How To Choose A Travel Duffel

Travel duffels are essential for various reasons. Whether you're going on a trip or looking for a bag to carry your workout essentials, a duffel bag can do the job. They come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and materials suitable for different purposes and functionalities.

Since there are various types of travel duffels, choosing the right one can get confusing. Should you choose one with wheels or one with backpack straps or one that is waterproof?

In this guide, you'll find helpful tips to assist you during your travel duffel decision-making. You'll be able to recognize the different styles of duffles, features to look for, and how to choose one according to your needs.

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Which's the most durable material for a travel duffel?

If you're going to frequently place your travel duffel on the ground or damp surfaces, you'll need to pick one that is sturdy and waterproof. The same goes for sporty and adventurous people. On the other hand, durability isn't really a concern for those who plan on bringing their duffel bag on short trips.

  • Nylon is soft and easy to carry around, yet durable. This material can withstand abrasion and exposure to weather conditions such as sunlight, rain, and humidity.

    ➔ A ripstop nylon travel duffel is favorable if it's going to be tossed around or dragged across the ground. This type of nylon is waterproof and prevents punctures from spreading.

  • Polyester is less durable and heavier than nylon, but more affordable for those on a tight budget.

  • Canvas is waterproof, heavy, and can't withstand a lot of use. This material is suitable for those who are into classic styles and aren't going to use their travel duffel often.

  • Leather has a sophisticated look but is heavy, sensitive to sun exposure, and requires maintenance. If you want to avoid all that but still want a stylish bag, you can opt for travel duffels with leather accents, such as straps, edges, and pockets.

Navy Blue Polyester Travel Duffel
Big Black Polyester Travel Duffel
Brown Rectangular Canvas Travel Duffel
Brown Square Canvas Travel Duffel
Brown Leather Travel Duffel
Black Leather Zip Travel Duffel

How to choose a travel duffel based on your needs?

Not all travel duffels are suitable for the same occasions. You should pick one that is appropriate for its intended use.

  • Weekend excursions, business trips, lengthy travels, gym bags, and beach bags are all common reasons to purchase a duffel bag.

  • Choose a duffel with multiple handling methods if ease of transport is important to you. Some can be gripped with your hands, carried over the shoulder, and worn like a backpack.

  • Travel duffels with wheels are spacious and heavier, but easier to transport across flat surfaces, such as airports.

  • A duffel with multiple compartments is useful for storing precious items such as keys to avoid misplacing or losing them.

Black Small Travel Duffel with Handle
Multiple Compartments Leather Travel Duffel
Blue Wheeled Travel Duffel
Black Travel Duffel on Wheel
Leather Travel Duffel with Pockets
Grey Wheeled Travel Duffel

What are the different travel duffel styles?

  • A classic travel duffel is simple, has a zip down its length, is available in different sizes, easy to access and carry, and versatile for different occasions such as going to the beach or on vacation.

  • A backpack hybrid can be carried like a backpack while being spacious and durable like a duffel. This is convenient for long walks since it has a versatile mode of carry.

  • A rolling duffel is ideal for those who can't or don't want to carry their duffel on their shoulders. However, these are harder to navigate on uneven surfaces such as rocks.

  • A packable duffel can be compressed into a small package when not used which is useful to bring in case you're going to need it during your trip.

  • A weekender duffel is the best option for short trips. It's both stylish and spacious for weekend trips.

  • Luxury travel duffels are polished bags that are elegant and ideal for making a statement.

Classic Brown Travel Duffel
Black and Red Sports Travel Duffel
Black Weekender Leather Travel Duffel
Brown Weekender Duffel Bag
Dark Grey Rolling Duffel Bag
Luxury Leather Travel Duffel Bag

Additional features to look for in a travel duffel:

  • Travel duffels come in a wide range of sizes anywhere from 40L to 120L.

    20L is preferable for a gym or beach bag.
    ➔ A 30L to 45L travel duffel is ideal for a carry-on.
    ➔ Choose a 50L to 55L one if you have a lot of belongings to bring during your trip.
    ➔ If you're looking for something more spacious, go for a 60L+ duffel.

  • An expandable duffel is a useful option for those in need of additional space.

  • Padded straps provide more comfort when carrying your travel duffel for a while.

  • Pick one with exterior pockets to easily access items such as plane tickets or your ID card without rummaging through your entire bag.

  • Quality zippers, such as coil and chain, are essential to prevent your zippers from easily breaking.