops away from the rest of your gear, while the multiple pockets will keep your passport , travel documents, and anything else you hold dear, safe and sound on the go.

For easy transportation, the bag can be slipped over the luggage handle of a suitcase and a TSA lock can be used with the double zippers, keeping your gear safe.

What We Like

  • Can be folded up and zipped away for storage

What We Don’t Like

  • No solid base to give the bag structure

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 40 Liter

Weight: 2.8 pounds

Dimensions: 21 x 13.7 x 10.6 inches

Made from a burly polyester ripstop material and covered with a highly weather-resistant TPU laminate and DWR finish , this is one heck of a duffel that will stand up to almost anything. A “black hole” of a bag, you’ll easily be able to fit everything you need in there for a long weekend, and is the perfect size for a carry-on.

The main compartment has a large opening that makes for easy packing, while the zippered side pocket is perfect for super-fast access to essential items like your phone, wallet , or boarding pass.

The 40-liter capacity is big enough for a fun-filled weekend or a longer adventure, and when it’s empty, it simply folds into its own pocket for easy storage.

Lightweight and incredibly durable, the Black Hole Duffel has removable, padded shoulder straps that keep it comfortable while you walk with it, and the reinforced haul handles make it super easy to grab quickly. Internal compression straps ensure that your luggage stays in one place during transit.

A black hole worthy of exploring, this duffel is an all-weather vessel for every type of travel.

  • Made from 100% recycled fabric
  • Not particularly heavy duty
  • Osprey Packs Transporter 40 Expedition Duffel

Weight: 2.67 pounds

Dimensions: 21 x 12 x 11 inches

The Transporter from Osprey is available in 4 different sizes: 40L, 65L, 95L, and 130L. In this article, we’re concentrating on the 40L version.

Compact on the outside, but incredibly roomy on the inside, this Tardis-like duffel bag doubles as a backpack with its yoked shoulder harness.

Sling it over your back for long walks and adventures, then tuck that strap back in its very own storage pocket when you no longer need it. It’s clever additions like this that are synonymous with the Osprey brand and ones that many travelers love and actively look for.

Made from tough 0.2-millimeter, TPU-laminated, 800D nylon, this beauty is weather-resistant and incredibly capable of withstanding the roughest of journeys.

The zippers have easy-to-grab zip pulls for fast access on the go, and the main compartment has a smooth, lockable U-zip to keep your belongings safe. For those little extras that you need in transit, there are dual-zippered, 3D end pockets with overlapping rain flaps — perfect for stashing your phone, passport, or wallet.

Made by one of the best in the business, the Transporter is well worth its top price tag and is the kind of duffel bag that will last through many adventures.

  • Can be carried like a backpack or messenger bag
  • No compression straps

YETI Panga Airtight, Waterproof, and Submersible Bag

Weight: 5.14 pounds

Dimensions: 23.5 x 14 x 10 inches

From the makers of possibly the very best coolers ever made comes this supercool duffel bag that’s designed to protect your belongings from virtually anything.

The Panga comes in 50-, 75-, and 100-liter versions, but in this article, we’ll be looking at the smallest of the bunch — the 50L. Claiming to be a “100% dry duffel,” your gear should remain bone-dry no matter how wet the weather gets.

Made with a unique Hydrolock zipper and a U-dock terminal to create an airtight seal, you should never have to worry about getting wet with this beauty — perfect for adventurers who love water sports.

The thick-skin shell is made from high-density, high-quality nylon and thick TPU laminate, making it both puncture and abrasion resistant and perfectly able to withstand the bumps and knocks of international travel.

The 50-liter volume means you have plenty of space to pack everything you need for your next adventure, and there are 2 side pockets that are great for easy access to everyday essentials like your cell phone, passport, or wallet.

While designed to fit in an overhead airplane bin, we would stress that the rigid design of this duffel is both its saving grace and the biggest downside. You may struggle to squeeze it in if it’s fully loaded.

If you’re happy to take the risk of a potential baggage check situation, this is indeed one of the most awesome duffel bags on the market today. Waterproof, resilient, and a great investment that should last you forever.

  • Waterproof material and zippers
  • Not enough pockets to easily locate smaller items
  • The North Face Base Camp Duffel

Weight: 4.05 pounds

Dimensions: 15.8 x 27.6 x 15.8 inches

This behemoth of a duffel from the big brand The North Face is plenty big enough to fit everything you need on your next adventure, and then some!

Available in a variety of sizes including 31L, 50L, 71L, 95L, 132L, and 150L, we’re focusing on the massive 95-liter model. Made from highly durable 1000D, phthalate-free, TPE fabric laminate and 840D junior ballistic nylon, this bag should last you for many years to come.

The main compartment is sizable and easy to secure using the D-zip opening with its weather-resistant zipper flap, while the internal mesh pocket will keep small things safe from sliding around during transit.

Full of useful additions that you’d expect from a brand that knows its globetrotting audience, there’s an end-cap zippered compartment that allows you to separate wet clothes or dirty shoes. There’s also a zip mesh storage bag that acts as a packing cube .

When it comes to carrying your life on your back, the detachable and adjustable, alpine-cut shoulder straps offer a perfect fit and allow you to carry your duffel backpack-style. The 4 compression straps will keep it tightly packed, and the water-resistant material should mean you’re good to go, no matter the weather.

Too big for overhead bins, this is one duffel that will have to be checked in. But, its size is great for anyone planning on long-term travel.

  • D-opening for easy access to the main compartment
  • Backpack straps could be more padded

NEWHEY Garment Duffel Bag, 55L

Weight: 3.2 pounds

Dimensions: 22 x 12.2 x 12.6 inches

If you’re a high-powered professional who needs to travel a lot with your work, this duffel bag could be just the ticket. That said, you could also use it for weekend breaks, family vacations, and a whole host of other adventures.

Made from rugged, high-quality polyester and featuring strong, YKK zippers, this is a bargain of a bag that will suit many applications. A heady blend of form and function, this garment duffel bag will keep your suit crease-free while looking every bit as stylish as you do.

The design of this duffel enables you to pack your clothes flat, using the fixed hanger and tie pockets, before rolling it up to become a compact bag that should fit in most overhead cabin lockers. There’s also a handy compartment for keeping your phone, wallet, and passport safe, and a separate pouch for shoes and dirty clothing.

The interior buckle system holds your clothes in place while you travel, helping to keep them in tip-top condition for when you arrive at your destination.

  • Fits a lot of clothing
  • Quite heavy for a garment bag
  • Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel, 60L

Weight: 1.12 pounds

Dimensions: 26.5 x 10.25 x 13.5 inches

Another big bag from one of the bigger brands in adventure travel, this Eagle Creek ultralight duffel weighs a mere 1 pound 12 ounces but can hold a whopping 60 liters of gear. If that’s not the right size for you, the Cargo duffel also comes in 45-, 90-, and 120-liter versions.

Made from water-repellent Bi-Tech Armor Lite fabric, this duffel is designed for (nearly) all-weather, and the bartack reinforcements on the stress points ensure it keeps its strength no matter how full you fill it.

If you can’t decide how to carry your bag, this one gives you 3 different options. Either carry it using the removable backpack straps, padded top haul handles, or the side grab handle. There are also 6 incredibly useful lash points that can be used to secure the bag to a car’s roof rack, a camel, or any other unusual modes of transport.

Made up of 1 large compartment and 2 easily accessible end pouches, the U-shaped lid is easy to open, and when you’re not using it, the smart pack can compress into itself for easy carrying!

Perfect for camping trips, plane journeys, and even road trips , this is a little (big) bag that weighs next to nothing.

  • Can be carried 3 different ways
  • Backpack straps could be more durable

Marmot Long Hauler Travel Duffel Bag

Weight: 2.4 pounds

Dimensions: 60 x 33 x 30.5 inches

Available in a choice of 4 sizes (S, M, L, and XL), it’s the medium bag we’re reviewing in this article. This duffel bag is made from 1000D 100% polyester with TPE laminate, making it superstrong and able to withstand the bumps and knocks of domestic or international adventures.

The lining is wipeable nylon, which is great for internal leaks , while the bag is reinforced with 100% ballistic nylon for extra strength wherever you’re headed.

Ideal for an overnight bag, a checked bag, or even for the gym, this duffel has a D-shaped main zipper opening for easy access and haul loops on both ends to make it easy to lift. The double bottom ensures its durability, and the tough YKK zippers will hold their own after many, many uses.

The main compartment is plenty big enough to carry your clothes and belongings for big trips, and the zippered end pockets are easily accessible, making them perfect for stowing your passport, keys, cell phone, and wallet.

There’s also a removable shoulder strap that converts to carrying handles, giving you multiple carrying options when you need them.

This bag may not set the world of luggage alight, but it’s a nicely-priced, secure, and durable duffel bag made by a brand that’s synonymous with high-quality travel bags and accessories. An investment well made, the Marmot medium duffel bag is a good-size bag for most occasions.

  • Has a mesh pocket for dirty clothing
  • Handles get in the way of the main compartment opening

Gregory Mountain Products Alpaca Duffel Bag

Weight: 2.99 pounds

Dimensions: 30.7 x 19.7 x 1.9 inches

The Alpaca Duffel Bag is available in 4 different sizes (45, 60, 90, and 120 liters), but it’s the rather spacious 90-liter duffel we’re reviewing here.

Made from 900D, polyester, diamond ripstop with TPU coating and 630H HD nylon, this bag is designed to be strong! The TPU coating also gives it exceptional water and tear resistance, meaning it really should stand up to any amount of grief you throw at it.

This is a large bag, and because of that, it could be heavy to carry for long periods of time. The manufacturers have thought of that and given the bag padded backpack straps that can be removed quickly when you don’t need them, using ladder-locks and girth hitches at the top and bottom.

There’s also the option of haul handles with the hook-and-loop wrap for comfy carrying and a daisy chain should you wish to secure your duffel to a roof rack or a long-distance yak.

The lockable zippers are U-shaped, and the entire top panels open fully for easy packing — handy when you’re planning on taking a lot of gear with you.

There’s also a zippered end pocket that has a useful feature that allows you to display your ID from within the bag itself (no lost luggage tags for you!) Simply stick your tag or business card into the water-resistant, semi-transparent mesh window, and you’re good to go.

  • Lockable zippers
  • Could do with more internal pockets

Thule Chasm Duffel Bag

Weight: 2.86 pounds

Dimensions: 22 x 13 x 10 inches

The Thule Chasm Duffel bag comes in a choice of 2 different sizes (40 and 70 liters), but in this article, we’re looking at the sizable yet easy-to-carry 70-liter option.

Made from phthalate-free TPE laminate with a 1000D nylon base, this duffel is durable, water-resistant, and offers exceptional tear resistance. The bag also comes in an array of attractive colors. The Bluegrass option is perfect for sticking out in a crowd.

Because carrying your luggage is important, Thule has included removable backpack straps that make lugging your bag over long distances as easy as pie. When you get there, remove the backpack straps, and revert to using the duffel strap as usual.

The oversized, wide mouth opening is perfect for easy access to your belongings, and the external compression straps are designed to prevent your belongings from getting squashed up at the bottom when you carry it in backpack mode.

On the inside, there are also internal mesh pockets for keeping smaller items safe and a lockable, zippered side pocket for keeping small items secure and within reach while you travel.

  • Removable shoulder straps
  • Not overly comfortable carrying as a heavy backpack
  • Plambag Canvas Duffle Bag for Travel

Dimensions: 20.8 x 9.8 x 11.8 inches

This is a stylish and almost retro-looking duffel bag that’s well-suited to the traveler about town. Made from high-density, 16-ounce, 100% cotton canvas, and featuring classical bronze-tone hardware, this bag is as stylish as it is practical.

With a 50-liter capacity, the large main compartment can easily hold your clothes, shoes, and toiletries, as well as a 15-inch laptop or large iPad. The inner zipper pocket is perfect for smaller items, and the 2 side and front pockets, as well as 1 on the back, means you have plenty of space for everything you need speedy access to.

If you need even more space, there are 2 zippers on each side of this little duffel that will expand the capacity of the bag  and give you more room to carry your gear. The bottom of the bag is well cushioned and has a hard film protector to help keep your belongings dry and safe on dirty or damp floors.

Compact and easy to carry, this is a great overnight or weekend bag that has nicely padded handles and an adjustable and removable shoulder strap. Probably not ideal for around-the-world adventures, this is a capable duffel designed with style and practicality in mind.

  • Lots of pockets to stay organized
  • Zippers can get stuck

KPL 21 Inch Vintage Leather Duffel

Weight: 4.2 pounds

Dimensions: 21 x 9 x 11 inches

This vintage-style leather duffel bag is a real classic. Made from genuine, full-grain leather, the rich natural patina of this bag will change over time, ensuring that it always stands out from the crowd.

This beautiful bag will be just as home in a first class cabin as it would be out in the wild. Carrying a bag like this makes a real statement.

With 1 large compartment that will hold your clothes, shoes, and toiletries, you can keep the remaining 2 side zipper pockets free for items you need instant access to, such as your passport, cell phone, or wallet. The interior is also fully lined with canvas, giving more practicality and a high-end feel.

The front, satchel-style pocket adds interest and is in keeping with the vintage look of the bag, while the adjustable carry strap is well-padded and can be removed when not in use.

Want to carry it instead? This bag also comes with 2 sturdy, leather handles that will feel awesome in your hands as you carry your gear from plane to hotel and back again.

  • Has a detachable shoulder strap
  • The top compartment opening is quite restrictive

The 4 Best Wheeled Duffel Bags

Eagle creek travel gear no matter what flashpoint rolling duffel xl.

Weight: 4.19 pounds

Dimensions: 35.8 x 15 x 14.2 inches

Really, “no matter what” your adventures throw at it, this bag can handle almost everything! With a capacity of 128 liters, this duffel is big enough to cope with all of your gear while you travel.

Made from tough Bi-Tech fabric, it offers abrasion resistance and weatherproof capabilities, while the super-tough webbing and seam reinforcements mean your bag won’t fall apart when you fill it up.

If you find it too big to carry comfortably for more than a moment, you’ll be delighted to hear that this beauty comes with oversized, heavy-duty, treaded wheels for smooth mobility and maximum durability .

You’ll be able to easily maneuver it through airports, hotels, and business centers, while it will still be able to handle rough terrain like a boss.

If you need to carry it for longer distances, the adjustable and removable shoulder straps allow you to use it as a backpack. Or, you can use the center haul handle for rolling long distances and the side grab handles when loading it onto transportation.

The main compartment is easily accessible and plenty big enough to carry your clothing and equipment, while the front zipper pocket is ideal for storing quick-access items like your headphones , cell phone, and book.  

  • Bright and easy to spot on the carousel
  • Can be difficult to roll when heavy

Amazon Basics Ripstop Wheeled Duffel

Weight: 11.9 pounds

Dimensions: 37.5 x 18.25 x 16 inches

Another great bag from the Amazon Basics luggage range , this ripstop wheeled duffel comes in 26-, 30-, and 35-inch variations. They’re also available in multiple colors, such as black, blue, or red. Here we’ll look at the larger 35-inch version.

Its durable design makes this an affordable, yet practical option for anyone heading off on a vacation or adventure. With a 100% polyester top to protect against moisture in the air, and sides and a base made from 1680D ripstop nylon and 210D lining, this bag is strong and well-made for the price.

Because Amazon Basics understand that you want to take as much away with you as you possibly can, it has incorporated zippered front and main compartments for easy organizing and secure storage on the go.

The top portion is deep, and the opening is wide, making it easy to pack while the end pockets are perfect for stowing your passport, cell phone, wallet, keys, or anything else you need easy access to.

When it comes to moving your gear around, the upright, telescopic handle and inline wheels ensure easy mobility over smoother terrain and will cope (just about) with more rough roads on location.

Perhaps not as good as some of the more expensive rolled duffel bags, this is a good bet for the budget-conscious traveler.

  • Comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Can topple over if front-heavy

Travelpro Bold 30″ Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel

Weight: 10.9 pounds

Dimensions: 30 x 17 x 16.5 inches

The largest rolling duffel bag in the Travelpro range , this drop-bottom bag is big enough to carry tons of stuff and easy enough to roll around the globe.

Made from rugged, high-density 100% polyester fabric, this duffel has a water-resistant coating to keep your belongings safe and dry wherever you may be. This duffel also comes with a “Built For A Lifetime Limited Warranty.”

Inside, the zippered divider panel allows for 2 separate packing spaces or 1 large packing compartment, depending on your needs, and the adjustable, hold-down straps will keep everything in place while you’re on the move.

Need more space? No problem. This duffel comes with a 2-inch expansion capability for additional packing capacity and a large zippered wet pocket for damp or dirty items.

The high-performance ball-bearing wheels are built for high-mileage travel, and the silky-smooth, ball-bearing, inline skate wheels make this duffel a pleasure to pull along with you.

The aircraft-grade aluminum handle system makes it incredibly comfortable to find the right height for your needs, and the compression straps will keep the duffel neatly pulled together.

  • Can be packed as 1 large compartment or as 2 separate spaces
  • Very easy to exceed airline baggage weight limits

Thule Crossover Rolling Duffel Pack

Weight: 9.47 pounds

Dimensions: 17.3 x 16.5 x 31.1 inches

This top-of-the-range Thule duffel bag is an all-singing, all-dancing kind of bag that will accommodate everything you need and more on your next adventure. With an 87-liter capacity and a wide, unobstructed mouth for easy loading, this is one of the best, wheeled duffel bags your money can buy!

The durable exoskeleton and the molded polypropylene back panel are designed to withstand rough terrain and absorb the impact of rugged travel. The durable, oversized wheels make for smooth rolling, and the patented Thule V-Tubing telescoping handles guarantee a steady and straight pull that’s a pleasure to roll along behind you.

The main compartment is as big as they come and can comfortably house all of your clothing and travel gear, while the divider allows you to keep your dirty gear separate from your clean stuff.

The heat-molded, crush-proof SafeZone is a revelation that allows you to protect your eyewear, portable electronics, and other fragile gear on the go. This is a handy feature for anyone who wants to take expensive gear with them while they travel. This compartment can also be locked and removed to keep your stuff safe.

A very impressive duffel bag, with a price tag to match, this is an investment item for those who want to up their duffel bag game.

  • Durable and smooth-rolling wheels
  • The telescopic handle is a bit short for taller people

For every journey, there’s the perfect duffel. While wheels or no wheels will always be a great debate, whatever camp you’re in, you’ll find something to suit your travel needs. With so many great duffel bag manufacturers out there, such as The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot, Osprey, and Eagle Creek, you’re spoiled for choice!

Like this review? We’ve got more! Check out these other articles on the best-of-the-best travel products on the market:

  • The Best Checked Luggage Bags for Any Traveler
  • The Best Carry-on Luggage Bags for Any Traveler
  • The Best Laptop Backpacks To Buy for Travel
  • The Best Travel Toiletry Bags for Men and Women
  • All Our Best Travel Product Reviews – In One Place

Frequently Asked Questions

What size duffel bag can i carry on a plane.

Duffel bags, like any type of carry-on luggage, will have to meet the luggage size restrictions set out by the airline you are flying with. These can differ from each airline, but 22 x 14 x 9-inch luggage is a fairly common restriction. Please check with your airline before you fly.

What are the best duffel bags?

Whether you’re looking for something small to carry on the plane, or a massive beast of a bag with wheels to pull behind you, there are plenty of great duffel bags to choose from. These are some of our top picks:

  • Patagonia Black Hole 40 Liter Duffel

Are duffel bags good for traveling?

Duffel bags are a great alternative to suitcases or backpacks and are designed to fit as much as you can comfortably carry. A great duffel bag is one that has enough room for your clothing, enough extra pockets for your bits and pieces, and one that you’ll be able to carry, wear, or pull along with ease.

