6 Best Outdoor Duffel Bags That Are Durable & Functional

    The best outdoor duffel bags will deliver on ruggedness, offer more interior space and will complement your on-the-go outdoor lifestyle

    If your travels involve the great outdoors, you may want to consider adding a durable duffel bag to your list of outdoor gear essentials — or upgrading your existing duffel bag to one with a more rugged exterior fabric, more interior space and that better complements your on-the-go outdoor lifestyle.

    Duffel bags are one of the most versatile pieces of camping luggage, and they’re often overlooked. If you’ve ever tried using a classic indoor sports duffel bag outside, you may have experienced tears starting near the duffel bag handles after lugging around your camping gear, rips in the sides or bottom of the fabric from the bag scraping against rocks or maybe you’ve experienced broken zippers or water seeping through your bag on a damp or rainy day — soaking your next days’ hiking pants.

    Having a duffel bag that complements your lifestyle can give you added security while you’re out adventuring.

    When choosing a duffel bag that’s right for you, you’ll want to consider size and capacity. Are you looking for something to hold your clothing, sleeping pad and sleeping bag for a weekend getaway? Are you needing a duffel bag that’s heavy-duty enough to hold your rock or ice climbing gear? Or, are you looking for a durable duffel bag for van life or a large capacity duffel bag that can do it all? Whatever your needs, there are a number of outdoor duffel bags to choose from.

    Duffel bag size guidelines


    Duffel bags are measured in liters of volume (how much space they have inside for your gear). According to REI, here are some size guidelines that will give you a sense of duffel bag sizes and how much they can hold:

    • 30-50 liters: In general, luggage that has a capacity of about 50 liters or less is sufficient for a weekend trip. There are lots of carry-on duffels, packs and bags in this size range to choose from.
    • 50-75 liters: For a trip that lasts one to two weeks, many people jump up to a bag in this range.
    • 75 liters-100+ liters: For big expeditions, travelers typically need several large bags that can hold 75 liters or more each. (Keep in mind, of course, that the larger the bag, the heavier it is to haul. Multiple smaller bags might be easier to transport).

    Here are 6 of the best outdoor duffel bags:

    1. Klymit Gear Duffel Bag

    The durable tarpaulin exterior of Klymit’s Gear Duffel makes this bag a great choice for use in rugged terrain. It’s tough and water-resistant with durable zippers. There’s plenty of room for your gear, even with the smallest size of 65L — which is my personal favorite for both weekend use and short day trips. You can also choose from Klymits larger duffel bag options like the 95L Gear Duffel or 125L Gear Duffel.

    All of the duffel bags Klymit offers include daisy chain webbing loops so you can add on extra gear. These bags also have a large pocket inside for storing your shoes or dirty clothes, making it easy to separate them from the rest of your gear. They all come in a nice shiny black color with the Klymit logo and the liters clearly marked.

    Another nice feature of Klymit’s Gear Duffel is the handles. Klymit designed these bags so you can easily grab the duffel bag handles on all sides and the comfortable shoulder straps make it convenient to wear the duffel as a backpack — giving you a hands-free option while on the move.

    Pros/Sleek look and durable
    Bottom Line/A durable and versatile all-around outdoor duffel bag

    2. Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag

    Made with durable ripstop, created from 100 percent recycled material, the iconic 55L Patagonia Black Hole duffel bag is a great choice for weekend getaways or extended multi-day trips outdoors.

    The top zipper gives you quick and easy access to all your gear inside and the outer zipper is nice for items you want even quicker access to.

    The padded base helps protect your gear in rugged terrain and the removable shoulder straps lets you easily carry the duffel like a backpack for a nice hands free option. The haul handles are reinforced and the multiple exterior daisy chains are sturdy and reinforced and provide myriad lashing options for extra gear. The inner pocket is nice for keeping smaller items, like a wallet and keys, from getting lost. This duffel is ideal for a weekend trip or an extended trip.

    Pros/100% recycled material, great weekender bag
    Bottom Line/An iconic outdoor bag that's built tough

    3. Peak Design Travel Duffelpack 65L

    Don’t be deceived by looks; on first glance, this pack definitely has a cityscape vibe — but the durability in real-world settings is almost unmatched. It’s made with weatherproof, 100 percent recycled 600D nylon canvas, and it truly is a marvelous blend of ruggedness and versatility.

    The company doesn’t call it a “monster gear hauler” for nothing.

