The 12 Best Waterproof Duffel Bags of 2023
Stay dry against sea, stream, and storm with our top picks.
Rena Behar is a freelance journalist and editor focusing on tech, travel, and gender. She has contributed to Travel + Leisure, TripSavvy, and more.
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Travel + Leisure / Alli Waataja
True waterproof duffel bags are a fairly specific use case, but if you’re hitting the river or packing for a live-aboard dive trip, it may be worth your while to invest in one. You’re looking for tough fabrics, sealed zippers or roll-tops, and a comfortable carry style (or three).
Note that there is also a difference between waterproof and water-resistant. A waterproof duffel is what you want for your serious adventure or aquatic travel. If you’re going to be traveling through a somewhat wet climate but still spending most of your time indoors or just want something that won’t get soaked through on a rainy runway, a water-resistant bag should be sufficient. We’ve included a few water-resistant duffels on this list.
This simple bag is super sturdy and easy to carry.
The bag itself is on the heavy side.
The Yeti Panga is the waterproof duffel to beat, thanks to its sturdy build and extreme popularity with gearheads. It’s made of a high-density, puncture-resistant nylon shell with an EVA molded bottom and HydroLok zipper to avoid any damage from being thrown around amid sharper gear or scraping against terrain. It’s also fully submersible, tested up to an IPX7 rating (which means it’s protected for up to 30 minutes of water immersion up to 1 meter deep). You get two internal mesh compartments for organization inside the main cavity plus durable metal hardware and padded straps that allow you to carry it either in-hand or as a backpack.
The 50-liter bag is likely sufficient for most travelers (and is also carry-on size for most airlines), but if you’ve got a longer or more gear-heavy trip ahead, you can jump up to the 75- or 100-liter options to hold everything you need. Then pick between the gray or tan colorways (while it’s not the most stylish luggage out there, it’s still a little sleeker than your average adventure bag) and you’re off to the sea spray.
Price at time of publish: $300 (50 liters)
The Details: 23.5 x 14 x 10 inches (50 liters) | 5.2 pounds | High-density nylon
Sea to Summit
This duffel won’t look out of place on your luggage rack but is built for the long haul.
It’s waterproof but not submersible due to the nature of the seams and zippers.
Okay, it’s still not cheap, but if you need a waterproof bag, you’re going to regret skimping if you spring a leak. Sea to Summit designed this duffel specifically for rough expeditions — with tarpaulin laminate, 1,000-denier nylon fabric, and anti-theft zippers — but it can accompany you on trips of all kinds. The stress points are also integrated into a 360-degree yoke so they won’t tear or otherwise compromise. It’s also easy to pack thanks to a broad base that will sit comfortably on any surface, and the lid opens wider than the standard duffel opening so you can squeeze in gear of all shapes and sizes. You also get a zippered internal pocket for extra organization. Once it’s shut, there are multiple lash points and external compression straps to keep everything in place, and the handles are attached via high-strength hooks so you can carry it comfortably in three different styles no matter how heavy it is. Gear up for expeditions of any length with 45, 65, or 90 liters of space in either charcoal or blue styles.
Price at time of publish: $164 (45 liters)
The Details: 11.4 x 23 x 11.4 inches (45 liters) | 3.18 pounds | Tarpaulin laminate and nylon
This bag has an IPX6 rating, recycled fabrics, sleek build, and even an external pocket, as well as multiple carry options.
It still doesn’t have as many organizational pockets as some non-waterproof cousins.
Need a duffel that’s waterproof but can still come with you on a regular weekend outing? Your best choice may be the Osprey Arcane. Osprey’s Arcane line is designed for a more everyday, street-ready look without sacrificing the performance features Osprey is known for, and their waterproof duffel delivers on that goal. It’s got an IPX6 rating (waterproof against heavy spray, but not submersible), and we appreciate that it’s made of recycled nylon that’s Bluesign-approved. You can carry it in-hand or wear it as a backpack, and it has multiple lash points to attach it to whatever vehicle you may be taking. You even get a small external pocket, a rarity on a waterproof duffel (though the pocket itself isn’t waterproof). The sleek design comes in black or an attractive gray-green, and the two available sizes (40 and 65 liters) are manageable while still being able to hold almost anything you’ll need. The 40-liter is even within the carry-on measurements for most airlines.
Price at time of publish: $250 (40 liters)
The Details: 21.65 x 13.78 x 7.87 inches (40 liters) | 1.6 ounces | Coated nylon
Carry everything — and we mean everything — while still staying comfortable and able to throw your bag around to your heart’s content.
There aren’t many organizational features.
