A good leather duffel bag is an essential piece of luggage. It makes a great carry on, but it’s also a great bag to have for the gym or just everyday errands.
Sometimes you just can’t fit everything into a backpack, and a suitcase is too much. And in those times, a duffel bag is the perfect compromise - spacious enough to hold clothes for longer trips, but stylish and professional enough that you can easily take it on a business trip.
We found ten great leather duffel bags - from small ones that are rather simple but functional, to large leather bags that can hold even ski gear. Read on to find the best one for you!
OUR TOP PICKS
The Best Leather Duffel Bags
Kenneth Cole Reaction has several great pieces of luggage, with pretty affordable prices, and one of those is this leather duffel bag. It is made from full grain cowhide leather, and you can get it for under $100. But it is distressed leather, so it’s not always going to look perfect and shiny.
Which is fine if you want a duffel bag that has that vintage look. And any scuffs and scratches you get on the bag can easily be fixed by putting some oil on the leather. You can fix the smaller ones with your fingers, while the larger ones require some good leather oil.
Additionally, distressed leather often changes color and has pigmentation marks. This is completely normal, and it doesn’t mean that the bag is damaged at all.
The Kenneth Cole Reaction duffel bag is carry on sized, and it will easily fit into overhead bins on airplanes. Its interior is fully lined, and features a total of three internal pockets for easy organization. There’s also an open top external pocket on the bag - perfect for any items you want to have handy at all times.
This duffel bag has a wide, padded shoulder strap for comfortable carrying. It is removable, so you can take it off and rely on just the two grab handles, if you’re only carrying it for a couple minutes.
One thing to note is that this carry on leather duffel bag does not have a luggage strap in the back. So, travelling with multiple pieces of luggage can be a little awkward, especially since you won’t be able to secure this on top of a larger suitcase.
This leather duffel bag is a good option for people who want a big and spacious bag, but can’t afford to spend a lot of money. The brown version is priced just under $80, which is a really good deal for a distressed leather bag. There’s another version of the bag, which is made from real buffalo leather and which costs twice as much as this one - whether or not it’s worth it is up to you.
This is a 28” leather duffel bag, so a great piece of luggage for longer trips. Its interior is lined with canvas, but unfortunately it does not have any pockets inside the main compartment. There are two zippered external compartments though, which can fit a pair of shoes or a toiletry bag. And a smaller pocket on the front of the bag that’s great for items you want to have easily accessible.
This is a really big duffel bag, so it’s a great option for longer trips, or for carrying really bulky items. However, I wouldn’t really recommend that you use this is a checked bag for air travel.
Baggage handlers are never gentle with luggage, and if this gets caught on something it could easily rip. But it’s a really great bag for travelling with your car, train or a bus - it can hold quite a lot of stuff, and it looks very stylish.
The duffel has two grab handles at the center, and two shoulder straps that are connected with the padding. Both shoulder straps are removable, so you can choose to use one, none or both of them.
The reason why you get two is balance - since it’s a bag bag, a single shoulder strap would make the bag sway and tilt when you pick it up. And when you have two of them, the duffel bag is more stable, and it’s easier to carry it when it is fully packed.
If you’re looking to get a premium leather duffel bag, this is one of the best options for you. The Leathfocus bag is made from top grain cowhide leather, it is incredibly stylish and features only the best materials. And not just the leather; the bag is equipped with reliable YKK zippers, which are very sturdy and have decent water resistance.
This is a medium-sized duffel bag; it’s almost 23”, so it likely won’t be accepted as a carry on with most airlines, except maybe Southwest. But it’s a great bag for work and the gym - the stylish exterior fits in everywhere, while the abundance of internal pockets helps you stay organized wherever you go.
In fact, the fully lined interior of this bag features a tablet sleeve and three smaller slip pockets for any items you want to have easy access to. In addition to that, this duffel bag also has an external shoe compartment, but it doesn’t have any other external pockets. A downside for those of you that like having their travel necessities handy at all times.
