10 Best Waterproof Duffel Bags in 2020 [Buying Guide]

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If you’re searching for the best waterproof duffel bags on the market today, you’ve come to the right place! This style of bag is typically larger and more durable than your average adventure backpack, and designed for rugged adventures on and off of the water. Ideal for keeping your gear safe in even the most extreme conditions, these bags are great for adventurers of all kinds from offshore paddle boarding to camping at the beach. Not only do these bags keep gear portable and  easy to access, but they keep valuables safe and dry- even in the wettest environments. 

Since the market is flooded with different sizes, styles, qualities and features of duffel bags, we want to help you navigate your search and find one that’s right for you. Here we’ve gathered 10 of the best options available today, and a guide to help you find the one that’ll get you one step closer to your next adventure!

Top 5 Comparison Chart

Gonex 60L Large Waterproof Duffle, Durable Travel Dry Duffel Bag for Kayaking Boating Fishing Outdoor Adventure Yellow
Earth Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag- Perfect for Any Kind of Travel, Lightweight, 50L & 70L Sizes, Large Storage Space, Durable Straps and Handles, Heavy Duty Material to Keep Your Gear Safe
Gym Duffle Bag Waterproof Travel Weekender Bag for Men Women Duffel Bag Backpack with Shoes Compartment Overnight Bag 40L Black
Gym Duffle Bag Waterproof Large Sports Bags Travel Duffel Bags with Shoes Compartment Weekender Bag with Toiletry Organizer Bag
REDCAMP 75L Extra Large Duffel Bag Lightweight & Multifunction, 25" Water Repellency Travel Duffle Bag for Men Women, Blue
GoNex Waterproof Dry Duffel
Earth Pak Travel Duffel
NEWHEY Travel Weekender Bag
NUBILY Large Travel Duffel
RedCamp XL Lightweight Duffel
60L Capacity
50L Capacity
40L Capacity
40L Capacity
75L Capacity
500D PVC Material
1000D PVC Material
Polyester
Polyester
300D Oxford PU450
Hook and Loop Closure
Buckle Closure
2-Way Metal Zipper
2-Way Metal Zipper
2-Way Metal Zipper
Roll Top
Roll Top
Fold Top
Fold Top
Close Top
Exterior Nylon Zip Pocket
2 Interior, 1 Exterior Mesh Zip Pockets
13 Interior and Exterior Pockets
11 Interior and Exterior Pockets
1 Interior, 4 Exterior Pockets
Hand and Shoulder Carrying
Hand, Shoulder, Cross Body Carrying
Hand, Shoulder, Cross Body Carrying
Hand, Shoulder, Cross Body Carrying
Hand and Shoulder Carrying
Black/Blue/Grey/Orange/Yellow
Blue
Black
Black
Black/Blue/Dark Blue/Red
Gonex 60L Large Waterproof Duffle, Durable Travel Dry Duffel Bag for Kayaking Boating Fishing Outdoor Adventure Yellow
GoNex Waterproof Dry Duffel
60L Capacity
500D PVC Material
Hook and Loop Closure
Roll Top
Exterior Nylon Zip Pocket
Hand and Shoulder Carrying
Black/Blue/Grey/Orange/Yellow
Earth Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag- Perfect for Any Kind of Travel, Lightweight, 50L & 70L Sizes, Large Storage Space, Durable Straps and Handles, Heavy Duty Material to Keep Your Gear Safe
Earth Pak Travel Duffel
50L Capacity
1000D PVC Material
Buckle Closure
Roll Top
2 Interior, 1 Exterior Mesh Zip Pockets
Hand, Shoulder, Cross Body Carrying
Blue
Gym Duffle Bag Waterproof Travel Weekender Bag for Men Women Duffel Bag Backpack with Shoes Compartment Overnight Bag 40L Black
NEWHEY Travel Weekender Bag
40L Capacity
Polyester
2-Way Metal Zipper
Fold Top
13 Interior and Exterior Pockets
Hand, Shoulder, Cross Body Carrying
Black
Gym Duffle Bag Waterproof Large Sports Bags Travel Duffel Bags with Shoes Compartment Weekender Bag with Toiletry Organizer Bag
NUBILY Large Travel Duffel
40L Capacity
Polyester
2-Way Metal Zipper
Fold Top
11 Interior and Exterior Pockets
Hand, Shoulder, Cross Body Carrying
Black
REDCAMP 75L Extra Large Duffel Bag Lightweight & Multifunction, 25" Water Repellency Travel Duffle Bag for Men Women, Blue
RedCamp XL Lightweight Duffel
75L Capacity
300D Oxford PU450
2-Way Metal Zipper
Close Top
1 Interior, 4 Exterior Pockets
Hand and Shoulder Carrying
Black/Blue/Dark Blue/Red

