There is a time a place for suitcases and rolling luggage, but when it comes to carrying loads of your gear around the world a durable, having the best travel duffel bag is hard to beat.
Travel duffels come in every size imaginable, many feature backpack straps, and they are built super tough.
Every traveler wants a bag that is large enough to carry all the necessary stuff, durable enough to be used for a long time, and one that’s easy to carry.
I’ve found that on many trips a good duffel bag meets exactly these requirements. The toughness of these bags is the key factor.
Your stuff stays safe and the bag serves for years to come, making sure your gear purchase pays off.
Quick Answer: The Best Travel Duffel Bags
Best Overall Travel Duffel Bag – Osprey Packs Transporter Duffel
Best Carry On Duffel Bag – Thule Subterra Duffel 45L
Best Rolling Travel Duffel Bag – Eagle Creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel
Best Lightweight Packable Duffel Bag – The North Face Flyweight Duffel
Best Camping/Expedition Duffel Bag – The North Face Base Camp Duffel
Best Anti Theft Duffel Bag – Pacsafe Duffelsafe Anti-Theft Duffel Bag
Best Weekender Duffel Bag – Timbuk2 Navigator Duffel Bag
Best Waterproof Duffel Bag – Grundens Gage Tech Shackelton Duffel Bag
Quick Link —> Travel Duffel Bag Reviews
- Quick Answer: The Best Travel Duffel Bags
- Best Travel Duffel Bag Reviews
- The North Face Base Camp Duffel Review – Best Expedition Travel Bag
- Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag Review
- Gregory Alpaca Duffel Review
- Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 Review
- Arc’teryx Carrier Duffel Review
- Osprey Packs Transporter Duffel Review – Best Travel Duffel Bag 2018
- Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel Review
- Marmot Long Hauler Duffel Review
- Thule Chasm Duffel Review
- Mammut Cargon Duffel Review
- Pacsafe Duffelsafe Anti-Theft Duffel Bag Review – Best Anti Theft Travel Bag
- Timbuk2 Navigator Duffel Bag Review – Best Weekend Duffel Bag
- The North Face Flyweight Duffel Review – Best Packable Duffel Bag
- North St. Bags Scout Duffle Review
- Sea To Summit Nomad Duffel Bag Review
- Best Rolling Duffel Bag Reviews
- Comparison Chart of the Best Travel Duffel Bags of 2018
- Guide to Finding the Best Duffel Bag for Travel
- What is a Travel Duffel Bag?
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Travel Duffel Bags
- Do You Prefer to Carry a Backpack or Roll Your Bag?
- What to Consider When Choosing a Travel Duffel Bag
- The Bottom Line
Best Travel Duffel Bag Reviews
Most duffel bags have great characteristics, like being water resistant and having backpack straps.
They are generally larger than other travel backpacks, giving you more space and hence allowing you to carry more goods.
Traditionally you think of carrying a duffel over the shoulder, however most travel versions have backpack straps as well, giving you the freedom to carry them the same as backpacks.
Some duffel bags come with wheels, making them even more convenient to use. Such features make these bags ideal for traveling if you have a lot of gear to carry.
If having the best travel duffel bag is something you are in the market for, check out our travel duffel bag reviews for the best of the best.
We’ve included a variety of sizes and features to give you exactly what you need to ensure you have one of the top rated travel duffel bags for your next adventure.
The North Face Base Camp Duffel Review – Best Expedition Travel Bag
A great bag available in various different sizes. In fact, there are five to choose from in this model of The North Face Travel bag.
For shorter trips, you can use the X-small size to pack your essentials, while the extra-large can almost fit a whole person inside, though I wouldn’t recommend it.
Even the larger sizes are super lightweight and have a simple design with incredible durability. The material is very tough. It’s essentially made from the same material used for whitewater rafts.
Double-stitching on the seams keep your travel duffel bag backpack intact, no matter how rough the conditions, or the baggage handlers, are.
Although it does not claim to be waterproof I’ve had my bag thrown on top of an overnight bus in Vietnam during rain and nothing got wet!
It can also be used as a backpack with shoulder straps and has extra side pockets for convenience as well.
The large D-zip opening uses a weather-resistant zippered flap to keep out the water while giving you a large opening to pack or search through your gear to find whatever you need.
Four compression straps let you squeeze your stuff down to fit even a large travel duffel bag into a cramped overhead bin or an over-filled truck to carry you out to base camp.
However, due to the lack of any support system, it may not be the most comfortable duffel to carry fully loaded for a long time.
The medium size The North Face Base Camp Duffel is one of the best carry-on duffel bags out there.
However do take note that it technically does run slightly over some airline’s carry-on allowance, but it will work if it’s not packed to the max.
Material: 1000D phthalate-free TPE fabric laminate, 840D Jr. Ballistic S nylon
Sizes: X-Small (31 Liters), Small (50 Liters), Medium (70 Liters), Large (95 Liters), X-Large (132 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered side pocket, Inner zippered mesh pocket, End-cap mesh sleeve pocket
Weight (Size Large): 4 lbs 0.9 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable alpine-cut shoulder straps, dual-purpose side handles (carry and haul handles)
Other Features: Compression straps, ID pocket on top, water resistant
Despite carrying a minimum of 45 liters worth of gear, this Patagonia travel duffel is still a medium sized, lightweight bag.
Overall the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag is versatile in use with a super durable design that is fairly water resistant.
The ripstop polyester is coated with TPU laminate and a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish to keep your stuff dry in all sorts of weather.
It can be used as a normal backpack as well due to the small size and low weight. The shoulder straps are padded for extra comfort when carrying your Patagonia duffel bag for long periods of time.
Or you can remove them and carry your bag using either the webbed handles or the haul loops, whichever makes sense with the conditions you’re facing.
The build of the best duffel bag for travel is strong and tough, with very high-quality construction. Along with the durable material, the padded base on this keeps your belongings safe from rough surfaces when you set it down.
