Exploring the outdoors is an intensive business. Hauling climbing equipment to the Himalayas, fishing gear to the boat, or camping supplies to the truck all require durable carriers. So we’ve rounded up the best waterproof duffel bags for your most hardcore adventures this year. (For more stylish, less adventurous options, check out our picks of the best men’s duffel bags.)
Yeti brings its decades-long history of building the world’s best coolers to bear on a similarly durable line of duffel bags. The Panga 75 is an entirely waterproof duffel bag. A long list of technical features, including laminated high-density nylon construction, an EVA bottom, and a locking waterproof zipper system, all combine to make this bag fully submersible. At more than $300 and weighing more than six pounds, it’s overkill for most outdoor adventures. But, if only the best will do, this is likely the single best duffel bag on this list.
For almost comparable waterproof protection at a fraction of the price, SealLine’s WideMouth Duffel 70L boasts a similar resume to the Yeti Panga 75. It’s not quite as thick, relies on a roll-top seal (versus the Panga’s fully waterproof zipper), and lacks backpack straps. But, it’s significantly lighter and cheaper. Plus, the 70-liter size is large enough for most adventures.
Skog Å Kust’s DuffelSåk is one of the most budget-friendly bags on this list, with a starting price under $75. Yet, it boasts many of the same waterproofing features as its competition, including a heavy-duty 500D PVC shell with high-frequency welded seams and a tight roll-down top for IPX-6 protection. The entry-level 40L size is handy as a secondary accessory bag for smaller gear and valuables.
Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel has long been a favorite among hard-charging outdoorsmen. It’s a nearly indestructible, weather-resistant option that’s not fully submersible but is more than enough for keeping your gear dry in a hard rain. The 55-liter volume offers plenty of pockets for wrangling your equipment. Multiple carry options include twin reinforced haul handles and padded, removable shoulder straps for when you need to cover more ground.
Filson makes some of the hardest-working outdoor gear on the planet. Its Large Dry Duffel Bag is no exception. As the name suggests, it’s the largest in Filson’s line of dry duffel bags with a generous 70-liter capacity. The rugged nylon exterior, abrasion-resistant polyurethane coating, and roll-and-cinch closure all guarantee your gear stays dry and protected. A removable, adjustable shoulder pad and twin grab handles provide two carry options. Plus, high-density plastic hardware all-around ensure this bag will likely outlast you.
Headquartered in one of the wettest places in North America (an area that sees up to 260 inches of rainfall per year), PNW-based Aquaquest knows a thing or two about playing hard in the rain. The White Water Duffel is the company’s flagship waterproof duffel bag. Ultra-tough Oxford 420D Ripstop fabric, TPU lamination, a DWR coating, and welded seams all ensure that your gear stays dry in any condition. It’s available in 50L, 75L, and 100L sizes, so you can dial in the right capacity for your brand of adventuring.
Dakine has long been a favorite among the surf and beach sports set. The brand’s 60L Cyclone Hydroseal Duffel is a lightweight, durable bag that’s ready to tackle all but the most extreme outdoor adventures. Waterproof zippers and a welded construction ensure that nothing — including dirt, sand, dust, and, most importantly, water — gets in. The 60-liter size makes it ideal for shorter trips that don’t require a ton of gear. We also like the option of wearing it like a backpack or tossing it over your shoulder.
Kammok is well-known as a go-to company for some of the world’s best hammocks. That same experience means the company is well versed in playing outdoors. The Burro Duffel 30 is the smallest duffel on this list, making it a great option for day hikes or overnighters where weather might be an issue. Abrasion-resistant Adamas fabric and weather-resistant YKK AquaGuard zippers mean the Burro is ready to go just about anywhere, no matter how nasty the weather might get. Stowable backpack straps and a removable back pad provide multiple carry options in the front- and backcountry.
Gregory’s tried-and-tested gear hauler, the Alpaca 120L Duffel, is the largest and most capacious on this list. It boasts an ultra-rugged construction too. The body is made with burly 900-denier diamond rip-stop material. The bottom is covered with another 630 denier nylon. Drag this one around the world, up mountains and down rough roads. It’s going to take a long time to wear through that material. Daisy chain webbing along both sides allows for lashing down to just about anything (or anyone). For more pared-down adventures, the Alpaca is also available in 60L and 90L sizes.
In this case, size matters. Most duffels range between 30 liters up to 150 liters. A 30-liter bag is perfect for weekend trips with minimal gear or for filling with a sweaty gym kit post-workout. Fifty- and 60-liter duffels can hold gear for about a week, maybe less for gear-heavy sports like mountaineering; 50 is about the limit for carry-on luggage. Most longer expeditions require a 90-liter beast (or larger). We suggest mixing and matching sizes for the most efficient use of space.
Every bag on this list is either waterproof or weather-resistant. While most are not dunk-proof because of the zipper, the fabrics can easily stand up to rain, snow, and hardcore splashes. See the two waterproof options below — the Aquaquest White Water and the Yeti Panga — if you need something that can handle being soaked on rafting or paddleboarding trips.
Some bags are just big open sacs, allowing you to toss everything in without overthinking your gear organization. Others have side pockets, mesh pockets, lid pockets, water bottle pockets, ID pockets — the list goes on. Look for pockets if you want to organize small stuff for quick access.
Handles and Straps
Driving, flying, driving, flying, kayaking, hiking, driving, and flying (again) to your destination isn’t going to work for your old luggage with wheels. The best duffel bags offer multiple carry options, making them versatile for any type of transportation vehicle (or animal). Dual briefcase-style handles are convenient but get cumbersome with larger duffels. Shoulder straps can handle a heavier load. Side and end handles work well for throwing and dragging. Backpack straps are great for shorter distances and are often removable, so they don’t get chewed up on airport conveyor belts.
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