Travel Duffel Bags
Duffel bags are great! You can pack them with pretty much anything for a long work trip with the boss or a weekend escape with your best buds. What I like about them is that they sit somewhere between a backpack and a suitcase, which makes them incredibly versatile in any situation. When it comes to choosing the best duffel bag out there, WANDRD’s Hexad Access Travel Duffel steps up as the best choice overall. With ample storage, a padded laptop sleeve, stowaway backpack straps, internal dividers, and easy access, it is the perfect travel duffel.
Best Overall: WANDRD Hexad Access Travel Duffel
WANDRD’s Hexad Access Travel Duffel Bag is the best duffel bag out there, and nothing else can compare. It was designed for any traveler and has unique storage compartments inside and out. There are compartments for literally everything: shoes, computer, keys, clothes, cameras (more on that later), and anything else you want to pack into this 45L duffel bag. The Hexad has two slots built into the side of the bag designed to house two separately sold camera cube inserts. This is great if you are a photographer and own two cameras. But if you’re not, you can use the slots for whatever else you want.
The Hexad Access is ready for action. You can carry it like a traditional duffel bag, but you can also wear it like a backpack using the stowaway shoulder straps. There’s an exciting cutout design in the straps to ensure that the part where your arms and chest meet are comfortable, which is a remarkable little detail. Additionally, you can use the load lifting handles that are built into the side of the duffel bag.
Everything about the WANDRD Hexad Access Travel Duffel Bag is beautifully engineered. From its innovative design and overall weather-resistance to its ample storage and clamshell opening, this pack was made by experienced travelers who understand the importance of a great duffel bag.
- Lots of storage
- Clamshell opening gives you full access
- Expandable laundry pocket
- Internal mesh dividers
- Cutout shoulder straps for comfort
- Padded laptop sleeve
- Looks sloppy when not fully packed
Best Large: Patagonia Black Hole 70L
Patagonia’s Black Hole line comes in multiple sizes and options; however, their 70L duffel bag is the perfect size for traveling. The outside of the bag is made out of a recycled polyester nylon fabric called ripstop, a woven material that prevents tearing. The bag isn’t waterproof, but it is highly weather-resistant in case you’re caught in the rain. An outside pocket allows easy access to charging cables, a passport, or your mobile device.
Getting to your things inside the bag is easy. A U-shaped lid makes the opening nice and wide, giving you easy access to all of your clothes and items. There are two mesh pockets built into the lid help you keep track of smaller items. You get easy access with a quick zip and flip. Also, this bag is built to keep your things safe and sound. The base of the bag is nicely padded, so don’t have to worry about accidental drops.
A big part of what makes this duffel awesome is that there are multiple ways that you can carry it. You can hold it like a traditional duffel bag using one hand, or you could throw it over your shoulder using the padded shoulder strap. If the bag is pretty heavy, you can use the padded shoulder straps and strap it on your back. If it’s really loaded, you can have someone help you by each of you using the load haul straps on the side of the bag, or you can carry the bag with two hands.
- U-shaped lid
- Multiple carry options
- Two mesh pockets are easily accessible
- Made out of recycled materials
- Not padded
- Not a lot of pockets
Best Small: Backcountry All Around 40L
The Backcountry duffel bag is well designed tough duffel bag that is also very functional and visually appealing. It’s great for short pack trips, and at 40L, you can get a lot into this bag.
Shoulder straps that you can easily add or remove come in handy when the bag is tightly packed and on the heavier side. It gives the option to switch it from a duffel bag to a backpack. Side handles located at both sides of the bag make it easy to carry with two arms.
When it comes to storage, the bag also has two well placed, and perfectly sized pockets that are very easy to access simply by flipping the top lid of the bag. Its smaller size makes it very convenient as a carry-on when flying and stows away nicely in the overhead compartments. Unfortunately, its lack of padding means your expensive tech could get damaged.
Overall, it’s a great choice if you are looking for a duffel bag that is simple in design and ready for any short pack trip.
- Wet/dry compartments
- Simple design
- Very comfortable as a backpack
Best Value: Samsonite Andante Wheeled Duffel
Samsonite has been a long-time leader in the travel industry with its line of suitcases, backpacks, and bags. Their Andante wheeled duffel bag carries the quality you’d expect from Samsonite but at an affordable price. Multiple handles let you easily grab the duffel bag from a variety of points for various carrying options. The large U-shaped opening makes packing and finding belongings a breeze.
Large wheels at the base of the duffel bag will make running through busy airport terminals or down crowded streets a breeze. The sturdy handle at the top of the bag can take the abuse of all types of travel. One thing to note is that this wheeled duffel bag can be a bit bulky for some travelers.
While the Andante does have plenty of internal storage, it only has one outer pocket which can fill up fast. Still, it’s a great option at an affordable price.
- Excellent price
- Lots of storage
- Very durable
- A little bulky
- Only one outer pocket
Best Lightweight: Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel
The Osprey’s Ultralight Stuff is a super lightweight duffel bag that is as simple as they come. Made out of nylon ripstop, the UL Stuff can handle all of your basic day-to-day needs at a meager price, and it’s not bulky. When not in use, the duffel bag can be folded down into its own pocket.
The comfy padded shoulder straps help when you need to throw your bag over your shoulder. Plus, the bag’s zipper is quick and won’t get stuck during those moments when you need to get into the bag right away.
The focus here is simplicity and lightweight, which Osprey has nailed. This bag is great for a quick run to the supermarket or if you want to bring some extra clothes or a hoodie with you during the evening out with your friends. Unfortunately, a lack of any padding makes this duffel a poor choice for carrying your computer to the coffee shop.
It also comes with a great warranty. The company will repair any damaged or defective bag free of charge. It doesn’t matter when it was purchased, and if they can’t fix it, they will replace it.
