What Should I Consider When Buying a Duffel Bag?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 January 2020
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A duffel bag is a large bag made from heavy cotton, canvas, or synthetic fiber. Roughly cylindrical in shape, a duffel bag can be used for sports equipment, packing luggage, or transporting an assortment of goods. There are several considerations to take into account when buying a duffel bag to ensure that you get one which will work for you. Depending on what type of duffel bag you decide to get, you may want to consider buying a duffel bag at an army surplus store, a sports supply store, or a luggage store.

If you are buying a duffel bag to transport gym equipment, an obvious concern is whether or not it will fit all of your equipment. Especially if you participate in sport fencing or other activities which require bulky equipment, you may want to consider taking your gear with you when buying a duffel bag to ensure that it all fits. It also helps to get a lockable and waterproof duffel bag, to secure your equipment. When you are buying a duffel bag for sports, you should also check on the care directions. When your duffel bag becomes soiled, you should be able to wash and dry it with a minimum of fuss. If you use a gym, you may also want to check on locker size, to see whether or not you can lock your duffel bag up while you work out.


Many people also use duffel bags as luggage, to transport items needed for a trip. If you are buying a duffel bag to use as luggage, you should probably get one with a distinct color or pattern, so that you can readily identify it in a pile of other luggage. It is also important to make sure that the bag zips securely, and will accommodate all of your belongings. You may want to consider buying a duffel bag with zippered compartments, which will making packing things easier. When you use a duffel bag to transport heavy gear, you also want to make sure that it will not fail, so ask about load limits for the material used to make the duffel bag.

Obviously, construction is also important when buying a duffel bag. Army surplus stores often have highly durable, sturdy duffel bags, which are useful if you plan to subject the bag to hard use. Check for double stitching, and pull at the components of the bag to make sure that they are securely attached. More lightweight duffel bags are not as sturdy, but are very suitable for applications in which weight is a big issue. Some bags are also more configurable than others, with straps which can snap on or off or protective flaps which can be zipped or snapped over to insulate the bag from the elements.


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