There’s a reason this bag has been a favorite for over half a century: it’s sturdy (that canvas is tested to hold up to 500 pounds), tastefully spare (those contrasting straps always look good), and offers just the right amount of customization (liven things up with a bright color or a monogram, or stick to the classic navy). And at only $50, you can buy in bulk and still not blow your budget.
The Base Camp Duffel from The North Face is a fully-featured bag and a direct competitor to the Patagonia Black Hole above. It’s similarly tough and water resistant, offers easy access to the inside, and can be carried as a backpack, which we love. Both bags offer comparable organization pockets, but the Base Camp’s medium and large models add an exterior compartment on one end that allows you to separate dirty clothes and shoes. The Base Camp comes in more colors and designs than we can count, and is available in capacities ranging from 31 liters (XS) to a whopping 150 liters (XXL). For everything from a carry-on to an expedition workhorse, this is one of the most popular duffels on the market year after year.
It’s made from resistant polyester to confront the harshest weather. It offers internal and external zippered pockets. It packs into a bag, reducing its space, so you can easily store it when you’re not traveling. There are four sizes, from 30L to 90L. This could be a downside for those looking for a big 120L bag to store a lot of gear. Otherwise, 90L should be enough for most people.
The Patagonia Black Hole above truly is a duffel by nature, but the Osprey Transporter moves closer into backpack territory (we’ll call it a hybrid). With serious backpack straps designed with carrying comfort is mind (Osprey is the industry leader in backpacking packs), the Transporter is a great option for travelers who need to cover distance with their duffel. In terms of features, the outside is tough and water resistant, while the inside is loaded with handy extras like a padded compartment for electronics and rain flaps for piece of mind. Further, the lid zips are lockable and the straps can be easily stowed away when not in use.
When you're transporting sporting, camping or other gear and equipment, you want your bag to be able to hold a substantial amount of weight and stand up to a variety of conditions. Travel duffel bags and other bags in our selection of duffel bags are made of strong and sturdy materials, such as polyester and cotton canvas, with high deniers for durability and lasting use. Look for bags with water-resistant or weather-resistant coatings if you know you'll be using your duffel bag in the outdoors.