Suitcase Or Backpack Or Duffel Bag Which Is Better For Traveling

Suitcase vs Backpack vs Duffel Bag: Which Is Better For Traveling

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Different type of trips require different type of bags. Every traveler has his own opinion and preference on whether to use a suitcase or Duffel bag or a large travel backpack on his trip. Some people use them all or just two of them. 

Suitcases for example are super useful if you are planning for a long term trip, they will let you pack everything you want thanks to their huge storage capacity. While travel backpacks will make you more flexible and give you the ability to visit so many countries in a short period of time. Duffel bags are a good choice for those who want their bags to be light without sacrificing the storage capacity, a big duffel bag that can hold all of your stuff only weigh less than 2 pounds.

All of these three bags have their strengths and weaknesses and they all will be a good choice for certain situations. 

In this article I broke down everything you need to know about each of them. I also covered some of the important questions that could help you choosing which one is the best for you like the duration and location of your trip, how much budget you have and more.


Suitcases are the best option you should go with when you’re heading to one destination trip or two, and you plan to stay there until you return. Because basically you won’t be moving your suitcase around every time. It will stay in one place whether is it the hotel or something else.

Suitcase are a good option for people who love road trips, because it will let you pack all of your clothes thanks to the huge compartment it offers. Also the suitcases are much more easier to repack than any of the other luggage bags.

Whether you have a soft-sided or hard-sided luggage, both they will ensure that your belongings will arrive safely to your destination. They both offer a number of advantages you can use to make your trip much more easier.

But if your plans are to visit so many countries just in one single trip, than you should go for a large travel backpack, that will help you a lot in your journey.

The Average Price Of Suitcases

If you’re wondering about how much an average suitcase can cost you? Depending on your needs. You should pay about $60 USD for a budget suitcase, and about $100-$120 USD for a normal mid-range suitcase, and about $200 USD and more for a luxury suitcase. Below There are some perfect examples. 

Budget Suitcase Example: CooLife Luggage Expandable.

This strong suitcase made from ABS+PC hard plastic shell that offers a lot of protection to your belongings while traveling. It can handle any kind of impacts and rough handling, so it should last for years of use. 

The big main compartment will allow you to pack basically everything you want. And with the fully lined interior and the multi-use organizational pockets, packing will become much more easier than before.

It features a built-in TSA-approved lock, for more security while traveling. Also it features a smooth spinner wheels for easy movement, and an adjustable 3-level 100%pure aluminum telescoping handle allow you to quickly maneuver in tight spaces and it’s sturdier than most telescoping handle out there in the market.

This suitcase comes in three different sizes, the 20 inch , 24 inch, and the 28 inch for even more storage capacity. Check the latest price on the Coolife Luggage Expandable.

Mid-Range Suitcase: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside luggage.

The Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside is made from 100% Polycarbonate material which it is super lightweight and durable and super strong. this Samsonite luggage can take most travel conditions with ease allowing you to travel with completely freedom. It can also take some impacts as well. 

the interior is big and it can hold some heavy items with ease. Also it has some pockets to organize your stuff well. With the cross straps everything will stay in place. And if you want to pack more items, this suitcase can expand to maximize your storage capacity.

You’ll get some useful features when buying this luggage like the TSA-approved lock. a 360 degree spinner wheels for easy movement in any surface. And several interior pockets to help you stay well organize during your trip.
Check the latest price on the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside luggage.

Luxury Suitcase: Delsey Paris Luggage Chatelet.

This amazing fashionable lock suitcase is a part of delsey chatelet collection. It is super strong and durable, basically it is made from 100% bayer virgin Polycarbonate to enhance temperature resistance  and impact resistance as well.

The interior is a fully lined interior with two compartments, that means you’ll have enough room for most of your belongings. And adjustable web straps.

The Chatelet from Delsey features an additional top and side handles for easy carrying. And a TSA-approved combination lock to keep your belonging safely. And four silent spinner wheels assure smooth maneuverability. Also a garment compartment with some removable pouches for holding toiletries and small other stuff. 

Check the latest price on the Delsey Paris Luggage Chatelet.