The bag does have a small external pouch. It’s attached to the bag with a small belt, and it’s a good size to hold some cash or change. But you can’t really fit anything larger than coins and bills inside the pouch.
The Leathfocus duffel bag has two grab handles that are joined together with a fancy leather strap, so it’s super easy to pick up and carry short distances. There’s also a thick leather shoulder strap, which makes carrying the bag for prolonged periods of time a lot more comfortable.
Obviously, this is not the most functional bag out of the bunch. It’s lacking external pockets and a luggage strap, and it has a really steep price tag. But it’s not so much about function, as it is about quality; if you want to get a leather duffel bag that you’re sure will last you for years to come, then this is the bag for you. Sure it’s price, but so are Samsonite suitcases and there’s a reason why they can easily last a decade.
Here’s another Kenneth Cole Reaction duffel bag. This one is made from Colombian cowhide leather, which explains the heftier price tag. That’s a more premium type of leather, which is more expensive to source and make, but it’s also more durable and frankly just better looking.
The interior of this bag is also more durable than of your average leather duffel. It is tear-resistant lining, which will hold up better after prolonged use. And the shoulder strap isn’t actually made from leather, which is an upside in this case.
It’s a heavy-duty nylon shoulder strap that can handle a lot of weight. You won’t notice the wear and tear as fast you would with a leather strap, and it can just hold more weight than a leather strap can. In addition to that, the shoulder strap is adjustable and features a leather shoulder pad for great carrying comfort.
The main compartment features roomy U-shaped opening, which makes packing a little bit easier. It also gives you a better overview of the items inside your main compartments, so that it is easier to reach something you need. And there are two open top pockets inside, for any smaller items you want to keep separate.
This duffel bag has two external compartments, which make it super easy to stay organized. It also features three smaller zippered pockets that let you have certain items handy. Oh, and have I mentioned that it is a 20” duffel bag; just the right size for a carry on, but small enough to be accepted in-cabin on both bigger and smaller planes.
On top of all that, this leather duffel bag also has a pair of grab handles that are joined together, as well as five feet at the bottom, which protect its underside from any rips and tears. It’s definitely one of the best duffel bags you could get, but it is also one of the pricier options.
This duffel bag is a great option for those of you that prioritize organization. With four zippered external pockets, you will also have extra space for smaller necessities, and items you like having easy access to. And with the spacious main compartment, you can easily use this duffel bag for both short and long trips.
It features U-shape opening of the main compartment, which makes packing really easy. You have a great overview of the items inside, and easy access to anything you might need to grab quickly. The external side pockets have multiple open-top pockets inside, which makes them great for smaller stuff like pens, chargers, wallet, phone etc.
The main compartment of the duffel is very spacious, but there are no pockets inside it. Luckily, there are plenty of those in the other compartments of the bag, so you will still be able to stay organized.
The David & King Co. duffel comes with two leather grab handles and a thin leather shoulder strap. There is a soft pad on the shoulder strap, which helps keep you comfortable when you’re carrying the bag. But since it’s so thin, it’s not going to hold up too well when the bag gets really heavy, and you will start to notice the wear and tear soon if you always fill up the bag to the brim.
Another thing to note is that this duffel bag collapses entirely when not in use. That’s both good and bad; it’s good because it means that the bag takes up virtually no space when you’re storing it. And it’s really bag because if you do fold it to store it, the creases in the leather could damage it over time, and cause it to start coming apart.
If you want a stylish, vintage looking duffel bag, the Polare is a good option. It is made from genuine cowhide leather, with sturdy and durable YKK zippers. The interior of the bag is lined with durable cotton cloth, which has excellent tear resistance - a very important feature for a bag you want to use a lot.
The duffel feature two long grab handles and a thick shoulder strap with a soft pad. In addition to that, this duffel also features magnetic buckles that go over the main compartment zipper. But they’re more there for aesthetics; since they are magnetic buckles, they don’t really work as compression straps. And if you fill up the bag too much, they’re likely to pop open.