How do I choose a duffel bag?

There are a number of qualities to consider before you buy your duffel bag:

  • Size and capacity
  • Wheels vs. no wheels
  • Carry options
  • Access, pockets, and organization
  • Water resistance
  • Material and durability

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.


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Best Duffel Bags of 2024

From proven outdoor models with backpack straps to rolling designs for travel, below are the year's top duffels.

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler and Patagonia Black Hole duffel bags in Tofino

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Whether you’re traveling by air, driving up to a cabin for the weekend, or venturing across the world on an expedition, you’ll likely be using a duffel bag to get your gear from one place to the next. Duffels are popular among all kinds of travelers for good reason: they’re easy to load and carry, and many are built to take a beating. Below we break down the best duffels of 2024, including top travel, outdoor, and waterproof bags of both the standard and rolling varieties. For more background information, see our duffel bag comparison table and buying advice below the picks.  

Our Team's Duffel Bag Picks

  • Best Overall Duffel Bag: Patagonia Black Hole 55
  • Best Budget Duffel Bag: REI Co-op Roadtripper 100L
  • Best Carry-On Duffel Bag: The North Face Base Camp Voyager Roller 21”
  • Best Weekender Duffel Bag: Thule Aion Duffel Bag
  • Best High-Capacity Wheeled Duffel: Osprey Sojourn Shuttle 100L
  • Best Ultralight/Packable Duffel Bag: Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel
  • Best Waterproof Duffel Bag: Yeti Panga 75

Best Overall Duffel Bag

1. patagonia black hole 55 ($169).

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 55L__

Patagonia’s Black Hole line helped make duffels cool, and we think the 55-liter version is the best all-around bag on the market. In 2024, all Black Holes are made with 100%-recycled materials, along with the premium build quality and trendy colorways that Patagonia is known for. The duffel is beautifully constructed from end to end, and you get multiple color options from simple black to phosphorus green. It’s remarkably tough, too: The fabric is burly 900-denier ripstop nylon with a beefy TPU finish for water resistance (note: in the latest version, this laminate is now fully recycled and has a matte look). This duffel is not waterproof like the Yeti and SealLine models below, but it should keep your gear dry in light to moderate moisture just fine.

We've been using the same Black Hole Duffel for almost ten years now and it's still going strong, despite being packed with sharp climbing gear and shlepped to all corners of the world (by plane, train, horse, and snowmobile). In terms of features and carrying comfort, you get a multitude of ways to grab and carry the duffel: The removable backpack straps are more comfortable and functional than most, and the bag comes with reinforced haul handles and webbing loops for carrying by hand. Keep in mind that this duffel does not have a particularly rigid structure (only the base is lightly padded), so it doesn’t offer a ton in the way of protection for your fragile items. Finally, Patagonia’s Black Hole line also includes a variety of versions (we love the 70L for expedition use and the 40L as a carry-on), including smaller travel packs and wheeled duffels. See the Patagonia Black Hole 55

Best Budget Duffel Bag

2. rei co-op roadtripper 100l ($70).

REI Co-op Roadtripper 100 duffel bag_

If you’re in the market for basic storage and protection for your gear, the REI Co-op Roadtripper is one of the best values on this list. At just $70, this bag is made from burly recycled polyester and sports a large detachable shoulder strap and handles (no backpack-style straps here, which is notable for those who plan on carrying their bag long distances). We also love the minimal weight, which at just 1 pound 6 ounces is one of the lightest duffels here.

Who is the REI Roadtripper Duffel best for? It makes a great gear hauler for those who need space and protection without the bells and whistles. We’ve used the 100-liter version on a number of big trips including all the way down to Patagonia (four flights) and came away impressed. The bag is well-built, functional, and has withstood quite bit of use and abuse. At the same time, it’s not waterproof (or even highly water-resistant) and definitely not a fully featured bag for travel. If you want more protection and conveniences like internal storage, side compartments, and backpack straps, we’d recommend the Patagonia Black Hole above instead. See the REI Co-op Roadtripper 100L

Best Carry-On Duffel Bag

3. the north face base camp voyager roller 21” ($240).

The North Face Base Camp Voyager Roller 21” (duffel bag)

For frequent travelers, there is a lot to be said for the convenience of a wheeled duffel, especially one that can be used as a carry-on. At 40 liters and with dimensions that meet size restrictions for most airlines, the TNF Base Camp Voyager Roller is a great option for air travelers who don’t pack the kitchen sink. The wheels are large yet smooth and functional over a variety of surfaces, and equally at home on the dirt roads of a far-flung village as in the airport. What’s more, the rigid internal frame and strong plastic handles (one telescoping) are durable enough to take a beating, whether you’re lifting the duffel, rolling it over cobblestones, or tossing it into the back of a truck. And with a PFC-free DWR finish, the Base Camp Voyager will keep your gear dry in the process.

What the Base Camp Voyager Roller is not, however, is a fully featured piece of luggage for business travelers. It lacks the sleek look and organizational compartments of more typical roller bags, with only one internal mesh pocket, a laptop sleeve, and a small external zip pocket. And at $240, you’ll pay a premium for the durable construction and wheeled design. For $40 less, the Osprey Daylite Carry-On 40 offers better organization, but its sophisticated appearance might not appeal to those looking for a true duffel design. In the end, the Base Camp Voyager Roller is a great combination of durability, functionality, and outdoor style. For those who want more space, TNF also makes a 29-inch version that can accommodate more than 90 liters' worth of gear. See The North Face Base Camp Voyager Roller 21"

Best Weekender Duffel Bag

4. thule aion duffel bag ($190).

Thule Aion Duffel Bag

Many of the duffels here are designed for expedition use or toting a week’s worth of gear (or more), but the reality is that most travels take place over the weekend. A good weekender bag can hold around 35 liters’ worth of clothing and personal supplies, meets carry-on requirements, and features a range of internal and external pockets to help you stay organized. Within this category, the Thule Aion is our top pick and gets high marks for style too, with a classy aesthetic that looks the part in both urban and outdoor environments. The 35-liter bag is also decently durable, with a waxed 600-denier polyester canvas outer that’s abrasion-resistant and can fend off light moisture.

In addition to its good looks and build quality, the Thule Aion is high on organization with two separate internal compartments (great for separating clean and dirty clothes), a laptop sleeve and internal zippered pocket, and external stretch and zippered stashes beside the front zip. Portability is also good with two carry handles, a padded (and removable) shoulder strap, and a pass-through sleeve for securing to a roller bag. Added up, the Aion offers similar functionality as a travel backpack but in duffel bag form, which is great for those looking for a cleaner, more streamlined look. At $190, it’s more expensive than most bags here of similar size, but the added features and sleek appearance do help justify the added cost.  See the Thule Aion Duffel Bag

Best High-Capacity Wheeled Duffel

5. osprey sojourn shuttle 100l ($395).

Osprey Sojourn Shuttle 100L wheeled duffel bag

For travelers torn between a standard duffel and traditional wheeled luggage, the recently updated Osprey Sojourn Shuttle (previously just the “Shuttle”) may be exactly what you’re looking for. This high-end duffel is extremely roomy, durable, and comes with tons of organization. Time and time again, we’ve loaded an entire vacation’s worth of clothing and gear into the Osprey with ease. Unlike cheaper wheeled duffels that have a tendency to fall over when full and upright, it maintains its stability nicely, and the larger-than-average wheels get the job done on uneven surfaces like cobblestones and gravel roads. And all of the other features are there, from external compression straps to tighten down your load to a separate lower compartment for wet gear.

The major shortcomings of the Osprey Sojourn Shuttle are simply trade-offs inherent to the roller design. First, you won’t be throwing this duffel over your shoulder and strolling through the airport or walking through a major city. It’s heavy at over 8 pounds empty and must be transported almost exclusively on wheels. In addition, when packed to the brim, you may find yourself pushing the standard 50-pound checked baggage limit—particularly if you go with the 130-liter version (we’ve cut it close with the 100L on occasion). Finally, at $395, the Sojourn is pricey—even within Osprey’s lineup, you can save with the simplified Daylite Wheeled Duffel 85 ($240) and more durable Transporter Wheeled Duffel 90 ($340). But for a premium roller duffel from a brand known for its high-quality, durable offerings, look no further than the Sojourn Shuttle. See the Osprey Sojourn Shuttle 100L

Best Ultralight/Packable Duffel Bag

6. osprey ultralight stuff duffel ($45).

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel bag

Not everyone needs their duffel bag to pack down small, but in certain situations, it can be a really nice feature to have. Perhaps you’re low on storage space, headed out on an expedition where every inch and ounce count, or simply need to bring along an extra duffel for the souvenirs you plan to pick up during your travels. Regardless of the reason, it’s hard to beat the utility of an ultra-packable design, and Osprey’s 30-liter Ultralight Stuff Duffel is one of our favorite options. Clocking in at just 7.1 ounces and packing down smaller than a 1-liter water bottle in its integrated pocket, the aptly named Ultralight Stuff is far and away the most streamlined option here. For just $45, it’s almost a no-brainer whether you’re using it as your primary bag or a backup.

We love the versatility of the Osprey for space- and weight-conscious situations, but keep in mind that this isn’t your standard travel duffel. With a thin nylon construction and small 30-liter capacity, it won’t hold up to long-term abuse, keep your gear dry, or shuttle much more than a well-organized overnight kit. But it’s fully functional for the right application with a padded shoulder strap, accessory pocket, and smooth-running zippers.  See the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel

Best Waterproof Duffel Bag

7. yeti panga 75 ($350).

Yeti Panga 75 duffel

Osprey is an industry leader in backpacking packs, so it should come as no surprise that their Transporter toes the line between backpack and duffel better than most. With padded straps and an adjustable sternum strap designed with carrying comfort in mind, the Transporter is a great option for travelers who need to cover distance with their duffel. In terms of features, a zippered pocket at one end is great for storing important items like travel documents and charging cables, and you get a wide U-shaped opening along with an interior mesh pocket, deployable rain flap, and straps to keep items in place as you walk. Added up, the Transporter is one of our favorite duffels for trips that start at the airport and take you to seriously adventurous locales.

Coming in at $180 for the 65-liter version, the Osprey Transporter is a similar bang for your buck as the Patagonia Black Hole above and a touch more expensive than The North Face's Base Camp below. Durability-wise, its 900-denier recycled polyester is on par with that of the Black Hole (the TNF is a bit more robust at 1000D), and our duffel shows no real signs of wear after being thrown around on a month-long trip to Nepal. The lack of an over-the-shoulder strap is a bit of an inconvenience, but you do get a functional carry handle along with Osprey’s best-in-class backpack carry. All told, if you’re looking for the carrying comfort of a premium pack alongside the convenience of a duffel, the Transporter should be near the top of your list. And for those who spend a lot of time around water, Osprey also makes the Transporter Waterproof Duffel , which is available in 40-, 70-, and 100-liter capacities and offers an impressive IPX7 rating. See the Osprey Transporter 65

9. Mountain Hardwear Expedition Duffel 100 ($280)

Mountain Hardwear Expedition duffel 100L

For climbers embarking on long journeys into the greater ranges, it doesn’t get much better than the Mountain Hardwear Expedition. This duffel is purpose built for hard work, with water-resistant 840-denier ballistic nylon in the body and a burly 1000-denier base lined with foam for both structure and protection. A wrap-around daisy chain allows you to lash it down in endless configurations, whether you’re headed to basecamp with the help of a mule, truck, or boat. And the Expedition’s most unique element is its massive D-zip opening, which extends via wings on each end and even folds all the way open for great basecamp organization (complete with internal tote bag-style handles). 

For such a utilitarian duffel, the Expedition packs in a surprising number of organizational features. You get a handy internal compression system that can secure all or some of your load, along with four small zip pockets (two internal, two external). And because we’re all familiar with wrestling the zipper closed on an over-full duffel, many will appreciate the integrated top compression strap that cinches the sides together and reduces zipper strain. Finally, like most designs here, the Expedition includes backpack straps, which also serve as a carry handle by way of integrated Velcro patches. The technical style, oversized capacities, and price tag will turn away most casual users, but for demanding expeditions, the Expedition is a great tool for the job. See the Mountain Hardwear Expedition Duffel 100

10. Gregory Supply 90 ($120)

Gregory Supply Duffel 90L

We really like what Gregory has done with their Supply Duffel. Updated last year, this bag simply screams “function,” with a durable 600-denier polyester body and base, burly #10 YKK zipper and oversized T-Grip pull, and a price tag that beats out most duffels here. In fact, at just $120 for the 90-liter version, the Supply is still considerably cheaper than many 60-liter models on our list. For travel and outdoor applications like camping, ski trips, and even expeditions, this is a durable and high-capacity duffel that checks most of the boxes. 

But with its function-first attitude, the Gregory Supply isn’t for everyone. While you do get tuckaway backpack straps and one external pocket, it lacks the bells and whistles we see in much of the competition, including a U-shaped top zip and dirty-laundry compartment. We’ve come to value the large top access of a model like the Black Hole when we’re living out of a duffel, but the simple entry of the Gregory is sufficient for most uses. In the end, as long as you’re aware of the trade-offs, the Supply is a really nice option to have that will save you some money without making many compromises in terms of durability. See the Gregory Supply 90

11. The North Face Base Camp Medium ($149)

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Medium (best duffel bags)

First released in 1986, the Base Camp is a classic offering from The North Face and a direct competitor to our top-ranked Patagonia Black Hole above. It’s similarly tough and water-resistant, offers easy access to the inside, and can be carried as a backpack, which we love. Both bags offer comparable organization pockets, but the Base Camp’s medium and large models add an exterior compartment on one end that allows you to separate dirty clothes and shoes. The Base Camp comes in more colors and designs than we can count, and is available in capacities ranging from 31 liters (XS) to a whopping 150 liters (XXL). For everything from a carry-on to an expedition workhorse, this is one of the most popular duffels on the market year after year.

Although we do like the Base Camp line and have used them for years, we prefer the Black Hole for a few reasons. First, the outer fabric on The North Face shows scuff marks more easily than its Patagonia counterpart. Second, at 3 pounds 8 ounces, the TNF is nearly a pound heavier. Finally, we found the backpack straps on the Base Camp to be slightly more difficult to detach than those on the Black Hole, making your airport check-in a bit more frantic. But for a reliable all-around duffel and more versatility in terms of size and colors, the Base Camp is a solid choice. And TNF also offers the Base Camp Voyager (in 32, 42, and 62L versions), which features a more modern design, lighter materials, and improved organization.  See the North Face Base Camp Medium

12. Black Diamond Stonehauler 60L ($190)

Black Diamond StoneHauler 60L duffel bag

Relatively new to the scene is Black Diamond’s Stonehauler, which offers a climber’s take on the classic outdoor duffel. Building off popular designs like the Patagonia Black Hole and TNF Basecamp, Black Diamond placed 5-millimeter closed cell foam into the Stonehauler’s walls to guard against sharp gear like ice tools and climbing cams (a nice touch, as our cams have dug a hole in the base of our Black Hole). They also added on a 2-kilonewton haul loop for extra assurance when securing your gear to a mule or truck (heck, you could even haul the duffel up El Cap). Tack on a rugged 600- by 1500-denier body fabric and reinforced ends, and the Stonehauler is impressively durable and ready for all the rigors of your next expedition.

We’re impressed with Black Diamond’s design and think the Stonehauler makes a great fit for climbing, but the duffel risks being overkill for the majority of people and uses. Most travelers don’t need a haul loop or padded side walls, especially when the added tech results in a higher price (the 60L Stonehauler is $41 more than the TNF Base Camp 71L, for example). Further, we’re a bit miffed by the design, which places more durable fabric on the ends of the bag but not on the base. But BD does add some nice travel features with three zippered pockets, an internal laundry bag and compression straps, and removable shoulder straps. And you can upgrade to their Pro models (30 and 45L), which feature a padded laptop sleeve. See the Black Diamond Stonehauler 60L

13. Eagle Creek Migrate 60L ($129)

Eagle Creek Migrate 60 Duffel Bag

The Eagle Creek Migrate 60L is a nice option for travelers looking for a durable hauler with an assortment of carry options. It’s one of the more affordable duffels on the market at just $129 for the 60-liter version, and offers no shortage of bells and whistles with both tote and haul handles, glove-friendly zipper pulls, lockable main zips, an external zip pocket, and the option for both over-the-shoulder and backpack carry. What’s more, the main fabric is fairly robust (900D) and dirt-resistant, while the seamless bathtub base (1680D) will keep your gear dry even on wet ground. It all adds up to one of the best values out there and a great duffel from a respected travel luggage company.

All that said, the Migrate falls short of the more premium options above in one main way: access. Eagle Creek opted for a straight zip instead of the U-shaped lid of many duffels here (like the Black Hole above), meaning the Migrate is a lot harder to live out of and keep organized. But on the bright side, the simplified build does result in a lower price tag, and you get 5 extra liters of space if you leave the side buckles undone. And we’ve gotta give props to Eagle Creek for their efforts toward sustainability: The Migrate is made with bluesign-approved materials and recycled plastics. In addition to the standard version here, it also comes as a wheeled duffel in 110- and 130-liter capacities. See the Eagle Creek Migrate 60L

14. Gregory Alpaca 60 ($160)

Gregory Alpaca 60 duffel bag (red)

Updated last year, the Gregory Alpaca is a durable and water-resistant duffel that checks all the boxes for rigorous outdoor use. Like the Black Hole above, it has a large U-shaped opening, boasts padded and removable backpack straps, and is made with a durable 900-denier ripstop polyester with a TPU coating for water resistance. Throw in storm flaps over the top zipper, an expandable end pocket for dirty laundry, internal mesh pockets, and an included packing cube that pulls double duty as a stuff sack, and the Alpaca strikes us as another thoughtfully built and well-equipped outdoor/travel duffel.

The Alpaca is a direct competitor to the Black Hole, and there’s certainly a lot to like about the design. The 60-liter version is about $10 cheaper than Patagonia’s 55-liter duffel, the packing cube is a nice addition (similar designs will run you $20 to $30), and the oversized end pocket has a lot of utility compared to the Black Hole’s smaller side pocket. But Gregory can’t quite match the brand cachet of Patagonia, and you only get a choice between three colors (compared to the Black Hole’s nine). In the end, both are high-quality outdoor duffels from trusted brands—built to withstand air travel, far-flung expeditions, and everything in between. See the Gregory Alpaca 60

15. Cotopaxi Allpa 70L ($200)

Cotopaxi Allpa 70L duffel bag_

Cotopaxi has carved out a corner of the market with their spunky outdoor and travel gear, epitomized by fun colorblocking and sustainably sourced materials. The Allpa Duo 70L here is their largest and most functional duffel, great for international flights and road trips alike. Similar to the Black Hole, the Allpa features durable materials and large U-shaped access to the main compartment. But it tacks on a few more features, including a separate laundry compartment with mesh pocket (we’ve found this incredibly useful) and three zippered accessory pockets on the exterior (the Black Hole has just one). We also appreciate the Cotopaxi’s convenient carry-handle stash pockets, which get them out of the way when not in use.

At $200 for the 70-liter version, the Allpa is about the same price as the Black Hole 70, and offers an extra dose of convenience with its additional features. But we do have a major gripe with its design: The duffel does not include buckles on the backpack straps, meaning you’ll have to unthread the webbing for unhindered access to the main compartment. But there’s still a lot to like about the duffel, especially for fans of Cotopaxi’s design aesthetic. The Allpa duffel also comes in a 50-liter version, and the Allpa collection also features a full lineup of travel packs, hip packs, and gear hauler totes.  See the Cotopaxi Allpa 70L

16. REI Co-op Big Haul 60 Recycled ($139)

REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled 60L duffel bag (blue)

We know the competition is stiff in this category, including popular and proven bags like the Patagonia Black Hole and The North Face Base Camp above. But the second REI duffel to make our list wins out in one important category: price. For $139, the Big Haul 60 is another tough and versatile option with a healthy array of bells and whistles. You get solid weather resistance, comfortable backpack straps, a number of handles for easy grabbing, and decent organization on the inside in the form of mesh pockets. The 60-liter duffel included here likely can be used as a carry-on provided it’s not stuffed to the gills, or you can play it safe and opt for the 40-liter version for $119. 