The daisy chains are reinforced, heavy-duty ones to keep your stuff secure during travel.
There are multiple sizes available to fit your needs of longer trips. Each one comes in a variety of colors, from brighter blue to black when you need to blend into the shadows.
Material: 15-oz 900D polyester ripstop with TPU-film laminate
Sizes: Small (45 Liters), Medium (60 Liters), Large (90 Liters), X-Large (120 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered side pocket, mesh pockets in lid
Weight (Size Large): 3 lbs 11 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable shoulder straps, webbing handles, haul loops
Other Features: Padded base, daisy chains, internal compression
The Gregory Alpaca Duffel is another simple and lightweight travel duffel bag.
It is available in 4 different sizes and large enough to carry a lot of stuff. From the smallish 35 Liter size to the huge 120 Liter XL duffel bag, you’ll always have the right amount of space for everything you need to take with you.
The heavy-duty material keeps your bag strong during years of rugged adventures. It uses diamond-weave reinforcing on the threads to keep water out.
This also helps the material resist tears for a more durable duffel bag. The zippers are high quality and lock for added security when your bag is out of sight.
It can be used as a backpack too, thanks to the padded straps. If the situation requires a more hands-on approach, these straps are detachable, leaving the haul handles open for easier access.
The top travel duffel bags also have a few extra features to make them well worth the price. Gregory’s Alpaca Duffel has added an internal divided mesh pocket for easy organization to keep everything where you want it for easy locating.
An outer end pocket includes a water-resistant window for an ID tag or a business card. This helps to locate you if your bag should get lost during travel.
The wide opening of the top panel gives you ample room to pack your bag. And the daisy chain lets you attach it to a rack or a pack animal when traveling to any destination you have in mind, no matter how rugged.
Material: Synthetic tarpaulin
Sizes: Small (30 Liters), Medium (45 Liters), Large (90 Liters), X-Large (120 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered mesh pocket under top lid, zippered end pocket
Weight (Size Large): 3.9 lbs
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps, haul handles
Other Features: Lockable zippers, daisy chain, semi-transparent ID pocket
The HH Duffel Bag 2 is one of the highest reviewed and best valued duffel bags out there.
It is extremely lightweight, making it easier to carry over long distances. The main fabric is water resistant too, though it probably isn’t a good idea to forget it outside in the pouring rain.
The best duffel bags for travel should be versatile enough to meet all your needs, which is why this one is designed in four sizes to carry all your gear for trips of any length.
It can be converted to a backpack for those times when you need your hands free to check your map or use a GPS.
The large opening and ample space inside this travel duffel backpack make it packable as well, giving you more than enough room for even the most awkward items.
The only drawback may be that it is slightly less durable than other bags on the market. This may be due to the softer material.
Helly Hansen has created a foldable travel duffel bag that fits into its included external wash bag. But this pliability may have affected the bags endurance in rougher conditions.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that this isn’t a great addition to your travel luggage. These bags have a sporty look and a low price that make them a great weekend travel bag for anyone.
Material: Synthetic tarpaulin
Sizes: Small (30 Liter), Medium (50 Liter), Large (70 Liter), X-Large (90 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered mesh pocket under top lid, internal mesh side pocket, zippered outer side pocket
Weight (Size Large): 2.6 lbs
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps, top haul straps
Other Features: Packable wash bag, ID window
Lightweight, highly water resistant, and durable, the Arc’teryx travel duffel backpack may be one of the best travel duffel bags for men and women alike.
The Arc’teryx Carrier Duffel comes in 3 sizes, the largest of which weighs in at under 2 pounds on its own.
With a maximum of 80 Liters of storage, you’ll have more than enough room for all your gear, whether on a weekend getaway or a long-term trip in the great outdoors.
Keeping the water out is probably the most important feature of an outdoor gear bag. The Advanced Composite Construction (AC2) uses PU coated nylon fabric for the main body of the bags.
The seams are all taped for less leakage. Even the zippers are enclosed in a weather resistant flap for added security.
Along with being a highly water resistant duffel bag, this one has a few unique features you may not find on any others.
Reflective white material on the inside makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, even in dim light. There is also a heat transfer logo on the backpack strap side, which will reflect your body heat back to you for added warmth.
For easy carrying, there are removable shoulder straps and four grab handles for carrying or attaching your travel duffel bag to a car rack.
When not in use, pack your duffel bag into the included zippered storage bag. This little bag can even double as an extra storage bag or organizer when on the go.
If you’re looking for the best travel duffel bag in terms of convenience, strength, and water resistance, this may be the right outdoor duffel bag for your next adventure.
Material: PU coated nylon
Sizes: Small (40 Liters), Medium (55 Liters), Large (80 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: None
Weight (Size Large): 1 lb 7 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable shoulder straps, 1 grab handle on each side (4 total)
Other Features: Reflective white interior, zippered storage bag, corded zipper pull tabs, heat transfer BIRD logo
Osprey Packs Transporter Duffel Review – Best Travel Duffel Bag 2018
There are many reasons why we rated the Osprey Packs Transporter Duffel as the best travel duffel bag of 2018.
The main reason is that it is lightweight, weighing only about 4 lbs for its largest size when empty.
But with capacities ranging from 40 Liters on the smallest bag to their huge duffel bag that holds up to 130 Liters, you’ll be able to stuff it with everything but the kitchen sink.
The nylon material has a dual-sided TPU coating on both the outside and the inside of this Osprey duffel bag.
This helps the nylon resist abrasions, as well as stains from grease, oil, and anything else your heavy duty travel duffel bags come in contact with.
A stiffened body keeps your belongings safe but still stretches to accommodate everything you pack, no matter its shape or size. Overlapping rain flaps on the zipper helps keep leaks from soaking your stuff.
Since travel sometimes requires you to strap your big duffel bag to a car or the back of a pack animal, the Osprey Transporter Duffel has taken this into account.
Four webbing grab handles and eight side panel lashing points give you more than enough areas to tie down, no matter how fast or rugged the path you’re on is.
