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The 12 Best Rolling Duffel Bags of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Jun 05, 2023Jun 05, 2023

We tested 30 bags to find the best rolling duffel for every trip.

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Travel + Leisure / Jhett Thompson

New travel gear can quickly add up, so it's important to invest in the right pieces that will last a long time, especially for luggage and other bags. To help you in this journey, we set out to find the best of the best when it comes to rolling duffels, combing the market before ultimately putting 30 products through a battery of tests.

We packed them to the brim to test their capacity. We went over them with a fine-tooth comb to consider design features big and small. We pushed them, pulled them, and steered them every which way to test their maneuverability. We then took a baseball bat to them to test durability (seriously). And, above all else, we considered all of these tests, and their respective price tags, to consider what total value these bags offer.

It was tough work, but somebody had to do it, and that's how we landed on these final 12 rolling duffels. While top marks went to the spacious, water-resistant Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag — part of the brand's enormously popular Black Hole range, which is a hit with travelers around the world — there were a number of runners up that were each strong in their own category. We found the perfect pick for anyone traveling light, a standout for camping trips and other outdoor adventures, and so forth.


It's incredibly spacious and durable.

Because it's so large, some may struggle with maneuvering it.

Get on board with the bag that travelers around the world swear by: Patagonia's Black Hole Duffel, which comes in a 40-liter, a 70-liter, and an unbelievably spacious 100-liter version. We tested the largest size which features a large main compartment that makes it a cinch to pack whatever gear you throw its way, as well as a zippered side pocket and mesh pockets for smaller items you want to keep separate. Packing quickly, we found that we had so much room to spare during tests. If we were to roll the clothes or even use packing cubes, we could fit double or triple the number of items.

The bag is also highly weather-resistant, crafted from a coated ripstop material made from 100 percent recycled fabric, lining, and webbing. The durable, oversized wheels performed well during our maneuverability tests, but we did dock half a point because this is a very, very large bag that smaller individuals may have difficulty moving around, especially in crowded spaces. We also noticed, after regularly using the bag for two months, that it sometimes falls over when fully packed because it is front heavy.

Price at time of publish: $419

The Details: 9.3 pounds | 32.6 x 16 x 13.7 inches | 100 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure /Jhett Thompson


It has two compartments that are both very deep.

The top compartment's opening is slightly small relative to its size so you may need to stuff items in fully.

We were pleasantly surprised by just how spacious this 29-inch rolling duffel is, easily able to fit clothing for a weeklong trip with room left over. It's complete with two large open compartments that are deep enough for packing large loads, two compression straps, and several internal and external pockets for stowing smaller goods including shoes. There is even an expansion zipper to add a few more inches of space. It may not have eye-catching style, but it's all-in-all a simple, solid bag that (more than) gets the job done. We especially appreciated the large, substantial wheels, durable material, and sturdy handle which makes this duffel a solid choice for a checked bag that makes it to baggage claim and beyond.

Price at time of publish: $230

The Details: 12 pounds | 29 x 17 x 15 inches

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


There's tons of room thanks to internal and external compartments.

It's on the heavier side when empty.

If you love built-in organization, this bag has multiple compartments ideal for two weeks’ worth of clothing, shoes, accessories, toiletries, and more that can fit far more than needed. We also appreciated the variety of external handles which make loading this bag into a car or onto a luggage rack a cinch. It gives off major "campfire couture vibes" so we love the idea of taking this bag on an outdoor adventure or road trip, which could call for a wide range of gear, and a need to lug it beyond just using the smooth-rolling wheels.

Price at time of publish: $240

The Details: 10.6 pounds | 16 x 13 x 29 inches | 95 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


It has very sturdy handles, especially considering the affordable price tag.

It's too big to fit in the overhead bin.