Best Waterproof Duffel Bag Reviewed

1. Gonex Travel Waterproof Duffel Bag

Gonex 60L Large Waterproof Duffle, Durable Travel Dry Duffel Bag for Kayaking Boating Fishing Outdoor Adventure Yellow

Review

If you’re searching for a hardy waterproof duffel that’ll hold up in extreme environments, the Gonex travel duffel may be a great fit for you! Offering three different capacities, you can choose from 40, 60 or 80 litre bags depending on how much gear you’ll need to carry along on your adventure. It’s also designed in a variety of colors, several of which are perfect for high visibility during marine adventures. 

To secure the bag to a waterproof state and keep belongings inside safe and dry, this bag features a high strength PVC material and a hook and loop roll top closing to tighten the seal and prevent water from leaking in. The main compartment is large enough to hold all the gear you’ll need to take with you on your trip, and the bag also features a detachable mesh pocket making it easy to organize items inside the bag. Additionally, this duffel bag has a back nylon zip pocket with some outlets that’s designed to hold wet clothing, shoes, towels, wetsuit and more. 

This bag is designed to be carried three ways, featuring straps on both sides for hand lifting, a top handle for hand carrying and long adjustable straps for shoulder carrying. This bag is versatile, making it suitable for most outdoor adventures, like kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, boating, camping and more.

PROS

  • Three-Way Carrying with Adjustable Straps and Multiple Handles
  • Waterproof PVC Construction
  • Hook and Loop Roll Top Closure System
  • Features Back Nylon Zip Pocket for Wet Gear
  • Available in 40, 60 or 80L Sizes
  • Large interior compartment with an exterior wet pocket
  • Available in a Variety of Colors

CONS

  • Doesn’t Feature Backpack Style Carrying Straps

2. Earth Pak Lightweight Waterproof Duffel Bag

Earth Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag- Perfect for Any Kind of Travel, Lightweight, 50L & 70L Sizes, Large Storage Space, Durable Straps and Handles, Heavy Duty Material to Keep Your Gear Safe

Review

The Earth Pak lightweight duffel bag offers watertight protection and is constructed from quality materials for ultimate performance, durability and longevity. The seams on this bag are thermo welded shut to ensure water stays out, and gear inside stays dry. It’s an ideal choice for a variety of adventures, from boating, to surfing, beach camping, hiking and more. 

Along with quality waterproofing, this bag is equipped with two interior mesh pockets which have a nylon coiled zipper. This provides a secure area for valuables or other small belongings which you’ll need easy access to on the go. It’s large main compartment has a roll-top closure and a closure buckle for securing closed. The bag features an adjustable and removable cushioned shoulder strap, along with padded hand handles for comfort and ease in carrying. 

This duffel bag comes in a variety of colors, several of which are high visibility, which is great for adventure sports. Additionally, it has side panels complete with reflectors for added visibility. 

If you’re looking to use this bag for travel, you’ll love the straps on all sides which are used to ensure your belongings stay secure and in place throughout travel. It also has reinforced looping on the front and back of the bag which provides anchor points to latch onto while kayaking, bicycling, paddle boarding, boating and more.

PROS

  • Thermo Welded Seams to Prevent Leaks
  • Features 2 Interior Mesh Pockets with Nylon Coiled Zipper
  • Adjustable and Removable Cushioned Shoulder Strap and Padded Handles
  • Available in High Visibility Colors with Reflective Side Panels
  • Reinforced Looping on Front and Rear of Bag Provides Anchor Points for Latching
  • Features Multiple Pockets for Organization

CONS

  • 1000-D PVC Material Comes with Strong Aroma

3. NEWHEY Waterproof Travel Weekender Bag

Gym Duffle Bag Waterproof Travel Weekender Bag for Men Women Duffel Bag Backpack with Shoes Compartment Overnight Bag 40L Black

Review

The NEWHEY waterproof travel bag has an abundance of storage, and comes with 13 pockets in different sizes to keep gear organized. Of the pockets, this bag comes with a shoe compartment designed with waterproof lining and two air vents to help with wetness and odor. It also features a wet pocket on the exterior of the bag where you can store wet clothing and gear after an adventure. 

