The Best Carry-on Duffel Bags, According to Travelers

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Couple with luggage
Photo: Getty Images

Every trip has its own luggage needs. Sometimes you want an easy rollaboard; sometimes you want an elaborate system of supportive hiking straps. And sometimes you just want a simple, flexible duffel.

Named for a town in Belgium where the coarse woolen cloth used for the original duffel bag was made, duffels are ideal for long weekend trips that don't merit a full suitcase, expeditions where your bags may get tossed around, or bumpy cobblestone and transit-packed cities where you prefer to carry your bag rather than wheel it. They also make for especially good carry-on bags, since you can use them on their own or slide them on top of a rolling luggage handle, and they easily squeeze into overhead bins without any wheel interference.

Size restrictions vary by airline, but you'll most likely be safe if you stick to the international standard of around 21 x 14 x 9 inches. Duffel bag dimensions are a bit, well, squishier than hardside luggage, so you do have more wiggle room to shove your bag into a bin but also more potential to accidentally overstuff it to the point where it doesn't fit anymore.

When you're shopping for a duffel, consider how many pockets you want, what kind of exterior material you prefer, and how you like to carry it. Since we're specifically focusing on carry-ons here, remember you will be carrying it through the airport and potentially onto a train or bus, so more strap options are better to help you find your best carrying posture. Some bags can get caught up in micro-organizations, with specific pockets designed for everything down to your sunglasses, while others are closer to the classic fabric tube style.

Regardless of your aesthetic preferences, the most important thing is solid construction. You don't want to have to carry your bag through the airport in your arms like a child if you bust a strap, no matter how much you may love it.

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Stylish Carry-on Duffel Bags

Stylish duffel bag
Courtesy of Lo & Sons
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Dagne Dover Landon Carry-all

Dagne Dover Duffel bag
Courtesy of Dagne Dover

The popular Landon series includes four different-sized bags to suit any carry-on mood that's struck you, and the neoprene fabric is flexible, durable, and easy to clean — and it comes in a range of fun colors.

To buy: dagnedover.com, from $95

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Filson Medium Rugged Twill Duffel

Filson duffel bag
Courtesy of eBags

Filson's best-seller is a rugged twill duffel, complete with the brand's hallmark bridle leather accents and a flap to cover the main compartment zipper for extra water resistance.

To buy: ebags.com, $395

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Plambag Oversized Canvas Duffel

Plambag duffel bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon's No. 2 best-selling duffel bag offers a canvas, multi-pocket aesthetic to travelers on a budget.

To buy: amazon.com, $33

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Lo & Sons Catalina Weekender Deluxe

Lo and Sons bag
Courtesy of Lo & Sons

Organizing expert Rachel Rosenthal votes for the lightweight but sturdy Catalina Deluxe. She's particularly fond of its shoe-specific bottom compartment and smaller interior zipper pockets.

To buy: loandsons.com, from $143

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Carry-on Duffels With Laptop Sleeves

Duffel bag with laptop sleeve
Courtesy of Tortuga
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Tortuga Setout Duffel Bag

Tortuga duffel bag
Courtesy of Tortuga

This bag has just the right level of organization, including an extra convenient padded side pocket for your laptop.

To buy: tortugabackpacks.com, $149

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Away The Everywhere Bag

The Everywhere Bag
Courtesy of Away Travel

The Everywhere Bag is designed to fit snugly under the seat in front of you, so it can qualify as a personal item rather than your full carry-on if you're averse to checked baggage and very into organizational pockets.

To buy: awaytravel.com, $195

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Adventure Carry-on Duffel Bags

Duffel bag
Courtesy of eBags
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Overboard Adventure Duffel Bag

Overboard Adventure Duffel Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

This popular Overboard Adventure model is a gear-reviewer favorite. The water-resistant bag features compression straps, lockable zippers, removable backpack straps, and multiple pockets and compartments to keep your stuff organized.

To buy: amazon.com, from $33

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Yeti Panga 50

Yeti bag
Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

If you're traveling during monsoon season or just carrying gear you need to keep dry at all costs, the waterproof Yeti Panga is fully submersible and overhead-bin-friendly.

To buy: amazon.com, $300

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Samsonite SXK Amped Duffel

Samsonite duffel bag
Courtesy of eBags

If you expect your duffel to be enduring some damage, the SXK collection is reinforced with Kevlar fiber — but still manages to look sleek.

To buy: ebags.com, $266 (originally $380)

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Eddie Bauer Bygone 45L

Eddie Bauer duffel bag
Courtesy of Eddie Bauer

I've personally been beating up an Eddie Bauer duffel for years and it still looks the same as the day I bought it. The Bygone duffel adds a heritage twist to the company's duffel design.

