Though most everyday carry backpacks are capable of accommodating a few day’s worth of garments and gear, anyone that’s done their fair share of traveling knows that a purpose-built weekender duffel will almost always be a superior choice. Offering a surprising amount of storage space in a fairly minimalistic and easily-totable package, weekender bags have evolved in recent years as the segment has grown markedly more popular, with what were once primarily just spartan shells now routinely featuring an array of clever systems and features. And while there are now more options on the market than ever before, the sheer abundance of the segment can admittedly make it tricky to sort through the seemingly endless array of bags in order to hone in on the sector’s few standout models — the finest of which we’ll be counting down today in this guide to the best weekender duffel bags.
The Best Weekender Duffels For Men
Rains Weekend Bag
Peak Design Travel Duffle
The North Face Base Camp Duffel M
Aer Travel Weekender
Bellroy Classic Weekender
Filson Rugged Twill Small Duffle Bag
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
Prometheus Design Werx All Terrain Duffel
GORUCK Heritage Kit Bag
DSPTCH Weekender RND Edition Black Dyneema
Mission Workshop Transit Duffle VX
WP Standard Rough Out Suede PanAm Duffle Bag
Defy Bags Ultimate Overnighter Horween Leather
Killspencer Weekender 3.0
Lotuff Leather No. 12 Weekender Bag
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What To Look For
The Main Areas To Consider When Buying A Weekender Duffle
While pretty much all weekender bags serve the same basic function, these items can vary pretty significantly in other ways that can ultimately play a major role in determining a duffle’s overall quality. Below, we’ll briefly touch on half a dozen of the most crucial areas to take into account when shopping for a new weekender duffle.
Shell Construction: As the component that comprises the majority of the bag and plays thew single biggest role in its overall quality and durability, a duffle’s shell construction is of extreme importance and should always be reviewed when shopping. Most of our favorite premium duffles tend to utilize high-denier nylon and poly constructions for their shell, though there are also duffles crafted from everything from waxed canvas to leather to modern proprietary materials like Dyneema and types of sailcloth. What’s more, in addition to the material used to craft the shell, it’s also important to look into the construction technique that was used to piece the thing together, as this area can also play a substantial role in determining a duffle’s ability to stand up to the elements.
Hardware & Secondary Materials: While the shell is unequivocally the single most important material on a duffle, that doesn’t mean it’s the only one you should consider when shopping, as secondary constructions such as the material used for a bag’s liner or bottom can also pretty hugely alter the quality and overall user experience of the bag. Also of immense importance is the type of hardware being used on a duffle, as this includes areas such as buckles and zipper tracks — areas that also play a major role in the overall user experience.
Organization Amenities: Not unlike gym bags, weekender duffles have traditionally more or less consisted of a spartan single-layer shell the boasts a single main compartment. As these carry solutions have evolved, however. We’ve started seeing manufacturers deliver duffles that come outfitted with a bevy of dividers, supplementary pockets, and other organizational amenities.
Supplementary Features: While arguably a subset of organizational amenities, some weekender bags boast additional features such as tech organizer setups, padded or suspended laptop sleeves, compartments for dirty laundry or shoes, and hidden security pockets. Some weekenders also see their pair of standard straps supplemented with items such as grab handles, crossbody straps, or hidden sets of straps that allow the duffle to be worn like a backpack.
Storage Space: As carry solutions that are designed specifically to accommodate two night’s and three day’s worth of gear, weekender duffles tend to sport between 30 and 45 liters of storage space. Depending on your personal needs, the gear you carry, and how you plan on utilizing this bag, you may want to opt for a duffle that falls on the smaller or larger end of this spectrum.
Style: Just like with backpacks, weekender duffles largely all feature the same profile and shape, however, can nonetheless vary pretty significantly in terms of appearance, with some models sporting newer-looking more contemporary industrial designs while others employ unmistakably vintage-inspired designs. Because there are so many aesthetic options in this space, we recommend checking out quite a few of the offerings this space before pulling the trigger on your purchase.
