Have you ever wondered why your gym bag is also sometimes called a “duffel bag”? The name actually hails from the small Belgian town of Duffel, where the thick cloth originally used to make the bag comes from. The name has since gone on to describe any cylindrical bag that opens and closes via drawstring at the top, as well as rectangular softside luggage that has a prominent top zipper opening. Duffel bags usually have top handles for easy carrying, although plenty of latest designs also incorporate the use of shoulder straps¹.
Duffel bags are some of the most useful and practical luggage pieces that you can find today. They can be used for both travel and storage, and they are the ideal type of bag to take with you on short, domestic trips. They come especially handy when you need a fresh change of clothes at the gym or on the field, where a full-sized suitcase would be inconvenient and out of place. Duffel bags are also issued to military personnel, often being referred to as “sea bags” when used by sailors and marines².
- 1 Advantages of Using Duffel Bags
- 2 Best Duffel Bags In 2018 – Chart
- 3 The Top Duffel Bags in The Market Today
- 4 Adidas Team Speed Medium Duffel Bag
- 5 Samsonite Tote-a-Ton 33-Inch Duffel Luggage
- 6 Under Armour UA Undeniable Storm Medium Duffel
- 7 Everest Luggage Sporty Gear Duffel Bag
- 8 Nike Brasilia 6 Duffel Bag
- 9 Adidas Defender II Duffel Bag
- 10 Kenox Oversized Canvas Travel Tote Luggage Weekend Duffel Bag
- 11 Rothco 19” Canvas Shoulder Bag
- 12 Dalix 21” Large Duffle Bag with Adjustable Strap
Advantages of Using Duffel Bags
Because of their convenient size and form factor, duffel bags offer a number of distinct advantages over other common luggage types.
- Versatility – Perhaps the biggest benefit to using a duffel bag is that it is perfect for just about every type of travel situation imaginable. You can use it for some last-minute packing, or for storing items like ID’s, travel documents, or anything that you will want quick access to when you travel. You can also use a duffel bag to store fresh clothes to change into after you hit the gym, or engage in sports and other recreational activities. Duffels bags are pretty much the go-to bag for every occasion.
- Design Flexibility – Because duffel bags are often made from relatively soft but durable fabric, they are designed offer some give, allowing them to stretch and flex a little in order to increase maximum storage capacity. Some duffle bags even have spinners or skate wheels underneath them to make them easier to transport across airport floors without having to lift a finger.
- Storage Convenience – Most duffel bags have a softside construction and do not have any sort of rigid support frame or structure to hold it up and keep it standing even when there is nothing inside it. Because of this, the bag easily collapses for convenient storage when not in use³. Stow it under the bed or at the foot of the cabinet, then use again after you’ve planned out your next travelling adventure.
Characteristics Of A Good Duffel Bag
With duffel bags coming in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, buying a new one can be quite the challenge. You’ll need to have a basic idea of what your luggage needs are or could be before making a decision. You’ll also need to know what to look for in a duffel bag to make sure that you get the best value for your money.
One of the first things that you will want to consider is size. Obviously, you want a duffel bag that is not only large enough to suit your needs, but is also unobtrusive and easy to carry. Also, you might want to think about getting at least two duffel bags—one small, one large—to make sure that you have the right-sized bag for every occasion; whether it be a weekend at the beach, or a quick pickup game at your local hoops court.
Another characteristic to look into is durability. Today’s duffle bags are made from a variety of materials, and feature design innovations such as reinforced stitching, which generally increases the bag’s overall structural integrity. Look for duffel bags that feel well-made and constructed from high-denier, tear-resistant fabric.
Lastly, you’ll also want duffel bags that give you outstanding value for money. Although their retail prices can range from tens to hundreds of dollars in the American luggage market, look for a product that offers more than what its price tag suggests. Additional features such as exterior pockets, expandable storage, and water resistance only adds to a product’s value, so look for a bag that gives you more than what you pay for.