Other handy features of this water resistant duffel bag are a secure locking zipper, a stowaway harness and yoke for carrying your backpack more comfortably, an adjustable sternum strap, internal and external pockets, and a safety whistle for those times when you’re out of sight of the rest of your group or in need of some help.
The bottom line is that we love everything about this bag and we’re confident it will perform well on any type of trip.
Material: 800D Nylon TPU
Sizes: Small (40 Liters), Medium (65 Liters), Large (95 Liters), X-Large (130 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Dual-zippered 3-D end pockets, zippered mesh inner side pocket
Weight (Size Large): 2 lbs 7 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps, dual haul handles
Other Features: Lockable zippered front panel, adjustable sternum strap, safety whistle
This Eagle Creek duffel bag was nicknamed “The Indestructible Collapsible Duffel” for a reason.
It uses the company’s brand new Bi-Tech Armor Light fabric, which is extra-durable for maximum resistance to abrasions on those rugged trips into the wild.
A water-repellent coating keeps your stuff safe even in wet weather.
For added strength, there are Bartack reinforcements on every possible stress point. Your durable travel duffel bags won’t fall to pieces on the road when you have one of the four sizes of the Cargo Hauler packed full of your gear.
For easy carrying, there are comfy backpack straps that can be added to make this a travel duffel backpack.
The downside of these is that though they have clips at the bottom, there is only a loop at the top to weave the strap through.
Depending on the amount of weight you’re carrying, these may let go during your trip, requiring a quick duct-taping to hold them secure.
There are also a few handles on the sides and top if you leave your duct tape at home. Glove-friendly, lockable zippers keep your belongings secure when checking Eagle Creek’s best gear bag at the airport. Multiple lash points let you secure it safely when traveling by car or animal.
Though there is only one large compartment in the middle, there are also 2 side pockets, so big or small, your gear will always have the accessibility and the space it needs.
Built ultra-tough with a well thought out design, the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel is another top contender for the perfect travel duffel.
Material: Bi-Tech Armor Lite
Sizes: Small (45 Liter), Medium (60 Liter), Large (90 Liter), X-Large (120 Liter)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered end pockets
Weight (Size Large): 2 lbs 2 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps, top haul handles, side grab handle
Other Features: Lockable zippers, daisy chains
Cheap duffel bags may save your wallet, but they aren’t able to withstand the trials of a long-term trip mountaineering or camping off the grid.
Though this Marmot duffel bag may not be the most expensive price-wise, it doesn’t skimp on the essentials.
The 1000D polyester main body uses a TPE laminate to shed water if you get caught in the rain. There is also 1680D Nylon Ballistic material to reinforce the stress-points and add to the abrasion resistance.
Whether you prefer rugged trails or luxury air travel, the Long Hauler is a heavy duty duffel bag for years’ worth of travel experiences.
One unique feature of this travel duffel bag is the convertible handles. You can attach them for use as a backpack, or you can slide the thicker parts down and wrap the two straps together to make handy carry handles.
This only takes seconds, with no worries about losing the backpack straps when you need to carry your bag by hand.
The best duffel bag for travel holds all your stuff but stays compact. The addition of compression straps on the Long Hauler meets these needs, allowing you to pack one of their bags to capacity and then shrinking it down as needed to fit in an overhead bin or an overstuffed car.
With four sizes and multiple colors to choose from, the Marmot Long Hauler Duffel is a great choice for a water resistant duffel bag. It’s ready for any trip, from short weekend getaways to summer backpacking trips across Europe.
Material: 1000D TPE Laminate Polyester
Sizes: Small (35 Liters), Medium (50 Liters), Large (75 Liters), X-Large (105 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered end-cap pocket, zippered mesh pocket in lid
Weight (Size Large): 2 lbs 12 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable carry handles/shoulder straps, side haul handles
Other Features: Compression straps, double bottom, daisy chains
Having all your stuff with you isn’t useful unless it’s accessible. The wide opening on the top of this waterproof Thule duffel bag allows you to easily find what you need in no time.
Plus, there are a couple mesh pockets on the inside of the lid to hold your smaller items that you may want to keep separate from your larger items but still need some protection from the elements.
Another outer pocket on the end keeps your wallet, phone, and other items you’ll use the most close at hand for easy access in an emergency.
This pocket is also lockable to keep your papers and electronics secure at all times, though the lock is not included with these durable travel duffel bags.
Multiple carry options also make the Thule Chasm Duffel the best travel duffel bag for different travel uses. There are side carry handles and a shoulder strap for shorter trips.
If you plan on wearing your bag, tie down these straps, attach the backpack straps, and you’re on your way. And the external compression straps keep everything in the packable duffel bag exactly where you placed it.
There are four different sizes to pick from. This gives you an overnight bag, a weekend bag, or a camping gear bag for weeks in the woods.
The padded bottom on every one of these sizes protects anything inside from damage if placed on a hard surface, even if you get a bit rough with it.
Sizes: Small (40 Liter), Medium (70 Liter), Large (90 Liter), X-Large (130 Liter)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered endcap pocket, mesh pockets in lid
Weight (Size Large): 4 lbs 2 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps, carry straps, long shoulder strap, haul handles
Other Features: Compression straps, lockable pocket zipper, padded bottom
The Mammut Cargon Duffel model may just be the best outdoor duffel bag for men and women alike, due to its variety of sizes, amazing storage capabilities, and the durable materials.
This Mammut duffel bag comes in 5 sizes, ranging from 40 Liters to a huge 140 Liters. The small travel duffel bag is great for weekends at the cabin or for use as a carry-on for air travel.
The extra large travel duffel bag will carry everything you need for weeks camping in the woods, or you can take everything the family needs for a shorter trip all in one bag.
A huge internal compartment takes care of your larger items and clothing, while the inner mesh pockets hold your smaller items. There is also 2 outer pockets on the ends for the items you need to keep handy.