    The zippers are heavy-duty, and it can expand and contract from 45L to 65L via external zips. The internal cavity has two pockets for organization, while there are also two pockets on the exterior. The main zipper path, too, is particularly long, which allows the user to really get in there and see where all of their gear is stowed — and to easily reach for those little things that fell to the bottom of the bag. (This video has a full breakdown of all of the features.)

    While the bag can be carried like a true duffel, the beauty of this product — and really it’s most standout feature — is that it has shoulder and waist straps that deploy and stowaway beneath magnetically sealed flaps. Basically, it goes from a side carry bag to a backpack in a heartbeat. And when you’re lugging gear, being able to sling everything over your shoulders like a backpack makes a world of difference.

    Pros/Duffel to backpack versatility on a sturdy, weather-resistant platform
    Cons/Heavy, even without gear, but that's the price of durability
    Bottom Line/The Dufflepack 65L maximizes carry capacity without compromising comfort or versatility

    4. Yeti Panga Duffel Bag

    If you’re looking for a bag that’s built to withstand downpours, rapids and rocky terrain the Yeti Panga Duffel is for you. Unlike Yeti’s famed coolers, these bags are not insulated or made to hold perishable items (not a cooler.) But they have a lot of great features like an ultra-durable Thickskin shell made of laminated high-density nylon that’s nearly impenetrable to outdoor elements.

    With an EVA molded bottom, you’ll have a sturdy and waterproof landing pad for your duffel. The main water-seal feature of this duffel is found in the zipper. Yeti engineers included a Hydrolok zipper to keep water out — letting you feel safe stowing your gear in this bag in conditions (like rafting) where water is in the mix of your adventures. You can also dunk (submerge) your bag under water and your gear will stay completely dry.

    The Yeti Panga Duffel comes in a 50L duffel, a 75l duffel and a 100L duffel — all of which give you the added option to carry it like a backpack with built-in padded shoulder straps.

    Pros/100% waterproof, extremely rugged
    Bottom Line/An impenetrable duffel bag that keeps water out

    5. Black Diamond StoneHauler Duffel Bag

    If you’re looking for an all-around duffel to keep up with your outdoor lifestyle on multi-day adventures, the Black Diamond 60L StoneHauler duffel is a great choice.

    One of the stand-out features of the StoneHauler Duffel is the durable Haul-Loop carry system. These bomber tubular webbing loops wrap the entire duffel and Black Diamond engineers have extensively tested these with the same machines that they use to test their carabiners and Camalots. These loops are rated to 2kN for secure load carry and clip in points.

    This duffel bag also has the added option to carry it like a backpack along with extra side-to-side padded body construction for comfortable carrying and hauling any way. Black Diamond also uses 100 percent recycled material with a durable 5mm closed shell that’s rugged and puncture-proof — giving you security when you need to keep your gear safe from the elements.

    There’s an inside pocket called the “DirtBag” storage system where you can pack away your dirty laundry and cinch it closed, two inside zipper pockets and one larger exterior pocket provide a safe space for valuables.

    Pros/Tough webbing loops, durable exterior
    Bottom Line/The ideal rock-climbing gear duffel and made of 100% recycled material

    6. Koyukon Extreme Duffel Bag

    If you’re looking for a lighter weight smaller 40L duffel bag option that’s built to withstand a weekend rafting trip or withstand being lugged around in a bush plane (even in extremely cold winter conditions), the Koyukon Extreme Duffel Bag may be the best option for you.

    This bag is built of heavy-duty waterproof nylon with an abrasion-resistant polyurethane coating — making the fabric pliable in cold weather. You can also fully submerge this duffel in water and your gear will stay dry as it’s 100 percent waterproof. With marine-grade zippers, you’ll feel confident knowing your items are secure.

    There’s also reflective logos that make your duffel easy to locate outside and two external side mounts with Velcro straps for mounting gear like a tripod or hiking poles. There’s also built in nylon webbing straps underneath the duffel to attach and carry your extra bulky gear. You can also purchase this duffel bag in larger sizes — a 70L and 90L.

    Pros/Reflective, marine-grade zippers
    Bottom Line/This is an ideal cold weather duffel bag -- stylish and 100% waterproof

    Suzanne Downing is an outdoor writer and photographer in Montana with an environmental science journalism background. Her work can be found in Outdoors Unlimited, Bugle Magazine, Missoulian, Byline Magazine, Communique, MTPR online, UM Native News, National Wildlife Federation campaigns and more.

    Feature image courtesy of Peak Design

    We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.

The Carbon Media Network