We reached out to industry experts and frequent flyers to get their recommendations for the best duffel bags for traveling. Here is what they had to say.
This bag is an absolute machine. I have used it on major trekking and climbing expeditions in Nepal as well in on Mount Kilimanjaro, and it performed amazingly. It comes with a clever little shoe compartment that doubles well for storing dirty clothes, and is also water resistant. The best part is that it is a lot more affordable than the big name brands like The North Face and Helly Hansen.
Contributor: Mark Whitman, Mountain IQ
TSA Checkpoint Compliant, Backpack or Duffel Bag Carry, Durable Water Proof Materials. 20 innovative features including RFID protected pocket, shoe compartment, cord organizer, laptop pocket, tablet pocket, and notebook pocket. Perfect for travel up to a week away!
"We set out to design the perfect travel bag and we are incredibly proud of the result – a functional and durable travel bag that is great for quick trips and everyday life.”
- NOMATIC co-founder Jacob Durham.
Size is very important, the next size up means it's way too big to be a carry-on bag. (60 L)
This is without-a-doubt the best duffel bag for travelling with only a carry-on. I'm all about the carry-on lifestyle, as I hate waiting for checked bags and it forces me to be a smart packer! I've had this bag for the last 5 or 6 years, and I'm still as in love with as I was the first day.
It's the perfect size for carrying-on board - even on low-cost airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet, I've never had a problem bringing it as hand luggage. It's very durable (I mean it's Patagonia, of course it is!) and, bcause it's not structured like a suitcase, it has tons of space for stuffing in everything you need for your trip. It's also super light-weight for the same reason, which is a must when traveling carry-on style. This bag will definitely get you the most space with the least amount of weight than any out there.
The other thing is, it's both a duffel and a backpack! Which I think is actually one of the best things about it. It's super easy to transport and very comfortable. I can't recommend this bag enough. It comes in lots of colors and any avid traveler should be thrilled to have it. Plus, anything Patagonia means you can take it back to the store if you have any problems with it.
Contributor: Charlie Brook from Her Me Out
Elegant and smart, this beautiful duffel bag looks great with a business casual outfit and works equally well with a suit. Ideal for anyone seeking a stylish, reliable travel bag, this weekend bag will become a trusted companion in the years to come.
Contributor: Nicole Rohde from Maxwell-Scott
By blending the best of a garment bag with the ease and flexibility of a weekender duffel, Combat Gent has created the ideal bag for every trip on your calendar.
The unique curved, single-zipper system and three-piece design can be completely opened up flat so a suit, blazer, or any other hanging item can be stowed in the central pocket like a traditional garment bag. Once your hanging garments and shoes are stowed, you simply roll and zip up the ingeniously designed panels and pack it like a standard duffel bag.
Best of all, the weekender garment bag meets international carry-on requirements, so say goodbye to the days of waiting at baggage claim wishing you were somewhere else.
Contributor: Lindsay Wells from Combatant Gentlemen
The Acme Made Union Street Tube Duffel is a stylish, lightweight and practical solution for all of your travel needs. The super smooth Stretch Shell™ fabric feels premium, all while being weather and stain resistant, with a nylon bottom maximizing the durability of the bag. Zippered side pockets, cleverly camouflaged by nylon strapping, keep valuables secure yet easy to reach.
Contributor: Megan Benedict from Acme Made
Available in two sizes: 85L and 110L, and multiple color/pattern options. I prefer the bigger size because I travel for weeks and sometimes for months at a time. This bag fits all my ski clothing and boots, as well as all the regular everyday necessities. It comes with a ton of zippers and pockets, and the extendable handle makes it quite easy to lug around. And I love how my bag looks different than all the other suitcases and duffel bags on the airport luggage carousel.
Contributor: Cynthia Brown from OnlyTopReviews
The Patagonia Black Hole duffel is made for any type of trip. I've put mine through the paces, taking it on surf trips to Central America, ski trips in the Rockies, and even used it as a giant cooler by packing it full of ice. It has never ripped, torn, or complained about how much stuff I've jammed inside it.
Other cool feature: this bag folds up into its front pocket for easy storage when not in use.
Contributor: Chase Olivieri, Founder, Altitude Travel
Hook & Albert's Garment Weekender Bags are the epitome of function meets fashion with a bold, modern, and minimal duffle with garment bag functionality. All Garment Weekenders meet domestic & international carry-on requirements.
Fully unzipped, the garment section can easily accommodate two suits (up to a size 46R). Once the duffle is reconstructed, the main compartment houses two zip accessory compartments and two shoe pockets (up to a size 14 shoe). A sliding shoulder strap makes carrying the bag comfortable and functional. Fully unzipped, the bag folds flat to 2.5 in height, making storage in the tightest of places a breeze.
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