Looking for a perfect, durable, do-all duffel that offers versatility in both packing and ways to carry? The Db Duplex Duffle may be it.
Db is a Norwegian brand founded by a skier-turned-influencer. The brand used to make only ski bags and boot bags but recently expanded its repertoire. It now makes camera bags, briefcases, and duffels — lots of duffels.
We tested the Db Duplex Duffle ($259), a 50L duffel bag that uniquely splits into two main compartments, making it really versatile and travel-friendly. It’s also packed with a few more cool features. It’s worth noting the Duplex comes in 50L-90L sizes ($259-299).
In short: On the outside, this duffel is durable, sleek, and compact. But on the inside, it expands to a versatile, perfect-packing wonder. That’s thanks to the butterflied split compartments (both zippered), one mesh-backed and one fabric-backed, leaving room for a third flat mesh zippered compartment in the middle.
Top off this duffel with an internal and external pocket, and it’s got more going for it in terms of organization than most.
Db Duplex Duffle: Put to the Travel Test
As a GearJunkie staff member of over 2 years, I’ve had no shortage of opportunities to get outside — and to travel. Frequently, I’ll find myself toggling between brand picnic previews and mountain bike rides, between skiing and packrafting, between outdoor hikes and virtual workouts. But what about the gear that gets us there?
A duffel that can pack in all my gear for the task at hand is the No. 1 essential. And while there are dozens of duffels for gear-hauling that we’ve tested and loved, there are none quite as unique (and organized) as this one.
I’ve used the Duplex duffel on several occasions now, including local overnight trips in-state, road trips, and work trips. I’ve also carried it everywhere from cars to trains, subways, and planes.
Construction and Features
Right off the bat, you can tell the Db Duplex duffel was built for travel by its exterior features: a super-strong, 850-denier, carbonate-coated exterior fabric; backpack straps; two grab handles; daisy-chain webbing loops; metal fasteners; a magnetic one-handed sternum strap; and more.
The straps adjust to carry comfortably — whether you’re hauling 20 pounds of stuff or 40. (The height and width of the sternum strap adjust too.)
But my first realization of happiness and best takeaway with testing the Db Duplex Duffle wasn’t any one of its features — but the comfort of the whole bag itself. The split compartment makes it easier to organize and pack, and also easier to balance out the weight. And the back panel of the duffel is comfortable; I didn’t even notice the zipper was there.
Lastly, let’s not overlook the flat mesh compartment (store dirty clothes, lay a dress shirt flat, etc.) that was slyly added between the two halves.
To give an idea of what the duffel can hold, here’s my packing list from a recent 4-day trip:
- Hiking shoes
- Road running shoes
- Chacos Z/Cloud 2 sandals
- Dress shoes
- Pants (2)
- Shorts (2)
- Shirts (5)
- Dress (1)
- Hillsound packing cubes (2)
- Hiking daypack
- Hat, bathing suit, sports bra, socks (4), etc.
- Arc’teryx Rebird windshell
- Stoic insulated puffy shirt
- MiiR water bottle
Db Duffel Review: Final Notes
Compared to older models of Db bags, the new Duplex Duffle series is definitely at a higher level of versatility, and maybe even quality.
And the fact that this bag boasts 100% recycled fabrics didn’t seem to affect the performance. Our duffel got carried, shoved, stuffed, tossed, shuffled, knocked around during travel, and briefly rained on. And it held up.
Drawbacks, you ask? We wish the backpack straps were detachable for a more streamlined duffel carry when you want it. Also, it’s more expensive than a standard, one-compartment, toss-and-go duffel. But the extra organizational design features and burly, worry-free construction is what you’re paying for.
Maybe it’s a duffel, maybe it’s a travel backpack. Either way, it’s great. Now I can rest easy knowing that whether it’s a weekend trip or something longer, the Db Duplex will be a sturdy companion by my side.