Duffle bags are great. They’re lighter and hold a lot more than traditional suitcases of the same size because of their non-rigid form. If you’re going on a long trip and need to pack a lot of stuff, it’s a large duffel you should choose. However, they aren’t usually the best for organization and separation of things. One big cavernous main compartment and a few small outer pockets mean that everything will be in a bit of a mess when you reach your destination or you’ll have to dig through everything looking for something specific. That’s why getting the best drop bottom rolling duffel bag for these kinds of trips will save you some aggravation while still allowing you to transport a lot.
If you’re planning on taking a duffel bag on board a plane, then we have our top picks for a rolling carry on duffel bag and a non-wheeled carry on duffel.
Best Rated Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel Bag
Best Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel
Briggs & Riley Baseline Upright Rolling Duffle
Pathfinder Gear Rolling Drop Bottom Duffel
Coolife Rolling Duffel Travel Duffel Bag
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Rated Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel Bag
- 2 What is a Drop Bottom Duffel Bag?
- 3 Best Wheeled Drop Bottom Duffel Bags
- 3.1 Briggs & Riley Baseline Upright Rolling Duffle
- 3.2 Travelpro Tpro Bold 30 Inch Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel Bag
- 3.3 Samsonite Andante 2 Drop Bottom Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag
- 3.4 Pathfinder Gear Rolling Drop Bottom Duffels
- 3.5 Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel Bag
- 3.6 AmazonBasics Ripstop Rolling Wheeled Duffel Bag
- 3.7 Dakine Women’s Split Roller
- 4 Best Cheap Rolling Duffel with a Drop Bottom
What is a Drop Bottom Duffel Bag?
It is a duffel bag with a bottom compartment and top compartment instead of just one big internal space in a regular rolling duffel bag. Since oversized duffle bags with wheels can create a mess of your clothes and other gear inside one large packing space, having these two separate layers not only helps keep things tidier but also makes finding things easier.
The compartment at the top opens like a traditional duffel with a U-shaped or straight zippered opening, while the bottom compartment opens like a suitcase with a zip-around opening. A flexible divider separates these two compartments. The bottom one is best for packing heavy and bulky items while your clothes and accessories can go in the top one. This makes it good for sportsmen and women hauling their gear or for those moving house so that you don’t have to lug large boxes around. The wheels make it easier to carry large sizes anywhere.
This type of luggage makes a great large ski duffel bag so that you can separate ski gear and clothes but check in just one bag when flying. However, if you’re carrying ski boots or snowboarding gear but don’t want one big bag for everything, consider a separate ski boot bag and ski bag instead. We also go into detail about how to fly with ski gear.
Another kind of compartmentalization is where the bottom of the duffel when standing vertically is separated from the top. The Eagle Creek ORV Trunk 30″ drop bottom duffel bag has a separate opening to this lower compartment from the inside as well as outside.
When shopping for a rolling duffel bag with drop bottom, make sure it doesn’t tip over when standing upright – a common problem with badly designed large duffles. Also look out for its overall weight when it’s empty. A regular duffel is less structured than one with a drop bottom so the latter is rarely as light as the former.
Our picks for top rated large rolling duffel bags with a drop bottom compartment don’t have these problems and they make organization easy to boot.
Best Wheeled Drop Bottom Duffel Bags
Briggs & Riley Baseline Upright Rolling Duffle
For a duffel that is so sleek looking that you can use it for business trips in addition to vacations, look no further than this 26″ Baseline collection duffle bag from Briggs and Riley. It is the newest piece in the very popular softsided Baseline collection, particularly the 2-wheeled uprights which we rate highly, and though it retails for around $400, it is the most durable of our picks and includes an unlimited lifetime warranty.
The tough ballistic nylon fabric is available in olive green, navy, or black, and a light but durable honeycomb frame keeps the bag flexible but enables it to hold its shape. This is the smallest one in the list at 26″ but is surprisingly roomy and features lots of storage compartments. Being compact and sleek makes it a good choice as a versatile duffle for men or women. It measures 26″ x 14″ x 15.2″ and weighs 9.7 lbs.
