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The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag Review (July 2024)

The North Face Base Camp Duffel is a legendary piece of luggage, known for its rugged durability and spacious design. For years, adventurers and travelers alike have relied on its ability to handle the toughest conditions and carry all their essential gear. In this review, we’ll dive deep into the latest version of this iconic duffel bag, examining its features, performance, and overall value. We’ll cover everything from its construction and materials to its practicality and comfort, helping you determine if this is the right duffel for your next adventure.

Whether you’re heading off on a weekend trip, a multi-week expedition, or just need a reliable bag for hauling gear around town, the Base Camp Duffel is a strong contender. But with so many different sizes and features available, it’s important to understand what makes this bag unique and how it stacks up against the competition. We’ll analyze its pros and cons, discuss its functionality in different situations, and compare it to other popular duffel bags on the market.

This review is designed to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether the North Face Base Camp Duffel is the right choice for your needs. We’ll explore its strengths and weaknesses, delve into the details of its design and construction, and offer our honest opinion on its overall performance. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what to expect from this iconic duffel bag and whether it’s the perfect companion for your next journey.

So, pack your curiosity and join us as we take a closer look at the North Face Base Camp Duffel. It’s time to discover if this classic duffel bag still lives up to its legendary reputation and if it can truly stand the test of time and adventure.

Name: The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag
Image: The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag
Rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag: An Overview

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag: An Overview

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a legendary travel companion renowned for its durability and practicality. This iconic duffel bag has been a favorite among adventurers, travelers, and athletes for decades, and for good reason. Its signature barrel shape, robust construction, and ample storage space make it ideal for packing for any journey, whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended expedition.

The Base Camp Duffel Bag is available in a wide range of sizes, from the compact XS (31 liters) to the massive XL (150 liters). Each size features a durable, water-resistant base made from 1000D polyester with a TPU laminate coating. The main body is crafted from robust, abrasion-resistant 420D nylon, offering excellent protection against the wear and tear of travel. Additionally, the bag boasts reinforced stress points and double-stitched seams, ensuring exceptional strength and longevity.

The Base Camp Duffel Bag is designed with convenience and organization in mind. It features a large, D-shaped opening for easy access to your belongings. A separate wet/dry compartment allows you to keep dirty gear or wet items separate from the rest of your luggage. The bag also includes a padded shoulder strap for comfortable carrying, as well as a variety of loops and handles for versatile hauling options.

The Base Camp Duffel Bag is a timeless classic for a reason. Its combination of durability, practicality, and versatility makes it an excellent choice for anyone seeking a reliable travel companion. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a weekend warrior, this duffel bag will undoubtedly meet your needs and stand the test of time.

Durability and Construction: Built to Last

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is renowned for its durability, and this reputation is well-deserved. Constructed from a thick, abrasion-resistant ballistic nylon, this duffel is built to withstand the rigors of travel and adventure. The fabric is tightly woven, offering excellent tear and water resistance, ensuring your gear stays safe and dry even in challenging conditions. The seams are reinforced with double stitching and bar tacks at stress points, making the bag incredibly strong and resilient. This attention to detail translates into a bag that can handle heavy loads and repeated use without showing signs of wear. The base of the bag features a protective layer of abrasion-resistant TPE laminate, further enhancing its durability and protecting it from scrapes and scratches. With its robust construction, you can confidently throw this duffel around without worrying about damaging its exterior. This durable build is a testament to The North Face’s commitment to quality and ensures that the Base Camp Duffel Bag will be a loyal companion on your adventures for years to come.

Size and Capacity: Finding the Perfect Fit

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag comes in a range of sizes to accommodate different needs, from weekend getaways to extended expeditions.

The Small (S), measuring 21 inches long, is perfect for overnight trips or carrying your gym gear. It offers a 31-liter capacity, enough for essentials like clothes, toiletries, and shoes.

The Medium (M), at 25 inches long, is ideal for weekend trips or longer journeys with limited luggage. With a 50-liter capacity, you can comfortably fit enough clothing, toiletries, and other necessities for a few days.

The Large (L), measuring 31 inches long, provides ample space for longer trips and adventures. Its 71-liter capacity allows you to pack for extended expeditions or even a family vacation.

The Extra Large (XL), at 35 inches long, is the largest option, boasting a massive 95-liter capacity. It’s designed for carrying everything you need for long-term expeditions or for transporting bulky items.

