Owning a great carry-on duffle bag is kind of life-changing. We have all owned a bad carry-on duffel bag that either didn’t last, was a pain to carry, had not enough pockets, terrible access, and generally just held clothes and didn’t do much more.
Poor carry-on duffel bags make life a little bit harder, which is the last thing anyone needs when traveling for work or on vacation, the best duffel bag makes life a lot easier.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Carry-On Duffel Bags
But, how do you find the best duffel bag for your needs? Simply read the article below. I have gathered up some of the best duffel bags on the market so you can own the duffle bag that will make your travels a lot easier.
Best For The Outdoors
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Best Of The Best
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The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag is without a doubt one of the top duffel bags you can find on the market today.
This duffle bag is made from 100% recycled materials that are super durable and water-resistant meaning the bag not only lasts but protects all your gear from the weather too.
The large main compartment holds more than enough gear for a 3-5 day trip and the large zippered opening ensures quick and easy access to everything. The base is even padded to protect your things.
You will also find a large internal mesh pocket in the lid for extras and a side valuables pocket accessible from the inside and out. Both of these make keeping things organized very easy!
You can carry this duffel bag in a number of ways using either the standard duffel bag straps or using padded shoulder straps to carry it like a backpack.
To top it all off, this duffel bag packs down into a handy storage pouch and it comes with Patagonia’s lifetime guarantee. It is the perfect duffel bag for any outdoor adventure.
The Boundary Supply Errant Duffel Bag is one of the best around and is my personal favorite, but it is one of the most expensive bags featured in this article.
This duffle bag is pretty much bombproof. It is made from 500D Kodra with a DWR (durable water repellent coating) so everything from abrasion to weather isn’t something you need to be concerned about! It even has a waterproof bottom.
The duffel bag is also as stylish as it is amazingly well laid out. The large main compartment has more than enough space for multiple days away, there is a ventilated wet/dry compartment, an extendable shoe compartment, and even a valuables pocket.
It would suffice to say there is a place for everything in this duffle bag and there are even lashing straps so you can carry things like a skateboard too.
This carry-on duffel bag is comfortable to carry either as a duffle bag, over one shoulder, or as a backpack with the removable straps.
Overall, this carry-on duffle bag is very hard to beat but it is quite expensive!
This duffel bag from North Face is awesome for all-around use from hiking in the outdoors to traveling for work and other adventures too!
Built with water-resistant 300-D recycled polyester tarpaulin it is as tough as nails and it protects all your gear from the weather too. The main compartment is large for all your things, features an adjustable divider for organization, and a mesh pocket on the lid for smaller things.
Access is excellent with a U-lid opening, there are 4 external pockets for shoes, a laptop, a water bottle, and more. There is somewhere for everything in The North Face Base Camp Voyager Duffel and finding your things couldn’t be easier. You will even find external lashing points!
You can comfortably carry this duffle bag as a backpack with the removable and padded straps or as a normal duffel too.
This is the perfect carry-on duffel bag for everything from work to outdoor adventures. The only downside is that it doesn’t fit a 15-inch laptop, but a 14.5-inch one or smaller is fine!
The Osprey Transporter Carry-on Duffel Bag is another awesome option for all your travel needs as it is tough as nails, weather resistant, and comfortable to get from a to b.
Made from TPU-coated 800D Nylon, this is made to survive in the outdoors and protect your gear at the same time. The large compartment is easy to access with the U zipper and there is more than enough space for a trip away.
You will also find an end pocket for small things you want to access quickly. There is an internal mesh organizational pocket, and you can carry it as a backpack, over one shoulder, or as a normal duffel bag.
While it has all these great features, there is a major flaw. The base isn’t coated meaning it gets damp and dirty, plus when you carry it as a backpack, it is not breathable and is very hot.
The REI Co-Op Roadtripper 100 Duffel Bag is an amazing option for anyone looking for a large affordable duffel with a ton of space.
This is a travel duffel bag that packs down into a tiny pouch but opens up into a 100-liter duffel with more than enough space to spend 6 months away.
It is quite basic with a huge main compartment and a single exterior zippered pocket for anything you need to access quickly. You can also use the storage pouch as an organizer and there are exterior lashing points too.
These duffel bags are built from 100% recycled polyester which is both durable and has some water resistance too. So the bag is not only affordable but will last and ensure your gear stays protected.
Carrying this bag is comfortable, and you can choose to sling it over your shoulder or wear it like a backpack.
The only downside to this bag is that it won’t work as a carry-on duffel when full and there could be more zippered pockets for organization.
The Cotopaxi Uyuni Duffel features an awesome design that makes keeping everything neatly packed and organized as easy as possible.
Between the big main compartment, laundry compartment for dirty clothes, top stash pocket, and the padded laptop area, you will have quick access to all your organized things. It really does beat most other duffel bags in this regard.
These duffle bags are made from 420-denier nylon which is super tough and durable plus it repels water too. It doesn’t have the same weather resistance as others but it is pretty solid!
