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All that camping gear, clothing and supplies need an efficient means of transportation. But if you’re driving to a campsite with the family or venturing to a wilderness destination solo, a real backpacking rig might not be the best luggage choice. That’s where a rugged camping bag comes in.
One of the best types of bags for camping and outdoorsy adventures is a versatile duffel or duffel-backpack hybrid. The soft design means it can hold plenty of oddly-sized gear, but won’t take up unnecessary space when not in use or when half-packed. Plus, various carrying options such as drop handles, shoulder strap and optional backpack straps provide helpful flexibility. And without wheels, structuring or a hardshell, duffels can be extremely lightweight.
Campers, whether casual or hardcore, use duffel bags for road trips, off-road adventures and air travel. These carry-all bags also come in handy for non-camping adventures such as visiting family, weekend getaways or less outdoorsy vacations.
If your luggage closet is lacking a great camping bag, read on. We’ve rounded up some of the best camping and outdoor travel bags that you can order right now.
What to Know Before Buying a Camping Bag
Size: How long is your typical getaway? If it’s just a night or two, go for a smaller bag around 40 to 50 liters. Most of our picks are sized for a long weekend, but larger options (around 70 liters) should hold enough gear for a week of traveling. Plus, if you plan on using your bag as a carry-on, be sure it fits your airline’s regulations.
Handles and Straps: How you carry a particular bag is paramount when shopping. If you’re just road tripping, a streamlined duffel with drop handles is all you need. But if you’re walking through an airport or hiking with the bag, you’ll want something with a shoulder strap, or, even better, backpack straps.
Material: The lighter a bag the better. However, many travelers and outdoors people sacrifice some weight for more durability and weatherproofing. One way to check durability is by looking at the denier rating of a nylon bag. This indicates how tough the bag is, ranging from about 500 to 1000 denier.
Style: Even if your new bag spends most of its time out in the wild, it’s still a good idea to invest in something stylish that you’ll want to carry around the city (if need be).
The Best Camping Duffel Bags
1. The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag
This Base Camp duffel from The North Face is our favorite bag for packability and durability. The first secret to the Base Camp’s success is strength. This ruggedness comes in the form of ballistic weave fabric that’s been coated for protection against rain and snow. The second draw with the Base Camp bag is versatility, thanks to packable backpack straps, a shoulder strap and drop handles. The bag is also loaded with convenient features including a collapsible design for storage, as well as an exterior compartment to separate dirty clothes or shoes. Lastly, the 71-liter capacity with this medium-sized option is large enough for four or five days but not overkill as an overnight bag.
2. YETI Crossroads 60L Duffel
YETI isn’t as well-known for their bags as the other brands on our list, but their sturdy duffel is equally worth your consideration. Although the design looks streamlined, it has structured foam walls to keep it from drooping in on itself like other foldable duffel bags. For extra support, removable compression straps can be used internally to keep your stuff secure, or externally to tighten to bag’s seal. As far as pocket organization, the Crossroads scores very high with two divider panels that separate the bag into three sections, and two interior mesh pockets. The bag also comes in three size options (35, 40 and 60-liter) for every type of adventure.
3. Carhartt Legacy 25 Inch Utility Duffel
Carhartt may have recently become a prominent brand in streetwear, but their roots are still in tough-as-nails workwear. This Legacy Series Duffel showcases Carhartt’s talent for rugged, no-nonsense products with a durable synthetic fabric and Rain Defender water repellent. With a multi-pocket design (large front flap pockets and zippered exterior compartments) makes this bag very handy when it comes to storage. It’s ideal for an overnight trip or as a secondary bag on longer trips. The whole thing has a padded, adjustable shoulder strap, so you can take all your necessary gear on the go.
4. Patagonia Black Hole 40L Duffel Bag
Along with The North Face Base Camp, the Patagonia Black Hole is often considered one of best camping and outdoor bags on the market. It was one of the first duffels to really change the game with an extra-durable construction and a modern look. The showstopper with the Black Hole is the fabric: 900-denier laminated ripstop with a DWR water-repellent finish. In plain English, that’s very, very strong material. The bag also features removable backpack straps that users say are very comfortable for long treks (or waiting in line at the airport). Plus, the bag looks cool too, which never hurts.
