The Duffle bag has always been known for its practicality. Though these bags were created for military purposes, no wonder that the past decades have seen the duffel bag in the hands of civilians especially for outdoor activities needing lots of things to be carried in a light and spacious bag. These typically include going to the beach, hiking, attending conventions, and of course, traveling. Since a lot of the activities done with a duffle bag are very outdoorsy it’s no wonder that most are waterproof duffle bags.
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What’s A Duffle Bag?
Before we head to waterproof duffle bags, let’s quickly go over what duffle bags are.
Duffle bags are large bags that are typically made of canvas. Canvas is a sturdy lightweight way of weaving fabrics and because of this, it’s even used in the making of tents. Duffle bags are attributed to Sir Alfred Duffle, a cousin of the House of Orange family.
The first use of the words duffle bag started in 1768. Originally meaning ‘a coarse woolen cloth with a thick nap or frieze’, these bags found their use among the natives of Spain and Portugal due to their sturdy and water-resistant nature. This eventually went all the way up until it saw use from the British Royal Navy. It was also mentioned in a poem by E.E. Cummings and in the poem, he wrote concerning his time as an ambulance driver in WW1. He mentioned the characteristics of the bag and how its flattening meant it took up little space until it was used. And when it was in use, you could simply fill them up very quickly as its main storage area was very spacious. From here it finally saw its hands in the wider civilian population as surplus from the war.
For our modern interpretation of it this still mostly holds as the modern canvas material is still quite coarse, and the duffle bags themselves have a more rigid bottom to maintain their shape. Of course, the design has evolved over the years to accommodate newer needs. Because of this, there are a few general types of duffle bags.
Types Of Duffle Bags
Since its widespread use, the duffle bag has also had to adapt to more specific needs. This took the form of new designs that stray away from the traditional top opening rounded duffle bag. With three different types, the rounded duffle bags squared duffle bags, and wheeled duffle bags, there are enough options for all types of users.
Rounded Duffle Bags
This is the most classic design as this is how most duffle bags have been for most of history. There are two different variants of the rounded duffle bags and they are the top opening bags and the drawstring style bags.
The top opening duffle bags are a sort of shove it all in their kind of a bag since the way it opens it is more convenient for large items. This can be for long and large objects like carrying fishing rods for a trip to the lake, or firearms for hunting, or time at a range. The drawstring style is more common and is the style that is typically referred to as a ‘gym bag’. This design is more suitable for having a large amount of varying-sized objects. This is more preferred for traveling or a camping trip.
The common factor in both designs is that it has a large compartment where you can put everything, with at most a few side pockets. This design choice can lead to both positives and negatives. As with the large uninterrupted space, you can easily fit larger objects alongside smaller ones. If however, you are planning to shove a lot of small or foldable objects in, the bag can get quite messy quite fast.
Squared Duffle Bags
Although a more recent design, it is still just as practical. The squared duffle bags are, as the name suggests, square and boxy in their design. This is so the interior can be segregated into many different compartments. Because of this, it is the best waterproof duffle bag for long travel. As it is very easy to organize all of your belongings into separate spaces since it has this boxy shape, it is natural that the design is more rigid with additional supports with the plastic-backed woven material. This type of bag is also commonly seen in the use of law enforcement to keep any of the larger items, or ones with variation organized and stowed away in a large container. These though are usually modified with foam paddings as inserts for any additional weapons or such to ensure that they are kept safe.
Wheeled Duffle Bags
Even when compared to the previous squared duffle bag this is probably the best for travel. Travel duffle bags with wheels are easily the most suited for traveling purposes. This is because of the large amount of space with separated compartments, and the more traditional U-shaped zipper on the top of the bag.
This and some variations of this bag are also expandable in case you are carrying any larger items. The wheels on this type of bag also make it easy to use when in transit or at the place you are staying at. On top of all of this, their bottoms are very rigid compared to the other two types, this plus the wheels make it suitable for carrying heavy loads.
Now that you’ve got a good idea of what duffle bags are, let’s go over waterproof duffle bags and why many people like them.
Waterproof Duffle Bags
Considering all of the other benefits of duffle bags such as their durability, ease to store, resistance to weather, and spacious design, it makes sense that with modern waterproof coatings people would add that as well. Waterproof duffle bags are the best versions of a duffle bag that you can come across these days. But what should entice you to go with a waterproof duffle bag over a regular one, or perhaps other waterproof bags?
Why Waterproof Duffle Bags Are Becoming More And More Popular?