- Very lightweight
- Awesome price
- Simple design
- Great warranty
- Not great for tech
- It’s on the smaller side
- Not weather-proof
Best Wheeled: Thule Crossover Rolling Duffel 56L
Thule makes excellent travel gear, and their Crossover rolling duffel sits at the top of their class as the best duffel bag on wheels. The aluminum hardware is incredibly sturdy and able to withstand the abuse of travel. The water-resistant fabrics make the bag look really slick and keeps your items nice and dry.
The Thule Crossover is no doubt a durable duffel bag. A tough exoskeleton ensures that it can handle lots of rugged travel. It also has two large compartments for ultimate storage. It has two removable, and lockable crushproof SafeZone compartments on the outside of the duffel bag keep your fragile gear well protected.
Hardware-wise, the Crossover has nice oversized wheels so you won’t get hung up on cracks or any gaps on sidewalks. The telescoping handle pulls out nice and smooth with a simple click of a button on the side of the handle. You can carry the Crossover like a duffel bag using the straps on the front of the bag, and even wear it like a backpack. Though, as a backpack, it’s very uncomfortable and not recommended.
- Rugged exoskeleton
- Oversized wheels
- Lot’s of room
- Looks awesome
- Limited warranty
- Getting into overhead airplane compartments can be tricky
Best Waterproof: YETI Panga 50
Yeti’s Panga 50 is something beyond the traditional duffel bag. Right off the bat, the first thing to mention is that this duffel bag is 100% waterproof. You could throw this bag into the water, and all of the items inside of the bag will stay completely dry.
On top of that, the bag’s shell is high-density nylon that makes it puncture and abrasion-resistant, and being able to take on the harshest abuse you can dish out. The big padded base can handle any top of drop, which means the items packed into the duffel bag are safe and sound. The Panga’s big padded shoulder straps let you wear this bag like a backpack comfortably if the bag gets too heavy.
The Metallock hardware that is part of the bags strap system can take on the abuse of any travel. Plus, the dry haul straps placed at various parts of the bag are super durable and allow you to strap on extra gear on the outside.
- Airtight closure makes sure the bag stays waterproof
- Puncture and abrasion-resistant
- Lots of storage space
- Premium price
- Only comes in gray
Best Gym: adidas Defender II Duffel Bag
The Adidas Defender II duffel bag offers a lot of room for all of your gym clothes, sneakers, and safety gear. A very stylish design with two pockets located at each end of the bag for items such as your keys or wallet, the Defender II also has a big U-shaped lid with an excellent zipper for smooth opening and closing.
The single shoulder strap has a comfortable pad that is easily adjustable to your size to ensure that the weight inside of the bag is evenly centered over your shoulder.
The Defender II offers up a lot of storage. You could easily fit a basketball, racquetball gear, boxing gloves, towel, a change of clothes, or whatever else you need for the gym. Unfortunately, it does lack proper venting. So, don’t forget to empty your bag after your workout.
- Lots of space
- Color choices
- Available in three sizes
- No vents
- Not a lot of pockets
Best Carry On: Thomtery Canvas Travel Duffel
The Thomtery Canvas Travel Duffel has all the perks of style and storage but without being too bulky. It’s the perfect choice for a carry on duffel bag during a quick weekend getaway or a mid-week work trip.
There are plenty of pockets conveniently located on the outside of the duffel bag that you can use for your wallet, mobile phone, and any snacks you may have purchased for your flight. Separate storage space for your shoes located at the end of the bag, which makes it easy to slip into your slippers during your trip, and because of its size, the duffel bag doesn’t take up much room. You can easily tuck the bag under the seat in front of you or stow it in the overhead compartment.
Stowaway shoulder straps mean you can quickly throw the duffel bag onto your back and walk through the airport with ease.
- Lots of pockets
- Fits nicely under the plane seat
- Shoe compartment
Best College: Gonex 40L Duffel
The Gonex 40L is a great duffel bag for any college student. Two pockets on the outside of the bag plus plenty of internal storage for clothes and any other items will allow your students to easily travel back and forth to their home between semesters or during school breaks, or whatever destination they may be heading.
The Gonex’s water repellent material will make sure their items don’t get soaked in case they get caught in the rain or happen to spill liquids on their bag during their travels. When not in use it folds up nicely and can be tucked away in a closet or dorm dresser. Which is great for storage, but it also means the duffel bag doesn’t offer any protective padding.
This bag might not last all four years of college, but at just over 20 bucks, it’s a great bag for getting your students back and forth.
- Very lightweight
- Folds up nicely
- Great for college life
- Lots of colors
- Comes in multiple sizes
- No padding
- Not built to last
There are a lot of duffel bag options out there. Just do a quick internet search or jump on social media, and you’ll find a lot of bags to choose from. However, WANDRD nails it with their Hexan Access Travel Duffel. This bag really reinvents the duffel without overdoing it in a way that embraces the balance of a backpack and a suitcase.
The Access Travel offers so much more than other duffels out there when it comes to storage, design, and overall looks. The large clamshell lid to give you easy access to everything inside of the bag, and the outer pockets offer you plenty of creative ways to bring everything you need; whether you are commuting to work, traveling for fun, on a business trip, or just going to your local coffee shop to do some work. This duffel bag is a dream and perfect for any situation.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Bobby Carlton is a contributing writer for Mobile Nations. He’s been working in technology for over 10 years. He has attended events such as SXSW, CES, Tribeca Film Festival, Learning, TechLearn, Comic Con, and countless other conferences that may have the latest in VR and AR news. Of course, all of that requires packing up a lot of tech into bags, backpacks, and suitcases, and at the same time, have enough room for his clothes. Follow him on Twitter.
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