Duffel bags are a popular type of luggage because their unstructured design allows for versatile packing. Many will also find them more comfortable and convenient to carry than suitcases or wheeled luggage, especially when walking on rough, broken sidewalks.
When it comes to high-end duffels, there are several things to consider, including the brand name and build materials. They also need to be stylish so you’ll be happy to show them off. Few options check all these boxes as well as the Frye Logan Overnight Duffle Bag. It is made from premium leather that is both durable and refined, and it will continue to look better and better with age as it builds up a beautiful patina.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for what classifies something as a high-end duffle bag. While one could easily just go by cost, that’s not always the best method since not everything that is expensive is necessarily good quality nor aesthetically pleasing. Instead, look at several features when making a judgment call, including name brand, materials, durability and style.
Originally, all duffel bags were designed to be carried either by hand or over the shoulder. At some point though, some ingenious individual decided to add a few wheels to a duffel bag, and the wheeled duffel was born. These combine the appeal of a regular duffel bag with the convenience of rolling luggage. Often, wheeled duffels will be larger than their regular counterparts so they can accommodate more stuff. The downside to wheeled duffels is that the extra hardware makes them heavier, so they are more of a hassle to carry when not wheeling them.
Whether buying a cheap duffel bag or a high-end one, the capacity needs to be a top priority. It is important to buy one that offers enough packing space for your needs; otherwise, you won’t end up using it, no matter how stylish it may be. Every duffel bag will have its dimensions listed somewhere in the product description, which you can use to determine if it offers enough capacity for your intended use.
Any time you are buying luggage, the size and layout of the various compartments should be a consideration. Some duffel bags have a single large main compartment and one or no exterior pockets. Others feature several pockets on both the inside and outside. Ask yourself which design best fits your needs when choosing your duffel. Are you the kind of person who likes to have a place for everything and everything in its place or someone who likes the convenience of quickly tossing all your stuff into a single large compartment?
The hardware on a duffel affects both its style and durability. Many high-end models have hardware made from brass or another eye-catching metal. It should also be tough enough to stand up to plenty of use, including frequent zipping and unzipping. Some will feature metal feet on the bottom to keep the material off the ground and away from spills and dirt.
The handles and straps on a duffel bag need to be both durable and comfortable. Handles should have a rolled construction or be wide enough that they won’t dig into your palms when carrying them. Shoulder straps should be adjustable and have moveable padding for added comfort. If choosing a rolling duffel, its trolley handle needs to be sturdy and offer smooth telescoping action.
Just like regular luggage, many high-end duffel bags have an identification tag where you can put your contact information. This increases the chances of getting your bag back if it is ever lost.
If you plan on using your duffel bag in conjunction with wheeled luggage, it is a smart idea to buy one with a trolley handle sleeve, which are sometimes referred to as add-a-bag sleeves. These allow you to slip your duffel bag over the handle of your rolling luggage for convenient transport.
To help you get through airport security quicker and with less hassle, some high-end duffel bags feature a removable TSA-compliant toiletries bag.
You never know when you’ll unexpectedly get caught in the rain during your travels. Even if you are completely confident that will never happen, there is always the potential for someone to spill a cup of coffee or some other beverage onto your bag. To ensure the contents won’t be harmed if this happens, you can purchase a duffel bag with water-resistant construction.
High-end duffel bags start out around $150 and can cost upwards of $1,000 or more.
A. Whether or not you can use your duffle as a carry-on is solely dependent on its size. There are many duffels that meet airline carry-on size restrictions, but there are also many that don’t. If this is a concern, make sure to check the dimensions of any bag you are considering and the carry-on restrictions of the airlines you fly most often.
A. There is no definitive answer to whether a duffel bag or backpack is better, as it depends solely on your personal preference. Many duffel bags are more stylish than backpacks, which can make them suitable for refined tastes or business travel. Conversely, backpacks are more casual and generally don’t offer the same level of sophistication or style. That said, you can easily find duffels with a more casual or rugged appearance too.
What you need to know: Crafted from premium leather that only looks better and better with age, the Logan Overnight is both a stylish and durable option.
What you’ll love: It features attractive brushed brass hardware and has metal feet on the bottom to keep the material raised slightly off the ground. It also has a wide opening for easy packing and unpacking.
What you should consider: You are paying for the brand name just as much as the materials and construction.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This thoughtfully designed duffle has a nice variety of pockets and features that make it ideal for frequent travelers.
What you’ll love: It is lightweight for easy carrying and features a trolley handle sleeve for attaching to your rolling luggage. There is also a removable TSA-compliant toiletries bag that can save you time when passing through airport security.
What you should consider: It may not offer enough capacity for some people.
Where to buy: Sold by Macy's
What you need to know: If you have a long trip planned and need something with a large capacity that is still easy to transport, the Tumi Alpha 3 wheeled duffel fits the bill.
What you’ll love: It’s equipped with the company’s tracer tag that can help you find the bag if it is ever lost or stolen. Plus, the ballistic nylon construction can easily stand up to the rigors of the road without appearing any worse for the wear.
What you should consider: Its extremely high price tag may make it a non-starter for some.
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.