Also known as the kit bag or the gym bag, the duffle bag has become one of our best travel companions. Carrying a duffel bag was synonymous to being (or pretending to be) a “surfie”. Australian duffel bags of the early 1960s were made of canvas and were usually light khaki or faded ochre in color. However, you can find duffle bags in all shapes, sizes, and colors and even…waterproof ones. You’ve guessed it, I’m here to help you choose your next waterproof duffel bag.
The duffel bag is the ideal type of luggage in a variety of occasions. Whether you need to travel by plane and have your bagged stuffed in the compartment above, you’re going to the gym to work out on that heavenly body or you’re ready to go camping and you need something a bit more roomy than a backpack, the duffel bag is a great choice for people who travel.
But what exactly makes a duffel bag better than another? Let’s check out some of the main features of your future travel companion.
Materials: As with every waterproof item, the fabrics used in the manufacturing process can make or break a deal. This is why you should always know that every time you purchase an item, especially one you’re gonna use for traveling, you are well informed on what the item should be made of. You don’t want your bag to fall apart as you’ve just landed in Rome and you’re headed towards your hotel. The very best duffel bags are made of ballistic nylon and TPE fabric laminate. Polyurethane fabrics are also very commonly used in the manufacturing of waterproof duffel bags. They may not provide the same durability as ballistic nylon, but they are more water resistant.
Weight: If you’re the kind of person who likes to walk a lot, the weight of your duffel bag is a super-important factor (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). Even more, when you’re traveling by plane, it’s important to choose pieces of luggage that don’t have a considerable base-weight. Every ounce matters, which is another reason many people go with duffel bags. They are 7 to 9 pounds lighter than comparably-sized wheel bags.
Volume: If we mentioned weight, we have to talk about volume. You will always need to choose a duffel bag that has the capacity you require for your travel needs. An XL duffel bag can generally carry around 155 liters and is ideal for long travels, where you need to have a consistent amount of clothing and items with you. Such a bag is also good for winter sports when you need to carry climbing or ski gear. A small bag generally has a 40-liter capacity and it’s a better choice for quick summer trips or when you just have to get away a couple of days during the weekend.
Closing systems: Every time you rely on your luggage, you need to make sure that it closes properly. Throughout the years, the duffel bag was known for having a drawstring closure (it was often used in the military). In modern days, duffel bags come with several pockets that will help you sort your items better. Zippered bags are the biggest trend right now, mostly because they are easy to open and close, but will never open up by mistake. However, not all zippers are created equally. In fact, the best zippers are larger, with secure pull tabs that are easy to manipulate, even with one hand. The most durable zippers will also be taped to the inner seam of the bag, which reduces fraying and breakage.
Seams: Just like with clothing, a duffel bag’s seams will determine its durability. A characteristic of duffel bags is that they don’t have an inner frame to support the fabric holding the contents. In this case, seams can make or break the deal. An important thing to remember is that the best seams are the ones taped from the inside. The ones located on the outside of the bad should be surrounded by piping that acts as reinforcement.
Kwik Tek Dry Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag
The Kwik Tek waterproof duffel bag is one of my personal favorites. Its waterproof capabilities can do the job without a shred of a doubt, because of the roll top which guarantees extra peace of mind. By rolling down the top a few times and snapping the side release buckles together, you get a waterproof duffel bag for every traveling need. Thanks to the removable shoulder strap, this bag won’t make you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. This large duffel bag measures 24 x 12 x 12 inches when closed and has a 70-liter capacity. That’s quite useful when you’re going away for a couple of days, but don’t want to take the biggest possible piece of luggage with you.
Thanks to the dimension of the bag, it can be checked in on your next flight. Please take note that if you use the bag as intended and use its full capacity, you cannot take it on a plane. It will be too large. However, if it’s lightly packed, you might be able to. It also has the ideal dimension for someone who owns a motorcycle and uses it to travel quite frequently. The size is convenient enough to allow transportation on your motorcycle.
While the bag is waterproof, you should be aware of extremely cold temperatures. The bag is made to keep your belongings dry. The fold over lip does have a flexible plastic piece that may not bend well in cold temperatures. The clips on the front and sides are also made of plastic that could break in very cold temperatures. If you need the bag to fit in very particular spots (especially tight ones), you should know that the bottom is made of a hard plastic (or composite) and does not fold.
MOTINE Foldable Water Resistant Duffel Bag
Those of you who are on the market looking for a water resistant duffel bag that can do its job without costing you too much money, the MOTINE bag is a good choice. It measures 21 x 11 x 11 inches when it’s folded. Once you unfold it, you have a great water resistant duffel bag with a large compartment that can fit all the clothes and items you need for your journey. Inside, there is a smaller pocket which is great for storing valuable just as your ID card, your passport, your keys or your money. The front pocket is great for storing items you need to have at hand, like a water bottle or your cell phone.
The dual handles will make it easy to carry this bag around, just like that padded shoulder strap will add extra comfort which is much needed when carrying luggage around. It’s super easy to fold and carry it around in a bigger bag in case you may need to use it later. Thanks to its flexibility, it also serves as a great gym bag and can easily be stored in the locker while you’re doing your workouts. When it’s not entirely full, you can mold it around to fit in whatever space you have left in your trunk.
Aqua Quest Waterproof Duffel Bag
If you’re willing to spend $90 on a waterproof duffel bag, this is what I recommend. The Aqua Quest bag has everything you could possibly need in a duffel bag. It’s made from a combination of abrasion resistant Oxford 420D RipStop fabric, TPU lamination and DWR coating, for extra durability. Your items are protected from humidity and with the welded seams and double bar-tacked stress points, you have both comfort and ruggedness, all in a single bag. Aqua Quest has combined many techniques and took advantage of the latest tech, to make sure you get a bang for your buck. The roll-top closure provides waterproof protection that outperforms zippers, so any contact with water will not penetrate the duffel.
Aqua Quest Waterproof Bags are designed for temporary submersion. In the case of the White Water Series, the duration of this submersion would be short. For example, it would, in all likelihood, repel water if dropped off the side of a boat and snatched back up. Depth is another issue. This bag has the capacity to retain a lot of air, which, when underwater, will work to force its way out, leaving a pathway for water to enter in its place. This force is compounded exponentially as depth increases.
The four compression straps which cinch down the bag are double touch quick release, so they won’t pop loose at any point. If you want to completely lock these straps into place, I’d recommend a small, lightweight cable lock, to ensure its length can travel across the 2 top straps.
Although a little bit more expensive than the other, the Aqua Quest is my top choice. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for a waterproof double bag and can cope with the fact that you sometimes have to pay more to purchase an extra-quality product. While the MOTINE is a good choice for people looking to save money, the bag is more water resistant than waterproof. That means that it may repel a few drops of rain, but chances that your belonging will end up soaking wet are pretty high.