KUIU built its Waypoint duffels with the needs of hunters in mind. But it may have also incidentally built the perfect travel bag for those who want the perfect carry-on.
Duffel bags are, on the surface, a fairly simple product. Give us a large sack with a few small components, reasonable durability, and comfortable straps, and it’s pretty hard to go too far wrong. But small evolutions have resulted in some really excellent duffel bags for travel, recreation, and general gear-hauling.
And one of these absolutely dialed duffel bags is the Waypoint Duffel by KUIU. Launched in 2022, I’ve been putting it to the test through both travel and hunting since fall 2021. And so far, this pack has proven darned near perfect.
In short: The Waypoint Duffel ($199) is KUIU’s answer to hauling gear. It’s a waterproof duffel bag with durable, high-density, TPU-coated ripstop fabric. Available in 2,800-, 5,500-, and 10,400-cubic-inch sizes, we found the 2,800-cubic-inch duffel to be the perfect answer to an airplane carry-on.
KUIU Waypoint Duffel Review
To me, you barely notice a good duffel bag. It carries and protects your gear, offers organizational help, and is reasonably comfortable to carry. The Waypoint Duffel in 2,800 cubic inches fits the bill for me.
Over the last 4 months, I’ve used it a dozen times carrying clothes and gear. I’ve set it on wet ski resort parking lots to dig out clothing when I needed a pre-ski change. I’ve stuffed it into overhead bins on airplanes. And I’ve tossed it in the back of my pickup truck while traveling to hunt pheasants in the fall and turkeys this spring. And across the board, it’s met my needs and kept my gear dry and protected.
First, Let’s Talk About Materials
The Waypoint Duffel uses strong 840D nylon with TPU coating on the bottom (420D on the top) waterproof fabric that feels somewhat slick on the exterior. Couple that with YKK water-resistant coated zippers, and the gear should stay dry even in a downpour.
While the zippers aren’t fully waterproof (I would not submerge this bag), it’s a great compromise for water resistance, useability, and price.
Storage Space & Handles
Inside the 2,800-cubic-inch model, you find one large space, one smaller compartment on the back panel (I use this for socks and underwear), and another small pocket on one end. On the outside of the pack, one padded pocket gives good space for smaller items like sunglasses.
Four lash points and grab handles on all sides and ends make it easy to pull out of an overhead bin no matter which way you put it in. And two padded backpack straps make carrying easy and comfortable.
Once at your destination, the Waypoint Duffel opens wide, allowing complete access to the two interior spaces. The padded body helps it stand open on its own.
Who It’s For
If you use duffels regularly for travel and want a waterproof, rugged exterior, this pack is for you. It’s not an all-day hiking pack, but for shorter hikes through cities, or on trains, planes, and automobiles, it’s comfortable enough to get the job done.
While designed with hunters in mind, the Waypoint Duffel’s neutral and black colors make it an excellent choice for those who want to keep a low profile traveling.
I do have a couple of criticisms of the pack. First, the pack doesn’t have any kind of waist belt. That’s not always a negative, as it does add more complexity and is one more strap to get caught on things. But it is worth noting if you plan to carry very heavy gear with this pack.
Second, there isn’t a good way to stow a water bottle or any wet gear on the outside. A small, flexible mesh pocket or similar may come in handy.
But KUIU went for the streamlined approach with this pack. That has its benefits, and if your use cases do well with clean, simple lines and fewer pockets and straps, this is the pack for you.
KUIU Waypoint Duffel: Conclusion
At $199, the KUIU Waypoint Duffel is a significant, but I would argue smart, investment. It should hold up to years of hard use. And more importantly, it should protect your equipment reliably and comfortably during all those trips you’ll take over those years.