The Best Duffel Bag For Traveling: Product Reviews And More

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Duffel bags are known to be simple and ready to go bags that can be used anywhere for different purposes. It is commonly used by athletes to contain their sports gear during practice or when they are training in the gym.

Lately, duffel bags have been used for travel purposes because of its lightweight, compact, and easy carry-on features.

To discover what makes a top-quality and best value for money duffel bag, I will be providing careful reviews of five of the best duffel bag for traveling to help you decide on your purchase.

Product Name

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag

A+

$$

Bago Travel Duffel Bag For Women & Men - Foldable Duffle For Luggage Gym Sports

A+

$

The North Face Men's Base Camp Duffel

A

$$$

Shacke Duffel XL - Large Travel Duffel Bag - Foldable w/ Memory Foam Shoulder Pad

A

$

Samsonite Tote-A-Ton 32.5 inch Duffel

A-

$

**Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

What is a Duffel Bag?

what-is-duffel-bag

​A duffel bag also known as a duffle bag, kit bag or gym bag is originally a cylindrical bag made of cloth or other fabric that has a drawstring closure.

The name is said to originate from a town in Belgium called Duffel, where a certain thick canvas used to make the bag can be found. In recent years, a duffel bag is usually referring to a specific design of bag though it is oftentimes used to refer to any large generic holdall or a bag made of thick fabric.

Duffel bags are often used to contain luggage and carry sports equipment. It is also widely-used among military personnel. Sailors and marines use the same style of bag and call it seabag

​Duffel Bags for Traveling?

Today, duffel bags have evolved and have now been often used for multiple purposes. It has been widely popular among travelers for its spacious middle compartments that could fit almost everything and anything. Most travel duffel bags have also large pockets at the side which can also hold large amounts of luggage ideal for those traveling with a large pack.

But the most reason duffel bags have gained acceptance in recent times is because of its trendy carry-on aspect that allows users to either hand carry it or strap it in their shoulders. Some duffels are also flexible compared to other luggage bags. This means if you do choose to hand carry it on a plane it will likely fit into a tight overhead compartment.

​Types of Travel Duffel Bag

Barrel Duffel

The usual barrel-style duffel bag is a cylindrical bag made of cloth with straps that can convert it into a backpack. The barrel duffel has two variations. The original design is with a top closure that employs a drawstring. These kinds of bags usually hold large amounts of equipment and is an all-in-one bag.

The other assortment of the barrel-shaped bag has a side zipper that serves as both its opening and closure and runs the whole length of the bag.

Both kinds of this barrel duffel shape are one-compartment bags. Because of this feature, items inside the bag can get tossed and disorganized making the barrel duffel a mess to unpack.

​Expandable/Holdalls

Expandable duffel bags or holdalls are made of lightweight materials that give the bag the ability to expand. This means that this bag can be used for a variety of reasons and you wouldn’t have to worry about making room for your stuff.

It can be used to carry your gym clothes on any given day or as a travel bag the next day for your weekend trip. This type of bag is ideal for vacation luggage as it can expand to contain all your newly bought souvenirs and items.

​Wheeled Duffel

A slight modification by adding wheels to a duffel bag has made this type of bag ideal for traveling. It usually employs a U-shaped zipper running the length of the top side of the bag giving it a wider opening.

The wheel styled duffel bag has different sections and compartments. Sometimes, it also has the ability to expand. Most travelers choose this type of duffel bag so that they won’t have to carry when walking a long distance. The wheels also help in the mobility and allow the bag to carry a much heavier load.

​Leather Duffel Bags

Leather duffel bags are a fancy and classic variation to this type of bag. Because of its shiny leather texture, it exudes an aura of elegance and professionalism to the user.

Leather bags, however, are not just used for their aesthetic value but because of their durability. The leather is a naturally strong material and it can withstand harsh environments and conditions. It can be used rigorously with the assurance that the materials cannot be easily torn or worn out.

​Things to Look for in a Travel Duffel Bag


Durability and Quality of Materials

duffel-bag-durability-and-quality-of-material

Travel Duffel bags should be able to withstand the wear and tear of traveling. Its canvas, zippers, and other sections should be sourced from high-quality materials


Storage Space

duffel-bag-storage-space

Because traveling requires bringing a lot of stuff. A good travel duffel bag should have ample room for essential items and even extra space for different things. It should make packing a less tedious task of figuring out how to fit things.


Convenience in Carrying

duffel-bag-convenience-in-carrying

A good duffel bag comes in handy either as carry-on, a sling bag, or converted into a backpack. It should have sturdy handles and durable strap that makes it comfortable for the owner to use.


​Product Reviews

Product Name

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag

A+

$$

Bago Travel Duffel Bag For Women & Men - Foldable Duffle For Luggage Gym Sports

A+

$

The North Face Men's Base Camp Duffel

A

$$$

Shacke Duffel XL - Large Travel Duffel Bag - Foldable w/ Memory Foam Shoulder Pad

A

$

Samsonite Tote-A-Ton 32.5 inch Duffel

A-

$

1. Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag


Via Amazon.com

The Vera Bradley is a large sized duffel bag that measures 22" 11.5". 11.5. It has one exterior pocket and a large compartment.

Though it is considered a large duffel bag, you can bring at as hand carry on most airlines and can fit inside the overhead compartment. Lightweight and large enough for one week worth of clothing and accessories.

It has a stylish look with different floral designs. Fully functional and the whole bag is made from 100% cotton which means it is washable.

It has no shoulder strap but its carry-on handle is large enough to hang them on your shoulders.