The Pros And Cons Of Using A Suitcases


  • Of course with suitcases you will have more room, even if you use just a carry on suitcase size. You’ll still pack more than a large backpack.
  • You can organize your belongings in suitcase better than a backpack or duffel bag, thanks to the features it offers. Like the interior pockets, the divider, and the X-straps that will make things in place while traveling.
  • Travel with a suitcase is more classier than traveling with a backpack.
  • The hardside luggage can take a beating and you can lock your suitcase with the built-in lock if you are worried about it.
  • With a wheeled suitcase, you won’t have to carry it and that’s far more comfortable than walking with a backpack.
  • Suitcases tends to be more easier to repacking than a large backpack, because when you open your suitcase to repack it. You will see the whole interior and you will organize things properly.
  • Most suitcases, especially hard shell ones are waterproof.
  • The softside suitcases have several front pockets for you to store some small items for easy access.


  • Sometimes you will be forced to carry your suitcase, whether if the surface has some cobblestones, or dirt, and that sucks , especially if you have a heavy one. 
  • A good suitcase can cost a little bit more, but as I said above, there’s a price for every budget. But if you want to save some money and buy a cheap one, you can ruin your whole vacation (cheap suitcases or cheap anything are not going to last long).
  • You will not have a complete free hand, one will be busy rolling or holding the suitcase.
  • It’s hard to be mobile with a suitcase if you plan on using a lot of public transportation, but if you want to move a lot, just go for a backpack that will make things easier for you.

When A Suitcase Is Better

When you want to travel for a long time by yourself or with the family, or if you are planning for a road trip, or your health can’t let you carry something on your back for hours at a time, or traveling for work. A suitcase is the best choice you have to go with.

Also as I mentioned earlier if you want to stick with just one place for a long time, suitcase will be more than good. You can also combine the two of them together and have even more options and flexibility in your trip.

2. Large Travel Backpacks


Large travel backpacks might be the perfect choice if you are planning to visit so many countries and be more flexible. They work well for people who don’t want to lug a suitcase around, but don’t want to sacrifice the amount of storage they have.

It’s true that’s small backpacks are a good choice for long weekend trip, or even a four to five day trip. But you can’t pack too much obviacly, because you don’t have much interior room. 

The large backpacks are about twice the size of a daypack and around 30 to 50 L range. Some of them can let you even pack up to 70L per one bag, that’s a huge storage space for almost all of your items. 

Unlike the suitcases fans, a lot of budget people who wants to travel and explore a lot of countries with a small budget, they all tend to use a large travel backpacks, because it’s so flexible, easy to carry, and it can help to pack the same as a small suitcase.

The Average Price Of Large Travel Backpacks

Large travel backpacks prices depend a lot on size, fabric, and brands. Most travel backpacks cost between $70 to $300 USD. the budget ones cost about $70 USD, and the mid-Range between $100-$130 USD, the luxury one are more than $200 USD.

However, I don’t believe that any backpack is worth $300 USD, no matter how nice it looks, or how famous it brand is.

Budget Large Travel Backpack: Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack.

This super lightweight travel backpack designed for both men and women. The Scout 3400 Internal Frame is your best choice for a short trip like 2-4 days. With a storage capacity of 55 L.

The big main compartment can hold a lot of your items, and with the side pockets, gear loops, and compression straps will make organizing your gear easier.

This travel backpack features a Multi-position torso adjustment fits wide range of body sizes. And a durable open-cell foam lumbar pad and molded channels provide maximum comfort and airflow. Also a sleeping bag compartment option for convenience when packing all your gears. And exterior pockets that allow you to pack some small items like phones, chargers, passports, sunglasses and more for easy access. 

And an adjustable padded shoulder straps for easy carry even if it’s fully loaded.

Check the latest price on the Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack.

Md-Range travel backpack: High Sierra Women’s Explorer.

This high quality travel backpack is made from a combination of Nylon Mini-Diamond Ripstop and Mini-weave Duralite fabric for more durability and better stain and water-resistance.

The Sierra Women’s Explorer has a main compartment that can hold up to 50L, and a front load sleeping bag compartment with divider. And an internal hydration reservoir sleeve with dual exit ports help keep you hydrated, also a mesh pockets hold water bottles.

This travel backpack features an adjustable sternum strap that keeps shoulder straps centered on shoulders, a side and bottom compression straps help secure your gear and provide reinforcement. A molded foam back panel with airflow channels and an adjustable waist belt for more control.

Tuck-away rain cover that protects the bag, soft lashing hardware can hold ice axes or hiking poles. Check the latest price on the High Sierra Women’s Explorer.

Luxury travel backpack: Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Men’s Hiking Backpack.

The Kestrel 38 is one of the best travel backpacks out there. It’s true that this backpack don’t have a lot of room, but it can hold so many things if you know how to pack them the proper way. The Kestrel is a workhorse built with a rugged fabric that withstand punishing days in the backcountry and proudly wear the scars.