Because of its size and durability, this bag is best suited for short and casual trips. It’s made of high quality tear resistant and waterproof polyester fabric, and premium two-way zippers for easy access to belongings inside. The padded bottom and quality construction offers extra strength to the bag, and this duffel bag can be carried in three different ways. From crossbody, to on your shoulders, this bag is designed to be carried comfortably with adjustable and padded straps. Additionally, the straps can be removed to make it the ultimate gym duffel while you’re not adventuring outdoors.

PROS

  • 3-Way Carrying with Adjustable and Removable Padded Straps
  • Tear-Resistant Waterproof Polyester Construction
  • Premium 2-Way Zippers for Easy Access to Gear
  • Features Padded Bottom
  • Features 13 Pockets, Including a Wet Pocket
  • Shoe Compartment with Waterproof Lining and Air Vents

CONS

  • Smaller Capacity than Other Options on this List

4. NUBILY Large Waterproof Sports and Travel Bag

Gym Duffle Bag Waterproof Large Sports Bags Travel Duffel Bags with Shoes Compartment Weekender Bag with Toiletry Organizer Bag

Review

This durable and waterproof duffel bag is made of high-quality polyester fabric, that’s tear resistant and long-lasting. It also features heavy duty zippers and hardware to make for longevity throughout your adventures. Additionally, the bag has a non-slip and wearproof pedestals on the bottom of the bag, which offers protection and stability while traveling. 

Making for great organization, this bag features a separate shoe compartment with a waterproof lining to store dirty or wet shoes away from other gear. It also has two air vents and an exterior zipper to help with odor and moisture control. Additionally, this travel duffel offers plenty of storage with 11 different pockets to keep valuables and gear separated, safe, and protected.

PROS

  • Non-Slip and Wearproof Pedestals for Protection and Stability
  • Heavy-Duty Zippers and Hardware
  • Tear-Resistant and Waterproof Polyester Construction
  • Shoe Compartment with Waterproof Lining and Air Vents
  • Adjustable and Removable Padded Shoulder Straps and Dual Comfort Handles
  • 11 Pockets for Easy Organizing

CONS

  • 40L Capacity is too Small for Some Users

5. REDCAMP Extra Large and Lightweight Duffel Bag

REDCAMP 75L Extra Large Duffel Bag Lightweight & Multifunction, 25' Water Repellency Travel Duffle Bag for Men Women, Blue

Review

This durable and weather-proof duffel bag is made of a high quality fabric suitable for carrying a variety of outdoor gear. It’s simple and convenient design is ideal for adventure activities like camping, kayaking and more. 

Lightweight in design, this bag is easily portable and can be folded into a compact carry pouch weighing only 0.7 lbs. Additionally, it’s equipped with four exterior pockets for organization of gear, three of which are mesh and one zippered. It also has an interior pocket for storing gear, that the bag can fold into when not in use. 

This duffel bag comes in a variety of colors, and features options for high visibility for adventure marine activities. Additionally, the REDCAMP company offers a 100% money back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied with the integrity of the bag.

PROS

  • Durable and Weatherproof 300-D Oxford Fabric
  • Lightweight and Foldable Bag Design Weighs Only 0.7lbs.
  • Interior and Exterior Mesh and Zippered Pockets
  • Available in a Variety of High Visibility Colors
  • Includes a 100% Money-Back Guarantee

CONS

  • Not Designed for Use as Checked Luggage

6. Hi Kiss Waterproof Duffel Bag with Wet Pocket

HIKISS Sports Gym Bag Waterproof Duffle Bag 45L with Wet Pocket & Shoes Compartment for Men and Women

Review

This spacious and durable duffel bag is designed with anti-tear and waterproof polyester fabric. It’s separate shoe compartment and wet pocket made this product ideal for outdoor adventure activities, because it provides the opportunity to keep gear safe and dry inside. 

