The 12 Best Leather Duffel Bags for Travel in 2021 [Real & Faux]

leather duffel in woods

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As perfect for use on vacation as it is at the gym, these elegant and extremely well-made carry bags are durable and built to last. With iconic good looks and spacious interiors, a leather duffel bag makes a statement for stylish travelers everywhere.

Things To Consider With Leather Duffel Bags

Whether you splash out on genuine cowhide or opt for a synthetic alternative, there are plenty of great leather duffel bags out there. But, as not all leather duffels bags are made equal, consider the following before you buy:

Size and Capacity

The perfect leather duffel bag should be large enough to carry all the clothing and accessories you need for a few days away while still being small enough to carry easily.

Most of the bags we have chosen offer around 45 liters of storage space, which is about average for most airplane-approved carry-on bags. Remember, though, if you want to take your bag on the plane, it should ideally not measure more than 22 x 14 x 9 inches.

Leather bags can also be heavier than those made of synthetic materials, so it would be worth checking the bag’s weight before you buy.

Bottom Line: No matter how stylish your bag may look and feel on your shoulder, it will feel uncomfortable if it is too heavy.

Faux Leather vs. Real Leather

The appeal of synthetic leather alternatives is based on so much more than just the cost of the bag. Faux leather duffel bags are undoubtedly cheaper to buy than their genuine leather alternatives, but these man-made materials are also vegan-friendly and durable, and they can look and feel almost as impressive as the real thing.

Synthetic leather is also more versatile than real leather, meaning it can be found in a wider range of colors and finishes.

Let us not forget that genuine leather’s smooth feel is highly desirable and incredibly easy on the eye. Real leather is strong, durable, and ages beautifully, and many travelers believe that the higher quality construction and material are well worth the higher price tag.

In addition, genuine leather bags are naturally waterproof to help protect your belongings in damp conditions, and the breathable nature of the hide means that it is resistant to bad odors and fungal attacks. Real leather also tends to be more resistant to cracks and scratches.

Organization

Your leather duffel bag will need to have a good-size main compartment that can house all your clothing, toiletries, electronics, and other must-have accessories. As this is the bag’s primary function, it should be easy to access and roomy enough to hold all the items you need for a weekend away.

Further inner zipper pockets offer safe storage for smaller items, and slip-in pockets give you somewhere to hold your pens, toothbrush, hairbrush, and other essentials.

On the outside, a large zipper or buckle pocket lets you grab your cell phone, wallet, keys, and other most commonly used items in an instant, and many of these bags also come with a separate compartment in which to keep your shoes.

Unlike briefcases and backpacks, your leather duffel doesn’t need to be jam-packed with multi-function pockets, but it should definitely offer more than just 1 big main compartment in order to be truly useful.

Carry Options

For a more distinguished look, most leather duffel-lovers like to carry their bags in their hands while they walk. With rounded handles that are designed to feel soft and comfortable in your hands, many bags also come with a leather handle wrap to prevent chafing on the way.

For those who prefer to keep their hands free, leather duffel bags typically also come with an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap.

Made from strong and tear-resistant leather or canvas material, you can sling the bag over your shoulder or across your body for extra convenience. Some leather duffel bags can even be worn over your shoulders and come with the addition of strong and durable backpack straps.

Design

Without a doubt, a leather duffel bag oozes style and sophistication from the outset. A leather duffel bag is an ultimate accessory, from rounded bags made with smooth, shiny leather that offers minimalist chic and modern styling to vintage leather duffels with chunky buttons and a time-weathered look for the style-conscious traveler.

Whether you opt for genuine animal hide or a man-made alternative, your leather duffel should be roomy enough to hold your belongings while still offering a slimline aesthetic for a truly upscale look and feel.

Bottom Line: Choose from natural tans or stained leather for an eye-catching color, and enjoy the envious looks from fellow travelers at the airport.