Given that the REI Co-op Big Haul 60 is a strong value, why is it included toward the bottom of this list? From our experience, the build quality isn’t quite up to Patagonia standards, and the REI doesn’t have that sleek, high-end look either. On the other hand, the Big Haul has a thicker (1680D) fabric around the bottom to prevent wear and tear (and a thinner 400D nylon around the top), many of the same features, and should get the job done for most people and uses. What’s more, it's now made with recycled fabric, which is a big win for everyone. All in all, it’s another quality product from REI’s in-house line at an attractive price point. And the Co-op also makes the Big Haul Recycled in a rolling version, which comes in both 30 and 34-inch sizes ($279 and $299, respectively). See the REI Co-op Big Haul 60 Recycled

17. Mountain Hardwear Camp 4 65 ($140)

Mountain Hardwear Camp 4 65 liter duffel bag

Mountain Hardwear offers some of the most serious outdoor duffels on the market, from the high-capacity Expedition above to the Camp 4 here. Riffing off the design of a haul bag, the Camp 4 has a cylindrical shape that lies on its side when open but can stand up on its own when full. In our opinion this is more of a stylistic feature than anything (climbers will love the vibe), but it might come in handy while staging duffels for transport—and we do love the large external zip pocket at the top for staying organized. Finally, one large grab handle on each side are great for the duffel shuffle, and the backpack straps remove when not in use.

But despite its haul-bag aesthetic, the Camp 4 is not particularly robust compared to most duffels here. The relatively thin 420-denier nylon will hold up to a lot of abuse, but we don’t recommend actually trying to haul the bag up an abrasive rock face (the similarly minded Black Diamond Stonehauler above features a much thicker 600x1500D shell). On the other hand, we do appreciate the Camp 4’s generous reinforcements around the edges, which is where duffels tend to collect wear, and its relatively compact packed size will come in handy for some. In the end, the Mountain Hardwear is a great combination of style and function for $50 less than the Stonehauler 60, making it another nice option for those packing for their next adventure. See the Mountain Hardwear Camp 4 65

18. Backcountry All Around 60L ($139)

Backcountry All Around Duffel 60L_

The All Around is Backcountry’s addition to the outdoor duffel market and a continuation of their growing line of in-house gear. Similar to the Patagonia Black Hole and The North Face Base Camp above, it boasts a U-shaped zipper opening, several pockets for organization, and the option of being worn as a backpack. And like the Base Camp, an external zipper on one end opens to a large secondary compartment, great for separating dirty laundry or shoes. And with a recent redesign, the All Around now includes a padded base for added structure and protection.

Backcountry didn’t necessarily do anything new in the All Around, but they did make a quality bag at a respectable price point. Stacked up against our top-ranked Black Hole, it lags behind in durability (300D vs. 900D polyester) and capacity options, and you’ll either love or hate the bold goat logo on one end. And while some of Patagonia’s colorways are more subtle or sophisticated (call it what you will), Backcountry has taken a page out of Cotopaxi’s book with their loud, colorblocked designs. The All Around will save you $30 compared to the Black Hole 55 (and give you 5L more space), but we recommend that consistent travelers stick with the tried-and-true Patagonia. See the Backcountry All Around 60L

  19. SealLine WideMouth Duffel 70L ($165)

SealLine WideMouth Duffel 70L

Along with the Yeti Panga, SealLine’s WideMouth is the only other fully waterproof duffel on this list. These two bags are quite different, however: With a much thinner nylon build, the SealLine has a significantly lower weight and profile than the Yeti, which is great when space is at a premium. Further, it features a roll-top design instead of the Panga’s burly waterproof zipper, which doesn’t offer quite the same level of protection, but it does pack down nicely. Perhaps most importantly, the WideMouth is roughly one-third the price of the Panga and more than enough duffel for most people. 

Why do we have the SealLine ranked here? The Yeti has more structure and is much easier to pack, not to mention the fully waterproof zipper system offers more assurance (and less room for user error) than the WideMouth’s roll-top seal. Moreover, the Yeti has backpack straps and therefore is easier to carry. The cherry on top: The extra thickness of the Yeti means that it’s much more durable and abrasion resistant in the long term. But for those looking for a waterproof duffel without breaking the bank, the WideMouth is a nice option. And SealLine also makes the Pro Zip Duffel , which features a waterproof main zipper and retails for $315 for the 70-liter capacity. See the SealLine WideMouth Duffel

Duffel Bag Comparison Table

Duffel bag buying advice, duffel bag categories: travel, outdoor, waterproof, duffel bag capacity, roller duffel bags.

  • Main Compartment
  • External Pockets
  • Compression Straps
  • Daisy Chains (Lash Points)
  • Carrying Options
  • Durability (Denier)

Water Resistance

  • Packability  

Travel Duffels Whether you’re packing for a weekend getaway, flying home for the holidays, or going to the gym, travel duffels offer a durable way to transport items from Point A to B. These bags range from minimally featured duffels—often just sporting hand carry straps and shoulder straps for short commutes—to roller bags (like the Osprey Sojourn Shuttle 100L ) that are great for carting around heavy loads. Robust fabrics and rugged wheels set the travel bags in this article apart from the standard suitcases and rollers you often see at the airport. That said, these bags lack the focus on water-resistance that we see in outdoor duffels, usually forgoing storm flaps over the zippers and DWR coating. But for travelers who don’t plan on subjecting their bags to the elements, travel duffels are a nice mix of durability, convenience, and simplicity.

Duffel bags in front of Hosteria Senderos (El Chalten Patagonia)

Outdoor Duffels Many duffels on this list are made by big outdoor brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Osprey, and Black Diamond. Outdoor use can vary substantially, from throwing your bag in the back of a truck to hardcore expeditions. In this category, look for robust fabrics with DWR coating, water-resistant zippers or storm-flaps, comfortable backpack carrying straps, lash points, and handles for grabbing the bag from multiple angles. And versatility is a notable upside of outdoor duffels: We’ll often use them for basic travel purposes as well, especially those with multiple carrying options and convenient organizational features like U-shaped openings and multiple pockets or compartments. For example, the Patagonia Black Hole , our top pick, can be used from anything from serious outdoor exploration to standard air travel (and it looks the part for both). 

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel bag on snowmobile 2

Waterproof Duffels Most duffels here are highly water-resistant, meaning they're able to keep out light to moderate rain and snow. But a small percentage of users, including rafters, fishermen and women, and winter adventurers, need a fully waterproof duffel. The market is limited, but there are a few bags that offer a high level of waterproofing, including the Yeti Panga, SealLine WideMouth, Osprey Transporter Waterproof , and NRS High Roll Duffel Dry Bag. With the help of thick waterproof fabrics, watertight zippers, and roll tops, these bags are designed to keep your gear dry on wet boat decks, in inclement weather, and during quick dunks in the water (the Osprey even has an IPX7 rating, meaning it'll keep water out when submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes). Given their overbuilt nature, we wouldn’t want a waterproof duffel for anything but the harshest and wettest of environments: They’re simply too heavy, expensive, and technically oriented (minimal organization and straps) for everyday use. 

Duffel bags (Denali base camp)

Large: 75+ liters Duffels that are 75 liters or larger are heavy haulers for longer trips, multiple people, and outdoor equipment (boots, backpacks, tents, etc.). When we fly to go backpacking, we love our 100-liter REI Co-op Roadtripper Duffel : It can fit multiple empty backpacks, bulky footwear, and all of our extras. It’s worth noting that these bags can get heavy fast depending on what you stow inside of them, so keep an eye out for total weight as you’re packing. Clothing and most regular items should keep you below the 50-pound checked bag limit, but if you’re packing anything particularly heavy, it can be an issue. And for serious outdoor and expedition use, duffels like The North Face Base Camp are made all the way up to 150 liters.

The roller duffel is one of those “have your cake and eat it too” scenarios for travelers wanting the ease of wheeling their bag with the packing convenience of a duffel. We’ll start by noting that roller duffels are quite popular, and particularly for air travel. You simply take the bag out of your car, wheel it to check-in (or your gate if it’s a carry-on), and you’re off. Roller duffels are ideal for those who don’t want to carry their bag on their back or shoulder, and some of the smaller versions (in the 40-liter range and under) are carry-on compatible.

Duffel bags (rolling vs. non-rolling)

But roller duffels do have their limitations. First, rarely do roller duffels come with anything more than carry handles (read: no backpack straps), making them difficult to transport in areas without sufficient rolling surfaces. Second, cheaper or ultralight duffels have a tendency to fall over when full, which is something to be aware of when making a purchase (heavier models like the Osprey Sojourn Shuttle do not fall over, which makes them worth the extra cost in our opinion). Finally, roller duffels inherently have more breakable parts. Some duffels have replaceable wheels but many don’t, which is a quick way to lose all of that easy transport functionality.

For travel scenarios where you’ll be moving around a lot—think backpacking through Europe—we prefer non-roller duffels. They’re easy to grab and throw on your back, and you don’t have to worry about the surface (if you’ve ever tried taking a roller duffel down a cobblestone street, you know what we’re talking about). If you’re primarily an air traveler and moving your bag long distances by vehicle, a roller duffel is a fine option, and you do get the added benefit of one hard side for protecting your belongings. For the purposes of this article and the picks above, we’ve included a handful of our favorite roller models, and some of the standard designs have wheeled versions available.

Loading Patagonia Black Hole Duffel into truck

  Pockets and Organization

Main Compartment Hands down, the easiest duffels to pack, unpack, and rummage around in are those with a large, U-shaped opening. Duffels such as the Osprey Transporter 65 feature this design: A zippered flap extends around three of the four sides of the top of the duffel and opens to reveal most of the contents. These bags provide easy access whether in a hotel, tent, or on the road. Other bags open in a more traditional style, with one zipper that extends across the top of the bag. With a smaller opening, access to the contents is more limited, and especially when full (this means more rummaging and disorganization). If you’re looking to prioritize convenience above all else, large roller duffels like the Osprey Sojourn Shuttle offer the most rigid structure and largest opening for packing and unpacking.

Duffel bags (u-shaped zipper)

External Pockets When choosing a duffel, consider how much you’ll want access to your belongings as you travel. The most streamlined models feature one large compartment with no internal organization (the REI Co-op Roadtripper, for example), while more fully featured designs include handy external pockets for small items or padded compartments for a tablet or computer. Some duffel bags are even made with specific gear organization in mind, such as the Thule Bike Gear Locker Duffel (with dedicated pockets for shoes and a helmet) and the Thule RoundTrip Snowsports Duffel, which features a fleece-lined goggle pocket and boot compartments on each end. For travelers, we think that at least one external pocket is nice to separate out your smaller essentials. 

Grabbing passports from external accessory pocket (Osprey Transporter 65 duffel bag)

Compression Straps Compression straps, both internal and external, can help make a duffel’s load more compact. Internal straps remove strain from the zipper and compress your gear inside the duffel to keep it from shifting during transit. We see these on models like the Patagonia Black Hole and Mountain Hardwear Expedition Duffel . External compression straps can be on the ends or sides (such as with The North Face Base Camp) and tighten the duffel after the zipper has been shut. External straps are especially useful on large duffels that might not be stuffed to capacity, and they help make your bag less unruly for travel. Additionally, if you plan on frequently carrying your duffel as a backpack, we encourage you to consider a model with compression straps—it makes the whole operation a lot more comfortable.

Daisy Chains (Lash Points) If you’re using your duffel primarily to transport your belongings via plane, train, or automobile, you’re probably wondering why you might need the daisy chains lining the exterior. However, put your pack in a raft, saddle it to a mule, or strap it to the roof of your van, and you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them. Not all duffels come with daisy chains (a.k.a. lash points) and some have more than others. If you know that you’ll need to secure your duffel for a wild ride, definitely be on the lookout for a bag that sports plenty of reinforced lash points. The most outdoorsy the bag, the more likely it is to be lined with daisy chains.

Internal compression straps (Osprey Transporter 65 duffel bag)

Carrying Options: Backpack Straps, Shoulder Straps, Handles

We’ve all been there: clumsily dragging our bag across the airport lobby and cursing ourselves for not purchasing something with wheels (or a travel backpack ). And if you’re looking for a bag in the 60-liter range or larger, know that when it gets full, it’s going to be heavy . The good news is that duffel manufacturers have gotten creative with designing bags that can be carried in a multitude of ways. Below are the main carrying options, and some fully featured bags offer all four. Backpack Straps For those who are able to throw their bag over their back and walk with it, backpack straps are our preferred carrying method. Many of the high-end bags on this list have backpack straps that are lightly padded and often removable. One duffel in particular, the Osprey Transporter , has many similarities to an actual backpack and is great for those planning to cover longer distances. Keep in mind that carrying comfort does vary, which is one reason why some bags are ranked higher than others. When not in use, many backpack straps simply detach for storage in the main compartment (this keeps them out of airport conveyor belts). Sometimes, simply tightening down the straps flush to the bag can be enough.

Osprey Transporter duffel bag (sternum strap and backpack straps)

Shoulder Straps Though less comfortable than backpack straps over extended periods, a single shoulder strap is a quick way to carry your duffel short distances. In particular, we like shoulder straps on smaller duffels that don’t weigh a ton (they can start to get uncomfortable around the popular 60-liter range). Not all duffel bags come with shoulder straps, but we see them frequently on smaller capacity, travel-specific bags. Shoulder straps usually are removable, allowing you to streamline your duffel for transport. Carry Handles Most duffels have carry handles of some sort, whether they’re dedicated straps or a simple padded handle connecting the backpack straps to each other. Carry handles are useful for picking up a bag and moving it a short distance, and they’re great for carrying small capacity bags in one hand. Some duffels like the Osprey Transporter omit carry handles altogether­ in favor of shoulder and backpack straps. This can make sense for big, heavy bags, but we still prefer having the option.

Duffel bags (carry handles)

Grab Handles Grab handles often are located on the ends or sides of a bag and sit close to the surface. Similar to carry handles, they are used to quickly lift or slide a duffel. Having a grab handle on each side is convenient when moving the bag around (think about grabbing it from the overhead bin of an airplane or the storage compartment on the bottom of a bus). We love grab handles: They are one the reasons that duffels are so versatile and easy to move around.

Carrying the Osprey Transporter duffel bag using the grab handle

  Durability (Denier)

We reference durability frequently in this article—everyone wants their investment to last. The most common way of measuring fabric strength is denier (D), and the higher the rating, the tougher the fabric will be. All deniers are not created equal, but this gives you a general idea of how two duffels stack up to each other in terms of toughness. When available, we’ve included the denier rating of each bag in our handy comparison table above, which range from 1000-denier for a bag like The North Face Base Camp down to 300-denier for the Backcountry All Around. It’s worth noting that the manufacturers sometimes provide two numbers, which refer to the different panels (usually the highest number is the bottom of the bag that is exposed to the ground, whereas the lower number are the sides and top). This number may not be the definitive factor in your buying decision, but it certainly can help tip the scales when choosing between two close competitors.  

Duffel bags (packing for an expedition in Nepal)

Duffels advertised as “water-resistant” are designed to keep your belongings protected from light rain and soggy ground. These models often cover their durable ripstop fabric with a laminate that keeps moisture from soaking in (often a DWR treatment or something similar). A DWR treatment certainly is a nice feature for everyone using a duffel: The weather is unpredictable when traveling, you never know when your duffel might be sitting on the tarmac for a few extra minutes, and it’s super helpful for outdoor use. In addition, some bags have flaps covering the zippers, which can be a point of weakness. Water-resistant gear does have limitations: It should work well in light-to-moderate precipitation but eventually will soak through. 

Duffel bag (water resistance)

As mentioned above, a few duffels on this list take it a step further. The Yeti Panga and SealLine WideMouth are both built with waterproof fabrics. With a fully waterproof zippered seal, the Yeti can even be submerged, and the SealLine's roll-top does a decent job as well (no guarantees, but your stuff should stay dry). On the other hand, most duffels with vinyl or laminate finishes (such as the Patagonia Black Hole) will keep your gear dry in a rainstorm, but their zippers and seams might leak with sustained exposure to moisture. All things considered, a waterproof duffel is essential for water sports but overkill for travelers who stick to land.  

Some travelers may not care about the weight of their duffel, but for others it’s a factor, and particularly with heavier rolling models. Most non-wheeled duffels weigh just a few pounds or less, which makes them easy to carry, throw in your car, and store when not in use. Rolling duffels, on the other hand, tend to get a bit heavy. For example, The North Face Base Camp Voyager Roller weighs 9 pounds 7 ounces empty for the 94-liter version, which already accounts for almost 20% of the standard 50-pound limit for checked bags. And the Osprey Sojourn Shuttle 100L weighs 8 pounds 9.6 ounces but has a larger capacity at 100 liters (and comes in a massive 130-liter version). We can tell you that a loaded Sojourn Shuttle with things like shoes can get awfully close to the 50 pounds—we’ve been in the high 40s on a number of occasions. It’s also worth noting that a 45-pound bag isn’t the easiest to get in and out of your car or up a flight of stairs.

Duffel bags (weighing on scale in Talkeetna)


Packability won't be high on the priority list for most travelers, but there are a few instances in which a streamlined duffel can come in handy. For those who anticipate coming home with more than they started—or vice versa—being able to stow an empty duffel in another bag is a great way to consolidate your load. A few of the picks above pack into a stuff pocket or included packing cube, including the REI Co-op Roadtripper 100 and Patagonia Black Hole 55. However, it's worth noting that these options are still quite bulky—if you need a more minimalist design, check out a model like the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel . Ultra-packable duffels do come with their fair share of tradeoffs—including less durable fabrics, a floppy structure, and typically small capacities—so we only recommend them for those who specifically need the more streamlined design. Back to Our Top Duffel Bag Picks   Back to Our Duffel Bag Comparison Table

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Best Duffel Bags for Any Trip, According to Travel and Luggage Experts

Duffel Bag

Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

If you have travel planned, whether it be shorter weekend trips or lengthier trips abroad, a duffel bag is a great piece of luggage to have on hand. “Duffel bags are durable, easy to carry, fashionable, and offer travelers a luggage option outside of the traditional hard shell suitcase or backpack,” says Richard Li, Co-Founder of luggage brand July .

To find the best duffel bags, I chatted with Li and other luggage/travel experts and content creators including Coralie Lindvay, U.S. Director of Marketing at DELSEY Paris , V Luigi Auricchio, Vice President of Design at Away , Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem of Nomadasaurus , Lauren Yakiwchuk, travel content creator at Justin Plus Lauren , Renee Hahnel of Renee Roaming , and Helene Sula of Helene in Between , about some of their expert recommendations and what shoppers should consider before making their next duffel bag purchase.

What to consider when buying a duffel bag

Material is an important consideration when shopping for duffel bags. “Ideally, you want a strong, durable, and water-resistant (or waterproof) material that can withstand the torture of going through baggage handling at airports, and stand up to any inclement weather when out and about,” says Bradford and Salem. If you want a waterproof duffel bag, take a look at its IPX waterproof rating to learn how resistant it is to elements like water and wind. For example, the YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel has an IPX7 rating and can withstand being submerged in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes.

Organizational features

The purpose of a duffel bag, tote , or any piece of luggage is to store and organize belongings. Considering the organizational features of a duffel is key. Sula recommends bags with various compartments and pockets, especially for those travelers who are tech-savvy and need space for their gadgets. Multiple compartments and pockets also help with accessibility and convenience so one can easily get to their belongings in a timely fashion.