The main compartment of this duffel is large capacity and can store an abundance of gear. It features a front zippered pocket for valuables that is easy to access on the go. Additionally, it has a side pocket for extra storage on the go. 

This bag is easy to carry and features three carrying options, from crossbody, to duffel fashion to backpack style. Featuring two premium adjustable padded shoulder straps, it's not only easy to carry, but comfortable too. 

PROS

  • Anti-Tear and Waterproof Polyester Construction
  • Features a Separate Shoe Compartment and Wet Pocket
  • Large Capacity Interior
  • Front Zippered Pocket for Valuables and Easy-Access Side Pocket
  • 3-Way Carrying with Adjustable Padded Shoulder Straps

CONS

  • Straps are Attached, Not Removable

7. BORLENI Waterproof Dry Duffel Bag

BORLENI 60L Waterproof Duffel Dry Bag OSAH Airtight Motorcycle Tail Bag for Riding Cycling Kayaking Boating Rafting Fishing Camping Backpacking Outdoor Adventure Saddle Travel Bag

Review

The BORLENI waterproof dry duffel bag is waterproof and has a seamless design, ideal for keeping belongings inside safe and dry. This bag allows users to adventure without worry that contents will get wet. 

The bag opens widely making packing and unpacking a breeze, and the 60 litre capacity offers plenty of room for an abundance of gear. It features one shoulder crossbody shoulder strap and two fast dismantling belts for ease in carrying. This allows users to carry it as a duffel, handbag or backpack, and can be used for a variety of activities from hiking, to camping, surfing, traveling and more. 

Additionally, this bag comes in a variety of high visibility colors offering safety during outdoor adventures. The BORLENI company designs its bags with quality in mind, and offers a quality guarantee for customers to ensure you’re happy with your purchase. 

PROS

  • Seamless Waterproof Construction
  • High visibility for safety
  • 3-Way Carrying with a Crossbody Shoulder Strap and 2 Fast-Dismantling Belts
  • Large 60L Interior Capacity
  • Wide Mouth Design Makes Gear Easy to Access
  • Available in a Variety of High Visibility Colors
  • Includes a Quality Guarantee

CONS

  • More Cost Intensive than Other Options

8. Skog A Kust Waterproof Duffel Dry Bag

Skog Å Kust DuffelSak Waterproof Duffel Bag | 40L White

Review

The Skog A Kust waterproof duffel dry bag is a roll-down top design that clips shut for ultimate protection for your gear inside the bag. It’s built to withstand hard wear, making it an ideal choice for rugged adventure ocean sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing and more. 

This bag comes in two sizes, 40 and 60 litre, and has a roomy interior offering plenty of room to carry gear inside. The spacious interior has two zippered pockets, as does the exterior, offering an abundance of organization opportunities for belongings. 

Additionally, the padded double handles on this bag make carrying it on the go a breeze, and it can be carried 3 different ways. You can choose to carry this bag over your shoulder, cross body, or attach it to your luggage and vessel hooks. Furthermore, if you aren’t entirely satisfied with this duffel bag product, the company offers a money-back guarantee.

PROS

  • Roll Top Clip Shut Design Offers Ultimate Waterproof Protection
  • Built to Withstand Hard Wear from Outdoor Sports
  • 3-Way Carrying with Double Padded Handles
  • 3 ways to carry
  • 40L and 60L Interior Capacity Options are Spacious for Gear
  • Includes a Money-Back Guarantee

CONS

  • More Cost Intensive than Other Options

9. INOXTO Fitness Waterproof Travel Duffel Bag

INOXTO Fitness Sport Small Gym Bag with Shoes Compartment Waterproof Travel Duffel Bag for Women and Men

Review

The INOXTO waterproof travel duffel bag is a highly rated and reviewed product on the market today, and for good reason. Not only does this bag keep belongings inside safe and dry, but it’s ultra lightweight, weighing only 1.3 lbs, and extra durable for use in a variety of environments. 

