Duffel bags are the perfect sweet spot between travel backpacks and suitcases. Whether you heading to the in-laws for the weekend, traveling to Europe, or road tripping the US, duffel bags are the best way to get your gear from point A to point B. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to load. However, with so many duffel bags on the market it can be difficult figuring out which one to get. To make your life easier we have listed the best duffel bags for you below.
Comparison Table of the Best Duffel Bags
Below is a list of the best duffel bags for travel. Click on the name to read reviews and check prices.
|adidas Defender III Duffel Bag|
|AmazonBasics Large Duffel Bag|
|Samsonite Tote-a-ton Duffle Bag|
|Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Duffle Bag|
|Gonex Lightweight Travel Duffle Bag|
|Plambag Canvas Duffel Bag|
|bago Travel Duffle Bag|
|Jadyn B Women's Weekender Duffel Bag|
|S-ZONE Canvas Leather Travel Duffel Bag|
|Olympia Rolling Duffel Bag|
What to Look for in a Good Duffel Bag
These are the things you need to consider before getting a new travel duffel bag…
1. Capacity / Size
This may be the most important thing you need to consider. Duffels can be anywhere from around 25 – 150 liters. Your travel style will determine the capacity you should look for. For shorter trips, typically a 25 – 40-liter bag is alright. 50 – 75-liter duffels are generally used as checked bags, and anything above 75 liters is usually used for longer trips or when people need to bring along a lot of gear and equipment.
Also consider the measurements if you’ll be flying a lot. Depending on whether you’ll be using it as a carry-on or checked bag, keep in mind that the dimensions are different for different airlines.
Duffel bags are made out of a lot of different materials. Cotton, nylon, and polyester tend to be the most popular. When looking for a bag, be sure to pay attention to the material it’s made out of, the stitching of the seams, and the quality of the zippers. The higher the denier rating, the tougher the fabric will be.
3. Ease of Carrying
Does it only have handles, or does it have a strap or wheels? These will determine how easy it is to carry when it’s full.
Wheels tend to make duffels the easiest to transport, but they also make the bag heavier. Depending on where you’re traveling, wheels may be more of a con than a pro. If you’re, for example, backpacking through Europe, then you’ll probably encounter a few cobblestone streets that may damage the wheels, and many bags don’t offer replaceable wheels. However, if you’re only rolling your bag through the airport, putting it in a taxi, then heading to your hotel, then wheels may be a good idea for you.
Cushioned shoulder straps are also a popular option and tend to be removable, but it’s all based on your personal preference. Straps are perfect for carrying your bag short distances, assuming it’s not too heavy.
4. Ease of Packing and Unpacking
The way you access the main compartment will determine how easy or difficult it is to get to your stuff. Some bags have a single zipper that zips across the top, but U-shaped and D-shaped openings make for the easiest packing and unpacking.
5. Lockable Zippers
For some people this isn’t a big issue, but for others, lockable zippers give people more peace of mind knowing that others can’t just open their bag whenever they feel like it.
Pockets help with organization, but too many pockets can be unnecessary and difficult to access. Many duffels have interior and exterior pockets and may even offer an additional pocket for your shoes or a padded pocket for your electronics. Consider how much gear you’ll be bringing with you then you can figure out an approximate number that will work best for you. For example, if you always bring your DSLR camera and equipment with you then you may need more pockets than you would if you just take short weekend trips and use your phone as your camera.
7. Weather Resistance
If you’ll be taking your duffel with you through your outdoor adventures or it may end up sitting on the airport tarmac longer than you want, then you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t get easily damaged in the rain or snow. Even if it’s water-resistant, water will soak through in the event of a downpour, so it may be best to put your prized possessions in a dry bag if it’ll be exposed to the elements often.
If you’re flying, typically the weight limit is 50 pounds. On some airlines it’s even less. Rolling duffels are generally heavier than ones without wheels, but easier to get through airports, train stations, etc. Also consider how much you’ll be carrying it. Once you fill up a 50 or 60-liter duffel bag, it’s going to be pretty heavy to carry on your shoulder.
Best Duffel Bag Reviews
Now that you know what to to look for in a travel duffel bag, here are the best ones on the market…
Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Duffle Bag
Under Armour has created a high-quality duffel bag and produced it in five different sizes so you can get the size that’s perfect for you. (Insider tip: if you are looking for the best carry-on duffel bag, then get one of the smaller sizes.) The Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Duffle Bag was designed to be super practical as it has a vented pocket for your travel shoes and laundry, a large front zippered pocket, and a mesh pocket in addition to the main compartment. The UA Storm technology makes it durable and water-resistant, so if you need the best duffel bag for international travel, then you should consider going with the Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Duffle Bag.
adidas Defender III Duffel Bag
The adidas Defender III Duffel Bag has nearly 40 design options and comes in small, medium, and large sizes, making it super easy to find the perfect bag for you. In addition to the roomy main compartment, there are two zippered end pockets and one zippered outside pocket to pack your smaller items like your toiletry bag and travel umbrella. The adidas Defender III Duffel Bag is equipped with FreshPAK technology so whether you’re using it for your weekend trip to NYC and have some dirty clothes inside or as your gym bag, you can rest easy knowing the bag is designed to resist bacterial odors. With its quality construction and so many design options, it should come as no surprise that this is one of the best duffel bags for travel.
