Q:

Can you help me find the quintessential duffel bag?

I looking for the quintessential duffel bag. I want it to be large, but no larger than 100 liters. I looking for a bag with shoulder straps, like those found on a backpack. The bag will be used for car camping, airplane travel, and international travel. Lockable zippers would be nice. A bag that is weatherproof is also important. I have in mind The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag or the Black Diamond Huey Duffel Bag. Thank you very much for your help! Arek Ashland, WI

Apr 10, 2009
Outside
Outside Magazine

The Black Hole Duffel

A:

Ah, the humble duffel. So overlooked, yet so valuable. Take away the duffel, and nobody would be climbing anything more than a foothill. When I climbed Denali? Duffel bags held nearly everything. When I interviewed Ed Viesturs for Sports Illustrated shortly before one of his Everest climbs? They photographed him atop…mounds of duffels full of gear.

As a slight digression, I will say that the most useful all-around duffels—particularly for the price—are L.L. Bean's Adventure Duffel ($29-$59). They’re tough, well-designed, and affordable. I must have a half-dozen.

But...they do lack shoulder straps. The North Face Base Camp Duffel ($135 in large) is just under 100 liters, has shoulders straps and side pockets, and is made from tough nylon fabric. Waterproof? No. But very water-resistant.

Black Diamond's Huey Duffel ($150 in large) does have nearly waterproof fabric, plus the other stuff you want. So that might be one way to go.

But…I like Patagonia's Black Hole 110 Duffel ($175). Waterproof bottom, water-resistant uppers, the size you want, very well-designed with lots of tough handles and accessory pockets. Take a look at one.

Filed To: Duffle Bag

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