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      8 Best Leather Duffel Bags for Travel 2022 — What to Look for in a Leather Duffel Bag

      Holly Riddle
      Best Travel Leather Duffel Bags

      If you’ve been considering purchasing a leather duffel bag for your upcoming travels, here’s your sign. There are so many reasons why you might want to go this route for your next luggage solution. Stylish, durable, and long-lasting, a leather duffel bag is an accessory that you’ll likely love for years to come. 

      However, not all leather duffels are the same. If you’ve already been researching your options, you’ve likely realized just how much duffels can vary from brand to brand. So which option is right for you?

      Here’s everything you need to consider when shopping for a new leather travel duffel, as well as our picks for the 8 best real and faux leather bags.

      What to Look for in a Leather Duffel Bag

      There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop for a new leather duffel. These factors will help you determine if a particular bag is right for you and your travel needs.

      Size

      When shopping for any piece of luggage, it’s important to consider the size. After all, it’s not going to do you much good if it can’t fit all your travel gear. On the flip side, you want your leather duffel to also be small enough to be easy to carry. Since duffels don’t come with wheels, you’ll be lugging yours across the airport and further. And, of course, no one wants to start their vacation with a sore shoulder. 

      So what’s the optimum size for a leather duffel bag? 

      Firstly, you may want to consider carry-on restrictions as you shop for a leather duffel. Most airlines require that your carry-on bag be no larger than 22 x 14 x 9 inches. This size makes a bag small enough to fit in the overhead compartment, while still being large enough to suit most travelers on a weekend trip. Ensuring that your duffel is carry-on size means you’ll get to take it on the plane with you (in most cases). No more worries about who’s scratching up or damaging your luggage (though, as far as luggage goes, leather duffels are relatively difficult to damage).

      Material

      Do you want to go with faux or real leather? There are pros and cons to each option. 

      If you’re worried about the ethical implications of using a leather bag, you may want to go faux. Vegan-approved leather looks stylish and authentic, without the animal. Additionally, faux leather options are often more affordable. 

      Authentic leather, on the other hand, is … well, real leather. No one can deny that real leather has a very specific look, feel, and even smell. Additionally, real leather is durable and long-lasting and can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. If you want the experience and quality of a real leather product, you may find the extra cost to be worth it.

      Extra Features

      Next, what extra features would you like your duffel bag to come with? 

      These extra features can range. For example, organizational features like inner pockets, outer pockets, zipper pockets, and the rest, can make travel easy. Think about how you travel and what you typically need to be most accessible. This will help determine what you need in terms of pockets and storage, either on the bag’s interior or exterior. 

      How would you like to be able to carry your bag? Do you want a long shoulder strap? Or are you fine with just two carrying handles on either side of the bag? Remember, you’re going to be lugging this thing for a while, so you want it to be comfortable to carry.

      Price

      And, lastly, there’s price. As mentioned, an authentic leather bag is just about always going to be more expensive than a faux leather bag. But, you do get what you pay for, whether you go vegan leather or the real deal. 

      Think about how much you want to invest in a leather duffel. There are leather duffel bags out there at a range of price points, so your budget will heavily impact your shopping experience.

      The Vacationer Tip

      Are you flying soon? Check out our 41 Carry-On Essentials for Flights. Considering other luggage? Check out our Best Carry-On Suitcase Luggage Bags.

      Is a Leather Duffel Bag Right for My Travel Type?

      Beyond the various features and functions a singular bag offers, one other thing to consider is your travel type. In some cases, a leather duffel bag might just not be suitable. In other cases, a leather duffel might be the perfect fit.

      If you’re a frequent business traveler who’s often on the road for quick spurts at a time, you may find that a duffel bag doesn’t work well for you. You may need something that can hold more tech and that’s a little more organized, while still being on the smaller side.

      If you’re an outdoorsy, adventure traveler, you may want something that’s a little less posh and that’s more function than fashion. Think a duffel bag that you could throw down a muddy mountainside. Or a duffel bag that doubles as a pillow while camping or a backpack while hiking. 

