Best Duffel Bags for Travel

10 Best Duffel Bags for Travel in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: January 7, 2021)

Duffel bags are fantastic! On a lengthy business trip with your boss, or a trip away with your friends, you can fill them with just about everything. What we mean about them is that they fall in between a backpack and a suitcase, which in every circumstance makes them extremely flexible. However, even the simplest traveling duffel bag has its advantages. For example, whether you’re dealing with bulkier things like boots, jackets, or camping equipment, they ‘re the best choice.

With that, not all duffel bags are created equal. We checked hundreds and thousands of duffels and assembled a selection of the best models on the market, whether you need a bag for your next trip or just a chic duffel bag to carry for work. Whether you’re traveling by air, heading up to a weekend lodge, or venturing around the globe on an adventure, you’ll usually need a duffel bag to bring your stuff from one location to another. For good reason, Duffels are popular with all styles of travelers: they are simple to pack and transport and many are designed to withstand a beating.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 12 hrs of research

HEXAD Access 45L Duffel Bag for Travel

HEXAD Access 45L Duffel Bag for Travel – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • Shoulder straps seem slim, but they are very comfortable even when the bag is super heavy
  • The bag fits perfectly inside an overhead compartment
  • Made of very rigid material
  • External openings on the side make it super easy to take stuff out when going through airport security

Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag

Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • The material is stout
  • Access to the various zippered compartments is easy enough
  • Separate shoe compartment is nice
  • The zippers are nice and smooth when opening

Best Duffel Bags for Travel – Overview

You need a sturdy duffel bag with the best design and one that is going to last for several years. A duffel bag that suits your requirements, is waterproof, has straps on the shoulder, wheels or will carry for a whole month. Outdoor adventurists along with enthusiastic world travelers and fanatics in action sports all use a duffel bag that would suit their unique needs. Nowadays they are the go-to item any person has in their collection regardless of the recreational activity they do every now and then. Below we break down the best duffel bags for travel including the standard, rolling types, outdoor and waterproof bags.

Duffel Bags for Travel Reviews

1. HEXAD Access 45L Duffel Bag for Travel – Premium Pick

HEXAD Access 45L Duffel Bag for Travel

More functional than a traditional duffel, more versatile than a dedicated travel bag. The HEXAD Access 45L Duffel Bag for Travel was designed to go where no duffels have gone before. The HEXAD Access Duffel features a clamshell opening that gives you complete access to the 3 large compartments inside the bag.

The two bottom compartments were designed to be compatible with our existing Camera Cubes, turning this into our largest photo bag yet. Whether you are using it for photography or not, this is the perfect travel bag for those who want a little more organization.

Key Features:

  • Clamshell opening
  • Two bottom compartments
  • Compatible with its own camera cubes
  • 3 large compartments

Specifications:

  • Brand: WANDRD
  • Capacity: 45L
  • Dimensions: 16.7″ H x 3.9″ W x 22″ D
  • Weight: 4.59 lbs
Pros
  • Shoulder straps seem slim, but they are very comfortable even when the bag is super heavy
  • The bag fits perfectly inside an overhead compartment
  • Made of very rigid material
  • External openings on the side make it super easy to take stuff out when going through airport security
Cons
  • Limited access of tech organization

2. Samsonite Luggage 22 Inch Andante Wheeled Duffel

Samsonite Luggage 22 Inch Andante Wheeled Duffel

Pack your clothes and shoes inside this Samsonite rolling duffel bag for a multi-day journey. Crafted from water-resistant dobby poly, the Samsonite Luggage 22 Inch Andante Wheeled Duffel features a well-constructed build featuring a telescopic pull handle, flat rolling wheels, and long-lasting corner shields.