Don’t forget to consider the capacity of your duffel bag. “You want a bag big enough to carry everything you need, but not so big that it's half-full all the time or doesn't maintain its shape,” advises Bradford and Salem. Many duffel bags are available in varying sizes with different capacities, so you can select one that fits your needs.

Our picks for the best duffel bags

Best sports and gym duffel bag: bellroy classic weekender 45l duffel bag.

Bellroy Classic Weekender 45L Casual overnight duffel bag Black

Bellroy Classic Weekender 45L Casual overnight duffel bag Black

This Classic Weekender bag from Bellroy is a solid option if you’re looking for a duffel to take to the gym or sports practice. As someone who frequents the gym several times per week, I can say that a duffel bag helps a great deal when it comes to carrying my water bottle, sweat towel, resistance bands, and lifting gloves. It has a wide mouth so you can fit your belongings and it boasts a minimalist look. Plus, its padded shoulder strap ensures it won’t dig into your skin. Bellroy also makes a variety of work bags .


  • Dimensions: 15 x 25.6 x 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.16 pounds
  • Material: Water-resistant polyester
  • Number of colors: Four
  • Price at time of publish: $189

What we like:

  • Minimalist look
  • Padded shoulder strap
  • Made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles
  • Three-year warranty

What we don't Like:

  • Difficult to wash

The bottom line:

Although this bag made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles may be difficult for some to wash, it has a wide mouth and padded shoulder strap for easy access and optimal comfort.

Get it here: Bellroy Classic Weekender 45L Duffel Bag

Best small duffel bag: TUMI Voyageur Just In Case Duffel

Tumi Voyageur Just In Case(r) Duffel (Black/Gunmetal) Bags

Tumi Voyageur Just In Case(r) Duffel (Black/Gunmetal) Bags

As far as small duffel bags go, Rezk recommends the TUMI Just in Case Duffel. At 1.1 pounds, this bag won’t weigh you down whether you carry it on your shoulder via its shoulder straps or in your hands using its handles. Despite its small size, this duffel contains an interior slip pocket and a front zip pocket in addition to two side pockets for storage. Its flexible design lets you fold it down into a small pouch that you can easily place inside larger luggage or backpack if needed. And, it’s available in three colors (Indigo, Black/Gold, and Black/Gunmetal) to match a variety of color preferences.

  • Dimensions: 10.3 x 18.9 x 10.3 inches
  • Weight: 1.36 pounds
  • Material: Water-resistant nylon
  • Number of colors: Three
  • Price at time of publish: $195
  • Lightweight luggage
  • Foldable design
  • Two-way top-zip closure

As long as you don’t mind investing more for your new duffel, this is a good choice if you’re looking for a small and foldable duffel bag with a two-way top-zip closure.

Get it here: TUMI Voyageur Just In Case Duffel

Best budget duffel bag: Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)

Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)

Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)

If you’re looking for a duffel bag that won’t break the bank, Gonex’s Canvas Duffel Bag is a great option. Despite its under $50 price, this bag expands and is spacious with a 50L capacity in its main compartment. It also contains two front zipper packers, two side zipper pockets, and one back zipper pocket for extra storage. Plus, it can be carried three ways—hands, shoulder, or cross-body.

  • Dimensions: 20.8 x 9.8 x 11.8 inches (unexpanded) and 24.4 x 9.8 x 11.8 (expanded)
  • Weight: 2.82 pounds
  • Material: Cotton canvas and nylon
  • Number of colors: Five
  • Price at time of publish: $49.99
  • Has multiple zipper pockets
  • Plastic cushions on the bottom to keep items protected
  • May sag if not completely filled

The Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag is one of the best duffel bags for those with a smaller budget but who still want a high-quality bag that even has plastic cushions on the bottom to keep items protected.

Get it here: Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)

Best weekender duffel bag: Lululemon Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L

Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L

Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L

This 48L weekender duffel bag from Lululemon is just what you need for weekend getaways or short trips to visit family and friends. While this duffel is an investment, its water-repellent fabric, plethora of external pockets, and adjustable external straps large enough to hold a yoga mat make this a good choice for those instances when you need to quickly grab an item without having to dig aimlessly.

  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 10.6 x 13 inches
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Material: Nylon and recycled polyester
  • Number of colors: One
  • Price at time of publish: $198
  • Made with water-repellent fabric
  • Has adjustable external straps
  • The exterior pocket can hold a laptop
  • Has to be spot cleaned

This weekender bag from Lululemon provides ample space for shorter travels and is equipped with adjustable external straps for holding additional items.

Get it here: Lululemon Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L

Best waterproof duffel bag: YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel

YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel 50L

YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel 50L

As far as waterproof duffel bags go, the YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel is one of the best. Even if you were to fully submerge your duffel in a meter of water for 30 minutes, your belongings would stay dry thanks to its notable ThickSkin™ shell with an IPX7 rating. Furthermore, it has both a leakproof and waterproof zipper.

  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.0 x 19.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Material: ThickSkin shell
  • Price at time of publish: $300
  • Available in four colors
  • Thick, puncture-resistant shell
  • IPX7 rating

This duffel bag will keep your belongings completely dry even when submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, as it’s made with a ThickSkin™ shell and has a waterproof zipper.

Get it here: YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel

Best rolling duffel bag: CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel

CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel in Daisy

CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel in Daisy

If a duffel bag with wheels is non-negotiable for you, consider the CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel. This soft-sided rolling duffel bag has two back wheels and can easily be moved by pulling the retractable handle. Even though it’s a smaller duffel bag at 22 inches, it has a hard-sided bottom compartment designed specifically for holding your shoes. Note that this rolling duffel isn’t waterproof, so it may not be the best choice if you’re traveling to a destination with rain. CALPAK also sells makeup bags in a variety of colors that you can mix and match with your duffel.

  • Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 5.75 pounds
  • Material: Polyester
  • Number of colors: Seven
  • Price at time of publish: $165
  • Has two wheels
  • It can be used as airplane carry-on luggage
  • Specialized shoe compartment
  • It’s not waterproof

Though on the heavier side, this rolling duffel bag contains two wheels and a compartment designed specifically for storing shoes.

Get it here: CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel

Best backpack duffel bag: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

( buy on backcountry ).

Patagonia Black Hole 55L Duffel Bag Black, One Size

Patagonia Black Hole 55L Duffel Bag Black, One Size

Patagonia is known for its outdoor clothing (they’ve made our lists for the best fleece jackets , best down jackets , and best rain pants , among others), but the brand also makes some strong duffel bags, including this backpack duffel bag. “I love the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel, as it comes in a range of sizes and has attachable backpack straps,” says Hahnel. Its straps can be taken off when not in use and placed inside of the bag or wherever you wish to keep them. Plus, it’s made with abrasion-resistant materials and has a padded bottom, so you won’t have to worry too much about your belongings if you happen to accidentally place it down a bit harder than you anticipated.

  • Dimensions: 22.8 x 13.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds 9.6 ounces
  • Material: Thermoplastic urethane (TPU) and 100% post-consumer recycled polyester ripstop ( 900D )
  • Number of colors: Nine
  • Price at time of publish: $169
  • Padded bottom
  • Made with recycled and repurposed materials
  • bluesign® approved
  • Nine color options
  • Lifetime manufacturer warranty

What we don’t like:

  • It’s heavier than some of my other picks

This backpack duffel bag made with repurposed and recycled materials from Patagonia comes with shoulder straps, allowing the duffel bag to be worn like a backpack.

Get it here: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Most comfortable duffel bag: Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

If you’re looking for a waterproof duffel bag, Bradford and Salem recommend adding this 65L duffelpack from Peak Design to your cart. Not only is its exterior 100% recycled 600D nylon canvas fabric weatherproof, but its zip (which is extra long) is as well. In addition to its padded grab handles, this duffelpack comes with carry straps and a waist harness that can be added and removed as needed. It comes in two colors: Black and Sage.

  • Dimensions: 26 x 15 x 12 (external) and 26 x 17 x 13 inches (expanded)
  • Material: 100% recycled 600D nylon canvas, 900D Ottoman-weave poly bottom fabric, woven nylon, and nubuck leather accents (only on Sage)
  • Number of colors: Two
  • Price at time of publish: $219.95
  • Made with weatherproof fabric and zipper
  • Many carrying options
  • Comes with removable carry straps
  • Large capacity
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Only available in two colors

With a weatherproof exterior and zip, this 65L duffelpack from Peak Design is a solid option for travelers heading to rainy destinations or those who simply want to prevent their belongings from getting wet.

Get it here: Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

Best leather duffel bag: Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag

Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag

Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag

Leatherology is one of the best places to buy leather duffel bags . (Their work bags are beautiful too.) Made with full grain leather, this 8.8-pound duffel offers lots of space to store your belongings with its large interior zipped pocket, two smaller open internal pockets, and one open exterior pocket suitable for items that you don’t need in a zippered compartment. Since it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap, rest assured that you’ll be able to alter it until it comfortably rests on your body. You can even personalize the bag to gift it to a friend or family member or keep it for yourself.

  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 25.6 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Material: Full grain leather and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton twill lining
  • Number of colors: Four (signature) and two (premium)
  • Price at time of publish: $400
  • The shoulder strap is adjustable
  • Can be personalized
  • Made with full grain leather and sustainable cotton
  • On the weightier side for a duffel bag

Leatherology’s Kessler Large Duffel Bag is perfect for those who want a personalized leather duffel bag with lots of room across multiple interior spaces.

Get it here: Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag

Best style duffel bag: Monos Metro Duffel

Monos Metro Duffel

Monos Metro Duffel

If a stylish duffel bag is what you’re looking for, Rezk (and I) recommend the Monos Metro Duffel. Designed with a 15-inch sleeve and inner side pockets that can fit a laptop and other essentials such as an umbrella, this duffel bag made with all vegan materials is especially suitable if you need a new bag for your upcoming business trips or commutes. (Monos is also a great place to buy luggage. ) It also comes with a small modular kit that can be easily attached and detached using the duffel’s QuickSnap™ feature—perfect for quickly retrieving any items you may need during your travels or serving as a toiletry bag .

  • Dimensions: 16.3 × 11.2 × 7.2 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds (nylon) and 3.6 pounds (vegan leather)
  • Material: Felt, nylon, and vegan leather
  • Number of colors: Four (nylon) and five (vegan leather)
  • Price at time of publish: $210 - $245
  • Comes with a small interchangeable kit
  • Available in nine colors
  • Made with vegan materials
  • Looks similar to a purse
  • Fits under plane seats
  • Small opening

This sleek duffel bag made from all vegan materials is fitting for those looking for purse-like luggage that can store a laptop and other essentials.

Get it here: Monos Metro Duffel

What is a classic duffel?

According to Auricchio, a classic duffel bag is a cylindrical bag made of synthetic material, canvas, or leather. It usually features zipper closure endings on both sides and offers multiple carrying options via handles or a shoulder strap

What is a duffel backpack hybrid?

A duffel backpack hybrid is a bag that can be worn or carried in the style of a classic duffel or a backpack. Hybrid bags often have shoulder straps that are either built into the bag or can be removed and stowed away as needed.

What is a digital duffel?

A digital duffel is similar to a traditional or classic duffel, but has some more advanced technological features that make it stand out. “Think built-in charging ports, RFID-blocking pockets, and special compartments for your gadgets,” explains Sula.

How we selected the best duffel bags

To compile my list of the best duffel bags, I consulted seasoned travelers and luggage experts about what to consider regarding material, organizational features, and design. To supplement the duffel bag recommendations I received from experts, I conducted online research on duffel bags from popular brands keeping in mind customer reviews and product information.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the best brand for duffel bags.

There’s no one right answer when it comes to the best brand for duffel bags, as it depends on personal preference. However, several luggage brands are beloved by many customers for their duffel bags which include Monos and TUMI.

What is the largest duffel bag you can check?

The largest duffel bag you can check depends on your preferred airline. Rezk notes that checked duffel bags typically cannot be any larger than 62 linear inches. Linear inches refers to the total number of inches calculated after adding up a bag’s height, length, and width. I recommend checking the bag size guidelines of the airline prior to your flight and keeping your bag under 62 linear inches to be safe.

Are duffel bags good for international travel?

Duffel bags can be good for international travel depending on the type of trip you plan to take. “If you're going on a hiking trip, you may prefer a dedicated backpack that has superior straps,” says Bradford and Salem. “For road trips, multi-day getaways, urban escapes, or extended travel, duffel bags are excellent.” Yakiwchuk adds that some travel experiences and aircrafts (especially smaller ones) only permit travelers to carry-on soft-sided luggage without wheels that can be easily maneuvered into specific areas of a plane. For that, duffel bags can be a suitable choice.

What size duffel bag is allowed on international flights?

The size that a duffel bag can be carried on international flights depends on your airline. Many airlines honor bags 22 x 14 x 9 inches or smaller.

What is the difference between a duffel bag and a travel bag?

Although a duffel bag is technically a travel bag, a duffel can usually be easily distinguished thanks to its key features. “A duffel bag is usually round in shape and has a zipper closure at the top that opens wide,” explains Lindvay. A duffel bag is often soft and has a strap, making it easier to carry.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

soft travel duffel bag

20 Best Carry-On Duffel Bags for Travel

Jeremy Scott Foster

  • Last Modified: October 15, 2023

soft travel duffel bag

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The duffel bag has been the tote of choice for travelers for decades. The right duffel is easily packable, easily squishable, and very robust. For some people, it’s an essential item that can be stuffed, tossed, and stored in just about any space.

Although I generally prefer carry-on backpacks for my travels, sometimes a carry-on duffel bag is just a better option⁠—especially if you’re the type of person to just toss your belongings into your open duffel bag without any kind of organization.

Or maybe you just prefer the style.

Matador SEG42

Matador SEG42

This duffel has it all: the ability to convert to a backpack, tons of organization, and incredible durability. You'll have this bag for years!

There are so many choices out there. Different sizes, materials, features, and quality levels create an overwhelming environment that can leave new travelers in indecision.

That’s why I’ve picked out the best of the best and compiled this list of top picks, so you’ll find the best duffel bag for your travels!

  • Best Overall Carry-On Duffel Bag: Matador SEG42
  • Best Budget Carry-On Duffel Bag: Eddie Bauer Bygone 45L
  • Best Duffel Bag for International Travel: Peak Design Travel Duffel
  • Best Carry-On Duffel Bag with Wheels: N orth Face Rolling Thunder 22″
  • Best Carry-On Garment Duffel Bag: Halfday Garment Duffel
  • Best Men’s Carry-On Duffel Bag: KUHL Eskape 50 Kanvas Duffel
  • Best Women’s Carry-On Duffel Bag: Monos Metro Duffel
  • Best Duffel Bag Backpack: Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel
  • Best Duffel for Digital Nomads: Aer Travel Duffel
  • Best Adventure Duffel Bag: Patagonia Black Hole 40L
  • Best Waterproof Carry-On Duffel Bag: Rains Hilo Weekend Bag
  • Most Stylish Duffel Bag: Everlane ReNew Transit Weekender
  • Best Leather Carry-On Duffel Bag: MAHI Classic Duffel
  • Best Duffel for Photographers: WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel
  • Best Minimalist Duffel: Thule Subterra 45L
  • Best Durable Duffel Bag: Osprey Transporter Duffel 40
  • Best Eco-Friendly Duffel Bag: Monarc Settra
  • Best Lightweight Rolling Duffel Bag: Osprey Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On
  • Most Versatile Duffel Bag: Boundary Supply Errant Duffel
  • Best Large Carry-On Duffel Bag: The North Face Base Camp Duffel

1. Matador SEG42 : Best Overall Carry-On Duffel

Matador SEG42 Travel Pack

This backpack-duffel hybrid combines functionality and versatility to create one of the best bags on the market for travelers.

The Matador SEG42 is made of 840D nylon and 420D nylon (with waterproofing), as well as ultra-durable 100D Robic Dynatec for the interior, so this thing is tough. There are lots of handy storage pockets that are zippered for ultimate organization, plus the straps are stowable for easy travel.

The clamshell opening gives you easy access to the interior, which is an ideal place to store larger items or dirty laundry. It also comes with an external-access padded laptop sleeve that’ll keep your laptop or tablet safe from the elements.

  • Waterproof zipper and materials
  • Apocalypse-ready construction
  • Versatile enough for both urban and outdoor trips
  • Backpack straps don’t have much padding or comfort
  • The mostly-black interior makes it hard to find things inside
  • It’s expensive

Matador SEG42 Specs:

2. Eddie Bauer Bygone 45L : Best Budget Carry-On Duffel

Eddie Bauer Bygone 45L Duffel

You may know Eddie Bauer for their technical gear for hikers, mountaineers, and other outdoor adventurers. They also make some great affordable carry-on luggage and duffel bags.

This vintage-style carry-on duffel bag is well-constructed and stylish, with leather handles and zipper pulls that add a classy touch.

External pockets with zippers add extra organization to the Eddie Bauer Bygone 45L , so you have easy access to smaller goods, while the main compartment is where you store your larger gear. There is also a U-shaped, dual-zip opening to the main area that makes it easy to stuff awkwardly shaped items.

Two internal zippered pockets give you even more space to stash anything you want to grab quickly, like toiletries or cash. Best of all, this is one of the most affordable options on this list, AND it’s stylish.

  • Classic design looks nice enough for work travel
  • Lower cost than other duffel bags on this list
  • External pockets with zippers
  • Seems smaller than the advertised size
  • Doesn’t have much structure or padding

Eddie Bauer Bygone 45L Specs:

3. Peak Design Travel Duffel 35L : Best Duffel Bag for International Travel

Peak Design 35L Travel Duffel

For those that want to match functionality with style, the Peak Design Travel Duffel is one of the best carry-on duffel bags on the market. Peak Design is known for its specialized camera bags, but they aim to appeal to all travelers with this product.

Best of all, this duffel bag can be carried as a duffel, messenger bag, and backpack. The Cord Hook quick-connection system allows you to customize how each strap links to the bag.

Both the shoulder strap and top handles are padded, and the removable backpack straps increase the versatility of this duffel bag. The  400D nylon is extremely durable, but the added 800D nylon padding at the bottom is a thoughtful design feature that protects the most heavily-impacted part of the bag.

Style-wise, we love the color pairings and the touches of leather. The metal clasps and zippers also add to the sophisticated look of the bag!

If you’re interested in other Peak Design bags, check out our review for the Peak Design Travel Backpack.

  • This duffel is the perfect blend of elegance and functionality
  • Removable backpack straps
  • The leather accents are a beautiful addition, especially on the sage green bag
  • For eco-conscious travelers, this bag is made entirely from recycled materials
  • The magnet clasps in the handles are pretty weak
  • Not as water-resistant as other duffle bags

Peak Design Travel Duffel 35L Specs:

4. North Face Rolling Thunder : Best Carry-On Duffel Bag with Wheels

The North Face Rolling Thunder 22

This 22″ rolling duffel fits around 40L worth of items and is the only one of two rolling duffel bags on this list. This design bridges the gap between a suitcase and a duffel bag. The soft yet durable nylon exterior is flexible enough to fit gear of all shapes without the restrictions of a hard-shelled suitcase, and the main compartment is simple, without pockets or padding.

The wheels on the Rolling Thunder are built for all conditions—they are larger with more tread than a traditional suitcase, so they can handle rougher terrains like cobblestone or unpaved paths. This rolling duffel bag is definitely built to go places you’d never dream of taking your shiny spinner suitcase.

Keep in mind that the wheel system makes this wheeled duffel bag heavier than a standard duffel. Although you won’t be carrying the Rolling Thunder, keep in mind that the weight of this bag with wheels could be an issue when it comes to airline weight restrictions.

