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REI Stuff Travel Duffel Review

A basic, affordable, and lightweight travel duffel to take to the gym or use as an extra carry-on
REI Stuff Travel Duffel
Photo: REI Co-op
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Price:  $35 List | $34.95 at REI
Pros:  Lightweight, affordable, stows into a small pouch, has traditional grab handles and a shoulder strap
Cons:  Lacks durable qualities, not weather-resistant, no stand-out features
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Miya Tsudome ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 26, 2021
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47
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 16
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 5
  • Storage and Ease of Packing - 25% 4
  • Durability - 20% 3
  • Weight - 15% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 3

Our Verdict

A simple, small, and lightweight duffel bag, the 30-liter REI Co-Op Stuff Travel Duffel is a good option for someone who needs a small, functional bag for the gym, weekend trips, or to use as an extra carry-on. While this duffel bag does not shine in any category in particular, it is an inexpensive option that is light and small enough to pack into its own zippered pocket and can be easily brought along on a trip to stow souvenirs or extra gear. For those looking for an affordable, basic bag that can serve a few different purposes, this duffel is a good bet.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $34.95 at REI$179.95 at Amazon$112.45 at Amazon$65 List
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Pros Lightweight, affordable, stows into a small pouch, has traditional grab handles and a shoulder strapRugged build, comfortable removable straps, variety of carry optionsDurable and weather resistant, comfortable carry options, convenient storage designLightweight, affordable, packs into own pocketUltralight, padded shoulder strap, stuffs into small pouch, inexpensive
Cons Lacks durable qualities, not weather-resistant, no stand-out featuresOnly one small pocket, heavy, priceyShoulder straps are somewhat difficult to removeLimited durability and weather resistance, no backpack strapsOnly has one strap, lacks structure for easy packing, low weather resistance
Bottom Line A basic, affordable, and lightweight travel duffel to take to the gym or use as an extra carry-onOur favorite model due to a heavy-duty build and versatile carrying systemsA fully-featured duffel with a sleek and durable design that's ready to tackle your next adventureA light, packable, high-volume duffel with an affordable price tagAn affordable, ultralight duffel bag that provides great value for its cost
Rating Categories REI Stuff Travel Du... Sea to Summit Duffel Gregory Alpaca REI Co-op Roadtripper Osprey Ultralight S...
Ease Of Transport (25%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
4.0
6.0
Storage And Ease Of Packing (25%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
4.0
Durability (20%)
3.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
4.0
Weight (15%)
9.0
4.0
5.0
9.0
9.0
Weather Resistance (15%)
3.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Specs REI Stuff Travel Du... Sea to Summit Duffel Gregory Alpaca REI Co-op Roadtripper Osprey Ultralight S...
Weight (Pounds) 0.4 lbs (30L one size) 4.3 lbs (90L model) 3.8 lbs (90L model) 1.6 lbs (100L model) 0.4 lbs (30L one size)
Volume Size Options (Liters) 30 Liters (one size) 45, 65, 90, 130 Liters 30, 45, 60, 90, 120 Liters 40, 60, 100, 140 Liters 30 Liters (one size)
Material Ripstop nylon 1000-Denier nylon tarpaulin laminate 900-Denier TPU diamond ripstop with additional bottom layer of 630-Denier nylon 610-Denier coated Cordura polyester 40-Denier nylon ripstop
# of pockets (excludes main compartment) 1 1 3 1 1
Backpack Straps No Yes Yes No No
D or I opening I D D I I

Our Analysis and Test Results

Our Analysis and Test Results


Lightweight and stowable, this bag can come along as an afterthought for extra space or as the main event on a short trip. While the REI Co-Op Stuff Travel Duffel is not made of the highest quality materials, and won't earn any top marks for durability or weather resistance, it is a great lightweight option for those who need a small, no-frills bag for everyday travel.

Performance Comparison


The REI Stuff Travel Duffel is a simple, affordable bag for everyday...
The REI Stuff Travel Duffel is a simple, affordable bag for everyday use.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Ease of Transport


With two grab handles and a removable shoulder strap, this small bag is easy to carry around from car to gym, or slung over your shoulder as you make your way through the airport. There is no reinforced padding on any of the straps, making them uncomfortable for long-term transit, but this bag was not made to carry heavy loads for long periods of time.