When we packed this duffel with two weeks’ worth of winter gear, there was plenty of room left over. The main compartment was much more spacious than we originally thought, and we especially loved the variety of exterior pockets which made staying organized a breeze. The handle, while sturdy, is on the thinner side and the wheels are smaller than some others on this list, which made maneuvering this bag over carpet, cement, and through tight turns marginally more challenging. After traveling with this bag regularly for two months, we found that it's too big to be used as a carry-on item and must be checked. But, for under $50, you’ll have a hard time finding a better rolling duffel, and it comes in a wide range of colors for an option that will stick out at baggage claim, too.

Price at time of publish: $42

The Details: 8 pounds | 30 x 12 x 13 inches | 77 liter

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


It maneuvers very well across different environments.

The exterior picks up dust easily.

They say that travel is about the journey, not (necessarily) the destination, and packing a Tumi bag is always an enjoyable part of any journey. In fact, after regularly using the bag for two months, we found that it can fit weeks' worth of clothing while keeping gear and accessories organized in individual pockets. The fabric and the zippers are substantial and luxurious, and the bag easily held up for multiple bat whacks and drops from a high table. We were especially impressed by how easily it maneuvered over a variety of different surfaces, and noted how smoothly the oversized wheels worked on uneven carpeting, too. This rolling duffel also has enough compartments to satisfy any organization enthusiast, with two sides including one with added compression straps to hold clothing securely. The price tag may be steep, but this bag's looks and performance make it a worthy investment.

Price at time of publish: $1,095

The Details: 11 pounds | 16 x 30.3 x 14 inches | 98 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


It's an ideal bag for inclement weather and rough handling conditions.

There is no handle to carry the bag horizontally.

Torrential downpours and even the errant sidewalk puddle don't stand a chance with this water-resistant rolling duffel that even has rainflaps for added protection against the elements. It's made of extremely durable TPU fabric with a DWR coating to shed water, snow, and other moisture away. It has a large capacity with compression straps to easily fit more than a week's worth of clothing as well. After using the bag regularly for two months, we found that it also rolls so easily, whether traveling over carpet, sidewalks, or any other surface.

The bag did lose points for its exterior handles — there are only short handles on the sides (along with the rolling handle) which would make it easy to pull a bag off the conveyer belt but awkward to lift it high when fully packed. Still, after taking a bat to it, there was zero visible damage to the wheels, frame, or fabric when finished. Overall, it's an excellent, durable option for protecting your gear during the most intense of adventures.

Price at time of publish: $340

The Details: 7.5 pounds | 31.5 x 17.3 x 13.8 inches | 90 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


The bag is like a half-suitcase, half-duffel with a structured bottom and flexible top half.

The bag itself is on the stiffer side.

There's a fine line between budget and value options — and we feel like this Gonex rolling duffel bag delivered quality at a very competitive price point, stacking up to many of the more expensive bags at a fraction of the cost. It's a long, stiff bag but we had no issues going through our obstacle course and over rougher surfaces. The wheels move with élan and the handle was easy to hold. We loved the design, too — it's like a half-suitcase, half-duffel with a structured bottom half and a fabric upper flap, plus easy-to-adjust straps on the sides to secure the contents even more. We were also impressed with the sturdiness of this bag, including the structured bottom half, which makes the bag extra durable. "I whacked it so hard with a bat and the bag didn't show any signs of damage," one tester said.

Price at time of publish: $157

The Details: 10.5 pounds | 16 x 15 x 33.4 inches | 100 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


The handles and wheels lend this bag a very sturdy feel.

We noticed the zippers snagged a bit during our tests.

REI products are built to last so naturally this bag scored tops for durability, made from a rugged (and recycled) ripstop nylon, with a sturdy recycled nylon base. The heavy-duty, oversized wheels make it a great option for carrying heavier loads such as ski, dive, or mountaineering gear, but it also has an exterior daisy chain of lash points so you can easily connect smaller, lighter items to keep things moving on the fly. We loved how sturdy the rolling handle felt and there were handles all around the duffel that made it super easy to lift up and hoist on the table. The interior of the bag easily fits over one week's worth of items (and also features compression straps to secure the clothing inside), and there are exterior compression straps to tighten things up even more as well.

