Top 15 Best Carry on duffel bags in 2018

We have read and checked 16,758 reviews to make this top 15 list!

First, here's the best reviewed carry on duffel bag of all the many bags we have checked:


Fjallraven Duffel

Most carry on duffel bags are great, but there are also some that aren't so fantastic.

It's there quite important that you spend some time comparing the different brands and models, so you can make sure you choose a duffel bag that matches your needs.

To help you choose, we have read and checked 16,758 reviews to find the best reviewed carry on duffel bags.

Now, let's take a look at the 15 best rated carry on duffel bags here in 2018:

Rankcarry on duffel bagRating
1Fjallraven DuffelFjallraven Duffel4.8
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2Marmot Long HaulerMarmot Long Hauler4.8
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3Patagonia Black HolePatagonia Black Hole4.7
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4Under Armour UndeniableUnder Armour Undeniable4.6
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5The North Face Rolling ThunderThe North Face Rolling Thunder4.6
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6Patagonia ArborPatagonia Arbor4.6
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7The North Face Base CampThe North Face Base Camp4.5
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8Thule SubterraThule Subterra4.5
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9Timbuk2 WingmanTimbuk2 Wingman4.5
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10Thule ChasmThule Chasm4.4
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11Samsonite Tote-A-TonSamsonite Tote-A-Ton4.4
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12Eagle Creek No Matter WhatEagle Creek No Matter What4.4
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13Gregory AlpacaGregory Alpaca4.4
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14CalPak Silver LakeCalPak Silver Lake4.4
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15Timbuk2 NavigatorTimbuk2 Navigator4.4
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List based on 16,758 checked reviews.

How we rate the bags

We have checked 16,758 carry on duffel bag reviews, so we can show you the weighted average rating of all the bags.

Using the average ratings, you can check what all the reviewers think instead of just viewing the subjective opinion of one specific reviewer.

It's much simplier to find the best bags that way.

Not sure what carry on duffel bag to choose? Read on as we are going to take a closer look at each bag!





The carry on duffel bag buyers guide


Whether you are an explorer or just a frequent flyer, finding the right type of carry on luggage can be of the utmost importance. It can make it easier to travel and can even help you cut down on costs. This is why a carry on duffel bag can come in so handy. Of course, this is provided that you find the right one.

In this article, we take a look at all of the features that you need to have in a proper, carry on duffel bag. We also consider specific options that are perfectly suited for your individual situation. Here, you will learn all that you need to know about this type of travel bag. You can get started now.

Carry On Duffel Bags: A Guide to Choosing Them

While duffel bags were once largely reserved for gyms or road trips, they have now transformed to even include carry on luggage as well. It is not difficult to see why. These type of bags are lightweight, strong, boast plenty of storage features, and are easy to carry around. It is not all that surprising that these are being toted around by travelers more frequently.

At the same time, it is not enough to pick up the first bag that you happen upon. Carry on duffel bags have to be chosen with a certain level of selectivity if you want to pick one that is actually worthy of being hauled around. Here, you will find out all that you need to know to be able to do so:

The Size Requirements

Now, when it comes to any type of carry on luggage, including carry on duffel bags, the first thing that must be addressed are the dimensions. This is because airlines have specific requirements as to the boundaries within which the dimensions can fall. While smaller bags will certainly be accepted, larger pieces of luggage may be required to be moved to checked luggage.

You should know that each airline has their own guidelines for what is acceptable and what is not. For the most part, though, you will find that most domestic airlines allow carry on luggage to have dimensions 22 x 14 x 9 inches or smaller. This means that as long as your luggage isn’t exceeding 45 linear inches, it will be allowed aboard.

The rules may be different with international airlines as well as your final destination. Due to this, it is always best to get a slightly smaller bag than what you would take on a domestic flight. Still, it is always best to check beforehand as rules regarding such matters can change quite suddenly.

Wheeled vs. No Wheels

Carry on duffel bags either have a wheel system or come without it. So, when thinking about buying this type of luggage, you are going to need to decide which one is best for you. This really boils down to the type of traveling that you are doing.

The main benefit of a wheeled duffel bag, of course, is that it easy to take around with you. Because you can rely on the wheels, you never have to deal with the weight of the bag. This comes in handy if you have to move from place to place, even when you have arrived at your destination.

The disadvantage of this type of bag is the weight. Since many airlines have a limit on how much you can take with you, a wheel system may mean that you have to pack less to adhere to these regulations. Also, if you do ever need to carry around your duffel bag, the wheels mean that you have additional weight to contend with.

What Do You Need Your Duffel Bag For?

