A good duffel bag needs to do only one thing: hold stuff. The best duffel bags for men, however, need to check off a few more boxes. A great duffel bag should still carry your clothes, kicks, chargers, toiletries, and everything else in the most space-efficient, easy-to-find way possible. A great duffel should outlast your passport—or better yet, you—despite years of being stuffed in an overhead bin and thrown in the trunk of your car. A great duffel should make everyone else in the TSA line jealous. And in most cases, that means the best duffel bags for men are made from full-grain leather. (Cowhide keeps your gear protected and develops a singular patina over time that’s all yours.) That luxe hide, however, is going to cost you. Which is why we’re glad to confirm that these days there are also plenty of non-leather options on the market that are smartly engineered to hold all your stuff and stand up to being stuffed in an overheard bin again and again. And, yes, those options are also actually stylish.
You seem skeptical. Maybe you’re still working through lingering trauma from your undergrad days, when you eurotripped across half the continent with nothing but a flimsy mesh duffel and cracked iPhone to keep you company on your journey. Or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve had the opportunity to buy luggage of any kind (join the club) and you can’t quite wrap your ahead around the notion of springing for anything other than the top-shelf leather stuff. If that sounds like you, don’t X out of this tab in a panic. Relax: the duffels we’re talking about are far cry from the JanSport you used to haul around in middle school. Even when they’re not made of leather—some are cut from waxed canvas, or nylon ripstop, or a specially-treated fabric designed keep your gear dry in the dreariest conditions—each and every option included here is the top-shelf stuff. (And if you’re still not convinced, there’s plenty of handsome leather duffels to choose from too.)
For proof, look no further than the below. We’ve slung hundreds over our shoulders over the years, and none hauled our stuff as well as these. Here are 29 duffels and weekender bags for every budget and every type of weekend trip.
The Best Duffel Bag, Period
Squared-edge duffels can be clunky to carry and eye-pleasing cylindrical shapes are tricky to pack, but Lotuff’s No. 12 model has the just-right compromise: rectangular on the bottom, tapering up into a rounded top. That nameless-shape ensures the bag is as comfortable to carry against on your back (with the detachable strap) as it is to haul by hand but still sits stable atop a rolling suitcase. It’s made in the U.S.A. from vegetable-tanned leather with each piece of the carryall cut from the section that best serves that area (thicker for the body, thinner for interior pockets). Then there are the considered details: the zipper closure is engineered to run from from end-wall to end-wall, not simply across the top. That allows for a wider opening, which makes packing easy. The zippers and hardware are fabricated from solid brass, including the lock-and-key closure—nothing’s breaking here. There’s an interior zip pocket for the all the cords and tie bars you need to keep separate. The bottom of the bag is reinforced with a second leather layer, plus the carry handles are both riveted and stitched to support the weight of whatever you’re hauling around.
The Best Status Symbol Duffel Bag
Carrying Louis Vuitton’s blacked-out monogram duffel bag tells the world that you are a big-time spender with big-time taste. But there’s a reason the now-iconic overnight bag hasn’t gone out of style in the last 90 years or so, even if it is a status symbol among the flashier set: it’s just a damn good duffel bag. It’s lightweight, thanks to a body that’s—shhhhhhhh—not leather, but coated cotton canvas (that yes, looks very, very much like leather). The shape is iconic, and the natural cowhide trim only gets better over time. Only L.V. could make cotton as enviably luxe as this.
The Best Adventure-Ready Duffel Bag
Whether you’re heading to the nearest beach or Nepal, The North Face’s base camp duffel is equipped to get your gear there with zero hassle. The water-resistant laminated ballistic nylon bag is ultralight, with a roomy main compartment for a long weekend’s worth of clothes plus smart design features like a zippered pocket on the end (meant for separating wet clothes or dirty shoes). The padded shoulder strap makes hauling it around less stressful on your shoulders than most bags and the wavy colors (highlighter yellow, Ecto Cooler green) means it’s impossible to lose track of it on any journey.
The Best Showstopping Duffel Bag
Bottega Veneta’s signature”Intrecciato” woven leather design was first introduced in the 1970s as a way to break away from the box-shaped, rigid bags of the era. Using glove leather that was lighter and more pliable than cow skins traditionally used at the time, the brand’s craftspeople wove strips together to create a criss-cross pattern that achieved a lighter weight, more supple bag—that also stood out from the smooth-skin crowd. The artisanal infrastructure also means this bag holds its shape, whether it’s stuffed with gear in the overhead bin or barely packed for a quick overnight trip. And if you really want to stand out from every other passenger in the airport, opt for this guy in an uncommon color like this brick red.
The Best Heavy Duty Duffel Bag
Filson’s rugged twill bags have been the gold standard for guys who want to get their shit from point A to B, from the office to out-of-office getaways. The bag feels satisfyingly sturdy, thanks to a mix of rain-resistant twill and thick bridle leather handle, both of which get better/softer/doper over time. The storm-flap closure that sits over the top zip is a smart feature if you’re traveling in inclement weather and the wraparound leather straps mean this thing can carry a heavy load with ease.
The Best Duffel Bag with Brains and Brawn
Like a Ford F-150 designed by Apple, this bag is loaded with clever details—a standalone shoe compartment, an easy-access horseshoe zipper, and convenient backpack straps—all wrapped up in a rugged waxed nylon exterior.
The Best Ready-for-Anything Duffel Bag
This insanely durable Patagonia duffel has passed every test (planes, trains, automobiles—you name it) for summer vacations and holiday travel. Plus it looks approximately 1,000 percent cooler than everyone else’s carry-on. Like North Face’s base camp duffel, added shoulder-strap attachments mean you can actually hoof it up a mountain with this on your back.
The Best No-Frills Duffel Bag
Sometimes you just need a bag to be a bag, sans any hiking-adjacent aspirations or bulky external cargo holders. This ultra-minimal joint from Alvaro puts the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship front and center, courtesy of vegetable-tanned calfskin leather that’s expertly sewn in Italy. For now, you’ll have make do without a laptop sleeve, but this is the type of bag that’ll still be around—and still look great—long after they’ve replaced your MacBook with a microchip insert.
The Best “That’s Definitely My Bag” Duffel Bag
The luggage whizzes at Baboon to the Moon are seasoned travelers first and foremost, and their signature duffel bag makes good on that expertise. It boasts everything you need for your next trip—and plenty of things you would’ve never considered. The waterproof exterior includes multiple options for comfortable schlepping, including backpack straps for authentic Europtrip vibes, but the interior is where things really get wild. Different sized mesh pockets allow your notebooks, passport, and sundry knick-knacks their own autonomous zones, while an additional elastic pocket lets you store all those easy-to-lose smaller doodads in one place. Best yet? The whole shebang comes in a range of can’t-miss colors, a boon to your bleary eyes when you’re trying to pick it out on a conveyor belt after an exhausting flight.
The Best Quick Trip Duffel Bag
When a full-size duffel feels like overkill but the open-top design of a tote won’t quite do, you need a bag that straddles the line with flair. In other words, you need Mulberry’s holdall, which boasts a utilitarian nylon construction elevated by upscale leather trims in the spots most likely to brush up against car doors and overhead bins. Looking for the ideal bag to grab on those overnight jaunts when you just want to lock down a few essentials without sacrificing quick access to stuff like your passport and keys? Look no further.
18 More Duffels Worthy of Your Shoulders
https://www.gq.com/story/best-leather-duffel-bags 29 Best Duffel & Weekender Bags For Men: First-Rate Luggage Options from Louis Vuitton, Filson, Nike, and More