Price at time of publish: $289

The Details: 9.7 pounds | 34 x 16 x 15 inches | 109 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


It's the lightest bag we tested and it even includes a packing cube and convertible backpack straps.

The bag does not stand upright on its own.

This bag is proof that when it comes to luggage, bigger can, in fact, be better. It packs an astonishing 130 liters of volume (which is rare to find, even in bags two- or three-times its weight), yet manages to clock in at a positively featherweight four pounds, seven ounces. But just because it's big doesn't mean it doesn't pull its own weight — it's constructed from an abrasion-resistant material that's designed to last, and is water-repellant for anything from rain to sleet and snow.

Our favorite thing about this bag was that it also converts to a backpack, which can justify the fact that it won't stand upright (as you wouldn't want a hard frame pushing into your back if carrying that way). We can see this bag being an excellent choice for a safari bush plane with weight limits, or any instance when you wanted to start off with a featherweight bag before loading up your gear into the bag and the included packing cube.

Price at time of publish: $199

The Details: 4.4 pounds | 34 x 13.75 x 15 inches | 130 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


Easily carry this bag with its top handles or crossbody strap when it's not possible to roll it along.

It's a smaller bag that's likely best for shorter trips.

Not every rolling duffel needs to be an enormous 100-liter behemoth for carrying the bulkiest, heaviest gear — sometimes it just needs to be big enough for a weekend getaway or a quick business trip. This reliable Samsonite falls solidly into the latter category. It has so many things that business travelers in particular will enjoy, including a front zippered pocket with an integrated USB charging port, a front pocket with a tech organization panel to keep your things in order on the fly, a padded tablet sleeve, and even a removable wristlet. Moving around with this compact bag was hassle-free due to a retractable push-button handle and sturdy wheels that moved easily over a variety of surfaces. When you’re ready to go at a moment's notice, this weekender is, too.

Price at time of publish: $220

The Details: 4.8 pounds | 21.8 x 12 x 12.5 inches

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


It's a sleek, attractive bag with style to spare.

It's not going to be the best bet for an outdoor adventure.

Who said wheeled luggage can't be stylish? We loved the look and feel of this Ted Baker rolling duffel, which features an elegant design, black saffiano-style material, and gorgeous hardware that makes an impact everywhere it goes. But this bag isn't just one that looks good — it performs, too. It's made with a very lightweight aluminum frame, and features four smooth rolling wheels which we noticed handled tight corners exceptionally well. You won't miss a beat with this bag, whether heading on a city escape or business trip. Plus, even though it's on the smaller side, it's deceptively spacious. After regularly traveling with this bag for two months, we even noticed that it's just as comfortable to carry as it is to roll, which is especially helpful when in a hurry.

Price at time of publish: $425

The Details: 15 x 13 x 24 inches | 6.3 pounds

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao


After two months of regularly using this bag, we're in love with the hefty bottom compartment that's great for packing shoes.

We docked half a point for capacity because the bag is a little small.

The ideal carry-on is one that not only performs well, but looks good doing it, too. This bag manages to do both. It's made from ReActive, a lightweight, durable, water-repellent material made from recycled water bottles, and folds down neatly for storage when not in use. There's an interior curtain that can be zippered to separate the top and bottom compartments to keep you organized, and the main compartment also features one mesh slip pocket for smaller items. In fact, we packed enough items for a several-day trip in the top before realizing there was room at the bottom for at least four more pairs of shoes. Plus, this being Vera Bradley, the bag also comes in a few stunning patterns as well — so in a sea of black carry-on bags, you’ll be sure to stand out.

Price at time of publish: $180

The Details: 10 x 20.5 x 12.5 inches | 5.6 pounds

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Some rolling duffels we tested couldn't quite earn a spot on our list, but had standout features that may meet the needs of some travelers.

Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Two-wheel Duffel: This luxury rolling duffel definitely delivers on the style front. We especially liked that it had both a large duffel section and a flat packing section, but it is on the more expensive side and only had one exterior pocket.

Travelpro Bold by Travelpro Check-in Drop-Bottom Expandable Rolling Duffel: This rolling duffel is made from a rugged, water-repellant and stain-resistant polyester fabric and comes with a reinforced telescoping handle, but it's incredibly bulky and may be difficult to store.

Thule Chasm Wheeled Duffel: We loved this duffle for its wide, oversized mouth opening that made it a breeze to pack, as well as the internal zippered mesh pockets to keep you organized, but it was a bit unwieldy to maneuver.

In our quest to find the best-of-the-best wheeled bags, we combed the marketplace and narrowed our top selections down to 30 rolling duffels which then underwent a vigorous testing process. We weighed them with luggage scales while empty before filling carry-on-sized duffels with a week's worth of clothes and checked-size duffels with closer to two week's worth of clothes (and used the same items for each sample bag, to compare how the exact clothes fit bag to bag). We considered organizational and storage features such as padded sleeves, compression straps, pockets, and external daisy chains. We obsessed over how every single zipper opened and closed, too.

The tests continued with how these bags might perform in the real world. We rolled the duffels back and forth across a range of surfaces to test them for maneuverability, on everything from smooth lab floors to high-pile carpets. We even set up an obstacle course to make sure these bags can turn on a dime. We examined how much the external handles helped us move the bag from car to curb and back again. And, perhaps most fun of all, we took a baseball bat to each bag to test them for durability. Ultimately, we rated each bag on a five-point scale in a number of categories and the top performers are the ones you see on this list.

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Even the perfect rolling duffel won't be much use to you if it doesn't meet your airline's size requirements for carry-on or checked bags, so be sure to check online before committing to a new bag. It's also worth mentioning that since duffel bags lend themselves to being stuffed to the brim, you may want to consider how much your bag weighs, especially if it's on the larger side.

With a roomy duffel bag, you may be tempted to go with a "more-is-more" mentality when it comes to packing, especially with the higher-volume duffels that have truly enormous main compartments. But it's worth considering the smaller stuff, too. Different models of bags come with different varieties of internal and external organizational features such as zippered compartments, padded laptop or tablet sleeves, or even included packing cubes. It all depends on how organized you’d like to be, and how much you’ll depend on your bag itself to keep you organized.

A duffel, once packed, can vary widely in terms of bulk and weight, and a good bag will keep up with you in a variety of environments. You’ll want to make sure your bag can be carried in multiple ways, whether that's by hand via a top handle, by its telescoping handle as it's rolled down long airport hallways, or perhaps by convertible backpack or crossbody straps for other alternatives.

The right duffel bag can last a lifetime, especially if you buy one made from the right materials. This is the kind of bag you’ll probably be checking at airports, throwing under buses, and really putting through the ringer in terms of durability, so look for materials that are up for the challenge. Ripstop fabrics in particular are extremely durable but also lightweight, and products coated with DWR or other weather-resistant coatings are an added bonus.

There's no right or wrong answer here. But for shorter business trips or weekend getaways, something carry-on sized with a maximum of 40 liters in volume is probably enough. If you’re packing for a week or more, or looking to pack bulky camera equipment or the like, look at bags upwards of 100 liters in size.

Duffel bags are spacious, flexible, lightweight, and easy to carry. They don't always have the same structural support or protective elements of a suitcase, making them best for things that can't necessarily break in transit. So, if you’re just traveling with clothes and soft goods, a duffel bag is a good choice for you.

The first step is always to read the manufacturer's instructions — but most duffel bags can be cleaned with a damp rag, perhaps with a little soap or white vinegar, and then allowed to air dry fully before being packed again or stowed away.

For this article, contributor Todd Plummer used the T+L team's testing insights as well as his own research to compile a list of the best rolling duffel bags for travel.

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