The Best Waterproof Duffel Bag And How to Find It

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Water-resistant duffel bags are great for many adventures. However some adventures, especially water sports, require you to have a bag that is 100% waterproof. 

The problem is that so many products claim to be totally waterproof until, well until they’re not. Depending on what you carry in your bag, these situations can be devastating.

We’ve found you the best waterproof duffel bags that are in fact waterproof…not just water resistant.

To cut to the chase, the YETI Panga is our top pick, with the North Face, and MIER duffels coming in close behind.

Read on to learn more.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  rating price
Best OverallYETI Panga YETI Panga
  • Sealed Zipper
  • Submersible
  • Thick outer shell
  • Multiple carry options
10
Runner UpNorth Face Base Camp Duffel North Face Base Camp Duffel
  • Waterproof duffel bag backpack
  • Compression straps
  • D-shaped opening
  • Many size options
9.75
Best On BudgetSkog Å Kust DuffelSåk Skog Å Kust DuffelSåk
  • Good waterproof rating
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Roll-down top
  • Inexpensive
9.5
Big Agnes Stagecoach Wheeled Duffel Big Agnes Stagecoach Wheeled Duffel
  • Rugged materials
  • Locking zippers
  • Hidden backpack straps
  • Compression straps
9.5
Mier Waterproof Duffel Mier Waterproof Duffel
  • Great value for the cost
  • Hydrolock zipper makes it submersible
  • Exterior compression straps
  • Thick, durable material
  • Shoulder strap
9.5
Aqua Quest White Water Duffel Aqua Quest White Water Duffel
  • 100% waterproof
  • Webbing loops on the underside
  • Shoulder strap
9
Cor Surf Waterproof Duffel Cor Surf Waterproof Duffel
  • Roll-down top
  • Large zippered pocket on the outside
  • Low cost
9
Overboard Classic Duffel Overboard Classic Duffel
  • Submersible
  • Three size options
  • Durable materials
9
Earth Pak Voyager Duffel Earth Pak Voyager Duffel
  • Rave reviews
  • Built-in anchors
  • Shoulder strap
  • Laminated material
9.25
DRY PAK Waterproof Duffel DRY PAK Waterproof Duffel
  • Large, 70 L capacity
  • Rugged materials
  • 100% waterproof
  • Sleek Design
9

Top 10 Best Waterproof Duffel Bag of 2020

YETI Panga – Best Overall

YETI Panga
165 Reviews
YETI Panga
  • A 100% dry duffel. But definitely not a cooler. Hydrolok zipper makes sure water stays out so your gear stays bone-dry, no matter how torrential it gets.
  • U-dock the terminal end of your hydrolok zipper that ensures a completely airtight seal
  • Thickskin shell made of high-density nylon and thick tpu lamination to be puncture- and abrasion-resistant
  • Dryhaul straps in the hands or on the back, they’re as durable as they are comfortable
  • Metallock hardware this hardware can take on smacks and whacks without breaking

Our pick for the best waterproof duffel bag is the Yeti Panga Duffel. This bag is airtight, waterproof, and 100% submersible. 

The Panga is available in three different sizes: 50 L, 75 L, and 100 L. The outer shell is made of YETI’s trademarked ThickSkin. This is a laminated, high-density nylon that is impenetrable to anything short of a bullet.

The zipper is a thick and durable Hydrolock zipper. This zipper locks into a U-dock at the closing point to ensure that it seals. This feature is one of extreme quality. The zipper is the most vulnerable part of a waterproof duffel, so YETI has ensured that the Hydrolock zipper can hold up.

The YETI Panga Duffel also has an EVA molded bottom that provides an extra degree of durability. This base acts as a landing pad for the bag, so you can toss it and drag it without causing damage. 

This bag is a waterproof duffel bag backpack combo. It comes with backpack straps and four other quick-grab handles. Combined, that makes a total of six different access points, so you can grab or carry the bag in a way that is easiest for you.