  • Ultra-durable exterior material
  • Rugged, oversized wheels roll easily on rough surfaces
  • North Face products come with a lifetime guarantee
  • No compression straps to secure the load
  • No padded pockets for laptops or other electronics
  • No removable shoulder strap

North Face Rolling Thunder Specs:

5. Halfday Garment Duffel : Best Carry-On Garment Duffel Bag

Halfday Garment Duffle

If you need to travel with a suit, dress, or other formal hanging clothes, a dedicated garment bag is the best way to keep them looking fresh and unwrinkled. But what if you also want the carry-all functionality of a duffel bag?

That’s where the Halfday Garment Duffel comes in. This unique hybrid design combines a full-size garment bag for hanging clothes with the versatility of a duffel. In a world full of duffel bags that all look the same, this innovation really stands out!

So how does it work?

The entire bag unzips to lay fully flat and open. This makes it easy to pack in suits, dresses, or other formal wear without taking them off the hanger. A protective panel then zips over the top of your hanging clothes to keep them from shifting around.

Once the garment bag section is packed, you zip up the sides to transform it into a duffel. It has a super wide opening that makes it really easy to pack in all your stuff. Plus, there are dedicated shoe pockets on either side to keep shoes separate from all your clean clothes.

Once you see it in action, the design is actually pretty simple; it’s just totally different from anything else I’ve seen on the market. And it works!

Now, if you want a more general do-everything duffel, the Halfday Garment Duffel probably isn’t the best choice. You wouldn’t want to use it as a gym bag or gear hauler for adventurous travel, but for anyone needing a more versatile garment bag, this is an awesome choice.

  • Versatile 2-in-1 design
  • Hanging garment storage keeps suits, dress shirts, and dresses looking good
  • Plenty of room for 3+ days of clothes
  • Not as general-purpose as other duffel bags
  • Can’t access the hanging storage without unpacking everything else
  • Not-so-comfy shoulder straps don’t work well for long carries

Halfday Garment Duffel Specs:

6. KÜHL Eskape 50 Kanvas : Best Men’s Carry-On Duffel Bag

KUHL Eskape Kanvas Duffel

When KÜHL decided to create the Eskape 50 Kanvas , they were going for the toughest, most durable duffel on the market—something that would hold up for years of adventuring while still being usable for weekend trips or as an overnight bag. They nailed it. The durability, features, and rugged styling make this one of the best duffel bags for men.

KÜHL uses an incredibly tough TPU-laminated nylon for superior weatherproofing, meaning you could get caught in an unexpected rainstorm or snowstorm and your belongings will stay safe and dry. Even the double zippers are water-resistant. The nylon is tough enough that you could drop this duffel out of a moving vehicle, and it’ll stand up just find.

There are also a bunch of fun additional features, like two compressible dirty item pouches so you can keep your smelly laundry and shoes separate from the clean stuff. Lots of pockets add extra organization and stowable backpack straps will help you to avoid any snags while in transit.

  • Superior laminated nylon and other weatherproofing features keep your belongings super safe.
  • It comes with a side pocket that converts to a water bottle pocket.
  • Surprisingly comfortable shoulder straps
  • Expensive (but it’ll last for ages
  • Too big to be comfortable for smaller folks

KÜ HL Eskape 50 Kanvas Specs:

7. Monos Metro Duffel : Best Women’s Carry-On Duffel Bag

Monos Metro Duffel

The streamlined, sleek Monos Metro Duffel is made with ethically sourced, ultra-microfibre vegan leather. At 23L it’s one of the smaller duffels on this list, but it’s truly a duffel bag you can take with you from the office to the gym, or from your co-working space to a weekend trip (or wherever you please, really).

There’s an internal sleeve that fits up to a 15″ laptop, and inner pockets for a water bottle or other valuables. This duffel also has a pass-through sleeve to secure to your main bag. The best thing about this duffel? It’s designed to work with the signature QuickSnap Modular Kit System so you can easily snap off and on the Classic Kit with all your essentials.

Finally, it comes in a handful of different colors. The Mahogany is particularly drool-worthy.

  • Works with the nifty QuickSnap Modular Kit System
  • Comes in a wide range of colors
  • The trolley sleeve turns into an extra pocket when not in use. Who doesn’t love extra pockets?
  • Fits up to a 15″ laptop
  • This duffel is one of the more expensive on this list.
  • This small duffle bag won’t work for trips longer than 3 days or so

Monos Metro Duffel Specs:

8. Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel : Best Duffel Bag Backpack

Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel

Is it a travel backpack or a duffel? The Timbuk2 Impsulve Travel Duffel serves as both, with adjustable backpack straps that tuck away so you can convert it into a duffel bag.

This hybrid bag comes equipped with several features that many standard duffel bags lack: namely, internal compression straps, a water bottle pocket, and a padded laptop compartment.

Zippered mesh pockets on the U-shaped lid keep your small items in separate compartments from the main compartment, while external zipper pockets allow you to stow wet or dirty gear.

The harness system on this duffel backpack is more extensive than anything else on this list. Not only does it have shoulder straps, but it also has a hip belt complete with mini pockets to store your chapstick or a snack. The back panel is made of breathable polyethylene foam, and the sternum strap distributes weight so that carrying this duffel on long walks is a breeze. This is one of the best duffel bags if you prefer a backpack-style carry.

  • Laptop compartment fits 17-inch devices
  • Great lifetime warranty
  • Easy-to-clean material keeps this pack looking new for longer
  • Comfortable padded shoulder straps make it easier to carry long distances
  • Zippers tend to be sticky and hard to maneuver, but they seem to ease up with time
  • No traditional over-the-shoulder strap option
  • It’s only available in one color—black.

Timbuk2 Impulse Travel Backpack Duffel Specs:

9. Aer Travel Duffel : Best Duffel for Digital Nomads

Aer Travel Duffel

This Aer Travel Duffel is minimalistic, spacious, and carry-on compatible. The clamshell opening provides suitcase-like access for easy packing rather than the U-shape opening that’s so common in this list.

However, this travel duffel bag looks incredibly professional—in fact, it looks almost more like a briefcase. You can easily transition from a work trip to a weekend adventure with this duffel bag in tow.

The interior pockets are intuitive, with a front organizational pocket, a padded sleeve for laptops up to 15.6 inches, and a mesh pocket in the main storage compartment. There are top compression straps and lockable zippers for extra security at the airport and even a pocket for your water bottle. The functionality of such a minimalistic bag is seriously impressive, and it’s perfect for digital nomads.

  • Comes with a laptop pocket for devices up to 15.6 inches.
  • Plenty of external pockets
  • Easy-to-pack clamshell opening
  • Lockable zippers make this bag super secure.
  • Gets uncomfortable to carry when it’s fully loaded
  • It looks a bit too briefcase-y

Aer Travel Duffel Specs:

10. Patagonia Black Hole 40L : Best Adventure Duffel Bag

Patagonia Black Hole 40L Duffel Bag

The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel may be one of the most highly regarded options out there. It’s burly yet lightweight, and it has an impressive water-repellant finish. It has two straps for backpack-style carry, so you can throw in all your gear without worrying about it being too heavy. The reinforced bottom makes this duffel bag extra durable, so you never have to worry about your equipment.

This duffel backpack has just the right amount of pockets: the large compartment has a U-shaped lid, where zippered mesh pockets allow you to store small gear on the underside. Exterior pockets provide easy access to all your travel essentials, so you don’t have to search through the black hole for your boarding passes in the security line.

And true to its name, the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag is deceptively large. For the light-packer or one-bag traveler, you can fit enough stuff for a multi-week trip. And for those that bring a lot of stuff, the external daisy-chain links let you add other attachments.

This duffel bag comes in multiple forms: from various sizes to an array of colors (and even a rolling duffel option), there’s sure to be a version that fits any traveler’s needs.

The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag has a bit of a cult following, and for good reason. If bomb-proof durability and straightforward functionality are what you’re after, this is one of the best duffel bags out there.

  • The padded backpack straps make this comfortable for heavy loads of gear
  • Lots of awesome colors
  • Versatile design goes from camping trips to overseas travel
  • Removable toiletry bag makes it easy to pull out liquids for TSA
  • Pricey (but it’s built to last)
  • Traditionalists may miss the standard over-the-shoulder strap
  • More internal pockets would be great

Patagonia Black Hole 40L Specs:

11. Rains Hilo Weekend Bag : Best Waterproof Carry-On Duffel Bag

Rains Hilo Weekender Bag

Rains is a modern outerwear brand that specializes in waterproof jackets and bags. They combine minimalist Scandinavian design with durable waterproof materials. Take a look through their website and you’ll find some really unique styles, plus products that are just straight-up functional.

If you get caught in a rainstorm while traveling, you don’t want to have to worry that your bag is going to soak through and leave you with a sopping wet pile of clothes. The Rains Hilo Weekend Bag uses the same signature PU-coated fabric as their rain jackets, making a waterproof duffel bag that will keep your personal belongings dry in wet weather.

Rains gives this bag a W3 on their “Water Performance Level” rating (their own rating system). Essentially that means it’s designed to stand up to light-to-moderate rain. It’s perfect for getting caught out in a storm, but you definitely wouldn’t want to take it on a rafting trip or leave it out all day in a monsoon.

Beyond the waterproof performance, the design is very simple. There are no exterior pockets, extra zippers, or random features to get in the way. Just one big main compartment, a carry handle, and a removable shoulder strap. Really, I wish they had added at least one external zippered pocket for things you want quick access to.

If you like lots of features, this isn’t the bag for you. There’s definitely something appealing about it’s simplicity though.

  • Waterproof protection from rain and snow
  • Sleek, stylish look
  • Simple, easy-to-pack design
  • Durable materials
  • One of the lightest bags on this list
  • No pockets or organization features
  • The adjustable shoulder strap doesn’t offer much padding

RAINS Hilo Weekend Bag Specs:

12. Everlane ReNew Transit Weekender : Most Stylish Duffel Bag

Everlane Renew Weekender

The Everlane ReNew Transit Weekender is perfect for city traveling, as it’s small enough to navigate the busy subway and light enough to sling over your shoulder as you walk down the street. This intelligently-designed minimalist travel bag comes with two top straps to grab and go and a longer shoulder sling.

The bag’s main pocket is roomy and zippered, and there are two exterior pockets, one with a zipper and one without. The zipper pocket also doubles as a luggage handle pass-through when fully unzipped!

The interior features a protective laptop sleeve, two water bottle holders, and a spacious main compartment.

This bag comes in four sleek neutral colors—its exterior is 100% recycled polyester with a water-resistant finish. It’s super lightweight, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t durable! If you want to keep it simple and classy, this is the duffel.

  • This duffel bag is one of the most affordable on this list!
  • Great for balancing style and functionality
  • Multiple ways to carry: in hand, cross-body, or over the shoulder
  • Lacking in interior organization—could use smaller pockets
  • I’d prefer more comfortable shoulder straps

Everlane ReNew Transit Weekender Specs:

13. MAHI Classic Duffel : Best Leather Carry-On Duffel Bag

MAHI Classic Duffel

MAHI started as a premium leatherworking factory in India in the 1800’s. They employ expert craftspeople and emphasize durability and quality in everything they make. Not to mention their products look amazing.

While not everyone will be interested in a leather duffel, for anyone who loves the timeless style and craftsmanship of well-made leather products, the MAHI Classic Duffel is a great choice. No, it doesn’t have the high-tech materials and nifty features of many other duffel bags, but it’s well-made and looks great.

The biggest advantage of this duffel is that the high-quality leather used means it will last a long time. You could easily be handing this down to your grandkids. Of course, leather does require a bit more care than synthetic materials (I recommend using Nikwax Leather Restorer ).

My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t open very wide, which can make it a bit harder to pack if you’re stuffing it to the brim.

  • Timeless genuine leather style
  • Durable materials and construction that will last a lifetime
  • Amazing value for the price you pay
  • External pocket is great for quick-access items
  • Smaller main opening zipper
  • Shoulder strap isn’t very comfy

MAHI Classic Duffel Specs:

14. WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel : Best Duffel for Photographers

WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel Bag

This backpack-duffel hybrid combines functionality and versatility to create one of the best bags on the market for photographers.

The WANDRD HEXAD is made of 1680D nylon and waterproof tarpaulin with WR army coating, so this thing is tough. There are lots of handy storage pockets, and the multiple access points make it super easy for you to quickly grab your camera when you need it. These features are pretty similar to the ones reviewed for the WANDRD PRVKE.

The clamshell opening gives you easy access to the interior, which is designed to be compatible with the WANDRD camera cubes. This heavy-duty pack will keep your camera gear and laptop safe from the elements.

For more information about this bag, check out my full review of the WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel .

  • Tons of organization
  • This waterproof duffel will keep your stuff dry
  • Burly materials and construction
  • Works well as a laptop duffel
  • The backpack straps aren’t the best
  • It’s very heavy
  • The all-black interior makes it hard to see inside
  • The laptop pocket is inconvenient to access

WANDRD HEXAD Access Duffel Specs:

15. Thule Subterra 45L : Best Minimalist Duffel Bag

Thule Subterra Duffel Bag 45L

The Thule Subterra Duffel bag has a simple design with an almost geometric shape. Its slim profile is accentuated by the lack of external handles or attachment points. Corner flaps fold up and down so you can decide how you carry it, as a tote-style duffel bag or sleek duffel.

Thick, magnetic handles in the middle help to keep this pack balanced as you carry it through the airport. The extra-padded shoulder strap is comfortable to carry, and straps cinch down the bag, so you can pack extra gear while keeping the duffel carry-on compliant.

It comes in three colors: dark shadow, ember, and mineral. They’re neutral enough to be professional, but the geometric design also makes the Thule Subterra one of the most unique bags on this list.

  • Sleek and modern design
  • Great structure and padding
  • Internal mesh pocket for organization
  • Magnetic handle feature doesn’t work well
  • Not very water-resistant

Thule Subterra 45L Specs:

16. Osprey Transporter Duffel 40 : Most Durable Duffel Bag

Osprey Transporter Duffel 40

Osprey’s Transporter Duffel 40 is the ideal pack for adventurers who need a pack as rugged and tough as they are, especially in those wetter climates.

Osprey hails this pack as great for short gear-intensive trips. It is built from recycled polyester with dual-sided TPU coating inside and out, sturdy hardware, overlapping zipper, and a DWR coating that protects your gear from the elements.

The main compartment features a YKK zipper with an overlapping rain flap for extra protection against weather. The pack can carry up to 40L, which is the perfect weekender size to fit all your gear and be able to carry onto an airplane.

A deployable harness with a sternum strap allows you to backpack carry when desired and offers a sleek, classic duffel carry design when tucked away.

  • Extremely durable and weather-resistant
  • The main compartment is large and zippered
  • Comfortable backpack straps
  • A heavier option due to the durable materials.

Osprey Transporter Duffel 40 Specs:

17. Monarc Settra : Most Eco-Friendly Duffel Bag

Monarc Settra Duffel

Monarc is a new brand on the block, and they’ve taken a unique approach by building their entire brand around reducing plastic waste. In fact, they are certified plastic-negative, which means they remove more plastic from the environment than they use in their products.

The Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack is made using ocean-bound plastic, and Monarc is clearly proud of that. The main zipper has a lanyard proudly proclaiming that it’s “made with 50 recycled plastic bottles.” With this bag, you’ll be making a statement that sustainability matters to you.

It’s not just about sustainability, though. This duffel bag is also really well-built and well-thought-out. The materials feel very burly and tough. I haven’t put it through long-term use yet, but it definitely feels like it will last a long time. The tradeoff is that it’s heavy; at almost 5 lbs it’s one of the heaviest on this list.

My favorite feature is that the Monarc Settra can convert into a backpack for longer carries. It has nicely padded shoulder straps and even a hip belt, which isn’t common. I’ve been impressed with the comfort and load-carrying ability in backpack mode. Is it as good as a dedicated backpack? No. But it works really well for what it is. The backpack straps also stash away neatly when not in use.

Finally, this duffel is absolutely packed with features and pockets. There’s a removable shoe pocket, stash pockets inside and out, a long admin-type pocket on the side, a deep pocket for water bottles, and a padded laptop sleeve that fits up to 17-inch devices. Honestly, I think there are too many pockets—more than I’d ever use, anyway.

It’s probably a bit overkill for many people, but the Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack is awesome if you want a solid duffel bag while also doing good for the planet.

  • Made from recycled ocean-bound plastic
  • Burly, high-quality materials and construction
  • Tons of organization and pockets
  • Surprisingly comfortable in backpack mode
  • Works as a laptop duffle, travel bag, or outdoor adventure bag
  • Features are a bit over-complicated

Monarc Settra Duffel Backpack Specs:

18. Osprey Ozone 2 Wheel Carry-On : Best Lightweight Rolling Duffel Bag

Osprey Ozone 2 Wheeled Carry-On

The Osprey Ozone 2 Wheel Carry-On is one of the lightest rolling bags on the market, clocking in at just 4.5 pounds. It carries up to 40 liters and is under 22″ high, meeting most airline carry-on requirements. Osprey bags are built for adventure, and their wheels are designed to take a beating, so you’ll be able to wheel this duffel everywhere—across train platforms and over cobbled roads—with little hassle.

This bag with wheels also has tons of organization, including a main compartment with a giant opening for easy packing/unpacking. There’s a separate zippered panel area for your dirty clothes, and other pockets to keep things sorted.

The lightness of the bag is key here, especially when you’re trying to shove this duffel into an overhead bin. The durable fabrics match those of Osprey’s alpine packs, ensuring this duffel will last you forever.

  • Despite only weighing 4.5 lbs, this duffel carries 40L
  • The durability of this duffel means you can haul it just about anywhere
  • Great alternative to standard carry-on luggage
  • Separate compartment for your laptop
  • The handle locks at one height
  • Less protective than hardside carry-on bags
  • Not an inexpensive bag

Osprey Ozone 2-Wheel Carry-On Specs:

19. Boundary Supply Errant Duffel : Most Versatile Duffel Bag

Boundary Supply Errant Duffel

Boundary Supply certainly loves giving their customers lots of options, and the Errant Duffel is no exception. It doesn’t just convert from side-carry to backpack carry, you can even wear it crossbody like a messenger bag. This makes it ideal for all types of usage, whether it’s going to the gym or taking a quick trip out of town.

This duffel bag comes with a ventilated wet/dry compartment, a luggage pass-through, quick-access pockets, and two exterior lash straps to attach other Boundary Supply items to your bag. Like the brand’s other products, this duffel bag is made of incredibly durable 500D Cordura, YKK StormGuard zippers, and magnetic hardware to keep your things safe and dry.

At 35L, you can do a lot with this duffel bag, but it’s simpler than Boundary Supply’s other modular gear. You’ll get the usual awesome quality product, but without overcomplicating it.

  • You can side-carry this duffel, wear it like a backpack, or carry it crossbody
  • Very stylish
  • The padded straps are great for heavy loads
  • Water-resistant materials
  • Small-ish capacity
  • The shoulder strap may get uncomfortable when packed with heavy gear.

Boundary Supply Errant Duffel Specs:

20. The North Face Base Camp Duffel : Best Large Carry-On Duffel Bag

The North Face Base Camp Duffel

As you might have guessed from its name, the North Face Base Camp Duffel is built for expeditions and holds up perfectly in some incredibly challenging terrains, including winter trips. It’s literally a base camp duffel.

The Base Camp Duffel is made up of 840D Recycled Ballistic Nylon designed to withstand the roughest elements you’ll encounter on your travels. The extra bartacks and double stitching are nice durability features, too.

Keep in mind that this bag ranges in size small to quite large—some even hold over 100L. Make sure you’re going for the size small if you want to keep it carry-on-friendly. Otherwise, this thing (and its haul loops) can really haul some gear.

