TRAVEL TIPS

Duffel?

Anybody going with a duffel/backpack like the Patagonia Black Hole or North Face Base Camp? I really like the looks and that it’s just a big open space inside without a lot of organization. My last couple of trips I’ve used a 5.11 Rush 24. It worked ok but way too many pockets and organization that really just eats into the storage space. It would be good for something like a r/VEDC bag or toolkit but as a travel bag I didn’t really love it.



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8 Comments

8 Comments

  • alifonso

    I’ve had my north face base camp for years – it’s indestructible and my go to for traveling via bus/driving. I have the small size and it’s big enough for at least a week of travel. Fair warning – no laptop pocket. I have the older version with both the carry straps and the backpack straps which does mean there are a lot of straps on the pack. Only update I would make would have d-rings for attaching a shoulder strap so I can carry it when I’m also carrying a backpack for my laptop.

  • chinchompa121

    If you don’t carry any tech then no problem, well you can carry a laptop inside but it’s not ideal. I personally feel that the duffles you mentioned are too big, and if you used a tactical 24 backpack and size up to a bigger bag with less compartments you are going to end up with a lot of extra space, if this sounds good to you then go for it. If you are looking for a smaller backpack there is the smaller matador duffle that is 16L that you would be able to pull off as a personal item if you fly with the European low cost companies that charge extra for a carry on to save even more money. I have been eyeing it for a while but I don’t know if the lack of structure would bother me.

  • captainkirkthejerk

    I haul a big ole North Face Base Camp around for work gear and would never consider using it as my onebag. It’s extremely useful as checked luggage but really not optimized for casual use. It has the least comfortable straps of 3 different similar duffels I’ve tried, and the zipper can be very difficult to use when it’s fully packed, but it is the most durable bag I’ve ever owned and certainly takes a beating.

    Check out the [Patagonia MLC](https://www.patagonia.com/product/black-hole-mlc-convertible-briefcase-45-liters/49305.html).

  • scapegoatindustries

    I had a Patagonia MLC. Ditched it – everything slipped down to the bottom, sloshed around. Same with a few other bags that don’t have structure.

    Seems like a lot of travel bags are merging duffle like openings with backpack straps. Really, things like the Arcteryx Khard and Coverts, the Osprey Porters… sort of that I-shaped open large cavity, that’s a good way to go. The Porter 46 is near perfect but I’ve been leaning more duffle-ish lately.

    Going to grab one of the new Thule Landmark 60 or 70’s. That looks like a good mix of organization with big duffle cavity. I just prefer a little stability like the Porters have to crunch things down and make them not slosh like mere fabric duffles.

  • mindhead1

    I use a medium Timbuk2 Quest duffle. It’s listed at 45L. It has a separate shoe/sweaty gear compartment as well as a slide pocket on the top the can hold my 13” MacBook Pro and an 10.5” iPadPro each in individual neoprene cases. The bag has a wide u shaped opening and the bag handles can be used in backpack mode. Although I wouldn’t recommend that for any long term type use as the straps are very thin.

    I’m new to the one bag travel game and started with this bag because I already owned it. It has a enough space to hold my clothes and computer gear for 2-3 day trips as well as a small day pack I use for my computer once I arrive at my destination.

    Overall, I have been happy with the Quest duffle as my 1 bag. It’s well built and holds its shape with out being rigid or heavy.

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