While duffel bags are convenient for quick travels such as overnight business trips and weekend getaways with your partner, many are big enough for a week or two away. Of course, duffel bags are also convenient for everyday use at the gym, kids’ sporting events and the like.
U.S. News compiled this list of the best travel duffel bags based on consumer recommendations. Read on to find the best duffel bag for your travel needs as well as answers to common questions about this type of suitcase.
(Note: Prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication; they may fluctuate due to supply chain issues.)
Best Overall Travel Duffel Bag: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 55L
(Courtesy of Patagonia)
Highly rated by travelers, the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 55L weighs less than 3 pounds, has a 55-liter capacity and is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop fabric. The weather-resistant bag has a convenient open main compartment with a top zipper and padded base; it features a zippered side pocket accessible from the inside or outside. This product also has padded, detachable shoulder straps that allow it to convert into a backpack.
Reviewers comment that the bag’s size is perfect for weekend or weeklong trips, with many calling it the best travel bag on the market. Because it’s so popular, this travel duffel bag tends to sell out, but Patagonia and other retailers typically restock it and allow interested buyers to sign up for waitlists. The Black Hole line also includes a smaller 40-liter size and two larger bags – with a capacity of 70 liters and 100 liters – for extended vacations or camping trips.
Best Duffel Bag for Men: Thule Chasm
(Courtesy of Thule)
The Thule Chasm is rugged enough for the woods, yet sleek enough for the office. Available in four trendy colors (think olive green and burnt orange), the weather-resistant bag can be used as a duffel or carried as a backpack and features plenty of interior organization.
The Thule Chasm duffel is available in four sizes – 40, 70, 90 and 130 liters – to suit your travel needs and, regardless of size, can expand with the use of its external compression straps. Recent buyers say this travel duffel bag is good for everything from road trips to the overhead bin; they also appreciate how easy it is to store the bag (in an accompanying case) when not in use.
Price for 130L: $179.95 or less.
Shop now: Thule
Best Women’s Duffel Bag: Vera Bradley Large Travel Duffel Bag
(Courtesy of Vera Bradley)
With thousands of five-star reviews, Vera Bradley’s Large Travel Duffel Bag remains a tried-and-true duffel bag for women. The soft, 50-liter bag is available in black or navy microfiber (for those who aren’t keen on the traditional paisley patterns) and even more solid colors in recycled cotton. This women’s duffel bag comes with a detachable padded shoulder strap, one zippered and three open side pockets, and a zippered closure. Inside, three mesh pockets keep small items like cosmetics and jewelry organized and easily accessible.
The bag is also machine-washable in cold water using a gentle cycle, and it conveniently folds flat for storage. What’s more, you can personalize your duffel with a monogram or whimsical design.
Best Rolling Duffel Bag: The North Face Rolling Thunder – 22″ Roller
(Courtesy of The North Face)
This 40-liter-capacity bag weighs less than 8 pounds and is the perfect rolling duffel bag for travelers who don’t feel like lugging anything over their shoulder. Its design features larger wheels and wheel wells for better traction, as well as a strengthened handle and back panel. Reviews of this rolling duffel bag say it’s sturdier than a traditional duffel and mention that the bag rolls smoothly.
The North Face’s durable Base Camp material combined with nylon makes this product suitable for rougher wear and tear; plastic bumpers on the wear points also help protect the fabric. There’s an interior mesh pocket, two zippered pockets outside, and an additional external compartment for wet or dirty items or clothes. It’s available in black and military olive/black, as well as larger (30- or 36-liter) sizes.
(Courtesy of Away)
There couldn’t be a more fitting name for this bag that is, indeed, perfect for going everywhere. With a 20-liter capacity and weighing less than 3 pounds, The Everywhere Bag by Away is ideal to use as a carry-on duffel bag or personal item (it fits under the seat) for air travel. This product is also convenient for overnight visits and weekend getaways – or longer, depending how you pack. Its sleek design makes it a nice bag to tote to the office, too.
This carry-on duffel bag can store all of your necessary in-flight items with a 15-inch laptop pocket, zippered and slip pockets inside, and an open interior that will accommodate a comfy wrap or travel pillow. It’s designed with a trolley sleeve to fit over the handle of another carry-on bag or checked luggage, and it also has an adjustable and removable shoulder strap. The water-resistant nylon travel bag is available in several colors with leather trim. Fans of the bag remark that it’s sleek, timeless and very spacious. If you’re looking for more room, however, upgrade to The Medium Everywhere Bag or The Large Everywhere Bag.
Price: $195 or less.
Shop now: Away
Best Waterproof Duffel Bag: YETI Panga 50L Waterproof Duffel
(Courtesy of YETI)
This fully submersible duffel will be your go-to bag whether you’re planning a big offshore fishing trip, heading to Antarctica or camping in a rainforest during your next adventure. No matter how wet you get – on the boat or on land – buyers say your gear will stay 100% dry thanks to the bag’s waterproof molded landing pad, laminated high-density nylon and HydroLok Zipper. The 50-liter YETI bag, weighing in at about 5 pounds, also features lash points for carrying options. It’s available in storm gray and tan, as well as larger sizes: 75-liter or 100-liter.