5. Herschel Novel Duffle
If you’re more of a “glamper” than a camper, check out this Novel duffel from Herschel. It’s a stylish means of transporting lightweight items like clothing with a fabric liner construction, streamlined handles, and s signature shoe storage compartment on the side of the bag. We’re big fans of the navy color and the classic woven Herschel logo because they give the bag a handsome throwback look that you don’t see very often.
6. Marmot Long Hauler Travel Duffel Bag
Marmot’s Long Hauler is another rugged, versatile hybrid bag fit for any outdoorsmen. The duffel boasts some serious numbers in terms of fabric quality with 1680-denier nylon reinforcement to guard against any drops and scuffs in the wild or the airport. We recommend this large version of the Long Hauler for its versatile 75-liter capacity. It’ll fit just about everything you need for a few days or longer depending on needs. A variety of straps, including backpack straps (that combine for a drop handle) and handles on all sides, make the bag easy to carry from any angle.
7. Osprey Transporter 65 Travel Duffel Bag
The first thing you’ll notice about the Osprey Transporter is its streamlined look – despite its extra-large 130-liter size. The second thing you’ll notice is the comfort provided by the backpack straps (which feature a yoke and harness). Side handles and an optional shoulder strap are also available, but this is really more of a backpack than a duffel. The fabric boasts the adventure-ready durability you’d expect from Osprey with a weather-resistant TPU coating. Inside you’ll find plenty of space and compartments for all your stuff, including a padded pocket for gadgets.
8. Filson Small Rugged Twill Duffle Bag
Filson started way back in 1897 crafting outdoor gear for pioneers, but their brand has changed a bit in the last 120 years. While Filson retains a reputation for tough outdoor essentials, the brand has edged into upscale fashion territory with a unique old school look. This Field duffel represents Filson’s new character with a durable build and a very stylish throwback design. Unlike most outdoor bags, the Filson Field duffel is made of twill (don’t worry, it’s still water-repellent and abrasion-resistant). The bag is on the small side, however, so we recommend using it as an overnight bag for quick getaways to the outdoors…or a friend’s house.
9. Baboon To The Moon Go-Bag Big
Baboon To The Moon is a brand specializing in travel essentials that will last, going against the fast fashion grain. Their goal is to craft highly-usable, timelessly stylish bags for the 21st century. We think they’ve done just that, and this Go-Bag duffle is a great example of their accomplishment. It’s not flashy yet sure to stand out in a sea of black bags on the luggage carousel. But the duffle delivers in terms of function as well with a durable, waterproof shell materials, a lockable zipper head closure and a variety of pockets for every need. Inside you’ll also find multiple stash pockets, and a capacity to fit 5+ days worth of clothing, exemplifying Baboon To The Moon’s dedication to bags for the modern user.
10. Gregory Supply Duffel 60L
Another great mid-size duffel is this one from Gregory. The Supply duffel, as it’s called, features 60 liters yet weighs just over 1 pound. Despite its lightness, the bag is extremely durable with a Kevlar-reinforced fabric bottom panel, a nylon upper, and reinforced handles. Gregory has also given attention to the details, with features like lockable zippers with T-grip handles for easier opening/closing action. Besides the roomy main compartment, the bag also has a quick-access side pocket for smaller items.
11. Peak Design Travel Duffel
Looking for something smaller? Check out this Peak Design Travel duffel. With a 35-liter capacity, it’s great for long hikes, overnight trips without too much gear, or as a secondary bag. But it’s also great for day-to-day activities in the city (i.e. maybe hitting the gym or bringing a change of clothes to your significant other’s place). You can also carry it using built-in backpack straps, a cross-body shoulder strap, or drop handles. Plus, the bag is durable weatherproof nylon, meaning it can get caught in a storm or dropped in a puddle without soaking the contents.