Creative Uses for Duffel Bags

Creative Uses for Duffel Bags

Written by Scott Shetler on

Scott Shetler is a freelance writer who enjoys offbeat destinations, national parks, urban adventures, cultural experiences, and everything in between. Follow his travels on Instagram @quirkytravelguy and his blog, Quirky Travel Guy.

Creative Uses for Duffel Bags

Creative Uses for Duffel Bags


Duffels may not be as visually appealing as shiny, new-wheeled suitcases or as rugged as the ORV Trunk, but they’re super-reliable and versatile, too. Many travelers carry duffel bags as carry-on luggage because they’re flexible enough to fit in those overhead bins, and roomy enough to stuff all those souvenirs. But what else can you use a duffel for? Here, we’ve compiled more creative uses that don’t necessarily relate to travel. Carry on!

Gym Bag

The duffel bag’s most common, non-travel use is probably as a gym or sports bag. It’s a good place to stash your workout clothes, water bottles, towels, or sports gear for your next tennis match or basketball game.

Beach Bag

Large duffels are ideal to take to the beach, since you can easily fit a towel, sunscreen, snacks, and other beach necessities inside. Plus, duffels tend to be easier to work with when it comes to shaking out the sand once you get home, whereas if you take a backpack or purse to the beach, you may continue to find sand at the bottom way into winter.

Gear Storage

If you’re not traveling at the moment, you can use duffel bags to hold camping gear, clothing, or any other miscellaneous items that need a home in your closet or under your bed. The advantage of using the duffel for storage is that you can typically fold or twist a duffel bag into any shape you want, allowing it to fit nicely into whatever space is available.

Help With Moving

If you find yourself moving homes or switching apartments, a rolling duffel bag can be an invaluable aid. While you’re likely to pack up many of your personal belongings in boxes, chances are you have a bunch of smaller knick-knacks that might get lost or broken if tossed inside a large box. That’s where the duffel bag comes in. Duffels are ideal containers to hold loose items from around the house and pieces of assorted clothing and fabric that aren’t necessarily stored in drawers, such as hats, scarves, gloves, towels, sheets and pillowcases.

For added ease during the moving process, you could even attach Eagle Creek’s Piggy Back Strap designed to fit comfortably over your shoulders and turn the duffel into a backpack.

Can you think of any other cool uses for duffel bags? List your suggestion in the comments section below!

Scott Shetler is a freelance journalist and frequent traveler who enjoys national parks, urban nightlife, and everything in between. He blogs about his adventures at

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