There are three internal pockets; one is a large zippered pocket, while the other two are open-top. And there are also four external pockets with buckle closure, which are great for keeping certain items handy. It’s a very functional duffel bag, perfect for people who like keeping things organized and easily accessible.
Another great thing about this duffel is that it’s carry on sized, with a length of 22”. It also features an insert at the bottom which helps it retain shape, as well as eight metal feet that elevate it from the ground, and ensure that the leather does not get ripped.
One downside of the bag is that its exterior won’t look perfect for too long. It is dyed leather, so any scuffs and scratches will be quite visible. You will need to take extra care of it, if you want it to look new for a while, but that’s not going to be possible if you want to use it frequently.
The Piel duffel bag is a really good option for people that want a lot of pockets. It is a mid-sized duffel, so it’s great for road trips and train travel. But if you’re looking for a carry on duffel bag, this isn’t the right one - the 24” length means you will almost always have to check it.
This duffel bag is made from full grain cowhide leather, and it is available in several different colors. Which means that most of those versions were dyed, so it’s going to be pretty sensitive to scuffs and scratches. If you want it to stay looking brand new, you will need to get some products to properly take care of it.
The great thing about this duffel bag is the abundance of pockets. There’s the spacious main compartment with zipper closure, and two extra compartments on the sides. In addition to those, the bag also has four smaller zippered pockets that are great for stuff you need easy access to, or just stuff you want to keep separate from your clothes and shoes.
And all of those pockets are equipped with sturdy YKK zippers, which is a big plus. They are extremely durable, and can stand the test of time and frequent use. In addition to that, YKK zippers have decent water resistance, which will help keep the items inside the bag dry in case you get caught in the rain.
On top of that, the Piel duffel bag comes with a detachable shoulder strap and two sturdy grab handles. The downside is that the shoulder strap is pretty thin for a 24” bag, and it doesn’t even have a soft pad. And since it’s so thin, it’s not going to be really durable, and it might start to come apart at the seams if you’re always using it when the duffel is at full capacity.
The Cuero duffel bag is made from genuine buffalo leather, and it has a very stylish exterior. If you’re looking for a duffel that looks sort of vintage, this is one of the best options for you.
The great thing about this bag is that there are several size options. However, only the 21” and the 24” are made from genuine buffalo leather; the 25” option is made from a different kind of leather, which is actually obvious from its really affordable price. Additionally, the largest of the three duffels also features a different design, so bear that in mind.
I’ll focus on the buffalo leather duffels here, since they both have the same exterior design and features. Which includes a spacious main compartment with an internal slip pocket, a couple of pen slots and a smaller card organizer. This is actually the first duffel so far that has a card organizer - if that’s an important feature for you, definitely pick up this bag.
The pen slots and the card organizer make this a great duffel bag for work. Especially since it’s so stylish - it could easily replace your briefcase. And the smallest version makes a great carry on, especially since you get those features for easy organization.
However, there’s a serious lack of external pockets on this duffel bag. It has only two zippered pockets on the outside, which are really small. They’re designed to hold your passport and maybe wallet, but not much else. If you were hoping to have extra compartments for toiletries and shoes, this really isn’t the bag for you. But you could pick up the 25” duffel - that one has several external compartments, and it’s seriously affordable.
Another thing to note about the buffalo leather duffel bag is that it has a detachable shoulder strap and two sturdy grab handles. The grab handles are actually sewn into the bag, and not attached with metal buckles.
The Gent Supply duffel bag is different from everything else I’ve showed you so far. At first glance, it’s a pretty small duffel bag, with a length of only 18”. But, what makes this bag special is that it has expandable capacity - you can make it five inches taller by using the expansion zipper.
That’s an excellent feature for travel - if you can make yourself pack into the bag when it’s compressed, you get so much more space for any items you buy on your trip.