The Extra Extra Large (XXL), at 40 inches long, is the absolute behemoth, offering a staggering 150-liter capacity. This is perfect for serious adventurers or anyone needing to haul a substantial amount of gear.

When choosing the right size, consider the duration and purpose of your trip and the amount of gear you’ll need to pack. It’s always better to err on the side of a larger size to ensure you have enough room for everything and avoid packing too tightly. Remember, the Base Camp Duffel Bag is known for its durability, so don’t be afraid to pack it full!

Features and Functionality: A Closer Look

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is packed with features designed to enhance its practicality and durability. Its robust construction and thoughtful design make it a top choice for adventurers, travelers, and anyone who needs a reliable and spacious bag.

First, let’s talk about the water-resistant fabric that protects your gear from the elements. This durable material stands up to wear and tear, keeping your belongings safe and dry, even in unpredictable weather. The D-shaped zippered opening provides easy access to your belongings, while the multiple handles make it convenient to carry and lift. You’ll appreciate the padded shoulder strap that offers comfort when carrying heavier loads. The side compression straps help to stabilize the bag and keep your gear secure.

For extra security, the Base Camp Duffel Bag features locking zippers, allowing you to lock your valuables. This is a welcome feature for those who are concerned about theft or accidental openings during travel. Additionally, there are internal mesh pockets that offer organization for smaller items. The removable shoulder strap makes it easy to convert the duffel bag into a backpack.

The side pocket is a practical addition for storing essential items you need quick access to. Plus, the small external pocket can be used for keeping important documents or travel tickets within reach. The adjustable shoulder strap allows for a customized fit for your comfort.

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a well-designed and practical bag that offers a plethora of features to suit the needs of various travelers and adventurers. Whether you’re heading out for a weekend camping trip or a long-haul flight, this duffel bag has you covered.

Comfort and Portability: Ease of Travel

The Base Camp Duffel Bag shines in terms of comfort and portability, designed with travelers in mind. The padded shoulder straps, while not the most sophisticated, offer surprising comfort for carrying a fully loaded bag. They are adjustable, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your height and build.

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The bag also comes with two top handles, which are sturdy enough for lifting and maneuvering the bag, even when it’s packed to the brim. This is especially helpful for loading and unloading the bag from overhead compartments or tight spaces. For easier transport, a separate side handle makes lifting the bag much easier when it’s sitting on the ground.

The duffel’s robust construction allows it to withstand the rigors of travel, making it ideal for air travel, road trips, or even carrying heavy gear for outdoor activities. The rugged fabric and reinforced corners ensure the bag can handle bumps and scrapes, keeping your belongings safe and secure.

The Base Camp Duffel is also incredibly versatile when it comes to carrying. It can be carried by hand, slung over your shoulder, or even used as a backpack with the optional backpack straps (sold separately). This makes it an excellent choice for various travel scenarios, from short weekend trips to long-haul adventures.

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While not the lightest option on the market, the weight is manageable and well-distributed, making it comfortable for carrying even when fully packed. The duffel’s shape and construction allow for efficient packing, so you can maximize its capacity while minimizing unnecessary bulk.

Pros and Cons: Weighing the Benefits

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a popular choice for travelers and adventurers alike. It’s known for its durability, spaciousness, and versatility. However, like any product, it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons to help you decide if this duffel bag is right for you:


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  • Durable Construction: The Base Camp Duffel is built to withstand the toughest conditions. Its heavy-duty, water-resistant fabric and reinforced seams can handle anything you throw at it.
  • Spacious Interior: Available in a wide range of sizes, from small to extra large, there’s a Base Camp Duffel for everyone. Its large capacity makes it ideal for packing for long trips or storing a lot of gear.
  • Versatile Design: The duffel bag’s simple design makes it easy to use in a variety of situations. It can be carried by hand, worn as a backpack, or even used as a storage container.
  • Durable Hardware: The zippers, buckles, and straps are all made from high-quality materials, ensuring that they can withstand heavy use.
  • Multiple Compartments: Depending on the size you choose, the Base Camp Duffel includes several pockets and compartments, helping you organize your belongings and keep them secure.