The YETI Panga is an ideal duffel for outdoor excursions and rugged adventures. This bag is not the most fitting airport travel bag. This is partly because it lacks a shoulder strap, interior organization, and lockable zippers.

We are thoroughly impressed by the YETI Panga Duffel Bag. This is a 10-star bag and sets the standard for waterproof duffel bags.

Pros

  • Sealed Zipper
  • Submersible
  • Thick outer shell
  • Multiple carry options

Cons

  • High price point
  • No messenger-style shoulder strap

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag – Runner Up

North Face Base Camp Duffel
123 Reviews
North Face Base Camp Duffel
  • D-zip opening with a weather-resistant zipper flap
  • Main compartment has a zippered mesh pocket
  • New end-cap zippered compartment allows you to separate wet clothes, dirty shoes or extra gear without sacrificing volume
  • Mesh sleeve pocket in end-cap compartment for additional organization
  • Detachable, adjustable, alpine-cut shoulder straps with ergonomic fit

The North Face Base Camp Duffel is our runner up for the best waterproof duffel bag. It comes in sizes xs-xl with capacities ranging from 31-132 liters. The most purchased size is the medium, which holds 71 liters.

This bag can be carried as a backpack or a traditional duffel. Additionally, there are two additional handles on either end for hauling purposes. The material is a thick, laminated nylon with a denier count of 840D.

A D-shaped zipper gives open access to the main pocket of the bag. On the interior flap of the main pocket is a zippered, mesh pocket for smaller items. Additionally, there is a smaller, end-cap pocket on one end of the bag. Another small mesh pocket is embedded in the end-cap pocket,

Daisy chain loops and external compression straps make the base camp duffel fitting to take hiking. You can easily attach hiking or camping accessories to the outside of the bag. And, the compression straps make a great place to secure a tent, hiking poles, or a tripod. 

The main zipper is covered with a storm flap to prevent water from getting into the bag. However, the zipper itself is not waterproof. This makes the bag water-resistant rather than completely waterproof. Keep in mind, if you are using this bag as a backpack while hiking the zipper would rest against your back. This would make it pretty unlikely that water would enter.

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a high-quality water-resistant bag. It has been ranked 9.6 stars, and 92% of customers would recommend this product to a friend.

Pros

  • Waterproof duffel bag backpack
  • Compression straps
  • D-shaped opening
  • Many size options

Cons

  • Zipper is not 100% waterproof

Skog Å Kust DuffelSåk – Best On Budget

Skog Å Kust DuffelSåk
494 Reviews
Skog Å Kust DuffelSåk
  • KEEPS GEAR TOTALLY DRY: Zipper-top duffels can't seal out driving rain. That's why we designed our DuffelSak with a tighter roll-down top. Roll it 3-4 times, then clip shut for IPX-6 waterproof protection.
  • BUILT TO WITHSTAND HARD WEAR: DuffelSak Dry Bag comes in heavy duty 500D PVC with watertight high-frequency welded seams. It can take whatever you & Mother Nature dish out!
  • PLENTY OF ROOM: Never fear! This spacious duffel fits everything from clothes & swimsuits to phones, laptops & cameras. It has 2 interior zip-pockets PLUS 2 outer zip splash-proof pockets. Available in 40L and 60L sizes.
  • 3 WAYS TO TOTE: Just grab the padded double handles & go. Or sling the cushioned strap over your shoulder. You can even use the attached D-rings to latch your DuffelSak to luggage & boat hooks.
  • MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE: We're a leader in waterproof bags and we are sure you'll love your DuffelSak duffle bag. But if you're unhappy for ANY reason, just return it within 90 days of delivery for a full refund of your purchase price.

 Skog Å Kust (S.A.K.) is a family-owned and operated company out of Pennsylvania, USA founded in 2015. The Swedish brand name translates to, “Forest, Creek, Coast.” This name is fitting because the brand prides themself on producing functional and durable products focused on all-weather protection. These products hold up to their promise from the forest to the coast.