The backpack features a number of things such as the stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment that is designed to quickly attach and carry trekking poles while wearing a pack or making a quick scramble through rough terrain. And a zippered hipbelt pockets to keep snacks and small items at hand.

A lower zippered sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider. And an External reservoir sleeve in the back panel simplifies refilling and protects pack content from spills. Check the latest price on the Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Men’s Hiking Backpack.

The Pros And Cons Of Using A Travel Backpack


  • It is more mobile than a suitcase of course, and it can fit nearly as much as items as a suitcase or a large duffel bag when planned out well.
  • You can go anywhere with a travel backpack, including up and down stairs.
  • The travel backpack forces you into minimalist packing, in other word you well be forced to pack only things that you really will use, otherwise you won’t be able to carry it.
  • You will free up your hand to do other things or even carry another Small Duffel Bag by traveling with a Backpack. 
  • If you one of those people that always late and end up running to catch whatever they want. It’s easier to run with a backpack than it is with a suitcase or duffel bag.
  • It is more convenient when it comes to secure your belongings since it’s always attached to your back while moving.
  • The front pockets will allow you to pack any small items you have like wallets, sunglasses, hotel reservation and more.
  • A large travel backpack with padded shoulder straps will have more storage space inside to pack even more items inside.
  • Travel packs have harnesses that can be zipped away to avoid the need to bag packs at airports or risk fouling on airport conveyor belts.


  • A big, large travel backpack can be expensive and it’s hard to find the one that fits you well.
  • Travel backpack with a normal shoulder straps will be hard to carry around for hours, because it doesn’t have that padded feature.
  • You need to be a pro at rolling clothes rather than folding them, or you will have some big problems when it comes to packing.
  • It’s also harder to organize your clothes in a backpack than in a suitcase or duffel bag, unless you know how to do it right.
  • When it comes to security and locks, it’s a bit harder to lock your travel backpack than it is to lock a suitcase. And if you want to lock all of your pockets, you’ll a lot of locks.
  • Some of the travel backpacks tend to sit weirdly on your shoulder if they are fully loaded. So make sure to choose the right one.

When A Travel Backpack Is Better

Larger backpacks are likely best for anyone who wants to travel light and visit so many places all at once. Carrying a lot of things on your shoulder the whole trip, doesn’t mean it should be painful. Most of the travel backpacks have a padded shoulder straps allowing you to carry your backpack for hours with no problems even if it is fully loaded with your gears.

3. Duffel Bags

Whether you are traveling by air or driving, a duffel bag are most likely to be used at all kinds of trips. Also they are popular among all kinds of travelers for good reasons, like they are easy to load and carry, and so many of them are built from good materials to take any hard travel conditions.

One of the biggest reasons why people travel with duffel bags, is because they are super lightweight and strong, so they will not take any storage from your baggage weight. And that will help you to pack some more items if you need. And they will protect your belongings as well.

Duffel bags are a good choice if you want to go for a short trip or long trip, they will help you a lot in your trip.

The Average Price Of Duffel Bags

The price of a duffel bag can depend on the quality of the bag, the brand, and the size of it. But you can expect to pay anything between $50 – $200 USD. You can find some budget ones with less than $50 USD. And the mid-range price about $100 USD. The luxury duffel bag can cost you more than $200 USD, but that’s too much for a duffel bag I think, unless you don’t have problems with spending money.

Budget Duffel Bag: Granite Gear 24 Packable Duffel.

For outdoor use and travel, this amazing lightweight duffel is made from a high quality Nylon, that makes it super durable, strong and it can protect your belongings while traveling, that’s certain.

The big main compartment with a large U-shaped zipper can hold up to 60 L which mean that you have enough room to pack everything you want in your trip. This duffel bag don’t have that many front pockets for small items, but it has one small pockets in the front.

The Granite Gear 24 Packable Duffel features a full backpack harness plus the regular assortment of straps and handles. a decently tough 600D shell fabric. It only weighs about 2 pounds. Also it has a separate case for easy storage. And a side handles. Check the latest price on the Granite Gear 24 Packable Duffel.

Mid-Rang Duffel Bag: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler.

The Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler it’s one of the best travel duffel bags in the market. It is made of durable, water repellent coated Bi-Tech Armor lite fabric, with bartack reinforcement on stress points for high strength to weight ratio. The duffel only weight 2 pounds, it’s super lightweight.

