The Best Duffel Bags of 2022, Tested by Travel Experts

Our top pick is the Kipling Dori Duffle.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Duffle Bags Group Shot
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

A good duffel bag is a staple of any seasoned traveler's luggage arsenal. It's a stylish and practical way to pack for a long weekend or road trip.

We ordered 25 of the top duffels on the market and tested them for the qualities that make a duffel worth buying: organization, maneuverability, and durability. We observed how easy it was to pack the bags, how comfortable they were to carry, and how well they protected cargo. Only eight made our winners list, with our top choice being the Kipling Bori Duffle Bag.

But we loved many others. Whatever your priority is — style, packing space, toughness, or something else — we picked a bag that will fit your needs.

Here are our picks for the best duffel bags.

T+L's Picks

Best Overall: Kipling Bori Duffle Bag

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It's lightweight considering how much space it has, and the zipper funcion is exceptionally smooth.
What to Consider: It's on the pricier side for a bag made of synthetic materials.

All our testers found the Kipling Dori Duffle bag spacious, lightweight, and durable, and it was definitely comfortable to carry. The capacity of the bag is surprisingly generous; we were easily able to fit the three pairs of pants (a mix of jeans and sweats), two coats (one fleece, one jacket), five shirts, two pairs of shoes, toiletry bag, and coffee mug we tried packing into all the bags. It comes with carabiners on both sides that buckle the bag into tighter dimensions or release it for more capacity. The plastic zippers work well, and the interior lining is sleek, though we would have preferred a separate area or bag for shoes. But we definitely appreciated the exterior and interior zip pockets and sheath pockets for smaller items. The bag itself is one of the lightest we tested; add the fact that the handles felt good in the hands and the adjustable strap felt nice over the shoulder, and you have a duffel bag that stands out in carrying comfort.

The Kipling Bori held up well when we threw it, fully packed, off a ladder. It protected the cargo and suffered no scratches or scuffs. Overall, it performed well on all our tests and the design to function as a weekender bag, so it earned our top spot.

Dimensions: 24 x 10.5 x 14 inches | Weight: 1.6 pounds

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Best Overall, Runner-up: Yeti Crossroads 60L Duffel

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It has helpful organizational features and was built to last.
What to Consider: The shoulder strap could be more comfortable.

We were slightly surprised that a brand known for its coolers and tumblers was in the duffel bag game, but like all Yeti products, this duffel looks and feels like it was built to last. It's made of a proprietary TuffSkin nylon that lets the bag keep its shape and resist damage and dirt. The bottom of the bag is made of a harder shell for extra protection (though this means it can't pack down teeny tiny for storage). The Crossroads's interior organization features really stood out: Two dividers make three sections for separating different types of items, and there are several smaller pockets for smaller belongings like phones, wallets, and chargers. Two exterior pockets on the top provide yet more slots for your stuff (though these two pockets are pretty small).

The bag has three handles for carrying — one on each end and another on top — as well as a detachable shoulder strap. The strap has a firm, flat section meant to mold to your shoulder area, but it could be a little more comfortable.

Overall, it's a sturdy, durable piece with good organization, and it's a great choice for longer trips or outdoor adventures.

Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 10 inches | Weight: 4.3 pounds

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Best Budget: Gonex Canvas Duffel Bag

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It's comfortable to carry and has generous side pockets.
What to Consider: The main compartment is not especially spacious.

The selling points of the Gonex Canvas are the price, the flexibility, the pockets, and the durability. That said, it's worth noting that it's not a particularly spacious option and is best for shorter trips — we could not fit our full packing list into the main center space, though we were able to stuff the leftover clothes into the large side compartments. But it performed well on the rest of our tests.

The strap handles for this bag can be secured together under a flap, and the shoulder strap is nicely padded; carrying it was comfortable. The exterior canvas is well made and won't attract dirt, and the bag protected all cargo and showed no damage or scuffs during our durability testing. We also love that there are several color options and patterns to choose from.

Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 10 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds

Related: The Best Weekender Bags, According to Travel Editors

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Best Convertible: Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: Several carrying styles and good interior organization features make this a very versatile bag.
What to Consider: The zippers jut out and look a little unwieldy.