Our 6 Favorite Weekender Bags Currently On The Market
Rains Weekend Bag
- Stellar weather resistance
- Minimalistic, fashion-forward design
- Sold in 6 color options
- Devoid of much internal organazation
Based on the Jutland peninsula’s east coast in Aarhus where long snowy or rainy weather is present much of the year, RAINS is a fledgling Danish firm that’s made waves in the garments with its fashion-forward and fully-waterproof offerings, all of which sport the brand’s signature minimalist aesthetic. And these traits are in full effect on RAINS Weekend Bag. Largely devoid of internal organization or exterior features of any kind, save for grab handle and shoulder strap webbing that runs up the bag, the Weekend Bag is a modern take on a traditional single-layer duffle, that maintains old school models’ spartan interior and exterior design while gaining full weatherproofing with the duffle rated to a withstand a total water column pressure rating of 8000mm. This is thanks to the use of a waterproof polyurethane-coating polyester fabric shell and coated AquaGuard-style zippers. Sold in a whopping nine different color options, this thoroughly fashion forward yet minimalistic bag also comes loaded with matte hardware, adjustable lock slider buckles, and custom embossed RAINS-branded rubber zipper pulls. The minimalistic nature of this bag also makes it particularly versatile, enabling it to also lend itself to trips to the gym, swap-meet, or farmer’s market.
Shell Material: PU-Coated Polyester
PEAK DESIGN TRAVEL DUFFLE
- Modular & great for carrying camera gear
- Sustainably made
- Backed by lifetime warranty
- Lined with waterproof bottom
- Complicated layout
- Exterior collects dust easily
In the brand’s typical fashion, the Peak Design Travel Duffle is an incredibly modular and versatile carry solution that was born out of ample real-world experience and honed via extensive user feedback. Constructed around a weatherproof 600-denier nylon canvas shell that’s made from recycled materials and mated to a waterproof 900-denier bottom liner, the bag features anodized aluminum and glass-reinforced nylon hardware and a full-length wide-access Burly #10 weatherproof UltraZip main zipper track that’s reinforced using abrasion-resistant UHMPE threading and outfitted with custom Hypalon zipper pulls. The bag’s main zipper track opens to reveal a high-visibility grey interior that was also designed to accept a trio of Peak Design’s packing (or camera) cubes. On top of featuring four external zipper-secured pockets and a pair of internal mesh pockets, the bag also comes outfitted with a bevy of modular removable dividers designed specifically for carrying camera gear — though can also be configured to accommodator just about any small pieces of tech, equipment, or gear. Benefitting from the use of a cleverly-designed cord hook strap quick-connection system, the bag can be carried across the body over the arm via its padded shoulder strap, or via its pair of magnetic-coupling grab handles — the latter of which can be reconfigured, allowing it to be worn like a backpack, while also being able to double as luggage handle pass-throughs. Additionally, the duffle’s protected luggage tag holder and international carry-on-approved sizing make an already terrific travel bag that much more conducive to globe-trotting.
Shell Material: Weatherproof Recycled 600D Nylon Canvas
THE NORTH FACE BASE CAMP DUFFEL M
- Massive 72-liter capacity
- Features a myriad of attachment points
- Solid weather resistance
- Compression straps allow for size adjustment
- Much larger than needed for most weekend trips
- Zippers aren’t waterproof
Simple yet highly-calculated, The North Face Base Camp Duffel M is an incredibly balanced bag that’s objectively rugged but not over-built or engineered and minimalistic yet not completely devoid of organization amenities, with numerous exterior pockets and internal dividers and slips that make packing and sorting the bag’s contents a breeze. Pieced together using double-stitching and bartack construction, the bag is crafted from TNF’s Camp material (a 1,000-denier thermoplastic elastomer laminate) that’s been mated to a DWR-coated 840-denier ballistic nylon bottom layer with an additional layer of 840-denier ballistic nylon on the bottom — both of which are completely derived from recycled contents for the latest generation of this bag. Thanks to its construction and storm flap, this duffle is also heavily water resistant. Between its padded side nylon grab handles, looped haul handles, and detachable, adjustable, alpine-cut shoulder straps, this duffle can be carried in a myriad of different ways, as well. And, while TNF’s Base Camp Duffel M is undeniably on the larger side at a whopping 72 liters, the inclusion of cinch buckles at the base of the grab handles on each side of the duffle allow its user to compress it down to whatever size they need.
