If you need a bag that will hold the vast majority of your items, yet still remain comfortable enough to transport without wheels, a convertible duffel bag backpack may be the best choice. This dynamic luggage type combines the spaciousness and protection of a duffel bag with the versatility and mobility of carrying a backpack, so it’s no wonder that they’re a popular choice for those heading out on trips where toting a suitcase may not be ideal.
However, with varied features available on the market, it’s important to consider which model best meets your travel needs. It’s also vital to take note of poignant factors such as materials, durability, cost, and more, before finalizing your purchase. We’ve reviewed some of the most popular convertible duffel bag backpacks of today to help ease this decision.
Top-Rated Convertible Duffel Bag Backpacks
- Best overall convertible duffel bag backpack: G-Favor Vintage Canvas Rucksack
- Best for compartmentalization: Witzman Canvas Backpack
- Most waterproof: Mier Heavy Duty Convertible Duffel Bag
- Most lightweight: Cico Rider Sports Duffel Bag
- Most durable: The Friendly Swede Duffel Bag
- Best for utility: Kaka Travel Laptop Backpack
- Best warranty: Baosha Leather Weekender
- Best for easy storage: Bago Traveling Backpack
G-Favor Vintage Canvas Rucksack
Witzman Canvas Backpack
Mier Heavy Duty Convertible Duffel Bag
Cico Rider Sports Duffel Bag
The Friendly Swede Duffel Bag
Kaka Travel Laptop Backpack
Baosha Leather Weekender
Bago Traveling Backpack
Tips on Buying a Convertible Duffel Bag Backpack (Guide)
Understanding What Size Convertible Duffel Bag Backpack You Should Get
Capacity is a really important aspect of choosing the right duffel bag backpack as it determines how much you’ll be able to pack, as well as how heavy or light the bag will be as you carry it. Even if you opt for a bag with a larger volume and then choose not to fill it to the brim, this could make the bag uncomfortable to handle. Here are a few potential uses for bags of varied capacities.
- 30 – 45 L: This bag is usually small enough to be taken as a carry-on on your flight, yet large enough to fit in clothes for up to two people on a weekend away. It also works quite well as a gym bag as it can hold a few workout outfits and exercise equipment.
- 60 L: A bag of this size would still be small enough to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane if not packed full, and you may be able to fit up to a week’s worth of clothing in with the right approach to packing. If you’re using the bag to aid your exercise regimen, it has the capacity to fit relatively bulky gear.
- 90 L: You’ll need to check this bag in, however, it may be the only piece of checked luggage you’ll need on your trip as it can hold over two weeks’ worth of clothes. This bag is ideal for those going backpacking, as you’ll be able to fit in clothing, electronics, toiletries, food, and much more, and carry it all comfortably on your back.
Other Things to Look out for Before Buying Convertible Duffel Bag Backpacks
Depending on your purpose for this bag, you may want to select materials that are more durable or resistant to the elements. Duffel bag backpacks are often used on outdoor adventures, like camping or hiking, so in this case, it would be wise to choose a fabric that won’t allow moisture or dirt to affect the contents. There are a few commonly used materials in this luggage type, and each has unique properties.
- Canvas: Manufacturers of canvas use cotton or hemp (or a blend of the two) and weave it together to form a tough fabric that is both strong and flexible. Unfortunately, though, because it is made from organic materials, it absorbs water and may being to deteriorate if left in unfavorable conditions. Canvas bags are also not known to be very lightweight.
- Tarpaulin: This material is made by coating polyester cloth with a PVC compound. The process makes the end result almost waterproof and quite durable. However, any rips in the fabric will be close to impossible to repair, so you’ll need to carefully consider what you’ll be exposing the bag to before purchasing it.
- Polyester: Polyester is the most commonly used fabric among all luggage types because it offers decent durability at a very low cost. The quality of polyester is measured in Derniers, where a higher Dernier count indicated thicker threads that are far more resistant to abrasion and water. Polyester is also relatively lightweight, so if you’ll be carrying the bag on your back quite often during your trip, it may be worth a closer look.
- Leather: Genuine leather luggage is not very commonplace because of its exorbitant cost. You may find a few duffel bag backpacks made from PU (polyurethane) leather though, as it offers many of the same properties as genuine leather without breaking the bank. You’ll benefit from complete water resistance and a stunning aesthetic appeal that adds a level of luxury to any trip.