The Best Real Leather Duffel Bags

Stunning Leather Duffel Bag With a Designer Label

Kenneth Cole Reaction Duff Guy

This awesome-looking duffel bag is made from soft and durable full-grain cowhide Colombian leather that develops a deep patina over time. It is practical and versatile with a fully-lined interior, and the tear-resistant construction ensures that this bag has been built to last.

On the inside, the main compartment includes 2 open-top pockets and 2 smaller pockets that are perfect for keeping your smaller items safe and secure, and the U-shape zipper makes it a breeze to pack and unpack your belongings in an instant.

Spacious and well-designed, you can easily squeeze in enough clothing to see you through overnight stays or a few days away, and the large external pocket is perfect for holding your shoes.

With 5 pegs on the bottom of the bag, it can stand up on its own without damaging the delicate leather base of the bag, and with 2 top carry handles and a removable and adjustable shoulder strap, it promises to be a comfortable carry, even when full. Designed to meet the restrictions of most U.S.-based airlines, this is a brilliant duffel bag for discerning travelers.

What We Like

  • The sophisticated styling and spacious interior

What We Don’t Like

  • It fills up pretty quickly

Big-Size Duffel Bag for Super-Sized Adventures

Oversized Waterproof Genuine Leather Duffel Bag

Spacious enough to hold a good few day’s worth of clothing and belongings, this beautiful duffel bag is made from premium quality genuine crazy horse leather. With a waterproof and highly durable canvas bottom that comes with built-in rivets, it can withstand many miles of adventures, and the high-density canvas has been constructed to resist rips and tears.

With rustproof hardware, this awesome travel bag looks incredibly upscale and much more expensive than it actually is. The large main compartment lets you carry a good selection of clothing with you, and the zipper compartment and further slip-in pockets are perfect for keeping your smaller items neatly organized.

On the outside, the stylish magnetic button pocket offers easy access to your most-used essentials, and the smaller zipper pocket is a great little space for your cell phone, wallet, or keys.

Rounded handles make it easy to carry, even when it is full, and for extra convenience and versatility, it also comes with a large adjustable shoulder strap that allows you to turn it into a tote. Large and luxurious, this bag measures 22.83 x 11.8 x 11.8 inches.

What We Like

  • The spacious main compartment

What We Don’t Like

  • The inner liner isn’t attached to the sides of the bag

A Beautiful Leather Duffel Bag With Vintage Good Looks

KPL 21 Inch Vintage Leather Duffel Bag

Take a step back in time with this stunning carry bag that is made from soft and supple full-grain leather. This bag is fully lined with durable canvas, looks and feels incredibly high quality, and the retro styling is a winner with trendy travelers. Cabin-friendly, it measures 21 x 11 x 9 inches in size, and the multi-purpose design makes it as suitable for use at the gym or in the office as it is in the air.

The large main compartment is big enough to carry your clothing in, and the internal zipper pocket is perfect for smaller accessories. The 2 spacious side zipper pockets let you grab your cell phone, boarding pass, wallet, and other essentials, and the fuss-free design offers maximum packing space.

Featuring high-quality zippers and hardware, you can pack and unpack nice and quickly, and the pure brass rivets will ensure that this bag lasts you through many adventures to come.

Easy to carry, even when full, it features a pair of high-quality grab handles. For added convenience in transit, it also comes with an adjustable and removable shoulder strap that is designed to stay strong with heavy-duty carabineer attachments.

What We Like

  • The vintage styling and large open main compartment

What We Don’t Like

  • It looks a little more orange in color than a natural tan

Eye-Catching Good Looks

Leather Travel Duffle Bag

This truly stunning travel bag has been handmade from luxurious full-grain leather. The beautifully constructed design ensures that it continues to offer timeless good looks and incredible practicality for many years to come. Crafted using high-quality stitching, durable brass buckles, and YKK metal zippers, this is a truly awesome leather carry bag.