The Skog Å Kust DuffelSåk is our budget pick. It is a great waterproof bag that doesn’t skimp on quality. The waterproof rating on this bag is IPX6. This IP (ingress protection) rating means the bag can withstand heavy and high-pressure sprays of water.

The S.A.K. DuffelSåk is made of 500D PVC. They’ve welded the seams to make them watertight. And, rather than using a zipper, this bag is designed with a tight, roll-down top.

The top can be rolled 3-4 times and buckled into place to seal out water.

This duffel bag comes in two sizes: 40 liters and 60 liters. There is one main pocket. In addition, there are two small zippered pockets on the interior and two small zippered pockets on the exterior.

This bag does not have backpack straps. However, it does have a single shoulder strap for messenger-style carrying. There are also double handles if you prefer to carry the bag at your side.

One bonus feature of this bag is the attached D-rings. These can be used to easily secure the bag to boat hooks, luggage hooks, or tie-downs.

This S.A.K. waterproof duffel bag has tons of rave reviews. It has earned 9.7 stars.

Pros

  • Good waterproof rating
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Roll-down top
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Lesser-known company
  • No backpack straps

Big Agnes Stagecoach – Best Waterproof Rolling Duffel Bag

Big Agnes Stagecoach Wheeled Duffel
14 Reviews
Big Agnes Stagecoach Wheeled Duffel
  • TRAVEL TOUGH - It’s a burly yet stylin' rolling duffel with all the extra features needed for adventures big and small; Padded straps can be configured as duffel handles or backpack straps
  • RUGGED & WATERPROOF - Welded tarmac-waterproof construction and 100% waterproof, fusion-welded seams; Super durable fabric is puncture, tear and abrasion resistant; High-quality hardware makes the integrated trolley system extra tough; The kickstand keeps your bag upright when packed; Zippered interior pocket with exterior access
  • BONUS DAYPACK - Stagecoach includes Two-Timer Pack that doubles as a daypack for summit attempts, trips to the market, or a storage sack for your dirty laundry or running shoes; has built-in backpack straps and can be customized as a shoulder bag using one of the exterior duffel straps; Superlight nylon 3-line ROBIC ripstop fabric
  • BELLS & WHISTLES - Padded grab handles; Tons of webbing loops for lashing; Lock-compatible zippers for securing your things during travel; Easy-grip zipper pulls; Small size is TSA Carry-on compliant; Compression-molded EVA foam bottom; Features an internal zipper pocket for your important stuff and a quick-access exterior mesh pocket
  • CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS - 420D high-tenacity nylon & 3 line rip-stop fabric is super durable with a high-puncture and abrasion resistance; Non-PVC, TPU coated fabric allows for fusion welding, eliminating the need for additional adhesives; Compression-molded EVA bottom with abrasion-resistant 1200d polyester fabric; Nylon taffeta lining; Nylon mesh pockets; Highly water-resistant TPU laminated YKK zippers

The Big Agnes Stagecoach is our pick for the best waterproof rolling duffel bag.

Weight is not a worry when it comes to this bag. You can pack this duffel as heavy as you want because you won’t have to carry it. The material is a 420D high tenacity nylon that can hold in and protect heavy loads from water and tears.

In situations where you do want to carry the bag, you can use the hidden shoulder straps to convert this duffel into a backpack. Alternatively, one of the exterior duffel straps can be used to carry this duffel as a shoulder bag.

The Stagecoach comes in three sizes: 45 L, 85 L, and 125 L. As a bonus, the Stagecoach includes a smaller daypack called the Two-Timer Pack. You can use this for a variety of purposes including day hikes or dirty laundry.

Big Agnes is a trusted company that engineers high-quality, high-performance outdoor equipment. The Stagecoach Waterproof Rolling Duffel is a 10-star product.

