Recommendo: North Face Base Camp duffel bags

Originally posted on January 31, 2014 at 11:36 am


In this business, we travel a lot. Planes, trains and automobiles, as well as the occasional water-born vessel, that’s the life. We carry a lot of crap too—helmets, shoes, pads, all sorts of oddly shaped items. That’s where the North Face Base Camp Duffel comes in. Available in several sizes, they’re perfect for getting my stuff from Point A to Point B.

There are no features, no frills, no fancy pockets or organizers (except for the zippered mesh pocket in the lid). It’s a big bag to hold your crap.

I’ve amassed quite a collection of these little (and big) guys, I even bought that tiny one on top for my cat. Ok, that’s a lie, but from the XL at the bottom of this pile to the Travel Canister on top, they are insanely tough, durable, handy and useful. The thick, 840D nylon fabric is thick and waterproof, and all the straps and zippers are totally overbuilt.

The XL measures an absurd 155 liters of capacity, which is nearly double many suitcases. In fact I have to be pretty careful packing it when flying as it can easily go over the airlines’ weight limit. You can easily fit a small-sized human in there. It’s practically a tent.

All the Base Camp bags come with backpack straps that make them a lot easier to carry through airports, and the daisy chain stitching on the sides means you can strap them down to roof racks, or the sides of yaks.

After abusing these for years, the only thing that has gone wrong is the plastic bob on the end of one zipper pull broke. I can live with that.

Prices range from $100 for the 25 liter XS to $200 for the leather-trimmed Special Edition.

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