Best Duffel Bags of 2023
A good duffel bag can be infinitely useful for travel, camping, storage, and so much more. Whether you need a convenient way to tote bulky items or you’re in a hurry to get out the door for an overnighter, a duffel makes packing quick and easy.
There are a ton of duffel bags on the market, and for the most part they’re just one large compartment to throw gear into. But look a little closer and you’ll find little details that make some bags better than others. We put dozens of duffels to the test to help you find the best one for your needs.
Check out this quick list of our favorite duffel bags, or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.
- Best duffel bag overall: Patagonia Black Hole 55
- Best value duffel bag: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 60
- Best budget duffel bag: Gonex Canvas
- Most comfortable to carry: Osprey Transporter 65
- Best ultralight packable duffel: Matador Freefly
- Best large capacity duffel bag: Mountain Hardwear Expedition 100
- Great value duffel with excellent organization: The North Face Base Camp
- Highly packable & affordable duffel bag: REI Roadtripper 40
- Best waterproof duffel bag: YETI Panga 75
- Best wheeled duffel bag: The North Face Rolling Thunder
What’s Most Important to You in a Duffel Bag?
PRICE – Duffel bag prices vary greatly depending on the size and features they come with. If you want something large or waterproof, you’ll likely pay a premium price. That said, there are plenty of affordable high-quality duffels on the market if you don’t need all the fancy bells and whistles.
- Best value duffel bags: Patagonia Black Hole 55, Osprey Transporter 65, The North Face Base Camp & Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 60
- Best budget duffel bags: Matador Freefly, Gonex Canvas, REI Roadtripper 40 & Shacke Express Weekender
- Best high-end duffel bags: YETI Panga 75, The North Face Rolling Thunder & Mountain Hardwear Expedition 100
WEIGHT – Weight adds up quickly when you start tossing stuff into a duffel. Keeping the weight of the bag itself low will help reduce the overall stress on your body when you’re carrying it. That said, heavier bags tend to be more durable and are often more weather-resistant.
CAPACITY – The right size duffel bag depends on what you’ll be using it for and how heavy you pack. We usually prefer duffels that are 50-60L to have enough room for necessities while keeping everything in a small, streamlined package. If you’ll be using your bag for bulky items, a duffel with a 70-100 L capacity will likely be a better fit for you.
CARRY-ON SIZE – Consider the dimensions of the duffel bag when it’s fully loaded if you want to be able to take it as carry-on luggage for flights. If the dimensions of your duffel are on the edge, you should still be able to carry it on a plane if it’s not filled to the brim. Carry-on size will vary slightly between airlines, but for these recommendations we used the standard 22 x 14 x 9 in.
DURABILITY – Most duffel bags are designed to withstand a good amount of heavy use, but some are more durable than others in the long run. If you’ll be using your duffel for lots of air travel or rugged adventuring, consider one of our most durable picks.
WEATHERPROOFING – If you want to use your duffel bag for rafting, SUPing, boating, or other water-based excursions, you’ll want one that’s completely waterproof to keep your stuff dry. For most regular use, a water-resistant duffel that can shed a bit of rain is usually sufficient.
Best Duffel Bags of 2023
BEST DUFFEL BAG OVERALL FOR DURABILITY, VERSATILITY & WATER RESISTANCE
WEIGHT: 2 lbs. 9.1 oz.
CAPACITY: 55 L
DIMENSIONS: 26.7 x 15.7 x 11.8 in.
PROS: Excellent value, highly water-resistant, durable, lightweight, multiple ways to carry, padded backpack straps, great color options, folds into its own pocket
CONS: Difficult to get in & out of storage pocket
BOTTOM LINE: The Patagonia Black Hole 55 has been our go-to duffel bag for a long time because it’s durable, comfortable to carry, and amazingly versatile. This duffel can be hand-carried, or you can attach the padded backpack straps to carry it on your back. If it’s not completely stuffed, it can also pass for a carry-on bag on flights, so we often use it for quick getaways over a long weekend. The Black Hole is an excellent value and we highly recommend it for anyone looking for a stylish and long-lasting duffel with excellent weather-resistance.
BEST VALUE DUFFEL BAG
WEIGHT: 2 lbs. 3 oz.
CAPACITY: 60 L
DIMENSIONS: 26.75 x 10.25 x 13.5 in.
PROS: Excellent value, highly water-resistant, multiple ways to carry, lightweight, folds into its own pocket
CONS: Bottom isn’t as durable as some others
BOTTOM LINE: Eagle Creek is an authority when it comes to travel bags, and their Cargo Hauler 60 is our favorite bag we’ve used from them. Of all the bags on our list, this duffel has our most ideal organizational features – two large end compartments, a pocket on the top flap (this stores the backpack straps but could also be used for items you need often, like a jacket or travel documents), and a large main compartment with a detachable divider in the middle. It’s also pretty dang close to being waterproof thanks to its material and covered zippers, so it’s a good choice for travel in unpredictable weather. The Cargo Hauler comes at an amazing price point for the quality and features you get, and the simple yet functional organization is hard to beat.
