Whether you’re a gym junkie, frequent traveler, extreme sports lover, or anything in between, a waterproof duffel bag is one of the most versatile and widely loved bag options out there. They can be used for virtually any occasion or purpose, thanks to their adaptable cylindrical or cuboid shape.
Waterproof duffle bags for men and women are uniquely designed to be large enough to hold so much stuff, but compact to carry it around with ease.
The capacity of duffel bags is measured by liters, one of the most common being 90L, but you can find higher. You can find them without or with wheels for rolling around, in small, medium, and large sizes, and they are one of the most popular choices for a waterproof weekend bag on vacation trips.
Some heavy-duty models are even often used by the military, because they are so convenient, high-capacity, and portable. Just some of the main uses for a waterproof duffel bag include travelling, gym and for motorcycles.
Ideal also for the great outdoors with camping and outdoor sports like kayaking, boating, hunting, and skiing. With the added waterproof protection, all your beloved items will stay secure and dry.
No matter if you’re looking for an alternative to Patagonia duffel bags, or just want to scope out your options, we’ve made this well-rounded list so that you can find the perfect one for you.
10 Best Waterproof Duffel Bags to Buy Online
1. Thule Chasm Duffel Bag
Capacity: 40L, 70L, 90L, 130L
Colors: Poseidon, Rorange, Bluegrass, Black
Our first pick is this modernized version from Thule. With a rather streamlined design, each size is versatile for many different uses, like the gym, office, or outdoor venturing. The primary opening is quite unique in that it doesn’t open with a middle zipper, it instead has a wide D-shaped flap, that doubles as a storage spot with various built-in mesh pouches.
We especially like this feature because it makes it easier to pack lots of items in – you don’t need to force zipper sections together to close it, so you can fit more inside. Moreover, you have side access to the inner contents, which you can’t do with most other duffels, nearly as much variety as a proper travel backpack.
The shoulder strap is uncomplicated to attach and detach. It simply clips on with a unique twisting buckle design, which means there is no fiddling. Outer compression belts prevent the contents from moving around or falling out of the bottom when you’re wearing it on your back. To use it on any surface, the bottom is padded, which also cushions your gear.
- Waterproof Tarpaulin Textile Also Folds Easily
- Multiple Carry Methods Including Backpack, Shoulder & Handles
- Tons of Inner & Outer Storage Compartments
2. Yeti Panga Waterproof Submersible Bags
Capacity: 28L, 50L, 75L, 100L
Yeti specializes in many top outdoor products, and the Submersible range is no exception. Available in 2 volumes, plus a 28L backpack version, these are optimal for camping, hunting, fishing, and other backcountry outdoor activities. Keeping your items 100% dry is the laminated nylon ThickSkin Shell, which is virtually impenetrable.
A TPU lining resists punctures, and acts as a double layer of protection. The EVA molded bottom acts as a sturdy waterproof landing pad on any terrain. Finally, the Hydrolok zipper is watertight and airtight, ensuring water can’t enter from any direction.
MetalLock hardware is robust and won’t rust overtime. 6 QuickGrab lash points provide multiple carrying methods, including as a backpack. DryHaul straps do just what their name suggests – stay dry so that you can comfortably wear it in any conditions, preventing sore shoulders.
We love the overall style of these bags. They have an understated feel to them that fits in perfectly with nature. In terms of the price, it is quite steep. But you must consider the high quality of the materials and construction, plus these bags won’t be for everyone. They’re more intended for serious outdoor travelers who are looking for a bag that will last for a lifetime of adventures.
- High Density Nylon with EVA Molded Bottom & Hydrolok Zipper
- DryHaul Durable Hand Straps Increase Comfort
- Stowaway Mesh Pockets for Easy Access
3. Osah Waterproof Motorcycle Duffel Bag
Capacity: 40L & 60L
One of the best for motorcycles, this has a compact form that makes it effortless to transport around. To protect the main zipper from moisture leaks, the top rolls down to create a tight seal. It is then buckled down with the double straps, so it can’t flip back up.
