Travel is not one size fits all, so neither should be your luggage. Not every trip is suitable for a rolling suitcase or traditional backpack—that’s where duffel bags save the day. You might find that these bags are best for longer trips, expeditions, and even moves! They fold flat for storage, making them easy to hide away when you’re not on the go.
For all the pros (and there are many!), packing one efficiently seems daunting for first-time duffel owners. After all, you’re dealing with one large compartment rather than many pockets. Packing a duffel doesn’t have to be stressful, though! Here are four essential tips to pack like a pro.
Choose the Right Duffel
Not all bags are equal—thankfully Eagle Creek has something for everyone. Different trips call for different types of bags. A few considerations include:
● Which size do you need? Duffels come in multiple sizes, including carry ons, packable bags, wheeled duffels, and duffels with backpack straps for easy carrying.
● What will you subject it to? Durable material is a must-have, especially for those inevitable toiletry bag spills. Look into versatile water-repellent duffels and rugged all-purpose ones.
● Do you need pockets? Despite what you think, some duffels have pockets! Exterior pockets a good feature, especially for those plane tickets and smaller items that can get lost in the main compartment.
Keep Everything in Its Place
Packing cubes are the best resource when it comes to keeping your duffel bag organized. These handy cubes keep your items in one specific place. Rather than dumping everything out when you arrive at your destination, you can quickly grab the cube for exactly what you need. When everything has its own place, you’re less like to lose things along the way.
For example, place all of your tops in one cube, all pants in another cube, and your toiletries or electronic cords in another. The Isolate collection of packing cubes are ideal for duffels because they take up hardly any room when you don’t need them and hold plenty of items. There’s even a sac for your shoes! When it comes to clothes, rolling tends to be the best way to fit your stuff inside the cubes.
Pack Like a Puzzle
Channel your inner 80s child when you pack. Treat your duffel bag like a game of Tetris. Once your belongings are in packing cubes, place them in a pattern along the bottom. Remember: This is a game! Experiment with the best fit as some might work up and down rather than sideways.
To up your packing game, arrange cubes or pieces in the order that you’ll need them on your trip—pack the least important at the bottom of your bag. If you’re traveling with collared shirts or packing items you don’t want wrinkled, use a packing folder and place it at the very bottom so that it won’t get crumpled and build your puzzle around it.
Fight the Urge to Overpack
The best way to organize your duffel is to avoid overpacking, especially if you plan on carrying the duffel on your shoulder. Because of uneven weight distribution, it can be tough to go great distances with it hanging on one side. A cross-body strap tends to help this problem, and Eagle Creek duffels have backpack straps to ease this pain-point. Bring only a few outfits that you can wear multiple ways with plans to do laundry on the go. Ideally, you should be able to easily zip the bag without straining. Give the bag a good shake to let things settle.
Now that you know how to pack that duffel like a pro, use our packing checklist to make sure you have all the essentials when you hit the road!
Migrate Duffel 60L
Cargo Hauler Duffel 40L
Gear Warrior Travel Pack 45L
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
Duffel Or Suitcase: Which Is Best For Your Next Trip?
Buying Guide: Duffels
10 Best Tips for Packing Light