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Buyers Guide

Buyer’s Guide :: Best Gear Bags

by , September 29, 2015

Need to haul gear? Look no further than our Buyer’s Guide to the Best Gear Bags. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or the gym, cruising through airports or the morning commute, these bags pack a range of features and aesthetics into forms that will get your gear where it needs to go…

Boreas Erawan Duffel

Boreas Erawan Duffel

The Erawan Duffel is one of those bags that is equally at home heading to the airport or slung in the back of your off-road 4×4. Stowable backpack straps and side handles let you alternate carry methods to accommodate different situations. The shoulder straps can also be adjusted to suit different torso lengths, while additional handy features include a wet/dry pocket for keeping wet items separate from the rest of your gear, external attachment points, plus a waterproof pocket to make sure your valuables stay safe and dry.

Patagonia Black Hole 60L

Patagonia Black Hole 60L

The Black Hole Duffel has built up a solid reputation in the world of gear bags – and it’s easy to see why. There are several ways to carry the bag, including backpack straps, top handles and end grab handles, making it easy to manoeuvre it in tight spaces or over long distances. The hard-wearing and water-resistant construction keeps the elements at bay, and a choice of interior and exterior zipped pockets keep your smaller items in order. The main compartment has a large opening for easy access to gear, along with internal compression straps, while the exterior daisy chains let you carry extra gear as needed. A particularly nifty feature is that the duffel can stuff into its own pocket, offering convenient storage when the bag is not in use, as well as a compact form if you want to take the duffel in your luggage as a day bag at your destination.

The North Face Base Camp

The North Face Base Camp

With a claim to fame as one of the most famous gear bags out there, the Base Camp Duffel has made its presence felt across the globe thanks to its hard-wearing construction and versatile functionality. This plucky duffel is ready to take on carry challenges near and far with its water-resistant build, multiple grab handles and backpack straps, compression straps, easy-access D-zip opening, as well as external and internal pockets for organization.

Red Oxx Safari-Beanos PR4

Red Oxx Safari-Beanos PR4

Tough as an ox, this is the kind of bag that never wants to stop exploring – whether it’s city surroundings or outdoor landscapes. With its rugged build featuring 1000D Cordura and durable #10 YKK zips, it’s ready to work hard and play hard. In addition to a range of day-to-day uses, the bag can also serve as a carry-on companion during your travels. While it’s sure to please anyone after a hard-working, functional and versatile bag, organizers are also sure to dig it thanks to a great choice of pockets.

Nike Eugene Duffel

Nike Eugene Duffel Bag

After a gear bag that looks good in the city? The sleek urban design of the Nike Eugene Duffel gives it an edge over burly bags with aesthetics that suggest they’re designed to go ten rounds with the side of a mountain. But don’t let its urban-friendly looks fool you. The Eugene is ready for action with its water-resistant construction, removable shoulder strap, two sets of top handles, and an exterior zipped pocket that provides quick access to frequently used items. For even greater functionality the duffel packs into its own pouch, saving space when not in use and making it a handy second bag for storing in your luggage during your travels.

Dakine Sherpa Duffle

Dakine Sherpa Duffle

Whatever’s on the carry agenda, from work supplies to travel gear, this versatile all-rounder can get the job done. A choice of stowable backpack straps, a removable shoulder strap, as well as top and end grab handles provide flexible portability. Organization is also covered, with exterior zipped pockets for quick-access items and an interior mesh pocket. Speaking of the interior, it’s easy to access thanks to the Velcro/zip opening. Plus with a total volume of 53L, you won’t be short of space for travel and everyday use. As an added bonus, this bag isn’t heavy on your bank balance, making it an attractive option if you want a functional piece of kit on a reasonable budget.

MEC Duffle Bag

MEC Duffle Bag

It’s easy to be drawn into the lure of Everest-ready duffels, with more bells and whistles than a steam train, and a hefty price tag to boot. Going to be scaling Everest any time soon? Didn’t think so. The MEC Duffle is for all the everyday and travel situations you actually do find yourself in – going to the gym, hauling work supplies, grabbing groceries and heading off on weekend getaways. It’s available in five sizes and can be carried using a shoulder strap, as well as top and end handles. Plus the two largest sizes also include backpack straps. The duffel’s exterior zipped pocket is a handy stash point for a wallet, phone, keys and the like. To add even more features to the mix, the duffel folds into its own pocket for easy storage when not in use or to form a compact addition to your luggage. Rounding things off is one of its most attractive features – its wallet-friendly pricing.

Aether Welded Duffle Small

Aether Welded Duffle Small

Many duffels tend to forget that there’s a lot to be said for visual appeal. The Aether Welded Duffle Small is not one of them. This stylish duffel offers a softer approach to gear bags with its heathered body fabric, which is complemented by a rubberized base, welded construction and waterproof zippers for protection against the elements. Side and top handles provide carry options and a zippered exterior pocket lets you keep smaller items within easy reach.

Arc’teryx Carrier Duffel 50

Arc’teryx Carrier Duffel 50

Lightweight – check. Excellent water resistance – sorted. Multiple carry options – sure thing. This duffel packs plenty of features into its durable form. Taped seams and a WaterTight™ zipper with a storm flap protect the contents against inclement weather. Removable shoulder straps can share the load with grab handles on all four sides. Plus a light interior provides enhanced visibility of the contents, so less rummaging and more efficient access to your gear. This is a tough and reliable hauler that works well in a range of work and play settings.

