The North Face Base Camp Duffel Review
The North Face is celebrating 30 years of the Base Camp Duffel so it’s only fitting to give this iconic bag some extra attention. Designed for outdoor expeditions, it is a popular choice of adventure pack. No matter where you’re headed, The North Face Base Camp Duffel is an excellent travel bag.
Shop The North Face Base Camp Duffel at Rushfaster.
The Base Camp Duffel is cylindrical in shape and trims are kept to a minimum. The design is simple and never dates. All Base Camp Duffel bags are constructed from ballistic nylon which makes them incredibly strong. This means the material is quite stiff and it takes a bit of force to expand the pack. You get used to the thick fabric quickly, though, and it keeps all your gear safely protected.
The D-shaped zipper creates a wide entrance into the bag and lets you access every nook and cranny. Packing is simple because everything can be placed into The North Face Base Camp Duffel quickly. Even in the smaller sizes, the main compartment is large and spacious. The bag can also be stored away easily at home, folding down into a compact size so it won’t take up lots of space in a cupboard.
It’s important to have well-designed luggage while travelling. Small details like a strong zipper can often make packing and unpacking run more smoothly. It’s a nightmare when you can’t close your bag because of a flimsy zip. The oversized YKK zippers on the The North Face Base Camp Duffel are robust and won’t break when packing right up to the brim. This means that cramming in last-minute souvenirs won’t be a problem. Attach a lock for extra security through the small holes on each zipper head. Another travel-friendly feature is the transparent ID window because it’s always helpful to pop contact details on your bag.
The nylon fabric is also water-resistant, withstanding rain and snow while keeping everything inside nice and dry. The bag is fine sitting on a rainy tarmac for a while or being carried through the snowy Alps. The North Face Base Camp Duffel is available in a variety of colours. Opt for the classic black or grab a fun, bright colourway that’s easy to spot at baggage claim.
This pack is equipped with plenty of features to make it the ultimate travel bag. Traditionally, duffel bags are difficult to carry because you have to support a heavy load on just one shoulder. The Base Camp Duffel comes with detachable backpack straps to resolve this problem. The straps can be fed through the plastic buckles on the bag and are nicely padded to provide extra support. No matter what size you have, the Base Camp Duffel can be worn as a backpack comfortably.
Bulky gear poses little problem for The North Face Base Camp Duffel. The haul handles on all four sides of the bag make it simple for two people to lift a substantial weight. These handles even allow you to drag the pack if necessary. The fabric is so strong that it won’t tear against concrete or other hard surfaces.
When your Base Camp Duffel isn’t completely full, you can use the compression straps on the side to help reduce the volume of the bag. This is particularly helpful for the larger sizes which are quite cavernous. When your bag is too full, however, you can attach items to the external daisy chains. This is handy on camping trips because things like sleeping bags and tents can be clipped on quickly with a carabiner.
The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is available in six volumes. These range from an Extra Small all the way up to an Extra Extra Large. For a quick comparison of the size options, take a look at our video.
At Rushfaster, the most popular sizes are the Small, Medium and Large. It’s understandable why because they offer the most versatility for the everyday traveller. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can pack in each bag:
Base Camp Duffel - Small (50L)
The small size is quite compact but still fits all the essentials for a short trip. It’s a great option for carry-on luggage or a weekend bag. There’s more than enough room to pack a couple of outfits, some camping gear and a medium sized toiletries bag. Every size features an internal mesh organiser too, which is convenient for popping smaller items into. If you’re taking the Base Camp Duffel on a plane, it will comfortably fit a warm scarf, neck pillow and some magazines.
Base Camp Duffel - Medium (69L)
The medium Base Camp Duffel Bag is our most popular size. It’s large and spacious but still easy to carry. If you’re travelling domestically for about a week, then the medium size is perfect. You can fit a few pairs of pants, a couple of warm jumpers and enough shirts for the week. There’s still a good deal of room for a large toiletries bag and an extra pair of shoes. The medium size will fit in an overhead compartment so you won’t even need to check your luggage.
If you’re heading to a winter destination, the medium Base Camp Duffel bag has more than enough room for lots of thick, warm clothing. For a few days at the snow, you can fit two pairs of ski pants, two ski jackets, thermals, gloves, goggles and beanies. All of this is in addition to some everyday clothes too. The medium and large sizes also come with zippered side pockets, which make it more convenient for separation of smaller items like toiletries.
Base Camp Duffel - Large (95L)
The 95L Base Camp Duffel is quite a large bag. It’s not very carry-on friendly but is excellent as checked luggage. Those travelling overseas for a couple of months or camping for a week or so will want to purchase this size option. It has lots of room for longer journeys and is still comfortable to wear on your back. Even when the large size is completely packed, it doesn’t feel too bulky.
On overseas trips, being able to wear the duffel as a backpack is really convenient. It’s much easier to navigate through foreign streets with a bag on your back instead of pulling along a wheeled suitcase, especially on cobblestone roads. You can pack a few weeks’ worth of clothes, shoes and toiletries, while still leaving some extra space for souvenirs and holiday purchases.
Camping trips are simple with the large Base Camp Duffel. All of your gear can fit into one bag that can be worn on your back. This makes it easier to access campgrounds by foot. The large size is spacious and ideal for packing a tent, sleeping bag, clothes and outdoor cooking equipment. Whatever doesn’t fit can be attached to the outside of the bag as well.
The North Face’s motto is Never Stop Exploring and the Base Camp Duffel Bag captures this perfectly. Take it anywhere and everywhere and trust that it will stand the test of time. Yes, it was designed as an expedition bag, but this doesn’t mean that the Base Camp Duffel isn’t suitable for all types of travel. Whether you’re escaping for the weekend, road-tripping around Australia or trekking through the Himalayas, the Base Camp Duffel has got your back.
Shop The North Face Base Camp Duffel at Rushfaster.