Duffel Bags

Whether you’re a weekend boater, going on a charter, or liveaboard who sometimes travels off the boat, you know that soft-sided luggage is a must. It just has to be able to fold up and stow away in as little space as possible when it’s not in use.

But what about all those other things you’d like in a bag?

  • Tough – it gets knocked around a lot as it’s handed on and off the boat
  • Comfortable to carry across the parking lot and down that looooong dock
  • Water repellant for those rainy days and trips in the dinghy
  • Stain repellant so it still looks nice after a year of use
  • U-shaped top opening to make it easier to pack
  • Zippers that don’t fail
  • No fraying fabric at the seams
  • Zippered mesh compartment to put “little stuff” in so it doesn’t get lost
  • Inside pocket for your tablet or Kindle
  • Outside pocket for whatever you might need before you’re really “at” your destination – say a snack bar or gate keys and your phone

I’ve been using the Sailor Bags “racer” duffel for the past couple of months and have found it to be wonderful – wish I’d had it all the years we raced on the regatta circuit. Best point: it’s really tough. Handles aren’t going to pull out or the fabric tear at the seams, which is what’s happened with so many other duffels we’ve had over the years. (Sailor Bags are guaranteed for life.)

The organizer pockets just work. They’re in good locations and good sizes – and there aren’t so many that they interfere with the main compartment’s capacity.

Need a new duffel to take to and from the boat? How about one that's actually designed for boaters? Why I love Sailor Bags duffels!

Need a new duffel to take to and from the boat? How about one that's actually designed for boaters? Why I love Sailor Bags duffels!

Sailor Bags come in several different sizes, with two duffels, a day pack, “sundry bag” which works well for your toiletries, and more. And there’s a choice of colors: the new “silver spinnaker” line shown in the photo, or their traditional red/white/blue lines.

Sailor Bags gave me the bag as part of the giveaway they sponsored to promote the new silver spinnaker line, with the understanding that I’d write an unbiased review. Mine is the “racer” size (the “cruiser” is a little larger) and I can easily fit cloths for 4 or 5 days in it – although my wardrobe does tend to be a swimsuit, shorts and tops along with a windbreaker or fleece. As our other bags fail, we’ll be buying Sailor Bags duffels to replace them – I’m totally sold on them as being much better than other bags we’ve had and cheaper in the long run as we don’t have to keep replacing them.

I’d suggest their package with the cruiser duffel and the sundry bag – this combo could easily get you through a week in a warm climate if you pack tightly and don’t need lots of different shoes (bonus: it’ll fit as a carry on).

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  • Brett Boutle
    Posted at 22 January 2016 Reply

    Ive used my Nortface bag for years basically a really really tough bag

  • Pierre
    Posted at 22 January 2016 Reply

    I use Marks Work Warehouse’s “Work Pro” duffle bag. It doesn’t have the ‘u’ shaped zipper or any pockets which is a bit of a nusance but I use smaller bags inside to stay organized. I have been using one for a year (I work almost every day on the railroad) and it still looks brand new. Marks is a Canadian store and it sells for ~$65 Canadian which is ~$46 USD today but they have shipping which I use often. They come in various sizes and I use a medium sized duffle which is great for our trips which can be well over 40 hours long. Many railroaders use which are a great duffle but they’re much more expensive…

  • Pierre
    Posted at 22 January 2016 Reply

    Con’t…Many railroaders use Redoxx’…

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