The North Face really only makes one adventuring duffel bag because that’s all they need. The North Face Base Camp Duffel bag has been the explorer’s staple since it first came out, and it hasn’t changed much since then. That’s some serious longevity. While the newer models have made a few upgrades, like detachable backpack straps and locking zippers, the fundamental components of the bag are basically the same. Here’s everything you need to know about these duffels before we get into the nitty-gritty of our review:
The North Face Base Camp Duffel comes in four different sizes, but every size comes with the following features:
- Small end-cap zippered pocket that’s separate from the main compartment–perfect for keys, a wallet, or smaller items you need to keep track of
- Detachable, adjustable, alpine-cut shoulder straps
- Two top grab handles
- Padded haul handles on each end
- D-zip opening
- Two daisy chains Weather-resistant zipper flap
- Zippered mesh pocket within main compartment
- Heavy-duty water-resistant material that resists weather
- Double stitching for added durability
So now you know what they’ve got to offer, how do they handle adventure?
Well first, you’ll want to choose your size:
- Small – 42 Liters – Perfect for weekend trips and airplane carry-ons
- Medium – 72 Liters – Good for day trips, hiking, and shorter vacations
- Large – 90 Liter – Perhaps the most versatile size, this bag has you covered on any trip that’s longer than 4 days. It’s great for backpacking trips, but can hold all kinds of gear from snowboarding to camping.
- Extra large – 155 Liters – An absolute monster, this duffel will get you where you’re going and will keep you there for weeks if need be. This is best for longer, extended traveling trips.
Now you’ve made your size choice, here’s what to expect from your North Face Base Camp duffel:
Regardless of what size you choose, these bags can be stuffed to the absolute gills. It’s actually really difficult to fill them to the tippy top because they’re the perfect size for all kinds of gear, and their durable construction means you’re not afraid to shove that extra pair of shoes in there. This is a duffel in the most basic construction, made to optimize both space and convenience. Inside, you’ll find one massive main compartment that just keeps on filling. There’s also a mesh pocket within the lid of the duffel that keeps smaller electronics like tablets safe. Outside, there’s an external pocket for those things you don’t want to lose, like your wallet and keys.
You can’t find a more durable duffel on the market. The North Face Base Camp Duffel has made the tops list on most outdoor gear review sites for years now, and it’s no surprise why. The material they used is basically ballistics-grade nylon, and every seam is double stitched. This is a bag you can throw in the back of the truck, latch to the kayak or the Jeep, and forget about. It’s water resistant, so it’s sure to keep your gear and clothes dry in less-than-stellar weather. And like we said, feel free to just keep shoving gear in there. The durable construction of the North Face Base Camp Duffel means that you don’t have to worry about the zippers breaking or the bag ripping.
All the handles on this guy make it easy to haul around. Grab it by one end to throw in the car, strap it on like a backpack for longer expeditions, or just hold it like a regular duffel. The Base Camp duffel was built for durability and convenience, and it succeeds on both levels. If you don’t fill it up all the way, cinch it down with the two compression straps. If you’re on yak trip, lash it by one of the two convenient daisy chains. There’s nothing you can’t do with this bag, so long as you choose the right size. In terms of finding the stuff you packed in it, a large D-shaped opening gives you ultimate accessibility. You should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, no problem.
This duffel easily earns a five-star rating from us at Earth’s Edge. It can take all kinds of abuse and just keep trucking. It’s perfect for longer outdoor explorations, whether you’re going skiing or mountain climbing, but it’s also great for tamer traveling, like flights and basic road trips. The detachable backpack straps are an awesome addition because they give you a hands-free option if you want it. Best of all, it comes in a variety of different sizes, which means you can pick the bag that’s best suited for your type of travel. No matter what you throw at it, the North Face Base Camp Duffel is sure to come out on top.