BEST BUDGET DUFFEL BAG
WEIGHT: 2 lbs. 12.8 oz.
CAPACITY: 50 L
DIMENSIONS: 20.8 x 9.8 x 11.8 in.
PROS: Affordable, stylish, lots of pockets, expandable, comfortable shoulder strap
CONS: Not as durable as some
BOTTOM LINE: The stylish and affordable Plambag Canvas duffel is an incredible deal for what you get. This carry-on duffel is packed with organizational pockets – zippered pockets on all four sides, an internal zipper pouch, internal divided pockets, and a large main compartment. Plus, it’s expandable if you need a little more space. The Plambag Duffel is our first choice for business travel when a professional look matters and we have a lot of small items we want to keep organized. While this duffel doesn’t feel as durable as some of the more outdoorsy duffels on our list, it’s a standout for urban travel.
MOST COMFORTABLE TO CARRY
WEIGHT: 3 lbs.
CAPACITY: 65 L
DIMENSIONS: 24 x 14 x 13 in.
PROS: Excellent value, very comfortable to carry, water-resistant, lightweight, multiple ways to carry, compression straps
CONS: Buckles can be a little cumbersome when zipping the main compartment
BOTTOM LINE: We’re big fans of Osprey’s travel bags (check out our other favorites on our Best Travel Backpacks list), and the Osprey Transporter 65 is another winner in the lineup. If there’s one thing Osprey really excels at, it’s comfort. The Transporter has well-padded straps that make it comfortable to carry by hand using any of the four handles, over the shoulder, or as a backpack. The large U-zip flap for the main compartment makes it easy to find what you need without having to dig around, and the internal compression straps keep things nice and tidy. The Transporter is great all around for comfort, quality, and price, so it’s the duffel we often reach for when heading to the airport or packing for longer trips.
BEST ULTRALIGHT PACKABLE DUFFEL
WEIGHT: 8.5 oz.
CAPACITY: 30 L
DIMENSIONS: 22 x 11 x 8 in.
PROS: Ultralight, packable, waterproof, excellent value, multiple ways to carry
CONS: Not as durable as others, not as versatile as others (smaller capacity, no padding for heavier loads, etc.)
BOTTOM LINE: The Matador Freefly duffel is an impressive little bag that’s fully waterproof and highly packable. This duffel can be tossed into a larger travel bag for packing extra goodies on the way back from a trip, or you can use it to tote essentials around while your larger bag stays in your vacation rental. Since it’s waterproof, it also makes a great beach bag or riverside picnic packer. But the unpadded straps and thinner materials mean it won’t be able to handle heavy loads comfortably, so it’s not the best standalone bag for anything more than a weekend trip. Still, we think the value price of the Freefly makes this handy bag a worthwhile addition to your collection.
BEST LARGE CAPACITY DUFFEL BAG
WEIGHT: 3 lbs. 13.2 oz.
CAPACITY: 100 L
DIMENSIONS: 28 x 15 x 13 in.
PROS: Large capacity, durable, comfortable straps, good organization, compression straps, folds into storage bag
CONS: Expensive, too large for casual use, size makes it a little impractical to carry as a backpack, heavier than some
BOTTOM LINE: If you need a big duffel that can haul it all, the Mountain Hardwear Expedition 100 is an amazing choice with a good array of organizational details. We use this bag a lot for car camping when we need a catch-all bag, and it’s perfect for storing our gear when we get back home. One feature we found particularly useful on the Expedition is the closure system. When the main compartment is really stuffed, you can use the compression clips to keep the side walls together making it much easier to zip shut. This bag is on the pricey side, but if you’re looking for long-term durability, ease of use, and large capacity, the Expedition is worth the cost.
GREAT VALUE DUFFEL WITH EXCELLENT ORGANIZATION
WEIGHT: 3 lbs. 9.1 oz.
CAPACITY: 71 L
DIMENSIONS: 14 x 25 in.
PROS: Excellent value, durable, water-resistant, well-organized pockets, multiple ways to carry, comes with storage bag
CONS: Round shape can make it a little more difficult to pack, heavier than some
BOTTOM LINE: The classic crowd favorite Base Camp duffel from The North Face is a solid choice for anything from travel to, well… base camp! This duffel comes in a ton of sizes ranging from 31 L all the way up to 150 L, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. We like the medium size best (71 L) because it’s large enough to pack a ton of stuff into for big adventures, but small enough that it could still pass as a carry-on bag if it isn’t completely filled to the brim. The rigid material makes it easy to pack without the sidewalls collapsing in, and the large U-shaped opening allows you to easily access items without having to dig. And with four separate storage compartments, it’s easy to keep all of your gear neat and tidy with the Base Camp.
