Duffel bags are becoming the new must-have travel accessory

Font Size:

Here’s a sneaky tip: you can fit a much bigger duffel bag into carry-on dimensions than you can a hard case bag. Especially handy to know if all you pack are soft objects that will nicely squish if the bag allows it.

This means you can potentially pack extra clothes and still get away with carry-on luggage.

Gone are the days of the shiny hard-case rolling bag – duffel bags are becoming the new must-have travel accessory.

And why not? They’re often made with incredibly durable materials that are less likely to be damaged with the rigours of travel. Unless you’re packing breakable objects, duffel carry-ons are the way to go.

Here are the top three duffels I’ve found that are readily available, and locally and currently on sale*.

Macpac Wheeled 80 Duffel
This wheeled wonder is designed to withstand the trials of international travel and it’s sized to suit long hauls. But you can pack a little less, use some compression straps and you could probably get away with squeezing it into the carry-on basket at the airport. The bag also includes a telescopic handle, super smooth rolling wheels for easy navigation, removable backpack shoulder straps, super strong grab handles and a lockable main compartment.


RRP $229.99 Currently on sale at www.macpac.com.au from $137.99

Caribee – 2016 Skymaster 40L Carry-On Backpack
For as long as I can remember, Caribee was the camper’s choice of backpack. While it may have a lot more competition in the marketplace nowadays, Caribee still pumps out quality bags and backpacks. The Caribee Sky Master 40 Carry-on is ideal for a short trip or long weekend getaway. It easily qualifies for the Australian domestic carry-on guidelines, is light weight and, with its concealable shoulder straps, can switch between a shoulder bag and backpack. Also, its ingenious compression system means you can fit more into a smaller space. And a lockable zip will keep your stuff secure.


RRP $164.95 Currently on sale at Bags to Go for $114.95

High Sierra Composite V3 Wheeled Duffel
The High Sierra Composite Wheeled Duffel can be used as an upright carry-on, a backpack or duffel bag. Smooth rolling corner mounted wheels and telescoping handle make this a formidable travel buddy. Made from abrasion resistant materials, this bag will cop a hiding – and its lockable zippers and RFID secure pocket will help to prevent theft and scammers scanning your credit cards.


RRP $219.00 Currently on sale at Bags to Go from $131.00

*RRP has been stated where applicable, as well as on sale prices at the time of writing.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


Three gadgets that will revolutionise your packing regimen

These revolutionary packing gadgets mean you'll never pack the same way again.

Hang bags have been reimagined

Remember hang bags? They've had a brilliant new makeover and are almost unrecognisable.

Best daypacks for travelling

When travelling, your choice of bag is more important than ever.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 5
  1. 0

    Got a couple from Kmart for $20 each and have taken them on many trips.

  2. 0

    I recall Duffel bags being a type of canvas holdall, that had a rope like material through holes around the top which you pulled to close the bag. Funny how names are used for other things about 50 years later

  3. 0

    These overweight bags are what full fare paying flyers dislike. The owners of them are usually first on and hog all the overhead space leaving little or none for those with bags of the correct weight. All take on luggage should be weighed in prior to the flight.

    • 0

      Its not just about weight FleeLee , it is also about size. Some of the weight compliant bags can be twice the size of others. That’s what takes up the space, not the weight. Afterall, a kilo of lead takes up far less space than a kilo of feathers yet they both weigh the same!



continue reading


Mozzies biting? Here's how to choose a repellent - and how to use it

Mozzies biting? Here's how to choose a repellent (and how to use it for the best protection) Shutterstock Cameron Webb,...


Sir Bob Geldof on grief, fame and getting through it all

I've hardly started questioning Sir Bob Geldof before he is off on a long, sweary rant about everything he thinks...


Abandon Australia Day and choose the history we want to celebrate?

Australia Day is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet in Australia. On 26 January 1788, 11 convict...


Speaking up for the disappearing art of listening

Columnist Peter Leith is 91 and describes himself as "half-deaf and half-blind". But he sees and hears a lot and...


Hyperpigmentation: How to tackle those tricky dark patches on your ski

There are plenty of great things about summer - sunshine, picnics and fruity cocktails immediately spring to mind - but...


Enthralling, dystopian, sublime: NGV Triennial has a huge 'wow' factor

Refik Anadol: Quantum memories 2020 (render) custom software, quantum computing, generative algorithm with artificial intelligence (AI), real time digital animation...


Where to eat, drink and play on Kangaroo Island

Australia's third largest island is an oasis of pristine wilderness, premium produce and hidden secrets ripe for discovery. Easily accessible...


Will you need a vaccination to visit Australian venues?

State premiers have suggested that once vaccinations begin in Australia, those without vaccinations may be banned from visiting some venues...