Shell Material: Ballistic Nylon & Recycled 1,000D PVC
AER TRAVEL WEEKENDER
- Ultra-rugged shell exceeding ballistic-grade
- Great for airline travel
- Absolutely loaded with features including a padded laptop pocket
- Shoulder strap hardware is a bit lacking
The Aer Travel Weekender encapsulates just about everything we’d come to love about the San Francisco-based bag-maker, from its sleek and spartan exterior design language to its use of ultra-rugged materials to its generous slew of useful features and amenities. Affording 35-liters of internal real estate, the Travel Weekender sports a minimalistic shell that’s composed of super hardwearing 1,680-denier CORDURA and trimmed in a soft-woven lining before being fitted with Duraflex hardware and lockable YKK Aquaguard zippers. Taking a page straight out of the playbook of Aer’s award-winning backpacks, the Travel Weekender comes outfitted with a spacious, organizer-equipped main compartment that’s supplemented via a quick-access external pocket, a smart organization pocket, and a padded and soft-lined laptop sleeve that can fit notebooks of up to 16”. Alongside a luggage handle pass-through on the rear face of the bag, the outside of the duffle also features a pair of exterior water bottle pockets as well as padded shoulder straps and a set of grab handles. So, while this duffle may be engineered for weekend getaways and globetrotting, its wealth of features allow it to serve as everything from a work bag to a gym pack.
Shell Material: 1,680D CORDURA Ballistic Nylon
Bellroy Classic Weekender
- Sustainably made
- Super clean, minimalistic shell
- Ultra-calculated design
- Sold in numerous sizes & colors
- Not the most rugged shell construction
Since its inception in 2009, Bellroy has built its reputation on the strength of its lightweight, stylish, and sustainably made carry solutions and everyday carry accessories. And the Aussie outfit’s Classic Weekender Bag maintains this trio of hallmark traits. Available in several sizes and color options, the duffle is a utilitarian and uber-eco-friendly take on a modern weekender with a streamlined, snag-mitigating barrel shape and end-to-end access. Backed by a three-year warranty, the Classic Weekender is crafted around a shell that’s composed of a water-resistant polyester spun from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles. On the organizational side, the duffle comes equipped with a generously-sized main compartment, along with an external quick-access pocket with key clip and a raised mesh zip pocket that’s paced outside of the bag’s “crushzones.” What’s more, the bag’s primary zipper track is shielded from the elements via a surprisingly effective storm flap, plus snaps at the ends of the bag can be undone in order to provide complete, unobstructed full-length access to the duffle. Equipped with a trio of carry modes, this duffle also sports rolled-edge grab handles at each end of the duffle and a detachable padded shoulder strap that enables it carrier to wear it over a shoulder or across the body — plus the thing also features a luggage handle pass-through for securing to rolling hard luggage.