Pros

  • Rugged materials
  • Locking zippers
  • Hidden backpack straps
  • Compression straps

Cons

  • High price point

MIER Waterproof Dry Duffel Bag

Mier Waterproof Duffel
36 Reviews
Mier Waterproof Duffel
  • 100% Waterproof & Airtight ---- MIER dry duffel are highly durable with top quality TPU/Nylon material which is puncture-resistant and abrasion-resistant, have fully welded seams, completely waterproof. It can compresses down nicely for easy storage; Easy to clean
  • Keeps Bag Totally dry ---- Say goodbye to the traditional troublesome roll top closing method, advanced and powerful waterproof zipper for a permanent isolation of rainwater, keeping all your gear protected no matter what the conditions from being plunged into river on an extreme kayak run, hiking in torrential rain or at the beach, your equipment will be absolutely protected and safe
  • Flexible Carrying Options ---- Top carry handle with hook-and-loop fasteners, 1 removable/adjustable padded shoulder strap as well as 2 sides haul grip handles for multiple carrying options. 4 Duraflex D-rings installed at the base of each strap were designed exactly use as tie downs; adjustable webbing straps with buckle closure on both front and back for extra attachments
  • Tough Construction ---- Available in 40L(21"L*15"W*9.1"H) and 90L(26.8"L*19.3"W*11.8"H), featuring 1 spacious main compartment included 1 mesh zipper pocket inside and 1 waterproof zipper pocket outside. Sturdy 5 cushions at the bottom ensure the bag to withstand a variety of different conditions. Great for outdoors, kayaking, ocean sports, boating, motorcycle trips, river trips
  • Limited Manufacturer's Warranty ---- Two-year for MIER waterproof duffel bag. Return or refund policy within 30 days from the date of purchase for manufactural defects. MIER takes pride in the quality of our products and warrants that the materials and workmanship will be free of any defects. Our factories follow a strict set of specifications and quality standards, however, if a problem develops, please contact us

The MIER Waterproof Dry Duffel Bag offers a lot of value for a little price tag. It is our pick for the best value.

We like to think of this bag as a hybrid between the YETI Panga and the North Face Basecamp. It has striking similarities to the materials of the Panga and the accessories of the Basecamp. And yet, it retails at only $99 (70L). 

The material on this bag is a laminated nylon ripstop that makes it extremely resistant to punctures and abrasions. The seams are heat welded and the zipper is a Hydrolock zipper, just like the YETI Panga. This means that this bag is airtight and 100% waterproof, even when submerged.

The MIER Waterproof Duffel is sold in 45L, 70L, and 90L sizes. Each has one main compartment with a mesh zipper pocket inside. On the front is another zipper pocket, daisy chains, and compression straps. 

This bag has double straps for a traditional duffel carry and a shoulder strap for a messenger style carry. Two more handles are located at each end of the bag to make it easy to haul.

The MIER Waterproof Dry Duffel Bag is great for water activities or rainy adventures. This bag has earned 9.8 stars amongst reviewers.

Pros

  • Great value for the cost
  • Hydrolock zipper makes it submersible
  • Exterior compression straps 
  • Thick, durable material
  • Shoulder strap

Cons

  • No backpack straps
  • T-zip zipper pull is not lockable

Aqua Quest White Water Duffel

Aqua Quest White Water Duffel
324 Reviews
Aqua Quest White Water Duffel
  • 100% WATERPROOF - No amount of rain, snow, dirt, dust, or sand can penetrate this bag. With all the storage and functionality of a regular duffel and the added benefit of full waterproof protection, this bag will protect against even the most extreme weather.
  • HEAVY DUTY - Features super tough and abrasion resistant Oxford 420D Ripstop fabric, TPU lamination, DWR coating, double bar-tacked stress points, and welded seams. Weighing in at only 1.8 lbs yet incredibly durable and long lasting, even after extended use.
  • VERSATILE - Two external mesh pockets provide easy access for small items, and allow you to keep wet and dry gear separate. Bottom of bag features four extra wide and durable webbing loops, allowing for fast and easy attachment to racks, motorbikes, cars, trucks, boats, etc.
  • COMFORTABLE - Comes with a padded, adjustable, and removable shoulder strap, along with 6 D-rings for multiple sling options. Also includes a padded grab handle for comfortable transport by hand.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY - With more than 25 years as a leader in waterproof gear, AquaQuest's Lifetime Warranty inspires confidence. AQ's customer service (1-844-775-7770) is based in the Pacific Northwest, where they have designed and tested waterproof gear since 1994.

