The Top 7 Mens Duffle Bags to Travel in Style

Brown duffel bag on men's shoulder


Style and fashion are both areas in that every man wants to excel. We coordinate our wardrobe by color, pick the right shoes that match and even compliment the whole thing with some jewelry. But your style isn’t just limited to your clothes — your accessories are just as important, and they can take your fashion to the next level. One of those accessories is your bag or your duffle bag. Whether you need a gym bag, you’re taking a trip to New York, or even just heading out for your day at work; a duffle bag is a practical and chic way to travel with your things. However, this fact is overlooked by many men. It’s time for that to change.

In this article, we’ll give you a complete breakdown of the duffle bag. We’ll start by exploring the history of the duffle bag and then dive into the different types of duffle bags available today. Finally, we’ll end it by reviewing seven of the top men’s duffle bags on the market to help you find the perfect one! Let’s get started.

History of the Duffle Bag

The story of the duffle bag — also commonly known as the duffle bag — originates in a small town in Belgium near Antwerp. Any idea what that town was called? You guessed it: Duffel. The town was named after duffel fabric, a coarse, woolen cloth that the townspeople used to make various items. Originally, they used the material to produce seabags or ditty bags for sailors, which were formless bags that could be crumpled up into a small space but also fit many items; they were perfect for long voyages at sea. The people of Duffel also used this fabric to make the duffel coat. While all of this was going on for many centuries, it wasn’t until the 17th century that the people of Duffel began using their trademark fabric to produce the first duffel bag. As Floto puts it, these “well-made bags soon became popular throughout Spain, Portugal, and other parts of Europe.”

green duffle bag


Duffel Bags and Military

Duffle bags were closed with a rope or a string, says Boarding Pass NYC. It is largely because the zipper wasn’t even invented until the early 1900s! This rope-style duffle bag was not particularly secure but was certainly easy to haul around. As their popularity grew, duffel bags began to take a unique place in the military culture worldwide. According to Buffalo Jackson, you can find the first mentions of duffle bags in “letters written [during] WWI.” Their prevalence only grew from there.

The first duffel bag issued to U.S soldiers was the Bag, Barrack M-1929, just before the Second World War was about to begin. It was made from denim woven in the United States and was blue. Throughout the war, those bags evolved into an olive, army green color. It is likely because blue dye was more expensive and wasn’t on-brand for the camouflage function it was meant to fulfill. Many stories have been published since the war ended of veterans reuniting with their original duffle bags from their active duty days. The Star wrote one such article detailing an American WWII soldier’s duffel bag being found in France nearly seven decades after it got lost. The bag was “still stenciled with his name and serial number.” William Kadar — the soldier — said he last saw the bag in November of 1944! Quite a journey that bag has been on.

Duffel Bags and Mainstream Culture

After the war ended, the style and make of the military duffel bag remained largely the same — barring the addition of larger sizes and the revolutionary zipper. However, in the 1970s, a smaller version of the duffle bag emerged for the mainstream market. It was lightweight yet spacious, hoping to function as a gym bag for many. However, travelers soon began to see the value such a bag could offer, making it a convenient solution for an overnight bag. These mainstream duffle bags were made of nylon or synthetic material. As time went on, manufacturers began using real leather to appeal to the luxurious crowd.

The Path to Today

Large brands wanted to get in on the action. Colossal companies like Nike, Adidas, and more began to brand and sell duffel bags with their logos. Colleges and sports teams hopped on the same train and thus began the reign of the duffel bag.

Today, we see duffle bags being used for a plethora of purposes. They’re versatile, stylish, and convenient ways to get from point A to point B with all your stuff. They still maintain their iconic ruggedness but have unlocked a new level of fashion as high-end brands such as Vera Bradley and The North Face have started producing them.

Types of Duffle Bags

Now that we’ve taken some time to familiarize ourselves with the history and evolution of the duffle bag let’s shift our focus toward the state of these bags today. Duffle bags come in various shapes, forms, and materials nowadays, with each bag offering its own set of functional advantages. The three major types of duffle bags are:

  • Barrel Duffle

  • Squared Duffle

  • Wheeled Duffle

Let’s review each individually to understand their unique value proposition and characteristics better.