No matter how tough the fabric used to make your bag is, if the components and fittings are of shoddy quality, you’re not going to enjoy your purchase.
Pay careful attention to whether your zippers are plastic or metal, and take note of any customer complaints about them breaking. Unfortunately, zippers are often the most problematic aspect of any piece of luggage, so it would be wise to be extra careful when handling them. YKK zippers are the most well-received, so look out for luggage that makes use of these.
When it comes to the lining of your bag, it may be worth spending a few extra dollars on high-quality fabric. Nylon is silkier, while polyester is more textured, and both of these are commonly used to line the interior of baggage. No matter which you opt for, be sure not to overpack your back, as this makes the chance of ripping the lining of your bag far higher.
Handles and Straps
If you’ve chosen a duffel bag that can be carried as a backpack, there’s a good chance that you’ll be toting this bag quite often on your journey. That makes it even more important to ensure that the straps fitted on the bag are comfortable, durable, and designed to ease the strain on your back.
Look for handles and straps that are padded or ergonomically designed, as these are most likely to relieve the effort of bearing the load. Thicker backpack straps are often the most comfortable, and some bags include a clip to fasten around your waist, making your bag feel even lighter. Breathable and adjustable straps also go a long way in alleviating the pressure on your back.
The best duffel bag backpacks make it unnecessary to carry any other luggage on your journey, as they’re fitted with pockets, pouches, and compartments for the optimal packing of your items. Some bags have special sections designed specifically for devices, and others for shoes, keys, charging cables, wet items, credit cards, and much more. This construction makes it easy to access your belongings at a moment’s notice, as everything has its place.
Weight is an important factor to consider, as opting for a heavier duffel bag backpack has a number of implications. A lightweight bag is easier to carry on your back if you’ll be walking long distances with your luggage. And, if you’re someone who has difficulty packing lightly, it gives you a bit of leeway, as you’ll be able to add in an extra item or two without the stress of exceeding airline restrictions.
Some luggage manufacturers offer better warranties than others, so if getting excellent after-sales service is important to you, it would be wise to consider this when making your initial purchase. Limited warranties usually cover only workmanship defects, so if you sustain any accidental damage to your bag or if it breaks as a result of wear and tear, you’ll be out of luck. On the other hand, comprehensive warranties cover any type of damage, including issues that arise from your bag being mishandled by airline staff.
Another important aspect of your warranty to consider is how long it’s valid, as this is a good indication of the lifespan of the bag. Pay careful attention to the warranty process as well, as some manufacturers expect you to jump through hoops and pay shipping fees before the validity of the claim is even assessed.
Best Convertible Duffel Bag Backpacks in 2022 Compared
1. Best Overall Convertible Duffel Bag Backpack: G-Favor Vintage Canvas Rucksack
|- 20.1 x 12.5 x 7.9 in (51 x 32 x 20 cm)|
|- 3 lbs (1.5 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.9|
If you’re looking for the ultimate convertible duffel bag backpack experience, the G-Favor Vintage Canvas Rucksack is a top-notch choice. Available in 4 subtle, yet elegant design options, the bag combines durability and functionality. Although it’s made from canvas, the rucksack is lined with a fabric that is really good at resisting water, which means that you’ll benefit from the tough resistance to abrasion that canvas provides while having the peace of mind that your belongings aren’t at risk of water damage.
The bag is available in a 40L edition, measuring 20.1 x 12.5 x 7.9 inches (51 x 32 x 20 cm). Even though you won’t have the option of selecting a larger model, this one has excellent packing capacity and offers good compartmentalization of your items. You’ll have separate sections for shoes, stationery, passports, credit cards, and even a nifty buckle to hold your keys. You can also make use of the 17.3-inch (43.9 cm) device pocket for your laptop, tablet, or any other books you’ll be carrying on your journey.
The bag is relatively lightweight at 3lbs (1.5 kg) and has breathable shoulder straps that offer a 17-inch (43.2 cm) drop. These factors, combined with the adjustable chest strap, go a long way in making the rucksack extremely comfortable to carry. If you’d prefer to carry the bag as a duffel, you can conveniently tuck the shoulder straps into their designated pocket so that they aren’t flapping around while you tote the bag on your shoulder. Then, simply adjust the detachable strap according to your height and clasp it on.
