A Brief History of the Duffle Bag: From Military Necessity to Fashion Statement

The duffel bag, also known as a gym bag or holdall, is a cylindrical bag typically made of durable fabric with a drawstring closure at the top. Its origins can be traced back to the Belgian town of Duffel, where a heavy, durable fabric called "duffel" was produced in the mid-19th century. The fabric was used to make bags for the military, as it was strong enough to withstand rough handling and could be easily carried by soldiers on long marches.

Gi's awaiting transfer to a train, which are equipped with two models of Duffle Bags


Over time, the duffel bag became a popular choice for travelers and athletes due to its versatility and practicality. Its simple design and ample storage space make it ideal for carrying a variety of items, including clothing, shoes, and personal belongings.

Today, the duffel bag has evolved from a utilitarian piece of military equipment to a fashionable accessory. It is available in a range of styles, colors, and sizes, and can be found in high-end designer stores as well as discount retailers. Whether used for travel, sports, or everyday use, the duffel bag remains a practical and stylish choice for carrying your belongings.

Using Duffle Bags for functionality and fashion

How are duffel bags used today?

Duffel bags are still widely used today for a variety of purposes, including:

  1. Travel: Duffel bags are a popular choice for travel due to their versatility and practicality. They are spacious and can hold a variety of items, such as clothing, shoes, and personal belongings.
  2. Sports and the gym: Duffel bags are often used to carry sports equipment, such as shoes, towels, and water bottles, as well as clothes and personal items for the gym.
  3. Everyday use: Duffel bags are also used for everyday purposes, such as carrying books, laptops, and other essentials for work or school.
  4. Fashion accessory: In recent years, duffel bags have become more fashionable and are often used as a stylish accessory. They are available in a range of colors, styles, and sizes and can be found in high-end designer stores as well as discount retailers.

What makes a good duffel bag?

There are several factors to consider when looking for a good duffel bag:

  1. Size: Consider the size of the duffel bag based on your intended use. If you plan on using it for air travel, make sure it meets the size requirements for carry-on luggage. If you plan on using it for sports or the gym, a larger size may be more practical.
  2. Material: Look for a duffel bag made of durable, water-resistant material such as polyester or nylon. These materials are resistant to wear and tear and can withstand the elements.
  3. Features: Look for a duffel bag with additional features such as padded shoulder straps, multiple pockets, and a sturdy handle. These features can make it more comfortable and convenient to carry.
  4. Quality: Choose a duffel bag from a reputable brand or seller with a good reputation for quality products. Look for sturdy construction, strong zippers, and well-sewn seams.
  5. Style: Consider the style of the duffel bag and choose one that meets your personal preferences and needs. There are a wide variety of styles available, from classic and simple to more modern and trendy designs.


Traveling with Duffle Bags as a Carry-On

Is it possible to use a duffel bag as a carry-on for air travel?

Yes, it is possible to use a duffel bag as a carry-on for air travel, but it is important to check with the specific airline to ensure that the duffel bag meets their carry-on baggage requirements. Most airlines have size restrictions for carry-on bags, typically allowing those that are 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches or smaller, including the handles and wheels. If your duffel bag fits within these dimensions, it should be acceptable as a carry-on bag. It is always a good idea to pack any valuable or essential items, such as medication and documents, in a carry-on bag to ensure their safekeeping during the flight.

Overall, duffel bags remain a popular choice for their practicality, versatility, and style.

What are you looking for?

Your cart