The flat packing section at the bottom is 4″ high, while the duffle section has garment restraining panels to keep your clothes in place. It also features two zippered mesh compartments for undergarments. The two packing sections are separated by a U-shaped zippered divider that can be rolled up to give you one big packing space if needed.
There is a long zippered gusseted outer side pocket to hold quick access items and a hide away ID tag to keep your identity private.
The aluminum handle is set on the outside of the bag to minimize wrinkling and giving you maximum packing space. It locks in at 4 different heights, so it’s comfortable for users of all heights to wheel along. It is set into a V-groove for smooth handling.
The smooth rolling wheels and wedged feet are low profile, while the top and side leather grab handles are webbed. The side handles also feature a leather-wrapped snap closure to make it easy to haul the bag without wheeling.
The YKK zippers are self-healing and lockable and all 4 corners of the duffel have protective corner guards.
Travelpro Tpro Bold 30 Inch Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel Bag
If the B&R duffel above is a bit too pricey or too staid then consider the Travelpro Tpro Bold 30 Inch Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel. With a shell made completely of polyester and water repellent coating, this 118L 30″ by 15″ by 16″ drop bottom wheeled duffle on two wheels features dual velcro-wrapped duffel handles, one side grab handle, one bottom haul handle, an aluminum telescopic handle and ball-bearing inline skate wheels. The telescopic handle stops at two points to allow users of different heights to handle the bag easily.
The exterior organizational features of the Travelpro Tpro Bold Drop-Bottom Duffel include one long zippered side wet pocket and one top zippered pocket. When you open the duffel style zippered lid you’ll find a mesh pocket on the inside of it and a large packing space on the top half of the bag. A flexible divider flap that can be rolled up to the side and secured by two velcro straps allows you to extend this space right down to the bottom of the duffel if you need. If you prefer to have two levels of storage space you can keep the divider zipped in place and open the drop bottom compartment separately via dual zippers. The drop bottom compartment can be extended by 2″ if needed by just a pull of the expansion zippers. A pair of external compression straps buckle up to make the bag as compact as possible and reduce zipper strain if you overstuff.
This duffel will stand erect pretty well on its bottom haul handle that doubles as a stand.
Samsonite Andante 2 Drop Bottom Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag
The Samsonite Andante 2 Drop Bottom Wheeled Rolling Duffels come in two sizes – 28″ (7.25 lbs) and 32″ (8.5 lbs) and 3 cool colors. They strongly represent the brand’s USP of a refined look combined with durability and practical functionality.
The pieces feature a shell made of water resistant Dobby polyester. You can wheel them by the strong locking telescopic handle or haul them by the top handle and two side handles. The inline skate wheels roll smoothly over any terrain.
The bags feature two main compartments. The top one opens via a full-sized D-shaped flap opening to make packing and accessibility a breeze. The bottom drop bottom compartment opens clam-style and is perfect for using large and small packing cubes if you want additional organization. You also have a pocket on the underside of the top compartment. Both these compartments are closed by sturdy double zipper pulls with zipper heads that are lockable with your own luggage padlocks.
There are single zippered pockets on each end of the duffel where you can pack shoes and damp items. These pockets are gusseted so that nothing falls out when you open them.
The duffels feature some protective details, like corner bumper protectors and bottom bumper runners to safeguard against damage from scrapes and bumps.
Some may not like the absence of pockets inside the main compartments. If you want to be able to stand the duffel upright without support, you’ll have to pack heavier and larger items at the bottom where the wheels are, which is inconvenient. Otherwise, it’s best that you always lie the bag down on its long flat bottom or against a wall when upright.
Pathfinder Gear Rolling Drop Bottom Duffels
You won’t get the variety of colors that some duffle bags offer but you will get more pockets, both inside and out, with the Pathfinder Gear Rolling Drop Bottom Duffels that come in four sizes – 22″ (5.5 lbs), 26″ (9.5 lbs), 32″ (11 lbs) and 36″ (13 lbs). These are only available in black or olive green.
