What Are the Different Types of Duffel Bags?

Understanding the different types of duffel bags available to you is like knowing the difference between a cabernet and shiraz – it’s all about understanding the subtle nuances.

From barrel bags meant for a weekend away with friends to sporty duffel bags made for hitting the gym in style, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.

This guide will show you the different types of duffel bags available to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Duffel Bags

There are several types of duffel bags, each suited for a different purpose. It’s important to consider your needs before you shop so that you can select the perfect bag for your lifestyle.

Traditional Duffel Bags

What are the different types of duffel bags
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Traditional duffel bags are the classic and most commonly recognized style. They are known for their cylindrical shape, spacious interiors, and durable materials. Traditional duffel bags often feature a large main compartment, multiple pockets, and sturdy handles for easy carrying.

  1. Basic Duffel Bags: Basic duffel bags are straightforward and functional. They typically have a single large compartment with a zippered closure. These bags are perfect for general travel, sports activities, and as overnight bags. They come in various sizes, allowing you to choose one that suits your needs.
  2. Sports Duffel Bags: Sports duffel bags are designed specifically for athletic activities. They often feature separate compartments or specialized pockets to keep shoes, sweaty clothes, and equipment separate from the rest of your belongings. Sports duffel bags may also include features like ventilation panels and water-resistant materials to accommodate the needs of athletes.
  3. Military Duffel Bags: Military duffel bags, also known as “sea bags” or “kit bags,” are rugged and durable. These bags can withstand tough conditions, and you can find them commonly used by military personnel and outdoor enthusiasts. Military duffel bags typically feature heavy-duty materials like canvas or nylon and feature strong handles and reinforced stitching for added durability.

Rolling Duffel Bags

Rolling duffel bags
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Rolling duffel bags combine the convenience of wheeled luggage with the spaciousness and flexibility of a duffel bag. They are ideal for travelers who want the option to roll their bags instead of carrying them on their shoulders.

  1. Wheeled Duffel Bags: Wheeled duffel bags feature built-in wheels and a retractable handle, allowing you to pull the bag behind you like a suitcase. These bags are excellent for travel and provide easy maneuverability through airports, train stations, or other smooth surfaces. They typically maintain the traditional duffel bag design, including a large main compartment and multiple pockets.
  2. Travel Duffel Bags with Wheels: Travel duffel bags with wheels are a hybrid between a rolling suitcase and a duffel bag. These bags offer the best of both worlds by providing the versatility and spaciousness of a duffel bag and the wheels’ convenience. They often feature additional organizational compartments, compression straps, and telescoping handles for easy transport.

Backpack Duffel Bags

What are the different types of duffel bags
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Backpack duffel bags combine the functionality of a backpack with the ample storage capacity of a duffel bag. They are excellent choices for those who prefer carrying their belongings on their backs while still enjoying the convenience of a duffel bag design.

  1. Convertible Duffel Backpacks: Convertible duffel backpacks offer the flexibility to switch between carrying options. These bags typically feature stowable backpack straps that you can hide away when not in use, allowing you to carry the bag like a traditional duffel bag. You can easily convert it into a backpack by pulling out the straps when needed. This versatility makes them suitable for various travel situations.
  2. Hybrid Duffel Backpacks: Hybrid duffel backpacks come with a combination of duffel bag and backpack features. They often have a duffel-style main compartment with additional backpack-like pockets and straps. These bags offer enhanced organization and comfort, making them suitable for travelers who desire a balance between duffel bag convenience and backpack functionality.

Specialized Duffel Bags

Specialized duffel bags are tailored to specific activities or environments, catering to the unique needs of individuals engaged in various pursuits.

  1. Gym Duffel Bags: Gym duffel bags are specifically for fitness enthusiasts. They typically feature separate compartments for shoes, workout gear, and other essentials. Some gym duffel bags may also include water bottle holders, laundry compartments, and additional pockets for storage.
  2. Yoga Duffel Bags: Yoga duffel bags are designed to carry yoga mats, blocks, straps, and other yoga accessories. These bags often have specialized compartments or straps to secure the yoga mat externally.
  3. Tactical Duffel Bags: Tactical duffel bags are for military, law enforcement, and outdoor enthusiasts who require rugged and versatile gear storage solutions. These bags feature high-strength materials, MOLLE webbing for attachment options, and multiple compartments for organized storage.
  4. Waterproof Duffel Bags: Waterproof duffel bags are crafted from materials that offer exceptional water resistance capabilities. These bags are ideal for water sports, boating, camping, or any other activity where you need to keep your gear dry.


Different types of duffel bags come in various styles, each tailored to suit specific needs and preferences. Whether you opt for a traditional duffel, a rolling version, or a backpack style, there’s a duffel bag to meet your requirements.

Consider the purpose, desired features, and the type of activities you’ll engage in when selecting a duffel bag. With the right duffel bag, you’ll be ready to explore and embark on exciting journeys with your essentials securely packed.