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The 6 Best Rolling Duffel Bags for Every Situation

Published: 2021-10-20T16:45:17+0000 Author: Abby Helgeson

Rolling duffel bags can be great for a variety of situations. They’re generally tough, portable, and many come with various pockets and accessories that make them ideal for everything from travel to a trip to the gym. But what sets a rolling duffel apart from other types of luggage, and why choose a duffel bag over a suitcase?

Why a Duffel Bag?

The origin of the name duffel bag came from the type of fabric they were made from, created in a town named Duffel, Belgium. The term originally referred to a cylindrical bag that would fold flat and closed with a drawstring at the top. The term duffel now refers to a lot of cylindrical type bags, ones with various types of closures and handles that make them easy to carry and easy to pack.

They are often used for various purposes, like travel, by college students, to go to the gym, and can be lightweight. Styles vary from simple to elaborate.

Why a Rolling Duffel?

Larger duffel bags can be packed with heavy items, and often when traveling and carrying more than one bag, being able to roll your luggage adds another level of convenience. Also, you need to be careful how you carry a heavy duffel just like you pay attention to how you wear your backpack. A rolling duffel can be a good solution.

Duffel bags often have various sizes of wheels that can handle various weights. When evaluating the types of duffel bags below, be sure to take into account what you will be using it for.

We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of that process by evaluating the various types of duffel bags, and which ones are best for what purpose.

Best Rolling Duffel Bag for Travel

Eagle Creek Expanse Wheeled Duffel Carry-On

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When it comes to travel there are a few factors to keep in mind. Unless you are checking your duffel, you want one that meets airline size restrictions and that will fit easily into overhead bins. You want smooth, but not overly large wheels, and various pockets to hold the items you want to take with you.

The Eagle Creek Expanse meets all of those requirements and more. First, the dimensions are ideal for an overhead bin or even under the seat in front of you. The exterior of the bag has compression straps, helping you keep everything inside snug and organized. On the front there is a laptop pocket that will fit most 17” laptops.

But there is another feature that makes this an ideal travel rolling duffel. The Diamond ripstop material that makes up the bag is incredibly durable, resistant to rips and tears. Self-repairing zippers will ensure this bag will be a great traveling companion for years to come.

The Best Duffel Bag for College

Urban Passage 25” Rolling Duffel Bag

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When it comes to college one of the big requirements of any duffel bag is organization, and the Urban Passage 25" has that going for it. From side pockets and mesh pockets for water bottles to a large cargo area for textbooks, this bag will take you from class to class with ease.

A part of that is the type of wheels. Large skate wheels make rolling easy, and means this bag can take all the weight of books, notebooks, and more. The poly canvas exterior adds durability, and the tough handle will stand up to daily use.

The Best Duffel Bag for the Gym

Scout Rolling Duffel

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Two things are important in the duffel bag you take to the gym: durability, and size. The Scout Rolling Duffel is compact enough to fit in most gym lockers, but has pockets for keys and water bottles, and a generous interior cargo area. Large side pockets hold everything from shoes to towels and shower items.

The durable polyester exterior will resist rips and tears. The material can also be easily disinfected and washed, making it easy to remove unpleasant odors that can build up over time. It’s also stain resistant. The wheels are both tough and smooth, perfect for the gym environment. If you are looking for an ideal bag to take with you to the gym, this one is a perfect choice.

The Best Lightweight Rolling Duffel Bag

Solo Avenue C Rolling Duffel

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This compact rolling duffel weighs under three pounds, but don’t let that weight fool you. It’s easy to carry, or you can deploy the handle and use the wheels when you are traveling. The Avenue C Rolling Duffel comes with a front zippered pocket, two interior mesh pockets, and an interior zippered pocket to hold all the items you need, and to keep them separate and organized. 

With a tough, lockable zipper and a tough exterior, this bag will handle whatever you throw at, or rather in it. If you love the hustle and bustle of the city or are just headed out for a quick weekend getaway, this lightweight rolling duffel bag is just the thing for you.

The Best Rolling Duffel Bag Splurge

5.11 Tactical SOMS 2.0

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The 5.11 Tactical SOMS 2.0 is perhaps the most versatile and also most expensive rolling duffel bag in our list. There is a reinforced frame so it will keep its shape, reinforced corners and skids, and ultra heavy-duty wheels for easy rolling.

The list of features goes on, with self-retractable carrying handles and several pockets and compartments. They include a large central compartment with a customizable interior, a document pocket on the lid, two double zippered side pockets, and long zippered side pockets suitable for all kinds of items. There’s also a slim hidden pocket for holding sensitive items. 

The versatility and toughness of this bag make it a top pick, and a great splurge if you want to spoil yourself and those on your team.

Best Rolling Duffel Bag Overall

Solo Leroy Rolling Duffel

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If we had to choose one rolling duffel bag for overall use and we could choose only one, the Solo Leroy rolling duffel would be the one. As handsome as it is practical, this duffel bag is perfect for travel, going to and from the office, and can even be used for going to the gym. The size is perfect as a carry-on bag for most airlines.

This rolling duffel bag has a variety of pockets, from internal mesh pockets to a separate shoe and laundry compartment that isolates your dirty items from your clean ones. The two front zippered compartments are perfect for storing your carry-on items. Lightweight and durable, this can be a perfect solution for your travel and commuting needs.

Rolling duffel bags make great promotional gifts for your team and even your customers. Branded with your logo and company information, they can be a great way to show your pride as you travel. Check out the bags above, and other branded options, at Promoleaf today! View our selection of custom rolling duffel bags, or whatever items you may be looking for, and if you have questions, contact us.


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