As the country begins to reopen, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
I probably looked ridiculous testing the new Expedition Series Duffel from Tepui. That’s because the only way I could think to test its durability was to beat the crap out of it with various heavy objects.
For example, while camping on the Chama River in northern New Mexico, I deliberately and repeatedly dropped a large tree stump onto the packed bag to see if it would scuff or tear. I also dragged it through the dirt, and then sat down and scraped it with rocks, like a little kid might sit and draw with markers. Nary a mark showed up, so I took the bag back home and repeated the drop test with a 30-pound cinder block and whacked it repeatedly and forcefully with an elm branch. Still no marks deeper than a scratch.
Like many of our other favorite duffels, Tepui’s version is built to handle sadistic TSA handlers. Made from high-strength polyester canvas and coated with a synthetic resin that works as a final protective layer, this bag would do just fine on a yak making its way up to Everest Base Camp.
Because it’s made by Tepui, known for its bomber rooftop tents, the bag comes standard with plenty of D-rings for latching to the top of your truck. It’s heat resistant up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit—meaning the material won’t deform—so you can haul it through the Mojave in the middle of the summer. Shoulder straps and handles make it easy to schlep through airports, and the 110-liter storage capacity is plenty for several weeks on the road.
Your gear will stay pretty dry if you get caught in a rainstorm with the bag on your truck, but this bag is not submersible, which I found out after dunking it in the Chama River and then pulling out wet clothes.
Color choices are currently limited—your standard black and the splashier orange—but both look clean strapped to a Tacoma.