How to Choose a Duffel Bag - Harvey Ltd

How to Choose a Duffel Bag

Although a hiking or camping backpack can certainly carry large loads, some excursions require greater capacity without compromising durability or weight. For these travel adventures, you may need to go with a DUFFEL BAG, which can be tossed under a plane seat, into the back of a Jeep, or at the base of Denali.

When it comes to choosing which kind of duffel is best for you, look at the bag's most important features, including the material it’s made of, how much it can hold, how easily it can be transported, and if it’ll be used for any unique activities or climates.

Materials

The durability of your duffel depends on a few factors, including the material used in its construction, how beefy its seams are, how many support straps are included, and the type of zipper it has. Some of the most rugged duffels are made of ballistic nylon and TPE fabric laminate. Polyurethane fabrics are also available, and although these don't offer the bombproof durability of ballistic nylon, they’re more water resistant. Keep this in mind if rain and water are a bigger threat than sharp crags.

Weight

If you know you'll be traveling extensively, walking for long periods, or crossing over uneven or wet terrain, you'll need a bag that can be carried easily. Yes, wheeled duffel bags offer mobility you can't get with a typical duffel, but there’s a specific time and place for these bags. A traditional duffel without wheels are usually lighter and more mobile.

Volume

The size of your bag depends on the capacity you need. Extra-large duffels usually carry about 155 liters—ideal for long trips that require many heavy supplies, such as bulky skiing and climbing gear. All the same materials are used in smaller duffels, guaranteeing their durability, but these bags are used for shorter trips that don't need extensive supplies. Small bags, which are typically compact enough to be carried onto planes, offer around 40 liters of capacity.

If you don't expect to be gone for more than a weekend, or even a four- or five-day trip if you're crafty with your packing, you may want a medium-size duffel, which typically has a capacity of about 70 liters.

Although a hiking or camping backpack can certainly carry large loads, some excursions require greater capacity without compromising durability or weight. For these travel adventures, you may need to go with a DUFFEL BAG, which can be tossed under a plane seat, into the back of a Jeep, or at the base of Denali.

When it comes to choosing which kind of duffel is best for you, look at the bag's most important features, including the material it’s made of, how much it can hold, how easily it can be transported, and if it’ll be used for any unique activities or climates.

Here are some approximate guidelines to give you a sense of luggage and duffel sizes (by volume in liters) and how much they can accommodate:

  • 30-50 liters: In general, luggage that has a capacity of about 50 liters or less is sufficient for a weekend trip. There are lots of carry-on duffels, packs and bags in this size range to choose from.
  • 50-75 liters: For a trip that lasts one to two weeks, many people jump up to a bag in this range.
  • 75 liters-100+ liters: For big expeditions, travelers typically need several large bags that can hold 75 liters or more each. (Keep in mind, of course, that the larger the bag, the heavier it is to haul. Multiple smaller bags might be easier to transport. 
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