Available in a selection of leather hues, this buffalo leather bag features a large main compartment that also comes with a built-in zipper pocket for smaller items. The slip-in storage pocket has separate areas for your credit cards, pens, and cell phone, and on the side of the bag, there is an easy-to-access shoe compartment that helps to keep odors and dirt at bay.

With a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap, this bag is easy to carry even when full, and should you wish to carry it in your hands, the grab handles are soft, strong, and durable. This beautiful leather bag is fully lined and incredibly well-made, and measuring 20 x 9 x 11 inches, it’s a perfect choice for use as an airplane carry-on.

What We Like

  • The high-quality look and feel and selection of cool colors

What We Don’t Like

  • It seems to scratch quite easily

Leather Duffel Bag That Comes in a Choice of Sizes

BOSTANTEN Genuine Leather Travel Weekender

This medium-size carry bag measures 18.89 x 10.43 x 9.64 inches, making it perfect for air travel, but the same model is also available in small- and large-size options. Made from high-quality genuine cowhide leather with a durable fabric lining, this brilliant bag has plenty of space for everything you need for overnight stays and weekends away.

The large inner compartment is easy to access and helps you to stay organized; it also features a zippered inner pocket and 2 insert pockets for your cell phone, keys, and other essentials.

For added convenience, while you travel, it comes with a dedicated shoe compartment that will keep dirty shoes separate from your clean clothing, and the overall dimensions allow you to maximize your packing power without being bulky or cumbersome.

Ideal for plane or train travel, this bag features a single gusset construction that expands to the shape of your belongings, and with a removable shoulder strap, it is incredibly comfortable to carry, even when full. If you prefer to keep your bag close by your side in transit, it also comes with 2 strong and supple grab handles.

What We Like

  • Despite the more compact dimensions, it can still hold quite a lot of stuff

What We Don’t Like

  • It is prone to get scratched quite easily

Our Favorite Handmade Duffel Bag

Rustic Town Handmade Leather Travel Duffel Bag

This tough and sturdy duffel bag is made from supersoft and incredibly strong buffalo hide, and the classic design gives it a timeless and authentic look and feel. With a thick fabric lining, it will protect your belongings in transit, and with break-resistant YKK zippers and brass fittings, this bag truly has been built to last.

Offering a ton of interior storage space, it has a large main compartment that can easily be reached via the smooth-rolling top zipper, and with a further inner zip pocket, 4 card slots, 2 pen loops, and a dedicated slot for your cell phone, it will help you to stay well-organized.

For easy access to your most used items, including your boarding pass, wallet, and keys, and it also comes with 2 exterior zipper pockets that are perfect for keeping your charging cables, power banks, and other accessories close by your side.

Just right for use on your next flight, this bag easily meets airline carry-on restrictions and is compact enough to be stored under your seat. With 2 sturdy carry handles and an adjustable and removable shoulder strap, this incredibly high-quality leather duffel bag is an excellent choice for the discerning traveler.

What We Like

  • The high-quality look and feel of this bag is superb

What We Don’t Like

  • It feels quite heavy when it is full

Tanned Using Natural Materials

Urban Dezire Goat Hide Duffel Bag

Measuring 24 x 10 x 10 inches, this brilliant bag is perfect for a wide variety of uses. Made from strong, lightweight, and incredibly supple goat hide, it has a natural tan color that is achieved without the use of chemicals and will deepen over time.

This genuine leather duffel bag is stunning to look at, exquisite to hold, and has been designed to see you through many miles of overnight adventures.

On the inside, the large main compartment has plenty of space to hold your clothing, toiletries, books, electronics, and other must-have items, and with a full-length zipper, it is easy to access your gear. With 2 large side pockets, you can keep your cell phone, wallet, and keys close at hand, and the front flap pocket features a strong brass buckle that adds an authentic vintage look and feel.

