High quality luggage is something every student needs. Whether you’re shopping for a five year old child or a recent high school grad embarking on their first semester at college, a small bag that they can pack with the essentials and tote around is essential. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a nice duffel bag, which is one of the reasons this style bag is preferred for students.
Unlike proper luggage, there’s not much structure to a duffel style bag. This saves on materials, keeping the cost down. The lack of structure also keeps the bag lightweight, ideal for carrying to and from the gym, to school activities, or for a short weekend of travel.
Look for at least three separate compartments (or more) to help with organization. Also look for a bag that has over the shoulder straps (often in addition to handles) for hands free convenient carrying. We’ve found five great duffel bags for girls and five awesome bags for the guys. Check them out below.
Small Duffel Bags for Girls
1. 22″ Sports School Duffel Bag
Available in over 10 fun and fashionable prints, this duffel bag is great for girls of any age. It can be used for after school activities like dance, cheerleading, or sports, or can be used for a weekend trip. The price is affordable, especially given the high quality of the fabric. It features both short handles as well as an adjustable shoulder strap for comfortable hands free carrying. The small outside pocket is great for keys and a cell phone, or anything else you’ll need easy access to. The bag measures 22″ X 10″ X 11″.
2. Vera Bradley Small Duffel
From solid quilts like navy and black, to paisley patterns like the one pictured above, this bag comes in a design for everyone. Vera Bradley bags are made to last. I speak from experience as I’ve had one of their small duffels for over 15 years and it still looks like new. It’s great for the gym, activities, travel and more, made with washable quilted fabric and an updated solid interior. The bag folds flat for easy storage and has double straps for easy carrying. This bag measures 18″ x 8″ x 8″.
3. NCAA Women’s Duffel Bag
If you’re shopping for a recent high school grad, this duffel bag is exciting and awesome, featuring a tasteful school logo. Available for many big-name universities and colleges this duffel is made of 100 percent cotton and is an official collegiate licensed product in partnership with Vesi Incorporated. It has two convenient outside end pockets and like most Vera Bradley duffels, folds flat for easy storage. If this bag isn’t quite your style, you can shop these alternative NCAA duffel bags for both men and women.
4. adidas Defender II Duffel Bag
Sporty girls will love the look and design of this classic adidas bag, available in a slew of various color combinations. It has an adjustable shoulder strap for easy hands free carrying and has both an interior zip pocket and two exterior pockets for quick access. The polyester fabric has a 3D textured design that adds to the look and feel of the bag. This bag measures 24″ x 13″ x 12″. If you’re a fan of the pink, you can shop alternative highly rated pink duffels here.
Price: $24.97 (29 percent off MSRP)
5. Personalized Women’s Chevron Duffle Bag
Keep tabs on your belongings with a personalized or monogrammed duffel that’s as practical as it is pretty. You can’t beat the price on this affordable bag, durable enough to withstand a busy activity schedule and the carelessness of children. You can choose from a variety of fonts and colors for the personalization, making it your own. The bag has two front zippered pockets, two zippered end pockets, and protective feet on the bottom of the bag. The bag measures 22″ long x 13″ tall x 11″ deep. Check out these alternative options for personalized duffel bags for girls.
Small Duffel Bags for Boys
1. Nike Brasilia 6 Duffel Bag
This classic duffel bag should be in every guy’s closet, regardless of his age. It’s timeless and can be used for travel, sports, and everything in between. It comes in a plethora of colors with hundreds of high ratings. The bag has a single zipper and is big enough to pack sporting gear or a weekend’s worth of clothes in addition to a few snacks, and a water bottle. If you’re a fan of the sporty design, check out these other top rated duffel bags from both Nike and adidas.
2. NCAA Athletic Duffel
College students and college sports fans will love these sporty duffel bags for everyday use. They’re colorful, simple, and feature a high-quality embroidered college logo of your choosing prominently on the side of the bag. Each bag has a large central compartment for clothes, with a separate pocket for shoes (an awesome feature if the intended use is for sports equipment or the gym). The front pocket includes holders for pens, ID, keys, and more. Designed with two handles and a removable shoulder strap, you can choose how you prefer to carry the bag. If you’re a fan of another sport, shop NFL branded duffel bags here, MLB here, and NBA here.
3. Signature Travel Duffle Bag
If you prefer a clean and sophisticated look for a duffel bag, this one is available in a few color combinations, all which are great for either a student or an adult. Regardless of the color selection, the duffel bag is affordable, priced under $25 and backed up with tons of great reviews from past purchasers. The bag is designed with two small easy grab side compartments for cell phone/keys/wallet, one front zipper pocket, and one large zippered main compartment with a dual zipper. The bag measures 20″ x 10″ x 11.5″ and comes with detachable shoulder straps.
4. Weekender Genuine Leather Travel Duffel
Both the price and design make this bag more suitable for older kids and adults, rather than for little kids. Even though it’s made with soft durable canvas and top quality genuine horse leather, it’s still reasonably priced at just under $60. It measures 21 x 9″ x 16.5″ and is lightweight, something you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re going to be carrying around heavy clothing or equipment. This bag is great for weekend travel, suitable for a college student who will be making sporadic trips home. Shop some alternative canvas duffel bags here.
Price: $57.99 (42 percent off MSRP)
5. Personalized Sports Duffel Bag
This simple and attractive bag has the added feature of a personalization on the front. Whether this bag is for an elementary school aged student or someone in college, it will work due to the classic design. It’s a moderate size that won’t get too heavy to carry and has all the necessary pockets and compartments to keep a kid organized. It also features top grip handles in addition to a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap.
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