With the included separate bands, you can easily attach it to the back of motorbikes, onto kayaks, and anything else you can think of. We like that you can stack the 40L on top of the 60L, so you can bring more with you, without compromising on stability.
Ride over massive puddles or take long trips in the pouring rain – the heavy-duty 500D PVC is highly waterproof and reliable to keep the contents dry. Even with the rolling top, the zippers are stated as waterproof. Furthermore, the fabric is sealed with a hot-pressing technique for increased protection. This bag is also snow proof, hail proof, and unaffected by scratches.
Use either the one-shoulder strap or carry it by the long center handles. With 2 fast dismantling belts, you can quickly open and close it to access anything inside. 2 compression ties ensure everything remains snug inside. Other cool features include reflective circle patches, and a front ID window.
- Strong 500D PVC Waterproof Textile with Protected Zipper
- Stacking Design with Both Sizes
- Large Capacity with Compact Compression Belts
4. Overboard Adventure Duffel Bag
Capacity: 60L & 90L
Featuring heavy-duty detachable backpack straps, this Overboard bag is another popular option for hiking, camping, backpacking, scuba diving trips, and general adventuring. It has one of the most timeless shapes of all the models, with a super rounded form and flat bottom. Both sizes can easily fit someone of 178cm in height – it doesn’t appear overly bulky or heavy.
PVC tarpaulin is high-density to shield from leaks, and it’s paired with an upper flap that covers the zip entrance. One of the highlights of this bag is that the zippers are lockable, with a padlock even provided for extra security.
4 compression belts pack things down to decrease the mass and for keeping a tight space inside. This can help prevent damage of any valuables, as nothing can be thrown around while you’re travelling.
Both the shoulder and hand straps are well padded, and they look to be made from nylon which is comfortable and durable. As well as these, you’ve got side handles that are rounded for an ergonomic fit against your hands.
- Waterproof 100% PVC Tarpaulin
- Several Internal Pouches Plus Outer Pocket
- Protective Flap Over Main Zipper
5, MIER Water Resistant Duffel Bag
Capacity: 40L & 90L
Next, we’ve got a popular boating and motorcycle model. It’s great for car camping trips, and beach campouts. Since it’s super easy to clean with a simple hose-down, it performs well for lots of outdoor activities. Strap it on the back of your paddle board or take it fishing – we love the versatility. You can choose from dark or light Gray, with a beautiful sheen that adds a little sophistication.
Constructed of thick nylon with a TPU lining, and combined with an airtight zipper closure, this bag is 100% waterproof. Advanced thermo-welding for the stitching is just another element that makes it perform well against leaks. We appreciate the addition of the cushioned bottom, as it creates resistance to stop it from sliding around – perfect for slippery surfaces.
Apart from the detachable long shoulder band, you can use it just like a traditional duffle, with 2 large straps that connect with a Velcro padded handle. These are connected with 4 Duraflex D-rings, which relieve tension from heavy weights.
2 side handles provide additional carry methods when you don’t have time to sling the whole thing over your shoulder. The adjustable front webbing straps act as compression belts that can hold larger things like towels.
- Airtight & Waterproof Nylon Exterior with TPU Inner
- Bottom Rubber Grips for Stability
- Inner Mesh Pouch & Front Waterproof Zipper Pocket
6. The Friendly Swede Waterproof Duffel Bag
Capacity: 30L, 60L and 90L
A smash hit for women, this heavy-duty model from The Friendly Swede comes in 9 different colors, ranging from simple black and white, to more vibrant pink and yellow. For reference, the largest 90L size is ideal for travelers in the height range of 165cm to 175cm and up, as it sits comfortably on the back.
