The 7 Best Duffel Bags for Fuss-Free Travel

In an effort to dodge fees and avoid the baggage carousel, travelers have gotten pretty good at packing the bare minimum. For most, that means cramming it all into a single wheelie bag to stow in the overhead. But nowadays, not all ticket types include overhead space (ahem, looking at you, United) and even those that do make no promise that you’ll actually find any space available by the time you board.

Avoid the overhead drama altogether by packing only a duffel for under the seat. With a little Marie Kondo-ing and the right bag, you’ll be surprised by how fuss-free travel can be.

Once you’ve determined whether that old band t-shirt sparks enough joy to pack, toss it in any of these smart looking duffels and be on your way.

Carhartt Water Repellent Duffel Bag, $138

Known for their sturdy workwear, Carhartt has recently made the leap from tool bags to carry ons. The Carhartt duffel is just as durable, with a reinforced bottom and water repellent canvas exterior. Includes a detachable shoulder strap and both interior and exterior pockets. Available in Carhartt’s classic Hamilton Brown.

Brown Carhartt Duffel Bag

The North Face Medium Base Camp Duffle Bag, $140

A sleek take on the classic utilitarian duffle, with enough clever compartments for keeping smaller necessities at the ready. The Base Camp Duffle comes in red, yellow, and black, and in smaller and larger sizes.

The North Face Medium Base Camp Duffle Bag in red and yellow

L.L. Bean Signature Made in Maine Duffle, $149

Cape Cod drinkers and madras wearers will appreciate the Maine Duffle from L.L. Bean. Made of heavy duty navy and white cotton canvas, reinforced with extra wide wraparound straps, and detachable shoulder straps.

L.L. Bean Signature Made in Maine Duffle in white and navy

Filson Medium Duffel Bag, $395

Constructed in the U.S. using hard-wearing twill with wraparound leather trim, this snazzy number by Filson will only get better with age. The main compartment features both a zip and snap enclosure. Available in navy, army green, or black.

Filson Medium Duffel Bag

Porter Flex 2 Way Duffel Bag, $240

From Japanese bag maker Porter, this stylish black duffle comes in their trademark sheeny ripstop nylon. Interior pockets help keep track of your passport, keys, and other essentials.

Black Porter Nylon Duffel

Patagonia Lightweight Black Hole Duffel 30L, $79

Tough ripstop nylon coated in a slick water resistant laminate help keep contents safe from the elements. This versatile duffel can be worn over the shoulder or as a backpack. Available in black, green, orange, or blue.

Patagonia Black Hotel Duffel

Samsonite Red Deneb Boston Bag, $89

You’ve probably carried, at some point in your life, a Samsonite suitcase. This modern duffel is made of a wide ribbed techno-polyester material with faux leather trim and removable shoulder straps.

Samsonite Red Deneb Boston Duffel

Intro image by Ben Bryant via Shutterstock

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