Pros

  • Lightweight and large storage
  • Washable
  • Stylish and elegant design
  • Hand holder is comfortable and can convert into shoulder straps
  • Can fit size restriction on carry-on baggage
  • Foldable when not in use
  • Strong and durable
  • Can fit a week’s worth of clothes
  • Well-stitched and made from high-quality materials
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • The bag has no compartments which make it difficult to find things
  • No shoulders straps
  • Only one pocket and a middle compartment
  • The design is not unisex

2. Bago Travel Duffel Bag For Women & Men - Foldable Duffle For Luggage Gym Sports


Via: Amazon.com

The Bago Travel Duffel Bag For Women & Men - Foldable Duffle for Luggage Gym Sports is a large travel duffle bag that can hold up to 85 liters but only weighs 1.5 lbs. It folds up into a smaller 30 x 32 cm bag for smaller loads and easy storage. It has multiple pockets that are usable, folded or unfolded.

The bag is made from Honeycomb RipStop fabric that repels wear and tear. It has high-quality corded zippers with a pull string that is highly durable.

It can serve as your gym bag, shopping bag, as your extra suitcase, or your “rescue bag” to avoid the overweight limit. It can carry the load of a usual suitcase but weighs less. Its shoe pocket is both water and odor resistant and can be used as a dirty laundry compartment. It can be carried through its 2 handle straps and a removable shoulder strap.


Pros

  • Lightweight and foldable
  • Can carry up to 85 litres similar to load of basic suitcases
  • Shoe pocket is water and odor resistant
  • Durable fabric
  • Contains multiple pockets
  • Comes with Free Black Money Belt
  • Comes in different colors and designs
  • Returnable and refundable
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not that comfortable to hold for long time
  • Straight zipper opening makes it hard to access the interior

3. The North Face Men's Base Camp Duffel


Via Amazon.com

The North Face Men's Base Camp Duffel is versatile bag especially made for traveling. The bag comes in four sizes—a small is 42 liters, a medium is 72 liters, a large is 90 liters, and an XL is 155 liters. It has a highly-spacious middle compartment a multi-purpose side pockets.

The whole bag is made from imported synthetic materials. It contains multiple side-zippered pockets. It comes with an adjustable and removable alpine-cut shoulder straps with an ergonomic fit. Its side handles are both padded which act as both haul handles and duffel carry handles. The main compartment is equipped with a D-zip opening with a weather-protective zipper flap.

Even though it is made from synthetic materials, the bag is washable. Highly durable and can handle heavy and bulky luggage.


Pros

  • Highly durable and can stand the harshest conditions
  • Made from high quality materials
  • Can be converted into a backpack
  • Contains multiple side pockets
  • Comes in different sizes and colors
  • Strong zippers
  • Large middle compartment with inter zipper pouch
  • Small size will fit in overhead compartment of most airlines
  • Equipped with side handles

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • A bit pricey for a duffel bag

4. Shacke Duffel XL - Large Travel Duffel Bag - Foldable w/ Memory Foam Shoulder Pad


Via Amazon.com

The Shacke Duffel XL - Large Travel Duffel Bag - Foldable w/ Memory Foam Shoulder Pad is an extra-large duffel bag measuring 27 x 16 x 12 inches. The bag can carry up to 70 lbs of luggage.

Made out of thick Nylon with double bottom lining to help increase support. It has a shoulder strap comes with a comfortable memory foam shoulder pad to make carrying comfortable. The bag has a double-lined bottom for extra support and a padded handle if you decide to hand carry it.

The duffel bag has an exterior pocket and an interior pouch that can hold personal items.

Both the outside pocket and main compartment have double zipper pulls so you can easily attach a TSA lock onto them.

The bag has allows you to fold your duffel inwards and zip it into a small 13 x 14 inch pouch when not in use.


Pros

  • Extra Large yet Lightweight duffle bag
  • Super Comfortable Memory Foam Shoulder Pad w/ All Metal Fixture and Clasp
  • Double Zipper on Main and Back Pouch for TSA Locks - Also includes 1 inner pouch
  • Zip Folds into 13 x 14 inch small pouch for easy storage
  • Made of thick Nylon with double bottom lining to help increase support
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Not water resistant
  • Fabric so thin it takes shape only when full
  • Flimsy

5. Samsonite Tote-A-Ton 32.5 inch Duffel


Via Amazon.com

The Samsonite Tote-A-Ton 32.5 inch Duffel is large yet lightweight duffel bag that has a storage space of over 6,000 cubic inches.

It is made from 400 Denier Nylon material which is highly durable. Its interior and sides are all lined with nylon for extra strength and support.

It contains two-tone handles and its zipper runs along the bottom of the bag. It has a zippered interior pocket which can hold small items and accessories. It also has an exterior pouch without zipper.

If not used, the bag can be collapsed and stored in the cabinet. The bag can only be hand washed.


Pros

  • Inexpensive, simple and optimal user-friendly design & construction for transportation and outdoor purposes
  • Large and Heavy duty duffel bag
  • Strong and durable
  • Comes in different colors
  • Very affordable
  • Collapsible and Expandable

Cons

  • No shoulder straps attached
  • Zipper not that strong
  • No warranty information

Which Duffel Bag Should you Buy?

After reviewing and considering the general pros and cons of the five travel duffel bags above, the clear winner for me is the Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag.

  • This duffel bag is perfect for travel as it can carry a large amount of luggage and can store one week’s worth of clothing and accessories.
  • Lightweight and passed the required size for hand carried bags in major airlines.
  • Made from 100% cotton and is highly durable.
  • Simple and elegant design.
  • Comfortable and convenient to carry
  • Very affordable price.

The Vera Bradley Large Duffel Bag satisfies the things we are looking for in a travel backpack which are durability and quality of materials, storage space, and carrying convenience.

If you want to leave a feedback, please comment on the comment box below! Please share this article with your family and friends who are looking for a travel duffel bag.

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