An added chest strap on all sizes creates a snug fit that prevents pressure on your back. The 30L is optimal as a gym bag, and the 60L is good for short motorbike trips or bulky sporting gear. When you’re travelling and need to stow it away or lift it in a rush, there are convenient ergonomic handles on the 2 ends.
The 500D clean PVC tarpaulin material is very durable, toxic free and BPA free. Something important to note is that while the fabric is waterproof, the addition of exposed zippers means you can’t leave it submerged or under extremely heavy downpours, like waterfalls.
Inside there is no lack of space with a huge main cavity. Several mesh pockets line the sides, with a large zippered mesh pouch on the top flap. The 30L is the only one with an outer pocket to keep smaller items.
- Highly Waterproof 500D PVC Tarpaulin Fabric with Water Resistant Zippers
- Spacious Interior with Multiple Storage Pockets
- Convertible Strap Backpack Option
7. Newhey Oversized Waterproof Weekend Duffel Bag
Capacity: Liter Not Stated- Dimensions Below
Dimensions: 22.83”L x 11.22”W x 11.8”H
We chose this model for its stylish, rugged design that is perfect for weekend trips or short-stay vacations. This has more of a cuboid shape to it than a classic cylinder, which makes it more of a fashion statement when combined with the vintage look. You’ve got 4 different color choices – classic brown, coffee brown, blue-gray, and camo. The coffee brown version is slightly more expensive, as it comes with a bonus toiletry bag.
Suitable for both men and women, the outer waxed canvas material is scratch resistant and waterproof, plus there is a lining inside for added defense. With the exposed easy-access top zipper and water-resistant hardware, this isn’t going to withstand extreme soakings, so don’t submerge it into water for a long period of time. For very heavy rainfall, it will work great at keeping things dry inside.
On the outer pocket, the buckle serves as an illusion as it actually opens with a strong magnetic attachment. You can keep your phone, wallet, and keys there securely and at easy reach.
Inside there are multiple stash pouches, including a zippered pocket to hide small valuables. The shoulder strap is thick and sturdy and feels soft against the skin. You can also carry it by the rounded leather handles. Rivets and tensile stitching are used at each handle connection for heavy load bearing.
- Waterproof Waxed Canvas with Genuine Leather Trimmings
- XL Capacity & Airplane Friendly
- Zinc-Allow Water & Rust Resistant Hardware
8. Skog A Kust DuffelSak Waterproof Duffel
Capacity: 40L & 60L
Constructed with 500D PVC, this is another top choice for backpackers and nomads, who love outdoor activities, and need something to withstand rough terrains and various conditions. Offered in 6 fun colors, including a unique digi-camo pattern, this bag is designed as an alternative to zipper-top duffels.
Since zipper tops can’t seal out rain (unless the zip is watertight), this sack has a tight roll-down feature that clips shut and conceals the zipper. Other waterproofing can be found in the splash-proof zipper pockets, high-frequency welded seams, and nylon polyester webbing.
It serves as quite a traditional duffle, with both a shoulder strap and middle handles. The shoulder one is padded in the centre for comfort, as well as the handles. DuraFlex UTX Clips are durable buckles that keep everything locked in and secure. A reflective trimming is handy for night-time, plus it even floats so you can take it out on the water.
We love the front plastic window that lets you store your ID at easy view. If you happen to lose the bag, people can instantly see who it belongs to.
- Waterproof Heavy-Duty PVC 100% Vegan
- Added Top Zipper Protection with Roll-Down Seal
- 2 Outer Zippered Pockets & 2 Inner Zippered Pouches for Organization
9. Newhey Gym Duffel Bag
Our second choice from Newhey is a specialized model for use at the gym, but it’s stylish enough to also use for weekend travel. A polyester exterior is waterproof and tear-resistant, plus the two-way zippers are high-quality metal that prevent rust. The padded bottom lets you sit it upright whilst preventing scratches from different surfaces.
