These range from basic Safari duffel bags that you throw over a shoulder to wheeled duffels with extendable handles. The primary advantage of duffels over other options is their simple design. They’re easy to use and generally feature one large space for packing your gear and clothing. Of course, this could be a disadvantage if you’re the super-organized type who needs separate pockets and compartments to stay sane.
(One way to stay organized in a duffel is to pack your things in travel cubes or stuff sacks.) Duffel bags are available in many sizes, from compact carry-on bags that have a capacity of 20–30 litres and will hold a weekend’s worth of clothes on up to massive duffels that hold 100 litres or more for adventures that require tons of gear.
Patagonia Black Hole 55 Duffel Bag
#1 Best Safari Duffel Bags
Patagonia’s Black Hole line helped made duffels cool, and we think the 55-litre version is the best all-around bag on the market. In 2021, all Black Holes are made with 100-per cent-recycled materials, along with the premium build quality and trendy colourways that Patagonia is known for. This bag is beautifully constructed from end to end, and you get multiple colour options from simple black to blaze orange. And the Black Hole is tough: the fabric is burly 900-denier ripstop nylon with a DWR finish to fend off moisture. This duffel is not waterproof like the YETI and SealLine models below, but it should keep your gear dry in light to moderate moisture just fine.
In terms of features and carrying comfort, you get a multitude of ways to grab and carry the Black Hole Duffel. The removable backpack straps are more comfortable and functional than most, and the bag comes with reinforced haul handles and webbing loops for carrying by hand. Keep in mind that this duffel does not have a particularly rigid structure (only the base is lightly padded), so it doesn’t offer a ton in the way of protection for your fragile items. In addition, it’s one of the more expensive non-roller duffels on this list, but we think the quality is worth the extra cost. Patagonia’s Black Hole line also includes a variety of versions including smaller travel packs and duffels with wheels, and the 40-litre roller version is carry-on compatible.
Samsonite Luggage Andante Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag
#2 Best Safari Duffel Bags
For the past hundred years Samsonite have been establishing their brand as the number one destination for superior travel bags, luggage, and accessories. If you’re looking for any luggage purchase with an innovative design that uses the latest technological advancements, Samsonite is the place to look. Just taking a singular look at this Andante 22-inch Wheeled Duffel we already get a durable and compact carry-on with u-shaped opening and plenty of visible packing space; a professional business look with equally classy colors to spice up your lifestyle on the go – and that’s just from a glance. During this Samsonite duffle bag review we’ll delve deeper into this particular Samsonite bag, explaining all the things which make it great compared to other bags, and even things which we think this Samsonite piece has missed the mark on (although there are very few).
Arc’teryx Carrier Duffle 55L Bag
#3 Best Safari Duffel Bags
The Carrier Duffel 100 l Duffel weighs just 689 g empty, with the 50 l duffle being 538 g and the small 36 l duffle being 383 g. If you compare this with other duffles on the market you realize that these are quickly one kilogram or more empty. While in comparison with a suitcase or one of these wheeled luggage carriers that are still “light” I always found that still too heavy and was using a large waterproof stuff sack to transport big amounts of gear. That was until I found the Arc’teryx Carrier Duffle.
Besides being ultralight it is also waterproof. If you’re out with a pulka in winter, canoeing with kids or camping in the Alps, wetness is always a possibility so a waterproof duffle is mandatory for me. The Arc’teryx Carrier Duffle has taped seams and is made from N400r-AC2 nylon 6 ripstop fabric, which I have found to be highly waterproof on my excursions. The material is also really durable and can take the hardest abuse on the planet: Airport luggage handlers. These guys don’t seem to know how to treat gear gently, and I have often enough seen my gear tossed & thrown on the conveyor belt – or next to it. My 50 l duffle has been across Europe with me in the last two years and besides a bit of dust – it still is like new.
REI Co-op Roadtripper Duffel 100L Bag
#4 Best Safari Duffel Bags
In our overall scoring, the REI Roadtripper 100L doesn’t necessarily stand out in a sea of heavy-duty duffel bags. Only when you consider its respectable performance relative to its incredible price tag does it start to shine, earning it our Best Bang for the Buck Award. It lacks the durability, weather resistance, and comfortable carry options found on other top performers to help it withstand more rugged travels, but it’s quite useful as a secondary bag on extended expeditions or as a versatile option for light-duty weekend trips. For a simple, affordable, lightweight duffel bag, it is our consistent top recommendation.