Looking for a lightweight bag to adventure with? The Aqua Quest White Water Duffel is our pick for the best lightweight, waterproof duffel bag.

This bag weighs only 1.8 lbs. The material is a 420D nylon ripstop with DWR coating. This is a durable and abrasion-resistant material. Welded seams and a roll-down top seal out water and keep the inside dry.

The Aqua Quest Duffel can be carried in two ways. Padded double straps allow you to carry the bag at your side. And, an adjustable shoulder strap is included for you to carry the bag on your shoulder. There are six different D-rings on this bag, which allow you to sling the shoulder strap in a variety of positions.

This duffel is available in 50 L, 75 L, and 100L sizes. It has one main pocket and two rubberized mesh pockets on the outside. Four webbing loops are located on the bottom of the bag making it easy to attach to your vehicle.

The Aqua Quest White Water Duffel has received a 9.3 star rating.

Pros

  • 100% waterproof
  • Webbing loops on the underside
  • Shoulder strap

Cons

  • Minimal organizational features
  • Not designed to be submerged

Cor Surf Waterproof Duffel Bag

Cor Surf Waterproof Duffel
234 Reviews
Cor Surf Waterproof Duffel
  • MADE TO ENDURE THE HARSHEST ELEMENTS: Cor Surf duffel bags feature sonically welded seams that ensure their 100% waterproof and dirtproof integrity, complete with two compression straps on each end to secure the bag tight. This means your gear stays dry and safe when you need it most. Don't take our word for it - read how much others love their Cor Surf bag below!
  • HUMONGOUS 60-LITER APPETITE: with its 60-liter capacity, this water proof bag is as ready for adventures as you are. It's the buddy you can always count on through snow, wind, rain, hail, rivers, ocean or on the back of your motorcycle.
  • THOUGHTFUL DETAILS: Cor Surf Dry dufflebag features a large exterior zip pocket for fast and easy access while an interior zip pocket keeps your smaller-sized travel essentials organized. Moreover, strategically placed D-rings, handles and webbing straps let you conveniently attach it to your car, motorcycle, snowmobile, canoe or other devices.
  • VERSATILE USAGE: with a detachable and adjustable padded shoulder strap as well as reinforced velcro handles, the Cor Surf duffelbag can be used as overnight bags, travel bags, day backpacks for sports, gym, travel and camping trips. Make it the go-to bag in your life!
  • SPECIFICATIONS OF COR SURF WATERPROOF DUFFLE BAG: 60 liters; (length) 24 inches x (width) 2.1 inches x (height) 14.2 inches; green and black.

The Cor Surf Waterproof Duffle Bag is the runner up for the best budget-friendly, waterproof duffel bag. This bag is made with good quality materials and retails at only $58. This bag is one of the best in the cheap waterproof duffel bag category.

The Cor Surf Duffel has a capacity of 60 liters. Aside from the main pocket, the bag has a large exterior zippered pocket for easy access to items. Another small, zippered pocket is located inside the main pocket.

Double handles and a padded shoulder strap allow you to carry this bag at your side or on your shoulder. The Cor Surf features several D-rings and webbing straps so you can quickly attach the bag to your car, kayak, quad, or other vehicles.

Many customers have been very happy with their Cor Surf Duffel Bag. It has received a rating of 9.6 stars.

Pros

  • Roll-down top
  • Large zippered pocket on the outside
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Only one size option

Overboard Waterproof Classic Duffel Bag

Overboard Classic Duffel
12 Reviews
Overboard Classic Duffel
  • Dimensions: 26" x 12.5" x 11"
  • Capacity: 3500 cubic inches
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs

The Overboard Waterproof Classic Duffel Bag is the best roll-down top duffel.

