How to Choose the Perfect Duffel Bag for Your Next Adventure

No matter if you’re going camping like a true adventurer or just travelling somewhere, a duffle bag is an absolute necessity. Better than a hard, heavy suitcase, especially when it comes to the great outdoors, a good, sturdy duffel bag can make a big difference on your trip!

Having something that’s both convenient and spacious enough to fit all your clothes, gear, and any other knickknacks you decide to bring without being difficult to carry around is a blessing you’ll come to truly appreciate once you’ve found your perfect duffle bag!

holding duffel bag

Taking a page from the backpack’s book on being convenient and another from the suitcase’s on capacity and space, a duffel bag is a perfect mix between the two, rendering it a traveller’s best friend!

How to Choose the Right Duffle Bag for You

There are a few things to take into account when browsing for duffel bags. Only quality-made, durable, sturdy, and spacious bags are an option – everything else is out! It would be quite a bummer if you’re already out in the wilderness and your duffel bag decides to malfunction or you get one and realise it can’t fit everything you want to take with you.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid such situations and make sure your bag is everything you need it to be!

Pay Attention to the Material

The material affects the durability of a bag. This is a fact. If your bag is made of high-quality materials it will not only last longer but will provide a much-needed sense of security, meaning you can take it anywhere and not worry whether it will last the trip or ruin the contents inside.

quality duffel bag

Quality-made bags can be a bit pricey, but they’re always worth investing in! When choosing a bag, look for a sturdy, synthetic material like reinforced polyester or nylon. If you can find something that features both – you’re in luck!

Duffle bags are usually made out of more than just one material to ensure durability and functionality, so these combinations aren’t unusual. Such bags are amazing for hiking or camping trips, as they’re most often waterproof.

Canvas bag

Canvas bags are also great, though not always waterproof. If you need something for a simple trip, a thick canvas bag will do nicely.

Also, pay attention to the material of the handles. A duffle bag is worth nothing if you can’t carry it around with ease. Anything that says “heavy-duty” is great!

Check Out the Capacity

We say capacity and not size because duffel bags, like backpacks, are measured in litres. This can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy enough to understand!

Without getting into the math of cubic centimetres and whatnot, we’ll just tell you what size suits which purpose!

duffel bag on back


A fairly standard duffle bag is around 30L. This bag is perfect for a short weekend trip or if you’re travelling light. This is usually the smallest duffle bag you can find. Perfect to take as a carry-on on an aeroplane, such a duffle bag can substitute a backpack or small suitcase.


Moving on, the next size is 50L and above. This is a bag that’s almost twice the size of the 30L one, which means it can carry twice the amount of items. Perfect for a week-long trip or a camping trip that requires a bunch of essential gear to be packed.

duffel bag on stairs


Next up, 70L and above. We’re now stepping into heavier-duty stuff. Great for longer trips, such a bag is spacious, has a lot of extra pockets for extra stuff, and is usually equipped with sturdy handles that can handle the load.

Extra Large

Everything else, which is 100L and above, is huge. Choose this size if you’re planning a long trip and need to bring a lot of things with you. These bags are definitely heavy-duty and will feature all kinds of straps, pockets, zippers, and more. Even though they’re spacious, when filled they will be heavy, so make sure you won’t need to carry them around too much.

extra large capacity duffle

Make Sure It’s Convenient to Use

By convenience, we mean what extra features your duffle bag provides, how easy it is to carry around, what attachments can be added, and so on.

First thing’s first, make sure your duffle bag isn’t too heavy to begin with. Having a bag that’s already heavy when empty will make things much more difficult when it’s full. You don’t need the extra weight, so make sure to pay attention to this when browsing.

When it comes to zippers, a D-shaped one will provide you with much more space to look through the bag, and it will also make packing easier. Unlike a straight zipper, which limits both movement and functionality, a D-shaped one goes from the bottom of one side to the bottom of the other, opening the bag up completely.

A flat-bottomed bag is usually better than one that doesn’t have this feature. The flat bottom makes sure your bag doesn’t lose shape, i.e. stands up straight when put down or carried around. This is important because it will add to the comfort and will also make packing and unpacking much easier.

polyester nylon duffel bag

A bag that has a shoulder strap, as well as handles, is your best choice. This way, you can free your hands up when needed and carry your belongings around with ease. When you don’t want to carry it on your shoulder anymore, you can use the handles. There are duffles that can also be worn as backpacks, but they’re usually around 30L.

Last thing – pockets. Make sure your bag has enough pockets to hold various items, from clothing and toiletries on the inside to things like keys, passports, and other stuff you’d like easy access to, on the outside. Remember, functionality is a duffle bag’s number one priority and purpose.

To Sum Up

  • Durability
  • Functionality
  • Capacity
medium duffel bag

These are the three most important things to pay attention to when looking for a duffle bag. There is a duffle bag for every occasion and finding the one that fits yours perfectly will take a lot of unnecessary stress out of your travels.

Don’t let a bag slow you down and ruin your adventure! Keep these three things in mind when shopping and we’re sure you’ll find the perfect duffle bag that fits your every need!