The main compartment can hold up to 90 L giving you the ability to pack more. You can carry this duffel bag in three ways, carry it by a removable backpack straps, or by the padded top haul handles, or side grab handles for easy mobility no matter where your travels take you.

The duffel features a six heavy-duty lash points securely attach the bag to the car’s roof rack. And when storing this duffel, just roll it and stash in front end zippered compartment. Also if you are not using it, you can compress it in put it in whatever place you want.

Check the latest price on the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler.

Luxury Duffel Bag: Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 90L Big Sur Blue.

Patagonia is known for premium build quality, This one is not a joke. It is made from high quality nylon with 900D ripstop fabric and a DWR finish to fend moisture. 

This duffel is not waterproof like some other models in the market, but should keep your gear dry in light rain just fine. It has a huge main compartment that holds up to 90L, so whether you’re going for a long or short trip, this duffel with do the job.

It features a multiple ways of carrying to maximize your carrying comfort, the backpack straps are more comfortable and functional than most. A large removable shoulder straps, and the handles.

Keep in mind that this duffel does not have a particularly rigid structure, so it doesn’t offer a ton in the way of protection for your fragile items. This duffel consider as one of the expensive non-roller duffel bag, but the quality is worth that extra cost. Check the latest price on the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 90L Big Sur Blue.

The Pros And Cons Of Using A Duffel Bag


  • The best thing about duffel bag is how roomy they are. Their unstructured shape is perfect for travellers who needs lots of room for bulky gear.
  • Unlike the structure of a suitcase. A duffel bags flexibility makes it easy to squish into small spaces. 
  • Many duffel bags are made from water-resistant material. Which mean they will protect your belongings from unexpected weather.
  • The wheeled duffel bags will help you to move the bag by rolling it rather than carry it. If you don’t like carrying things while travelling. However, the wheeled ones tend to be more expensive.
  • The majority of duffel bags offer a lot of types of carrying to maximize your comfort. There’s the backpack straps, the shoulder straps or the top / side handles.
  • They might not be known for their sophistication, but fashionable duffel bags do exist,  There’s a lot of eye-catching colors to choose from to make your duffel bag unique from others.


  • It can be difficult to secure your Duffel bag since it don’t come with built-in locks. So if you want to secure them you need to buy some locks. Also look for a duffel bag with lockable zips.
  • It’s hard to keep your clothes and items organized inside the duffel bag no matter how carefully you put them. Travelers who prefer to keep their luggage neat and compartmentalised may be better suited to a different style of bag.
  • Some people always go for the cheap duffel bag because they think a duffel don’t worth all their money. But at they end the duffel get damaged from the handles or the zippers. Always pick a high quality duffel, it doesn’t need to be expensive.

When A Duffel Bags Is Better

Duffel bags are a good choice for any type of travel, whether you’re going for a short or long trip. They will do a great job caring and protecting your belongings while traveling. Also they are not that expensive and extremely lightweight than most other travel bags.

4. Other Things To Consider

Duration Of Your Trip

You need to know that the Length of your trip does really matter. For example if you are going for a two month trip in just one place, you probably need a lot of storage, space to pack a lot of your items, right? In this case the best option for you is a suitcase. And if you are going with the whole family, a luggage sets will do the job. Because a travel backpack won’t help you of anything no matter how big it is. In general, the duration of you trip does matter.

Location Of Your Trip

Well, this is so important, the location that you are going to could really help you to choose which luggage you need. There are some places that the travel backpack will do a better job than a suitcase and duffel bag, and vice versa. 

If you go hiking or to the nature, obviously a suitcase will ruin your trip. So ask yourself first, where are you going? Before you chose the luggage that you’ll go with.

Type Of Clothing You’re Packing

If you are packing some heavy clothes and you want them to stay nice and clean and well organized, you should travel with a suitcase. Unlike travel backpacks or duffel bags, suitcases gives you that good organizational space inside, and with the x-straps all of your clothes will stay nice and in the same place you put them in the first place. 

But if you don’t care too much, a backpack or a duffel bag will suit you well too?

The Budget Of Your Trip

How much money you are willing to spend on your trip is so important, why? Because if you don’t have enough money and you travel with a suitcase, you won’t be able to pay the taxi or some other transportation method to move you from place to place. So you will have to roll your suitcase every time you want to go somewhere, and if the surface is not that good you’ll have some big problems. But if you do have some money, that should be fine.

Defining how much money you have will help you a lot in your trip.

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is suitcase luggage better than travel backpack, or the duffel bags are the best choice for you. here you'll find out everything you need to know.

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