Review: Peak Design Travel Duffel

Meet a game-changer in the world of travel bags

Today we are looking at the lightweight, super strong and oh-so-versatile 35-litre and 65-litre Travel Duffels from Peak Design. Say hello to the Travel Duffel.

In a sea of ordinary bags, these stand out, offering more than just a stylish way to carry your clothes—they’re built for adventurers with a penchant for practical versatile gear. Let’s put Peak Design’s newest Duffel to the test to see if it lives up to expectations…

Until now, I’d been calling this a “travel bag ” because I didn’t know what a duffel was, so I looked it up! Apparently its a sturdy adaptable soft bag commonly used by the military – this sounds like a net positive for a bag so I’m sold.

Both the 65L and the 35 L bag rock a sleek clean look. But it truly is deceptive simplicity at its finest as there’s a lot more than initially meets the eye.

Little and Large

First things first, the waterproof Peak Design 65L Travel Duffel is a BIG bag. No, I really mean BIG. This bag is designed for shifting ALL your stuff so what else could we do to try it out, but shift a load of stuff!!

So we used it to help move my son’s gear from home to university. What can I say? This monster unit swallowed everything we dumped in it and never felt as though it was just about to let go, such was the sturdiness of the whole unit. Now, I wouldn’t want to carry a full 65 litres worth of gear very often with my back but it’s good to know you can if you need to.

The 35 Litre version is, I’d say, probably more practical as a day-to-day unit. Obviously, smaller but way more practical as a weekend or overnight bag. I’ve taken one to meetings without feeling like I was going to wipe all the gear off the boardroom table which is a nice plus! And in case you were wondering, I’ve used one as a carry-on on a European flight and had no issues.

Construction

Both the 65 and 30 Litre Duffels are your trusty companions no matter how you travel. Normally I’d say they don’t build them like this any more, but Peak Design does. They’re tough and ready for action.  Made from weatherproof 100% recycled 600D nylon canvas shell with an ultra-durable waterproof bottom liner means you won’t feel like a damp squib if you have to put your bag down on a wet station platform. (Speaking from recent experience here)

And due to the recycled materials you can rest assured that Peak’s green credentials are as solid as their products. They are 100% carbon Neutral and Fair trade certified.

Zip Zip Hooray

Both duffles are single zip bags but I have to say, they have some of the smoothest zips I’ve had the pleasure of using. According to Peak, they are fitted with #10 UltraZips – I’m not sure what that means exactly but they are smooth and ‘slidey@ and weatherproof!  I didn’t realise this at the time but my bag was in the rain (along with me) and no water got in so I’m thinking there’s something in this whole ultrazip stuff!

Plus I’m loving the nice large Hypalon pulls which allow you to actually grip the zip properly!

Straps and handles

So this is where both travel Duffels come into their own. I’ve never seen a bag system with so many options and so many solid options that aren’t gimmicks.

The 35 and 65 L duffels have a removable shoulder strap an d2 removable hand straps which is made possible and super sturdy through the use of a neat cord hook system. It’s a set of small integrated cords mounted around the bags which allow you to change the positions of the straps and handles.

You could easily go from a simple shoulder strap to a cross-body strap in seconds. Or why not simply carry the bag with traditional hand straps but wait, maybe you need your hands free… just shift the handles to a different position again and the duffels turn into rucksacks. (which was my favourite configuration) Of course, the 65 litre duffle when full may be a little too heavy but it’s an excellent option!

So much storage

Both The 35 and 65 L duffels have nice solid full-length zipped side pockets with the 65 L bag offering 2 extra external high-volume side pockets. Inside as they are single zip duffel bags you get a large wide space which is perfect for packing all your gear and easy to root around in with nice visibility and access.

Over and above all that, if you need to organise yourself better or need to pack specific equipment, Peak Design offers and selection of packing cubes designed to fit in each size of bag. The 35L duffel can hold 3 packing cubes or camera cubes and the 65 L duffel can surprisingly hold up to 8 pack packing cubes or camera cubes. You can check out Peak Design’s storage options here.

A bag for life!

Obviously whatever size Duffel you pick really depends on how much stuff you need to lug around.  I’m loving the rucksack mode on both and being able to reconfigure the 65L duffel to suit my needs. But rest assured both the 35 and 65 L Travel Duffels are a superb, versatile travel and storage system that will survive all the rigours of your travel adventures.

You can buy the 35L and the 65L Travel Duffel direct from Peak Design here.
Or check out Peak Design’s products on Amazon here.

About Author
Born into a family of restauranteurs, Ricardo Pirroni didn't want to join the family business. His talents extended beyond the kitchen and he has spent the last 20 years honing his skills in various creative pursuits. From making things from scratch, 3d sculpting, drawing, designing graphics, art directing to brainstorming concepts. His work is not only functional, but also thought-provoking and entertaining. In addition to being a recognised authority on cake, his diverse range of talents and love of all things tech, makes him a versatile writer, capable of crafting stories that are both engaging and visually compelling.