Contributing greatly to its promise of quality, G-Favor extends a 1-year warranty on the backpack and a lifetime guarantee on the detachable shoulder strap that enables you to carry the rucksack as a cross-body bag. While there isn’t a clear indication of how comprehensive the warranty is, the manufacturer claims to be open to offering as much support as they can, and advises you to reach out through Amazon with any complaints you may have. Those who have put this to the test have only had positive reports on the help they received.
You won’t need to worry about premature breakage of zippers and other components with this bag, as most fittings are made from a strong metal that can withstand a reasonable amount of force. You’ll also enjoy the strength and comfort of the leather handles that offer excellent support if you choose to carry the bag at your side.
Overall, this bag has excellent value to offer, and with the right care, it has the potential to last you for years to come. Be careful to only wash it with cold water so as not to compromise the integrity of the fabric, and be smart about the way you pack it, as it does not hold its shape when it isn’t full.
2. Best for Compartmentalization: Witzman Canvas Backpack
|- 12 x 22 x 7 in (30.5 x 55.9 x 17.8 cm)|
|- 3.01 lbs (1.4 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.7|
If packing optimization is a top priority for any piece of luggage you purchase, you won’t go wrong with the Witzman Canvas Backpack. The bag is fitted with compartments and pockets to spare and is large enough to hold up to two weeks’ worth of clothing if you pack with the right approach. Measuring 12 x 22 x 7 inches (30.5 x 55.9 x 17.8 cm), and weighing only 3.01 lbs (1.4 kg), you won’t have trouble taking all your necessities as carry-on luggage on your next trip with this backpack.
The bag’s design takes a dual compartment approach, with a large cavity that you can pack from the top, as well as a zippable lower compartment that can ideally be used for shoes. You’ll find two zippable pockets on each side of the bag and similar sections on the top, front, and back – which gives you easy access to any items you may need at a moment’s notice. The inside features a padded laptop compartment that’s large enough to fit a 16-inch device and an additional zipped pocket for anything you may want to keep separate from the loose items in the main chamber, like jewelry, toiletries, or cables.
Because of the additional pockets, you won’t find carry handles on this bag, however, if you’d prefer not to tote it on your back, you can make use of the woven adjustable shoulder strap that can be removed when necessary. Although, it may be wise to take extra caution with this if you’ve packed your bag to the brim, as there have been a handful of customer complaints that the clip that attaches the strap to the bag is incapable of bearing heavy loads.
On the plus side, if you experience any issues with the bag, the manufacturer has extended a 1-year warranty on the bag itself, as well as a lifetime warranty on the shoulder strap. Most customers who’ve submitted claims have remarked that they’ve received excellent service, and though it may take a week or two for your issue to be fully resolved, you will be compensated in the end.
The bag is made from an extremely durable canvas that comes in four stylish colors – a look that is completed with trendy leather embellishments that add to the rustic aesthetic. The interior is lined with polyester, which offers a decent level of water resistance, but won’t completely protect your contents if you get caught in a storm. You’ll have peace of mind that your zippers and other components won’t break after a few uses, as these are made from sturdy metal.
Overall, if you want to avoid checked luggage fees and would rather pack smart for your next trip, this convertible duffel bag backpack from Witzman is the way to go.
3. Most Waterproof: Mier Heavy Duty Convertible Duffel Bag
|- 60L / 90L|
|- 4 lbs (1.8 kg) / 4.4 lbs (2 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.5|
If you want to remain 100% certain that the contents of your convertible duffel bag backpack won’t be damaged by the elements, the Mier Heavy Duty Duffel Bag is an easy choice. It’s made of tarpaulin that is almost completely waterproof, and as a bonus, it’s extremely easy to clean. Simply wipe off any scuffs from your journey with a damp cloth and it looks as good as new. Depending on your style preferences, you’ll have a choice between trendy grey or versatile black models.
The bag is available in two sizes. If you opt for the 60L alternative, you’ll benefit from 25.5 x 13.5 x 10.5 inches (64.8 x 34.3 x 26.7 cm) of space to work with and a weight of 4lbs (1.8 kg). The 90L unit, on the other hand, measures 28 x 15.25 x 12.5 inches (71.1 x 38.7 x 31.8 cm) and weighs a little more at 4.4 lbs (2 kg). Either way, you’ll be met with ample packing space and four useful mesh pockets on the bag’s interior, however, you won’t have any compartments on the outside of the bag to make use of.
