Duffle bags (also spelled Duffel) owe their name to Duffel. A small town in Belgium. There, the fabric of the original duffel bag, originally used for soldiers, is said to have originated in the early years of the 20th century. Contemporary duffels are culindrical or square bags made from a variety of fabrics, from canvan to polyester, leather and microfiber.
Over the years, duffle bags have evolved from mere utilitarian objects in the 1960s to iconic fashion expressions of today. From a largely military background, it is now a trendy casual overnight bag that still carries on its primary role - a safe and convenient storage place for luggage.
An emerging trend
"Casual" is the term denoting the traveling pastime of the worldly man, who is no longer tied down to his job alone. Duffel bags are the epitome of this. The global travel bags market report predicts that the industry will grow at a rate of 12.6% between 2018 and 2022, with functionality being the key driver. People are traveling more than ever, and many are taking a duffel bag as hand luggage on the plane as it offers a large capacity and avoids having to pay extra for luggage.
Many people also go to the gym with a duffel bag over their shoulder, campers and nature lovers take the bags for outdoor activities, and finally, students and professionals use them as a travel bag or overnight bag for a few days of business or leisure travel.
Different types of duffle bags
Most duffle bags are designed specifically for travelers who are tired of airlines charging more for hold luggage. Bags designed for hand luggage usually have more compartments and have legal restrictions.
Popular types of duffel bags include the following:
Rolling duffel bags: These have wheels and telescoping handles. the outer pockets are also ideal for long distance travellers. Rolling duffel bags are very useful as they save the pain of carrying the full weight of a heavy bag by hand or on the shoulder.
Lightweight duffel bags: Usually made of nylon, polyester, or canvas, these are versatile tote bags for everything from sports equipment to a doctor's bag. Their light weight is the main consideration.
Leather duffel bags: These travel bags are becoming very trendy these days. Aside from their luxurious look, they are usually very durable and last a long time, giving you value for money.
Functionality should always come before fashion - do you need a small or large capacity travel bag, what is the weight of the bag, is it easy to carry by hand or maybe you prefer an overnight bag that is more comfortable to carry with a shoulder strap? This is all the more important if you travel far or stay in an inhospitable climate. A canvas bag always trumps polyester in a hot and dry environment. However, a leather duffle bag is not the best option for extremely dry environments, as the leather can dry out and harden.
Waterproof duffle bags prevent liquids or heavy rain from damaging your belongings and your holdall. Many leather holdalls are treated with wax and various oils to seal and protect against water.
Duffle bags have become increasingly popular in recent years. They can be used as hand luggage for flights, large capacity bags for the gym or sports equipment or just for everyday use. When choosing the right duffel bag for you, you need to consider functionality, materials (canvas and leather duffle bags are the most durable, but also a bit heavier) and your unique sense of fashion.
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