Backcountry All-Around 60L
#5 Best Safari Duffel Bags
The Backcountry All-Around 60L Duffel is a versatile duffel suitable for aeroplane travel, camping, car Safari, international backpacking, and everything in between. Users particularly love the gear-separation compartment that can keep dirty clothes or shoes away from the main compartment, and the compression straps that keep gear in place. This duffel does lack a bit in durability and waterproofing, especially compared to bags at similar price points.
If you are on a budget, this Backcountry all-around duffel should be on your list of considerations. The reasons for it are plenty: from the hard-wearing trap that prolongs the life of the bag to the padded shoulder for transforming it into the backpack to the compression straps and gear loops that supply you with that much-needed convenience.
There is even a waterproof compartment that stores your wet clothes apart from the dry ones – every single organizational detail is well-thought-out. You can easily cruize through the airport in search of your gate with your hands-free from the additional weight.
Marmot Long Hauler Duffel Bag
#6 Best Safari Duffel Bags
The Marmot Long Hauler Duffel bag is a budget-friendly, lightweight bag with all the functionality you might need to get you through your next great adventure. Or it’ll get you to the gym; that’s what makes duffel bags special, their versatility. Whatever your use might be, it won’t hurt to find something that’s budget-friendly like the Long Hauler.
The Marmot Long Hauler performed fairly well across the board, but because of its price point, we awarded it the Best Value Duffel Bag Award in our duffel bag buying guide. Selling for less than $85, it really is a steal for such a good bag. So if you’re looking for a new duffel bag that is both lights on your shoulders and on your wallet, then look no further than the Marmot Long Hauler!
Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 60
#7 Best Safari Duffel Bags
The Eagle Creek mid-sized Cargo Hauler 60L Duffel is the perfect go-to duffel with plenty of space for all your gear. After many trips, I can say it easily over-delivers. The Cargo Hauler has three main compartments. Within the main compartment, they’ve created a smart cargo net that can be used to divide the area in two. This cargo net is helpful if you want to keep your bike gear separate from your clothes or shoes. Eagle Creek does an excellent job of paying attention to details. For example, the centre compartment can expand into one of the end pockets providing more room. Or, you can use the two end pockets for other items like dirty clothes, toiletries, or other gear.
Eagle Creek has strategically placed sturdy webbing handles on all four sides so you can carry it however you like and the stow-able shoulder straps come in handy running through airports or transferring your luggage from the airport to your vehicle! On one recent trip to the Tetons, I tossed the duffel into the bed of a pick-up truck where it was bombarded by dust, rain and wind. The abrasion resistant material kept my gear and clothes clean and dry!
Olympia Luggage 8 Pocket Rolling Duffel Bag
#8 Best Safari Duffel Bags
But believe me, the Olympia Luggage has been making my journey so awesome. I have been touring around the world with it for quite some time now. I feel very lucky for buying a product that is able to enjoy every second of having it. This baggage has been a life-changing product for me. It has transformed my entire travelling style. It has always been available when I need it.
I share this review with my readers from my personal experience. It is has been really fun using this product. I will give my distinct description and entailed feature as I have seen for the time I have been using this baggage. This Olympia 22 duffel bag is made of polyester which is very light and very affordable. Polyester is the best fabric material for constructing cheap suitcase. Since polyester is very light it does not add weight to the overall weight of the bag. With all this taken into consideration, the Olympia 22 is very light even when it is filled up with items. Flexibility is not an issue with this new Olympia 22 duffel bag.
Shacke’s Travel Duffel Express Weekender Bag
#9 Best Safari Duffel Bags
Rocking in at under $30, this is one of the most popular and capable duffel bags on the market today. Made from durable dragon nylon (a high-quality water-resistant fabric) this duffel will take you anywhere you want to go. You’ll have no trouble stashing all your gear in here as there’s plenty of space. The main compartment is great for all your usual clothing and kit, but there are hidden extras that will make you grin with delight.
