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Best Duffel Bags for Any Trip, According to Travel and Luggage Experts

Duffel Bag
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Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

updated: July 8, 2024
edited by Jessica Kelly

If you have travel planned, whether it be shorter weekend trips or lengthier trips abroad, a duffel bag is a great piece of luggage to have on hand. “Duffel bags are durable, easy to carry, fashionable, and offer travelers a luggage option outside of the traditional hard shell suitcase or backpack,” says Richard Li, Co-Founder of luggage brand July.

To find the best duffel bags, I chatted with Li and other luggage/travel experts and content creators including Coralie Lindvay, U.S. Director of Marketing at DELSEY Paris, V Luigi Auricchio, Vice President of Design at Away, Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem of Nomadasaurus, Lauren Yakiwchuk, travel content creator at Justin Plus Lauren, Renee Hahnel of Renee Roaming, and Helene Sula of Helene in Between, about some of their expert recommendations and what shoppers should consider before making their next duffel bag purchase.

Our picks for the best duffel bags

Best sports and gym duffel bag: Bellroy Classic Weekender 45L Duffel Bag

Best sports and gym duffel bag
Bellroy Classic Weekender 45L Casual overnight duffel bag Black

Bellroy Classic Weekender 45L Casual overnight duffel bag Black

This Classic Weekender bag from Bellroy is a solid option if you’re looking for a duffel to take to the gym or sports practice. As someone who frequents the gym several times per week, I can say that a duffel bag helps a great deal when it comes to carrying my water bottle, sweat towel, resistance bands, and lifting gloves. It has a wide mouth so you can fit your belongings and it boasts a minimalist look. Plus, its padded shoulder strap ensures it won’t dig into your skin. Bellroy also makes a variety of work bags.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15 x 25.6 x 15.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.16 pounds
  • Material: Water-resistant polyester
  • Number of colors: Four
  • Price at time of publish: $189

The bottom line:

Although this bag made from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles may be difficult for some to wash, it has a wide mouth and padded shoulder strap for easy access and optimal comfort.

Get it here: Bellroy Classic Weekender 45L Duffel Bag


Best small duffel bag: TUMI Voyageur Just In Case Duffel

Best small duffel bag
Tumi Voyageur Just In Case(r) Duffel (Black/Gold) Bags

Tumi Voyageur Just In Case(r) Duffel (Black/Gold) Bags

As far as small duffel bags go, Rezk recommends the TUMI Just in Case Duffel. At 1.1 pounds, this bag won’t weigh you down whether you carry it on your shoulder via its shoulder straps or in your hands using its handles. Despite its small size, this duffel contains an interior slip pocket and a front zip pocket in addition to two side pockets for storage. Its flexible design lets you fold it down into a small pouch that you can easily place inside larger luggage or backpack if needed. And, it’s available in three colors (Indigo, Black/Gold, and Black/Gunmetal) to match a variety of color preferences.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 10.3 x 18.9 x 10.3 inches
  • Weight: 1.36 pounds
  • Material: Water-resistant nylon
  • Number of colors: Three
  • Price at time of publish: $195

The bottom line:

As long as you don’t mind investing more for your new duffel, this is a good choice if you’re looking for a small and foldable duffel bag with a two-way top-zip closure.

Get it here: TUMI Voyageur Just In Case Duffel


Best budget duffel bag: Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)

Best budget duffel bag
Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)

Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)

If you’re looking for a duffel bag that won’t break the bank, Gonex’s Canvas Duffel Bag is a great option. Despite its under $50 price, this bag expands and is spacious with a 50L capacity in its main compartment. It also contains two front zipper packers, two side zipper pockets, and one back zipper pocket for extra storage. Plus, it can be carried three ways—hands, shoulder, or cross-body.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 20.8 x 9.8 x 11.8 inches (unexpanded) and 24.4 x 9.8 x 11.8 (expanded)
  • Weight: 2.82 pounds
  • Material: Cotton canvas and nylon
  • Number of colors: Five
  • Price at time of publish: $49.99

The bottom line:

The Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag is one of the best duffel bags for those with a smaller budget but who still want a high-quality bag that even has plastic cushions on the bottom to keep items protected.

Get it here: Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag (50L)


Best weekender duffel bag: Lululemon Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L

Best weekender duffel bag
Lululemon Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L

Lululemon Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L

This 48L weekender duffel bag from Lululemon is just what you need for weekend getaways or short trips to visit family and friends. While this duffel is an investment, its water-repellent fabric, plethora of external pockets, and adjustable external straps large enough to hold a yoga mat make this a good choice for those instances when you need to quickly grab an item without having to dig aimlessly.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 10.6 x 13 inches
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Material: Nylon and recycled polyester
  • Number of colors: One
  • Price at time of publish: $198

The bottom line:

This weekender bag from Lululemon provides ample space for shorter travels and is equipped with adjustable external straps for holding additional items.

