Leather is a durable material perfect for many of the garments and accessories we use daily. It’s commonly used for outerwear and shoes, but another extremely common use for leather is in bags, whether luxury and utilitarian styles.
Leather duffle bags are large, roomy bags meant to hold bulky objects. When made of leather, these bags can last a lifetime thanks to leather’s durability. Duffle bags can vary style and size depending on their intended use and their manufacturer, but most adhere to the classic long, roomy shape.
If you’d like to learn more about the different types and uses of leather duffle bags, read on!
What is a Leather Duffle Bag?
Duffle bags are a utilitarian bag style. Most often, they are long and oversized, intended to be easily carried by the user. These bags are made of a soft material in order to hold bulky, awkwardly-shaped objects with ease; their most common uses are for sports and military due to the tendency for both to involve the regular need to carry large, awkwardly-shaped items.
Leather duffle bags are made of either genuine or faux leather. Those made of faux leather will not last nearly as long as those made from genuine leather, due to the fact that faux leather is a plastic product and thus less durable than genuine leather. Genuine leather duffle bags can last a lifetime if properly cared for and are an excellent choice for those who travel often.
Leather duffle bags are available from a variety of manufacturers – handmade leather duffle bags from leather artisans, faux leather duffle bags from some higher-end fast fashion retailers or from online retailers, or even luxury leather duffle bags from designers. They can range in price from $80 to upwards of $500 depending on material quality, and manufacturer.
Types of Leather Duffle Bags
Mens Leather Duffle Bag
Men’s leather duffle bags are quite common, and are most similar to the style’s military roots. These bags are roomy and easy to carry, with a large, open main compartment and an accessible carrying strap or handles. Men’s leather duffle bags are more widely available in genuine leather than faux leather; still, many faux leather men’s duffle bags are available through online retailers, as well as high-quality faux leather options from larger department stores.
Men’s leather duffle bags don’t vary in style much. These bags typically look quite similar, retaining some of the utilitarian traits of their military predecessors. Most have a simple, smooth exterior free of embellishment to allow for a long life of heavy use. Many have a single exterior pouch for convenient storage of important items.
Mens Travel Duffle Bag
More streamlined, less utilitarian styles of men’s leather duffle bags are often called weekender bags. These bags are often smaller than a traditional duffle and designer to hold a few days’ worth of outfits – enough for a weekend trip! These bags may have more storage pouches and pockets than a traditional duffle bag, and may also include a leather luggage tag for easy identification.
Womens Leather Duffle Bag
Women’s leather duffle bags are almost exclusively made with travel in mind. These bags are often sleek, lacking outside pockets or ornamentation. Still, they mimic the classic leather duffle bag shape and structure, which ensures durability. Women’s leather duffle bags come in a slightly wider variety of tones than men’s, with some options in blue, grey, green, or even white dyed leather.
Black Leather Duffle Bag
Black leather duffle bags are a sophisticated alternative to traditional brown or natural-colored leather duffle bags. Black leather gives these bags a professional feel, making them perfect for those who travel often for work. As with other dyed leather goods, black leather duffle bags show wear less obviously than lighter leather tones, showing their age less than lighter alternatives.
Mens Vintage Leather Duffle Bag
Vintage men’s leather duffle bags tend to lean toward the utilitarian style, with very structured, reinforced seams and a number of exterior pockets for storage of small items. Many of these vintage bags were used by traveling doctors, artisans, or other professionals whose practice took them on the road. Vintage leather has often taken on a beautiful patina and is softer than brand new leather, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer their garments a bit worn in.
See the detail of this Vintage Leather Duffle Bag by Buffalo Jackson in the video below.
Full Grain Leather Duffle Bag
Full grain leather promises lifelong quality and durability. For those who plan to use their leather duffle bag very often, full grain leather is the perfect choice. This type of leather is heavy and durable, ensuring a sturdy, water-resistant duffle bag for important items. Full grain leather duffle bags are an investment piece; because of the high quality of this type of leather, these bags are often quite expensive.
Full grain leather promises lifelong quality and durability.
Handmade Leather Duffle Bag
Handmade leather duffle bags are available from a number of leather artisans. These bags ensure the utmost quality and can be custom-made to the buyer’s specifications. Working with leather is a precise, painstaking process with unparalleled results – these items are made to last and are almost always crafted from genuine leather.
Mens Black Leather Duffle Bag
Men’s black leather duffle bags are often designed to be sleek and luxe, sold as travel bags rather than rugged carryalls because of their upscale appearance. Black leather feels perfect for the fashion-conscious professional looking to travel in style.
Italian Leather Duffle Bag
Italian leather duffle bags are made from genuine leather. The difference between Italian leather and other genuine leathers comes down to the tanning and finishing process; Italian leather is handmade from start to finish, resulting in the longest-lasting, most beautiful leather available. These duffle bags are often streamlined, with masterful lines and well-hidden seams. An overwhelming majority of Italian leather duffle bags are made of chestnut leather, a finish which evokes a warm vintage feel.
