What is a Hybrid Duffle Bag?

A duffle bag is a large, often heavy, and sturdy bag. Sailors originally used it to transport their clothes and other personal belongings between ships or on shore leave. The duffle bags we use today are typically made of fabric that has been coated with PVC to make it waterproof. This duffel can be carried as a backpack or a duffle over the shoulder like a traditional duffle bag and is mostly used as a gym bag. Hybrid duffle bags offer the best of both worlds because they can be carried as either type of duffel! We'll also talk about hybrid duffel bags and their benefits. If you're ready to learn more about this topic, keep reading!

What is a Duffle Backpack Hybrid?

A Duffle Backpack—or Hybrid Duffle, as we refer to them here at Evatac—is a bag that tries to be both a backpack and a duffle. Most of the time, Duffles slant one way or the other—they're either a backpack or a duffle initially. The shape of the pack and the orientation of its arrangement can give you an indication.

How To Pick The Perfect Hybrid Duffle?

Buffles or backpack duffle appeal to us because of their versatility. You have all of the advantages of a tactical duffle bag—simplicity, durability, and space—while still being able to wear it as a backpack when you need to walk a long distance. This is useful whether heading from the airport to your hostel or even crossing the terminal. However, we'll be honest with you: while buffles are becoming more popular, we find them extremely difficult to master.

Rather than excelling at one or the other, these bags usually end up being unimpressive as both a backpack and a duffel. We prefer to have an amazing backpack or duffel bag in general. That said, if you're aware of the dangers and still want a Hybrid Duffle because you despise backpacks but walk enough to appreciate a backpack style of carrying now and then, we'll walk you through what to look for and how to pick the perfect hybrid duffle.


Hybrid Duffles, like Classic Duffles, benefit from a slimmer profile. When converted to backpack mode, a thinner pack will sit well against your back because the handles are closer together for an easier carry-in duffle mode and because the handles are closer together for an easier carry-in duffle mode.

Buffles tend to lean against your back in backpack mode since black duffle bags lack the rigidity of backpacks. Some of them are more so than others. Look for a pack with a bit more structure if you plan to use your buffle as a backpack


You can also provide structure by strategically packing. We'll assume you'll be packing the bag when it's in duffel mode (which is normally the case for a Hybrid), but consider where your belongings will go when you carry it as a backpack. The heavier items should be packed as near to your back as feasible. Also, keep the suitcase well packed out so it preserves its shape by placing flat goods against your back to prevent anything poking into you—packing cubes are a terrific way to flatten up usually un-flat objects like clothes—and keep it thoroughly packed out to prevent anything poking into you.

Straps & Handles

Buffle handles are a place where things can get a little strange. The handles are frequently designed to function as carry handles and backpack straps. And, in many cases, these two-for-one handles fall short on both counts.

Look for handles that curve inward towards the middle, making them simpler to grasp and hold. If the handles aren't tapered, holding them is like carrying a backpack by its shoulder straps, which is a pretty unpleasant experience (unless you have massive hands). For a comfortable backpack carry, you'll also need some cushioning.

Some Hybrid Duffles include distinct backpack straps that either detach or tuck into the back panel when not in use, rather than carrying handles that simultaneously serve as backpack straps and have chest strap and load lifter straps. This usually indicates that the backpack straps and handles are of higher quality. However, switching between duffle and backpack mode takes some time. In addition, when the handles become uncomfortable, you can't easily sling the buffle on your shoulders.

What you prefer is determined by your use case. If you plan on switching back and forth between backpack and duffel mode frequently, you'll want handles that can do double duty. If you plan to use your buffle primarily as a duffle bag with the occasional need for backpack and compression straps, look for detachable/stowaway backpack straps.

The final point is that a buffle rarely comes with a crossbody strap. This can be aggravating, especially for buffles who have separate backpack straps. In addition, carrying a duffle by its handles for more than five to ten minutes (depending on your hand strength and size, as well as the bag's weight) can be exhausting. You also don't always have the time to stop what you're doing and switch it to backpack mode. After all, you've got planes to catch, legs to work out, and beaches to relax on.

Interior Organization

First and foremost, consider the pockets' orientation. Some buffles have vertical pockets that perform well when worn as a backpack, but most have horizontal pockets meant for duffle carry.

When the pockets (interior and exterior pockets) lack secure openings, such as a zipper, buckle, velcro, or, at the absolute least, some flexibility, problems develop. When you switch carry modes, and the pockets are open, your belongings will most likely fall all over the place. If you thrive in chaos, then this may be a plus. Otherwise, it becomes tedious quickly. Backpack Duffle bags are handy for keeping dirty laundry separate from clean clothing, food items separate from electronics, and much more.

Backpack-specific Considerations

It's uncommon to come across a Hybrid Duffle with a good back panel. In reality, it appears that most businesses don't give it much thought at all, which makes those that do it all the more admirable. However, if you plan on using your buffle as a backpack regularly, pay special attention to the back panel and search for one with cushioning and air channels.

What Are The Pros of Hybrid Duffle Bag?

  • The vast interior of a duffel combined with the ease of carrying a backpack (at least in theory)
  • Versatile mode of carrying
  • It's less expensive than purchasing both a nice backpack and a duffel bag.

What Are The Cons of Hybrid Duffle Bag?

  • Difficult to pull off—usually results in a lousy duffle bag and a mediocre backpack.
  • Usually, the back panel isn't well-designed.
  • The straps are usually either decent backpack straps or good carry handles, but not both (and sometimes fail at both)


You get what you pay for when it comes to the best duffel bags. Suppose you're looking for a versatile and toughest bag that will do well in both backpack and duffel mode, be prepared to spend a bit more money. However, if you're only interested in one or the other carry mode, you can choose cheaper options. Just be aware of the shortcomings before you buy.

Overall, hybrid duffle bags are a good option if you're looking for something versatile and affordable. Just make sure to do your research first and know what you're buying! If you're looking for the finest duffle bag, Evatac duffle bag is the best for you. Check it out! 

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