Barrel Duffle

The classic barrel-style duffel bag is a tube-shaped cloth bag with a shoulder strap. The peak design of the barrel duffel is the top closure duffel bag. This style has a top opening secured via a long zipper that goes from end to end. Picture a log in your fireplace! That’s basically what the barrel duffle is intended to look like. These types of bags are often one-compartment only, which can make it difficult to store items and can get a bit messy. tan round duffle bag

Squared Duffle

A more recent adaptation to the duffle bag is the squared variation. Unlike the name suggests, this bag is a rectangular-shaped duffel with a side zipper closure. This type of duffel bag typically has separate zipper pockets on each end, which makes it a great choice for keeping your bag organized. Law enforcement officials often use squared duffle bags, and in such cases, their bags are usually customized with foam padding and inserts for weapons and ammunition. blue square duffle bag

Wheeled Duffle

The third major type of duffle bag is the wheeled duffle. As the name implies, this is simply a duffle bag that has been fitted with wheels to facilitate easier travel. Many of these bags have very rigid bottoms. They also tend to have a wider opening with a U-shaped zipper that runs the length of the bag. Wheeled duffles are popular among travelers who have to walk long distances with their bags. wheeled duffle bag

Other Types

While the last three types of duffle bags are the foundations of the item, modern culture has found many ways to improve and optimize the duffle bag to cater to different functions. There are now waterproof duffles, duffles with backpack straps, laptop duffles, the weekender duffel, and more.

Top Men’s Duffle Bags

Now that we have a basic understanding of the different types of duffle bags, it’s time to get into the core topic of this article: finding the best men’s duffle bag to travel in style. We’ve picked seven of the most popular duffle bags available today to answer this question. These are bags you can use for your weekend getaway, as a travel bag, or even as a gym bag. Their potential use cases are endless. We’ll be going through each bag individually, giving you a brief description of the bag's key value-adds and the public’s opinion on them.

Here are the duffle bags we’ll be reviewing:

Let’s get straight into it!

1. Under Armor Undeniable Duffle 4.0

The first duffle bag we’ll look at is made by powerhouse sports brand Under Armor. This bag is made from imported fabrics, specifically 84% polyester and 16% elastane. It offers textile lining, and the design has an 8-inch shoulder drop. The bag’s dimensions when full are 14 inches wide by 29.5 inches tall by 14.6 inches long. Its volume is 5,187 cubic inches or 85 L. For context, duffle bag sizes range from 6L to 150L. The front of the bag has two large zippered pockets for organization and a vented shoe compartment. The main compartment has internal slip pockets for further organization, and the entire bag is made from Under Armor’s storm technology to deliver an element-battling, highly water-resistant finish. This bag is available in dozens of colors, such as grey, red, pink, and green. It’s also available in five different size options, ranging from extra small to extra large.

So what do the people have to say about the Undeniable Duffle 4.0? This bag has an average rating of 4.8/5 stars, based on 25,575 global ratings. One happy buyer said this is a “versatile bag” with a “ton of room.” They like that they can use it for the gym and as a weekend bag. Other consumers had similar reviews, but one consistent element was that many said to be cautious about which size you get.

Under Armor Undeniable Duffle 4.0

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2. Gonex Canvas Duffle Bag

Gonex makes the next duffle bag we’ll be looking at, and it’s their Canvas Duffle Bag. This duffle is made from high-density cotton canvas, as well as classical bronze-tone hardware. It has a soft nylon lining as well as smooth large zippers. This weekender bag has one large main compartment with an interior pocket inside. It also has two side pockets, two front pockets, and a single back pocket. This travel bag comes with rounded stitched grip handles that are adjustable, as well as a removable shoulder strap. It comes in 13 color options, but only three size options. The bag is advertised as 50L for reference.

The public consensus on this duffle is fairly positive, with a rating of 4.7/5 stars from 15,765 global ratings. One pleased buyer said this is an “awesome bag” and that the “build quality is very good.” Most customers felt the same way!

Gonex Canvas Duffle Bag

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3. Rockland Duffel Bag

This duffle bag — or travel tote bag — is made by Rockland and named the Rockland Duffle Bag. It’s made from 100% imported polyester and features a synthetic lining. Like most duffles, this bag offers top zipper closure. One unique thing about this bag is that it has a 22-inch shoulder drop, which is much longer than your ordinary duffle. It has two front zipper pockets as well as two side zipper pockets. It also offers an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap to maximize ergonomic value. While this is advertised as a travel duffel bag, it stands to reason that you can use this bag for a variety of purposes. It comes in one standard size — 19 inches — and is available in over a dozen color options. Many of these colors are creative patterns, although there is a standard black option.