      If, however, you’re a frequent leisure traveler — or you find that you don’t necessarily need that much tech when you travel for work, or that you always check an extra bag anyway — then you might find that a leather duffel bag is exactly right for your needs.

      8 Best Leather Duffel Bags for Travel

      So, without further ado, here are our 8 best picks for leather duffel bags for travel.

      1. KPL 21 Inch Vintage Leather Duffel

      KPL 21 Inch Vintage Leather Duffel

      Photo: passionleather.com

      This full-grain leather bag features a canvas lining, which is a nice feature if you’re worried about toiletry spills or other interior damage. At 21 x 11 x 9 inches, it fits most industry standard carry-on restrictions. There are two carrying options — handles and a detachable shoulder strap. Inside, there’s one internal pocket, and two side pockets on the exterior, all zippered.

      Pros:

      • Budget-friendly
      • Multiple ways to carry

      Cons:

      • Not as luxurious as some of your other options

      Click Here to See the KPL Vintage Leather Duffel Pricing

      2. NEWHEY Oversized Travel Duffel

      NEWHEY Oversized Travel Duffel

      Photo: Amazon.com

      Another budget-friendly authentic leather duffel bag that’s available on Amazon, this bag is made from horse leather and waterproof canvas. One unique feature? It has feet on the bottom of the bag, to help keep your bag off the dirty airport floor. Exterior pockets are held together with magnetic buttons, which could be a pro or con, depending on how you look at it. The buttons aren’t as durable and strong as a zipper, but they do make pockets easier to access in a hurry.

      Pros:

      • Budget-friendly

      Cons:

      • Not 100% leather — features canvas as well

      Click Here to See The NEWHEY Oversized Travel Duffel Pricing

      3. J.W. Hulme Classic Duffel

      J.W. Hulme Classic Duffel

      Photo: jwhulmeco.com

      On the other end of the budget spectrum, we have this classic duffel from J.W. Hulme. Gorgeous and luxurious, the bag is made from latigo leather and lined with microsuede fabric. Polished brass hardware on the exterior adds to the luxe look. This bag has a new feel, versus the rough, weathered look that some of the other bags on this list boast. However, that could be exactly what you’re looking for. A removable shoulder strap features an adjustable leather pad to give you a little bit of additional comfort. You can even choose to have the bag monogrammed if you so please.

      Pros:

      • Extra-luxurious look
      • Comes in three colors 
      • Extra-comfy shoulder strap

      Cons:

      • Pricey

      Click Here to See the J.W. Hulme Classic Duffel Pricing

      4. Leatherfocus Leather Travel Duffel Bag

      Leatherfocus Leather Travel Duffel Bag

      Photo: Amazon.com

      There’s one stand-out feature on this travel duffel that makes it a winner. It features a dedicated shoe pocket on one end, keeping your shoes away from your clean clothes and other items. After all, do you want to throw your hiking boots or even the dress shoes you’ve worn throughout your entire trip, right in your duffel bag’s main pocket? Didn’t think so. Otherwise, the bag features a removable shoulder strap, plus feet to keep it from sitting directly on the ground.

      Pros:

      • Extra storage for shoes
      • Easy to carry

      Cons:

      • Not much in the way of other organization

      Click Here to See the Leatherfocus Leather Travel Duffel Bag Pricing

      5. The Dagny Weekender

      The Dagny Weekender

      Photo: steelhorseleather.com

      Made from horse leather, with a cotton lining, this lightweight duffel features both a grab handle and a removable shoulder strap. It also features a separate pocket for shoes, along with three open pockets. At 19.7 x 9 x 10 inches, it is on the smaller side, as far as travel duffels go, but you won’t even notice thanks to the roomy interior pocket.

