Away Just Launched Its First Duffel Bag

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Away weekender bags
Photo: Courtesy of Away

I'm not usually a duffel person. As a chronic overpacker, I tend to favor hard-sided rolling suitcases (even for short leisure trips) because they force me to be more judicious and I can push them around easily, even if they're super heavy. The one time I tend to make an exception is when minimal schlepping and lifting is involved — say, a road trip. So when Away invited me up to the Hudson Valley for an overnight to test the new Weekender bag, I couldn't wait to put the duffel through its paces.

The lightweight bag — available in black, olive green, and light khaki — has a slightly textured canvas exterior and a leather-lined bottom, which look great together but also make the bag durable. The roomy interior features two large side pockets, which work well for tablets or notebooks, plus a laptop sleeve.

Related: The Best Carry-on Duffel Bags, According to Travelers

Outside, you'll find two zippered exterior pockets designed to keep small essentials within easy reach. A separate wipeable shoe compartment on the bottom comes in particularly handy if you're dealing with muddy hiking boots (or, in my case, flats spattered with clay from a pottery class).

With a 38.7-liter capacity, Away's Weekender holds roughly the same amount as the brand's beloved Carry-on. Since it was early spring, I knew the weather could change at a moment's notice, so I filled my packing cubes with plenty of options for layering — two pairs of jeans, a couple T-shirts, a light sweater, a chunkier knit, an outfit for yoga, and a utility jacket — and tossed them in, along with my toiletries bag.

At that point, with about half the duffel filled, I did a test lift, first with the canvas handles, then with the long detachable strap. Both methods felt comfortable, but once I slung the latter over my shoulder, I could really feel the difference in how easily it carried. (An unexpected bonus I would later discover: The duffel's slim profile helped me avoid accidentally knocking into other people in a busy hotel lobby.)

Even when I added the rest of my must-haves, I could pick up the bag and load it into my trunk without an embarrassing heave-ho move — a revelation for which my back and my husband will thank me when it comes time for summer road trips.

Away Weekender in Natural

Away weekender bag
Courtesy of Away

To buy: awaytravel.com, $245

Away Weekender in Olive

Away weekender bag
Courtesy of Away

To buy: awaytravel.com, $245

Away Weekender in Black

Away weekender bag
Courtesy of Away

To buy: awaytravel.com, $245

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