The Eagle Creek Expanse Hauler is one of the most versatile bags we tested. A variety of handles and straps mean you can carry it as a duffel, backpack, or messenger bag; it's also lightweight, so however you carry it, the bag itself won't add unnecessary pounds. It's not huge in terms of capacity, so it's probably best for weekend trips or for light packers. But it would make a great carry-on, and we loved the variety of pockets and pouches to help you keep things in order. The lid in particular has a large mesh area for things like books and toiletries.

The Hauler passed our ladder-drop test, protecting the cargo and sustaining no exterior damage. The only thing we might change about this pack is the zipper aesthetic, as they jut out a bit far and make things look a little less clean.

Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 5 inches | Weight: 2 pounds

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Best Weekender: Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of Nordstrom

Why We Love It: The style is classic, and the long zipper makes for super-easy interior access.
What to Consider: The snaps holding the handles together can be difficult to use.

Our testers loved the style and comfort of Dagne Dover's Landon Caryall. The lightweight weekender duffel (we tested the medium-size option) was clearly designed with travel in mind, with features like a luggage-handle sleeve, laptop compartment, shoe bag, and a water-resistant outer. The long zipper made it easy to access the interior, where you'll find several pockets that use velcro to stay flat when not needed. The bag was easy to throw over our shoulders or hold by the handles.

The Landon held up mostly well during our durability tests, though we did notice some creasing in the bag's material. In all, it's a functional bag that's chic enough to make a good gift and regular travel staple.

Dimensions: 15 x 9.5 x 12 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Best for for Long Trips: Thule Chasm Sport Duffel Bag

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: It comes with a packing cube, and it's made of strong materials.
What to Consider: It doesn't have any external pockets.

Thule is best known for its car top carriers, but the brand brings its knack for sturdy cargo storage to this duffel bag as well. Our testers were all impressed with the durable, waterproof tarpaulin exterior and the spacious, pocketed interior — though an exterior pocket or two would have been nice. It even comes with a packing cube that can be used for clothing, toiletries, or a smaller pair of shoes. We also loved that the bag can be held either by the handles or by the very comfortable backpack straps. It's a bit strange that there's no shoulder strap option, but we did not find ourselves missing it. The Chasm nailed our durability tests and is a great option for longer trips or even weekends in the outdoors.

Dimensions: 30.5 x 13 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 4.2 pounds

Related: The Best Carry-on Luggage, According to Travel Editors

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Best for Camping: Patagonia Black Hole 40L Duffel Bag

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of REI

Why We Love It: The bag can collapse on itself and pack into its own inner pocket for incredibly efficient storage.
What to Consider: The glossy finish is a love-it or hate-it look.

"Black Hole" is an apt name for this Patagonia Duffel: Not only is it larger in capacity than it appears, but it can also fold into itself for efficient storage. We found packing the bag easy, as the main compartment offers plenty of space, and a few pockets and a mesh compartment under the top gave some organizational help. It features nice handle straps with a flap that clasps both handles together, and it comes with two removable shoulder straps that let users carry it as a backpack. And like most Patagonia products, this duffel is durable: It suffered zero scratches or scuffs during our ladder drops.

Dimensions: 22.5 x 13 x 8 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Best Eco-friendly: Lo & Sons The Catalina Deluxe at Lo & Sons

Duffle Bag
Courtesy of Lo & Sons

Why We Love It: A luggage sleeve and compact size make it a good carry-on companion.
What to Consider: It's not great as a primary bag for trips longer than a weekend.

This uniquely designed bag brings both climate consciousness and style to the table; the brand claims that each of the sleek bags saves 24 plastic bottles and 2.5 pounds of carbon emissions. The main compartment sits on top of a bottom compartment accessible via zipper; the bottom portion is a decent option for shoe storage. That said, that zipper can be a bit difficult to close when the main compartment is full, and we weren't convinced the separation is necessary.

The bag does come with nice shoulder and handle straps that make for an easy carry, as well as a trolley sleeve that is helpful for bringing along with carry-ons. It could be a bit larger, however, and we noticed some wrinkles and scuffs, giving us slight reasons for concern about its durability.