These bags are really meant for safari and adventure travelers, as the rugged oversized wheels are designed for rough terrain and high ground clearance. These wheels also include a “stopper” design to allow you to stand the bags upright without the need for external support. The telescopic handle is heavy duty and there is a top neoprene handle and dual duffel hauling handles kept together by a Velcro wrap.
The main packing space is divided into an upper and lower chamber by a zipper divider panel that can be rolled back and tethered if you want just one big packing space. The whole duffel can also be expanded by 20% by just unzipping an extra couple of inches of fabric all around. The bottom compartment has a pair of compression straps, a zippered pocket along one long side and two elastic top pockets along the other.
There are a few pockets on the exterior of the bag. One zippered end pocket lies near the handle and a large gusseted u-shaped zippered pocket with a horizontal one on top of that is right on the front.
All the external zippers feature T-bar pulls to reduce the risk of them snagging and breaking off.
The only negative with this drop bottom luggage is that the larger ones can tip over if packed poorly, especially if you utilize the expansion feature. The zippers don’t have very large locking head loops for a TSA luggage lock, but the pull tabs can accommodate one.
Eagle Creek Expanse Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel Bag
Since a drop bottom compartment is most useful on large duffels, the Eagle Creek Expanse 32 inch Drop Bottom Wheeled Duffel Bag is the only one in the Eagle Creek Expanse collection that has it. With 129 liters of packing capacity and weighing 8.4 lbs, it is extremely roomy due to its simple and cavernous interior. It is made with abrasion resistant polyester.
The inline skate wheels for rolling the bag are set into heavy duty housing and the telescopic handle extends up to a height of 42″.
You can choose to utilize the entire interior of the duffel as a single large packing space or zip up the divider panel that creates a top compartment and a lower drop bottom compartment. In this form, you can access the bottom one by opening up the duffel book-style by the external dual zippers. This compartment has two compression straps to keep things in order. The top compartment is accessed by the top dual-zippered panel.
There are two external pockets, one on each end, and both dual zippered. All zippers feature zipper locking heads so that you can use your own TSA luggage locks or zip tabs. All the top zippers feature Secure Zip Toggles that prevent the zippers themselves from getting caught and torn off. There’s a central lock point between the top end pocket and the opening flap of the main top compartment. You can secure the zippers of these two compartments to it using luggage locks or just the Secure Zip Toggles to deter pickpockets from accessing them using a sharp object like a ballpoint pen.
There are multiple external lash points from where you can attach extra gear or use them to secure the duffel to the top of your car.
This duffel bag is not meant to stand up on its own and must be leaned against a wall or set down on its back. There are two feet closer to the extension handle end to keep the bottom off the ground.
AmazonBasics Ripstop Rolling Wheeled Duffel Bag
The surprisingly well designed AmazonBasics Ripstop Rolling Wheeled Duffel Bags come in 3 colors – all black, blue, and red. The sizes available are 28″, 32″ and 37″. The numerous organizational pockets and extra large capacities are the selling points here.
While the top and front are made of 100% polyester, the sides and bottom are made of ripstop polyester for extra durability. The bottom also features a pair of runner rails to keep the bottom off the ground.
A simple but effective upright telescopic handle pulls the duffels around on the two inline skate wheels. There are two haul handles as well on the front of the duffels. The bottom features a bar stand that doubles as a handle near the front to counterbalance the wheels and allow you to stand the bags upright when stationary. You do have to pack the bags properly with heavy items near the wheels end if you want them to stand on their own.
These duffels come with two external compression straps to keep them as compact as possible when fully packed. The straps also reduce strain on the zippers.
There are lots of pockets inside and outside. Instead of an exterior front pocket, these duffels feature a large U-shaped dual zippered top pocket that’s placed over the main compartment’s lid. This makes it easy for you to access anything that you pack there. There are also two zippered pockets, one large and one small, on the top near the telescopic handle, and one small one at the bottom, in front of the duffel stand.
The top main compartment opens via a double zipper D-shape lid. The bottom main compartment is separated by a zippered mesh panel from the inside that you can roll up if you don’t want two separate layers. This compartment also opens up book-style from the outside via two lockable zippers.