AmazonBasics Large Duffel Bag
If you are looking for cheap but durable duffel bag than the AmazonBasics is the best duffel bag for you. Not only is the AmazonBasics Large Duffel Bag the cheapest duffel on this list, it’s also extremely lightweight, thanks to being made from nylon, and big enough for both international and domestic trips. In addition to the main compartment, you’ll have interior and exterior pockets to store items you need to be able to get to quickly, like your passport or travel wallet. Good duffel bags can be hard to find, but AmazonBasics has created one that continues to receive rave reviews.
Samsonite Tote-a-ton Duffle Bag
The Samsonite Tote-a-ton Duffle Bag is a 420 denier nylon bag that’s designed to have endless uses, from travel to storage. This duffel can hold as much as a trunk while only measuring 32.5” x 17” x 11.5”. It’s big enough to protect your 40L backpack as a check-in bag, and when you’re not using it, it easily collapses and weighs only a pound to fit easily wherever you need it to. The Samsonite Tote-a-ton Duffle Bag comes in several colors and the design makes it unique enough that it shouldn’t get mixed up with other bags on the carousel at the airport. It’s a unisex bag, so whether you’re looking for the best duffel bag for men or women, this is a great option.
Gonex Lightweight Travel Duffle Bag
With a 60-liter capacity, this is an ideal substitute for a large suitcase. Along with the main compartment, it has a unique compartment for your shoes or laundry, several pockets, two handles, and an adjustable and removable shoulder strap. The Gonex Lightweight Travel Duffle Bag works the best when you have packing cubes because they allow you to keep everything separate and organized in the roomy interior. The honeycomb 210D nylon fabric puts it among the choices for best duffel bag for air travel because it’s tear-resistant and water-repellent. Whether you’re traveling through Europe or visiting family for the weekend, this bag is an ideal travel companion.
Plambag Canvas Duffel Bag
The Plambag Canvas Duffel Bag is designed with durability in mind. The wear-resistant diamond mats protect the bottom of the bag from damage, three layers of lining help the load-bearing capacity, and it’s equipped with wear-resistant hardware. The cotton canvas is complemented by a nylon lining and bronze tone hardware. The main compartment has a 50-liter capacity, so there’s more than enough room to hold all your clothes and whatever else you need to bring along. Two side zippers even allow you to expand the capacity of the bag. This multi-functional bag definitely earns its spot among the best travel duffel bag products on the market.
bago Travel Duffle Bag
The Travel Duffle Bag is durable, reliable, and perfect for any occasion. Even with its huge capacity (85L), the bags folds up to 30cm x 32cm to act as the perfect “just in case” bag should your luggage be overweight. This amazing bag is available in several different colors and the honeycomb ripstop fabric means it’s tear and wear-resistant. There’s even a water and odor-resistant pocket for your shoes or dirty laundry. Weighing up to 75% less than your standard empty luggage, you can’t go wrong with the bago Travel Duffle Bag.
Jadyn B Women’s Weekender Duffel Bag
The Jadyn B Weekender Duffel Bag is by far the best duffel bag for women. It is made from a 600D polyester and there are three beautiful design options to choose from. In addition to the main compartment, you’ll appreciate the four interior pockets, front exterior pocket, and side shoe pocket. There’s a 13-inch handle drop, making it easy for most people to carry on their shoulder, and there’s also an adjustable shoulder strap for additional comfort. The Jadyn B Women’s Weekender Duffel Bag is a perfect bag to use for a weekend road trip and the best duffel bag for carry-on. It has more than enough space for your clothes, quick-drying travel towel, accessories, and toiletries. Keep your feminine edge and travel in style with the Jadyn B Women’s Weekender Duffel Bag.
S-ZONE Canvas Leather Travel Duffel Bag
The S-ZONE Canvas Leather Travel Duffel Bag is an excellent option whether you need a duffel for daily travel, a weekend trip, or a short business trip. The unisex bag comes in six different color options and is made with a high-density cotton canvas water wash material, a crazy horse leather trim, and sturdy buckles and clasps. It’s dimensions are 21.7” x 14.8” x 10.2” meaning it’ll work perfectly as a carry-on if you’re flying. Thanks to its large capacity, even if you’re traveling in cooler weather, there’s plenty of room for a hoodie or lightweight travel jacket along with the rest of your clothes and toiletries. S-ZONE is a company that values high quality and customer service, so you’ll never regret choosing their Canvas Leather Travel Duffel Bag.
Olympia Rolling Duffel Bag
Topping the list of the best rolling duffel bags is the Olympia Rolling Duffel Bag. The 22” duffel weighs around five pounds and measures 22” x 12” x 12”. This versatile bag makes travel much easier with its eight pockets and reinforced recessed metal ball bearing in-line skate wheels. The bag is made with 1200D polyester and there are around 20 color options to choose from. The U-shape opening system makes accessing all of your belongings easy and the self-repairing excel zippers contribute to its durability. It’s a perfect carry-on bag that looks great and has more space than you’ll expect. Olympia has succeeded in creating the best duffel bag with wheels.
And there you have it – the best duffel bags for travel. No matter which one you choose from our list, you can rest easy knowing you have picked one of the best.