This duffel bag is made from a tear-resistant and waterproof nylon material, designed with reinforced stress points for increased longevity. It features 1 main zippered compartment, 1 exterior zippered pocket, and 2 side pockets for shoes and other gear to be stored separately from other belongings and valuables. Although it’s not the largest bag on this list, it’s durability and function earn it a spot on our top 10. 

The handles and shoulder straps on this bag are all padded, making carrying comfortable for your hands, neck and shoulders. The shoulder strap is adjustable, making it easy to keep belongings and gear close and safe. 

PROS

  • Durable and Lightweight Design Weighs Only 1.3 Pounds
  • Tear-Resistant and Waterproof Nylon Construction
  • Reinforced Stress Points for Durability and Longevity
  • 1 Main Zippered Compartment, 1 Exterior Zip Pocket, 2 Side Pockets for Easy Access Gear
  • Padded Adjustable Shoulder Straps and Carrying Handles

CONS

  • Zippers Could be More Durable
  • Smaller Size isn’t Ideal for Every User

10. COR Lightweight Waterproof Duffel Bag

Cor Surf 100% Waterproof Duffle Bag And Weekend Bag For Women And Men, Roll-top Design With Sonically Welded Seams And Compression Straps To Keep Your Gear Dry (Huge 60 L, 24 x 2.1 x 14.2 inches)

Review

The COR company is run by ocean sport enthusiasts, making their outdoor gear items you can trust to hold up in the elements. This particular duffel bag is designed to be versatile for a wide range of adventure sports, and for short or long term exploring. Whether you plan to spend weeks camping on the beach, or a weekend submerged in the ocean exploring the lush underwater world, this bag is a great choice to keep your belongings safe. 

This bag’s construction is top notch, providing longevity and durability while adventuring. Featuring an easy to use roll-top and click design, this bag provides the ultimate ease in use. Additionally, it has padded and removable shoulder straps and reinforced haul handles to make carrying your gear a breeze. Furthermore, it features two compression straps on each end of the bag to secure the bag and belongings tight inside. 

The pockets on this bag offer convenience and organization of belongings and gear. The bag has a large exterior pocket that’s water resistant and great for storing gear which needs to be easily accessible. Inside the bag you’ll find a zip pocket that’s ideal for smaller essentials like valuables and hygiene products.

PROS

  • Quality and durable design great for longevity
  • Large Water Resistant Exterior Pocket and Interior Zippered Pocket
  • Padded and Removable Shoulder Straps and Reinforced Handless
  • Features 2 Compression Straps on Front and Rear of Bag
  • Roll-Top and Click Design for Waterproof Protection

CONS

  • Seam Integrity Could be More Durable

Choosing the Top Waterproof Duffel Bag: Buyer’s Guide

Before jumping too far into your search for the best waterproof bag on the market today, it’s important to understand the features you should be looking for. Considering which design features are important to you will help you get the most bang for your buck, and ensure you’re happy with your investment. 

To help remedy what can be an overwhelming search through products, we’ve searched the web for the best products on the market today to help you choose which duffel bag is right for you! Knowing how to navigate through endless product options will help you save time, money and peace of mind. 

Before getting into duffel bag features to look for, you should understand your needs from this piece of gear to help choose one that’s right for you. Here are some key things to consider:

How are duffel bags used?

Duffel bags are some of the most versatile pieces of gear for storage on the market today. These bags are large enough to carry all your gear in one place, but convenient and portable enough that it’s easy to carry with on adventures. No matter your activity, or ability, duffel bags are easily carried by all users. 

These bags can be used for a variety of adventures from hiking, to ocean sports like kayaking, to using it as a gym bag- which is well appreciated by adventure enthusiasts. Not only can the bags be carried with ease, but you can strap them onto paddle boards, kayaks with bungee storage systems, bicycles or motor boats. They can even be used in colder weather sports like skiing and hiking. 

Additionally, these bags are great when packing for camping at the beach! From carrying clothing, to food and drinks, bedding, adventure gear, and more, duffel bags can hold an abundance of gear in one convenient location. 

Why are duffel bags great for ocean sports?

Waterproof duffel bags come in handy for ocean sports because most activities require gear that can be heavy, and some that need protection from getting wet. Many people turn to this style of bag, as opposed to a backpack style, because of its versatility. Whether you’re kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, or snorkeling, these bags can carry your wetsuit, masks, clothing and more. 