Designer Leather Duffle Bag
Designer leather duffle bags can be made from either genuine or faux leather, though most are genuine. While the consumer certainly pays for the design house’s name when it comes to designer goods, most items are also handmade to guarantee a superior product. Designer leather duffle bags come with a hefty price tag, but will also last a lifetime.
Leather Weekender Bags are among the most popular. Below is a great “How To” video on making your very own.
Popular Leather Duffle Bag Brands
Ralph Lauren’s various labels, such as Polo and the designer’s namesake label, offer a number of men’s leather duffle bags at varying price points. The design house uses genuine leather and their offerings are quite high-end, with the least expensive coming in at around $200 and larger, more expensive options available for over $2000.
Herschel Supply Co. offers outdoor garments and accessories that are stylish and functional. Their selection of duffle bags is durable yet stylish, perfect for those looking for a rugged duffle bag with leather accents for added durability.
Famed design house Coach’s leather duffles are streamlined and timeless, with minimal exterior pockets and smooth, soft leather. Coach’s price point for leather duffle bags is relatively even, with most setting you back $300-$400. This design house is known for their long-lasting bags, so buyers can be sure that Coach’s leather duffles are made to last as long as their other famously long-lived items.
Fossil is a premium leather retailer known for expertly combining utility with style, and the Defender leather duffle bag is no exception. This bag is structured, with a wide-open interior and multiple exterior pockets for optimal storage. It retails for $398.
Outdoor clothing retailer L.L. Bean’s leather duffle bag is remarkably similar to vintage military duffles. Its cylindrical shape and simple, malleable construction strips the duffle of any bells and whistles and leaves a bag that does exactly what it was originally intended to do: act as a durable, rugged carryall for large items. Their Signature Leather Duffle is available for $426 CAD (about $324 USD).
Another retailer known for long-lasting bags, Louis Vuitton’s leather duffle bags mimic the iconic shape of much of the design house’s vintage luggage. Mixing luxury goods and utilitarian style makes for a timeless take on the leather duffle bag. Louis Vuitton’s leather duffles start at around $1500, with some costing upwards of $3000.
Best Leather Duffle Bag
|Kessler Large Duffle Bag||Kessler’s large duffle is undoubtedly the best leather duffle bag available right now. This bag comes in a variety of full-grain leather finishes and is also available in two vegetable-tanned Italian leather finishes for a premium price. Its size is large enough to function as a weekend bag or true duffle, yet not so large that it’s impossible to carry comfortably. The duffle relies very little on hardware, reducing strain to the leather and ensuring durable construction.||$365|
|Ted Baker WAINE Leather Holdall||This leather duffle bag from UK retailer Ted Baker is sleek and professional, made from 100% genuine leather dyed black. It features a polyester lining with interior pockets for organization, a detachable shoulder strap, double handles, and double zip fastening for added ease of use.||$449|
|Duluth Trading Co. Full Grain Leather Duffle||Duluth Trading Co. is known for its outdoor and sporting goods, and this leather duffle is no exception. Rugged and military-inspired, this leather duffle bag is constructed from full-grain leather. It features zipper and buckle enclosures, guaranteeing security for whatever belongings need carrying. Its sturdy, reinforced seams mean that this leather duffle bag is up for a challenge!||$349|
|PX Mens Leather Duffle Bag||This modern take on a leather duffle bag is made from quality faux leather, making it easy to clean and care for. Its structured round design is unique, and its end handles make it easy to carry this bag however necessary – perfect for a last-minute weekend trip by car or train.||$90.00|
Where to Buy a Leather Duffle Bag
Leather duffle bags found on amazon are mostly made of faux leather. For those who are looking for an inexpensive leather duffle bag, Amazon is the perfect retailer.
Nordstrom carries a variety of leather duffle bags, many of which are designer. Most of these bags are genuine leather, but some are faux leather and are slightly less expensive than the alternative. Nordstrom is a relatively high-end retailer and their selection’s prices reflect this.
Others popular online stores/sellers?
Retailers selling designer goods are an excellent resource for leather duffle bags. These include Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Net-A-Porter.
Other retailers include Kodiak Leather, Brooks Brothers, Ted Baker, and Buffalo Jackson.
Leather duffle bags are a practical choice for those who need a durable bag to stand up to lots of use. Their shape means that they can hold different types of items, making it easy for the used to pick them up and go. While those whose trade requires them to carry a variety of specialized tools may benefit from one of these bags, today’s leather duffle bags are geared towards professionals and those looking for a long-lasting, durable piece of luggage. If you’re interested in other leather fashion, click here for my article on leather blazers or here for my article on leather duffle bags.
Do leather duffel bags require maintenance?
Genuine leather duffle bags may require some maintenance now and again. Leather can last a lifetime, but using special conditioners and oils can ensure that it looks brand new for a long time. Faux leather does not require maintenance.
How long do leather duffle bags last?
Depending on their quality, faux leather duffle bags can last many years with proper care. Genuine leather bags can last a lifetime and then some, and can look brand new with regular maintenance like conditioning.