Which budget duffel bag is best?
Duffel bags are a tried and true way to transport your belongings and a crowd favorite among travelers. They are spacious enough to fit a lot of things, thanks to their large main compartment, and are easy to keep organized in transit. However, some duffel bags can break the bank.
A top pick is the Patagonia Black Hole 55, a stylish, eco-friendly duffel that doubles as a backpack. Best of all, it comes with a budget-friendly price tag.
What to know before you buy a duffel bag
Can I use a duffel bag as a carry-on?
If you are a frequent flyer who likes to travel on a dime, duffel bags are an excellent solution. Duffel bags can fit almost anything you throw at them and since they aren’t made of stiff material like traditional suitcases, they fit within most airlines’ restrictions for carry-on luggage, even when filled to the brim.
Duffel bags normally accommodate up to one week’s worth of clothing plus any other necessities, such as shoes or toiletries. For this reason, they are a great option for those planning on flying to their next adventure.
Duffel bags vs. luggage vs. backpacks
Compared to normal luggage like suitcases, duffel bags are leaps and bounds ahead of the game in terms of durability and versatility. Part of what makes duffel bags so great is that many models can go from a handheld bag to a backpack in an instant. On top of that, most duffel bags are made from water-resistant material, making them great options for outdoor trips or times where the weather may be rainy.
While traveling with a normal backpack is never a bad idea, backpacks can be harder to keep organized on a trip, since you will often have to rummage through your things. With a duffel bag’s large top opening, you won’t have to worry so much about disorganizing your belongings as you search through your things.
Brand name duffel bags on a budget
When shopping for a duffel bag on a budget, don’t shy away from looking at some of the top brands. Many of the top duffel bag brands can be much less expensive than many may initially expect. Consider budget-friendly duffel bags by top brands such as The North Face, Patagonia, Thule, Marmot and Backcountry.
What to look for in a quality duffel bag
Duffel bags come in a variety of sizes and are usually measured in liters, much like regular backpacks. Consider your needs when deciding on a size. If you are planning to use your duffel bag as a carry-on item, you don’t want to go over 55 liters. On the other hand, if you are going to use your duffel bag for an outdoor trip or to transport gear, consider buying a duffel bag that is 70 liters or larger.
Some duffel bags can be worn as a backpack, thanks to the bag’s straps. This will give you the option to go hands-free with your bag when you’re in the airport or carrying around other luggage. Bags with this function are great for longer trips that may involve a lot of walking.
The material of the duffel bag largely depends on the brand, but most are made of water-resistant material because most duffel bags are designed to be used for traveling or backcountry excursions. This feature can make or break your experience with a duffel bag.
How much you can expect to spend on budget duffel bags
You can buy quality duffel bags on a budget, which can range from $70 to $130. Higher-end models or those with extra-large capacities can be in the $180 range.
Budget duffel bag FAQ
Are duffel bags good for transporting sports equipment?
A. Duffel bags are great for getting your equipment from point A to point B. Consider the size of your gear and how much space you will need before deciding on what size duffel bag to buy.
Should you buy compression straps to go with your duffel bag?
A. Most duffel bags come with this feature built in. If your bag doesn’t have them, there’s no need to worry. While they can come in handy when using a duffel bag as a carry-on, they aren’t necessary.
What’s the best budget duffel bag to buy?
Top budget duffel bag
What you need to know: This duffel bag from Patagonia is as durable as it is stylish. The water-resistant material and backpack straps make it perfect for those on the go.
What you’ll love: This bag is packed with features. From its backpack straps to its daisy-chain loops, this duffel has something for everyone.
What you should consider: The bag’s self-storage feature is a bit difficult to use.
Top budget duffel bag for the money
What you need to know: This hefty little nylon duffel bag is a great option for your next getaway.
What you’ll love: This duffel comes with backpack straps and multiple grab handles to make traveling a breeze.
What you should consider: There are only three color options.
Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This duffel from The North Face, a trusted brand in outdoor gear and luggage, is sure to please any avid traveler.
What you’ll love: This duffel is ultra-durable, thanks to its tough PVC material. The built-in compression straps help this duffel fit in overhead compartments, even when it’s stuffed.
What you should consider: There are only two color options for this size of the Base Camp duffel.
Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry
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Addison Hoggard writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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