Additionally, top waterproof duffel bags are designed to hold up to the elements and withstand heavy use. This particularly comes in handy for rugged adventure marine sports, especially in keeping your valuables safe. Whether you’ll be seaside, or submerging the bag underwater on an adventure, quality bags are made from materials that are built to last. 

This style of bag is designed to provide you with ultimate protection and comfort throughout the day, no matter your adventure. Whether you’re planning a quick weekend beach trip, or a lengthy ocean adventure, a waterproof duffel bag is an ideal choice for carrying and protecting gear on the go. 

How hard are duffel bags to clean?

Cleaning a duffel bag depends on the materials used in its construction. Those bags made with waterproof technology likely only require a gentle wash, and most often are not machine washable. Machine washing can be too harsh for waterproof bags, and breakdown the materials. Likewise, high heat in a machine dryer will likely melt the materials and should be avoided for longevity of the bag. However, the waterproof materials make the bags quite easy to clean as they repel the mess. A simple wipe down is often all that’s required to keep this style of bag clean after use, even around the ocean. 

Additionally, harsh soaps and cleansers should be avoided to maintain the bag’s integrity, and left to dry and store out of the sun. If there’s an odor that remains after the bag has been washed, many adventure enthusiasts recommend using baking soda to absorb the odors. Simply sprinkle some inside the bag, let it sit, and then vacuum it out. If something stronger is needed for odors, consider using a fabric freshener that’s designed for the bags materials. 

How are duffel bags stored?

When your duffel bag isn’t in use, it’s best to store it flat and out of the sun and heat. This means you shouldn’t crumple it into a ball and shove it into a drawer, store it in a hot attic, or leave it lying on the floor in the sun. All of these things can compromise the integrity of the waterproof design, and reduce the longevity of the bag. 

The best way to store your duffel bag is laying flat, somewhere out of direct sunlight and extreme heat. Doing this will keep your investment working well for many adventures to come. 

Should a duffel bag be stuffable?

If you tend to overpack, choosing a bag with a zipper durable enough to handle the stretch is essential. When you overfill a bag, the stretch can take away from the effectiveness of water resistance and durability of the materials. Thus, why it’s important to choose the correct sized bag for your needs, and a zipper that fits your packing style. 

Ideally, you’ll want to invest in a bag that works well in a variety of situations and adventures. It should be able to handle the amount of gear you’ll need to carry on your adventure, and zip close, with ease. The question is- how heavy of a packer are you?

There are generally two styles of duffel bag closing to choose from, and each has its advantages. In regards to stuffability, zippers in a D shape are going to have much more give than a zipper that lays flat. Additionally, these D shaped zippers provide easier access to gear, making them an ideal choice for ultimate convenience. 

Duffel Bag Features to Search For

When searching for the best duffel bag for your needs, there are many features to consider to get the most bang for your buck. From choosing the correct size, to the comfort and fit when carrying, to design features like color and pockets, here we’ve gathered key features to look for during your search. 

Materials

The materials used in the construction of your duffel bag will determine the level of protection for your valuables and gear inside. Choose a product made with tough and sturdy materials to set yourself up for success on adventures. Not only should the main bag material be a durable waterproof type, but the stitching, zippers and other closures should also be made of quality materials. Materials used should be durable enough to survive the wear and tear that comes with traveling, and to withstand the elements out in the natural world while on adventures. The best duffel bags are typically made with nylon and polyester materials, which are both durable and easy to clean. Additionally, if your bag features zippers they should be properly sealed shut during construction. These are common points of entry for water to leak inside, but quality materials used in the design is the only way to keep gear inside safe and dry.

Some materials used in the construction of waterproof duffel bags are:

  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • PVC
  • TPU
  • and other synthetic fabrics

Size and Fit

Duffel bags can be used for a variety of reasons, from hand bags, to travel, kayaking, hiking and more. The bag dimensions will determine what it can be used for, and how much gear it can carry. For example, if traveling by air, you’ll need to make sure that the bag dimensions fit baggage compartment regulations. On the other hand, if you’re using the duffel bag for a scuba diving trip you’ll need a much larger design to fit bulky scuba gear. Choose a duffel bag that’s the right size for your needs to prevent having to make multiple purchases, and keep you happy with your investment for years to come. 