Suitable for use as a travel bag, a gym bag, a sports bag, an overnight bag, or just as an upscale weekender, this stunning leather duffel bag comes with strong grab handles and an adjustable and removable full-length leather shoulder strap, making it as practical to use as it is beautiful to look at.

What We Like

  • The unique patina means no 2 bags look the same

What We Don’t Like

  • This bag has a particularly strong smell that takes a while to dissipate

For Those Who Appreciate Timeless Style

Berliner Bags Vintage Oslo Leather Duffle Bag

This durable leather duffel bag measures up at 22.8 x 11 x 11.8 inches and offers an impressive 45 liters of storage space. It weighs 4.2 pounds and is sturdy and incredibly durable, and the well-organized interior offers plenty of space for your belongings. Compact enough to meet with the carry-on restrictions imposed by most U.S.-based carriers, this is an excellent choice for frequent flyers.

Featuring gorgeous retro styling, this brilliant bag comes with 6 metal feet that help protect the bag’s base from wet or dirty conditions, and the 100% metal YKK zippers have been built to last.

On the inside, the central compartment comes complete with a 9.7-inch table pocket, a dedicated cell phone pocket, and a key chain, as well as cardholders, pen holders, and a zippered internal pocket that will keep all of your gear nicely organized.

The vegetable-tanned leather has gone through a natural tanning process that renders the leather incredibly waterproof, without the use of any harmful chemicals, and the patina of the bag will deepen over time. With 2 strong carry handles, this bag is easy to carry even when full, and the adjustable shoulder strap lets you keep your hands free in transit.

What We Like

  • The incredibly solid construction and gorgeous real leather smell

What We Don’t Like

  • It can get creased quite easily

The Best Faux Leather Duffel Bags

A Great Looking Duffel Bag That Won’t Break the Bank

BAOSHA Large Leather Duffel Bag

Made from supersoft yet incredibly strong faux PU leather, this brilliant men’s duffel bag is available in brown or black, and a separate matching toiletry bag is also available. Measuring up 20 x 12.6 x 10 inches, it offers plenty of space for weekends away, and the lightweight design ensures that it remains comfortable to carry, even when full.

The large main compartment comes with 1 zipper pocket and 3 further slip-in pockets that are perfect for keeping your smaller items safe, and the discreet external zipper pocket allows for easy access to your cell phone, boarding pass, wallet, or keys.

On the bottom of the bag, the dedicated zipper compartment offers separate storage for your shoes, allowing them to be kept away from your clean clothes, and with gold-colored hardware and a versatile design, this great-looking bag will keep your belongings neatly organized in transit.

Perfect for use as a carry-on bag, this duffel is a great choice for air travel, and with a special trolley sleeve on the bag, you can slide it over the handle of your spinner suitcase for extra security and convenience. The sturdy grab handles make it easy to carry, and the adjustable and removable canvas shoulder strap lets you sling it over your shoulder if you wish to.

What We Like

  • The separate bottom zippered compartment is super useful

What We Don’t Like

  • This bag is a little on the heavy side

Highly Practical Carry Bag

Zeroway Travel Duffel Bag

Available in a choice of black or brown colorways, this sophisticated-looking duffel bag is made from high-quality artificial leather. Neatly stitched and built to last, it offers excellent resistance to rain and moisture, and the anti-scratch design will keep it looking as good as new for longer.

Designed to be used in a wide variety of settings, this brilliant bag comes with a dedicated laptop compartment to keep your electronics safe. There is still plenty of space in the main pocket to carry several changes of clothing, and with a separate shoe compartment to the side, you can even keep your dirty footwear nicely separated in transit.

Designed for practicality throughout, it also comes with a key hook connected to your toiletry bag or key chain. With a further zippered pocket and 2 external front pockets with a leather cover, it offers an impressive amount of storage space.