The company was founded by two friends who have experienced the tedious struggle of trying to protect their bags from water while on an excursion. For their future peace of mind, as well as their customers, these friends founded Overboard, a company specializing in dry bags.

The Classic Duffel was their first design. The capacities of the three different size options are 40 L, 60L, and 130 L. There is one large pocket and one small exterior zip pocket. A roll-top system helps to create an airtight interior that seals out water. It is even waterproof during a quick submersion.

Durable materials help this bag go the distance. The interior is made of PVC tarpaulin and the exterior is a strong, nylon cotton blend. 

This bag can be carried using its double handles or padded shoulder strap. A small handle is located in the center of the bag that allows you to release the rolled top to open the bag quickly.

The Overboard Waterproof Classic Duffel Bag has been rated 9.4 out of 10 stars.

Pros

  • Submersible
  • Three size options
  • Durable materials

Cons

  • Longer than standard duffels

Earth Pak Voyager Duffel Bag

Earth Pak Voyager Duffel
349 Reviews
Earth Pak Voyager Duffel
  • WATERTIGHT PROTECTION: Constructed from commercial-grade materials for high performance and durability, our waterproof duffel is meant to last a lifetime! All seams are thermo welded shut to ensure all your gear stays completely dry! Ideal weekender bag for all your sailing, fishing, camping, sporting, boating, and travel adventures.
  • EXTRA STORAGE: Equipped with two interior mesh pockets for the smaller belongings you need easy access to and one large external mesh pocket with nylon coiled zipper, providing a separate slot for personal items you to need to grab on the go!
  • EASY TO USE & STORE: Featuring a large main compartment with roll-top closure and single reinforced strip.... simply fold the bag down 3-4 times, buckle, and you are ready to go! Our boat bag is soft sided and completely collapsible to make storage easy!
  • COMFORTABLE STRAPS: Assembled with an adjustable, removable cushioned shoulder strap and padded double handles for comfy & easy carry.
  • SECURE FOR TRAVEL: Sturdy buckle straps situated on all sides of your waterproof luggage ensuring your items stay in place! Side panels are complete with reflectors as an added extra for better visibility. Also reinforced with 1000D PVC MOLLE System looping on the front and back sides of the duffel, providing anchor points to latch onto while boating, kayaking, rafting, or riding a motorcycle. In addition, 4 attached D-rings for quick fastening.

We chose the Earth Pak Voyager Duffel Bag as the best waterproof duffel for water sports. Whether you’re fly fishing, sailing, camping, or hiking, the Earth Pak Voyager will protect your belongings from the elements.

This bag features a durable laminated material and thermo welded seams to make it 100% waterproof. The main pocket has two mesh organizational pockets inside and a roll-down top at the opening. There is one medium-sized, rubberized mesh pocket on the outside of the bag that is useful for stashing smaller items.

Heavy-duty plastic buckles and compression straps help to tightly seal the roll down top. When the bag is closed properly, water doesn’t stand a chance getting inside. Built-in anchor points made of reinforced 1000D PVC MOLLE System looping on the front and back of the bag allow you to attach it to boats, bikes, cars, and more.

The Voyager Duffel is available in both 50 L and 70 L sizes. Earth Pak suggests using the 50 L on trips up to 1.5 weeks long, and the 70 L duffel on trips up to 2.5 weeks long. As an added safety feature, reflective strips are included on either side of the bag.

Many success stories have been shared about how the Earth Pak Voyager duffel has outlasted rigorous water adventures. This duffel has been given 9.7 stars.

Pros

  • Rave reviews
  • Built-in anchors
  • Shoulder strap
  • Laminated material

Cons

  • No backpack straps

DRY PAK Waterproof Duffel

Earth Pak Voyager Duffel
99 Reviews
Earth Pak Voyager Duffel
  • Nylon / Polyester Waterproof by rolling down the top a few times and snapping the side release buckles together
  • Water Resistant Zippered Pocket with Storm Flap on each side
  • Removable Shoulder Strap is Adjustable and Padded
  • Extra Heavy Duty Vinyl Polyester Laminate with Electronically Welded Seams; Molded Bottom adds structure
  • Large - Dimensions: 24 in. x 12 in. x 15 in closed; Capacity 4270 cubic inch; 70-Liter

The DRY PAK Waterproof Duffel is the most simple in design out of all the bags on this waterproof duffel bag review. If you’re looking for a sleek and simple 100% waterproof duffel, then this is the bag for you.

The DRY PAK is made of extra heavy-duty vinyl polyester laminate, reinforced with welded seams. It has a roll-down top to ensure that no water leaks through a faulty zipper. And, this bag also has a zippered exterior pocket, protected from water with a storm flap on each side of the zipper.

The DRY PAK duffel is available in one size with a 70-liter capacity. Its molded bottom adds structure that helps the duffel sit on its own, without rolling over. It can be carried using double handles or the removable, adjustable, and padded shoulder strap.

Many people have found this bag a great fit for the back of a motorcycle. It has a rating of 9.4 stars. 

Pros

  • Large, 70 L capacity
  • Rugged materials
  • 100% waterproof
  • Sleek Design

Cons

  • Only one size option
  • D-rings are thin

Buying guide

Levels of Durability in Waterproof Duffel Bags

It’s said that waterproof duffel bags are all pretty durable in general. However, that’s not something you want to overlook. Especially when you have your expensive camera packed sitting in your bag at the back of your kayak. One flaw in durability and a tip of the kayak could be a very expensive oversight.

Waterproof duffels indeed use more durable materials than standard duffels. However, there is a wide range of waterproof materials that add more or less durability to the bag. Engineering techniques also add to a duffel’s durability.

For example, let’s look at the Aqua Quest White Water Duffel that we reviewed earlier in this post. This bag is made from a very durable type of Nylon and treated with waterproof coatings. The seams are also welded to help keep out water. This is a good example of baseline waterproofing. A bag like this is great for low impact outdoor activities.

Now looking at a bag like the YETI or the MIER. The material on these two bags is ver thick and laminated, giving it a shiny appearance. Water has no chance of absorbing into this kind of material. The two bags have waterproof zippers, heat-welded seams, and rubberized landing pads. Bags like these protect your belongings from water and performance impact.

More: The Best North Face Backpack and How to Find It

What is the Most Comfortable Way to Carry a Duffel?

There are three ways to carry a duffel using double handles, a shoulder strap, or backpack straps.

Double handles are included on most duffel bags. These come in handy when your duffel is light enough in weight to tote at your side. However, these handles are as convenient for times when you need to carry the duffel a long way or when the duffel is packed full and heavy. Carrying a heavy bag at your side for a long time can tire out your arm.

Many duffels come with a single, removable shoulder strap. This is nice to have if you need to carry a heavy duffel or if you have a long walk ahead of you. Waterproof duffels tend to be heavier than standard duffels and often are used to carry sporting gear that has some weight to it. Because of this, it’s nice to have the option to carry the bag on your shoulder.

Backpack straps are increasing in popularity on duffels. Waterproof duffels are known to accompany people on all kinds of outdoor outings, so backpack straps are a huge asset. Whether you’re hiking in the rainy Northwest, trekking between fishing holes, or hauling your gear down the boating dock carrying the bag on your back would probably be most convenient.

More: Osprey Aether 60 vs Osprey Atmos 65: The Search for a Backpack

How Much Weight Can Waterproof Duffels Hold?

Waterproof Duffels have thick, durable materials. Because of this, they can hold a decent amount of weight. In fact, there is no standard weight capacity limit for these types of bags.

If you were to hold one of these bags in your hand, take the YETI Panga for example, you would realize how absurdly thick the material is. The material of this bag in particular feels rubberized. So, it’s not the material that you need to worry about. The material of laminated waterproof duffels will not rip if a lot of weight is packed.