Most duffel bags used for outdoor adventure sports will come in some version of the following sizes:

  • 10L Capacity
  • 20L Capacity
  • 30L Capacity
  • 40L Capacity
  • 50L Capacity
  • 60L Capacity

Weight Capacity

You’ll find that duffel bags have a listed intended weight capacity, which is the maximum amount of weight the bag construction is able to support. It’s particularly important to stay within these ranges for waterproof bags because compromising the materials can alter the integrity of the waterproofing. Weight capacity is listed for a reason, and exceeding this limit runs the risk of soaking gear inside. Added weight that the bag is not designed for can cause added stress and strain on the zippers compromising its ability to keep water out. When considering the volume allowance of your bag, make sure you choose one that will fit all of your equipment with plenty of room. This will increase its lifespan and save you from having to spend additional money on another bag. 

Design and Features

A well designed duffel bag can make your adventures even better, which is why it’s so important to understand what features you’ll benefit from. For example, bags with straps and pockets are ideal for ease in carrying and organizing belongings inside. Additionally, a bag that is specifically designed for your carrying needs will set you up for ultimate success throughout your travels. If you’re planning to carry camera equipment or wet gear, for example, you’ll want internal compartments to keep it all organized and separated. These design features are what will turn a good duffel bag into one you simply can’t travel without!

Bag Cost

Quality and durable waterproof duffel bags don’t have to hurt your bank account, but remember that inexpensive can also mean cheaply made. With duffel bag purchases, much like other gear, you get what you pay for. The materials used in the design of the bag should be quality, and the construction should provide longevity, meaning the price tag will likely reflect the effort put into the bag’s design. Remember that a larger upfront cost will likely save you money in the long run because you won’t have to purchase another bag later on, or chance ruining gear inside.

Comfort and Fit

Duffel bags aren’t typically designed to be carried for long distances, like travel backpacks are, but they should still provide comfort while carrying. Straps with extra padding and rubber comfort handles will reduce strain from the weight of the bag on hands and shoulders while carrying. Opt for a bag with comfort features to reduce stress throughout the day.

Here are some comfort and fit features to search for in your duffel bag:

  • Adjustable and/or Removable Shoulder Straps
  • Strap Padding for Added Comfort
  • Ergonomic Carrying Handles
  • Waist Belt Straps
  • Backpack Straps

Bag Pockets

Ideally, a waterproof duffel bag should feature multiple pockets to store valuables and gear separately. This allows for better organizations inside the bag, and keeps valuables safe from wet or dirty gear in other compartments. Pockets also help to keep small or breakable items safely stored in an easy to access area.

Here are some types of pockets you’ll find in waterproof style duffel bags:

  • Interior Pockets
  • Exterior Pockets
  • Wet Pockets for Wet Gear
  • Ventilated Shoe Compartment
  • Easy Access Side Pockets

Some bags feature zippered interior pockets to keep items inside separated. This is great for securing valuables while traveling or adventuring outdoors. Additionally, some bags feature exterior pockets where gear can be stored and easily accessed without compromising the integrity of the waterproof seal. It’s important to keep in mind that these exterior pockets are typically water resistant, and not waterproof. Only gear that can get wet should be stored in these pockets. If you need items to stay secured away from water, keep these items in the internal compartments of the bag. 

Wheels vs. Straps

Waterproof duffel bags are designed to carry an abundance of gear in one convenient place. You’ll notice there are two types of carrying features, straps, wheels, or both.

Duffel bags with wheels have gained quite a bit of popularity recently, and both strapped and wheeled bags come with their advantages depending on your needs. To decide which style bag is best for you, understand your needs from the bag and what types of environments you’ll be carrying it in.

Here are the transport styles for bring a duffel along on your adventure:

  • Wheels
  • Carrying Handles
  • Cross-Body Strap
  • Backpack Straps

Wheeled bags, for example, have the added advantage of taking stress off of shoulders and back and rolling along easily on smooth surfaces. On the other hand, these bags aren’t ideal for rolling along on rough terrains. This means these bags are great for traveling through airports, but not so great for adventuring on rocky coastal terrains. This style of bag is typically able to carry a heavier weight than strapped options, because they feature a hard plastic bottom design making them rigid and durable.