Shell Material: Recycled Polyester
FILSON RUGGED TWILL SMALL DUFFLE BAG
- Timeless, retro-inspired appearance
- Top-shelf trim & custom hardware
- Tin Cloth binding on all interior seams
- Made in America
- Expensive (albeit justifiable) price
As much of the world continues to increasingly embrace inexpensive fast fashion-style manufacturing, some heritage brands like Filson have maintained an unwavering tradition of crafting rugged items that are legitimately engineered to withstand a lifetime of use — before being passed down to the future generations. And such is the case with the Filson Rugged Twill Small Duffle Bag. Introduced more than 30 years ago as one of the Seattle company’s first-ever carry solution items, this tried-and-true duffle design features an industrial-strength Rugged Twill shell construction sourced from one of Britain’s oldest, mills. Decked out in saddle-grade leather-reinforced rustproof heavy-gauge solid brass zippers and custom-debossed sand-cast brass hardware, this heirloom-grade duffle also features a D-ring-connected, removable shoulder strap and grab handles that fully cradle that bag — both of which are made from a top-grade cowhide leather that’s been vegetable-tanned over the course of several weeks using natural plant-based solutions. It doesn’t end there, however, as this American-made bag also boasts end-caps on either side for accommodating smaller items and essentials, plus Filson has opted to treat its interior seams to interior seam binding made from its signature Tin Cloth construction — an element that helps mitigate fraying and wear and tear. Despite a more than three-decade-old design, Filson’s Rugged Twill Duffle Bag still stands as one of the best duffles that money can currently buy — as well as undoubtedly being our favorite classically-styled duffle currently on the market.
Shell Material: Rugged Twill
Additional Weekender Duffles Well-Worth Considering
PATAGONIA BLACK HOLE DUFFEL
Adhering to carry-on sizing requirements, the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel is an ultra-rugged duffle bag that also does an extraordinary job of protecting its contents from impacts and the elements with a weather-resistant shell supplemented via a padded bottom and liner interior. Alongside exterior daisy chain webbing for externally securing gear, a pair of zipper-secured side pockets, a U-shaped main opening, reinforced haul handles, removable, ergonomic padded backpack straps, and the ability to be packed in its own pocket, the duffle boasts a 14oz (900-denier) polyester ripstop shell with a TPU-film laminated 3.3oz (200-denier) poly liner — both of which are DWR-coated and derived entirely from recycled materials.
PROMETHEUS DESIGN WERX ALL TERRAIN DUFFEL
Engineered from the ground up specifically for off-grid adventure, the Prometheus Design Werx All Terrain Duffel is a 45-liter vessel that’s IPX7-rated, meaning it can be fully submerged in up to a meter of water for half-an-hour without letting in a drop. This is made possible through the use of a waterproof laminated 1,000-denier RPET shell that’s pieced tougher using fully-welded seams and outfitted with a Delrin tooth water-tight zipper. Making this duffle all the more conducive to outdoor and adventure use is a spring-loaded buoyancy valve, quick-release pack strap anchor docks, reinforced padded grab handles, backpack-style shoulder straps, and a row of daisy chain webbing.
GORUCK HERITAGE KIT BAG
Inspired by and loosely modeled after classic aviator’s kit bags that were previously used for all Airborne flight operations by Special Forces, the GORUCK Heritage Kit Bag is a spartan yet immensely hardwearing carry solution with an unmistakably retro-inspired industrial design. Made in America in small batches, this bag is constructed around a 10.10oz Army Duck waxed canvas shell — a rugged material that’s further fortified via a Martexin Wax finish. Backed by GORUCK’s SCARS Lifetime Guarantee, this 32-liter vessel features carry-on-compliant sizing, a wide-opening main compartment with a trio of internal zippered pockets, and a pair of external slip pockets bookending both sides of the duffle.
DSPTCH WEEKENDER RND EDITION BLACK DYNEEMA
Offering 33 liters of storage space in a sub-two-pound package, the DSPTCH Weekender RND Edition Black Dyneema is a highly-versatile do-it-all duffle that can survive just about anything you can throw at it thanks to an ultra-rugged shell composed of 5.0oz Dyneema composite fabric that’s mated to a ballistic-grade DWR-coated 1,680D nylon bottom and lined with a DRW-coated 410-denier packcloth. Made entirely in America and protected by a lifetime warranty, this bag also features a set of Hypalon grab handles, a removable shoulder strap, and a luggage-handle pass-through. In addition to its generously-sized main cavity, this blacked-out Dyneema construction item also features several external zipper-secured pockets for quickly accessing small essentials.
