Traveling by car instead of by plane lets you pack more freely. For one, there’s no limit to the amount of liquids you can bring on your trip. There’s also no luggage size restrictions or weight limit — except, of course, the capacity of your vehicle.
While there aren’t any rules on what you can and can’t bring, road trip planning should include choosing the best road trip bag for your needs. Aside from holding your stuff, the right bags can help you stay organized and comfortable during extended time on the road.
What to Look for in a Duffel Bag
With their flexible shapes and soft exteriors, duffel bags are easy to store in the trunk of your car. But not all duffels are made alike. When choosing your bag, make durability a priority — otherwise you may have to replace it sooner than desired.
You should also research how much the brand stands behind their luggage. For example, Travelpro® luggage has several types of warranties, depending on the luggage collection, including a Built For A Lifetime Limited Warranty that covers broken zippers, straps, and carrying handles.
You’ll also want to think about how you plan on using your duffel. This will help you narrow down the number of compartments you’ll need. Will you be packing for a beach vacation, weekend camping trip, or cross-country adventure?
If you’re traveling for business, you might want a duffel that can serve as a road trip organizer – with added features like a garment folder that keeps professional attire wrinkle-free and ready to go when you arrive.
Meanwhile, if you’re heading out on a sporting adventure or packing items that may get soiled, look for a bag with separate compartments to store wet items, dirty shoes, or sporting goods. Also consider your carrying options, like shoulder straps and stacking straps. There are even wheeled duffels that you don’t even have to pick up!
Duffel Bag Size Guide
Duffel bags come in all different shapes and sizes. When you are road tripping, you don’t have to worry about carry on bags and overhead bins, but you still want to choose a duffle that holds what you need without weighing you down.
When it comes to choosing the best size duffel bag for traveling by car, if you have the space, err on the larger side, since the flexible material has enough give to fit into awkward spaces.
When comparing duffle bag sizes, ask yourself these three questions:
- How long is the duration of my trip?
- How much space will I need in order to pack everything?
- How much room will there be in the car for my luggage, especially if friends or family are bringing their own bags?
The Best Duffel Bags For Road Trips
- The Roadtrip 30" Drop-Bottom Rolling Duffel With Packing Cubes is super versatile. Use it to pack for several people, organize your trip by legs or activities, or when you want to have the flexibility to remove cubes to make more space.
- The Bold by Travelpro 30" Drop-Bottom Expandable Rolling Duffel gives you a duffle with the smooth rolling wheels you would normally find on a Rollaboard(r) suitcase. Great for adventurers, this bag is durable and has a big drop-bottom compartment and a wet compartment.
- The Crew VersaPack Weekender Carry-On Duffel Bag with Suiter doubles as a road trip bag and a carry-on for future flights. Plus, a removable fold-out suiter is ideal for keeping business or formal attire wrinkle-free during transit.