  • Great internal organization pockets
  • Built with durable and water-resistant fabric
  • Ideal for outdoor expeditions, including winter trips
  • The alpine-cut straps are detachable and adjustable for a perfect ergonomic fit
  • Padded handles are comfortable to carry
  • May be too big for a carry-on with some airlines
  • A lightweight duffel for the size

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Specs:

What is a Carry-On Duffel Bag?

Duffel bags are simple, soft-sided packs that maximize useable space by keeping design features to a minimum. Depending on their size and build, they make great weekend or carry on duffel bags or extended travel packs for a variety of terrain.

Duffle bags come in multiple forms. There’s no such thing as a traditional duffel bag anymore. Some are waterproof, while others double as travel backpacks. Some are made of leather (or leather accents), or heavy-duty nylon, or cotton. Some are sleek city companions, while others are built for carrying your climbing gear around rugged mountain environments.

man carrying a Peak Design Travel Duffel

As travelers realize the joy of traveling without checked luggage, companies are beginning to make duffel bags that are intentionally carry-on friendly.

Major airlines generally allow carry-ons to be  22 x 14 x 9 inches, while budget airlines have a restriction of 22 x 16 x 8 inches. However, each airline has its own carry-on size restrictions, so check before you go! Generally, most 40L or 45L duffel bags will fall within these airline regulations.

For other options, be sure to read our post about the best carry-on luggage for every kind of adventure.

The Ultimate Question: Duffel Bag vs. Suitcase?

Duffels aren’t inherently better than suitcases, but they are often more versatile. They offer ease of travel as you hop from train to plane to bus. They can be carried in a variety of ways, picked up and heaved into the back of a car, and then thrown over your shoulder as you rush to catch your flight.

You can avoid the hassle of roller wheels when you’re walking on cobblestone streets in Europe or across snowy trails on your next ski trip. They are often more waterproof and tougher than their suitcase counterparts, so they’re better suited for more adventurous travels. Additionally, the soft exterior shell makes these bags perfect for bulky or oddly-shaped items that may not fit in hard-shelled rolling luggage.

However, duffel bags aren’t known for being exceptionally comfortable or secure. But they have come a long way in the last few years, and many of the models offer the same secure storage features as suitcases. Also, companies have been paying more attention to the carrying comfort of these bags, and many now incorporate backpack straps or well-padded straps. for your shoulders.

Also, these bags are remarkably simple. We love them for their lightweight nature, versatility, and ease of transport.

What Makes A Carry-On Duffel Great?

So now we know which luggage items are on the radar, but what features truly set the best duffel bags apart from the rest? Well, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most essential buying considerations for when you want to travel the world with a carry-on only.

Your travels may take you from the airport to public transit to your hostel and any number of places where your duffel bag could be scuffed, scratched, or damaged. Durability is important! Keep a sharp eye out for sturdy materials like double ripstop nylon, leather, and tarpaulin.

Also, remember that the ‘D’ for material thicknesses (such as 400D) stands for Denier), and the higher that number, the thicker and more robust your material.


Carry-on duffels should have a less rigid construction. Bulky or oddly-shaped parcels slide right in while the duffel bag itself is easy to heave, shove, squeeze, or pack into just about any space imaginable – including overhead compartments on airlines. So don’t underestimate the importance of less-rigid sides, and look twice at hybrid items that try to incorporate rigid sides into what’s marketed as a duffel.


Luggage is built on organization, but many duffels shine by not overcomplicating the process. We love quick access to one large packing space without being overwhelmed by a plethora of pockets, mesh, and zipper that could just as easily hinder a search for a particular item. That said, several of the ultimate duffel bags will include a handy shoe compartment or a laptop pocket. Keep an eye out for these organizational aids, and consider your personal travel preferences when you begin your search for new travel luggage.


Don’t let nasty weather ruin your clothing and travel gear! The best duffel will incorporate at least some level of weatherproofing to help protect your gear, including reinforced seams. This may be a basic Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish or a Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) coating. To make the leap from water-resistant to waterproof, keep an eye open for leather and tarpaulin on the material list as both of these are both rugged and waterproof.

There you have it! We’ve covered the very best carry-on duffel bags for travel along with essential buying advice. From classic city jaunts to rugged adventure-ready luggage, we have you covered. So go ahead, take your carry-on bag pick, and travel like a champ.

Carry-On Duffel Bag FAQs

What size duffle bag is good for carry-on.

In general, look for a duffel bag that is less than 22 x 13 x 9 inches.

Is a duffel bag OK for carry-on?

A duffel bag makes a great carry-on as long as it fits the size requirements.

Who makes the best travel duffle bag?

Matador makes one of the best duffel bags for travel.

Is a backpack better than a duffle for carry-on?

Backpacks are better for comfort, but duffel bags often have more space and are easier to pack.

Can you carry-on a 24 inch duffel bag?

A 24-inch duffel bag may work as a domestic carry-on, but it will be too big for international flights.

Jeremy Scott Foster

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2 responses.

Hi – Your review includes a product by Boundary Supply, so I thought I’d drop a comment on the off chance you’re being sponsored by them for this post.

Right now they are having significant issues in shipping and customer communication, resulting in a range of tweets, trustpilot reviews and facebook comments about them operating as a scam business… taking money but not actually delivering anything.

If you have a sponsorship agreement with them then I’d recommend getting in touch with them to see what’s going on.

Thanks for the heads up. I don’t have any sponsorship agreement with any companies here—these are my honest opinions, reviewed as a third party. However, I do personally own multiple products from Boundary Supply, so can attest that the company is not a scam.

I haven’t spoken with anyone from Boundary Supply, but since I do have industry insight, I can at least say that, worldwide, there are supply chain issues and product shortages, and I’m seeing it a lot with backpack manufacturers in particular since most are made in countries like Vietnam.

Good to be aware of, so thanks for letting us know!

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soft travel duffel bag

The 9 Best Rolling Duffels of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Bring all the gear you need in these sizeable luggage pieces

soft travel duffel bag

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

TripSavvy / Jessica Juliao

Rolling duffels are the luggage style of choice for adventure travelers, outdoorsy folks, and chronic over-packers—essentially, anyone who requires plenty of flexible space and the added versatility of a bag that can be carried or slung over a shoulder as easily as wheeling it from A to B. These days, many brands also make duffels that are as fashionable as they are functional, also making them a viable option for business trips and weekend getaways. Things to look out for include sturdy carry handles or straps, a reliable wheel and trolley system, and a generous, durable interior with some organization features.

To help you narrow down your search for the perfect rolling duffel, we tested 30 of the most popular brands in the TripSavvy lab. Using a series of tests designed to simulate the rigors of airline travel, we scored each duffel on its capacity, design, maneuverability, durability, and value.

Final Verdict

  • Others We Tested

How We Tested

  • What to Look For

Why Trust TripSavvy

Best overall, patagonia wheeled duffel bag.


  • Capacity 5 /5
  • Design 5 /5
  • Maneuverability 4.5 /5
  • Durability 5 /5

Tough, long-lasting material

Burly, smooth-rolling wheels

Won't turn on a dime

The 100L Black Hole Wheeled Duffel from Patagonia impressed us from the outset with its impressive capacity. With some strategic packing, we could fit double or even triple the amount of clothing on our prescribed packing list. We liked its structured bottom for support and its flexible upper, allowing for maximum packing potential. The duffel features ripstop polyester with a highly weather-resistant TPU-laminate coating. We found it sleek, functional, and sturdy enough to potentially be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. After our stringent durability tests, the duffel showed zero signs of wear and tear.

It’s also great for the planet, with 100 percent recycled body fabric, lining, and webbing. The main compartment features a large opening and internal compression straps, with mesh pockets in the lid for smaller items. There’s also a zippered side pocket to separate shoes, toiletries, or dirty laundry. We liked that there are multiple ways to transport this bag. You can use the reinforced haul handles to lift it onto the luggage scale; or weave through the airport using the sturdy, oversized wheels and telescoping handle. Although somewhat tricky to maneuver around tight turns, we found that the wheels rolled perfectly on rough and smooth surfaces.

Dimensions: 32.6 x 16 x 13.7 inches | Weight: 9.49 pounds | Capacity: 100 liters | Materials: Ripstop polyester with a TPU-film laminate | Sustainability: 100-percent recycled ripstop polyester

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Budget

Travelers club upright rolling duffel bag.

  • Design 4.5 /5
  • Portability 3.8 /5
  • Durability 4.7 /5

Plenty of external storage

Handles rough treatment well

Folds away when not in use

We'd like a more functional handle

Made from surprisingly sturdy 600-denier polyester, the Travelers Club Xpedition duffel bag retails for just over a tenth of the price of our overall winner. Despite its low cost, it held up well to our durability tests with no obvious dents, tears, or broken elements. The main compartment is spacious (so much so that we had room left after packing for a 10 to 14-day winter trip) but lacks organization features. This was more than made up for by the bag's exterior, however, which features no fewer than six extra-large zippered accessory pockets.

The duffel features sturdy top and rear carry handles for manual lifting. Alternatively, it has two wheels and a retractable handle—although we felt the latter's design was lacking since it wasn't height adjustable and could have been smoother to extend. Most importantly, though, it was strong enough to maneuver the bag around our simulated airport obstacles while the wheels rolled smoothly over hard surfaces. Finally, the duffel features a tri-fold bottom for convenient storage.

Dimensions: 30 x 13 x 12 inches | Weight: 6.6 pounds | Capacity: 77 liters | Materials: Polyester | Sustainability: Not listed

Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag With Wheels

  • Capacity 4.5 /5
  • Portability 4.5 /5

Hybrid design adds sturdiness

Maneuvers well

Generous capacity

Adjustable height handle would be nice

The Gonex Rolling Duffel Bag features 1,200-denier PVC—making it waterproof, lightweight, and (as our tests proved) exceptionally durable. Coming in at roughly a quarter of the price of our overall winner, we felt it offered incredible value for money, especially given its innovative design. The large main compartment features a U-shaped opening for easy access and easily fits everything on our packing list. We loved the half suitcase/half duffel concept, with a structured bottom that gives contents an extra layer of protection.

Organization features include an interior zippered mesh pocket, two exterior pockets, and clever compression straps that fasten outside the duffel to keep everything in place. The duffel comes with high-quality YKK zippers and balanced bottom feet that allow it to stand upright on its own. We found the telescoping handle comfortable but wished it had more than one height setting. Finally, the oversized trolley wheels operated smoothly through turns and over a variety of terrains, including gravel.

Dimensions: 33 x 16 x 15 inches | Weight: 11.35 pounds | Capacity: 100 liters | Materials: PVC | Sustainability: Not listed

Best Carry-on

Vera bradley foldable rolling duffel bag.


  • Portability 5 /5
  • Value 4.6 /5
  • Durability 4.6 /5

Made from recycled plastic bottles

Good level of organization

Easy to store

Not as durable as some outdoor brands

Made from Vera Bradley’s lightweight, recycled ReActive fabric, the Foldable Rolling Duffel Bag wins points for sustainability by saving 24 plastic bottles from landfill. It’s also water-repellent and survived our durability tests without sustaining any damage. The main compartment features a mesh slip pocket and a concealed bottom compartment perfect for separating shoes or dirty laundry. We fit everything on our packing list before realizing this bottom compartment existed. There are also two zippered pockets on the outside of the duffel.

We found that the wheels turned smoothly around tight corners and handled all terrains well. The bag is also small enough to carry comfortably using the dual top carry handles. It stands upright on its own and folds flat for convenient storage in the back of your closet. Other thoughtful design features include a travel lock, luggage tag, and a zippered pocket for storing the handle when not in use. The duffel is available in Reactive Black, Rose Foliage, or Sunflower Sky and has a five-year warranty.

Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.5 x 10 inches | Weight: 5.6 pounds | Capacity: Not published | Materials: ReActive fabric | Sustainability: Saves 24 plastic bottles from landfill

Best Checked

Ebags mother lode checked rolling duffel.

  • Portability 4.8 /5
  • Value 4.7 /5

Spacious and easy to pack

Tough construction

No side handle for easy lifting

With a durable, molded bottom and flexible polyester top, this rolling duffel from Mother Lode divides into two sections. The zippered top compartment features a mesh storage pocket and compression straps, while the bottom compartment is unstructured except for two large pockets perfect for shoes or toiletries. Both sides of the bag are deep, allowing space to configure your belongings. We packed for a week and still had room to spare without using the three exterior pockets or the zippered expansion feature.

We found the overall quality good, with zippers that opened easily, smooth-rolling wheels, and a sturdy telescoping handle. The latter offers three height settings for maximum stability and comfort. It was easy to maneuver over and around obstacles and survived our durability tests with no signs of damage. In fact, the only downside was the absence of a side haul handle, which made lifting it a little awkward. The bag comes in one color, Heathered Graphite, and has a limited lifetime warranty.

Dimensions: 29 × 17 × 15 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Capacity: Not published | Materials: Polyester | Sustainability: Not listed

Best for International Travel

Ogio terminal travel bag.

  • Design 4 /5

All the room you could need

Great manueuverability

Easy to lift

Limited plain colors

If you're planning a round-the-world adventure and need a bag that can fit weeks' worth of belongings while also withstanding the rigors of international travel, you'll love the Ogio Terminal Travel Bag. It's constructed of durable 420-denier nylon, with protective, reinforced skid bars on the back panel. We found it lightweight yet so strong it didn't show any signs of our repeated bat and drop tests. In terms of capacity, we'd have scored it a 10 if we could, with enough space to fit clothes, shoes, and accessories for 14 days.

The interior features a neoprene lining, a mesh divider, and compression straps—while two large external pockets provide space for keeping toiletries or dirty laundry separate. The skate wheels and retractable handle helped the duffel to move smoothly and quietly through our obstacle course, while multiple grab handles came in handy for loading it into cars and buses. Colors, except for sober Black Pindot, are eye-catching with names like Double Camo, Acid Waves, and Nebula.

Dimensions: 29 x 16 x 13 inches | Weight: 10.6 pounds | Capacity: 95 liters | Materials: Nylon | Sustainability: Not listed

Best Splurge

Tumi large split 2-wheeled duffel.

  • Value 4.5 /5
  • Durability 4 /5

Easy to pack and organize

Customization options

Smooth roll

The Tumi Large Split 2-Wheeled Duffel will set you back the better part of $1,000, but for those who can afford it, we feel the quality is commensurate with the price. The bag is made from virtually indestructible ballistic nylon, with a molded, impact-resistant bottom and protective bumper rails. It sailed through our durability tests unscathed. We loved its clamshell-style opening and the divided interior with a large mesh zippered pocket and compression straps.

We were able to fit everything on our list with space to spare. With so many compartments on the inside and outside, we actually enjoyed the packing experience! One of the exterior pockets has a water-resistant lining. The duffel maneuvered skillfully across all terrains thanks to its large, high-quality wheels and two-stage telescoping handle. It also has leather-accented top and side carry handles and a bottom grab handle. Other benefits include molded feet for standing upright and the brand’s proprietary Tumi Tracer.

Dimensions: 30 x 16 x 14 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Capacity: Not published | Materials: Ballistic nylon | Sustainability: Not listed

Best for Hauling Gear

Rei co-op big haul recycled rolling duffel.

Sleek design

Sturdy, eco-friendly material

Adventure-specific extras

Not particularly fashionable

Need an outdoors-approved duffel big enough to fit the whole family’s gear that's hardy enough to travel where few other suitcases can go? The REI Co-op Big Haul duffel is for you. We packed everything on our list with plenty of space left over. We loved the weather-resistant finish on the recycled ripstop nylon exterior; and the heavy-duty, oversized wheels that easily handled all of our testing terrains and challenges. The telescoping handle felt sturdy, and the side, front, and end handles made the duffel simple to lift as needed.

The main compartment features several practical mesh pockets and a set of compression straps. We also liked that the duffel has exterior compression straps that allow it to be cinched in, depending on how full it is. Other features that reinforce the impression that this duffel is meant for the great outdoors include daisy chain lash points for attaching extra gear and piggyback clips for connecting your daypack or other luggage.

Dimensions: 34 x 16 x 15 inches | Weight: 9 pounds, 11 ounces | Capacity: 109 liters | Materials: Nylon | Sustainability: Contains recycled, bluesign-certified materials

Best for Business Travel

Ted baker albany rolling duffel bag.

Chic design details

Solid internal organization

Deceptively capacious interior

High price tag

Despite its carry-on-approved dimensions, we found the Ted Baker Albany Rolling Duffel Bag much more spacious than it initially looked and were highly impressed with how much we could fit in. We loved its elegant, tapered design, envelope-style front pocket, and stylish faux leather accents. It’s an excellent choice for business travelers , with its rose gold detailing, including on the zippers, embossed Ted Baker logo plate, and aluminum trolley system.

While the exterior is smart, professional black, the interior features a vibrant, butterfly-patterned lining. It has multiple compartments, including a padded sleeve for your tablet or laptop; and TSA-approved locks to keep everything secure in transit. We found that the wheels performed impeccably over gravel, carpet, and through our obstacle course, while the duffel itself was so lightweight that carrying it using the top handles was just as easy. The only drawback was the price tag, although we felt it was a fair reflection of the bag’s quality.

Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 5.5 pounds | Capacity: 33 liters | Materials: Polyester | Sustainability: Not listed

In the end, the Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag 100L stood out as our overall winner for its impressive capacity and rugged, all-weather construction. We also like the Travelers Club Xpedition Rolling Duffel thanks to its multiple exterior pockets and affordable price.

Other Rolling Duffels We Tested

Briggs & Riley ZDX 27-Inch Medium Upright Duffel : We appreciated the roomy capacity of this medium-sized duffel as well as the thoughtful layout of its compartments (including an expandable one on the front). It was well-made and moved beautifully, but it sits toward the higher end of the price spectrum.

Osprey Transporter Wheeled Duffel 90 31-Inch : We could fit all of our items in this duffel with space to spare and liked its compression straps and storage pocket. We found it incredibly easy to maneuver; however, we would have liked to see another height setting for the telescoping handle and larger top carry handles.

Samsonite Andante 2-Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag 32-Inch : This rolling duffel impressed us with its durability, standing up well to our drop and bat tests. It’s also an attractive option with plenty of packing space despite its relatively small size; however, we found that it listed significantly when packed full and stood upright.

Thule Chasm Wheeled Duffel 32-Inch : With its massive main compartment and extra-rugged construction, we love this duffel for those who need to carry a lot of gear. It rolled easily on multiple surfaces, albeit being a little unwieldy around tight turns. It lost points for lack of organization features and usable carry handles.

High Sierra Fairlead 34-Inch Rolling Duffel Bag : This duffel scored highly for its many organization options and highly accessible main compartment. The carry handle and strap were comfortable; however, it was tricky to maneuver around turns and was unstable when upright.

Eagle Creek 130L Cargo Hauler Rolling Duffel : We really appreciated that this duffel’s huge interior is made manageable by an included packing cube. It also converts into a backpack and is super lightweight, although the lack of structure that makes this lightness possible also means it can’t stand upright on its own.

DELSEY Paris Raspail 28-Inch Rolling Wheeled Duffel Bag : We were pleasantly surprised by this duffel’s capacity and liked that it has separate pockets for laundry and other essentials. It had multiple handles and rolled well, but it felt a little flimsy overall.

Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Two-Wheel Duffel 29-Inch : This duffel accommodated all our belongings with plenty of space to spare. We liked the separate bottom compartment and multiple handle heights but ultimately felt it was overpriced.

Lipault Foldable Plume Wheeled Duffel : If capacity is your priority, this enormous duffel could be a good choice. It also maneuvered beautifully despite its size; however, we found the unstructured interior a bit disorganized.