Unlike most convertible duffel bag backpacks on this list, Mier’s bag doesn’t include an adjustable shoulder strap that you can detach as needed. You will, however, have padded backpack straps to carry the bag on your back, 2 long haul handles with a padded grip for carrying it alongside you or on your shoulder, and four grab handles that make it incredibly easy to lift the bag – especially when you’re stowing it in the overhead compartment of the plane. Some customers have complained that the backpack straps cause discomfort if the bag is completely full, so it would be wise to bear this in mind when packing.
The bag is constructed for durability, with a strong double bottom, metal zippers, and reinforced stitching to stand the test of time. The manufacturers have sustainably produced the backpack and included Duraflex buckles that help it maintain a semblance of its shape even when empty. Although there isn’t a comprehensive warranty in place, you’ll have peace of mind that any workmanship defects are completely covered within the first two years of ownership.
Overall, if you’re looking for something durable to offer the ultimate protection to your belongings, you won’t go wrong with this duffel bag backpack from Mier.
4. Most Lightweight: Cico Rider Sports Duffel Bag
|- 21.5 x 10.5 x 10 in (54.6 x 26.7 x 25.4 cm)|
|- 1.98 lbs (0.9 kg)|
|- PU Leather and Polyester|
|- Editors rating: 4.4|
Giving you leeway to pack in essential items without worrying about the bag becoming too heavy on your back, this convertible duffel bag backpack from Cico Rider weighs only 1.98 lbs (0.9 kg). Yet, it offers a 40L packing capacity and measures 21.5 x 10.5 x 10 inches (54.6 x 26.7 x 25.4 cm), which means you’ll have plenty of room to include everything you need on your next trip.
The bag offers decent compartmentalization too, as you’ll have the benefit of two water-resistant side pockets, one of which is designed with a nifty airhole to prevent any stuffiness caused by storing your shoes in it. You’ll also find a zippered pocket on the back of the bag that doubles as storage for the backpack handles when you’re carrying it with its shoulder strap. When you open the Sports Duffel Bag up, you’ll find a spacious main cavity, two elasticated pockets, and two zippered mesh pockets for the segmentation of smaller items.
It’s also the cheapest convertible duffel bag backpack on this list, while still offering excellent durability and resistance to wear. The bottom and side panels are made from PU leather, and the front and back are manufactured from 900 Dernier polyester. These factors, combined with a nylon lining, reinforce all the right areas while keeping the bag soft and comfortable to carry. You’ll also enjoy the benefit of the reflective logo on the front of the bag which offers an extra level of safety if you’re carrying it at night.
Overall, if you’re looking for something incredibly light and affordable, yet durable with a 1-year warranty in place, the Cico Rider Sports Duffel Bag packs a punch.
5. Most Durable: The Friendly Swede Duffel Bag
|- 30L / 60L / 90L|
|- 2.42 lbs (1.1 kg) / 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) /3.7 lbs (1.7 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 4.1|
Made from a durable 500 Dernier tarp, The Friendly Swede Duffel Bag is designed to stand the test of time. The bag is really good at water resistance – even after being left in the rain for hours – so you’ll always have peace of mind that your belongings are protected. Since you can wipe off any blemishes, the bag also retains its new look for much longer than some models offered by competitors. And, the manufacturers are so confident in its quality, they’ve extended a warranty for three years from the date of purchase.
Unlike most other convertible duffel bag backpacks that only come in one or two sizes, this piece of luggage is available in 30L, 60L, and 90L units, giving you the flexibility to choose a capacity that best meets your travel needs. Its backpack straps are also detachable, and although there isn’t an adjustable shoulder strap included, the backpack straps are designed in a way that makes it easy to sling them over your shoulder if you’d prefer to carry the bag that way. Alternatively, you can make use of the two padded long haul handles, or the grip straps on either side.
Among the three color options available is a beautiful bright yellow that will be sure to help you stand out from the crowd, or easily spot your backpack at baggage reclaim. You’ll have ample packing space no matter which option you select, and a few nifty compartments on the bag’s interior for easy separation of your items. If you opt for the 30L model, you’ll have the added benefit of an extra zippered pocket on the exterior too. And, to make carrying the load easier on your back, the 60L and 90L versions have a sternum strap included.
Overall, if you’re looking for a convertible bag that will last you for years to come, The Friendly Swede Duffel Bag is your best bet.