Designed with external grab handles for fast lifting, this duffel provides a completely lined interior with a U-shaped zipper closing, end pockets for carrying shoes, and a simple shifting. Love samsonite? Check out our review of the best samsonite luggage for our top picks.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight design
  • Large u-shaped opening for easy access to contents
  • Smooth-rolling wheels with locking upright handle for easy mobility
  • Multiple organization pockets
  • Comfortable carry handles

Specifications:

  • Brand: Samsonite
  • Dimensions: 12.5″ H x 12.5″ W x 22″ D
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs
Pros
  • The handle is great and easy to close and zipped so its not visible
  • Surrounding where is the wheels are hard material so its ok
  • More roomy that it looks
  • Has multiple transport options for carrying and rolling
Cons
  • Does not stand on its own

3. Osprey Transporter 40 Travel Duffel Bag

Osprey Transporter 40 Travel Duffel Bag

The Osprey Transporter 40 Travel Duffel Bag is built with ruggedly dependable, weather-resistant fabrics. Not just a duffel, it is comfortable to carry, and perfect as a companion on a short trip or for storing your gear. Dual-zippered 3-D end pockets with overlapping rain flaps for quick access to smaller items. Four lower web lashing points are there for securing the duffel.

Built with dual-sided TPU coating inside and out, burly hardware, stiffened main body fabric with protective accent ribs, overlapping zipper rain flaps, and design details protect your gear from external elements like snow, rain, hail, and sun while keeping your sharp points from poking through. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best travel backpacks.

Key Features:

  • Stowaway contoured harness and yoke for comfortable backpack carry
  • Large, lockable U-zip access to the main compartment
  • Internal zippered mesh side panel pocket
  • Included shoulder strap for messenger-style carry

Specifications:

  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Dimensions: 20.9″ H x 12.2″ W x 10.6″ D
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs
Pros
  • Duffle bag strap and backpack strap
  • There are straps inside of the bag to hold things in place
  • This bag comes in some really unique colors
  • You can fold it (comes with own carrying bag for when you fold it)
Cons
  • Lacks a bit of organization

4. Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag – Best Value

Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag

The Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag is a medium size bag perfect as a carry on and weekend bag. You can easily put in over 40LB of items into the bag. Made from unique dragon nylon that provide durability and is water-resistant.

The bag itself is super lightweight but it also includes a trolley strap in the back of the bag to slide into your luggage handle for quick and easy transportation. It is made from double YKK zippers and comes with TSA locks. The side elastic pouch is perfect for storing water bottles, towels, and more. Make sure you also check our selection of the best weekender bags.

Key Features:

  • 4 extra compartments
  • YKK double zippers
  • Soft PE board bottom
  • Trolley strap

Specifications:

  • Brand: Shacke
  • Capacity: 38L
  • Dimensions: 13.5″ H x 9″ W x 19.5″ D
  • Weight: 1.15 lbs
Pros
  • The material is stout
  • Access to the various zippered compartments is easy enough
  • Separate shoe compartment is nice
  • The zippers are nice and smooth when opening
Cons
  • The end pocket does not have a zipper

5. Thule Crossover 56-Litre Rolling Duffel Pack

Thule Crossover 56-Litre Rolling Duffel Pack

Aluminum hardware and water-resistant fabrics combine to create the Thule Crossover 56-Litre Rolling Duffel Pack, a durable bag. The durable exoskeleton and a molded polypropylene back panel absorb the impact of rugged travel. Tough, oversized wheels and v-tubing telescoping handles a smooth, steady and straight pull for years

Compression straps customize the bag to the size of your load. Removable and lockable crushproof safe zone compartment protects your sunglasses, iPhone, portable electronics, and other fragile gear. Divided main compartment keeps clean-from-dirty, wet-from-dry, and work-from-play

Key Features:

  • Dobby Nylon
  • Water-resistant fabrics
  • V-tubing telescoping handles
  • Compression straps

Specifications:

  • Brand: Thule
  • Capacity: 56L
  • Dimensions: 14.96″ H x 12.8″ W x 23.62″ D
  • Weight: 7.68 lbs
Pros
  • No complex pockets inside
  • The little crush proof area is convenient for storing stuff you don’t want to lose
  • Interior tie down straps are nice and long
  • Large wheels rolls well
Cons
  • The aluminum hardware is beautiful, but sharp

6. Eagle Creek 60L Travel Duffel Bag

Eagle Creek 60L Travel Duffel Bag

The Eagle Creek 60L Travel Duffel Bag is made of durable, water repellent coated Bi-Tech Armor Lite fabric with bartack reinforcement on stress points for a high strength to weight ratio. Carry it by its removable backpack straps, padded top haul handles, or side grab handle for easy mobility no matter where your travels take you. Six heavy-duty lash points securely attach this extra-large luggage to the car’s roof rack.

