Duffle Bags vs. Backpacks: Which One is Better for Travelling?

melissa whillas

Posted on May 04 2021

Duffle Bag

When it comes to discussions about what bag is best suited for travellers, the choice narrows down to two bag types - backpacks and duffle bags. Whether you are traveling overseas or taking a short weekend getaway trip to a town a few hours away, you need a bag that can store and carry your personal belongings. Backpacks and duffle bags are two of the most popular choices among men and women alike. But what is the most superior of the two? Is it the rugged and reliable backpack or the more luxurious-looking duffle bag? 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the features of backpacks and duffle bags. It’s only fitting to enumerate the inherent characteristics, as this will help you choose one that best suits your needs. 

How to make the right choice between backpacks and duffle bags?

Many factors influence a trip. For an international flight or domestic travel, specific details will help you decide the bag to use for your trip. Here are some of the pertinent questions to ask yourself when packing for a trip:

- What is your mode of transportation?

Will you be driving to your destination? Are you going on a cruise trip? Are you flying out? Your transportation will heavily impact your final decision as to what bag to use. If you are traveling by land, you may opt for a backpack or a duffle bag. If you have enough space in your car, you don’t have to narrow down your choices, to be honest. However, if you are using public transportation, such as trains, buses, or planes, a compact backpack or a weekender duffle bag are perfect. 

- How is the condition of roads and hotels on the way to the destination?

If you are going on a wild and wicked adventure in the mountains or a far-flung community overseas, it’s more comfortable to use bags that you can carry on your back; hence a backpack is always suitable for these trips. However, if you're headed to a destination with good road infrastructure, good hotels with elevators, you may want to take a duffle bag with you instead. 

- Will you be moving a lot, or are you staying at one place during your trip?

If you’re out on a business trip, your movement is somewhat limited, so using a duffle bag may be best. However, if you plan on a multi-destination trip and constantly go from one place to another, a compact and sturdy backpack is a better choice. 

The Advantages of Using Backpacks for Traveling

  • Depending on the model and type of backpack, the security level varies between medium security to none. A bag with lockable zippers for the main compartment and external pockets will ensure all your belongings are safe during travels. If you are traveling to a foreign city or country, it’s always best to take precautions to protect yourself from theft. As backpacks are made from materials that can be easily cut open with a knife, no one backpack can assure 100% security. 
  • In terms of versatility, backpacks, with their inherent compact design, are best for trips that require walking and lots of traveling across multiple destinations. For rough and rugged trips, choose a backpack outfitted with straps and a harness that will help prevent damage in transit. 
  • When it comes to capacity, backpacks can store a decent amount of belongings at one time. Due to their compact design, it is more challenging to pack backpacks when you are about to go on a long-term trip. For shorter trips, we highly recommend the Whillas & Gunn Kokoda Backpack. The scout-style is made from durable, military-grade, and waxed canvas. It is embellished with Whillas and Gunn signature horse bridle leather fastenings. The spacious compartment can house all your small essentials, such as phones, keys, wallets, and cameras. The main compartment is equally spacious, with a dedicated slip pocket for electronics such as laptops or tablets. The Kokoda Backpack comes in two colours, namely camel and moss, and measures 34cm W X 12cm D X 31cm H and is outfitted with cotton lining and antique brass hardware.
  • Durability is one of the major selling points of backpacks. As backpacks usually carry heavier items, they are made from sturdy fabrics that can endure years of use and abuse. If you are looking for a small but highly durable backpack for everyday use, we recommend Whillas & Gunn Rucksack in Camel.

The Advantages of Using Duffle Bags for Travelling

  • Security-wise, duffle bags offer the same protection as backpacks. Unless your duffle bag is outfitted with security locks, it delivers low protection when you’re traveling via public transportation. 
  • In terms of comfort and convenience, it is perfect if you’re carrying essential gear over short distances. Duffle bags such as the Whillas & Gunn Trap Duffle Large in Husk is made from thick drought canvas that will protect your belongings from the elements. It’s an ideal bag to score cameras and sporting equipment that need to be handled with care. It comes with a removable shoulder strap for added convenience, especially if you plan to bring more than one bag on your trip. 
  • It is relatively easier to pack duffle bags, thanks to their spacious main compartments. When shopping for this type of bag, please think of the objects you intend on filling them with. For instance, if you are going for short weekend trips, a rugged yet sophisticated-looking bag such as the Kokoda Duffle Medium in Medium is your best bet. 
So, which one is the better choice for traveling? Both backpacks and duffle bags have their own sets of advantages, making them popular bag styles for trips. The answer to this question all boils down to your personal preference, activities, and budget. If you want to check out rugged and heavy-duty backpacks and duffle bags, check out our extensive collection of bags here. Kakadu Traders is one of the leading brands when it comes to superior-quality bags for travel and leisure. For enquiries, please do not hesitate to give us a call at +61 2 9709 3555 today.

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