The four larger bags have removable backpack straps that double as carry straps. The padding makes them comfortable to wear, even over long distances.
These straps on the 40 Liter bag are attached, though, and the compression straps aren’t included either.
EPO nylon on the floor is extremely abrasion-proof, so you don’t need to worry about damaging your bag if you need to set it down on any rocky surfaces.
The Poly Ballistic material of the main body is also tear resistant, which may just make the Cargon the best travel duffel bag in terms of durability.
Material: 2520D Poly Ballistic
Sizes: X-Small (40 Liters), Small (60 Liters), Medium (90 Liters), Large (110 Liters), X-Large (140 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered endcap pocket, inner mesh pockets in lid
Weight (Size Large): 3.06 lbs
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps/carry straps, dual haul straps
Other Features: Lockable zippers, daisy chain, compression straps
Pacsafe Duffelsafe Anti-Theft Duffel Bag Review – Best Anti Theft Travel Bag
There’s nothing worse than getting to your destination and finding out your valuables are missing. That’s why Packsafe created their Duffelsafe Anti-Theft collection, which is hands down best anti-theft travel duffel bag in terms of security.
Their first unique feature is the addition of the eXomesh Slashguard, which is a stainless steel wire mesh that has been embedded into the fabric of their bags. If a thief tries to slash your bag, their knife won’t penetrate, and your gear will stay inside your tough duffel bag, where it belongs.
Pacsafe’s second innovation is their ToughZip zippers, which resist punctures from sharp objects meant to get between the teeth and split the zipper wide open. The zippers on the main compartment are also lockable for extra protection.
The small model is meant to be the best carry on duffel you can get, with a comfy shoulder strap, handles, and some compression straps for a tight pack.
The medium and large duffel bag sizes add in some backpack straps and a zippered side pocket for your smaller items.
The extra large duffel bag takes it even further, adding some Hypalon bumpers on the corners and treaded wheels to make transporting it even easier, making this the best rolling duffel bag in terms of safety.
All 4 sizes include the webbing loops to tie your bag down during travel and an ID pocket in case your rugged duffel bag gets lost on the way.
Whether you prefer to travel around the world or closer to home, this anti-theft duffel bag will never leave you worrying about watching your back.
Material: 420D Bon Check Dobby
Sizes: Small (45 Liters), Medium (80 Liters), Large (100 Liters), X-Large (120 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered side pocket
Weight (Size Large): 3.55 lbs
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps, adjustable shoulder strap, top and side haul handles
Other Features: Compression straps, webbing loops, ToughZip zippers, eXomesh slashguard, lockable zippers, zippered ID pocket
Not everyone needs an extra large travel duffel bag to carry all their belongings. For the minimalist in the group, Timbuk2’s Navigator collection offers a great set of travel and camp duffel bags.
There are 3 sizes in this collection. The small duffel bag has a 30 Liter capacity, perfect for use as a carry on or overnight bag.
At 60 Liters, the medium is great for a few days on the road. And the largest size holds a maximum of 90 Liters for those longer trips.
There are multiple carry options for these duffel bags as well. The backpack straps keep your hands free when on a rugged trail or climbing to your destination.
When you don’t need them, you can just unclip them at the bottom and stow them in their own little pockets.
Dual carry straps and grab handles make it easy to load and unload. The small and medium also have a removable shoulder strap for added convenience.
The inner compartment is spacious enough to hold your clothing, plus a few extras. There are 2 outer zippered pockets for your smaller items, including underwear, socks, electronics and more. Velcro flaps over the zippers keep the water out for dry gear when you need it.
Another zippered compartment on the bottom keeps your dirty shoes away from your clean items or can hold magazines and books for a long flight.
When your trip is over, this space doubles as a stuff sack, allowing you to compress the whole duffel bag into it for easy storage until you need it again.
Sizes: Small (30 Liters), Medium (60 Liters), Large (90 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: External zippered pockets, bottom zipper compartment
Weight (Size Large): 4 lbs
Carrying Straps: Stowable backpack straps, detachable shoulder strap, dual carry straps, grab handles
Other Features: Stuffs into bottom compartment for storage
The North Face Flyweight Duffel Review – Best Packable Duffel Bag
Though only available in one size, this packable duffel bag is one of the best available in terms of compression.
The whole thing can be squeezed into the internal pocket, making a tiny package you can store anywhere, even in a larger bag for those trips when you think you might be bringing back enough souvenirs to require an extra carry bag.
And because it weighs less than half a pound, it won’t put you over any weight limits or drag you down, even if packed to capacity.
This alone might make this the best travel duffel bag around, but it is handy to use as well.
There are a few pockets scattered in and out of the main compartment, keeping your smaller gear separate from your other larger items so they don’t get lost. Backpack straps keep your hands free during your travels.
They can also be tied together to make a long shoulder strap for shorter travels.
When you don’t need them, detach them and store them away to keep the carry handles free. These also button together for easier carrying.
This nylon duffel bag may be a bit too small to make it the best camping bag for a week or two in the woods, but as an overnight bag, a gym duffel bag, or a carry on for shorter weekend trips, you can’t go wrong with the Flyweight duffel bag.
If packing light is your thing, the The North Face Flyweight Duffel is the right travel duffel for you.
Sizes: One size (32 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Outer zippered pocket, stretch sleeve pocket, inner zippered pocket
Weight (Size Large): 7 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable backpack straps/shoulder strap, grab handles
Other Features: Stuffs into internal pocket
Made in the USA and built to hold up to any type of abuse you can throw at it (rain or shine), the Scout Duffel is a great minimalist duffel bag. It’s simple, strong, and just as functional to pack for weekend trips as it is for your weekly gym routine.
Built from 1000 denier Cordura® nylon and lined with North St. Bags signature waterproof X-PacTM sailcloth I love the fact that this duffel is waterproof (minus the zipper), yet doesn’t look like you’re heading to Everest base camp..
