Packing for Spring Getaways: The Best Duffels for Hitting The Road

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Spring is in the air and most of us already have our eyes set on adventure destinations both domestic and abroad. A quality duffel bag is essential for packing and transporting your gear.

We tested eight behemoth bags (90L or larger) and we found out that not all in our test were created equal.

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 90L ($149)

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 90L

Like the name implies, the large main compartment will swallow your gear. A zippered side pocket and mesh pockets in the lid help you stay organized while on the road. Additionally, this burly, weatherproof bag stuffs into its own pocket for easy storage.

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 90L ($109)

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 90L

This ultra-light (just over 2 pounds) bag will allow you to pack that additional gear without fear of having to pay those dreaded extra baggage fees. The durable Armor-Lite fabric is water-repellent and paired with the storm flap to shield the zipper. So, this bag will keep your equipment protected in all but the heaviest of downpours. Four padded grab handles and comfortable backpack straps are just a few of the features in a line of bags from a company specializing in travel solutions.

SealLine Pro Portage Pack 115L ($200)

SealLine Pro Portage Pack 115L

While more likely to be spotted on an expedition river trip, this bag makes an ideal travel duffel. A fully adjustable suspension system, including sternum and shoulder straps and waist belt, make carrying the largest bag in our roundup both easily and comfortably. The watertight Dry Seal, roll-top, and reinforced vinyl sides and bottom ensure that the bag’s contents will arrive at your destination high and dry.

Fishpond Thunderhead Large Submersible Duffel 100L ($400)

Fishpond Thunderhead Large Submersible Duffel 100L

Braided climbing rope handles beautifully accent this nearly bombproof and fully submersible duffel. While the most expensive bag in our test, the expertly designed features of this bag make it worth every cent. The recycled nylon main body fabric, paired with TPU welded fabric construction and a submersible main cargo zipper, make this bag perfect for keeping your gear bone dry.

Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel 90L ($149)

Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel 90L

This bag features tuckaway adjustable shoulder straps and a U-shaped opening that will provide you with total access to your contents. The TPU coasted polyester fabric provides weather resistant protection. Two exterior end pockets provide quick access to those priority items. And, when not in use, the bag quickly packs away into one of the end pockets.

Gregory Alpaca Duffel 90L ($150)

Gregory Alpaca Duffel 90L

The padded backpack straps on this duffel are quickly removed via ladder-locks and girth hitches at both the top and bottom. The horseshoe shaped zipper allows for easy loading and access to your gear. The TPU-coated body with diamond-weave reinforcing threads provide exceptional wear and water resistance.

The North Face Base Camp Duffel 95L ($145)

The North Face Base Camp Duffel 95L

This nearly indestructible bag has long been a staple of adventurers. The duffel’s double laminate construction provides a water-resistant and rugged bag. New features to this iconic bag include redesigned straps, new end-cap zippered compartment allows you to separate wet clothes and an internal mesh pocket for additional organization.

Grundéns Shackleton Duffel 105L ($115)

Grundéns Shackleton Duffel 105L

Like its namesake, this duffel is designed to endure even the toughest conditions. Made of 500D PVC, the large watertight main compartment is accessed via the Velcro roll top closure. Deploy the hidden backpack straps when you need to cover longer distances.