Get it here: Lululemon Wunderlust Weekender Bag 48L


Best waterproof duffel bag: YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel

Best waterproof duffel bag
YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel 50L

YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel 50L

As far as waterproof duffel bags go, the YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel is one of the best. Even if you were to fully submerge your duffel in a meter of water for 30 minutes, your belongings would stay dry thanks to its notable ThickSkin™ shell with an IPX7 rating. Furthermore, it has both a leakproof and waterproof zipper.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.0 x 19.7 inches
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Material: ThickSkin shell
  • Number of colors: Four
  • Price at time of publish: $300

The bottom line:

This duffel bag will keep your belongings completely dry even when submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, as it’s made with a ThickSkin™ shell and has a waterproof zipper.

Get it here: YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel


Best rolling duffel bag: CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel

Best rolling duffel bag
CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel in Daisy

CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel in Daisy

If a duffel bag with wheels is non-negotiable for you, consider the CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel. This soft-sided rolling duffel bag has two back wheels and can easily be moved by pulling the retractable handle. Even though it’s a smaller duffel bag at 22 inches, it has a hard-sided bottom compartment designed specifically for holding your shoes. Note that this rolling duffel isn’t waterproof, so it may not be the best choice if you’re traveling to a destination with rain. CALPAK also sells makeup bags in a variety of colors that you can mix and match with your duffel.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 5.75 pounds
  • Material: Polyester
  • Number of colors: Seven
  • Price at time of publish: $165

The bottom line:

Though on the heavier side, this rolling duffel bag contains two wheels and a compartment designed specifically for storing shoes.

Get it here: CALPAK Stevyn Rolling Duffel


Best backpack duffel bag: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

(Buy on Backcountry)

Best backpack duffel bag
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel

Patagonia is known for its outdoor clothing (they’ve made our lists for the best fleece jackets, best down jackets, and best rain pants, among others), but the brand also makes some strong duffel bags, including this backpack duffel bag. “I love the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel, as it comes in a range of sizes and has attachable backpack straps,” says Hahnel. Its straps can be taken off when not in use and placed inside of the bag or wherever you wish to keep them. Plus, it’s made with abrasion-resistant materials and has a padded bottom, so you won’t have to worry too much about your belongings if you happen to accidentally place it down a bit harder than you anticipated.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 22.8 x 13.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 2 pounds 9.6 ounces
  • Material: Thermoplastic urethane (TPU) and 100% post-consumer recycled polyester ripstop (900D)
  • Number of colors: Nine
  • Price at time of publish: $169

What we like:

  • Padded bottom
  • Made with recycled and repurposed materials
  • bluesign® approved
  • Nine color options
  • Lifetime manufacturer warranty

What we don’t like:

  • It’s heavier than some of my other picks

The bottom line:

This backpack duffel bag made with repurposed and recycled materials from Patagonia comes with shoulder straps, allowing the duffel bag to be worn like a backpack.

Get it here: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel


Most comfortable duffel bag: Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

Most comfortable duffel bag
Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

If you’re looking for a waterproof duffel bag, Bradford and Salem recommend adding this 65L duffelpack from Peak Design to your cart. Not only is its exterior 100% recycled 600D nylon canvas fabric weatherproof, but its zip (which is extra long) is as well. In addition to its padded grab handles, this duffelpack comes with carry straps and a waist harness that can be added and removed as needed. It comes in two colors: Black and Sage.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 26 x 15 x 12 (external) and 26 x 17 x 13 inches (expanded)
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Material: 100% recycled 600D nylon canvas, 900D Ottoman-weave poly bottom fabric, woven nylon, and nubuck leather accents (only on Sage)
  • Number of colors: Two
  • Price at time of publish: $219.95

The bottom line:

With a weatherproof exterior and zip, this 65L duffelpack from Peak Design is a solid option for travelers heading to rainy destinations or those who simply want to prevent their belongings from getting wet.

Get it here: Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L


Best leather duffel bag: Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag

Best leather duffel bag
Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag

Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag

Leatherology is one of the best places to buy leather duffel bags. (Their work bags are beautiful too.) Made with full grain leather, this 8.8-pound duffel offers lots of space to store your belongings with its large interior zipped pocket, two smaller open internal pockets, and one open exterior pocket suitable for items that you don’t need in a zippered compartment. Since it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap, rest assured that you’ll be able to alter it until it comfortably rests on your body. You can even personalize the bag to gift it to a friend or family member or keep it for yourself.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14.2 x 25.6 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Material: Full grain leather and Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton twill lining
  • Number of colors: Four (signature) and two (premium)
  • Price at time of publish: $400

The bottom line:

Leatherology’s Kessler Large Duffel Bag is perfect for those who want a personalized leather duffel bag with lots of room across multiple interior spaces.

