How to Pack a Duffle Bag for Travel?

How to Pack a duffle bag for travel? This question is one that many people ask themselves when they are about to go on vacation. Whether you're going abroad, staying in the country, or exploring your own backyard, having a duffle bag packed and ready to go can be essential. The following blog post will give you some helpful hints and tips on how to pack your duffle bag for travel!

What is the Duffle Bag Packing List?

While you may change a few items on your packing list from a trip to a trip, most of what we bring with us when we travel remains surprisingly consistent. After all, you'll always need a toothbrush.

So, to demonstrate the best way to pack a tactical duffle bag for travel, we will use our definitive carry-on packing list as an example of how to fit everything in your duffle bag. Whether you're packing for a week-long trip to a cold-weather destination or a long weekend somewhere warm, your packing list will look something like this:

  • Clothing: like skirts, pants, t-shirts, underwear, socks, and jackets
  • Toiletries: Soap, Toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, and razor
  • Paperwork: Passport, ID's, Copies of important docs and cards
  • Electronics: Chargers, power bank, laptop, adapter, and chargers.
  • Other Gear: eye mask, face mask, luggage lock, packing cubes, and pen

Use Packing Cubes for Rolled Clothes

It's all too easy to stuff everything into a duffle bag or let it all come unraveled the moment you need to rummage around for a new pair of socks. It's also more challenging to see everything in a duffle bag than in a suitcase or backpack duffle bag.

Packing cubes allow you to keep your clothes folded, organized, and easily accessible. Begin by selecting a clear packing cube, then roll your clothes and stand them up so you can quickly see everything you have in a single cube. Use multiple cubes to organize your travel wardrobe further, whether by clothing type, dirty/clean, or any other method that makes sense to you.

Place Separate Compartment for Shoes

Shoes, let's face it, get filthy. Even if they aren't caked in mud, we don't want them mingling with our clean clothes. So pack your shoes (we recommend wearing one pair and packing one pair) in a separate compartment of your duffle bag from the rest of your belongings.

Some travel duffle bags have a separate compartment for shoes. If your duffle does not, you can always use a shoe bag to create a separation. Then, place your boots on the bottom of your bag, with your clothing packing cubes next to and on top of them.

Put Toiletries in Reusable Containers And in a Dedicated Bag

Toiletries are up next. Whether you’re going to bring it all or just a few items to replenish the free goodies at your hotel, make sure all of your liquids and gels are in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces. We recommend using a reusable container for these. secondary bag or gym bag

Next, pack them all in a single toiletry bag—it must be clear and quart-sized or smaller if you’re going through airport security—and add them to the top of your bag. This way, if you need to take it out for TSA screening or grab something mid-trip, you'll have easy access to it.

Place Documents in an Outside Pocket

Next, place all of your essential paperwork—passport, boarding pass, notebook, etc.—in an easy-to-access outer pocket. You’ll want them easy to get to but also not free to float around the main compartment of your duffle since these minor items are easy to lose.

Some travel duffle bags will include organizational features to keep these small but essential items organized (pen holder, small pockets, etc.). If yours does not, a pouch or accessory bag can be used to keep these items together and easily accessible.

Put Laptops And Chargers in a Dedicated Sleeve

If you're traveling with a laptop, tablet, or Kindle, put it in a separate outside pocket. Is there a laptop sleeve in your duffle? Place your computer or another large device inside and your chargers beside it if you have a larger bag or even if it is a briefcase-style.

If you don't have an outer pocket for your device, put it in a sleeve and place it in the main compartment on top of your clothes. This will help keep it from getting damaged if you, say, toss your bag on the floor while collapsing from exhaustion after a 12-hour flight.

Organize Odds And Ends in Pockets or Accessory Bags

Other items, especially those you won't need while traveling, should be layered on top of your clothes in the main compartment. Use small pockets in your duffle or an accessory bag for small items to keep them from floating around and getting lost. You may use backpack straps, shoulder straps, or compression straps to make it more secure and for the use of external pockets.

Bring a Personal Item With Your Duffle

Because your (duffle) duffel bag is considered a carry-on item, you may still bring a personal item with you. If you choose a backpack as your item, aim for something with a capacity of 20-26L. That size will be large enough to hold any extra travel necessities you're bringing (camera, water bottle, etc.) but small enough to fit under an airplane seat.


Whether you're traveling abroad, staying in the country, or exploring your backyard, having the best duffel bags packed and ready to go can be essential. Whether you're packing for a week-long trip to a cold-weather destination or a long weekend somewhere warm, you'll need to bring the items listed above. It's also a good idea to pack with rolled cubes to save space and do not mix your dirty laundry and use the internal pockets of your travel bag.

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