HIGHLY PACKABLE & AFFORDABLE DUFFEL BAG
WEIGHT: 16 oz.
CAPACITY: 40 L
DIMENSIONS: 21 x 10 x 10 in.
PROS: Affordable, ultralight, folds into its own pocket
CONS: Floppy material makes it less convenient to pack than some, not as durable as some
BOTTOM LINE: You know those trips where you come home with a lot more stuff than you left with – like heading home for the holidays or a trip abroad that involves some shopping? These are precisely the times when we wouldn’t be caught without our REI Roadtripper 40 duffel bag. This bag is highly packable and very lightweight so it’s easy to stuff into your main luggage if you know you’ll need some extra space on the way back home. And its affordable price makes it a good option for use as an overnight bag or for everyday use around town. We love the versatility of the Roadtripper duffel, and we recommend it for those looking for a good balance of price and convenience.
BEST WATERPROOF DUFFEL BAG
WEIGHT: 6.1 lbs.
CAPACITY: 75 L
DIMENSIONS: 28 x 15.5 x 11 in.
PROS: Fully waterproof, very durable, multiple ways to carry
CONS: Expensive, bulky/heavy, size makes it a bit impractical to carry as a backpack
BOTTOM LINE: If you need a duffel that’s rugged and fully waterproof, check out the YETI Panga 75. This beast of a bag is awesome for water-centric adventures like rafting and boating when you have important things you need to keep dry. That said, it’s a little heavier and bulkier than we typically like for casual use. The Panga comes with a pretty daunting price tag, but we think it’s worth the splurge for those that want weather protection, top-quality materials, and construction that will last a lifetime.
BEST WHEELED DUFFEL
WEIGHT: 7 lbs. 3.2 oz.
CAPACITY: 40 L
DIMENSIONS (22”, laid flat): 22 x 14 x 8.5 in.
PROS: Wheels, water-resistant, good value compared to other rolling duffels
CONS: Expensive compared to non-wheeled duffels, few organizational features, not as durable as some
BOTTOM LINE: The wheeled North Face Rolling Thunder is a great choice for those needing a convenient carry-on bag for airline travel. With sturdy, yet smooth wheels, the Rolling Thunder will get you from your door, to your terminal, and up the stone walkway of your vacation rental with ease. Because there isn’t much in the way of internal organization, we usually use this duffel for quick trips when we don’t have a bunch of little things and electronics to pack. That said, the rigid material of the roller does well to keep your belongings safe during transport. Compared to similar rolling duffels, the Rolling Thunder is an awesome value and it’s a great choice if you’re looking to keep the weight off your back.
The following duffel bags didn’t make our final list, but they’ve still got a lot of good things going for them. You never know, one of these duffels might be perfect for you:
- YETI Crossroads 60 – a very high quality duffel that’s highly waterproof. We love that this bag is rugged and holds it shaped when not packed. It also has a very wide opening for easy packing and locating items inside. It’s pretty expensive compared to other options on our list, which is why it landed here. That said, we think it could be worth the extra cost for those looking for a tough-as-nails duffel for consistent use.
- Shacke Express Weekender – an affordable duffel for folks who prioritize practicality and saving money over stylish looks or bells and whistles. This simple bag may not be as durable as some, but the Weekender is perfectly functional if you just need something to throw your clothes and some toiletries in for short getaways.
Critical Duffel Bag Considerations
GETTING ORGANIZED – Keeping things organized is key to a stress-free travel experience. Some duffel bags are designed with organizational pockets and compartments, but many have just one large opening. We like organizing our things in packing cubes to keep everything neat.
SAFETY – If you’re using your duffel bag for travel, the most important safety tip we can give is to just be aware of your surroundings. Some people also like to bring small luggage locks to lock zippers and RFID technology wallets and card sleeves to protect sensitive information.
CARRY-ON SIZE – Carry-on size varies a lot between airlines; check your airline’s website to make sure your duffel fits their dimensions. Also be sure your toiletries and liquids meet the standard of 3-1-1 (3.4 oz. liquids in 1 bag sized at 1 quart max) for carry-on. We love using refillable GoToobs for our shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries.
Need More Gear Advice?
If you liked this list, you’ll love the CleverHiker Gear Guide where we test and recommend tons of outdoor adventure gear from a variety of categories. here are some links to popular articles:
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