Offering 45 liters of useful storage space, this bag is still able to remain lightweight and easy to carry. The adjustable and removable strap comes with a wide cushioned pad and rounded leather grab handles, and the incredibly versatile design makes this a big hit with frequent flyers.

What We Like

  • The additional end zipper pockets and compartments are very functional

What We Don’t Like

  • The design is a little old-fashioned

The Best Environmentally-Friendly PU Duffel Bag

Seyfocnia Weekend Duffel Bag

Offering impressive credentials, this affordable and stylish PU leather duffel bag is eco-friendly and effortlessly practical. Constructed to a very high standard, it is made with reinforced stitching and top-quality hardware and is available in a choice of black or brown colorways.

With 1 spacious main compartment, there is plenty of room to pack enough clothing and accessories for a few days away, and the inner zipper pocket and 2 slip-in pockets are useful for keeping your smaller items separated from the rest. This brilliant bag also comes with a handy shoe compartment with a zipper closure and side pocket that allows you to keep odors, dirt, and dust neatly contained along the way.

The removable shoulder strap can easily be adjusted to suit your frame, and with the addition of 2 sturdy grab handles, this bag is incredibly comfortable to carry. Measuring up at 20.4 x 11.3 x 11.7 inches, it is easily big enough to accommodate your 15-inch laptop, iPad, and tablet, as well as all the clothing and accessories you need for a long weekend away.

What We Like

  • The separate shoe compartment is incredibly handy

What We Don’t Like

  • Despite the high-quality construction, the PU leather can look a little cheap

Keep Your Clothes Wrinkle-Free With This Leather Garment Bag

Seyfocnia Carry On Garment Bag

Versatile and easy to use, this awesome travel bag can be used to store your clothing, shoes, laptop, and other essentials. Measuring 22 x 12.5 x 12.2 inches and offering an impressive 45 liters of storage space, this bag comes with a foldable garment bag and meets the carry-on restrictions of most U.S.-based air carriers.

Combining the benefits of a garment carrier and a traditional tote bag, this innovative carry-on comes with a lay-flat leather organizer that folds up to keep your clothes neat and tidy. The bag’s main compartment can be used to carry your electronics and accessories, and there is also a useful zipped pocket that offers easy access to your cell phone, wallet, and keys in transit, and includes a separate shoe storage bag on the side.

Made from high-quality, waterproof, super-fiber PU leather, the bag is waterproof and incredibly durable. Weighing just 3.8 pounds when empty, it has a solid and upscale feel to it, and the adjustable shoulder strap with padding and further grab handles makes it comfortable to carry.

What We Like

  • Crease-free carry for suits

What We Don’t Like

  • It feels a little bit floppy unless it is really full

Final Thoughts

A leather duffel bag offers practical storage and upscale looks for the more discerning traveler. Perfect for use as a carry-on, these brilliant bags can also be used at the gym or on road trips, and the sturdy and durable design offers a beautiful blend of classic styling and modern-day convenience.

Whatever your budget, there will be a leather duffel bag to suit. Whether you choose from man-made synthetic leather alternatives to keep the costs down or splash out on a genuine animal hide bag, you will quickly come to love your new leather duffel bag.


Frequently asked questions

Is a leather duffel bag worth it?

Leather duffel bags are certainly a worthy addition to your travel gear. They are extremely durable, always fashionable, and real leather duffel bags also get better with age.

Can a duffel bag be used as a carry-on?

Depending on your airline’s carry-on restrictions, most duffel bags will be suitable for use as a carry-on, and their soft exterior means they can be squashed to fit in overhead lockers.

What is a good size of duffle bag?

A good-size duffel bag will be anywhere between 30 and 45 liters. Any smaller and you won’t be able to pack much; any bigger and you’ll have too much weight to carry on 1 shoulder.

Can you pack a duffel bag for 3 days of travel?

A good-sized duffel bag should easily accommodate enough clothes and accessories for a weekend away. Many even come with separate shoe compartments and toiletry sections.

Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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