It’s more important to think of the points were materials are connected. Seams, handles, and zippers are all vulnerable points for a heavy load. 

Waterproof duffels can easily hold 50 pounds. Most can haul 75 pounds without a problem. 

However, anything above that depends on how your specific duffel has been engineered and assembled. Keep an eye on the vulnerable points mentioned above as your guide for how heavy to pack your bag.

More: Osprey Porter 46 vs Osprey Farpoint 40: Which Is The Better Backpack To Have

What Size of Duffel Should I Buy?

Duffel bags are sized by volume capacity in liters. For frame of reference, a standard college student’s backpack has an average capacity of 28 liters. And, a weekender bag is around 45 liters.

Earth Pak provides a good size suggestion in reference to their Voyager Duffel. For trips, up to 1.5 weeks, a 50 L bag will hold everything you need. For trips, up to 2.5 weeks long, a 70 L bag is suggested. Many brands provide 100 L bags and larger if you need more packing space.

Waterproof Vs Water-Resistant

Though they sound the same, water-resistant and waterproof are two very different things. Yes, water-resistant bags can protect your belongings from getting wet, but only for a short period. Water-resistant products can hold up against light sprays of water, but anything more intense will seep into the material.

For water sports such as kayaking, fishing, boating, and paddleboarding, you will definitely want a 100% waterproof duffel. If there is any chance that your bag can fall into a body of water, waterproofing is necessary. 

Wheeled Vs Carry

Wheeled duffel bags are convenient for adventures that require you to travel. Being able to wheel your luggage comes in handy at airports and hotels. However, the level of convenience pretty much ends there. If you find yourself needing to hike, walk along an uneven road, or hop from place to place, a rolling duffel could be a hindrance.

Before you buy a duffel bag with wheels, think about how you typically travel. If you need this duffel for airport travel, then wheeled is the right choice. However, if you tend to do more outdoor adventures then the traditional duffel may be a better option.

The traditional duffel is more versatile. They are easier to haul in and out of the trunk of your car or the carry-on compartment of an airplane. Traditional duffels can also be used during outdoor adventures when you may need to make a short trek to your destination.

Traditional duffels don’t have any solid materials like rolling duffels, so they are also easier to compact and store. This comes in handy when you want to stash your empty duffel in another suitcase while traveling.

More: Full Review of The Osprey Daylite: Is It A Good Daypack?

FAQ

Who Benefits Most From a Duffel Bag?

Duffel bags are very versatile, so they serve a variety of purposes. 

Smaller duffel bags make great gym bags. Small duffels are very lightweight and can easily be carried along with other bags you may need throughout the day. If you go to the gym on your way to or from work, it’s nice to have an separate bag for gym clothes.

Duffels are also make great luggage for air travel. They weigh virtually nothing, so you can pack more before reaching the 50 lb airline limit. If you’re carrying the duffel onto the plane, storing it is easy because there are no wheels to catch on the overhead bins.

Duffels are also commonly used for outdoor sports and activities. Their ability to carry a ton of gear is helpful and sometimes down right necessary to have.

How to Clean Your Duffel Bag

Cleaning a waterproof duffel bag can’t get any easier.

Waterproof duffel bags are usually laminated or coated with a lesser form of lamination. This means that you can simply wipe them clean with a wet washcloth. Some people even spray them off with a garden hose and hang them to dry.

More: Osprey Kestrel 38 Review: Is It Good Backpack?

Which Waterproof Duffel is the Best?

The winner of our roundup of the best waterproof duffel bags of 2020 is the YETI Panga. This is a 5-star duffel bag across the board. 

With that being said, the North Face Base Camp Duffel and the MIER Waterproof Duffel Bag are two alternative options that are both very well designed. 

These bags are 100% waterproof, made of durable materials, and built to last. Each comes in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the one that fits your specific needs. You might even find that the versatility that these waterproof duffels offer, will have you using them for a variety of purposed.

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Tim Fox

Tim Fox

Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all. You can find more about him here

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