Travel duffel bags have become synonymous with adventure travelers. The super tough bags can range from a 45-liter weekend grab bag to a whopping 90 liter – we could fit a person in these things. (I don’t recommend that for saving on airfare!) I recently utilized a duffel bag on our snowboard tour around the world and loved the rugged convenience.
The best duffel bags for travel are durable and made for simple travel. They can stash a lot of gear with no space eaten up by organization dividers or sections. Plus with a durable exterior, you can stick boots, gloves, goggles, or hiking poles in them.
We’ve reviewed some of the best travel duffel bags on the market that will help make your travel and packing easier – here are our favorites.
Best Travel Duffel Bag
Patagonia Black Hole
Have we mentioned that we love Patagonia before? We’re avid fans of the companies products and it’s likely anyone who’s big into outdoor adventure sports is loves them too. The Patagonia Black Hole bag is one of the largest of the Patagonia brand and perfect for extensive travel.
The bag can pack down small when empty so it’s great to stick in your bag. It was also plenty easy to stuff and organize, thanks to the large U-shaped zipper and two mesh pockets on the top flap.
North Face Base Camp
The North Face Base Camp is likely the best duffel bag for travel. This bag has been a staple of the duffel market and for a long time left competitors attempting to keep up.
I love that the shoulder straps are plush and allow for the bag to be carried like a backpack. It’s made with a durable material that is both rugged and weather resistant. It’s everything I look for in a great duffel bag for travel. North Face also makes a version with wheels called the North Face Rolling Thunder.
Helly Hansen Duffel 2
If you’re looking for the best value on this list of duffels bags for travel then the Helly Hansen is for you. The Helly Hansen Duffel 2 is easily my favorite bag on the market and the one I currently carry.
It’s an easy to pack bag and should be able to handle a few short trips. The Helly Hansen is waterproof and looks sharp. However, it’s slightly heavy and could definitely be constructed just a tad bit better. It’s not the toughest or best-constructed duffel bag, but you do get a lot of bag for not much money.
Eagle Creek Cargo HaulerEagle Creekare experts at lightweight travel gear and that is exactly what you can expect with their Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler.
The bag has six handles so it’s easy to grab for the traveler on the go. It also has well-cushioned shoulder straps that make it easy to carry. If you need a tough bag give this a skip as it isn’t super durable, but for a weekend traveler not putting much wear and tear on a bag this may the perfect fit. It may not be the best at waterproof capabilities so adventurers may want to leave this one at home.
Best Wheeled Duffel Bags
High Siera AT6 – Carry On
This is a hybrid bag that blends duffel bag and backpack. It provides travelers plenty of options and is purpose-built to do it all. The bag features organization with multiple compartments and a divider panel that can be removed to create one large compartment.
Most importantly it has wheel and an extendable handle for easy transportation.
Eagle Creek No Matter What Duffel Bag
This is a collapsible bag that still has sturdy wheels and a handle to carry it all. What more could you ask for? It also hold a massive 120 liters of worth of luggage. The bag has weather resistant fabric that will not hold up the elements of an adventure traveler. However, the average city hopper will be enough to protect clothes from the occasional patch of rain.
Wheeled vs. Traditional Duffel Bag
It goes without saying wheels make it far easier to travel around airports, paved roads, and even surfaces. The advantage of a traditional duffel bag is that is lightweight and easy to carry. With strict airline weight allowances that weight means you pack less of your own stuff in a wheeled bag.
A more traditional bag is also much easier in difficult or exotic destinations. They’re clearly more suited for adventure travel as you can strap to just about anything whether that’s a rooftop, yak, snowmobile, or jammed in the small luggage hold of a Cessna. For the average traveler, a wheeled bag is a perfect fit, but those on an adventure should opt for a traditional duffel bag for travel.