REI Backpack Duffel
I never thought that I would be this happy with a duffel bag! Last March I was headed up to the Sierra Nevada mountains on a long-weekend snow camping trip. I realized at the last minute that my Gregory Backpack was going to be thrown under the bus in the mass storage area for the ride up to the mountains. I panicked – what happens if my buckle broke? What if someone else’s trekking poles tore a hole in my pack? What if snowshoes were thrown on top of my backpack and the fabric tore? Yes duck tape can work wonders, and Gregory packs are extremely well made, but I didn’t want to risk it.
I decided I needed to protect my backpack. So I picked up one of REI’s Backpack Duffels. Unlike other duffel bags, this one packs into itself and turns into a very small zippered pouch.
This bag is not only great for protecting your backpack on bus trips, but also ideal if you want to take your backpack on an airplane or train. I’ve found that I use it for far more than my backpack. For example, last weekend I was out at Joshua Tree National Park in California car camping. Since I only needed a daypack, I just tossed that into the back of the car, but put my Thermarest, sleeping bag, and a couple of stuff sacks into my Pack Duffel. My gear lasts longer, and it keeps the trunk organized. Ironically, my friend’s water bottle leaked in the trunk on the way to Joshua Tree, and thankfully my Pack Duffel protected my stuff (I still had my down sleeping bag wrapped inside a trash compactor bag for safe measure – you never know when other people’s faulty gear will damage your stuff!) 🙂