To carry a maximum 60kg volume, the enhanced buckles are designed for stronger weight bearing. The shoulder band has a fully padded section, as well as the main handle. Overall, there are 13 different sized pockets to fit all your bits and bobs.
The hidden shoe compartment is a standout feature for us because we haven’t seen it done in many other bags. It’s basically the perfect addition to a gym bag, because you can keep your sweaty sneakers separate from all your other belongings. With the added double air vents, your shoes can breathe and won’t give the bag or any contents a nasty odor. Likewise, there is a wet pocket at the front to store your wet clothes. It’s got a water-resistant lining, so keep them in there over a short period of time, and only store things when they’re damp, not soaking.
- Waterproof Polyester Material & Two-Way Metal Zippers
- Highly Convenient Shoe Compartment with 2 Air Vents
- Unisex Simple Design Comes in Black or Gray
10. Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Waterproof Duffel Bag
Capacity: 90L, 110L, 120L, 130L
Second-last is an ultralight model made from lightweight, yet durable, polyester weighing just 4 lbs on its own. With the bottom wheels, you can roll it around with complete ease – it basically converts into a suitcase.
We love how versatile it can be as you can also wear it as a backpack, carry with several smaller handles, or with a longer main strap. Lockable zippers can fit a standard travel-size padlock for added security when travelling.
When you’re not rolling it around, it bears weight evenly and safely with bartack reinforcement located on all high stress areas. No matter which handle you carry it from, you can trust that it will hold up against the weight. The 110L and 130L are large enough to take on 2-week trips, and it’s more compact and easily portable than a suitcase.
Each exterior zipper has been fitted with a reflective finger loop. This makes opening and closing a cinch, plus it’s easy to see in darkness. The wheels are both oversized and treaded, eliminating any slipping on smooth or bumpy terrains.
- Waterproof Polyester with Bi-Tech Armor Lite Coating
- Ultra Lightweight 4 lbs Reduces Overall Weight
- Convenient Rolling Wheels
Buyers Guide – How to Find the Best Waterproof Duffel Bag
Check the Materials
The materials used for the bag will determine how durable it will be against general wear and tear. Make sure you look for one that is waterproof, not water resistant or repellent. As long as it is made of waterproof fabrics, it is possible to have water resistant zippers, but we’ll get more into that below.
Here are the most frequently used textiles:
- PVC Tarpaulin – this material is one of the most common and is used for its durable nature. As well as waterproof, it’s flame retardant, UV resistant, self-cleaning, and resists color fading. It’s certainly made to last.
- High-Density Nylon – nylon is used for countless bags due to its heavy-duty abilities. It’s often paired with some sort of TPU lining for an even higher level of protection.
- PVC – on its own, and with a density of 500D or above, PVC is abrasion resistant, lightweight, cost-effective, and flexible.
- Polyester – while not the most heavy-duty of the bunch, this is still waterproof and effective. It’s praised for its ability to dry quickly, is mold and mildew resistant, easy to clean, holds color well, plus it’s also abrasion resistant.
- Waxed Canvas – often used for more stylish options, this typically has a rugged look to it. The waxed layer stops scratches and adds a further element of waterproof protection.
Suitable Strap Design
Many models on our list included multi strap options that let you decide which way you want to carry the bag.
Backpack straps are often sought after, because it can greatly reduce the weight on your back and shoulders. Of course, the traditional shoulder band is a must, because it distinguishes a duffel from other types of bags. Lastly, smaller handles let you pick the bag up quickly and efficiently, instead of having to sling it around your body.
We strongly suggest looking for padding on straps, no matter what material it is. This will ease pressure and allow you to wear it for much longer.
Ideal Storage Options
Ideally, these bags should have as many storage solutions as possible. While you’ll always have a massive main space, several pockets, pouches, and other compartments should be available on the outside and inside of the bag.
Look for both zippered pockets, and open stash pouches. They serve different purposes, as open pouches let you access items rapidly, and zippered ones will keep small things secure and hidden (unless it’s mesh which creates ventilation).