The next question that you will need to ask yourself is just what you need your duffel bag for. See, carry on duffel bags come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and designs. Due to this, you will need to match the bag with the purpose that you need it for.

For instance, if you want a duffel bag for business purposes, then you will have to think about the way that it needs to look. It should be medium sized and appear professional. Therefore, it should be made from a material such as leather or canvas. The purpose of these bags is to look sophisticated and to have proper organization features. Durability is less of a concern.

However, if you are looking for a travel duffel bag, this is a whole other story. These type of bags are great for exploring, camping, and similar outdoor activities. In this instance, durability is key as you are going to be carrying the bag through some fairly rough terrain. You may also want to look for one that is made from water-resistant or weatherproof material as well.

In addition to a travel bag, you may also be looking for one that can be used on a daily basis. You will find that a duffel backpack will suit this purpose especially well due to the comfortable suspension system associated with it. Also, this type of duffel bag is washable and easy to maintain as well.

In other instances, you may just be looking for a duffel bag that is as lightweight as possible. In addition to choosing a lighter material, you may also want to consider an unstructured bag. These can be folded or flattened when they are empty. Due to this, they weight quite a bit less than traditional duffel bags.

Organization Features

A long time ago, duffel bags were essentially made up of a main compartment where all of your belongings were placed. This meant that it was a bit difficult to organize anything. These days, however, carry on duffel bags have changed quite a bit. There are now several organization features available with them.

One of the most obvious, of course, are pockets. Carry on duffel bags have pockets on the inside as well as the outside. While the internal pockets can come in handy to separate your belongings, the external pockets can be used for items that you need to access quickly. You should understand that there is usually no way to secure these pockets so you should not keep any valuables here.

Some carry on duffel bags have adjustable dividers that will allow you to create sections within the main compartment. This can make it easier to separate your belongings and to be able to keep the bag a lot neater. It also gives you the option of living out of your suitcase, instead of unpacking.

Then there are bags that have built-in pull out shelves. This allows you to stretch out the shelves and hang them up on a hook or rack. This way, you can neatly arrange your clothes on each level. While these can be a bit bulky, they are great for staying organized. Some of the carry on duffel bags even come with special pouches or compartments for your shoes.

Durability and Weatherproofing

As mentioned, if you are planning on taking your carry on duffel bag everywhere you go, then it is worth it to invest in a more durable option. This starts with the material. Now, duffel bags can be made from many types of material although nylon is often the best choice, closely followed by polyester if you are looking for something a little lighter and most cost-effective.

If your carry on duffel bag will be experiencing a lot of wear and tear, then you are going to need a material that is abrasion resistant, at least to a degree. To minimize the damage done to your bag, you may want to consider ripstop material. This material will prevent rips from spreading through the fabric.

Another thing to think about would be moisture and rain. If you want to protect your belongings from spills or a drizzle, then you should get a carry on duffel bag that is made from water repellent material. For something more heavy duty, duffel bags that have been coated with waterproof coatings are a good option.

For those who will be spending a lot of time in the sun, duffel bags in hand, research materials that are UV resistant. Not only will these preserve the appearance of your bag, it will also ensure that it stays intact for longer.

When talking about durability, you cannot forget about the stitching. This is particularly important for anyone who likes to stuff their duffel bag with heavy items. Bags that have double or reinforced stitching will make sure that the seams of the bag stay together.

The Carrying System

Unlike with a carry on backpack, the carrying system of a carry on duffel bag is a bit different. Nonetheless, considering that at times you will need to lift the bag up, it is worth examining it. One of the first things to think about is the two handles on either side of the bag. There is often a mechanism for holding these together so that it is easier to carry. You should make sure that this is made from a material that you can grip easily. It should also be comfortable as you may need to hold onto your bag for quite a while.

Then, there is the shoulder strap that goes diagonally around your torso. Typically, you should look for a wider strap as this will help to distribute the weight of the bag more easily. There should also be a small padded area where the strap will rest against your shoulder. This feature will prevent the material from digging into your skin. The length of this strap should also be adjustable so that you can alter it to suit your specific height.

This is all that you need to know concerning carry on duffel bags. There are plenty of options available to you so it is important to choose wisely.



The 3 best reviewed carry on duffel bags in 2018


Rankcarry on duffel bagRating
1Fjallraven DuffelFjallraven Duffel4.8
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2Marmot Long HaulerMarmot Long Hauler4.8
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3Patagonia Black HolePatagonia Black Hole4.7
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Missing a great carry on duffel bag? Let us know in the comments below.

Last updated 17/06/2018. Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API.


Last updated on June 17, 2018

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