If you’re really hauling some gear, Osprey’s Transporter is the best waterproof duffel for you. The IPX7 rating and YKK AquaSeal zipper will keep your belongings dry, while the recycled diamond ripstop, high-tenacity nylon with a double TPU coating means scrapes and rough handling won’t even register. It’s also impressively light at around just 3 pounds. Osprey uses their backpack expertise for the fully removable backpack straps (also usable as carry handles) to stay comfortable. There are also grab loops on the ends and sides, along with multiple lash points for however you choose to throw it around, and internal compression straps and a removable internal mesh pocket to keep things in order. Pick from a dark gray or bright orange-red; there are also 40- and 70-liter styles available if you like the build and don’t need quite as much capacity (or just want to get a whole set).
Price at time of publish: $400
The Details: 33.46 x 18.11 x 12.3 inches | 2.99 pounds | Recycled nylon
You get easy carry options without sacrificing durability.
While the aluminum frame helps keep things light, it’s still heavier than a non-wheeled model.
Wheels aren’t always the most practical choice for the backcountry, but they’ll still make the journey from your house to the airport, and maybe from the river to your post-float lodgings, smoother. Ortlieb’s RG combines an IP67 rating and welded seams with an all-black exterior that gives it a sleeker look, or you can opt for high-visibility yellow so you don’t lose track of it on the belt. The aluminum frame is designed to make it lighter to tow, along with large wheels and impact-proof underside for maneuverability even off road. Once things get too bumpy, you can switch to in-hand carry or wear it as a backpack. For the organization-inclined, it offers a zippered external pocket (though this one isn’t waterproof), as well as a zippered inside pocket and internal compression belt. There’s a compact and carry-on-friendly 34-liter option available, as well as 60- and 85-liter builds. Carrying an even larger setup or need something more rugged? You can upsize to the RS, which comes in 85, 110, and a whopping 140 liters, and is designed for expedition-level travel.
Price at time of publish: $400
The Details: 60L: 26 x 10 x 15 inches | 7.16 pounds | Waterproof polyester
In addition to its large capacity, this bag offers a convenient removable storage pocket and multiple lash points and carry options.
The straps attach to the bag via velcro, so an extra-heavy load may cause them to separate from the bag, and the fabric is on the thinner side.
The Patagonia Guidewater has hydrophobic panels and straps that mean everything will stay dry, even your shoulders as you carry it either in-hand or backpack-style. If you want to adjust your strap points or attach other gear, there are plenty of lash points available. You also get an internal organizer pocket that can even be taken out and attached to those lash points if you’d rather have it externally available. It’s also surprisingly light at just over 2 pounds and available in blue or green hues. We’re also fans of the matching waterproof backpack (who says outdoor adventuring means your luggage set can’t be coordinated?). Note that the straps attach to the bag via velcro, so an extra-heavy load may cause them to separate from the bag.
Price at time of publish: $300
The Details: 33 x 15.75 x 16 inches | 2.25 pounds | Recycled nylon and polyester
It’s simple and easy both to pack, close, and throw around.
There are no organizational features, and you have to be careful not to overpack or it won’t close properly.
If you’re looking for a wider opening and a classic dry-bag closure, your best pick is SealLine’s WideMouth Duffel. This style is particularly useful if you’re packing larger items that may not be able to wrangle inside a traditional duffel’s narrower opening, as the roll-top closure opens up to the circumference of the entire bag. You get one giant cavity to work with, which is great for holding a lot but less exciting for those who love pockets, and you do have to make sure you leave enough room to roll it shut to get it to seal properly. Once it’s rolled, it’s fully waterproof with welded seams; just pick it up or sling it over your shoulder with adjustable snap-closure handles. You get three colors (blue, bright yellow, or classic black) and three sizes (25, 40, and 70 liters) to choose from as well.
Price at time of publish: $125 (40 liters)
The Details: 12 x 19.5 x 12.6 inches (40 liters) | 1.75 pounds | Coated polyester and nylon
Filson combines a classic look with an extreme build.
If you overpack it, it won’t close properly.
If you want a roll-top closure but the appearance of a more traditional duffel, upgrade to the Filson. It looks just like your regular duffel bag, but it’s made of a TPU-coated 840-denier nylon with radio-frequency-welded seams, which will stand up to water, abrasion, and wherever you happen to throw it. The webbing and padding are stitched on an additional layer of waterproof fabric (so they don’t create any tiny holes in the main body fabric). It closes like a traditional dry bag, with a water-tight roll-top closure, so you have to be careful not to overpack. But if you do, the handles fully wrap around the bag for support, and the removable shoulder strap has a pad so your carry doesn’t get uncomfortable. The 65-liter medium comes in a bright orange or dark olive green, or you can jump up to the 90-liter large version in green for longer hauls.
Price at time of publish: $250
The Details: 25 x 12.25 x 21.5 inches | Coated nylon
This ultralight duffel has all of the perks of a full-size and multiple carry options without taking up a ton of space.
It’s water-resistant and “weatherproof,” but not fully submersible.