The Scout Duffel comes in 3 sizes—small (7 Liters), medium (15 Liters), Large (30 Liters)—with the largest size being the perfect fit for an overnight bag. Both the medium and large bag would work well as a travel carry on bag.
I’d love to see North St. come out with a larger version of this bag with backpack straps that could be used on longer trips.
The bag features a zippered interior pocket with lanyard to secure any keys or other important items.
For short hauls the bags rugged dual carry handles will work fine, but for longer journeys you’ll want to attach the removable shoulder strap to sling the bag over your should.
All-in-all the Scout Duffel is a incredibly well-constructed (each bag is made to order in Portland) bag that offers a timeless look, which is a good thing because your bag will last for decades.
Material: 1000 denier Cordura® nylon lined with waterproof X-PacTM sailcloth
Sizes: Small (7 Liters), Medium (15 Liters), Large (30 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Internal zippered pocket w/lanyard
Weight (Size Large): 1.5 lbs
Carrying Straps: Detachable shoulder strap, dual carry straps
Other Features: Made in USA
If you want the best travel duffel bag for outdoor use, the two most important details you’ll be looking for are durability and waterproofing.
The Sea To Summit Nomad Duffel Bag line uses tough materials and rugged construction to meet all of these needs at once.
Waterproof tarpaulin laminate keeps your gear dry when a shelter is out of range. The base is made of 1000D nylon for a thicker padding to reduce abrasions during your travels and when it’s placed on rougher ground.
There are multiple attach points for lashing down your bag onto a car rack, as well as for the carry straps and any compression straps you may feel the need to add.
All of these are located on a 360-degree yoke to add more strength and reduce tearing.
The straps are three-way convertible for added convenience. You can attach both on the top and bottom of the bag to turn it into a backpack, or place them on the sides as carry handles.
If a shoulder strap is preferred, attach one strap diagonally, adjust the length, and pack the other one away until you need it.
The lid has a huge opening for easy packing and searching for those items you need, and is padded for added comfort when carrying the bag on your back. This is especially important because of the inner pocket on the lid.
Both your back and your stuff will be safe thanks to this extra layering. Another handy feature is the magnets in the carry straps, keeping them together for added convenience.
Material: Tarpaulin laminate
Sizes: Small (45 Liters), Medium (65 Liters), Large (90 Liters), X-Large (130 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered pocket in the lid
Weight (Size Large): 4 lbs 1 oz
Carrying Straps: Three-way detachable straps (backpack, carry, shoulder), grab handles
Other Features: Compression straps, lash points, magnets in carry straps
Best Rolling Duffel Bag Reviews
Eagle Creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel Review – Best Rolling Duffel Bag for International Travel
It can be hard to carry a heavy duffel bag filled to capacity by hand or on your shoulder. That’s why Eagle Creek added wheels to the larger sizes of their No Matter What Duffel Bags.
Plus just like their other great luggage, Eagle Creek didn’t skimp when it comes to performance. The wheels are super-treaded for the maximum amount of grip on any terrain, from smooth concrete to muddy trails.
This alone doesn’t make these bags the best wheeled travel duffel bags around. But their durability might.
The Bi-Tech fabric is both abrasion and water resistant for protection against everything you may come in contact with.
There are even storm flaps over both the lockable main zipper and the external pocket zipper to keep everything you’re carrying safe and dry.
Seam reinforcements are strategically placed on all the high-stress areas of these rolling travel duffel bags. External compression straps keep everything inside locked into place, making it easier to find what you need in an emergency.
There is a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap when you need to carry your bag, and sturdy carry handles.
Side haul handles make it easy to maneuver your wheeled duffel bag through a busy airport or down to your campsite.
An included stuff sack lets you pack up your duffel bag easily, even with the wheels. And during your travels, it can also be used as an extra bag for dirty shoes or laundry you want to keep separated from your cleaner items.
The Eagle Creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel comes in both large and extra large sizes, which means you’ll have no trouble finding the best water resistant duffel bag with wheels for your next adventure.
Sizes: Large (105 Liters), X-Large (128 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Front zippered pocket
Weight (Size Large): 3 lbs 14 oz
Carrying Straps: Detachable shoulder strap, haul handle, grab handles
Other Features: Lockable zippers, external compression straps, stuff sack
This bag is designed for durability and ease of use. It has a strong frame, making it very tough for a roller bag. The thick polyester ripstop fabric with a TPU-film laminate resists abrasions.
The addition of a DWR finish protects your belongings from light rain or snow, without reducing the bags breathability. The material is also 50% solution-dyed, which holds the color of the bag longer, even when exposed to direct sunlight.
Wheels and a telescoping handle make it easy to carry along when you don’t want to use a bag with backpack straps.
The frame and wheel-stand keep the bag upright when fully packed. The oversized treaded wheels make travel smooth over all types of surfaces.
All three sizes of these bags have the same features, except for one. The small rolling duffel bag lacks the carry handles found on the other two sizes.
Everything else about these bags remains the same. This includes the large main compartment with a wide U-shaped opening and the internal and external pockets for storing your smaller items.
When your bag is fully packed, clip the internal compression straps and tighten them up to keep your gear from flopping around inside during your travels.
Though these travel duffel bags with wheels are a bit heavy compared to other models, the easy rolling and sturdy frame make them worth the extra weight.
Material: 900D polyester ripstop with TPU-film laminate
Sizes: Small (40 Liters), Medium (70 Liters), Large (120 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered side pocket, zippered mesh pockets in lid
Weight (Size Large): 8 lbs 10 oz
Carrying Straps: Carry handles, haul handles
Other Features: Telescoping handle, internal compression, daisy chains
New for 2017, this Eagle Creek rolling duffel bag has many features that you’ll find on other models, and a few you won’t.
There is only one size, with a 129 Liter capacity. It has a telescoping handle, carry straps, and haul handles for versatility during travel. Lockable zippers and lash points are also nothing new.
But don’t write this one off just yet as an everyday duffel bag. There is one unique feature that makes this large rolling duffel bag one of a kind.
