The Best Luggage-period!
Really shocked this bag does not have 50+ 5-star reviews. This is a classic piece of equipment that every outdoor person should use.
Now if your use of a duffel bag is to throw in some shorts and towel to take to the gym, than any cheap WallyWorld bag will do.
On the other hand if you need a bag that will withstand being stuffed with boots, tents, climbing equipment, ski equipment, etc. A bag that that can withstand riding in the bed of a pick up in the rain and keep your stuff dry or across gravel roads in west Texas and keep the dust off. A bag that can handle the abuse of airline baggage handlers. A bag that you can lash to a yak, mule, or horse. AND...A bag can do all of that year after year after year. For those who need THAT bag the TNF Base Camp Duffel is the best bag in the business.
This is one tough bag. Stuff it full. Put in big bulky items. Leave it outside your tent all night. Drag it. Drop it. Abuse it. It will take it.
I have had one for 15 years that has seen rough use. It is my luggage of choice for any travel. It has withstood everything I have thrown at it (climbing racks, boots, ice tools, tripods, trekking poles, tons of clothes and other gear ove rthe years) and still is going strong and keeps my gear dry and safe. I added a second one this last summer to have two for those really large gear hauling needs. The changes in 15 years are minimal as this bag was perfected a long time ago.
I find the Large to be an ideal sized bag for a checked item that is big enough to meet most travel needs. For those big gear trips I use two of the Large sized ones. The XL and XXL models would be for those with really big gear (SCUBA and skiers comes to mind). The Medium model is supposed to be carry on sized.
BTW-The yellow one is easier to find items inside of it than the black one. I would imagine the brighter colors will be bet And when your bag hits the carousel at the airport you will know it instantly.
One of the true classics and a 5 star item all the way. The last best way to describe it-buy this and you will still be using it four presidential administrations from now.
Always trust The North Face.
If you are looking for the sturdiest duffel on the market, The Base Camp is an incredible buy. You can trust TNF to use the best materials to construct a relatively indestructible pack when comparing to the others.
I researched and compared pros and cons of almost all worthy competitors. For the most part, the Black Hole Duffel by Patagonia was a close runner up the entire way.
I was only considering duffels with backpack-style shoulder strap carrying systems.
Planning for a backpacking trip in South East Asia, I began looking into high capacity camping backpacks, but due to their higher price to volume ratio compared to duffels, which usually have much more volume for the price, I began looking into more economic, yet suitable options in duffels (with backpack straps of course).
While the Base Camp duffel uses a lighter massed nylon (840 and 1000) than the Black Hole (1040 or so), the weaving pattern allows for the "ballistic nylon" labeling, which BTW is the same material used in WWII bomber flak jackets (so I read). Upon receiving my duffel, I immediately was reassured of the claims to integrity. It looks and feels indestructible, and seems pretty water-proof. The high-quality zipping system also allows for the options of a little lock.
Two compression straps on each side of the bag allows for reducing empty space when the pack is less-than-fully packed, which I'm sure will help with by-passng carry-on rules and shoving the thing in the overhead compartment.
The only issues I foresee having are the lack of micro-organization options and the non-existant waist band. The only other compartment on this thing is a zip mesh pouch on the underside of the main flap for toiletries or documents. There are no pockets anywhere else, not even on the ends. Not having a waist band disallows the user to reduce stress on the back and shoulders while adding stability on the move. However, these things are not typical on duffel bags, and having the backpack strap option is already a major plus.
Super Strong and mostly waterproof
Simply said... Great duffel.
1) Waterproof (mostly) - I took a garden hose, filled up this duffel and it didn't leak. But the zipper is not water tight, so if you had a heavy rain, you stuff can get damp regardless of the large zipper flaps.
2) Supper durable Cordura fabric - This fabric is a beast, very tough and durable hands down. Buuuuut, see the review from the guy who got a hole in his. The fabric is very tough but very rigid, this causes for pointy and strong crease/points in the material. So if this duffel is creased and that point it made is rubbing against something, you will get some damage to the material. Unlike typical duffel material that will bend and flex when it comes in contact with something, this Cordura material is a little too stiff to always do that.
3) Shoulder straps - It's great that you can take this bag and wear it like a somewhat comfortable backpack. It's actually best when you do that b/c using the two straps over one shoulder like most duffels doesn't work too well.
4) Great for travel and gear - This bag is great to travel with, you can carry it onto any plane, stuff it wherever, sit on it in the airport and not worry about some rain. I love using this bag for rock climbing when there isn't a very long hike in. Just like for traveling it's great that this bag opens wide open to expose all your gear or vacation clothes. No more blind searching for your last pair of clean socks way at the bottom of the top load pack.
All around I love this bag and use it for tons of different things (including carrying my 5 year old niece around the house). It's a beast, it denies most water and has tons of open space that is easily accessible.
