This $20 Duffel Bag Holds Just as Much as My Carry-On and I’m Never Traveling Without It Again

published Mar 11, 2024
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shot of someone packing a duffle bag.
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Since I left Texas behind and set off for college in the Northeast, I’ve towed around an impressive number of bulky suitcases. In five years, I’ve moved between five different dorms and apartments, so they’re certainly justified. Plus, when they aren’t being put to use, they’re storing out-of-season clothes in my closet and under my bed. However, aside from Christmas, most of my quick trips to Texas usually don’t call for an enormous piece of luggage, which is why a weekender bag has been on my wishlist for a while.

The only issue? I don’t really have much storage space left to spare. I’ve been a bit reluctant to add yet another piece to my too-large collection of luggage, tote bags, and purses — which is why I was so excited to try out BAGSMART’s totally ingenious option. It can hold a weekend’s worth of necessities, but when you return home, it folds down to only a fraction of its normal size. Best of all, at only $20, it hardly makes a dent in your wallet. Read on to learn more about why I’m never traveling without it again.

What is the BAGSMART Foldable Travel Duffle Bag?

Weighing in at a little under a pound, BAGSMART’s duffel is remarkably lightweight even when it’s fully packed. Its interior offers a surprisingly spacious 26-liter capacity, with a drawstring outer pocket placed on the front and two elastic pockets on either side, so you can easily fill it with all of the items you need for the weekend — and possibly for even longer. The bag measures approximately 19 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 11 inches tall, but it can be compressed into an 8- by 8-inch pouch. Though it can be folded down, the fabric and straps are durable, thick, and water-resistant.

Credit: Morgan Pryor

Why I Love the BAGSMART Foldable Travel Duffle Bag

I know what you’re probably thinking: Can a bag really be that affordable (and, not to mention, foldable) and high quality at the same time? At first, I had the same doubts, but after bringing it with me on my latest jaunt between New York and Texas, I was seriously impressed. Three shirts, a skirt, a pair of shorts, and a light jacket fit easily, with plenty of room to spare. Granted, I was packing for warmer weather, but I have no doubt that I could squeeze enough bulky winter items inside to last for a few days. The side pocket comfortably fit my water bottle, while the other held some of my makeup and toiletries. 

Getting around the airport with it was a breeze. The shoulder strap didn’t give me any trouble or discomfort, and loading it into the overhead bin was painless. Expectedly, it held up just as well on the back end of my trip, too. The feature I appreciated most, however, came into play after my trip was over. When it isn’t holding an impressive amount, it takes up essentially zero space in my closet. Shoving the duffle into the pouch takes hardly any effort — though it does become a bit wrinkled after being folded, but in my opinion, that’s neither here nor there. 

Credit: Morgan Pryor

Even when I plan on traveling with my huge suitcase, I’ll bring BAGSMART’s duffel with me to hold any extra items I acquire (which we all know always ends up happening). For all of that, $20 is really a small price to pay — especially considering that I plan to use it for the gym, too. With spring break in the near future and the sale that’s going on, I recommend grabbing it sooner rather than later!

Buy: BAGSMART Foldable Travel Duffle Bag, $19.99 (normally $25.99)