5 Reasons You Should Get a Duffel Bag

Kelty DuffelPeople sometimes overlook the advantages of a duffel bag. Hikers, for example, get so much use out of their big backpacking pack that they will sometimes reach for their internal frame pack by default, even for a car camping trip. It’s like they’re wearing blinders and get see that a backpack isn’t always the most practical way to carry your gear. There’s no doubt that you need a good backpack when you’re hitting the hiking trails, but for car camping, or other types of travel, a duffel bag just can’t be outdone.

Duffel bags are easy to carry. Many duffels come with a briefcase style handle for quick shifts, or you can throw the strap over your shoulder as you’re walking your gear to the car. Or you can wear the duffel bag strap across your body for heavy loads or long hauls.

It’s easy to access your gear. Most backpacks are toploaders, meaning that if you want to reach something packed at the bottom of your pack, you have to either pull everything out or blindly rifle through the contents of your backpack, hoping that you find what you’re looking for. While they do make military style top-loading duffel bags, many duffels have zippers that urn the length of the bag. These duffels make it much easier to search for and access all of your gear.

Duffels can be loaded and transported more easily than packs with frames. Packs that are designed for backpacking typically have some type of rigid support whether it’s an internal frame, external frame, or a molded insert. Duffels on the other hand do not, which means they can fit in more places than packs with frames. You can cram a duffel bag into whatever corner of the car you need.

Duffel bags are tough. You typically want to be careful with a good backpacking pack. They can be quite expensive, and you don’t want to bust a zipper, or break a buckle while you’re on the trail, miles away from civilization. You don’t have to be quite as careful with a duffel bag. A good duffel can be dragged, hauled, chucked, and tossed. Most duffel bags are built from heavy, burly materials, and they are designed to be tough rather than technical.

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