The North Face Duffel Bag is not your average hiking/travel bag. It’s made from a durable laminate material that is both stylish and extremely tough!
Amply resilient to be roughed around in-flight, or to be transported up a mountain via a yak, this is one burly duffel bag.
Features: Four compression straps, Main compartment with internal mesh pockets, ID pocket on top, Locking zippers, Alpine-cut shoulder straps, D-zip opening with zipper flap, Twin haul handles on ends, Rugged construction with extra bartacks and double stitching Alpine-cut shoulder straps; D-zip with zip flap and many more things that deserves a proper review!
North Face Duffel Bag Review
The first thing i always check when looking for a carrier of any sort is the size and with the North Face duffel bag there are 5 variants. In many cases, customers complain that their duffel bag, particularly the North Face Base Camp Medium size, is far too big and are genuinely surprised when it arrives!
Let’s look at the sizes to find the right size for you before we go into the quality and usage of this North Face duffel bag:
The North Face Duffel Bag Sizes:
XS – Extra small
Size – 46cm x 28cm x 28cm
Capacity – 25 Litres
18 inches long and 11 inches tall and wide. Perfect for the gym, airline hand luggage or days out and with a capacity of 25 litres, That’s the average day hiking backpack capacity, so you can get all your day essentials in there without any trouble.
S – Small
Size – 51 cm x 31 cm x 31cm
Capacity – 42 Litres
Slightly bigger than the XS at 20 inches long, 12 inches tall and wide. This fits perfectly into the airline holds above your head on a flight. The capacity of 42 litres also is enough to see you good for a weekend away.
M – Medium
Size 61 cm x 38 cm x 38 cm
Capacity – 72 litres
For medium, this North Face duffel bag is big! the ‘M’ trips a lot of people up in thinking it’s an average size. it’s not. At 24 inches long and 15 inches high and wide, it will be too big for an airline carry on, especially when fully packed. The 72 litre capacity space is cavernous, so don’t be surprised to see your ‘medium’. expectancy turn out to be a large shock!
L – Large
Size – 71 cm x 41 cm x 41 cm
Capacity – 90 litres
This is more of what the usual idea of size for a duffel bag is. At 28 inches long and 16 inches high and wide it would be great for travelling around for long stays whilst hiking or just to use as luggage for your holidays. As with all the North Face Duffel Bags, you have the luxury of wearing it as a backpack or rucksack, so if you have a lot of gear, get two and still have one hand free!
XL – Extra Large
Size – 81 cm x 48 cm x 48 cm
Capacity – 155 litres
There’s a reason it called XL…it’s huge! 32 inches long and 48 inches high and wide, you can cram a lot of stuff into this! The 155 litre capacity, when full, will test your strength, so the material has to be of top quality…and it is. This strong XL monster of a duffel bag is for the serious traveler who needs to be away for a long time!
The North Face Duffel Bag Material:
Made from durable laminate ballistic nylon which means it’s tough! This material was used before Kevlar for airmen during World War II. It’s heavy, thick and strong and Ballistic Nylon is more commonly used for watch straps, motor cycle jackets, knife sheaths and luggage…so it can take an impact from the most ham-fisted of baggage handlers.
The stitching is doubled and includes extra bartacks…those are the close zig-zag stitching that reinforces areas of stress.
The laminate material also ensures that the bag is logically water resistant and should be able to handle a good shower or rain storm. It probably would eventually leak if you through it in a river though, so we can’t mark it as totally waterproofed.
North Face Duffel Bag Straps and Compartments:
The carry handle has a Velco joiner so both straps can be as one, whilst the adjustable backpack straps are Alpine-cut making the load bearing easier on the shoulders. There is a line of daisy chains across each side of the bag for you to hang any additional gear you may need or to secure it to a vehicle when on the move. There are 2 compression straps each side so you can really secure and compress the load inside.
Also on each end you get a haulage loop so you can drag it across the airport floor at a moments notice.
The main compartment opens from the top and is ‘D’ shaped with strong, lockable zippers. Once the lid is opened, there is an internal mesh zippered pocket (the other side of the lid), large enough to take papers, passports, boarding tickets and anything else you need to get at fast, and a handy key holder to boot.
The North Face duffel bag also has a handy ID label pocket on top and comes in a great variety of colours to suit your style. And don’t foget the big old ‘The North Face’ branding at the side…a label of quality.
The North Face Duffel Bag Verdict
Truly excellent quality and virtually indestructible. This duffel bag is ideal for the traveler who’s likely to see a bit of the world and not have to worry about the rough treatment their luggage is liable to take. Strapped on a car roof, tied to a bus, thrown in an airline hold, clamped to a motor cycle…you can be sure that the contents are safe…even if you’re not!
The North Face Duffel Bag has been around for a decade now and nothing much has changed in its design. I guess it’s a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it’ and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you do want more internal pockets, or detachable shoulder straps then you may want to look around.
But those are just 2 very small negatives to what is essentially a classic duffel bag from a quality renowned manufacturer. It does the job well and comes highly recommneded.