All exterior zippers are lockable with reflective finger loop pulls for easy access even while wearing gloves. The U-shaped lid allows for easy access to the main compartment and the rectangular shape is ideal for stacking. When storing this duffel, just roll and stash in front end zippered compartment. When you’re not using it, this large bag compresses so you don’t have to worry about it.

Key Features:

  • Water repellent Bi-Tech Armor fabric
  • Removable backpack straps
  • Zippers are lockable
  • padded top and side haul handles

Specifications:

  • Brand: Eagle Creek
  • Capacity: 60L
  • Dimensions: 13.5″ H x 10.5″ W x 26.5″ D
  • Weight: 1.75 lbs
Pros
  • These bags fold into themselves with a printed label & diagram stating what is on the inside of the pocket
  • The shoulder straps have ample padding and work fine
  • Lightweight yet strong
  • The square/rectangle size of this filled bag makes more sense
Cons
  • No compression straps

7. YETI Panga Airtight Duffel Bag

YETI Panga Airtight Duffel Bag

The YETI Panga Airtight Duffel Bag is the first non-insulated piece of gear that lives up to the standard of being built for the wild. This is the duffel bag designed for extended backcountry stays, fly fishing that takes you to the most remote rivers, and hunts that almost seem too wild to believe. The airtight closure makes this bag absolutely waterproof and keeps moisture (and whatever else you might come across) out.

The exterior fabric is tough-as-nails. The straps and accompanying lash points make it easy to haul. The hardware laughs in the face of hard knocks. So you have their permission to drag it on the dock, haul it on the boat, or chuck it overboard — they did and the Panga lived to tell the tale.

Key Features:

  • Thickskin shell
  • Dryhaul straps
  • Hydrolok zipper
  • Metallock hardware

Specifications:

  • Brand: YETI
  • Capacity: 50L
  • Dimensions: 14″ H x 10″ W x 23.5″ D
  • Weight: 5.18 lbs
Pros
  • Surprisingly comfortable to carry as a backpack duffle
  • Very well built
  • his bag won’t tear but a well placed rock would puncture it
  • Great for a wet and wild adventure
Cons
  • A little rigid, but that should be expected

8. Adidas Unisex Defender II Medium Duffel Bag

Adidas Unisex Defender II Medium Duffel Bag

The Adidas Unisex Defender II Medium Duffel Bag is a multi-purpose duffel with loads of value. Coming in sizes Small, Medium, and Large and tons of great colors – you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you. Great for sport or school, the Defender II Duffel is packed with features at a great value.

Features a FreshPAK ventilated shoe tunnel for wet/dry storage. There is easy access to all your gear. Internal valuables pocket for small items. The main zippered compartment is roomy enough to stash your gym clothes or cover you for a long trip. this bag is built to last – with a lifetime warranty and a reinforced material – the value can not be beaten.

Key Features:

  • 2 zippered end pockets
  • Reinforced 3d ripstop material 
  • Padded removable shoulder strap
  • 1 interior pocket and 2 exterior pockets

Specifications:

  • Brand: adidas
  • Dimensions: 11.75″ H x 11″ W x 20.5″ D
  • Weight: 1 lbs
Pros
  • The middle compartment is huge
  • The material is great even though they are not that thick
  • Great value for the price
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Side pockets aren’t tunnels, so you cant fit shoes or wet clothes on the side

9. Patagonia Black Hole 60L Duffle Bag

Patagonia Black Hole 60L Duffle Bag

The Patagonia Black Hole 60L Duffle Bag proves that being stubborn, thick-skinned, and indifferent can be a beautiful thing. Highly weather-resistant, it protects gear from travel and rough handling. Its main compartment is accessed by a zippered U-shaped lid, which has a pair of zippered mesh pockets on the underside for small items. A zippered exterior pocket holds the stuff you need to access quickly.

The padded bottom panel adds structure and helps cushion the load when your duffel gets the baggage-handler treatment. Carrying options include webbing handles with a snap closure and haul loops at either end that facilitate linking multiple bags. Four daisy chains let you lash additional gear to the outside. Made from 15-oz 900-denier polyester ripstop (50% solution-dyed) with a TPU-film laminate and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best duffel bags for men.