Dimensions: 18 x 10 x 15 inches | Weight: 2.7 pounds

Related: The Best Crossbody Bags for Travelers

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Our Testing Process

We ordered 25 of the most popular duffel bags on the market and tested them in our New York City lab. First, we weighed each duffel bag with a luggage scale and noted whether the weight was the same as the weight listed by the manufacturer or if it was more or less (and by how much). Then we measured the length, width, and depth (height) of each bag and made the same comparison.

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Next, we got packing. We ordered dozens of identical outfits and packed three pairs of pants (a mix of jeans and sweats), two coats (one fleece, one jacket), five shirts, two pairs of shoes, a full toiletry bag, and a coffee mug into each bag. Among the questions we answered: How well does everything fit? Is there enough space to keep the clothes tidy, or do you really have to jam them in there? Can you zip it up easily? We also took careful notes of the organizational and structural features of each bag as we packed, looking for useful pockets, compartments, sleeves, etc.

Then we walked around carrying each bag after it was packed, spending several minutes trying out each possible carrying method and noting comfort and ease levels.

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Finally, with the bags fully packed and zipped closed, we pushed them off of a ladder several times each trying to make them land on different parts of the bag each time. We examined them for scratches, marks, scuffs, etc., and we opened the interior to be sure everything held up. We then carried the bags around again to check for any changes or problems.

Other Duffel Bags We Tested

The North Face Base Camp Medium Duffel Bag: This bag performed so-so on most of our tests, but a finicky zipper that kept getting stuck kept it off our winners list.

Away The Everywhere Bag: Given the price, there was just not enough space or durability performance to warrant inclusion.

Tumi Double Expansion Travel Satchel: It's a little too expensive for the very limited capacity.

Baboon to the Moon Go-Bag Big: Our testers found it awkward to carry for longer than a minute or two.

Carhartt Trade Series 2-in-1 Packable Duffle with Utility Pouch: It was fine, but the near-complete lack of organizational features meant it was not a standout.

Samsonite Tote-A-Ton Duffle Bag: The weight felt unevenly distributed when we carried it, and there's not much in the way or organizational help.

Duffle Bag Testing
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Tips for Buying a Duffel Bag

Comfort is key

If your duffel bag does not roll, then you will be carrying it; you want to make sure it's comfortable to do so. Look for light weight and padded straps, as well as different carrying options. A good goal is to find a bag under 3 pounds if you want a very light weight, and consider a convertible duffel with backpack straps if carrying by hand or over one shoulder sounds unappealing.

Know your organization needs

Some duffels are simply single compartments, some have dividers, some have lots of pockets. For business travel, look for bags with laptop sleeves and pouches for things like chargers, keys, and wallets. If you're more of the spur-of-the-moment roadtripping type, a simple one-compartment bag lets you throw all your belongings in with ease and without too much thinking. If you want to keep dirty clothes separate from clean ones or like your shoes away from your shirts, look for a bag with interior dividers. It's a matter of personal choice; just be sure to pay attention to details about pockets, pouches, shoe bags, etc. before making your purchase.

Duffle Bag
Travel + Leisure/Nick Kova

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a duffel bag a good carry-on?

It depends. If you don't mind carrying a bag over your shoulder as you walk through the airport, then sure. And most duffels have plentiful handles and straps that make them easy to get in and out of overhead compartments (though be sure the bag you have fits the general FAA guidelines of 45 linear inches, or 22 x 14 x 9 inches). However, duffel bags are often better for road trips, since carry-ons by nature require a lot of carrying — meaning a bag that rolls behind you will provide much more comfort and ease.

What size duffel bag do I need?

If you are carrying it on a plane, be sure it meets the dimension requirements listed above. As far as capacity goes, 40 liters should be plenty for a weekend or even long weekend away. Heavier packers or those going on a longer trip should shoot for 50 liters and up. Keep in mind that many models, including several on this list, come in multiple sizes.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Chris Abell is the Senior Commerce Editor at Travel + Leisure and has years of experience as a travel writer and editor. He and a team of travel editors selected 25 of the leading duffel bags on the market and designed several tests to determine which ones perform the best. Over two days, our editors tested the bag, thoroughly vetting each for organization, maneuverability, durability, and value.

Up Next: The Best Fanny Packs for Travel

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles