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The duffel bag has gone a long way since it was first conceived as a heavy duty, canvas bag used for packing belongings in the late 1600s. Primarily used by sailors and later by those in the military service, these knotted carryalls were preferred because of the its practical shape, sturdy material, and spacious compartments. It has since found its way into mainstream fashion and has become a style staple especially among the jet-setting pack.

Since its appropriation, the good old duffel bag has undergone several iterations. It has evolved through use of new materials, prints, patterns, and other innovative details. Today, this travel essential is as versatile and varied as the types of lifestyles we now embrace. Here, a rundown of investment-worthy duffel bags to take you from the gym, to a weekend out of town or a quick getaway to bucket list destination.

Intreciato Duffel Bag from Bottega Veneta features the signature Intreciato leather weave and reinforced corners.

Despite its intricate weave detail and buttery soft calfskin leather, the Intreciato Duffel is actually built to last. Hand-stitched double handles and cotton interiors with fitted pockets were applied following ideals of traditional Italian craftsmanship. True to Bottega Veneta’s design sensibilities, this duffel bag does not rely on loud logos and other statement emblems to establish identity. It simply relies on workmanship, elegance, and a distinct brand of timelessness embodied through the meticulous weaving of lush leather. Other details that distinguish the Intreciato duffel bag include reinforced corners, functional locks, as well as detachable straps.

The signature cream and brown color of Bric's makes the Firenze Rolling Duffel an immediate stand out from a sea of stark black luggage. Durable PVC and lush leather trims make this piece a practical choice as it is easy to clean and can last for years. Configured with inline skate wheels and a retractable telescopic handle, the Firenze Rolling Duffel bag suits the traveler who prefers to move from one spot to another with complete ease. Spacious interiors lined with Bric’s jacquard logo fabric allow storage for more garments, accessories, and other essentials compared to your average duffel bag would.

The Briggs and Riley Duffel bag features large compartment for various travel essentials and a shoe garage.

Unzip the main compartments to the it becomes a garment bag that can hold up to two suites or long dresses.

Travelers used to have to choose between a garment bag for suits or a duffel bag. The Suiter Duffel bag, however, functions as both. When used as a duffel, large compartments allow easy packing of garments, odd-shaped items. It even has a shoe garage so your favorite pair of footwear stay in shape while in transit. Slip pockets are configured for storing chargers, cables and other small accessories. Main compartment unzips to unfold a garment bag that can hold up to two suits or long dresses. This lightweight design innovation for travel bags is made of ballistic nylon, ensuring that your piece will be resistant to water, wear, tear, and dirt.

The Pelletesuta features impeccably crafted top handles with buckles, trolley pockets and side pockets.

Discreet and distinctive details make the Pelletessuta Holdall Bag one of the most covetable travel essentials. This piece features Ermenegildo Zegna’s signature Pelletessuta material, which are thin strips of nappa leather wound together to form a sturdy and highly textured fabric. Handles with buckle fasteners, trolley pockets, adjustable straps, and easy-access pockets address the traveler’s ever changing needs and modes of travel. Wear it on your shoulders as you breeze through a quick weekend road trip. Carry it by hand as you get ready to sail away in a luxury cruise ship. Or simply, attach it to your trolley during long layovers that call for several hours of strolling and browsing around mega airports.

From the gym to a quick getaway, the Studio City Coast Duffel is the kind of bag that you will easily adapt to an active and dynamic lifestyle

If it’s a low maintenance, multi-use duffel bag that you’re looking for, consider the Coast from Herschel Supply Co’s ultra-modern Studio City Pack collection. Water-repellent material ensures that it can survive daily commutes, random tossing into cabins, and getting thrown onto the conveyor belt with other luggage. The sport-inspired design also makes this the ideal bag for the gym or even a quick road trip. Items are secured by a roll up tarpaulin enclosure with fastenings. Pockets at the front—plus buckles and webbing loops—are details that add to the functionality of this duffel bag.

The Smythson design philosophy, where travel bags are concerned, aligns with individuals who appreciate timeless style without compromising the need for function. Case in point: The Burlington Holdall. Made using buttery soft deerskin, this piece is crafted following minimalist design inclinations. A striking smoky gray hue with navy edge paint, luxe hardwear, nile blue hand-stitiching, and personalized tags are design elements that distinguish the Smythson Burlington duffel from the rest. Detachable shoulder straps, top handles, cotton lining, and internal zip pockets are features that address the bare essentials of the stylish traveler who subscribe to a specific set of preferences and standards: Poltrona Frau-upholstered leather swivel chairs in your private cabin? Check. Your own Steiner Safari binoculars while flying miles up in the sky? Check. Pratesi fine linens as you snooze mid-air? Done. 

Clever details of the Unstructured Holdall include side pockets for easy access and storage of smaller items.

Striped lining details, suede base, and streamlined silhouette give the Unstructured Holdall by Thom Browne Ivy League appeal. Nylon weave and grosgrain trims lend a subdued, minimalist sensibility. It also makes the piece ultra light, easy to store, and adaptable to all modes of travel. Details such as quilted handles, detachable straps, gold hard wear, side slit pockets, and tri-color striped lining reference Thom Browne’s distinct take on dressing a modern dandy.

Workmanship and high quality grained leather distinguish the Buckley Weekender apart as Tom Ford is a label that characteristically shuns logos or emblems.

There is ample room in the Buckley Weekender for one to three days of travel while a wide opening makes it easy to pack all the essentials.

The Buckley Weekender is a classic. It is the kind of duffel bag that will keep you company whether you’re off to a spa getaway, a few days out at sea, or even a quick weekend drive to the beach house of log cabin. You also most likely want to have this around during long haul flights when a fresh change of clothes and a few essentials will keep you feeling comfortable despite being in transit for over 24 hours. In true Tom Ford manner, the Buckley does not seek to impress through loud design elements. Its elegance is hushed and reverberates through small details that speak to the discriminating eye. Grained leather is impeccably structured into a compact body, and adding just the right amount of polish are sleek gold hard wear. Pockets are also strategically placed for easy storage and access of small items.

Organized compartments so you can pack items like you would a suitcase while still enjoying the ease of a duffel bag.

Creators at Tumi had it all figured out when they designed the Carbon Fiber Bayview Travel Duffel bag. They engineered a carbon fiber material to make this bag lightweight yet durable and resistant to all travel and weather conditions. The shape was innovated so that it could open like a suitcase. Lack of enough compartments for staying organized is a common conundrum for duffel bags. But through the Carbon Fiber Bayview, Tumi is changing the way we pack duffel bags, adding a foldable curtain with snap taps so that users can compartmentalize items instead of randomly stuffing them in an open cavity. Trolley straps give the option for attaching your duffel to your luggage.

The Portofino was crafted following traditional Italian methods, resulting in a timeless piece that will remain relevant for years on end.

Milan-based luxury house Valextra speaks only one language: impeccable craftsmanship. Its design narrative is written on pieces that are specifically crafted to embody effortless elegance and hushed luxury. One such piece is the Portofino Travel Holdall. Made using a distinct brown calf leather, this travel duffel bag is sized to fit all your travel essentials for a quick getaway or to a long haul flight. A delicious yet distinctive shade of brown emphasizes impressive handcrafting and selection of premium calf leather. Silhouette and shape is a timeless as can be, done only the way makers at Valextra can.

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