Best Duffel Bag Backpack: REI Co-op Big Haul 40 Recycled Duffel
(Courtesy of REI)
This versatile bag is made of durable recycled ripstop nylon and features an even more rugged recycled ballistic nylon base. It’s large enough to accommodate belongings for a trip of several days. Recent buyers mention that they like the classic design and use the REI Co-op Big Haul duffel as both a gym bag and a work tote. Carry this bag as a duffel or use the stowable back straps to convert it to a backpack. The lightweight travel duffel bag weighs approximately 2 pounds and comes in four colors.
Price: $109 or less.
Shop now: REI
(Courtesy of Dagne Dover)
While this small duffel bag comes in a variety of sizes, the medium, large or extra-large sizes of the Landon Carryall Bag by Dagne Dover are most ideal for overnights and weekend escapes. The compact design makes it easy to store this 100% vegan bag in the overhead bin or even under the seat on the plane. The bag also features a neoprene trolley sleeve so you can easily plop it on top of other luggage.
Other features include a laptop sleeve (sizes vary by bag), interior and exterior pockets for essentials such as your passport holder and phone, a dust bag for shoes, and a leash for keys. Buyers appreciate all the features of this bag, especially its versatility for travel and everyday use.
Best Large Duffel Bag: L.L. Bean Adventure Duffle, Extra-Large
If you’re looking for a big bag to hold a few weeks’ worth of clothing (and then some), the L.L. Bean Adventure Duffle might be your newest travel companion. The extra-large size measures 17 x 34 x 15 inches and has a 139-liter capacity – versus the small, 19-liter version, which is 9 x 18 x 9 – and features comfortable hand and shoulder straps plus an exterior zippered pocket. It’s also waterproof.
Reviewers say this travel duffel bag is so big that they’ve been able to pack their entire family’s belongings in it and have also used it for monthlong trips; some even note that the bag has lasted decades. This duffel bag comes in a variety of colors, and monogramming is available for an additional fee. If you’re looking for a large duffel bag with wheels, check out the Extra-Large Adventure Rolling Duffle Bag by L.L. Bean.
Best Packable Duffel Bag: Gonex Packable Travel Duffle Bag
If you’re looking for a foldable duffel bag that you can put in your checked luggage and fill with souvenirs you acquire on your trip (or even just dirty laundry), check out the Gonex Packable Travel Duffle Bag. The duffel bag can be neatly folded and packed into an included pouch for easy storage on the go and at home. This thin yet tough bag features external zippered pockets, a detachable shoulder strap and a compartment for shoes, making it a good everyday duffel bag as well.
Reviewers agree you can’t beat the value of this Gonex bag, which is available in 40-, 60- and 80-liter sizes.
Price for 80L: $44.99 or less.
Shop now: Amazon
Frequently Asked Questions
The duffel bag is a piece of oblong luggage typically carried over the shoulder and used for short trips. It’s often used as a catchall for sports gear as well – think dance class, tennis practice, etc. Invented in the town of Duffel in Flanders, Belgium, in the 17th century and made of a woven cloth later known as canvas, duffel luggage has since evolved to incorporate a variety of materials and features including wheels and backpack straps. Duffel bags also come in many shapes and sizes, including small, stylish options known as weekender bags.
Yes, you can check a duffel bag as long as it meets weight restrictions for checked baggage. Check your airline’s rules ahead of your trip.
Unless your duffel bag can meet airline size restrictions for personal items and fit under the seat, it will count toward your carry-on allowance and you’ll need to store it in the overhead bin or check it (for free) at the gate. If you’re looking for a duffel bag that fits under the seat, The Everywhere Bag by Away and Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag are both good options.
You can buy duffel bags through sporting outfitters (online or in store), luggage retailers and, of course, Amazon.
When choosing the best duffel bag for your needs, travel experts recommend taking these features into consideration:
- Ease of transport: Some duffel bags can be clunky and heavy. That’s why Andrew Zimmern, the host of Magnolia Network series “Family Dinner” and goodwill ambassador to the United Nations’ World Food Programme, prefers a duffel bag with wheels. “I’m an adventure traveler and am often in several environments and ecosystems on just one trip,” he says. “I like a rolling duffel bag to easily navigate airports, sidewalks and curbs.”
- Organization: Zimmern says it’s also nice to have adjustable interior panels that keep gear organized. “I appreciate that once it’s organized, it’s secure, and it stays consolidated within the customized ‘bins’ inside my bag.” And external compartments are just as important. “I also prefer a bag that has external pockets so I can easily access aspirin or headphones if I’ve packed just the one bag,” he adds.
- Size: Samantha Brown, host and creator of PBS series “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love,” has a list of features she looks for in the perfect duffel bag. “I prefer a duffel to be personal item-size so I can always pair it with my carry-on bag. I especially am looking for a trolley sleeve on the back to connect it to my luggage, which is a rare feature to find.”
- Style: “For me, a duffel needs to have handles as well as an adjustable luggage strap. It also needs to have some structure to it. My pet peeve is an amorphous bag that collapses as you are trying to pack, unpack or find things,” Brown says.