BAD Duffel #4

BAD Duffel #4

It’s good to be bad…well, a BAD duffel, that is. Why, you may ask? Because this hard-wearing hauler is built to last so it can enjoy years of adventures with you. With build features including water-resistant 1000D Cordura with taped seams, rugged #10 YKK zippers and reinforced stitching, this duffel will withstand demanding daily use and the not-so-loving caress of baggage handlers. With further features such as locking zippers, an ID holder, compression straps, as well as side and top handles, this duffel is all set to prove its usefulness across a range of casual and challenging carry environments alike.

Black Diamond Demon Duffel

Black Diamond Demon Duffel

Choosing a cragging bag can leave you between a rock and a hard place. Sometimes they’re hard to carry, not comfortable or lack versatility. Not so with the Demon Duffel from Black Diamond. Grab handles let you carry it easily over short distances, while backpack straps and a hip belt help shoulder the load over longer distances and can be stowed away when not in use. The framesheet and padded back panel offer user comfort, and the full-length zip provides convenient access to the contents, whether you’re using it outdoors or tackling varied carry demands in town.

Exped Tempest Duffel

Exped Tempest Duffel

Expedition duffel, waterproof gear bag, lightweight and protective luggage…the Exped Tempest Duffel is a versatile creature that works around your lifestyle. Its high frequency welded construction combined with a waterproof YKK FlexSeal zipper gives you peace of mind that your gear will stay dry, even if you don’t. Unexpected downpours, monsoons, watersports, escapades in the snow – wherever you find yourself, rest assured you’ll find dry gear afterwards. The duffel is available in three sizes and features a pared-back design to offer an attractive weight to volume ratio. The carry straps can double as backpack straps, and there’s also a grab handle for enhanced portability.

Gustin Waxed Canvas Duffel

Gustin Waxed Canvas Duffel

This handsome duffel offers a suave combination of relaxed and refined, making it equally great for stylish and laidback holiday carry or serving as a casual-chic about-town bag. Water-repellent waxed cotton canvas partners with full-grain leather and brass hardware to create a tough and attractive bag that will take on even more character as it ages. Three exterior slip pockets provide fuss-free storage for small items, while the main compartment is secured with a #10 YKK zip that opens wide and has two sliders for convenient packing and unloading.

Haglöfs Boda 70

Haglöfs Boda 70

The Boda 70 knows how to haul gear in style. This chic piece of carry wouldn’t look out of place in the office, an airport lounge or hitting the streets as you get on with your day-to-day tasks. The duffel features two exterior pockets and two internal pockets for organizing your smaller items, along with a durable waxed polycotton canvas construction and leather detailing. With its elegant, clean design, this is an appealing choice if you’re looking for something that ticks both the fashion-friendly and practical boxes.

Maxpedition Fliegerduffel

Maxpedition Fliegerduffel

With its ready-for-anything, takes-no-messing vibe, the Fliegerduffel looks like the kind of bag that fares equally well in rugged wilderness and bustling city environments. But it’s not just looks. The tough and water-resistant ballistic nylon construction can handle demanding use, while top grab handles, a shoulder strap and backpack straps provide versatile carry options. Throw in a multitude of pockets and a clamshell opening for fast packing and access to your gear, and you’re sorted for urban and outdoor adventures alike.

OverBoard Waterproof Ninja Duffel

OverBoard Waterproof Ninja Duffel Bag

A lot of bags claim to be waterproof when they’re not. This bag is ready to prove its claim wherever, whenever. The roll-top opening and high frequency welded construction keep water at bay, so the duffel can be fully submersed for a short period of time while still keeping the contents dry. Top and end carry handles and a removable shoulder strap take the frustration out of getting the bag from point A to point B. In addition, your bits and pieces are kept in line with internal pockets including a wet/dry pocket, plus an exterior quick-access pocket. Whether you want a waterproof bag for your travels, water-based activities, or daily use, this one lives up to its label.

Red Flag Design Heavy Duty Mark II Duffel

Red Flag Design Heavy Duty Mark II Duffel

A killer combination of sleek looks, functional design and hard-wearing construction makes the Heavy Duty Mark II Duffel stand out in a sea of average gear bags. Water-resistant zips and an abrasion-resistant Hypalon body protect your gear from scuffs, scrapes and Mother Nature. The durable mil-spec nylon webbing handles can double as grab handles or backpack straps. Stash the items you need within easy reach in the zipped exterior pocket, and when it’s time to pack or access the main compartment you can do so quickly and easily thanks to a large zipped opening.

Simms Fishing Dry Creek Duffel

Simms Fishing Dry Creek Duffel

Whether you’re white-water rafting or caught in a torrential rainstorm, opening your bag to discover soggy gear is a sure way to put a dampener on your mood. However, the Simms Fishing Dry Creek Duffel will float your boat with its waterproof and fully submersible construction. The roll-top construction offers a flexible volume to suit different loads, while external Hypalon attachment points accommodate extra items as needed. Compression straps and a choice of grab handles or a shoulder strap further enhance the functionality of this versatile duffel.

Watershed Yukon

Watershed Yukon

Ever been caught in a storm during a camping trip or your travels and opened your bag to find your gear was completely soaked? Had the unfortunate experience of your mildly water-resistant bag going overboard on a boat trip or getting drenched during water sports? This bag is the one that should have been along for the ride. With its RF welded seams and ZipDry closure, you don’t need to worry if this fully submersible bag takes an unexpected plunge or receives a wet welcome at your latest sightseeing destination. Its generous 70L volume provides plenty of space for multi-day trips or large loads, and compression straps play their part in keeping the contents under control. If you need to carry oddly-shaped or extra gear, external attachment points come to the rescue, making this a bag you can really tailor to diverse environments and carry needs.

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