The duffel bags come with 5 external handles and a stow-able shoulder strap that ensure numerous carry options that are comfy too.
The Thule Aion Duffel Bag is a mastery of organization that ensures all your things stay neatly in their place and are easy to access too.
The main compartment comes with a stowable TPU divider that stays neatly stored when not in use or splits the main compartment into two so you can pack separately.
You will also find a valuables pocket inside, a laptop and tablet compartment, and two exterior pockets too. There is a place for everything in these duffel bags.
When it comes to durability, these carry-on duffel bags are top of the line too. Built from waxed P600 polyester canvas, they are super tough and weather resistant too!
These carry-on duffle bags are simple to carry with the removable shoulder strap or smaller duffel straps. You can also use the pass-through to add them to a suitcase when traveling.
I love the Osprey Arcane Duffel Pack because it is made from 12.1 plastic bottles that have been recycled to create it, how cool is that!
But, it is also one of the great carry-on duffel bags on the market too.
Made from 100% recycled polyester (from the bottles) means it is both durable and weather resistant.
This duffel is also super stylish and comes with great organizational features such as an internal organization pocket, a scratch-free pocket for sunglasses, and a padded laptop pocket too.
Access is also excellent through the large U-zip and it is very comfortable to carry thanks to the backpack straps.
The main issue with this duffel is that the laptop slot is on the bottom so everything sits on it when you put it down.
The Peak Design Travel Duffel is another marvel of organization and couldn’t be much more of a versatile duffel.
This carry-on duffel bag is stylish, super durable and long-lasting, weather-resistant, and comfortable to carry. You can access the main area through an extra wide opening, use the 4 exterior pockets for things you want quick access to, and the 2 internal mesh pockets for valuables too.
You will have a space for everything with this duffle, be able to find it all with ease, and it will be protected thanks to the weather-proof and tough material.
You can also carry it as a duffel or over one shoulder, and it is super comfy.
Overall, this is an awesome duffel bag that does it all but it is a little expensive!
The Gregory Supply Duffel is about as tough as a duffel can be plus it comes with a lifetime guarantee, so if you are looking for a bag for rugged use, this might be it.
It is built from tough 420-D high-density water-resistant nylon with a Kevlar-reinforced fabric bottom. This makes it tough as nails and will last every adventure!
With a 40-liter capacity, it is perfect for weekends or longer trips. The large compartment is easy to access and there is a handy exterior zippered pocket for smaller things. The bag also folds into the exterior zipper pocket for storage purposes.
The downside to this bag is the lack of pockets which makes it hard to organize all your things.
Also, check out the 60L here.
The first step to choosing a great duffle is finding one that is going to last and this comes down to the materials it is made from.
The best duffels are made from either polyester, nylon, or canvas, like all the duffels featured in the article. This not only guarantees long-lasting durability but most of them also come with a water-repellent finish to ensure your gear stays dry and safe when you are in the outdoors.
There is nothing more annoying than rummaging through a weekender duffel with one compartment trying to find something. Look for duffels that have a spacious main compartment with extra pockets and features that make organizing your things easy.
Internal mesh pockets are excellent for small things and valuables while external pockets are perfect for the smaller things you want quick access to.
Some of the duffels featured even have a wet/dry compartment, shoe compartment, or a laundry compartment, which takes things to another level.
Being able to keep your things organized is one thing but accessing it easily is another. Look for duffels with large U-zippers that open up the whole bag. This will make packing, unpacking, and finding exactly what you need a lot quicker and easier.
Most duffels are not that nice to carry for long distances as they have just two straps around the opening.
Look for a carry-on duffel with multiple carry options that include either an over-the-shoulder strap or backpack straps so you can carry it comfortably when hiking into a campsite or traversing a busy airport for example.
The best carry-on duffel for anyone who loves spending time outdoors is the Patagonia Black Hole 40L Duffel. This duffle bag is built for the wilderness by being super durable with a ton of weather resistance, so your gear always stays dry while your duffle bag survives.
It is the perfect size for 3-5 days away, access to the large storage compartment is easy, and the multiple internal/external pockets make gear organization simple. You can even carry it as a backpack when you need to hike into camp.
The best duffel bag featured is the Boundary Supply Errant Duffel Bag. It is about as durable as they come, has a waterproof bottom, and is weather-proof too so you know your things are always dry and safe in this duffel bag.
Using these duffel bags is an absolute pleasure as there is space for everything. There is a shoe compartment, wet/dry compartment, main compartment, and spot for valuables too. Plus you can carry it in 3 ways and there are lashing points for extras too!
The best all-around carry-on duffel bag is The North Face Base Camp Voyager Duffel Bag. This duffle bag is durable, and weather-resistant, has a pocket for pretty much everything, a divider for the main compartment and it is easy to carry long distances too.
Between the laptop sleeve and the backpack carrying options, you can take this to work or hike into the woods with ease.