In the main compartment, there is a zippered divider that can be left open for one large packing area or zipped closed to create two separate compartments.
This allows you to sort your gear and place the softer materials in the top area since they won’t need the extra protection. This includes clothing, shoes, or anything else that won’t be damaged by a bit of rough treatment.
The lower area has a rigid structure that protects the objects inside from damage during impact.
This drop bottom is perfect for more delicate items, though you may want to add a soft layer around them just to be sure they’ll still be intact when you reach your destination. There are also compression straps in this area for added security.
The Bi-Tech Armor Lite material and the heavy-duty wheels and housings ensure your bag will last much longer than you will and can travel over any type of terrain you come in contact with.
Reflective accents keep you visible at all times, even if the lighting isn’t the best.
New for 2017 the Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel has been hugely popular and recived great feedback so far.
Material: 420D two-tone Poly, 300D Diamond Ripstop Poly, 500D Oxford Poly
Sizes: One size (129 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Zippered end pockets
Weight (Size Large): 8 lbs 4 oz
Carrying Straps: Carry straps, haul handles
Other Features: Lockable zippers, external lash points, internal compression straps, zip-away middle divider, reflective accents, telescoping handle
When you’re traveling, you need a bag that is very tough and strong. The Rolling Thunder Duffel Bag from The North Face has this in every aspect.
The perforated back panel is lightweight, but still strong enough to withstand some impact on the road.
The fabric is very durable as well, made up of this company’s Bomber Base Camp material. Also called 1000D polyester with TPE lamination, it resists abrasions and tears for a longer lasting duffel bag.
It is combined with rugged nylon to increase its strength. There are even plastic bumpers on all the wear points to keep every inch of your duffel bag in perfect condition.
There are 4 sizes to choose from, from the 33 Liter small rolling duffel bag to the huge model that has an amazing capacity of up to 155 Liters.
Though the larger sizes may not work for this, the small and medium bags are lighter than other wheeled bags, making it possible to use them as carry-on bags.
Wheels and a handle also make it easy to carry since you can pull them behind you, taking up less space in a tight airplane aisle.
Though there are no carry straps for these bags, there are haul handles at each end to lift it into an overhead bin or up onto your car’s rack.
There is also a Sherpa strap for attaching other bags to your Rolling Thunder while in transit.
Material: 1000D polyester with TPE lamination
Sizes: Small (33 Liters), Medium (40 Liters), Large (80 Liters), X-Large (155 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: External zippered pockets, zippered mesh pocket on inner lid
Weight (Size Large): 9 lbs 14 oz
Carrying Straps: Haul handles
Other Features: Daisy chains, Sherpa strap, ID window, telescoping handle, plastic bumpers
There are 2 sizes of this Thule duffel bag, giving you the right one for shorter weekend trips or for longer excursions that require extra gear.
The Dobby nylon is water resistant for those damp runs to the car or tent. This material is also durable.
The hardware used for the frame is made of aluminum, keeping the weight down and saving your arms and back during long treks.
The main compartment is divided into two separate areas. This allows you to keep your gear sorted by use, cleanliness, or dampness. The bottom portion has a strong exoskeleton and a molded polypropylene back panel.
This keeps everything inside safe, absorbing the impact if your bag is dropped or tossed around roughly by a baggage handler.
The most interesting feature of this water resistant duffel bag with wheels is the outer storage area. This is no regular pocket, but a crushproof SafeZone compartment for your breakables.
This includes all types of gear, from your electronics to your goggles, and even smaller items like sunglasses.
Most importantly, this compartment is removable and lockable, so you can take it out when you want to travel light or need more room in your main compartment for regular gear.
Together, these features make the Crossover Wheeled Duffel the best travel duffel bag in terms of secure storage.
Material: Dobby nylon
Sizes: Small (56 Liters), Large (87 Liters)
Organizational Pockets: Crushproof SafeZone compartment
Weight (Size Large): 9.47 lbs
Carrying Straps: Carry straps, haul handles
Other Features: Compression straps, divided main compartment, telescoping handle
Comparison Chart of the Best Travel Duffel Bags of 2018
|Name||Image||Sizes & Volume||Weight (Size L)||Backpack Straps||Wheels||Price||Our Rating|
Travel Duffel Bags
|The North Face Base Camp Duffel||XS (31L)|
|4 lbs 0.9 oz||Yes||No||$$-$$$$|
|Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag||S (45L)|
|3 lbs 11 oz||Yes||No||$$$|
|Gregory Alpaca Duffle||S (30L)|
|Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2||S (30L)|
|Arc'teryx Carrier Duffel||S (40L)|
|1 lb 7 oz||Yes||No||$$-$$$|
|Osprey Packs Transporter Duffel||S (40L)|
|2 lbs 7 oz||Yes||No||$$-$$$|
|Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel||S (45L)|
|2 lbs 2 oz||Yes||No||$$-$$$|
|Marmot Long Hauler Duffel||S (35L)|
|2 lbs 12 oz||Yes||No||$$-$$$|
|Thule Chasm Duffel||S (40L)|
|4 lbs 2 oz||Yes||No||$$-$$$$|
|Mammut Cargon Duffel||XS (40L)|
|Pacsafe Duffelsafe Anti-Theft Duffel Bag||S (45L)|
|Timbuk2 Navigator Duffel Bag||S (30L)|
|The North Face Flyweight Duffel||S (32L)||7 oz||Yes||No||$$|
|Sea To Summit Nomad Duffel Bag||S (45L)|
|4 lbs 1 oz||Yes||No||$$-$$$|
Rolling Duffel Bags
|Eagle Creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel||L (105L)|
|3 lbs 14 oz||Yes||Yes||$$$-$$$$|
|Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel||S (40L)|
|8 lbs 10 oz||No||Yes||$$$-$$$$|
|Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel||L (129L)||8 lbs 4 oz||No||Yes||$$$-$$$$|
|The North Face Rolling Thunder||S (33L)|
|9 lbs 14 oz||No||Yes||$$$-$$$$|
|Thule Crossover Wheeled Duffel||S (56L)|
Guide to Finding the Best Duffel Bag for Travel
So, what makes the best travel duffel bag?