Samsonite Detour 29-Inch Wheeled Duffel : We liked this duffel’s tactical style and easy roll but ultimately found the interior disappointingly organization-free. We also struggled to fit everything on our list inside.

Samsonite Ripstop 30-Inch Rolling Duffel : This duffel withstood our durability tests well and scored top marks for its versatile pockets. But, it lost points for its awkward carry handles and the fact that the trolley system wasn’t adjustable.

Rockland Rolling Duffel Bag 30-Inch : This duffel maneuvered fine and survived our durability tests; however, we felt the material was flimsy and couldn’t see it lasting more than a few trips. It also didn’t have any interior pockets.

Wrangler Wesley Rolling Duffel Bag 30-Inch : We felt this duffel was intended for carrying sports gear and would only consider it for that purpose. Otherwise, it was poorly designed and broke during our durability tests.

Eddie Bauer Expedition 30 Duffel 2.0 : We liked this duffel’s sturdy frame and felt it was well-balanced. It maneuvered easily through obstacles but lost points for thin fabric, loose stitching, and confusing organization features.

Travelpro Bold 30-Inch Check-In Drop-Bottom Expandable Rolling Duffel : This is a huge duffel with a main compartment that is accessible in two ways. We liked its sturdy handle and surprising maneuverability but felt it was too bulky for most travelers.

L.L.Bean Adventure Rolling Duffle Bag, Large 30-Inch : With just one exterior pocket and no interior organization, we found this duffel challenging to pack. We also felt the quality was lackluster, although it did maneuver well.

Dakine Split Roller 110L Bag : We liked that this bag split clamshell-style into a structured bottom half and a more flexible top half with compartments. However, it scuffed easily during tests, making us question its durability.

Oiwas Small Rolling Duffel Bag : We gave this duffel top marks for maneuverability. Unfortunately, it failed to impress in terms of quality, with a flimsy handle, poor stitching, and zippers that broke during testing.

First, we weighed each duffel to check the accuracy of the manufacturer’s description. Then we packed it according to a packing list meant to replicate a four-day trip for carry-on duffels and a seven-day trip for checked duffels. While doing so, we took note of the bag’s capacity and how well-thought-out its organizational features were. Next, we rolled it back and forth on smooth concrete, pushing and pulling it to check how easily it moved. Then, we tested maneuverability by rolling the duffel through an obstacle course to simulate a busy airport.

Then we repeated these tests on a carpeted floor. We also tested how easy it was to drag the duffel onto the sidewalk and over gaps between cement pavers. We checked how comfortable it was to carry it using its handles and/or straps and then tested durability by repeatedly pushing it off a countertop and beating it with a baseball bat. These tests specifically targeted potential weak spots. Finally, scores were given from 1 to 5 for capacity, design, maneuverability, durability, and value, resulting in an overall score used to select category winners.

Testing Rolling Duffels for Durability and Portability

What to look for in a rolling duffel, weight and dimensions.

The optimum duffel size depends on how much you want to pack and for how long. Bear in mind that for carry-on duffels, though, the IATA recommends that bags have a maximum length of 22 inches, a width of 18 inches, and a depth of 10 inches. Exact requirements may differ from airline to airline. Checked bags must not exceed a linear dimension (length + width + depth) of 62 inches. In terms of weight, it’s important to find a good balance between quality construction and lightness. However, the lighter your duffel is, the more you can pack before exceeding airline weight restrictions.

Rolling duffels vary significantly in price, with our category winners ranging from just over $40 to just under $1,000. The key is to determine the value of a potential purchase—if the bag is a splurge, is it worth it? A duffel with premium materials could last you a lifetime, in which case, the answer is probably yes. A good rule of thumb is to spend as much as you can comfortably afford. Be sure to check user reviews, however, to help establish how much of the cost reflects performance and how much you’re paying for brand name only.

Other Features

Other features to look out for beyond the duffel itself include organization features—how many pockets or compartments does the bag have, and how easy are they to access? How many carrying options does it offer (can it be comfortably carried using the haul handles, or does it convert to a backpack?)? Some have padded pockets for your laptop or tablet, while tech-savvy carry-on duffels may even have USB or wireless charging facilities. The most important features for a rolling duffel to fulfill its purpose are easily maneuverable wheels and a sturdy, telescoping handle.

Every rolling duffel will have its own specific manufacturer’s instructions regarding the best way to clean it. As a general rule, however, most can be spot-cleaned with a damp cloth and should be left to dry naturally. Like all luggage, duffels should be completely dry before being put away and kept away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry place.

Duffels are softsided by nature, and the best use sturdy, lightweight materials—most usually, ripstop polyester or nylon. For added weatherproofing, consider a PVC duffel or one coated with TPU laminate; while eco-conscious travelers should look out for bags made using recycled versions of these materials. The best-quality telescoping handles feature aerospace-grade aluminum.

Rolling duffels offer more flexible packing space than hardsided suitcases and are easier to stuff into irregular spaces (e.g., a safari truck’s roof racks or the cargo hold of a bus). Many argue that they’re more durable—all attributes that make them ideal for adventure travel or sports trips. They can usually be carried in more than one way, making them a good fit for journeys that will take you to areas a wheeled suitcase can’t go.

Jessica Macdonald is TripSavvy’s Africa travel expert and a regular contributor of adventure and family travel articles. She’s packed many a rolling duffel in her time, whether for scuba diving trips across Southeast Asia, research trips to the Peruvian Amazon, or camping adventures around the national parks of South Africa.

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The 12 Best Leather Duffel Bags of 2024

Equal parts fashion and function, a duffel bag is a versatile travel essential.

soft travel duffel bag

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Travel + Leisure / Alli Waataja

Whether you’re looking for a daily commuter bag, a standalone weekender, or an additional piece that fits easily on top of a rolling suitcase, a leather duffel is a versatile, one-stop solution. In contrast to canvas bags, duffels are distinguished by a zipped top closure and large main compartment plus multiple smaller pockets for sorting essential items like toiletries and electronics. Typically fitted with handles as well as shoulder straps for easy carrying, they’re suitable for both everyday use — at the gym or the office — as well as a great variety of travel. 

Beyond function, a well-made leather duffel bag is one of the most fashionable pieces of gear in your arsenal, lending a timeless sartorial touch to any airport outfit and travel occasion — from a casual outing to a weekend getaway or a business trip. There are an infinite number of styles, depending on your preference of silhouette, leather finish, and hardware. And unlike some other forms of luggage, a leather duffel ages gracefully. Indeed, a well-made leather piece will develop a rich patina, or glow, that proudly showcases its sense of history. Our list compiles the best leather duffels for every need and style.

Best Overall

Royce new york leather duffel bag.

Royce’s chic yet hard-wearing pebbled leather bag is a workhorse travel companion with ample space for weekend trips and beyond.

It’s a bit taller than the average cylindrical duffel or rectangular weekender.

Established in 1974 with family roots tracing back to the 1880s, Royce is one of New York’s premier makers of leather goods and accessories found at the likes of Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom. This sophisticated American-made weekender duffel is one of the brand’s hallmark items — a design unchanged for the last 50 years. It tops our list for the durability and craftsmanship of its full-grain pebbled leather, whose textured surface helps obscure scuffs, as well as its streamlined silhouette. 

More vertically-oriented than the average cylindrical duffel bag, Royce’s duffel offers ample space for trips lasting even beyond a weekend — while still fitting on top of a small carry-on roller bag and stowing neatly in an airplane overhead bin. The bag is outfitted with a fabric inner lining, silver-toned zippers and accents, and metal feet to protect the bottom of the bag. It’s available in five classic colors including black, taupe, and dark green, and can be personalized with embossed monogramming.

The Details: 21 x 18 x 17 inches | 4 pounds

Best Designer

Bottega veneta medium intrecciato duffel.

Bottega Veneta

Bottega Veneta’s signature braided weave pattern makes this calfskin bag a quietly luxurious statement piece for the upscale traveler.

The bag is no doubt pricey, even for a designer item.

If you’re going to splurge on designer luggage, you might as well get something that stands out — even in a quiet luxury sort of way. This Bottega Veneta statement piece reimagines the classic duffel silhouette through the Italian fashion house’s iconic intrecciato weave, braiding strips of calfskin leather together in a criss-cross pattern.

Inside, the main compartment of the bag comes lined with a sumptuous bonded suede. In addition to generous space for several outfits, the bag features an interior removable zipped container and built-in exterior zipped compartment. Carrying options include thick rolled leather handles and a detachable strap in case you prefer to sling it over your shoulder. It comes in five colors including black, dark green, and Barolo. 

The Details: 19.7 x 10.6 x 9.4 inches

Best Budget

Quince nappa leather duffle bag.

It’s a genuine leather bag — big enough to hold up to six outfits — for under $200.

The design is overall utilitarian with a slightly slouchy form.

You likely won’t find better value than this sub-$200 genuine leather duffel that fits anywhere between two to six outfits. Produced by the direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand Quince — which specializes in organic, sustainably made clothes and accessories — the bag notably uses full-grain Nappa leather, which refers to leather that has been tanned for a softer, more pliable feel.

The sturdy, all-purpose duffel is equipped with a padded detachable shoulder strap, an organic cotton interior, slide pockets on both the inside and outside, and a handy key clip. For those who like their various pieces of luggage to match, Quince also offers a matching Dopp kit in the same black or dark brown. 

The Details: 21 x 11 x 11 inches

Best Customizable

Leatherology kessler medium duffle.


It’s available in several colors and two sizes — and with three different monogram options.

The thick zipper is not the smoothest sliding.

This classic full-grain leather duffel from crowd favorite Leatherology is notable for its customizability. The bag comes in dozens of different combinations ranging in sizes — medium, large, and a set of two — and colors, like cognac, black onyx, and navy blue. For those interested in personal monogramming, it can also be customized in three different ways: deboss, handpaint, or trapunto, which is similar to a quilted effect.

Wear it with a shoulder strap, or use the handles and fasten the buckles on either end. On the storage front, there’s an exterior slip pocket for quick-access items, two interior slip pockets, and one interior zippered pocket. The Kessler can be purchased in limited styles on Amazon, but you won’t be able to customize it as much there. 

The Details: 22.25 x 13.5 x 10 inches

Officine Creative RARE 042 Supernero Black Leather Weekender

Officine Creative

It’s got the stylistic hardware of a luxury handbag — with the capacity of a weekender.

It only comes in black.

For a visually distinctive yet still reasonably priced piece, this men’s bag from fashionable Italian leather goods specialist Officine Creative offers the shape and stylistic details of a luxury handbag in a larger weekender form. A bit taller than the conventional duffel, this brown-grained Italian leather bag can fit several changes of clothes inside its main compartment, which is secured with a top flap and metal buckle closure.

Carrying options include top handles and a detachable shoulder strap. For a more traditional cylindrical shaped bag, Officine Creative also offers a woven calf leather model that resembles the Bottega Veneta version — at a fraction of the cost. 

The Details: 19.7 x 13.8 x 8.7 inches

Best With Shoe Compartment

Polo ralph lauren leather duffel bag.

Ralph Lauren

This sleek, classic-meets-modern tote is emblematic of Ralph Lauren’s timeless designer heritage.

The dedicated shoe compartment is geared toward slimmer footwear.

Built in the archetypical duffel shape with a rounded top and flat bottom, this full-grain leather bag from Ralph Lauren comes equipped with a separate zippered compartment for storing shoes. Keep in mind: this pocket won’t fit chunkier sneakers or tall boots — it’s best for slim sneakers, trainers, and other flat shoes. The modern, streamlined silhouette is accented with traditional touches like the brand’s embossed logo and leather trimming. 

For additional storage, you'll find a pocket with a hidden magnetic closure, a one slip pocket, and one interior zip pocket. Though it certainly works as a weekender, we found this versatile bag also serves as a nice preppy-luxe gym bag if you’re coming from work and need a change of footwear. 

The Details: 19.8  x 11.5 x 10.3 inches

Best With Wheels

Piel leather duffel on wheels.

Piel Leather

It can be hand-carried, slung over the shoulder, or rolled along.

The roller blade wheel system makes the bag a bit heavier than the average tote.

It’s always good to have the option to roll or carry a bag — especially on longer hauls. Fitted with a telescoping handle and roller blade wheels, this medium-sized duffel from Piel Leather packs a week’s work of clothes in its spacious main compartment. Made in Bogota, Colombia, the bag features full-grain cowhide naked leather that is soft to the touch and ages well over time.

The shape is classic, and so are the colors: it comes in saddle brown, black, and chocolate leather. There are two exterior zippered pockets on the front of the bag, and it can be monogrammed at an affordable cost. 

The Details: 21.5 x 10.5 x 10 inches

Best Oversized

The real leather company the xl.

The Real Leather Company

With multiple compartments and 32 inches to fill, this extra-large bag is perfect for longer trips.

It may be too heavy and clunky for weekend getaways and daily use.

For long hauls where you don’t want to be tied down to a rolling bag, consider this sturdy, oversized cowhide duffel from The Real Leather Company in place of a typical suitcase. With a main compartment stretching nearly 3 feet long, you could easily fit a week’s worth of clothes and more in here. Plus, it’s got a large buckled front pocket, two zippered side pockets, and a big interior pocket for separating your items.

Design-wise, the bag is pretty straightforward, offered only in a classic combination of a natural brown leather finish with brass hardware. Since it can be heavy when fully packed, this bag is best for trips where you don’t have to walk too much — it works particularly well as a road trip companion. 

The Details: 32 x 11.5 x 10 inches

Cuyana Overnight Bag

It can hold multiple outfits, shoes, and a laptop — but is small enough to fit underneath an airplane seat.

The opening is a little narrow.

Billed as an overnight solution, this curve-shaped minimalist leather bag from Cuyana is actually flexible for commuter use — perhaps as a fancy gym bag — as well as a quick day trip or light weekend getaway with one or two outfits and even a pair of shoes. It notably touts large, laptop-friendly exterior pockets in the front and back, plus three pockets inside so you can easily separate documents, cables, and toiletries from clothes in the cotton twill-lined main compartment.

Carry the bag with the top handles or an adjustable shoulder strap, or use the trolley pass-through to affix it to a rolling bag. The Cuyana Overnight Bag is made in Turkey using Italian pebbled leather, though it also comes in a more affordable recycled knit version. For longer trips, there’s a slightly longer weekender style that could fit several more outfits. 

The Details: 19 x 13 x 5.5 inches

Best Bowler Bag

Dooney & bourke florentine bowler duffel.

Dooney & Bourke

This subtle statement bag showcases fine Italian leather via a unique, en-vogue bowling bag silhouette.

Per the conventions of the bowler style, there’s no shoulder strap — only top handles.

Notable for its semicircular shape and top handles, the classic early-2000s bowling bag has seen a resurgence in recent years — appearing across handbags, totes, and duffels. As the name suggests, the style first emerged among bowlers, as the bags were once used to carry bowling balls and related gear. 

Norwalk, Connecticut-based leather brand Dooney & Bourke offers a standout bowler-style duffel bag in its new Florentine collection, featuring pieces made with aniline-finish Italian Vacchetta leather that’s untreated and tanned using natural plant tannins. Popular among leather enthusiasts, this type of extra-smooth leather is more susceptible to marks and scratches — but also takes on a pleasant, soft sheen over time when exposed to sunlight and normal wear and tear. The bag features an 8-inch drop top handle and four interior pockets including one that zips. It comes in natural tan, black, or chestnut. 

The Details: 21.5 x 12 x 8 inches | 3.25 lbs

Best Convertible Garment Bag

Lucchese cosimo garment duffel.

This rugged men’s bag can easily store two suits.

It’s a large bag at 24 inches wide, and only comes in two colors.

If you’re traveling for business or a special occasion, chances are you’ll want to pack a traditional suit or other formal wear. Named after celebrity-loved boot brand Lucchese’s second generation Italian shoemaker, this two-in-one duffel and garment bag is handmade in Italian leather and available in navy or espresso. 

Equipped with two hangers, it easily unfurls into a garment bag so you can store your nice clothes where they won’t get wrinkled, then rolls back up in seconds for easy transport. The garment component also comes with pockets for accessories. In the style of Lucchese, whose founders reportedly sailed from Palermo to Texas, where the brand was established, the bag’s overall design combines Italian craftsmanship with the classic ruggedness of cowboy-centric leather goods. 

The Details: 24 x 14 x 12 inches

Best Vegan Leather

Beís the premium duffel.

What it lacks in genuine leather, this bag makes up for in style and functionality.

There are no inside pockets, and it only comes in black or beige.

While genuine leather will always be timeless, there’s never been a better time to shop quality, sustainable alternative leather products as well. Made with vegan leather derived from nopal cactus leaves, this signature duffel from actress-entrepreneur Shay Mitchell’s Béis is a stylish yet functional option for both everyday use and travel. Built with a soft-top zip closure and dual zipper pullers, it can be utilized as a duffel or as a laptop-friendly day bag. For travel use, there’s a trolley pass-through that allows you to secure the bag to a rolling suitcase. And for longer trips, Beís offers a larger weekender model with a bottom shoe compartment. 

The Details: 17.3  x 12.4 x 7.3 inches | 2.3 pounds

Tips for Buying Leather Duffel Bags

Think about how you plan to use it.

When shopping for a leather duffel, the intended use will determine the size. For example, a daily commuter, office tote, or gym bag will be smaller than one that you’ll use for multi-day travel. Since the terms “weekender” and “duffel” are sometimes used interchangeably, you’ll want to take note of the bag’s exact size specifications when making your decision. And keep in mind airline sizing requirements for carry-ons as well, since you don’t necessarily want to check in a pricey bag made of top-shelf leather. 

Additionally, consider what kind of built-in organization you might desire for your key items, including sleeves and slide pockets for laptops, documents, electronics, garments, and shoes. If you need a separate shoe compartment, be sure to find a bag that has one. If you plan to stow your laptop in a backpack and use a duffel primarily for clothes, opt for one that has more empty space in its main compartment.

Consider the durability of the materials

Always seek out sturdy handles and hardware that will stand up trip after trip. Also, remember that some leather finishes, like pebbled leather, are more durable and scratch-resistant. If you experience shoulder pain, consider a bag with a padded leather strap or one with wheels.

To ensure its longevity, treat your leather bag like you would a luxury handbag. That means cleaning it with a damp cloth as opposed to harsh chemicals, and as needed, applying a leather conditioner to prevent cracks. When not in use, store the duffel in a cool, dark place. Most bags will come with a cloth or flannel bag for storing — don’t use a plastic bag as it may trap moisture. As with any leather item, the bag should also be protected from direct sunlight, rain, and snow. If you anticipate inclement weather, consider spraying your bag with a weather-resistant leather protector spray. Tip: waterproofing sprays for leather boots can also be used on leather bags. 

Another somewhat common complaint about duffel bags is that the zipper is not smooth or gets stuck, which can often happen if you frequently overpack the bag, thus stretching the material and putting strain on the zipper. Overpacking can also affect the seams and handles over time. Try to use your duffel for trips under a week — otherwise, opt for a larger bag or rolling suitcase instead.

Yes, your leather duffel is an ideal primary carry-on item. Most airlines permit one personal item, to be stowed underneath the seat in front of you, and one carry-on stored in the overhead bin. Dimensions for a carry-on can vary, but generally sit somewhere around 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Most of the bags on our list are small enough to fit these sizing requirements for overhead bins. Remember: you generally don’t want your beautiful leather to be scuffed or damaged on the tarmac with other larger, harder checked bags.