      Pros:

      • Lightweight and easy to carry

      Cons:

      • On the smaller side

      Click Here to See the Dagny Weekender Pricing

      6. Ben Sherman 20-Inch Vegan Leather Travel Duffel

      Ben Sherman 20-Inch Vegan Leather Travel Duffel

      Photo: bensherman.com

      If you’re specifically in the market for a faux leather bag, though, look to this Ben Sherman duffel made from distressed, tear-resistant faux leather. It features the same look and feel as many other authentic leather bags on our list, plus both hand grabs and a shoulder strap. All told, this faux leather bag is much lighter than an authentic alternative as well, at less than 2.5 pounds. It also features metal feet to keep your bag up and off the ground, plus self-repairing zippers.

      Pros:

      • Faux leather
      • Lightweight

      Cons:

      • Not as luxurious as some of your other options

      Click Here to See the Ben Sherman 20-Inch Vegan Leather Travel Duffel Pricing

      7. BAOSHA Leather Large Travel Duffel

      BAOSHA Leather Large Travel Duffel

      Photo: Amazon.com

      This large, faux leather duffel bag features a lower level below the main body of the bag, for keeping both shoes and dirty clothes separate. Beyond this nice feature, for being a faux leather bag, it does have a pretty authentic vintage leather look and feel. A special pocket on the back allows you to attach your duffel to the handle of a suitcase, in those instances where you’re bringing it along as a carry-on but checking another bag. It also features both grab handles and a shoulder strap.

      Pros:

      • Faux leather
      • Large bottom pocket
      • Easy to carry
      • Budget-friendly

      Cons:

      • Not as luxurious as some of your other options

      Click Here to See the BAOSHA Leather Large Travel Duffel Pricing

      8. Zeroway Travel Duffel Bag

      Zeroway Travel Duffel Bag

      Photo: Amazon.com

      If you’re looking for lots of organization, this bag delivers. The faux leather bag offers way more pockets and separated storage, as compared to the other duffels on our list. Multiple exterior pockets with separate zippers and clasps make it easy to quickly access your on-the-go travel gear, while a roomy inner pocket keeps your other items safe and out of sight. It even features a special laptop pocket, if you’re traveling for work.

      Pros:

      • Faux leather
      • Budget-friendly
      • Lots of pockets

      Cons:

      • Not as durable as some of your other options

      Click Here to See the Zeroway Travel Duffel Bag Pricing

      What Are My Options Beyond Leather?

      So you took a gander at the above leather duffel options and none are quite doing it for you? You do have other options beyond leather duffel bags. 

      Nylon duffel bags are waterproof and lightweight. You can find nylon duffel bags from a range of popular brands, such as Patagonia and Yeti. These bags are often preferred by outdoorsy, adventure travelers who want something that can take a beating. 

      Canvas duffel bags are also an option and typically lend more toward fashion versus function. Like any fabric piece of luggage or tote, you’ll likely see that canvas duffel bags aren’t quite as long-lasting and durable as some of their counterparts.

      Caring for Your Leather Duffel Bag

      Once you’ve purchased the perfect leather duffel bag for you, make sure to properly care for it. While care can differ from brand to brand, leather type to leather type, in general, you can keep your leather bag clean with just a damp cloth and gentle, time-to-time cleaning. Make sure not to leave any soap residue on your bag and, if needed, apply a leather conditioner to keep your bag in like-new condition.

      Ready to Start Shopping?

      Whether you need a brand-new leather duffel for your upcoming trip or you’re looking for a vegan alternative to add to your luggage collection, you can find your perfect fit in our list above. Just be sure to consider every factor of your travel habits and preferences, to ensure you purchase a bag you’ll love for a lifetime.

      Holly Riddle Headshot

      By Holly Riddle

      Holly Riddle is a freelance travel, food, and lifestyle journalist who also dabbles in ghostwriting and fiction. Her work appears in publications ranging from Global Traveler to Golf Magazine, Mashed to Forbes, and Bloomberg. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the mountains near her home in the Adirondacks. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago and New Orleans.