Best Duffel Bags In 2018 – Chart
|1. Adidas Team Speed Medium Duffel Bag||13″ x 25″ x 12″||$$||4.6|
|2. Samsonite Tote-a-Ton 33-Inch Duffel Luggage||33″x 17″x 11.5″||$$||4.4|
|3. Under Armour UA Undeniable Storm Medium Duffel||11″ x 22″ x 10″||$$||4.6|
|4. Everest Luggage Sporty Gear Duffel Bag||25″ x 12″ x 12″||$$||4.0|
|5. Nike Brasilia 6 Duffel Bag||24.5″ x 12″ x 13″||$$||4.4|
|6. Adidas Defender II Duffel Bag||13″ x 24″ x 12″||$$||4.5|
|7. Kenox Oversized Canvas Travel Tote Luggage Weekend Duffel Bag||11″ x 18.9″ x 5.1″||$$||4.4|
|8. Rothco 19” Canvas Shoulder Bag||19″ x 9″ x 6″||$$||4.5|
|9. Dalix 21” Large Duffle Bag with Adjustable Strap||21″ x 11″ x 11″||$$||3.7|
The Top Duffel Bags in The Market Today
With its lightweight, casual design, the Team Speed Medium Duffel Bags from multinational sports shoes, clothing, and accessories manufacturer Adidas was made for the team athlete⁴. The bag features a spacious main compartment that also includes a large zippered pocket that you can use to hold all of your valuables. It also has two zippered end cap pockets; one of which features the company’s proprietary FreshPAK™ ventilation technology that resists bacterial odors, making it ideal for storing dirty shoes and socks. There is also a roomy front pocket for items that you’ll want to get at without having to open the main compartment.The Team Speed Medium is made with 600-denier polyester, and incorporates the Adidas brand’s patented climaproof® protection technology that holds up well against wet fields and sweaty floors. It also has a convenient shoulder strap with a comfortable air mesh pad, as well as a pair cushioned wrap handles. The duffel even has an additional side haul handle to make carrying the Team Speed Medium a cinch, no matter where or how you hold it.
From Samsonite—one of the world’s biggest and most renowned luggage brands—comes the popular Tote-a-Ton 33-Inch Duffel. The enormous bag weighs next to nothing, but it can hold about as much as a trunk⁵. This behemoth of a luggage piece is a bit of a softie though, in the sense that its 400-denier polyester fabric easily collapses for convenient storage when not in use. The Tote-a-Ton offers a whopping 6,400 cubic inches of storage space, making it ideal for moving, for camping out in the woods, or for going off to college.The Tote-a-Ton has two top handles that make it easier to lift and carry the duffel bag. The handles extend towards the bottom of the bag, reinforcing it and giving it additional structure. It retails for a little less, and comes in a range of colors that include black, purple, red, and turquoise. If you are looking for a large-capacity duffel that you can stow away easily, then the Tote-a-Ton from Samsonite could very well be the bag for you.
Durable and spacious, the Undeniable from American sports clothing and accessories company Under Armour Inc. provides plenty of room for all your gear, whether you’re just going to the gym or heading off to a sunny beach vacation over the weekend. The duffel bag utilizes the company’s proprietary UA Storm technology, as well as its durable, water-resistant finish to keep snow and rain at bay, without sacrificing breathability⁶. The bag is made from 600-denier polyester, which is a tough and tear-resistant fabric that holds up well against the elements. It is available in a range of color variants such as Red, Black, Midnight Navy, Graphite, Royal, Steel Town Gold, and High-Visibility Yellow.The Undeniable also has a number of interior and exterior pockets, including one on its side that expands and this allows the air to go out through the mesh—perfect for stowing away dirty shoes and socks. The duffel has top grab handles that can be joined together via hook-and-loop strap for convenience, as well as a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap for hands-free carrying. The shoulder strap also features a HeatGear® pad for total comfort. The Undeniable Storm Duffel retails for less.
With its eye-catching two-tone design, the Sporty Gear from leading luggage manufacturer Everest is undoubtedly the brand’s signature line of quality duffel bags. The Sporty Gear line offers a sizeable main compartment⁷, as well as two zippered side compartments for additional storage. There is also a wide front zippered pocket that works great for holding keys, loose change, or anything you might want to get to quickly without having to open the main compartment. It also has wet and dry pockets for keeping dirty clothes and socks separate⁸. The Sporty Gear duffel has two top grab handles that join together via hook-and-loop assembly, and comes with a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap for easy transport. It is made from durable 600-denier polyester, and weighs less than 2 pounds when empty. If you are looking for a duffel bag that costs less, then the Sporty Gear Duffel by Everest is perfect for you.
