Duffle Bags or Duffel Bags
Soft luggage is better for cabin luggage and the lighter the better. Duffle bags have changed their shape and their image over the years. They used to be tall canvas bags with a draw string at the top linked with sailors and surfers in California.
Today’s modern duffle bags are the latest fashion accessories of the rich and famous made by Saint Laurent and carried by Beyonce. But there are less expensive alternatives that still look just as cool and are convenient and practical for both travel and sports.
Be sure to check the hand luggage size restrictions for the airline(s) you are travelling with. Hand luggages sizes and cabin baggage allowance vary so its particularly important if you are connecting from one airline to another or if you are returning on a different carrier.
A cabin bag size of 55 x 40 x 20 cms will fit most carriers.
The Best Duffel Bag
The duffel bag is a jack-of-all-trades option for all travellers and all occasions. The process of buying a duffel bag can however be confusing and there are several things to consider before deciding on a purchase.
Duffel bags have a fascinating history that has directly led to their role as one of the most diverse options for carrying clothing and other items. The modern duffel bag offers a number of great features that other luggage types lack.
A Brief History of Duffel Bags
The duffel bag, sometimes called a duffle bag, gym bag, or kit bag, traces its roots back to a town in Belgium with the same name: Duffel. It was here in the town of Duffel that the thick fabric most closely associated with early duffel bags originated. The early types of duffel bags were usually “army green” canvas in the shape of a cylinder and and closed using a drawstring system at the top. For years, these types of bags were associated with the military, sailors and surfers and are still popular. The duffel bag has however gone through a metamorphosis of sorts over the years that has spawned the development of several variations of the original duffel bag.
Modern Types of Duffel Bags
Modern duffle bags are a far cry from the original manufactured in Belgium. Nowadays they can be used for every occasion from daily gym trips to week-long vacations and even as fashion statements. Choosing the right duffel bag is not about picking a “type,” but instead focusing on a set of features that will most closely meet the user’s needs whether that’s for the gym or for holiday or perhaps even for both.
Wheels or Straps
What will the bag be holding and where will it be going? The will dictate whether to buy a duffel bag with wheels or one with shoulder straps. If its lightweight items such as a change of clothes, basic toiletries, and maybe another set of shoes then shoulder straps or fabric handles will do the job. . You’ll be better off with Duffle Bags with Wheels for lugging it through through an airport or train station especially if it carries heavy loads – sporting equipment, several days’ worth of clothing, or books. However wheels will look ridiculous for day trips or going to the gym. Choose a good Sports Duffle.
The type of fabric that the bag is made of will impact its ability to be used for particular activities. Duffel bags come in fabrics as diverse as canvas and nylon and as fine as suede and leather. Weekender duffel bags that will be used mainly for travel and business will look more professional and polished if made of a finer material, such as leather or a leather substitute Leather Duffle Bags. Bags going to the gym, however, will need to be made of more washable, and possibly antimicrobial, material designed to repel the odours so common among gym clothes and shoes.
The final duffel bag feature to consider is its system of closure. The duffel bags of today are far more sophisticated than the drawstring closure of yesteryear and often come with multiple pockets designed to facilitate organization.
Security is important today and it is probably best looking for zippered bags. Always remember though that not all zippers are created equal. 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 which leads us on to evaluating the seams of the bag and its capacity.
The seams of a duffel bag are extremely important. They dictate the durability of the bag. Unlike more “traditional” luggage options like suitcases, duffel bags do not have an inner frame to provide support to the fabric that holds the bag’s contents. It is therefore, the quality and security of the seams that dictate the weight the bag can comfortably hold. The more weight that will be put inside it, the heavier the seams need to be. Also, stronger bags will last longer and, though initially more expensive, will pay buyers back over the lifetime of the bag. Keep the following tips in mind:
- All seams and zippers should be taped from the inside to reduce fraying.
- All exterior seams should be surrounded by a piping (piping looks like plastic tubes); this provides reinforcement.
- The best seams will be lock-stitched.
Storage capacity will vary according to the quality of the bag. Look for the following features which impact the storage capacity of a duffel bag:
- Side Pockets: These are a great place to put items that need to be accessed quickly such as keys or a water bottle.
- Expansion Zippers: These release more fabric and make the bag bigger if required.
- Hidden Organizers: Though they don’t add space provide the ability to carry more items more effectively.