  • Weight: The Base Camp Duffel can be quite heavy, especially when fully loaded. This can be a drawback if you have to carry it for long distances or frequently.
  • Lacks Structure: Unlike a traditional backpack, the Base Camp Duffel doesn’t have a rigid frame, making it difficult to stand upright on its own.
  • Price: While the Base Camp Duffel is a high-quality product, it can be expensive compared to other duffel bags on the market.
  • Limited Organization: While the larger sizes do have internal pockets, the overall organization of the bag can be limited, especially when compared to traditional travel backpacks with multiple compartments.
  • Not as Breathable: The heavy-duty fabric, while durable, is not as breathable as some other bag materials, which could lead to moisture build-up, especially when used in humid conditions.

The Verdict: Is It Worth It?

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a solid choice for anyone seeking a durable, spacious, and versatile duffel bag. Its robust construction, diverse size options, and useful features make it ideal for travel, camping, and everyday use. While the price point might seem steep, the bag’s longevity and functionality justify the investment, especially for those who prioritize durability and practicality.

If you’re looking for a reliable bag that can handle the rigors of travel and outdoor adventures, the Base Camp Duffel stands out as a dependable option. Its rugged design and ample storage space make it a popular choice among adventurers and travelers alike. However, consider your specific needs and budget before committing, as there are other excellent duffel bags on the market that might be a better fit for your requirements. Ultimately, the decision boils down to your priorities and how much value you place on a durable, feature-packed, and long-lasting duffel bag.

Alternatives: Exploring Other Options

While the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is an excellent option, you might find yourself seeking alternatives for various reasons. Perhaps you’re looking for a bag with specific features, a lower price point, or a more stylish design. Here are some compelling options to consider:

For those seeking durability and affordability:

  • The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag: Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel is known for its robust construction, water-resistant fabric, and generous capacity. It offers a similar level of durability as the North Face Base Camp but often comes at a slightly lower price.
  • REI Co-op Trail 40 Duffel Bag: REI’s Trail 40 Duffel boasts a durable construction with a water-resistant finish and features a spacious main compartment for packing gear. It’s a great value option for those who prioritize affordability without compromising on quality.

For those who value versatility and organization:

  • Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Wheeled Duffel: This wheeled duffel combines the spaciousness of a traditional duffel with the convenience of rolling luggage. Its multiple pockets and compartments help keep your belongings organized, making it a great choice for extended trips.
  • Peak Design Travel Backpack: This versatile backpack doubles as a duffel bag, seamlessly transitioning from airport travel to exploring the city. It’s a fantastic option for those who prefer a more compact and organized packing experience.

For those seeking style and functionality:

  • Herschel Supply Co. Novel Duffel Bag: Herschel offers stylish duffel bags that blend functionality with a touch of urban chic. The Novel Duffel features a sleek design, durable construction, and a range of color options, making it a great choice for everyday use or short trips.
  • Aer Travel Pack 2: Aer’s Travel Pack 2 is a modern and sleek duffel that prioritizes organization and comfort. Its built-in laptop sleeve, multiple pockets, and padded shoulder straps make it perfect for both travel and everyday use.

Remember, the best duffel bag for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider your travel style, budget, and the features that matter most to you before making your final decision.

Final Thoughts: A Solid Choice for Adventure

The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a true testament to rugged durability and practical design. Whether you’re an avid traveler, a seasoned adventurer, or simply someone who needs a reliable and spacious bag, the Base Camp Duffel delivers. Its impressive build quality, generous capacity, and versatile features make it a standout choice for any journey. While there are alternatives on the market, the Base Camp Duffel’s reputation for exceptional quality and long-lasting performance remains unmatched. If you’re looking for a bag that can withstand the rigors of adventure and provide you with peace of mind, the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a solid investment that will undoubtedly serve you well for years to come.

In conclusion, the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a durable and versatile option for any traveler or adventurer. Its tough construction and spacious design make it ideal for packing everything you need, whether you’re heading to the mountains or just going on a weekend trip. The bag’s many features, including the multiple carrying options and the water-resistant fabric, contribute to its overall practicality.

However, the bag is quite large and heavy, which might be a drawback for some users, especially those who need a more portable duffel bag. Additionally, the price point may be considered high by some. Despite these drawbacks, the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag stands out as a reliable and high-quality product that can withstand the toughest conditions.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to purchase this bag comes down to personal preference and specific needs. If you prioritize durability, capacity, and functionality over portability and price, the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a fantastic choice. However, if you need a smaller, more budget-friendly option, there are other duffel bags available on the market that might better suit your needs.

Ultimately, the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is a solid investment for those seeking a durable and reliable travel companion that can handle the rigors of any journey. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a casual traveler, this bag offers the space and protection you need to ensure your belongings arrive safely at your destination.


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