If you want to carry the maximum amount of things while traveling but without the extra weight, then non-wheeled large duffle bags for women are ideal. Because most duffel bags are relatively unstructured, they are lighter than rolling bags and even many backpacks. They can be packed to the hilt with every corner being utilized. They’re also easy to grab and go and to squeeze into overhead compartments or under a seat. When your trip is over, many of them can be packed flat to store almost anywhere in your home.
The variety of duffle bags available to women is astounding. You can find quilted ones in pretty prints, chic ones in leather, rugged ones in canvas, or practical ones in polyester or nylon. Whatever your style, you’re also likely to find a good one at a very affordable price.
One quick thing to note is that for travel purposes, most manufacturers label duffles that measure 20 to 22 inches in length as “large”, so that is the standard that I will use here in these reviews. They are meant to be large enough to carry everything you need for a 3-4 day trip but small enough for them to be allowed as carry on luggage on a regular domestic flight. Small carry on sized duffle bags are under 20” in length, while extra large means too large to be carried on but will be allowed as free checked luggage. Oversized luggage can be checked but are charged extra and the allowed dimensions for those pieces vary from airline to airline.
If you’re after wheeled carry on duffel bags, click here. Otherwise, here are my picks for the best large travel duffel bags for women in carry on size:
Brown Leather Duffle Bag for Women and Men
With over 100 customers rating this Cenzo Duffle Vecchio Brown Italian Leather Weekender Travel Bag at 5 stars, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for an expensive looking high quality unisex duffle bag. This is definitely not your average polyester gym duffle bag and would be a great choice as a carry on bag for business travel.
This Italian-made bag is of soft calf skin leather, measures 21” by 11″ by 10″ and weighs 4.5 pounds. What is so good about it is that it is very affordable considering that it is made of genuine leather.
The design details include contrast stitching, interior canvas lining and brass hardware. The dual zippers open all the way to the bottom of the bag to make packing and accessibility very easy. Leather hinges on the sides prevent the contents of the bag from spilling out.
There are two short grab handles and the shoulder strap is detachable. The bottom of the bag features brass feet to keep the bag from getting dirty or wet when it is set down.
Large Quilted Duffle Bags for Women
When going on vacation there’s nothing better than to have “happy” travel bags with you to reflect the mood you’re in. There are two brands that have mastered the printed quilted cotton look with all their bags, and those are Vera Bradley and Belvah. The former makes bags a little on the higher price but they are coveted by most women, while the latter makes sure that this style of bag is not out of reach for women on a budget. Both these make great gifts for women.
The Vera Bradley Large Duffel comes in 18 fabulous prints, so there’s something nice for everyone. There are also matching totes and other accessories to go with each of these prints.
This is the larger version of the brand’s small duffel bag but it still is within the carry on size restrictions, measuring 22” x 11.5” x 11.5”. It folds flat for easy storage.
One end of the bag features a convenient outside pocket and the inside is very spacious and pocket-free to allow you to carry enough for a week. The inside lining is in a contrast print, which ups the style factor. The seams and stitching are really strong and will hold up to numerous trips.
The top handles go all the way around the bag and provide a 15” shoulder drop – long enough to allow you to easily tote the duffel on your shoulder. However, they are not padded so carrying a very heavy load for a long distance is not advisable.
The large Belvah Duffle Bags also come in a variety of colors and prints and are priced at under $40. Choose from two toned damask print, paisley, zebra, polka dots, solid colors or floral prints.
These large duffle bags measure 21” by 12” by 11” and some models come in cotton while others are in microfibre.
The top opening is zippered closed and the inside is fully lined in a contrast gingham print. There is one zippered outer pocket on the front and one zippered and two open pockets on the inside.
Small metal feet on the bottom prevent it from getting dirty. There are four detachable accent ribbons for a girly look and the wrap around strap makes it easy to tote.
Polyester or Nylon Duffle Bags with More Structure
If you’re worried about your bag getting wet in inclement weather, you should consider choosing a carry on duffel bag in polyester or nylon as these materials hold up better in wet weather. These materials also lend themselves better to having more structure than the quilted ones, so if your travel usually requires more sturdy carry on luggage, these are good alternatives. You’ll still be able to get duffles in chic colors and prints as well!
This Dakine Women’s 51-Litre EQ Duffel Bag measures 22 x 11 x 11 inches and is sturdy with a semi-rigid bottom. The main compartment opens through a U-shaped zippered panel. There is one zippered side pocket on the outside and none on the inside.
The adjustable shoulder strap is padded to make carrying it easier. The strap is attached to the bag via plastic hooks so you can remove it if you don’t need it. Each end also has a short handle to help you hoist the bag up and into an overhead bin if needed.
Another inexpensive but stylish printed option is this Duffle Gym Cheer Bag in polyester. The lining inside is also in polyester. There are numerous prints for you to choose from, so click through for the entire range.
It measures 22” x 13” x 11″.
There are double carry handles and a removable padded shoulder strap, which is also adjustable and provides an up to 18” shoulder drop. The hardware is silver pewter with metal feet on the bottom.
The roomy main compartment is accessed via a U-shaped zippered opening. There is one zippered front pocket and two zippered end pockets.
These large duffle bags for women make good weekender bags as well, but if you want more options like overnight bags in a tote style, click here.