With its wide, U-zip opening, the Brasilia 6 Duffel Bag from renowned sports clothes, shoes, and accessories maker Nike offers a deceptively large amount of space for a bag its size. It lets you store plenty of clothes, books, gadgets, and more, with sufficient ease⁹. The Brasilia 6 Duffel has two end compartment for extra storage; one of which expands to accommodate up to two pairs of shoes. It is available in a range of colors, and retails for less.The duffel bag has padded top grab handles for easy carrying, as well as an adjustable shoulder strap with foam support so you can carry it hands-free with the utmost comfort. It is made with light and durable 600-denier polyester, which is a tear-resistant fabric that holds up well against rain and moisture. There are even a few Velcro® pockets that give you additional storage space. For its low price, the Brasilia 6 Duffel Bag from Nike is absolutely worth looking into.
Great for carrying loads of belongings with you on your regular gym dates. Made with 600D polyester and imported materials, the bag is built to last against wear and tear. It has a zippered compartment with a small pocket for your valuables. The ventilated odor-fighting technology goes a great job in filtering the odor from your shoes out of the bag so your clothes will be able to stay clean and fresh. It is also user-friendly with its adjustable shoulder strap, padded handles and 4 compartments.
If you don’t need to bring an extra pair of shoes with you, you can just stuff the ventilated compartment with your swim gears or any other suits that can get wet and need ventilation to dry up. This is one of the best features of Adidas Defender II Duffel Bags because it keeps everything light, smooth and easy. It may also come in different sizes, small, medium and large, covering all heights and sizes. The design may vary like navy blue/semi solar yellow, black, intense pink, university red, and so on. You’ll have plenty of design and size choices to choose from.
Oversized means there’s enough storage for your clothes, sneakers, gadgets, toiletries, or outdoor gears with this bag. The good news is that it’s a duffel bag so can now quit using a spinner luggage for your weekend trips, unless you’re a hardcore top-loader. The khaki color (top choice) does look very easy on the eyes and somewhat suggest a masculine vibe so it’s definitely a good choice for men. Meanwhile, the design makes packing up convenient and security of your belongings is assured with its side pockets, main compartment, internal pocket, and front compartment with a zipped pocket. The bag is also collapsible so you can easily store anything in it. Additionally, other colors are available if khaki isn’t your cup of tea such as blue, coffee and black. With its large size, durability and compartments, this duffel bag from Kenox is definitely a great choice for weekend trips and short-term vacations.
If you’re keen on collecting or using vintage bags, this canvas shoulder bag from Rothco might get your attention. It sports the classic shoulder bag look with a pair of web handles, one adjustable shoulder strap and one main zipped compartment available in plain earth brown, navy blue, olive drab and black colors. However, don’t mistake its rather plain and simple appearance for being less durable than the other bags out there. It is made with heavyweight cotton canvas that is meant to last. Rothco has designed this shoulder bag with their adventurous users in mind as they are a top manufacturer of bags for survival, tactical, outdoor and military organizations.
For its 19-inch size, this Rothco shoulder bag allows you to bring a couple of jeans, undergarments, socks, shirts, and one jacket while you still have some room for a 13-inch laptop. However, the absence of extra external pockets (aside from one end pocket) would mean that you should only bring what’s essential for your trip and leave the not-so-useful behind. This bag might not be for you if you tend to bring all of your gadgets, beauty essentials or extra pair of shoes all at once. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to outdoor adventure enthusiasts, guards on duty and military trainees.
The cheapest among the brands in this review, this duffel bag offers convenience during your travels, gym dates or sports games. It is definitely versatile for its many uses but its size is especially notable because you will be able to bring a lot of your things and then some. It is also collapsible so you can easily place it just behind the car seat or underneath it. There’s the oversized main compartment with front pocket, two web handles, removable shoulder strap, and a top Velcro handle to make your long trips and transport from one ride to another bearable. Easy access to the side pocket is a good thing, where you can place your map, ID, headset, pictures, etc. And although the price is surprisingly cheap, the good quality polyester can hold things together steadily. If you will use this bag wisely, whether as a carry-on or a gym bag, it should be able to last for months. Dalix 21” Duffel bags are available in multiple colors such as black, red, pink, blue, green, gray, orange, yellow, camouflage, purple and black-gray.