Key Features:

  • Burly polyester ripstop with highly weatherproof TPU laminate and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Large opening to main compartment
  • Padded base
  • 15oz 900-denier 100% polyester ripstop

Specifications:

  • Brand: Patagonia
  • Dimensions: 11.8″ H x 9.8″ W x 17.7″ D
  • Weight: 2.44 lbs
Pros
  • Feels sturdy and will probably last a lifetime
  • Quality and sturdy for all types of travel
  • The Pockets under the top flap are nice
  • Light, well-constructed, and just the right size
Cons
  • Could have more outside pockets

10. Thomtery Duffel Bag for Travel

Thomtery Duffel Bag for Travel

The Thomtery Duffel Bag for Travel is a medium size bag perfect as a carry on and weekend bag. Handle, shoulder and crossbody luggage bags, removable adjustable shoulder strap, and dual handles for versatile carrying options.

Comes with multiple pockets, 2 interior zip and 3 exterior compartments, one mesh side pocket, and two with zippers. There is two ventilated air vent that to keep your shoes and dirty gear separate, alleviate the odor and other issues. Widened and thickened shoulder straps with breathable mesh, relieve the pressure of your shoulders.

Key Features:

  • Exterior zipped compartment
  • Two ventilated air vent for shoes
  • Widened and thickened shoulder straps
  • 2 interior zip and 3 exterior compartments

Specifications:

  • Brand: Thomtery
  • Dimensions: 10.2″ H x 10.2″ W x 18.9″ D
  • Weight: 1.54 lbs
Pros
  • Looks stylish and seems to be durable
  • Lots of handy pockets
  • The strap is comfortable and durable
  • Nice outside pockets for your phone
Cons
  • Not the strongest materials

Buying Guide

Weight

Some travelers may not care about their duffel’s weight but it is a concern for others, particularly for heavier rolling versions. Many unwheeled duffels weigh only a couple pounds or fewer, making it convenient to hold them, chuck them into your trunk, and stack them while not in use. Rolling duffel bags tend to be heavier.

Carry Options

Carry it as a backpack or bring it as a tote, there are choices out there so you can pick the one that fits you best. Some of the luxury duffel bags on the market offer removable backpack straps that have some soft padding to make them more comfortable than standard straps. And if you want quick access to your luggage when you’re traveling, and just cover short distances, use a shoulder strap to hold it. Lots of duffel bags come with a removable shoulder strap.

Organization

Remember how much you like access to your things while traveling while buying a duffel. The more compact versions have a wide compartment with little internal structure, whereas more completely integrated designs have convenient external pockets for small objects or enclosed laptop compartments. Most rolling duffels are spacious, with tons of exterior pockets and internal dividers to help you arrange your clothes inside.

Compression Straps

Compression straps, internal as well as external, can help make the load of a duffel more compact. Internal straps relieve the pressure from the zipper and seal the stuff inside the duffel to keep the duffel from moving.

Water Resistance

Duffels marketed as “water-resistant” are built to secure your belongings from light rain and soggy dirt. Such versions also use a laminate to protect their robust ripstop fabric that prevents moisture from leaking in (typically a DWR treatment or anything similar). A DWR solution is certainly a good option for anyone who uses a duffel: while traveling, the weather is volatile, you never know if your duffel could be stuck in the rain for a while, so it is very useful for outdoor usage.

Frequently Ask Questions

What’s a good size duffel bag?

A good size for a carry-on is 22 x 14 x 9. By adhering to these dimensions, you can be sure that you won’t encounter any problems at any airlines in the world.

Are duffel bags better than suitcases?

If you don’t intend to bring a lot of large and bulky items, duffel bags would be better in the sense that they are easier to pack and store as well as cheaper than suitcases made from Aluminum.

What size duffel bag can I carry on a plane?

Like all other types of bags like backpacks, 22 x 14 x 9 is the standard dimension that will fit with most airline requirements.

Conclusion

We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best duffel bags for travel as well as our guide on features to look for in a duffel bag for travel. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.