When it comes to adventure travel you never fully know what to expect.

I’ve put my travel bags through a lot. From getting thrown around airports to ending up on the roof of an overnight bus journey when it’s raining. It’s important to me to have a super durable and weather resistant duffel bag for many of the trips I take.

That’s when having the right bag to do the job is important—and having one that can be put to the test, again and again.

DYNAMIC (1)

The Basics: What To Look For

Weather/waterproof. The best duffel bags will be made from a durable waterproof polyester or nylon material. Always pick a bag that also has a ripstop material that will resist holes and rips.

Compartments. Not everyone likes duffel bags. Yes, they are easy to pack with one large compartment. This also means there are fewer dividers and small sections to divide your clothing and gear into.

Backpack straps. Many duffel bags come with backpack straps that can easily be hidden or tightened along the side when not in use. These will be your best friend if you plan on walking a lot or taking public transit during your travels.

Size. Most duffel bags come in a variety of sizes, from small to absolute behemoths. The largest bags are great for throwing all of your gear into, while having a smaller bag that fits into the carry-on compartment on planes is also a plus.

Compression straps. Duffel bags are not rigid and having compression straps to tighten down your gear inside are essential.

Pros and Cons of Travel Duffel Bags

Duffel bags won’t work for everyone. There are obvious pros and cons that will make a traveling with a duffel bag more suitable for some trips over others.

If you need a super durable and easy to pack bag, then a duffel bag is a great option. The fact that there is only one large compartment means you can easily reach items on the bottom and see almost everything you have in your bag at once. The drawback is that all your gear is mixed together.

If you like to keep your items separate one option is to pack toiletries and such into smaller travel and compression sacks inside your duffel bag.

If you prefer to roll your bag behind your, then you should also look elsewhere. Although there are rollable duffel bags a traditional duffel bag will be hand carried, but new versions also have backpack straps.

Best 5 Durable Travel Duffel Bags

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag

top travel duffel bag north face base camp

Features:

  • Super durable weather resistant rip stop fabric
  • Compression straps to keep heavy loads under control
  • Padded backpack straps
  • Can survive almost anything

Weatherproof? Yes

Backpack straps? Yes

Pockets? 1 internal mesh (on top flap)

Price: $100+

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Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag

top travel duffel bag patagonia black hole

Features:

  • Removable padded shoulder straps
  • Padded back panel for comfortable long-haul carrying
  • Abrasion-resistant double-layer fabric is coated with water-resistant DWR to keep gear dry
  • Four webbing daisy chains on each corner
  • Compression straps

Weatherproof? Yes

Backpack straps? Yes

Pockets? 1 external and internal

Price: $100+

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Mammut Cargon Duffel

top travel duffel bag mammut cargon

Features:

  • Ballistic polyester and burly nylon fabrics resist abrasion and wear while adding longevity
  • Detachable, anatomically shaped backpack straps distribute pressure over a wide area to maintain comfort
  • Side and internal pockets organize smaller gear
  • Daisy chain accommodates last-minute clip-on additions
  • Eco-friendly EPO nylon comprises floor material

Weatherproof? Yes

Backpack straps? Yes

Pockets? 1 external side zippered, 1 organizer, 2 internal zippered

Price: $208+

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Outdoor Research Rangefinder Duffel

top travel duffel bag outdoor research rangefinder

Features:

  • Two-layer polyester shell
  • Nylon base
  • Fully taped seams
  • Two carry straps
  • Zippered main opening with organizational pockets

Weatherproof? Yes

Backpack straps? No

Pockets? Organizational

Price: $69+

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Arc’teryx Carrier Duffel

top travel duffel bag arcteryx carrier

Features:

  • Made from super durable and lightweight N400r-AC2 nylon 6 ripstop
  • White interior for a lighter and easier to see inside
  • Advanced Composite Construction (AC2) is highly weatherproof with taped seams
  • Easy carrying and lugging around with four carry handles
  • Backpack or courier style carry options with adjustable padded shoulder straps (removable for airline travel)

Weatherproof? Yes

Backpack straps? Yes

Pockets? Organizational

Price: $109+

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The Bottom Line: Get Packing!

There are plenty of options out there. These bags are some of the most durable, functional, and high quality travel and gear duffel bags. A bomb-proof travel bag will be your best friend when your adventures call for a tough bag.

Think better safe than sorry. These bags are built to last. The weatherproofness and construction of these bags are ready to any adventure you can throw at them. Plus, they have just enough style that you won’t feel out of place cruising through the airport or checking into a posh hotel.