To buy: eddiebauer.com, $72 (originally $119)

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Best Convertible and Packable Carry-on Duffel Bags

Convertible duffel bag
Courtesy of eBags
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Everlane Mover Pack

Everlane duffel bag
Courtesy of Everlane

We always enjoy Everlane's simple, responsibly sourced designs. The water-resistant Mover can be carried as a backpack or a duffel.

To buy: everlane.com, $78

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Hook & Albert Garment Weekender

Hook & Albert bag
Courtesy of Amazon

The ballistic nylon Garment Weekender opens up to a full-size garment bag, then folds to create a main pocket for the rest of your belongings, complete with interior shoe pockets and exterior zip pockets. It also comes in leather and a women's version with a sleeker design but without the exterior pockets.

To buy: saksfifthavenue.com, $440

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Briggs & Riley Suiter Duffel

Briggs & Riley bag
Courtesy of Ebags

Briggs & Riley's solid reputation backs up the transforming Suiter duffel, which also morphs from garment bag to duffel with an interior compartment and special shoe pocket.

To buy: bloomingdales.com, $329

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Matador Transit30 Duffel 2.0

Matador bag
Courtesy of Matador

If you want to have an extra bag on hand for a souvenir shopping spree, this recently updated packable duffel stuffs down into a small sack about the size of a pair of hiking socks and opens up into a minimalist 30-liter duffel that can also be carried as a backpack.

To buy: amazon.com, $35

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Paravel Fold-up Bag

Paravel bag
Courtesy of Paravel

Paravel's fold-up duffel is compact but roomy, and it has an ever-convenient trolley sleeve for slipping over top of your suitcase handle.

To buy: tourparavel.com, $65

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Carry-on Duffel Bags With Wheels

Duffel bag with wheels
Courtesy of Tumi
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Tumi Wheeled Duffel Carry-on

Tumi rolling bag
Courtesy of Tumi

Wheel your duffel in style with this Tumi option, with plenty of external pockets for easy access to anything you may need to grab in-flight.

To buy: bloomingdales.com, $519 (originally $650)

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Bric Life Carry-on Rolling Duffel

Rolling duffel bag
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Italian company Bric is a go-to brand for Karen Klopp of What2WearWhere. Check out their Firenze and Life luggage lines.

To buy: bloomingdales.com, $790

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L.L.Bean Rolling Adventure Duffel

LL Bean rolling bag
Courtesy of L.L.Bean

Capitalize on L.L.Bean's durable construction with the rolling version of their popular Adventure bag.

To buy: llbean.com, $119

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Luxury Carry-on Duffel Bags

Coach duffel bag
Courtesy of Coach
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Moore & Giles Cabin Duffel

Moore & Giles bag
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Moore & Giles makes leather for many uses — including private jet seating — so expect their Cabin duffel to feel just as luxurious.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $630

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Coach Metropolitan Duffel 52

Coach duffel bag
Courtesy of Coach

Keep it classic with Coach's Metropolitan 52.The smaller Metropolitanmakes for a matching companion, or you can just size down.

To buy: coach.com, $895

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Leatherology Kessler Medium Duffle

Kessler Medium Duffle grain Navy Blue
Courtesy of Leatherology

Go artisanal with this luxe Leatherology duffle. You can choose between six stylish colors, and the brand offers two different personalization options.

To buy: leatherology.com, $315

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Gucci Leather Convertible Duffel Bag

Gucci Leather Convertible Duffel Bag
Courtesy of Nordstrom

It doesn't get more luxe than this Italian leather duffel bag by Gucci. Along with a spacious interior compartment, the versatile bag also has a shoulder strap that can easily convert into backpack straps.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $2,100

Updated by
Rebecca Carhart
Rebecca Carhart

Rebecca is a senior e-commerce writer and strategist on the news and deals travel team with more than 10 years of experience researching and writing about the best products in the fashion, beauty, home, and travel space. Her articles have covered everything from anti-aging skincare to comfortable clothing to travel essentials for your next getaway.

Rebecca began writing for Travel + Leisure in 2019.

Her writing has appeared on InStyle.com, Realsimple.com, People.com, Popsugar.com, Businessinsider.com, and more.

She has spent years testing, researching, and writing about everything from luggage to comfortable walking shoes to travel pillows and more.

​​Rebecca is an avid traveler and loves searching for the best travel products and making recommendations to readers of what to pack on their trips. She has a Bachelor Degree in Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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