6. Best For Utility: Kaka Travel Laptop Backpack
|- 19 x 12.5 x 9 in (28.3 x 31.8 x 22.9 cm)|
|- 2.64 lbs (1.2 kg)|
|- Editors rating: 3.9|
If you’re traveling for professional purposes and need a piece of luggage that will act as a laptop bag, stationery organizer, and carrier for clothing all in one, the Kaka Travel Laptop Backpack has tons of value to offer. The bag is made from a stylish, yet durable and water-repellant Oxford fabric, with reinforced stitching for added stability. The padded backpack straps are also breathable, making it far easier to carry.
The packing capabilities of this bag are off the charts, with the main compartment being large enough to fit at least three to four days’ worth of clothes and two devices. The laptop compartment on the exterior opens into a space that can accommodate up to a 15.6-inch device, and organize your accessories. The bottom of the bag offers a shoe or “dirty” compartment that is fitted with an airhole to filter out unwanted smells. You’ll also find a mesh pocket under the lid that can be used to pack underwear or any other item you’d like to separate from the rest of your contents.
Carrying this bag is effortless, as you’ll have the option of general backpack-style use, but you could also choose to utilize the handle on the top or front of the bag to hold it in whichever direction you see fit. If you’re carrying a wheeled suitcase on your journey, the bag has a strap that allows it to sit comfortably on top of this piece of luggage, giving you a break from the weight for while.
Overall, if you’re looking for something that offers ideal packing potential, you won’t go wrong with this model from Kaka.
7. Best Warranty: Baosha Leather Weekender
|- 20 x 11 x 11 in (50 x 27 x 27 cm)|
|- 3 lbs (1.4 kg)|
|- Faux Leather|
|- Editors rating: 3.8|
The best thing about lifetime warranties is that they allow you to freely use your bag without worrying about whether you’re at risk of causing irreparable damage – which is exactly the peace of mind offered by the Baosha Leather Weekender. The best part is that bags with this kind of guarantee come at a hefty price, yet this bag remains in line with most other options on this list. It also offers hope that the bag will be of great quality, as the manufacturer wouldn’t extend this promise if they weren’t 100% confident in the durability of the product.
My favorite thing about this bag is the gorgeous faux leather exterior combined with the deluxe red lining – both of which give the bag an air of luxury and sophistication. The brown fabric is accented with black embellishments that offer a striking contrast and the handles, including the detachable shoulder straps, are made from a strong woven fabric of a similar shade. Despite the bulky materials used, the bag remains lightweight at only 3 lbs (1.4 kg), which, together with the chest strap, makes carrying the bag a pleasure.
This duffel bag isn’t fitted with a separate shoe compartment, however, it does offer decent packing potential. The front compartment on the exterior is a great fit for a device and any other small gadgets and accessories, and when you open the bag up, you’ll find a few more pockets and pouches that make it possible to separate your items as you see fit. There’s also a side pocket on the exterior that can be utilized to hold an umbrella or water bottle, however, this isn’t elasticated, so your chosen item may fall out if you hold the bag on its side.
Overall, if you’re looking for something elegant that you’ll never have to worry about replacing, the Baosha Leather Weekender fits the bill.
8. Best for Easy Storage: Bago Traveling Backpack
|- 13 x 23 x 11 in ( 32 x 58 x 27 cm)|
|- 3.9 lbs (1.8 kg)|
|- Faux Leather|
|- Editors rating: 3.5|
Having a convertible duffel bag backpack is a pleasure, but it can be bulky when the time comes to put it in storage. The Bago Traveling Backpack solves this problem by providing a nifty carrying pouch so you can fold your bag into a compact cube when it’s not in use. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s made from flimsy material, as the bag is actually manufactured from sturdy synthetic leather that offers more than adequate protection for your belongings.
Of all the convertible duffel bag backpacks on the market, this model is one of the few that zips open like a duffel bag. In fact, the bag is designed to hold four Bago packing cubes, so if you’re looking for a way to optimize the way you organize your contents, purchasing these will ease the process. The bag offers a 53L capacity and plenty of room and compartments to fit in everything you’ll need for up to a week’s journey.
Carrying the bag is a pleasure as it’s fitted with breathable handles and straps that balance its weight and prevent tension during prolonged use. Regardless of which form you opt for, you’ll be able to stuff the handles that aren’t in use into the bag so that they don’t become bothersome in transit. You also won’t need to worry about your zippers popping open or breaking, as the bag is fitted with strong YKK zippers that are made to last.
Overall, if you need something flexible yet durable that will offer a decent amount of packing space, the Bago Traveling Backpack is the best companion for your trip.