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I have resolved to review the duffel bags we use at home. They are more in the vein of getting to and from a hike or trip than anything else, and they hopefully last a long time, but I think it would be a worthwhile endeavor.
the brands we have used:
-coleman duffel bags. it looks like Coleman got out of the business of making duffel bags, and that is a good thing. we purchased them to tote gear to and from our kids' summer camp. they were inexpensive and huge. the sewing was substandard, and they were not particularly easy to access or carry. but, they didn't totally fall apart, and they did the job for several years.
-ll bean duffel bags - my size XL is approaching 40 years old and has one small hole from being dragged for an inordinately long trek. one shoulder strap to carry a massive bag, a nemesis in airports, but fine for keeping my large backpack and straps intact in checked baggage. one long zipper, not my favorite, but for long trips or as a cover for my backpack in transit, it has performed admirably. A for durability.
-north face carry on, a 42 liter version of their bombproof duffel. it's great. D shaped opening means easy to pack and access the contents, good integrated shoulder straps. should last forever. if their larger duffels weren't so darn expensive....
-first ascent Maximus 90 liter duffel - my current large bag unless I'm shipping my large backpack. D shaped opening, great shoulder straps, plenty of attachment points. too early to assess durability, but it appears to be built for the duration. Eddie Bauer's penchant for sales and promotions made it hard to resist - I got this for well over 50% off - and it has been awesome so far. I would think about their 150 liter bag if it were on deep discount. probably not as durable as TNF or LLBean, but more than up to the task, I suspect.
I'm intrigued by Patagonia's black hole duffel. have read a lot of good things about it. but can't see paying a lot for a big one when LL Bean sells something I know will be durable for a fraction of the cost. any thoughts? same for Wild Things Gear's large duffels, but the one long zipper vs. D shape is a rule-out for me if I'm going to spend that kind of $$.