You can carry this bag over-the-shoulder by the removable, nylon...
You can carry this bag over-the-shoulder by the removable, nylon strap.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

The straps available are plenty sufficient for moving the bag around short distances, and it is nice that such a simple bag has two different carry options.

You can also easily transport the duffel by its side grab handles.
You can also easily transport the duffel by its side grab handles.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Storage and Ease of Packing


While the strength of the REI Co-Op Stuff Travel Duffel mostly lies in its light weight, it sacrifices any structure or reinforcement that would make it easier to pack. The sides of the bag do not stand up at all, and the structure it retains will come from what is packed inside. You'll want to pack your shoes just right, or you'll feel them jabbing into your back as you race to make it to the subway on time.

This duffel easily fits shoes, a water bottle, and a change of...
This duffel easily fits shoes, a water bottle, and a change of clothes with room for more.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

With a simple I-zip construction, the bag opens and closes via two zippers down the middle. With a moderate capacity of 30 liters, you can fit enough clothes for a day trip, and is plenty of room for a change of clothes, shoes, and a water bottle for the gym.

There is plenty of space inside for a quick weekend trip.
There is plenty of space inside for a quick weekend trip.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Durability


This bag was not made with durability in mind, as its main purpose is to be a quick and easy bag to deploy when needed for everyday travel. While it is constructed with ripstop nylon, it has no protective coating and does not have the shiny, stretchy characteristics of higher-denier ripstop nylon found in other ultralight duffel bag models. REI does not specify the denier of the fabric, leading us to assume that is a low-quality ripstop nylon, and we would not recommend subjecting this bag to situations where there would be much wear-and-tear or chance of abrasion.

The ripstop nylon is thin and light, but does not win many points...
The ripstop nylon is thin and light, but does not win many points for durability.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Weight


The REI Co-op Stuff Travel Duffel weighs in at a light 0.4 pounds, which is as light as some of the more expensive models of ultralight duffel bags on the market. It packs down into its own storage pouch and is smaller than a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle. Its strength lies in these features, as this bag shines as a lightweight accessory for light-duty travel and everyday activities.

The REI Co-op Stuff Travel Duffel packs down even smaller than the...
The REI Co-op Stuff Travel Duffel packs down even smaller than the size of a 32-ounce Nalgene.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Weather Resistance


While the REI Co-op Stuff Travel Duffel can take a little light rain as you hurry from your car to the gym, this bag was not made to be a weather-resistant duffel. The thin, ripstop nylon fabric has no protective coating to make it more water-repellant, the zippers are exposed, and the stitching is not tight, high-quality craftsmanship. Zippers and seams are where water is most likely to penetrate on any duffel bag, and we would not recommend submerging or subjecting this duffel to extreme elements. This bag is made for light-duty, everyday use and travel, and does not have the weather-resistant properties found in more expensive duffel bags.

Though its nylon fabric is slightly repellent to water, we would not...
Though its nylon fabric is slightly repellent to water, we would not recommend this as a weather-resistant duffel bag.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Value


The REI Co-op Stuff Travel Duffel is a good low-cost option for someone who is looking for an extra bag to take with them on their travels, or a simple bag to take around town or to the gym. It doesn't have many bells and whistles, but its two carrying systems and its ability to pack into its own storage pouch provide good value for the cost. But because there are other lightweight duffel bags out there that have better weather resistance and durability for not much higher of a price tag, we are less likely to recommend this bag for any but the most basic uses.

This bag is a decent small-sized duffel, but does not shine in any...
This bag is a decent small-sized duffel, but does not shine in any particular category.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Conclusion


While in no way a stand-out duffel bag, the REI Co-op Stuff Travel Duffel does what it sets out to do - perform as a great lightweight accessory bag for your everyday needs.

The REI Stuff Travel Duffel is a fine bag for everyday needs.
The REI Stuff Travel Duffel is a fine bag for everyday needs.
Photo: Miya Tsudome

Miya Tsudome