If you don’t need your entire luggage to be waterproof, but perhaps just something to use on a rainy outing or day on the water, consider a smaller, packable version of a waterproof duffel. You’ll still get 30 liters of space within its “weatherproof” design (the materials are waterproof and seams are sealed, so it can take some hard splashes, but you won’t want it to fall overboard). Carry it in-hand, as a single-strap sling bag, or as a backpack, then fold it into its front pocket to tuck away the straps for packing or squish it into the included compression sack. Plus, the light weight and packability don’t come at the expense of durability, thanks to reinforced panels. Do keep in mind that it’s water-resistant, but not fully submersible. (If you need a small bag that can really get drenched, you want a dry bag.)
Price at time of publish: $85
The Details: 22 x 11 x 8 inches | 8.5 ounces | Ripstop nylon
You still get some waterproofing, plus more pockets than average and multiple carry options.
It only protects from up to light rain.
We appreciate the style that Rains brings to its waterproof backpacks, and you can see that same sensibility in the Texel duffel. It’s not fully waterproof — Rains says it offers protection from up to “light rain” — but if that’s all you need, it’ll do the job in an attractive package. It has a large opening, plus lots of pockets for the category: a concealed outer side pocket, internal side mesh pocket, and two zipped mesh pockets under the main flap. You can carry it in-hand with the snap-together shorter handles or wear it with the adjustable padded backstraps. While there’s only one size available (56 liters), it comes in black, olive, or a dramatic white with black accents.
Price at time of publish: $225
The Details: 13.4 x 24.4 x 13.4 inches | 2.62 pounds | Coated polyester
Recycled materials, an impressive capacity, and top-tier reputation make this duffel worthy of checking out.
You can’t submerge it, and it’s definitely a rugged look.
If you want a duffel that can hold up to almost any expedition and don’t need a fully waterproof build but do want some protection against the elements, go for the classic. The Patagonia Black Hole won top honors in our test of carry-on duffels and best for camping in our overall duffel tests, so you know it’s got a good thing going. This beloved series of bags is solidly water-resistant, made of recycled materials, and capable of folding up into its own pocket for easy storage when your trip is over. The ripstop polyester is TPU-coated and DWR-treated, so it’s got some solid anti-moisture capabilities. There’s also a zippered smaller exterior pocket and a mesh pocket under the lid in addition to the main compartment for extra organizing abilities. You also can carry it in-hand or convert to a backpack. Choose from 40, 55, 70, or 100 liters, with or without wheels, in a rainbow of colors.
Price at time of publish: Starting at $159 (40 liters)
The Details: 21 x 13.7 x 10.6 inches (40 liters) | 2.05 pounds | Recycled polyester
A classic weekender gets an extra protective touch.
Like other Rains products, this is designed for up to light rain only.
We’re suckers for a good weekender, and this one has the bonus of protection against up to light rain for those who don’t expect to weather stronger storms. The sleek build houses a single compartment with a 39-liter capacity, which should be more than sufficient for shorter trips. (Though you can go down to the small if you’re packing extra light or up to the large for a longer trip.) We also appreciate the many color options, especially the light green Haze and metallic blue Sonic, and ability to carry it in-hand with the snap-together handles or use the adjustable shoulder strap.
Price at time of publish: $110
The Details: 10.6 x 20.5 x 10.2 inches | 1.8 pounds | Coated polyester
For the sort of trip that requires a waterproof duffel, you’re probably also hauling gear. If you’re trying to one-bag it, you may have to go up in size to checked bag dimensions to fit everything; if you’re going to be carrying your gear separately, a smaller duffel just for your clothes and other personal items may suffice.
If you’re, say, portaging a canoe for a few miles or even just running through the airport on a tight layover, you’re going to want a bag that’s easy to carry in the process. Many of our top picks have handles that can be set up over your shoulder or as a backpack carry to keep your hands free.
Waterproof duffels aren’t usually the most packed with organizational features. After all, the more seams and zippers there are, the more potential weak points for water to get in. If you love having separate pockets for all your items, these may not be the best bags for you (though you can always add some packing cubes for internal sorting).
Aside from the obvious “waterproof” quality of the material, you also want something sturdy — your bag will quickly stop being waterproof if a hole rips open. Look for fabrics like ripstop nylon to make sure a rogue boulder snag doesn’t ruin your trip.
Most travelers don’t need an intense degree of waterproofing on their bags, but it can be useful if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outside in a wet climate like the Pacific Northwest or Southeast Asia in the rainy season, or taking a long trip out on the water, whether that’s a lake trip via canoe or island-hopping on a small boat. You may be just fine with a bag that’s water-resistant rather than fully waterproof, however, which will open up your options considerably.
They can be. As always, the first rule is to check your airline’s individual bag size policies. If you’re within the size limits (and also make sure you don’t overpack and bloat up your bag), then you’re good to go. Keep in mind that you’ll want a duffel bag with comfortable straps if it’s your only carry-on, since you’ll be toting it through the airport and around your destination on its own. Many of our favorite waterproof picks can be carried backpack-style.
For this story, Rena Behar relied on her extensive experience as a gear researcher and traveler and sifted through multiple tests, reviews, and product catalogs to find the best waterproof duffel bags.
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