The answer depends on how you plan to travel and use the bag. Let us have a look at some pros and cons in a duffel bag while considering different features that are offered on select bags.
What is a Travel Duffel Bag?
Like regular duffel bags, travel duffel bags are made to carry a lot of gear. But these ones have special features you won’t find on a regular duffel bag.
There are backpack straps, wheels and handles added for more carry and travel options. They are also made of highly durable materials to withstand the rigors of travel.
Other features on a travel duffel you won’t find on a regular model are lockable zippers, organizational pockets, and compression straps, among others.
This keeps your belongings safe, and keep everything in place when your bag is jostled in an overhead compartment or tossed around by any baggage handlers.
The best travel duffel bag also comes in a variety of sizes to choose from, making them a great choice for carry ons or checked baggage, as well as the best camping duffel or sports bag.
From international vacations to weeks in the wild, a travel duffel bag can meet all your needs.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Travel Duffel Bags
Lightweight: Comfort is an important factor. It is best to have a lightweight bag making sure you don’t have to carry extra weight.
Durable: One of the most important things in a duffel bag is durability. It makes sure your bag lasts long enough.
Fabric: The fabric should be of high quality. Tear resistant and water resistant fabrics are even better and will keep your gear dry in all conditions.
Size: This generally depends on your requirement. A well-sized bag, not too small or big should be preferred. Having compression straps allow you to cinch up extra space if the bag is not full.
Straps: It is better to have a bag that has multiple straps, which allows different carrying styles. Shoulder carry straps are available in almost all duffel bags, however, it is great to have a bag which has backpack straps as well. This makes for much easier carrying over long distances.
Low quality: No matter how good your bag is, a low-quality seam really reduces its durability. While buying, check the seams very carefully. It’s also a good idea to go with a brand you trust and one that stands behind their products. All bags mentioned here are produced by brands I trust to make high-quality gear.
Limited usage: Duffel bags are great for a certain type of traveling, however, they are not very suitable for hiking or trekking. For sports use and backpacking in the wilderness, normal backpacks are still better. Again, if you are going to be only traveling from your cab to the hotel’s front doorstep, then roller luggage may suit you better.
Considering these factors the bottom line is that a high-quality duffel bag should be strong, durable, lightweight, fit your size, have good straps, and have a high-quality build.
With all these factors in mind, consider the best travel duffel bag for your type and style of travel.
Do You Prefer to Carry a Backpack or Roll Your Bag?
When it comes to carry options, the best travel duffel bag will have a few different methods to choose from. Like regular duffels, there will likely be carry handles and haul straps.
Shoulder straps are also common, but depending on the other options available, these may not be included in a travel model.
One unique option for these bags is the backpack straps. These are usually detachable, so you can add them when needed and remove when not.
If you’re traveling longer distances, these are great to have. But if you’re just carrying your bag to the car or up to your room, these may not be worth it.
Another type of travel duffel uses a handle and wheels instead. Some people find using large travel duffel bags with wheels are better for use in airports or other areas with limited space or room to maneuver.
But wheels are no good when used on rougher surfaces, so for more rugged conditions, straps are the best choice.
What to Consider When Choosing a Travel Duffel Bag
Ease of Transport
The beauty of the best travel duffel bag is that they are easy to transport pretty much anywhere, thanks to the different styles of handles and straps they have.
You can choose the best option for your destination and travel type to make sure you have the best bag to make your load the easiest to manage.
Handles & Straps
There are a few different types of straps. The best travel duffel bag will use a combination of these to make it as easy as possible to move your bag from one place to another.
Shoulder straps are long, capable of looping over your shoulder to carry your bag that way. There are also shorter carry straps, one on each side. These let you carry your travel duffel bag by hand when needed.
Haul straps are usually found on the end of your bag, or sometimes on all four sides. These make it easy to lift your bag into an overhead bin, onto your car’s roof rack, or onto the back of a pack animal.
Backpack straps let you strap your bag onto your back, leaving your hands free for whatever you need to do.
If you’re in an airport and need to show your papers or in the woods checking the map or GPS, or even need to make a call, the bag will still be secure and in your possession.
Since travel duffels can hold so much gear, their backpack straps are made to be comfortable to wear under all that weight.
They are usually padded to keep from digging into your shoulders and causing any pain. The best duffel backpack will also have adjustable straps to give you the perfect fit.
Wheeled duffels have a few things to watch for. The length of the handle is important because if you’re quite tall, you need to be able to reach it comfortably.
But if it’s too tall for you, you may end up with your bag hanging too low to the ground, making it awkward to pull.
The frame must be a bit stiff to be able to hold all your gear without bending, or you may distort the handle. This also keeps your stuff safe if you knock over your bag.
The size of the wheels will affect how well your bag rolls over certain surfaces. Small, thin wheels will be fine on smooth floors, but useless on rougher surfaces, like cobblestones.
The best travel duffel with wheels will likely use wider, treaded wheels to make it the transition between different surfaces much easier for your bag to handle.
Packing & Accessibility to Your Gear
Packing your travel duffel bags is as easy as packing a suitcase.
There is usually a wide, U-shaped, zippered opening to the main compartment, giving you more than enough room to pack your clothing, gym equipment, or climbing gear without forcing anything in through the hole.
Most of these bags also have a few pockets as well. These can be found on the lid, the sides, and the ends of the best travel duffel bag models.
If you have some smaller items you want to keep separated from your larger items, these are especially handy, so you don’t have to waste time rummaging through the larger area to find those little pieces of your gear.
Size & Weight
The top travel duffel bags come in a variety of sizes, with capacities ranging from 30 Liters to over 150 Liters. This gives you multiple options to choose from for any type of trip.
Whether you need only a few things for an overnight or weekend stay, or a week’s worth of clothing and other gear, you’ll have no trouble finding a bag big enough, or small enough, to handle everything you need.