This duffel bag is made from 100% buffalo leather, which was tanned, hence the hefty price tag. It really is a premium bag with some amazing features, but it’s also the most expensive leather duffel bag out of the bunch.
The thing I really like about this bag is that it has two separate compartments. They both feature zipper closure, but the bottom compartment also has internal compression straps to keep everything inside it in place. In addition to that, there are snap on buttons that further secure the top part of the bag to the bottom, so even if the zipper malfunctions, you can still use the bag.
And that’s just worst case scenario - the zippers of this bag are actually really sturdy, and will hold up over time.
This duffel has one zippered external pocket, which is just the right size to hold items you would want to have handy during travel. And keep in mind this is carry on sized, and it can easily fit into overhead compartments on airplanes when not fully extended.
In addition to that, the Gent Supply bag comes with two sturdy carry handles and a removable shoulder strap. It’s a beautiful, classy bag, and definitely one of the best options for those that can afford it.
If you’re not looking to spend hundreds of dollars on a duffel bag, consider getting the Amerileather duffel. With a price point around $120, it’s one of the more affordable leather bags I managed to find. And it’s still a really good bag - it is made from top-grain cowhide leather, with really durable zippers.
One thing to note is that the bag is only available in black, so don’t let the photos of the tan bag fool you.
This duffel bag has a spacious main compartment with elastic cross straps inside, making it a great choice for travel. It also features two external zippered compartments, which both have a single mesh pocket inside. And there’s a zippered pocket inside the main compartment of the bag, for easy organization.
In addition to that, this duffel also has one external zippered pocket on the front, as well as a smaller pocket with velcro closure in the back. And of course, it has a standard detachable shoulder strap, as well as two carry handles.
The bottom of this duffel has five metal feet that keep it protected, so you can put it down wherever you want. And the interior of the bag is fully lined - not just the main compartment, but all of the side compartments and external pockets as well.
Another thing to note is that the bag comes with three small padlocks, which let you lock all three of the compartments.
While it’s great to have some sort of an anti-theft feature, this is really more like symbolic protection, since the padlocks are pretty flimsy and could easily be picked. But at least that means that the zippers are lockable, so if you get a decent padlock, you could ensure your stuff always stays safe.
What To Look For
Size Of The Bag
Are you looking to get a small duffel bag or a really big one that can fit enough clothes for two weeks?
Smaller duffels are more versatile, and you will eventually get better value for your money with them. They’re bags you can take to the gym, to school, for overnight stays and when you’re just running around town with a lot of stuff in your bag.
Plus, they’re great as carry ons - they will easily fit into an overhead bin, and they are usually lighter than carry on suitcases. In addition to that, duffel bags have more pockets than you normally get on a suitcase, so they also make organization much easier.
On the other hand, if you tend to carry a lot of gear with you when you go to the gym, the office or when you travel, you will get the most use out of a larger duffel bag. But I do want to give you a tip - leather is an expensive material that requires a lot of maintenance and care to continue looking good after years of use. Sometimes you need to be gentle with it - maybe you’re okay with your wallet talking a beating, but would you leave your fancy leather jacket crumpled on the floor?
Checked baggage frequently takes a beating, and so I would recommend against using leather duffel bags for air travel. Sure, there’s a good chance nothing will happen to it, but there’s also a possibility that the bag will get caught on something and the leather will get damaged. And unless you’re okay with taking that risk, I suggest you swap out the 28” leather duffel bag for a hardside checked suitcase.
What’s The Bag For?
Do you want to get a leather duffel you can use as a carry on, or a bag for the gym and work? Depending on the main purpose of the bag, you should look for a few different things.
Pockets and extra compartments are one of the things you should look for first. If you want to get a bag for travel, then they’re not too important. You’re mostly packing clothes and toiletries, and all of that can fit inside the main compartment. Which doesn’t mean that you should look for a bag that has no pockets whatsoever, just that you shouldn’t disregard one simply because it doesn’t have five external pockets.
