Sturdy duffle bags for lugging all your outdoor gear
Whether you’re travelling long distances, hauling gear to the crag to send some boulders with your buddies, or trying to win an award for most thorough campsite preparedness, a duffle bag is a reliable friend indeed.
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect duffle, there’s a variety of options tailored to different situations. Looking for a robust travel companion for journeys out of town? A carry-on sized duffle can help you avoid the hassle of checking bags. And for ultimate packability, a duffle with compression straps or that stuffs in its own pocket is a space-saving game changer.
If you need a bag to shield your belongings from the elements, a waterproof duffle will keep your gear toasty and dry. For a bag made with environmental welfare and sustainability practices in mind, look for a duffle bag made with recycled content or bluesign®-approved material. (Learn more about our partnership with bluesign.)
To get the most out of your new duffle, grab a few packing cubes and travel organizers to make light work out of packing for your next sightseeing trip. Check out our travel checklist to make sure you don’t forget your toothbrush when you’re running out the door, and pick out a duffle bag from brands like MEC, Thule, and Patagonia for your next adventure.
Choosing the right duffle bag
Landing on the perfect duffle bag depends on your needs and preferences. The right duffle bag should be functional and comfortable to carry. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the perfect duffle bag:
Think about what activity you're planning on using your duffle bag for. If you need to carry sport equipment for example, it'll need to contain features and a design tailored to the items you're planning on carrying.
What are you planning on using your duffle bag for? Small duffle bags are great for the gym or when you're crashing at a friend's place overnight. Big duffle bags are better suited for longer trips or carrying bulkier items like your ski and winter clothes.
Look for durable and weather resistant materials like nylon, polyester or canvas, as well as reinforced stitching and strong zippers and hardware. Choose a material that best suits your intended use and environment. If you're worried it will get wet, look out for water resistant materials.
Straps and handles
Comfort goes a long way so look out for comfortable, padded and adjustable shoulder straps and sturdy grab handles. Some duffle bags also contain straps that convert it into a backpack for easier carrying.
The most common closure system for duffle bags is a zipper, however some come with drawstrings or velcro or a combination. Zippers provide the most security, so if that's a concern choose a duffle bag with a zipper closure.
Pockets and compartments
Pockets and compartments are great for being able to grab items on the go, or to separate smaller items, or wet and dry clothes. Consider these if you think you'd need them.
Wheels vs no wheels
Some duffle bags have wheels so you can roll them through airports. Have a think about whether wheels are an important feature for your duffle bag.
If you're concerned about storage, choose a duffle bag that can be folded or packed down when it's not in use.
Choose a duffle bag that matches your personal style, as you'll likely be using it for many trips and different activities.