Bought this bag along with the rolling thunder. I wanted to have the space for gear but not all in one. I LOVE IT... Durable, spacoius but not too big, can be worn as a pack if needed allowing another bag with wheels if needed. A good size to also starp to the handle of a rolling thunder as well. I got Red... easy to pick out at an airport. GREAT! Once again Northface has another solid item. I have never been a Northface purchaser but as of late I have bought many items. I got tosay, they have not made one item i have not liked. I highly reccomend this bag to anyone that travels or just needs a strong bag for gear. Solid zippers, handle everwhere for ease of pick up and good padded straps incase of carrying it like a backpack. I reccomend, find you color and GET ONE. Oh, it also has very secure slots to put a name card it in. Do not buy name tags you don't need them with any of their bags. I have the Black rolling Thunder as well. So while I'm at it let me tell you... Phenominal! Top notch wheels solid carry retractable handle as well as strap handle on the side too. Wheels are Red, Handle is Red, very stylish. Thanks Northface.
best of the best
Used it for 14 month overland trip and allows quick access to everything as only one compartment inside. It has handy mesh pocket on opening flap.
Puts up with being pulled around. Seams and zips are strong and never broke.
Keeps the elements and dirt out and combined it with an oversize backpack cover for Airport checking and those dirty wet bus lockers.
Straps are not great if you intend to carry fully loaded for extended periods. ie backcountry trekking. But is perfect for RTW trip types as you never go more than a few blocks from bus to hostel etc
You can easily strap a tent and roll-mat to the outside. and plenty of loops where you can add your own straps.
A few dividers are useful to keep the bag organized inside. I used a reusable nylon shopping bag to keep certain things together. ie electronics I didn't want moving around.
All in all the best bag I have used for extended travel. Had a regular backpack with lots of different pockets and found access a problem. With a little organization this bag allows quick access to whatever you need.
It's going on my next trip, no question about it...
My husband and I live in Europe for work, and I make several trips back to the US every year in addition to my traveling around Europe. I wanted to find a bag that was easy to carry for both of us. Most importantly though, we wanted to find a bag that wouldn't look horrible after the first time we checked it on one of our flights. We had heard great things about this bag, and I will say that it does not disappoint!
I have carried this bag on several flights thus far, and taken it on a weekend trip. It still looks great and works to fulfill all of our needs.
The only issue I have had with this bag is that when I fill it to the max it is a little hard to zip around the corners, but even after traveling with the bag stuffed to the max I have never had any issued with the seams.
I love that this bag can be carried on the back. It is really helpful when it is a bit too heavy to carry on the shoulder.
We can't wait to take it camping when the spring comes!
Great for the Galapagos
I bought this bag in Large, Ivy Green. I love the size and color (looks just like the pictures). I'm a 5'2" female and was worried about the bag being to large for me to carry, but it was perfect. I've owned a bag like this before and it hit the back of my knees which made it impossible for me to carry. I was gone for 10 days (and am a self proclaimed over-packer) and there was plenty of space. This bag was sturdy and didn't let water in when it got wet. The zippers are great, very strong. We traveled all over Ecuador and it was perfect for being on the go as much as we were. I personally needed a little help getting it on at some points just having someone lift it up, but after that I could go forever. I'd definitely purchase it again. Easy to spot at luggage claim, etc.! If you're even slightly thinking about purchasing this bag, get it, especially if you hate roller bags as much as I do! I can't wait to use it again, it would be perfect for any type of trip, Europe, Camping, etc.
Let my start off by saying this is one of the best bags that I have ever purchased. Being a college student I am often forced to bring almost all of my clothes home during breaks, and was honestly struggling before I got this bag. Before I was using a much smaller duffel, rolling carry on bag, a backpack, and even a box to send some of my clothes home, but this bag has curbed that. Now I am able to carry nearly everything in this and the carry on, and only have a computer in my backpack. Aside from the much improved size from before, the bag is also very well desgined. First, no space is wasted do to "convenient" end pockets. Also, the material is much stiffer and appears plasticized which helps the bag hold up to the elements. My only gripe about this bag are the backpack straps for carrying. While the straps are quite functional, I would have liked to see them be detachable, so when traveling through and airport the likelihood that they get caught on anything is minimal. Overall, my favorite bag I've purchased
We purchased this initially for a 5 night cruise our family took Spring '11. To make it easier for everyone to get on and off the ship, I wanted everyone to have a backpack.
What most people complain about in this bag is expressly why I bought it - MINIMAL COMPARTMENTS. More pockets = more weight and more places you need to look to find stuff. I bought it because it looked quality, had large capacity, and had Backpack Straps. The bag is everything it needs to be - solid, highly water resistant, durable, and easy to haul around. The backpack straps were comfortable, and the other straps never got in the way (a big plus.)
I loved the bag and so did my wife; which is a very pleasant surprise indeed.
After the first trip, you can't tell it's been used. We'll see how it looks and performs after I take it fishing up in the wilderness of Canada.
I live in LA and I often participate in a few different activities in a day. I like to keep all my gear in these bags (I have 3) to keep everything together. These are great because they are a good size to carry your gear and they are durable. I don't worry about the straps breaking which happened on my previous bag. The different colors are good so I can distinguish what gear is in what bag and I can be sure not to grab my buddies by mistake as they have all bought them since they've seen mine. I like that it has the backpack straps so i can load up in one trip. I usually wear one as a backpack and carry the other 2 or wear one on my back and the other on my front. Saves me time.