We may be biased, but we think leather bags are 100 percent worth their cost. Sure, they’re a bit pricier up front, but a fine leather duffel is a true investment. Not only is it a timeless travel companion that will last for years — it will also improve with age as it develops that well-worn patina. That said, if you buy a higher-end bag, it’s worth putting it in rotation with another duffel, perhaps one made of canvas, depending on the duration and intensity of your specific itineraries. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Dan Q. Dao is an editor and writer with a decade of experience covering culture and travel. In addition to Travel & Leisure , his bylines appear in the New York Times , Condé Nast Traveler , Washington Post, Food & Wine , Texas Monthly and more. For this story, he researched dozens of different leather duffel bags, weekenders, and hold-alls across various price ranges and styles. He also tapped into his own experience exploring the world — often with a single carry-on bag — to anticipate common needs and wants for travelers of all kinds.

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soft travel duffel bag

The 8 Best Rolling Duffel Bags for Your Next Trip

Gain the portability of a duffel with the convenience of a rolling suitcase.

best rolling duffel bags

Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. Why Trust Us?

Duffel bags are great for throwing over your shoulder and stuffing into overhead bins on planes, but it doesn’t take long for your shoulder to hurt if you’re lugging a full bag. That’s why we love rolling duffels—bags that give you all the portability of a duffel bag with the option of rolling it across smooth surfaces.

We’ve tested and vetted all of the best rolling duffle bags on the market to help you find your next travel companion.

What to Consider

The most obvious decision regarding which rolling duffel bag to get is its size, particularly whether or not you want checked luggage or a carry-on bag (which is typically up to 22 x 14 x 9 inches). Aside from that, consider how much clothing and gear you usually travel with.

For some duffels with a more fixed shape, how full the bag is doesn’t really matter. But for duffels with more flexible designs and those without telescoping handles, the bag’s maneuverability might change if it’s overpacked.

To fit the most clothes in your rolling duffle bag, think strategically. Start with the big items first ( snowboard jackets , pants, etc.). Roll these up and put them on one side of the bag. Then, work your way through the rest of the bag in sections with socks, underwear, shirts, pajamas, and any other gear you need. If you have some spare room left, you may fit a few toiletries in there, too.

Most rolling duffels have a similar shape akin to an average carry-on bag. However, rolling duffel bags with more of a square shape are usually easier to fit in overhead bins and, often, easier to wear as a backpack , for those that come with double straps. Bags with a rounded, circular shape—the traditional shape for a duffel bag—have more of a vintage look but can be harder to pack or find small items in in a pinch.

thule wheeled duffel

Most buyers probably don’t pay too much attention to materials, but you should if you’re an active traveler. Look for outer materials that are made with tear-proof and water-resistant details like ripstop, reinforced nylon, and watertight zippers. Last but not least, if you regularly overpack, zoom in on online photos to make sure the zippers look strong and durable before you purchase.


While there’s something to be said for simplicity, holding all the weight of a packed duffle on one shoulder will probably result in a sore neck after about 20 minutes and some unwanted aggravation. That’s why we love modern-day rolling duffel bags, which have wheels in addition to handles and straps, so you can roll through airports but sling it on your back to go up stairs.

Most of the options we recommend have pull-up handles. A few even have backpack straps to free your hands for extended travel over uneven surfaces. Just remember that a pull-up handle and built-in backpack straps may eat into your storage space inside the duffel.

How We Selected

As a freelance adventure travel writer, Suzie Dundas, who originally authored this piece, has used various rolling duffels for years. She’s broken duffel bag straps in the Japanese Alps and dropped her carry-on in the Indian Ocean during ferry transfers, so she’s real-world tested plenty of duffel bag features. She has tested travel and outdoor gear for brands like TripSavvy , Insider , Backpackers , and Forbes . Dundas tested many of these bags while traveling, and if she hasn’t used it, she’s tried other luggage from the same brand.

To narrow down the list, we relied on our knowledge of useful features gained through years of frequent travel through various airports and countries. We looked at materials and projected durability, whether bags had clever features (like hide-away straps), and whether reviews mentioned any ongoing problems or issues. We also took into consideration things like sustainability, price, guarantees, warranties, and whether a brand’s other products are generally reliable and well-received.

REI Co-op Big Haul Recycled 34-Inch Rolling Duffel Bag

Big Haul Recycled 34-Inch Rolling Duffel Bag

If you’re hitting the road for a multi-week trip and need one bag capable of holding it all, pick up the REI Co-op Big Haul roller duffel. The 34-inch version has one huge main compartment with built-in straps to keep your gear in place (though packing cubes wouldn’t hurt).

Small, secure external pockets and mesh inside pockets provide enough space for smaller items, and two small pegs on the front allow the bag to stand upright on its own, rather than slowly tipping forward like many flexible roller bags.

Samsonite Andante 2 Wheeled Duffle Bag

Andante 2 Wheeled Duffle Bag

This is a larger rolling duffle bag that airlines will consider a checked bag because of its size. With that said, you can fit a lot in this bag with its drop-bottom compartment that allows you to keep your belongings organized and separate when packing. And since you’re spending a pretty penny to travel, you’ll want to make sure your belongings (and bag) stay in pristine condition.

This duffle has corner protectors to prevent the unwanted wear and tear that typically accompanies travel—extra bonus points right there. Lastly, there are multiple grab handles so in the case you don’t want to or can’t roll the bag, you can easily grab and carry it without hassle.

Briggs & Riley Medium Upright Rolling Duffel Bag

Medium Upright Rolling Duffel Bag

At close to $500 with tax, the Medium Upright duffel from Briggs & Riley certainly isn’t cheap. But over a lifetime, spending just $500 on a bag may be a net savings. The Medium Upright Duffel comes with an ironclad guarantee: The brand will replace or repair the bag for basically any reason, including “airline damage” or “ any reason whatsoever .” And this particular duffel is quite useful, too.

One of our travel pet peeves is a roller bag whose pull-up handle takes up storage space—but this one doesn’t, helping you make full use of the bag’s ample space. We also think the complimentary monogramming is a nice touch.

Thule Crossover Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag

Crossover Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag

Thule may be relatively new to the luggage game, but it’s not surprising that one of its first introductions is already a top contender. After all, you may trust Thule cases with your expensive ski, bike, and outdoor sport gear, so why not trust them with your clothing and dirty shoes, too?

The Crossover wheeled duffel has useful features like exterior compression straps and a clamshell-style design, plus a huge top zipper so you can get to your gear without fully unpacking. While it is a bit pricey, it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re in need of a good, durable duffel back that will last a long time.

RedCamp RedCamp Foldable Rolling Duffel Bag

RedCamp Foldable Rolling Duffel Bag

The Deuter Aviant duffel has a lot of competition, but it scores high marks on all the categories that matter for a carry-on rolling duffel bag. With just under 40 liters of space, it’s as large as it can be while still meeting official carry-on requirements.

The short-and-squat shape, combined with a generous amount of compression straps, makes it easy to shove into overhead bins. And like the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior, it also has tuck-away backpack straps, though the lack of a hip belt may make it slightly less comfortable for long-distance wear.

VERAGE Spinner Carry On Underseat Luggage with USB Port

Spinner Carry On Underseat Luggage with USB Port

If you need a rolling duffel but live in a studio apartment, you may not be willing to give up the limited real estate in your closet to accommodate a new bag. Fortunately, the Verage duffel rolls into a relatively small 17-inch package and comes with a useful storage sack—and a USB port to charge your phone.

It’s also ultralight, which makes it a good bag to throw into your luggage if you plan on bringing home more than you packed. It has the feel of a hardside bag without the limitations.

Skyway Luggage Co. Sigma 6.0 Medium Rolling Duffel Bag

Sigma 6.0 Medium Rolling Duffel Bag

While you probably want to keep your valuables on you while you travel as a personal item, in the case that you need to put them in your carry-on or checked bag, you’ll want to make sure they are as secure as possible. This rolling duffle bag has lockable zippers so you can rest assured your items aren’t going anywhere.

Aside from having a spacious interior, there’s roomy side pockets, protective skid rails, and a hideaway telescoping handle for easy navigation. It’s only available in one color so if you’re looking for one that isn’t black, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Calpak Travel Stevyn Rolling Duffel Bag

Stevyn Rolling Duffel Bag

This lightweight rolling duffel bag is ideal for those shorter trips where you don’t need to pack as much, but still need a bag large enough to carry your belongings.

It’s a great bag to bring in addition to a checked bag with its luggage trolley sleeve, bottom shoe compartment, and rolling wheels. It’s available in a few neutral colors from pink to black making it easy to spot whether up above on the plane or at the baggage claim.

Duffel Bag Packing Tips and Must-Have Features, According to Our Expert Suzie Dundas

thule subterra wheeled duffel

What makes a bag a duffel?

If you give it a quick online search, you’ll see that the word duffel comes from the town of Duffle, Belgium, where a factory started making burlap-type bags in the 1800s. But they didn’t catch on in the United States in a big way until World War I, when the rugged, over-the-shoulder bags were standard issue for soldiers.

Today, duffel is a pretty broad term, but it generally means any durable, soft-sided bag with a shoulder strap and carry handles. They’re popular for situations where bags may get scratched or tossed around, like on safaris or on trips with lots of train or bus travel.

What features are most useful in a rolling duffel?

Aside from the obvious—wheels—I strongly recommend choosing a rolling duffel with a pull-up handle. It makes the bag slightly heavier and more rigid, and the frame may eat a bit into the interior storage space.

But without a handle, you’ll have to pull your roller duffel by one of the bag’s handles. It may work if your bag is packed enough to maintain its shape, but if it’s not full, your items will shift to the bottom and cause the bag to slouch over. It’s fine for car trips but rather annoying if you’re traveling through airports.

I’m a big fan of packing cubes , so I don’t care too much about pockets or interior organization. But if you don’t use packing cubes, you may want to choose a bag with some smaller pockets to make it easier to stay organized while traveling.

Any packing tips when using soft-sided suitcases?

While soft-sided suitcases offer plenty of protection for the vast majority of buyers, you may want to pay extra attention to how you pack if you have fragile items, like any coffee mugs or art you picked up while traveling.

I usually use a few pieces of clothing as a buffer, wrapping them around the delicate items. If your bag is full, your items should stay secure and not bounce around. I brought home a ceramic sake set and a tea set from Japan, with two international connections, and nothing was damaged.

Headshot of Casey Clark

Casey Clark is a freelance journalist who specializes in beauty, health, and style-related commerce content. She graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in journalism. Her work has been published in Women's Health , Forbes , Better Homes & Gardens , and more.

Originally from the East Coast, Suzie Dundas is a Lake Tahoe-based freelance writer and editor who now splits her time between enjoying the outdoors and writing about them—she's the senior outdoor editor at Matador Network and a regular adventure and travel contributor at . She has written feature stories for publications like Outside Magazine , SkyLife Magazine , Playboy , Frommers, INSIDER, and more, and contributes couples travel and honeymoon content for . Suzie co-authored Lonely Planet Sustainable Travel Guide and is the author of 2021's "Hiking Lake Tahoe." She has undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in media and political communication from George Washington University. Follow her on Instagram at @HikeUpYourSkirt or find more of her work at . 

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9 Top Rolling Duffel Bags

Find the perfect travel companion for adventures near and far.

Patagonia duffel bags stacked on top of a car with a dog looking out the passenger seat window

Matthew Tufts | Courtesy of Patagonia

Consider a rolling duffel bag for your next road trip or adventure getaway.

Rolling duffel bags combine the pliability of a duffel bag with the wheeled functionality of a piece of carry-on luggage or a checked suitcase . The combination provides a durable travel style that can easily be packed with travel essentials and adventure gear, then checked or put into an overhead bin (depending on airline size requirements ) before you wheel it around a city, airport or train station. The flexibility of the design also makes rolling duffel bags easy to shove into the trunk of a safari vehicle or push into a cargo area.

Based on consumer reviews and travel expert insights, U.S. News compiled this list of the best wheeled duffel bags for everything from weekend getaways to safari vacations to family trips and more.

The Best Rolling Duffel Bags

  • Best Rolling Duffel Bag Overall: The North Face Rolling Thunder - 22"
  • Best Carry-on Rolling Duffel Bag: Vera Bradley Foldable Rolling Duffel Bag
  • Best Checked Rolling Duffel Bag: FŪL Workhorse 30-inch Rolling Duffle Bag
  • Best Adventure Gear Rolling Duffel Bag: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Wheeled Duffel Bag 130L
  • Best Weekender Rolling Duffel Bag: CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel
  • Best Foldable Rolling Duffel Bag: Lipault Foldable Plume Wheeled Duffel
  • Best for Business Rolling Duffel Bag: Ted Baker Albany Rolling Duffel Bag
  • Best Lightweight Rolling Duffel Bag: Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 40L
  • Best Value Rolling Duffel Bag: Samsonite Andante 2 32-inch Wheeled Duffel

Note: All dimensions are listed in order of height by width by depth. Prices were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to demand and supply chain issues.

Best Overall: The North Face Rolling Thunder - 22"

Weight: 7.3 pounds Dimensions: 14 x 22 x 8.5 inches

What sets this bag apart: Designed for durability, this bag is made of heavy-duty, water-resistant nylon and a ready-for-adventure Base Camp body for added strength. Plus, its high-traction wheels and extendable luggage handle make it easy to navigate on every adventure. It's available in the 22-inch carry-on size, along with 30- and 36-inch sizes.

Travelers appreciate: How roomy the interior is, as well as the bag's sleek design and sturdy construction for a variety of travel conditions.

Price: $270 or less Shop now: The North Face

Best Carry-on: Vera Bradley Foldable Rolling Duffel Bag

Vera Bradley Foldable Rolling Duffel Bag with sunflower design

Courtesy of Vera Bradley

Weight: 7.05 pounds Dimensions: 12.5 x 20.5 x 10 inches

What sets this bag apart: This bag's interior has two separate compartments and a mesh slip pocket, along with two exterior zippered pockets for organization on the go. It's also constructed with lightweight ReActive material, which is made with recycled water bottles (each bag repurposes 24 bottles). What's more, it stands upright on its own and stores flat when you're not traveling.

Travelers appreciate: The spacious main storage area with two separate compartments, with many owners of the bag saying it's a perfect weekender bag.

Price: $180 or less Shop now: Vera Bradley | Amazon

Best Checked: FŪL Workhorse 30-inch Rolling Duffle Bag

FŪL Workhorse 30-inch Rolling Duffle Bag in gray

Courtesy of FŪL

Weight: 8.3 pounds Dimensions: 17 x 30 x 14 inches

What sets this bag apart: This luggage has a retractable handle, front and rear grab handles, and corner-mounted wheels for easy use in and out of airports. It has a split-level design for organizing travel essentials and a hard-shell bottom for moisture protection and durability.

Travelers appreciate: The sturdy build of the bag and its multiple compartments, which users say make it easy to separate hiking or work gear from clean clothes and personal items.

Price: $199.99 or less Shop now: FŪL | Amazon

Best Adventure Gear: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Wheeled Duffel Bag 130L

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Wheeled Duffel Bag 130L in arctic green

Courtesy of Eagle Creek

Weight: 4.4 pounds Dimensions: 15 x 34 x 13.75 inches

What sets this bag apart: Designed for adventure, this bag has a U-shaped top lid with loop zipper pulls to make the main packing area accessible even when you're wearing gloves. The bag also features zippered end compartments for equipment, compression straps and storm flaps to shield zippers from rain. What's more, this versatile rolling duffel bag has zip-away backpack straps, along with top and side grab handles.

Travelers appreciate: The bag's water-resistant features and durability, with many noting it's the perfect adventure bag since it holds plenty of clothing and gear for big trips to Alaska, diving and more.

Price: $199 or less Shop now: Eagle Creek | Amazon

Best Weekender: CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel

CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel in cheetah print.

Courtesy of CALPAK

Weight: 5.75 pounds Dimensions: 13 x 22 x 10.5 inches

What sets this bag apart: This carry-on-sized rolling duffel has a trolley sleeve to attach to a carry-on suitcase for extra space, two separate packing compartments (so you can keep your shoes , coats or other necessities organized), dual carrying handles and an extendable handle. All these features make it a great option for a weekender bag .

Travelers appreciate: The bag's ability to fit in the overhead compartment on planes, the separate shoe space and the material – with the option to choose a solid or cheetah print.

Price: $165 or less Shop now: CALPAK

soft travel duffel bag

Tips on Trips and Expert Picks

Travel tips, vacation ideas and more to make your next vacation stellar.

Best Foldable: Lipault Foldable Plume Wheeled Duffel

Weight: 8.49 pounds Dimensions: 12.9 x 29.1 x 11 inches

What sets this bag apart: This rolling nylon duffel has a foldable system, making it easy to store in a closet or narrow space when you're not traveling. It also has two top handles, and an internal compartment with a zippered pocket.

Travelers appreciate: The lightweight soft-sided construction, foldability for storage and spacious packing area within the duffel.

Price: $295 or less Shop now: Lipault

Best for Business: Ted Baker Albany Rolling Duffel Bag

Weight: 6.3 pounds Dimensions: 15 x 24 x 13 inches

What sets this bag apart: This sleek style has a rose gold trolley system and details, four wheels, and an internal butterfly lining for a laptop. What's more, the elegant design has a saffiano-style front envelope pocket.

Travelers appreciate: The professional appearance and smooth gliding wheels, although some note it is larger than they expected and may need to be checked.

Price: $395 or less Shop now: Amazon

Best Lightweight: Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 40L

Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 40L in black

Courtesy of Patagonia

Weight: 7 pounds Dimensions: 14 x 21.6 x 9.5 inches

What sets this bag apart: This weather-resistant duffel is made from 100% recycled fabric and has a spacious main compartment with a large lid and mesh pockets. It also has internal compression straps to maximize packing space and reinforced exterior handles for getting the bag into the overhead bin or taxi.

Travelers appreciate: Its smooth wheels, stylish appearance and the amount of clothing this carry-on-sized duffel can hold.

Price: $359 or less Shop now: Patagonia

Best Value: Samsonite Andante 2 32-inch Wheeled Duffel

Weight: 7.9 pounds Dimensions: 15 x 32.4 x 14.8 inches

What sets this bag apart: This large checked duffel has multiple exterior grab handles for picking up your bag from baggage claim, as well as a locking pull handle for whisking it in and out of the airport, train station or hotel. A large U-shaped opening on the bag allows access to the main compartment.

Travelers appreciate: The drop-bottom compartments for organizing items like ski or scuba gear, plus the lock holes on the zippers and the amount of packing space the bag offers.

Price: $124.99 or less Shop now: Samsonite | Amazon

Rolling Duffel Bag FAQs

Which bag is right for you depends on the type of travel you're planning and what items you'll be packing. Rolling duffel bags are more pliable and versatile than hard-sided or soft-sided luggage, and many are constructed out of durable or waterproof materials for a variety of weather and climate conditions. Depending on the style, rolling duffel bags have two or four wheels, along with additional carrying options such as concealable backpack straps, dual handles or crossbody straps – ideal features for adventure trips like safari, climbing, hiking and skiing vacations.

The interior packing space is typically larger for a wheeled duffel than a suitcase option, and if there's built-in compression straps you'll be able to fit in a lot of travel gear. When you're packing mainly clothing and toiletries, either one will work. With ski boots or items with an unusual shape or size, a wheeled duffel bag will likely better suit your needs.

One thing to consider is that items tend to shift during transit in a wheeled duffel. Packing cubes can help keep clothing folded and smaller items organized. You may also want to pack the heaviest items on the end where the wheels are, and your lightest belongings on the end with the retractable handle – this way, the items will shift heaviest to lightest when you are rolling the bag through the airport, train station or hotel.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Rachael Hood is a senior travel editor with a love of finding the perfect bag for every kind of trip. She has a lifetime of experience testing out a variety of bags from the fashionable to the functional. To curate this list of wheeled duffel bags, she used her own experience with brands like CALPAK, Lipault and Vera Bradley, as well as her research expertise and retail merchandising background.

You might also be interested in:

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  • The Top Travel Toiletry Bags
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Tags: Travel , Travel Gear

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