On the other hand, if you want to get a bag for the gym or something you can take to work, extra compartments are really important. They let you separate certain items and keep everything organized. In other words, you can put your smelly gym shoes in a separate compartment than your clothes and tower.
Overnight bags are somewhere in the middle; it’s nice to have pockets to organize everything, but they’re not really a necessity since all of your stuff can usually fit inside the main compartment.
In the end, it is really up to you and your personal preferences. If you’re already used to organizing everything down to the last detail, then no matter what the bag is for you should look for plenty of pockets.
Additionally, size of the bag is pretty important for its purpose. If you just want an overnight bag, don’t go for an oversized 28” duffel.
Type Of Leather And How To Care For It
It’s important to know the exact kind of leather a bag is made from, in order to know how to properly take care for it. Some types of leather get damaged more easily, while others will arrive looking beaten up, but that’s actually how they are supposed to look like.
Most of the bags featured here are made from cowhide leather, with a few exceptions. And cleaning cowhide leather is fairly simple - you should always use a damp cloth, and gently brush it. If there are any stains you want to get out, you should dip the damp cloth in saddle soap, and gentle rub it on the leather.
After that, it is really important to clean up all soap residue with a clean, damp cloth. Soap and dirty water can leave permanent marks on leather, and that’s not what we’re looking for. And when the bag is clean and dry again, you should always apply some sort of leather conditioner to keep it looking fresh.
But different types of leather act differently. Distressed and oiled leather are much easier to take care of - since the leather is full of oil, all it takes to restore its original look is to put oil back into it. That’s not going to work for really deep scratches, but it will remove any superficial scuffs immediately.
Best Leather Duffel Bags: Our Favorites
Still not sure which of these bags is just right for you? We picked one for each category, so you don’t have to rack your brain trying to figure it out!
The best leather duffel bag for travel is definitely the Gent Supply Weekender. It is carry on sized, so a perfect option for those short trips when you can’t be bothered to pack an actual suitcase. And it’s a really stylish bag, so you can easily take it on business trips. But, what actually makes it the best duffel for travel is the expandable capacity! On top of that, the bag actually has two packing compartments and a convenient zippered pocket on the outside. .
- 100% buffalo leather, the buffalo hide is vegetable tanned using tannins from tree bark, leaves, roots and other natural materials. This item is made of selected buffalo hides, but please bear in mind that this is a natural product and as such will contain small imperfections which are a characteristic of leather.
- A large, flat separate compartment that can accommodates shoes, toiletry bag or other items you want to keep separate from the main compartment.
If you want to get a versatile bag, pick up the Piel 24” Leather Duffel. It doesn’t really work as a carry on (except on Southwest airline), but it’s great for overnight stays, road trips and just everyday use. It has a spacious main compartment, two external compartments and a total of four external pockets for easy organization of all your necessities.
- Full-grain genuine leather duffel bag with zippered clamshell opening, thick piping trim, and multiple zippered compartments
- Joining hook-and-loop top handles and removable/adjustable cross-body strap with padded shoulder
Maybe you’re looking for the perfect everyday duffel bag? Something you can take to work or the gym? In that case, go with the Cuero Buffalo Leather Duffel Bag. The stylish exterior wouldn’t be out of place even in the most formal of offices, which makes it an amazing everyday duffel. And what’s even better is that it has one internal slip pocket, pen slots and even a credit card organizer, plus an external zippered pocket.
- 100% Genuine Leather with Durable Canvas Lining, Size 21" Length x 11" height x 9" Width
- Big main compartments for clothing /travel and sports gear, Adjustable shoulder Strap with Shoulder Pad and front one chain pocket for cash /mobile.
Those are the top three leather duffel bags we recommend. But feel free to get any one of the ten featured in our review - all of them are premium bags that won’t disappoint! Just head over to Amazon to see their prices and some more photos.
If you’re in need of other luggage or bags, go check out our related posts!
BEST TRAVEL BACKPACKS FOR MEN