Which Cargo Hauler is the Best Adventure Duffel Bag for Your Trip?

Which Cargo Hauler is the Best Adventure Duffel Bag for Your Trip?

Written by Kelly Bastone on

When it comes to road trips, fishing trips and other types of adventure travel, duffel bags offer significant advantages over traditional suitcases. And the Eagle Creek Cargo Haulers maximize duffels’ benefits: Because these bags are made with rugged fabrics and smart, load-organizing features, our Cargo Haulers answer adventure travelers’ every need. Here’s how.


Skiing in Europe

  • Length: 6 days
  • Modes of transport: Airplane, train, bus/van

So you’re headed to Austria for schussing and schnitzel, and you plan to check one bag and rent skis overseas. Your bag needs to be big enough to hold bulky, insulated apparel and winter footwear. It also needs to negotiate the full range of transfer scenarios: Rolling across 17th-century cobblestones, hurrying up stairs to the platform where your train is departing, squishing into trains’ overhead storage racks, and gliding across airport terminals will test this duffel’s adventure capabilities.

Recommended bag: Cargo Hauler XT 32” Wheeled Duffel

A telescoping handle makes this duffel easy to pull over long distances, and heavy-duty wheels roll over rough surfaces. The 120-liter internal capacity offers sufficient storage for ski gear, and the structured back (reinforced with corner bumpers) guard contents against shocks during transport. Tuckaway backpack straps also convert this bag into a backpack that you can carry over stairs and loose gravel that challenge wheels’ capability. Beyond the plethora of carry options, bomber fabrics (including 1680-denier ballistic polyester) hold up through extended abuse, and an exterior zippered compartment makes it easy to locate your headphones or neck pillow.


Fishing in Alaska

  • Length: 10 days
  • Modes of transport: Airplane, bush plane, bus/van, ATV

 Alaska may be huge, but its transport system depends on aircraft that are smaller than many Americans are accustomed to. Weight limitations are de rigeur when flying in the compact bush planes that adventurers use to access remote rivers and lodges. Sometimes, travelers and their bags access far-flung outposts via ATV. Such rough-and-ready carriage demands lightweight luggage with multiple lash points and carry options that adapt to all adventure scenarios.

Recommended bag: Cargo Hauler 60L Duffel Bag


Fishing gear (such as waders and boots) can be bulky, but by packing a limited number of multi-purpose garments, you can probably fit everything you need into this 60-liter duffel (if it’s too tight a squeeze, consider the 90-liter version of the Cargo Hauler Duffel Bag). It aces the angler’s travel scenario: Its light weight (just 1 pound, 12 ounces) let you devote the majority of your baggage weight allowance to packed items—rather than “spending” lots of it on the bag itself. Burly, TPU-reinforced grab handles make it easy to load and lash to any mode of transport. Convertible backpack straps let you haul it over rugged terrain, the U-Shaped opening makes it easy to identify the gear you’ve packed inside, and water-repellant fabric (made from recycled materials) ensure that your gear arrives undrenched.


National Parks road trip

  • Length: 14 days
  • Modes of transport: Car

You’ve reserved campsites at several national parks and you’re setting off for a multi-week tour. You don’t need two weeks’ worth of outfits, because you plan on hitting up some laundromats along the route. But you will pack camping gear, travel towels for campground showers, and outdoor clothing for hiking, paddleboarding, and lounging around the campfire. It’s a bulky ensemble that you’ll unload from the car almost every night.

Recommended bag: Cargo Hauler Wheeled Duffel 130L

This large-capacity adventure duffel has room for a tent, camp chair, lantern and clothes--and you can stuff it to the max without worrying how you’ll carry heavy loads to the campsite. Two heavy-duty wheels are built into one end, allowing travelers to roll the duffel instead of dragging it across gravel tent pads and uneven ground. Water-resistant fabrics (made of 100 percent recycled content) keep contents dry through brief showers, and materials are rugged enough to handle life outside: The 800-denier nylon and 1680-denier ballistic polyester don’t qualify as bear-proof, but they’ll stand up to virtually every other form of assault while camping and road-tripping. Need to strap this duffel onto a roof rack rather than shove it into an enclosed trunk? This is your winner.


Fourteener hike

  • Length: 3 days
  • Modes of transport: Airplane, car

You’ve nabbed permits to hike Mt. Whitney and you’re flying to California to join a friend or outfitter who will shuttle you to the trailhead. You’re not packing much—just hiking clothes and a daypack, because you’ll wear your boots onto the plane—so you don’t want to pay for a checked bag or wait for one at baggage claim.

Recommended bag: Cargo Hauler Duffel 40L

Many duffels are too large to meet airlines’ carry-on requirements, but this 36-liter rolling bag meets international standards for cabin baggage. Its telescoping handle lets you whisk it through airports, and multiple carry options make it easy to load into overhead luggage bins. Burly, adventure-ready wheels easily negotiate rocky terrain between the car and campsite. And after the trip, the duffel compresses into its own side pocket for minimalist storage.