Like the Gonex bag, the Rockland Duffle has an overall rating of 4.7/5 stars. One satisfied customer said this is a “great carry-on” that fits under most airline seats. Another happy buyer said this tote bag is “very cute” and has a “lot of pockets.” It might be one of the best travel bags on our list!

Rockland Duffel Bag

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4. Canway Travel Duffle Bag

The next bag we have for you is the Canway Travel Duffle Bag. It is made of 600D polyester fabric, and is both waterproof and tear-resistant. It features premium metal SBS zippers and reinforced major stress points to minimize wear and damage. It has a whopping six separate pockets, including a ventilated side shoe compartment. It comes in three sizes — 75L, 85L, and 115L — as well as nine different color options. This bag has a padded top handle for comfortable travel, which can easily be detached.

This bag is rated 4.7/5 stars, based on 14,820 global ratings. One happy customer said this bag is a “good choice for traveling” and that they “love the sturdiness.” Another similar buyer said this is a “nice duffel bag” that is “very spacious.”

Canway Travel Duffle Bag

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5. Amazon Basics Large Travel Duffle Bag

This duffle bag is made by Amazon’s in-house brand: Amazon Basics. It’s made from 100% nylon, making it lightweight yet durable. It has a weight capacity of 50 pounds! The bag offers a zippered interior pocket and an exterior for easy access to smaller items. It’s a squared duffle with top loop handles for easy lifting and carrying. Finally, it is also collapsible for simple storage. Unfortunately, this bag is only available in one size and color: it has a volume of 6,000 cubic inches and comes in black.

The overall rating for this duffle bag is a respectable 4.6/5 stars from 13,114 global ratings. One satisfied buyer said this is a “great quality product” that is “super cheap.” Another happy consumer said this was a “good buy” and that they “like the size.”

Amazon Basics Large Travel Duffle Bag

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6. Adidas Diablo Duffel Bag

The next duffel bag we have for you is made by another sportswear titan — Adidas. The Diablo duffle bag is made from 100% imported polyester and features a polyester lining. It has the traditional zipper closure that most duffle bags have, with an adjustable shoulder strap for ease of use. This bag has one large zippered pocket but no additional pockets for storage. It comes in one size Adidas claims is the perfect size for a quick trip to the gym or practice. There are 19 color options, some solid colors while others are patterned. All bags feature the iconic Adidas logo.

This duffle bag has an overall rating of 4.7/5 stars from 14,178 global ratings. Many customers thought this bag “looked small” or that it would be too small, but they were all pleasantly surprised! This buyer said the Diablo has “a lot of room inside.”

Adidas Diablo Duffel Bag

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7. Puma Evercat Contender Duffle Bag

Puma makes the final duffle bag we’ll be reviewing here, and it’s their Evercat Contender model. Like the Adidas Diablo, the Evercat is made from 100% imported polyester and has a polyester lining. It also offers classic zipper closure at the top and a removable and adjustable shoulder strap. The bottom panel is padded, and the bag has both a front and side zipper pocket. It also features a ventilated shoe compartment! The Evercat is available in 12 different color options, but only one size. Under Armor was the only sports company that offered various size options. Most color choices are neutral shades, such as grey and black.

The public rating for this bag was 4.7/5 stars, compiled from 15,121 global ratings. One buyer said this bag was “great for the price” but didn’t have many compartments. Another customer said the Evercat is a “nice everyday gym bag” and that they like the shoe compartment.

Puma Evercat Contender Duffle Bag

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Wrapping Up

That’s the rundown on duffle bags! They’ve come a long way from their military roots, becoming a staple of travel, fitness, and business-goers. Each bag we reviewed has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, so it’s vital to consider each one in relation to your needs. While the Adidas Diablo might be fantastic for a daily gym rat, the Canway Travel Duffle Bag might be more suited for a weekend trip. If you’re judging these bags solely based on consumer reviews, then the Under Armor Undeniable Duffle Bag takes the cake. In any case, do some research before committing to your duffle!

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