While all the zippers have zipper pulls, only the bottom compartment’s zippers have lockable zipper heads. You will also need to be a bit careful while zipping and unzipping all the compartments. These duffels are also not light, so if you plan to take them on a plane trip, make sure you check the airline’s luggage limits beforehand and don’t overpack.
Dakine Women’s Split Roller
The most unique features you’ll find among split compartment rolling bags are from the Dakine Women’s Split Roller. It is available in two sizes – the 85 liter 30 inch roller, and the 110 liter 32 inch roller.
This bag is not quite like a duffel bag because you have to open it clam style in order to access any of the main compartments.
The bottom compartment is simple in design and is separated internally from the top compartment by a zippered mesh divider. It can be accessed clam shell style by the external zippers that have lockable heads.
The top compartment is where the magic happens. This is actually split further into two separate sections. The top section is accessible from inside by a mesh zippered panel. The bottom section is accessed by an opaque zippered panel. Inside this section are two Split-Wing collapsible braces that provide a frame for structure and stability. When the bag is stood upright on its two rear in-line skate wheels and front stand, this frame is what allows it to stand upright on its own. If you don’t need to pack anything in the top compartments, these braces can be folded away and the top can be folded flat for storage or for light packing.
The external front of this split roller bag features two U-shaped zippered pockets and two padded haul handles. A a pair of external compression straps keeps the strain off the zippers.
There are several protective features here, including corner bumper guards and bottom rail guards.
The only downside with this bag is that it is quite heavy.
Best Cheap Rolling Duffel with a Drop Bottom
Coolife Rolling Duffel Travel Duffel Bag
If you’re the kind that likes your luggage to have every feature possible at a low price, these Coolife Rolling Duffel Travel Duffel Bags are the best drop bottom rolling duffel bag options for you.
This is one of the better budget options if you want some pockets on the outside for organization. In addition to the split level top and bottom main compartments, there are two front pockets and two end pockets. The front pockets open differently – one by zipper and one by a snap buckle. The end pockets are both zippered but with different shaped openings. These make it easy to fit odd shaped items into the best fitting pocket.
The top section opens via a traditional U-shaped duffel flap that is lockable via the zippers. There is a pocket on the inside of this flap. The bottom compartment features two restraining straps and opens like a clam via zippers that go all the way to the back and the two can be used as one big compartment with the inside divider rolled up.
There is a push button telescopic handle, a top carry handle and two front grab handles with a grip wrap. The two wheels are inline skate mounted and there’s a stand to counterbalance the wheels and keep the duffels standing on their own. Bottom runners prevent damage from scrapes.
The top section is unstructured, and therefore collapsible if you only want to use the bottom section. This also makes it easier to store.
TPRC Sierra Madre Duffel Bag
There are two drop bottom wheeled duffels in the TPRC Sierra Madre Duffel Bag collection by Traveler’s Club – 30 inch and 36 inch wheeled duffel luggage.
The design is simple with just enough features to make it a very good pick for those on a tight budget. While the bags don’t have the most durable of zippers, they are pretty inexpensive.
Top and front padded carry handles and a sturdy telescopic handle with two inline skate wheels are your transporting options. Two long rail runners at the bottom keep the bags from getting damaged by if scraped on a curb or stair.
There are three external zippered pockets on these duffels – one on each end and one on the front. The main compartment opens via a dual zippered D-shaped lid from the top and the bottom compartment opens book style via dual zippers as well. The two are separated on the inside by a zippered fabric divider.
2 thoughts on “Best Drop Bottom Rolling Duffel Bag: Wheeled Duffel with Bottom Compartment”
I noticed that you didn’t mention the Heys drop bottom duffel bags. They used to be available in Pink and Purple. They are fantastic! I bought one in 2012 and it has served me faithfully and doesn’t flip over when pulled. I am looking for another one and unfortunately I am not able to find one anywhere online.
Heys doesn’t make that duffel anymore. Why not try one of these this time?