Water Resistant or Waterproof – Decide the Level Needed
Zippers that are exposed (that is, no covering flap of some sort) may cause leaks in extremely heavy water conditions. If the manufacturer states that they are water resistant zippers, think about this if you’re going to use it for extreme sports like kayaking. If it has watertight zippers instead, this will keep your belongings safe and dry in any conditions, as these are designed to prevent any water from entering. This will be the main determining factor between a bag being completely waterproof, or waterproof but with water resistant zippers.
Volume of the Interior
The liter measurements, which gauge the amount of gear you can fit inside, will generally range between 30L all the way up to 130L.
You need to carefully consider this aspect. How much stuff do you want to fit in the bag? What are you using it for? These are questions to think about before choosing what size you need. We stress that bigger isn’t always better in this case. Think about if you’re taking it on a plane, if you’re backpacking with it, and so on. If you do need a much larger capacity, roller wheels are a great option for carrying it with ease.
As a benchmark, 30L is the most commonly used for the gym. 90L and above is going to be quite large, and best for long-term trips.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Use a Duffel Bag?
These bags are incredibly versatile. They can be used for everything, from extreme sports, to simply heading to the gym, or on a short trip.
Choosing a waterproof one is important, because you’ll be protecting your valuables on a constant basis. You can always leave the house when it rains, you can go camping or do outdoor activities in rough conditions, and have peace of mind that your items are safe.
How Do You Clean a Waterproof Duffel Bag?
While some waterproof materials can be machine washed, we don’t recommend this as it could damage your bag in the long run.
- You should be gentle when cleaning your bag, as even though it might be heavy-duty and withstand everything you throw at it, it needs a little TLC when it comes to maintenance and care.
- No matter what the material is, we recommend using a damp (not soaking) cloth, a mild soap or a diluted vinegar solution if necessary, and softly wipe or dab the fabric where it is dirty. Always ensure to let it dry out completely before storing away, even turn it inside out.
- To rid any built-up odors, you can try sprinkling a light dusting of baking soda, rubbing it around gently, and using a vacuum to get it out.
Can I Carry a Duffel Bag on a Plane?
A smaller capacity one, like 30L, is perfect for taking as a carry-on for a plane. Some manufacturers will state if it’s airplane friendly, but always check the dimensions and airline requirements before purchasing one.
How Do I Pack and Fold a Duffel Bag?
This will depend on the material of the bag, but we recommend trying to store a duffel completely flat when not in use. This will prevent any creasing, wrinkling, and wearing of the materials, which can possibly lead to damage if done over a long period.
If absolutely necessary, you can fold it in half length-ways (again depending on the material). It might be a little more difficult to fold a bag made of PVC than one made of canvas, polyester, or nylon, because it’s not as malleable.
Store it under your bed, on a high shelf, or hand on some sturdy pegs if you don’t want it lying flat.
Can I Over-Stuff My Duffel Bag?
We don’t suggest it, but if needed, it is possible to stuff one of these bags to the brim if it has the right zipper design. Straight up-and-down zippers have much less wiggle room than D-shaped zippers.
The D-shape also lets you access your items easier from the sides, without needing to open the entire thing. To avoid overstuffing, buy a bag with a larger liter capacity than you think you would need, to cope with the amount of gear you typically take with you.
Conclusion on Waterproof Duffel Bags
Easily portable, user-friendly, durable, protective versatile, compact…is there anything a waterproof duffel bag can’t do? Regardless if you’re kayaking in the ocean, or simply heading to they gym, there are endless uses for duffel bags.
The waterproof feature is pretty much essential, as you don’t have to think twice about where you’re going or what conditions your bag will be exposed to. Everything can stay dry and secure inside.
Choose from various liter capacities and organize your valuables into sections with storage pockets. Oh, and let’s not forget how many wonderful designs there are out there to choose from. Everyone can find one that will suit their style.