The more traditional strapped style duffel bag, on the other hand, features handles for carrying or a long strap to conveniently carry across your body. These bags are designed for portability even in rugged environments. Additionally, they can be easily strapped onto just about any surface, from kayaks, to paddle boards and more. 

Bag Color

While color may not seem like one of the most important features to search for in your bag design, it should hold relevance in your decision making- and here’s why. Although largely cosmetic, bag color does play another role in your adventures.

The ideal color for your waterproof bag depends entirely on its intended use. For example, if you’re investing in a duffel for ocean sports like scuba diving or kayaking, you’ll want to opt for a bright neon color that offers high visibility. Not only does this help you locate your bag, it increases others ability to see you while exploring in the water. This is the reason you’ll find more marine gear comes in a variety of bright, high visibility colors.

Additionally, if your intended use for a duffel bag is for recreational use like beach camping, or hiking in the mountains, a more neutral color is often preferred to blend into the environment. Whiie high visibility colors in these scenarios is still beneficial, it’s just less necessary than when exploring marine environments. Instead you can opt for a neutral colored bag, like black, green, brown or blue.

Bag Style

Duffel bags designed to protect gear in wet environments come in different styles, depending on the intended use. These bags can come in a variety of styles from wheeled options, to multi strap options, or even knapsacks. Deciding which style is best for you is best done after addressing how you’ll be using the bag, and how much gear you’ll need to carry inside.

A wheeled bag option, for example, will look much like that of a strap carry bag. It’ll have an extendable handle for easy rolling, and durable wheels for transporting conveniently. If you’re exploring an environment with smooth pavement or flooring, this style is ideal to take stress off the shoulders and back. 

On the other hand, if you’re someone who enjoys carrying a backpack, but wants the versatility and storage of a duffel bag, a carry style will be ideal for your needs. This style of bag will have straps that help you comfortably carry your gear along on adventures, and some even feature a waist strap for added security and comfort. Additionally, these comfort straps allow the user to move about freely without feeling weighed down by the bag.

Zippers

The zippers used in the design of your duffel bag will directly affect the east of access you have to your belongings inside. Some bags feature single zippers at the top of the bag which is great for easy packing, but makes finding belongings at the bottom more difficult. D shaped zippers, on the other hand, are a great option for accessing all of your gear without the hassle of digging through the entire bag contents to find it.

The most important thing to look for when it comes to zippers is to make sure that the company notes that the zipper is waterproof. A bag made of waterproof material with a zipper that is less than par, will allow water to leak into the bag and potentially ruin the contents inside. A quality and waterproof zipper is one of the most important features to keep in mind when searching for the best duffel bag for your needs. 

Waterproof vs Water Resistant

Waterproof and water resistant are two very different things. Waterproof means the bag’s contents will not get wet under any circumstance, even when the bag is fully submerged. The integrity will hold up in tough marine conditions, and you can rest assured that your valuables are safe. 

Water resistant, on the other hand, means that the bag can withstand getting wet- but not submerged. It’s important to note this difference so that you don’t mistakenly secure your gear inside only to find out the bag wasn’t designed to be submerged in water.

Bag Uses

Understanding how you intend to use your new duffel bag is key to determining which bag is best for you. A hotel-hopping traveler, for example, will have vastly different needs from their bag than an ocean sport lover adventuring the oceans. To make sure your investment is something you’ll be happy with, assess how you’ll be using your bag to decide which is best for your needs. 

Final Thoughts

When searching for the best waterproof duffel bag on the market today, there are many things to consider for finding the perfect bag for your needs. Ideally, a duffel bag should have plenty of room for your gear and keep it safe and dry throughout your adventures, even in the most extreme conditions. Not only do duffel bags keep gear conveniently portable, but they make gear easily accessible, even while on the go. 

Although these bags are designed with the same general purpose in mind, you’ll also find a variety of features and styles across the market. Each style has it’s advantages, and depending on your adventure goals, there are features to suit your needs. 

Is there a waterproof duffel bag you think deserves a spot on our top 10 list? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. 

10 Best Waterproof Duffel Bags in 2020 [Buying Guide]

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