With all of the advantages of a duffle bag, it’s clear that for outdoor use waterproof duffle bags are one of the best options. But in the past decade or so the duffle bag has gained a bit of a different reputation. This is made evident with a new common term for it being a ‘gym bag’ as you can easily hold any additional gear you might bring with you to a gym. Although duffle bags are indeed ideal for gym-goers, let’s go over some of the reasons why they and other outdoorsy people enjoy waterproof duffle bags.
They Are Easy To Carry
This is an easy one, as with any of the variations of the duffle bag it is easy to carry. The handles on all duffle bags make it suitable for options like hand carry, slinging it over your back, or even on your torso. This is because the strap is quite lengthy allowing for a more secure fit like slinging it on your back or torso. But because of the shape of the duffle bags, it is also easy to balance the weight for hand carry.
They Have Plenty Of Space Inside
Since its inception, a duffle bag was made for large capacities. So this factor is a no-brainer as pretty much any duffle bag, even the smallest can carry more than enough for most short trips.
Duffle Bags Are Stylish And Trendy
Many outdoor and sports designers have incorporated duffle bags with sporty shoes and clothes as a streetwear look, it’s no wonder that the duffle bags have become something of a fashion trend.
Having many different styles to choose from even from the same manufacturer you won’t have the variety of designs lacking. Many duffle bags of course retain the utilitarian look as the number of pockets and material give it that style. But there are many minimalist or even gaudy-looking duffle bags if the regular look doesn’t reach out to you.
They Come In Various Sizes
As with most large bags, there are three general categories that duffle bags are also assigned to. These are 30-50 liters, 50-75 liters, and 75-100+ liters:
- 30-50 Liters – For most short trips 30-50 liters is the ideal size as it should fit enough supplies and extra clothing to last over a weekend. Plus the smaller size makes it easier and more convenient to carry around so no need for a bulky bag that’s heavier and messier.
- 50-70 Liters – These bags are for long trips able to carry what you need for a week or two. Because of this, it is ideal for any camping or other outdoor trips as having space for any extra supplies is necessary.
- 75-100+ Liters – Most normal people don’t go into this range, also it’s typically more convenient to have several smaller bags if you need this much space. These bags are typically used multiple at a time, this will probably be for some special equipment you’re carrying for whatever task you’re doing.
Best Waterproof Duffle Bags
Now of course if you want to purchase waterproof duffle bags, it’s best to look for ‘the one’. Instead of stating what the absolute best waterproof duffle bag is, we’ll go over a few notable brands that have excellent waterproof duffle bags.
A side note however that though these might be the best waterproof duffle bags you may not find them to be the best waterproof travel bags, depending on what exactly you’re looking for. A few notable picks are the COR surf, YETI panga, and Firstgear duffle bags. These waterproof duffle bags are some of the best you can find. Mainly because they are made with actual water sports in mind so you can have ease of mind if you’re using any of these bags if waterproofing is your main concern.
What Is The Best Travel Backpack For Europe?
This is a broader question for those less concerned about waterproofing and more just general concerns. Europe is a good example as not only is it fairly easy to travel around the EU but their climates and conditions can vary quite a bit.
So the best travel backpack for Europe is a daunting question. And though the waterproof duffle bags we covered earlier are pretty good, you might be looking for something else.
- Rolling Luggage – If you’re going to keep to the more urban areas in your travels then this might be a good option. Both because it’s wheeled and incredibly sturdy. Its main drawback of course being that the materials aren’t exactly light, but keeping to urban centers that shouldn’t be an issue.
- Wheeled Duffle – We’ve already covered this earlier but pretty much it is fairly sturdy still but maintains a lighter weight so if you need to lift it, it should be no problem.
- Wheeled Backpack – Pretty much the other extreme compared with rolling luggage. The wheeled backpack still affording the luxury of having wheels but being the easiest to carry if need be. Of course, the opposite issue as it is the least sturdy of the three.
Beyond these choices, there is the non-wheeled backpack and duffle bag but their strengths and weaknesses are pretty much the same, just without wheels. A backpack or travel pack is the most ideal for any rough terrain adventures as they are suited to being on the user’s body for the best balance and stability while traveling through harsh terrain.
Is Waterproof Duffle Bag A Good Choice When You Are Looking For The Best Waterproof Travel Bag?
It might be, as many waterproof duffle bags are perfect for watersports or any prolonged journey at sea. Beyond that, though you may find a different bag to suit your needs. If you want an all-rounder bag, a waterproof duffle bag probably is the best.
Get A Travel Duffel Bags With Wheels To Make It Easier To Roam With
This is the ultimate option when it comes to versatility. If you think you’ll be traveling from urban centers to the forest, this probably is your best bet. Again if you can keep your journey specific it’s probably best to pick a bag that fits that purpose exactly. Unless of course, you plan to go all over the place then a wheeled duffle bag is your best bet.