But you need to remember that the larger the bag, the more weight you’ll be carrying. Travel duffels with regular and backpack straps are usually pretty light, adding on a few pounds at the most.
But a rolling duffel bag will be heavier, sometimes as much as 10 extra pounds over what’s packed inside it.
If you’re traveling by car, this may not make much of a difference, but for air travel with size and weight restrictions, you’ll need to choose your bag carefully.
When it comes to the best travel duffel bag, there is no one material that makes it top of the list. Many of them use a variety of fabrics, adding the strongest onto the most worn areas.
Polyester and nylon are the most common ones used in travel duffel bags. These materials are both lightweight and durable, though nylon is a bit stronger.
Both materials are also stretch and shrink resistant, so you won’t need to worry about your bag changing shape through overuse.
Polyester does dry faster, though, so if you’re planning on using your bag for more outdoor travels, it may be a better choice.
Ripstop material is best of all. If you happen to tear your bag on a sharp object, this weave will keep the tear from spreading until you can patch the area.
There are many things that factor into the durability of a travel duffel. The first is the material used. Strong materials like nylon or polyester are best, because they won’t tear easily, and are also lightweight for easier carrying. Good seams are also important for a long-lasting travel bag.
You should also watch for the attachments of the straps, daisy chains, or other loops for hauling your bag around.
These all need to be made well, or they will let go, leaving you with reduced options when it comes to traveling with your bag.
The same goes for zippers. Weak teeth will let go with the slightest tug, possibly dumping the contents of your bag onto the ground as you walk.
Keep in mind that the best travel duffel bag companies have considered all of this, strengthening their products for long-term use. But this also comes at a higher cost, though it may be worth it in the long run.
Weather resistance is important in all types of travel gear. You never know when the rain or snow is going to fall, no matter what the weather forecast says.
Even if you’re only out in the dampness for a minute or two, your stuff can still get wet if your travel bag doesn’t have some type of water resistant coating on it.
Another thing to look for is fully taped seams and flaps over the zippers.
The smallest hole can let water into even the best travel duffel bag, so cover as many of them as you can to ensure you’ll have dry clothing and working electronics when you get to your destination and pull them out.
If you plan on spending the majority of your travel time outside backpacking or camping, then upgrade the weather resistance with waterproofing to ensure you have the right amount of protection.
Though the large main compartment of a travel duffel will have more than enough room to hold everything you need to pack, it sucks having to dig through it to find smaller items, especially in an emergency.
That’s why the best travel duffel bag will come with a variety of organizational pockets to keep your little gear separate from your larger belongings.
Outer pockets are usually found on the side or ends of your bag, though some on the lid or bottom are also possible.
These usually have water resistant zippers or flaps to keep everything inside dry. Inner pockets on the lid or inside walls are also common. They are usually made of mesh, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Choosing the color for your travel duffel bag is more important than you might think. Many people look at the colors in terms of style and preference, but you need to consider a few factors that may alter your decision.
The most common color of any bag is black, but if you’re trying to find your bag on a busy airport carousel, it may be hard to spot your black one in a sea of others.
But if you choose a brighter color or a two-tone travel bag you don’t normally see during your travels, you’ll have less trouble locating your gear.
Of course, if you’re spending your time outside, the best travel duffel bag for you may be one that’s darker, allowing you to blend into your surroundings.
This is especially important if your hunting or using your bag to carry any type of military or survival gear. A brighter bag will draw attention in these types of conditions, so subtlety will be a necessity.
Aside from the features already mentioned, there are a few others you may want to consider to make using the best travel duffel bag even more convenient.
One of these handy features is an ID pocket. This allows you to put your contact info inside on a card. If you lose a bag, whoever finds it can then let you know where it is.
Locking zippers are a great security measure to ensure no one is rifling through your belongings when your bag is out of sight. Daisy chains are also handy for tying your bag down on a car rack or a pack animal.
Compression straps keep everything in your bag securely in place during your travels. They also help to shrink the size of your bag if needed.
A stuff sack is great for storing your travel duffel between trips. Many of these bags use an inside pocket as an attached sack, making it even more convenient.
To get the best travel duffel bag on the market, you’re going to have to spend a bit of money. These can run you a couple hundred dollars, especially if you’re buying one with every possible feature. But when you consider what you’re actually getting, it may be worth it in the long run.
This is because cheap duffel bags will tear or leak before you even get a decent amount of use into them.
You’re paying for quality, and by going for the lowest priced models available, that’s what you’ll be sacrificing.
But if you are on a budget, you can find some a bit cheaper that will still have the features you want and the durability you need.
If possible, save up for a while before buying, just so you can be sure you’re getting a high-quality bag that will last for a few years.
The Bottom Line
Having a top rated travel duffel bag at your disposal will guarantee you have the right luggage to carry everything you will possibly need.
They are durable, easy to use, and come with a variety of features that will meet any need you may possibly have, no matter what type of trip you like to go on. Close to home or across an ocean, the best travel duffel bag goes where you do.
For the overall best travel duffel bag you can get, there are none better than the Osprey Transporter. With 4 sizes to choose from, this heavy-duty, water-resistant bag is strong enough to last through even the roughest adventures.
If you plan on taking your vacations at a more modern venue, you may prefer the Eagle Creek No Matter What Rolling Duffel, which is the best rolling travel duffel bag on our list. The reinforced seams and hefty fabric will keep it together. Plus it stores in its handy stuff sack, wheels and all.
The best gear bag for outdoors has to be The North Face Base Camp collection. These rugged bags can withstand even the toughest conditions.
When it comes to security, the Pacsafe Duffelsafe Anti-Theft Duffel Bag is the best around. Nothing will go missing when you have it stored in one of these.
If you’re on a budget or want the lightest weight bag, then The North Face Flyweight Duffel is a great choice. It only comes in one size, though, and has only the basic features. But it is also the most packable bag on our list for extra convenience.