Get it here: Leatherology Kessler Large Duffel Bag


Best style duffel bag: Monos Metro Duffel

Best style duffel bag
Monos Metro Duffel

Monos Metro Duffel

If a stylish duffel bag is what you’re looking for, Rezk (and I) recommend the Monos Metro Duffel. Designed with a 15-inch sleeve and inner side pockets that can fit a laptop and other essentials such as an umbrella, this duffel bag made with all vegan materials is especially suitable if you need a new bag for your upcoming business trips or commutes. (Monos is also a great place to buy luggage.) It also comes with a small modular kit that can be easily attached and detached using the duffel’s QuickSnap™ feature—perfect for quickly retrieving any items you may need during your travels or serving as a toiletry bag.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16.3 × 11.2 × 7.2 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds (nylon) and 3.6 pounds (vegan leather)
  • Material: Felt, nylon, and vegan leather
  • Number of colors: Four (nylon) and five (vegan leather)
  • Price at time of publish: $210 - $245

The bottom line:

This sleek duffel bag made from all vegan materials is fitting for those looking for purse-like luggage that can store a laptop and other essentials.

Get it here: Monos Metro Duffel


How we selected the best duffel bags

To compile my list of the best duffel bags, I consulted seasoned travelers and luggage experts about what to consider regarding material, organizational features, and design. To supplement the duffel bag recommendations I received from experts, I conducted online research on duffel bags from popular brands keeping in mind customer reviews and product information.

What to consider when buying a duffel bag

Material

Material is an important consideration when shopping for duffel bags. “Ideally, you want a strong, durable, and water-resistant (or waterproof) material that can withstand the torture of going through baggage handling at airports, and stand up to any inclement weather when out and about,” says Bradford and Salem. If you want a waterproof duffel bag, take a look at its IPX waterproof rating to learn how resistant it is to elements like water and wind. For example, the YETI Panga Series Airtight Duffel has an IPX7 rating and can withstand being submerged in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes.

Organizational features

The purpose of a duffel bag, tote, or any piece of luggage is to store and organize belongings. Considering the organizational features of a duffel is key. Sula recommends bags with various compartments and pockets, especially for those travelers who are tech-savvy and need space for their gadgets. Multiple compartments and pockets also help with accessibility and convenience so one can easily get to their belongings in a timely fashion.

Capacity

Don’t forget to consider the capacity of your duffel bag. “You want a bag big enough to carry everything you need, but not so big that it's half-full all the time or doesn't maintain its shape,” advises Bradford and Salem. Many duffel bags are available in varying sizes with different capacities, so you can select one that fits your needs.

What is a classic duffel?

According to Auricchio, a classic duffel bag is a cylindrical bag made of synthetic material, canvas, or leather. It usually features zipper closure endings on both sides and offers multiple carrying options via handles or a shoulder strap

What is a duffel backpack hybrid?

A duffel backpack hybrid is a bag that can be worn or carried in the style of a classic duffel or a backpack. Hybrid bags often have shoulder straps that are either built into the bag or can be removed and stowed away as needed.

What is a digital duffel?

A digital duffel is similar to a traditional or classic duffel, but has some more advanced technological features that make it stand out. “Think built-in charging ports, RFID-blocking pockets, and special compartments for your gadgets,” explains Sula.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the best brand for duffel bags?

There’s no one right answer when it comes to the best brand for duffel bags, as it depends on personal preference. However, several luggage brands are beloved by many customers for their duffel bags which include Monos and TUMI.

What is the largest duffel bag you can check?

The largest duffel bag you can check depends on your preferred airline. Rezk notes that checked duffel bags typically cannot be any larger than 62 linear inches. Linear inches refers to the total number of inches calculated after adding up a bag’s height, length, and width. I recommend checking the bag size guidelines of the airline prior to your flight and keeping your bag under 62 linear inches to be safe.

Are duffel bags good for international travel?

Duffel bags can be good for international travel depending on the type of trip you plan to take. “If you're going on a hiking trip, you may prefer a dedicated backpack that has superior straps,” says Bradford and Salem. “For road trips, multi-day getaways, urban escapes, or extended travel, duffel bags are excellent.” Yakiwchuk adds that some travel experiences and aircrafts (especially smaller ones) only permit travelers to carry-on soft-sided luggage without wheels that can be easily maneuvered into specific areas of a plane. For that, duffel bags can be a suitable choice.

What size duffel bag is allowed on international flights?

The size that a duffel bag can be carried on international flights depends on your airline. Many airlines honor bags 22 x 14 x 9 inches or smaller.

What is the difference between a duffel bag and a travel bag?

Although a duffel bag is technically a travel bag, a duffel can usually be easily distinguished thanks to its key features. “A duffel bag is usually round in shape and has a zipper closure at the top that opens wide,” explains Lindvay. A duffel bag is often soft and has a strap, making it easier to carry.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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