MISSION WORKSHOP TRANSIT DUFFLE VX
Whether commuting to and from work, making trips to the gym, or catching a flight, the Mission Workshop Transit Duffle VX is something of the ultimate do-it-all duffle that sees a feature and organization-rich design brought to life using top-shelf materials and meticulous craftsmanship. Constructed in America from a waterproof X-Pac VX-21 sailcloth shell, this duffle’s laundry list of amenities includes weatherproof coated YKK zippers, mil-spec webbing, all-metal snaps, a webbing-style shoulder strap with custom hardware, four internal quick-access pockets, four external quick-access pockets, a pair of exterior zipper-secured pockets, and an externally-accessible laptop sleeve that can fit notebooks of up to 15.5” in size. Mission Workshop also produces a strap harness kit that allows the duffle to be worn as a backpack.
WP STANDARD ROUGH OUT SUEDE PANAM DUFFLE BAG
Taking ample inspiration from the bags carried by commercial pilots in the 1960s and ‘70s, the WP Standard Rough-out Suede PanAm Duffle Bag is a limited edition carry solution that features a shell that’s composed of top-shelf Rough-out suede leather and outfitted with solid brass hardware, a matching leather shoulder strap, and heavy-duty two-way zippers. Offered with an optional custom three-letter monogram, this duffle is also decorated via an individually-numbered leather interior label as well as a matching leather luggage tag. What really makes this all-leather bag so special isn’t merely the fact that its design is vintage inspired, but rather that it looks like it could have been plucked straight out of the 1970s.
DEFY BAGS ULTIMATE OVERNIGHTER HORWEEN LEATHER
With a classic barrel shape, 36 liters of storage space, and an ultra-durable 1,050-denier ballistic nylon shell, DEFY’s Ultimate Overnighter already represented one of our favorite duffle bags, however, the success of the bag has ultimately prompted the brand to deliver an even more high-end, heirloom-grade version of the duffle that sees its ballistic-grade shell jettisoned in favor of an ultra-premium Horween Whiskey Cavalier Leather exterior construction that’s been trimmed in an Autumn plaid waxed canvas interior lining. On top of an included trio of grab handle grippers and a shoulder strap pad, this duffle also sports industrial-grade oversized antique brass zippers and a carrying strap that’s mated to the bag via mil-spec matte black swivel clips.
KILLSPENCER WEEKENDER 3.0
Offered in black, light gray, taupe, and OD green (seen here) color choices, the Killspencer Weekender 3.0 is a third-generation American-made duffle bag designed to accommodate everything needed for a two-night, three-day getaway. Cut from a full-grain cowhide leather, this ultra-premium duffle features a fire-retardant and waterproof black nylon and foam lining, Swiss-made antique silver Riri zippers that snap flat to the bag’s sides, and ultra-rugged black bullhide leather grab handles and shoulder strap that’s reinforced via mil-spec nylon webbing and rated to withstand some 1,500lbs of load. Though it doesn’t come cheap, the spare-no-expense material array and top-notch fit and finish on this duffle really do justify the vast majority of this bag’s MSRP — though you admittedly are paying a small KILLSPENCER tax, albeit one we’ve been happy to come out of pocket for on many occasions.
LOTUFF LEATHER NO. 12 WEEKENDER BAG
If money is no object and you simply seek the finest duffle you can get your hands on, than look no further than the Lotuff Leather No. 12 Weekender Bag. This heirloom-meets-designer-grade item is crafted around a hand-selected, tumbled, and vegetable-tanned leather shell with an unlined suede interior, solid-brass hardware, and ultra-sturdy riveted and stitched handles. Made in New England, the No. 12 Weekender Bag also boasts a widemouth opening that’s secured via a wrap-around double YKK-Excella zipper constructed from solid brass, plus a removable, adjustable leather shoulder strap, double-stitched leather grab-handles, and an individually numbered debossed interior label adorning the bag’s double-layer leather bottom.
The Best Travel Backpacks For Your Next Getaway
Interested in checking out an additional selection of carry solutions that also lend themselves to weekend getaways? Then be sure to head over to our guide to the best travel backpacks for a curated list of the latest and greatest purpose-built bags for jet-setters.