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The 12 best duffle bags for every travel need in 2023

Sep 23, 2023Sep 23, 2023



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Summer is just around the corner and so is that vacation you booked last year! Whether you’re renting out a house in Nantucket, spending a week on the Amalfi Coast or doing a stateside National Park roadtrip, your luggage could make or break your trip.

Take it from someone who's cheap, oversized suitcase once cracked open on the baggage claim conveyer belt and had to mortifyingly picked up their sprawled out items, one by one — you don't want to be that person. At one point, someone even handed me a pair of my underwear!

Needless to say, investing in a solid set of luggage is worth the price. With so many options on the market, sometimes it's best to go back to the basics: a duffle.

Few bags offer a simple, versatile, utilitarian design like the good ole’ duffle. While the soft, oblong bag with two straps and one opening works in many situations, like anything in life, a standard duffle won't fit everyone's wants and desires. Luckily, these days the modern day duffle bag comes in all shapes and sizes — small, large, wheels, no wheels, waterproof, canvas, shoe slots, pockets — you name it, the duffle you want probably exists.

Whether you’re looking for a designer option from Louis Vuitton, something heavy duty from YETI or even a no-fuss option with wheels — or list includes a dozen great picks, according to raving reviews.

The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag comes in four different sizes (40L, 55L, 70L and 100L) and is made of 100% recycled body fabric, lining and webbing. The zippered side pocket can be reached from the outside and inside of the bag and the mesh interior lid pocket keeps small essentials organized and close by. The best part? It can be worn on your back with the assistance of padded shoulder straps or by hand with the durable handle straps.

"Love this bag for a million reasons, but most importantly its sleek design and durability put it over the top. 5/5 would recommend for all uses, work to travel," said a happy customers on the Patagonia website.

Away's 70L travel duffle is the largest bag in the brand's F.A.R collection and holds a checked suitcase amount of gear for week-long-plus excursions, whether you’re headed to a Big Sur campground or a road trip around Iceland. Made from a lightweight, high-strength polyester, this bag features a unique compression system that helps you pack more in and convertible padded straps that allow you to conveniently transport the duffle like a backpack for longer distances.

"Away set a high bar with their luggage. As an owner of multiple Away Carry-On and Medium suitcases, I know how good their products can be. So I had high expectations for the F.A.R. Duffle," said a reviewer. "I can happily say that it has met or exceeded most of them!"

"This is a very thought out duffle bag. I’ve used it on a couple trips and the bag holds A LOT. You can easily put a week and some worth of clothes on there," said another customer.

For an extra durable, 100% waterproof option — YETI will not disappoint. Available in three sizes (50L, 75L and 100L) the Panga Series Airtight Duffle Bag can fit a ton of items and features a sturdy landing pad made of nylon, making it nearly impenetrable and puncture-resistant. The bag also includes two easy-to-access mesh pockets inside the duffle to safely store valuables and a "hydrolok zipper" to ensure all water stays out and everything inside stays dry.

"This bag has held up to the water, sand, airports, and the military tossing it around. I plan on buying another one very soon for my next deployment," one reviewer said, who bought this bag for his deployment.

"During a couple of layovers our bags got soaked as they moved to another plane. The bag held up prefect and kept everything dry. No rips or air pressure lost. All my gear was just as I packed it when I opened it up," he added. "I had this bag loaded out to 75 pounds with no issue and the fit was perfect on my back. The straps are made really nice and thick and offer lots of support when walking through those long airports or base for check in."

The Herschel Novel duffle is an ideal weekender that features a functional side-access shoe compartment, keeping footwear separate and easily accessible. Other components of the bag to mention are the waterproof zipper, reinforced handles for comfortable carrying. the removable padded shoulder strap and internal mesh storage sleeve.

"I am very pleased with the quality of this bag. It is very roomy, yet not heavy and I love the lining," a happy customer wrote. "This is not a typical duffle bag. I have no doubt that my new Herschel bag will be with me for many years to come."

If you’re on a budget but don't want to sacrifice quality, go for the Adidas Team Issue 2 Medium Duffel Bag. Whether you’re looking for a new gym bag or need something for your next weekend trip, Adidas won't let you down.