The shoe pouch, for example, is perfect for keeping smelly sneakers or wet flip flops away from the rest of your gear, while the large internal hanging pouch will keep your passport, travel documents, and anything else you hold dear, safe and sound on the go. For easy air travel, the bag comes complete with TSA friendly locks and easy opening YKK double zippers on the main compartment, meaning that both you and the airport staff can easily access your belongings!
Peak Design Travel Duffelpack
#10 Best Safari Duffel Bags
Peak Design seem to have taken a leaf out of Apple’s less-is-more approach to the design of late. The extremely popular Peak Design Everyday Backpack had a little too much going on for my personal tastes, whereas the recent additions to the Travel line (notably the Peak Design Travel backpack), are more minimal in external-design. The safari Duffel pack reminds me of an origami spring roll, with various folds in the fabric giving it a modern, technical twist. I’ve always chosen black when it comes to bags, but this time I took a punt on the ‘sage’ version, which is closer to grey than green, and unlike any other bag colour I’ve seen – it really is unique, and I really like it.
The base of the bag (which becomes the ‘back’ when in backpack mode) is made from something called ‘Ottoman-weave Poly’, which is slightly glossy and offsets the matt fabric of the rest of the bag. It’s also weatherproof. As for build quality, the Peak Design Safari Duffel pack is a premium product which is built to last a lifetime – in fact, as with all Peak products, it’s got a life-time warranty. Zippers slide effortlessly, handles are sturdy, stitching is perfect, padding is comfortable – this is a bag that’s able to take all the abuse you throw at it, and still look great carried on your back or by your side.
Black Diamond StoneHauler
#11 Best Safari Duffel Bags
Relatively new to the scene is Black Diamond’s StoneHauler, which offers a climber’s take on the classic outdoor duffel. Building off popular designs like the Patagonia Black Hole and TNF Basecamp, Black Diamond placed 5-millimeter closed cell foam into the StoneHauler’s walls to guard against sharp gear like ice tools and climbing cams (a nice touch, as our cams have dug a hole in the base of our Black Hole). They also added on a 2-kilonewton haul loop for extra assurance when securing your gear to a mule or truck (heck, you could even haul the duffel up El Cap). Tack on a rugged 600 x 1500-denier body fabric and reinforced ends, and the StoneHauler is impressively durable and ready for all the rigors of your next expedition.
We’re impressed with Black Diamond’s design and think the StoneHauler makes a great fit for climbing, but the duffel risks being overkill for the majority of people and uses. Most travellers don’t need a 2-kilonewton haul loop or padded sidewalls, especially when the added tech results in a higher price (the 60L StoneHauler is $41 more than the 55L Black Hole, for example). Further, we’re a bit miffed by the design, which places more durable fabric on the ends of the bag but not on the base. But BD does add some nice travel features with three zippered pockets, an internal laundry bag, and removable shoulder straps. And you can upgrade to their Pro models (30 and 45L), which feature a padded laptop sleeve.
Yeti Panga Duffel Bag
#12 Best Safari Duffel Bags
Considering YETI makes the most durable coolers, insulated tumblers, and packs, expect the same emphasis on quality and durability from their dry duffel. You could probably throw this duffel over a waterfall and your stuff would still stay dry! This is the best Safari duffel bag if you are doing any type of water activity – rafting down a river; living on a boat; traveling in monsoon season; you name it, YETI’s got you.
You could simply attach this to the side or a river tube and it would hold up! It has 6 lash points and 2 long straps so you can haul your bag in multiple ways. 2 easy-to-access mesh pockets keep your valuables safely tucked away. We think 50 liters is a perfect size, but if you need something bigger, this bag also comes in a 75 liter and 100-liter size.
SDR Traveller D3 Traveller Duffel Bag
#13 Best Safari Duffel Bags
It took three years of testing to develop the SDR D3 Traveller Duffel Bag, but the result is definitely worth it. This ultralight workhorse is made primarily from Cuben Fiber, a waterproof material that’s four times stronger than Kevlar but weighs about half as much. Designed to fit in a business-class footwell or under an economy class seat, the bag supports a variety of carrying styles and offers upscale details like YKK Uretek zippers, Petzl aluminium carabiners, anodized aircraft-grade aluminium loops and tri-glides, and Lhasa River stone zip pulls. And should you head out devoid of anything to carry, the entire thing rolls up to the size of a small sweater, making it ideal for hauling back the fruits of your travels.