Multiple zip pockets stow your small essentials, and a separate compartment isolates your shoes. A water-resistant base helps keep everything dry. The padded shoulder strap and carry handles offer easy transport.

"This bag is the perfect size for my son to transport his baseball equipment. It is also very durable. He used it for the whole middle school baseball season and it is still in great shape," said one Amazon reviewer. "This speaks volumes because my son is 13 years old and needless to say, the bag has been through a lot! I highly recommend this product!"

Use this small duffle for everything from your gym bag to your work bag and everything in-between. It was designed with plenty of divided space in mind and features an exterior padded pocket for a 13″ laptop, a shoe "garage" for sweaty sneakers, an external pocket to hold a water bottle and plenty of interior pockets to store essentials.

"This bag is excellent. Been using it for a few days but it has lots of space for my gym equipment. Love the little pockets inside, they’re big enough to place my supplements and water bottle (16 oz)!" said a lululemon customer.

For a large duffle that will stand the test of time, consider the L.L.Bean Mountain Classic Cordura Duffle bag. It was designed with incredibly rugged, tough-as-nails, 1000D Cordura nylon to take on any adventure. Cordura fabric is known worldwide for its superior strength, water repellency and abrasion resistance.

"Overloaded this bag, treated it awfully, and it took it all. As good as I know that L. L. Bean products are, the manufacturing quality and superb design of this duffel was a very pleasant surprise," said a reviewer.

If you’re on the hunt for the quintessential Louis Vuitton duffle bag but don't want to pay an arm and a leg to get your hands on one, consider Ebay! The resale website has hundreds of second-hand LV duffle bags that are available in a variety of sizes and prices.

If you want that benefits of a duffle bag but don't have an interest lugging it around during your travels, getting one with wheels is definielty the way to go. Calpak's Stevyn Rolling Duffel is a great choice.

It's just the right size to carry-on and features spacious compartments, a handy luggage sleeve, dual handles, a separate shoe pocket, and two durable wheels. This 22-inch rolling duffel bag will get you where you’re going with style, ease, and time to spare.

"This is the perfect weekend bag. I use the bottom zip section for my shoes. It keeps my clothes from getting dirty," said a happy reviewer.

The Lo & Sons Catalina Deluxe Duffle is a timeless premium weekender bag that's available in eco-friendly sustainable materials. Extremely versatile, durable, high-quality and designed for travel, but perfect for any kind of situation. It features a bottom zipper pocket with a removable padded insert to separate an extra pair of shoes, toiletries, or dirty clothes. Perfect for an overnight stay or a carry-on addition to your luggage. Plus, enjoy a pass through-sleeve to throw this on-top of your wheeled carry-on, a messenger strap if you want to wear it and a foldable design, perfect for storage when it's not in use.

"Perfect size for a weekend trip — also fits under the chair on a larger aircraft which is ideal. Easy to carry and slides easily onto handle luggage. The design is sleek, easy to clean, and the bottom compartment is great for shoes," said a reviewer.

This lightweight duffel by Tumi folds flat to be completely packable — making it an incredible bag to throw in your larger luggage for those moments when you need it "just in case."

While this bag doesn't have any reviews quite yet, I can tell you from personal experience, it's pretty great! Very ideal in situations when you buy just a little too much on vacation and need an extra place to store your valuable souvenirs.

While many of the smaller duffle bags on this list would be fabulous for the gym, Béis’ Sport Duffle is pretty hard to beat.

With handles to easily grab, a padded crossbody and shoulder strap for the long haul, stow-away padded backpack straps and a trolley sleeve to slip over your luggage handle for when you’re really on-the-go — this bag was made to move with you, in literally every way! Designed to fit perfectly in a gym locker.

"I love it!! It is the perfect gym bag and can be used as a personal bag for the airport that fits underneath your seat. It is so aesthetically pleasing and nice quality. It looks expensive and has great material for easy cleaning and the perfect sidekick to my weekender. It's honestly amazing, I use it pretty much every other day," said one happy customer.

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