Lifeventure have a great selection of multi-purpose bags, including various duffle bags in their range. I chose one of their Expedition Wheeled Duffle Bags to try out as I had heard that they were really well made. This bag was originally intended for my diving gear, but is so large and hard wearing that I will probably be using it for general luggage use too.
The bag has only one main 120 litre compartment which fits absolutely loads of stuff inside. It easily fits all of my diving gear, including masks, long free-diving fins and a thick wetsuit. There is even room inside to fit a bucket at one end where I keep crabs or lobsters that I catch. My favorite dive spot is a 2 mile hike along the South West Coastal path so I wanted a bag that would hold all my gear leaving my hands free to clamber over the rocks down to the mark.
The bag is made out of really durable materials, it looks and feels like a heavy denier nylon Cordura material, or something similar. The seams are really well stitched, they feel really secure without the faintest chance of ever splitting, even under a heavy load. There are four grab handles, one on each end the end and two on the top with a handle that fastens them together. It is easy to grab no matter what position it is in. I find the handles on the ends useful for lowering the bag down over rocks when I am out diving.
There is also a shoulder strap which is quite long and wide too (to take the pressure off with a heavy load). This attaches onto two metal D rings on each end, and feels really secure. I use the shoulder strap a lot and it doesn’t really cause any rubbing. The grab handles on the top are also large enough to fit your arm through, so the duffle bag can be carried on a shoulder like a gym bag.
Inside the bag are some webbing straps to fasten items down, I haven’t used these, but they seem well located with strong fastenings and will stop items tumbling around in the bag, also good for securing items when the bag is stored upright.
The wheels area really nice touch, strong and chunky and made out of hard wearing materials they allow me to pull the bag along (using the grab handle on the top). They only work on a flat surface though (perfect for in an airport or train station). The zippers on this duffle bag match look like they are made of really tough stuff, a big chunky double zipper runs the full length of the bag. It has a smooth but solid movement and should definitely stand the test of time.
- Tough fabrics with reinforced base
- Top and side grab handles
- Shoulder strap with metal D-ring lashing points
- High strength lockable zips
- Rugged construction with extra bar-tacks and double stitching
- Small and compact when not in use and stored away
- Capacity 120 litres
- Available in 4 colours (red, black, blue and Purple)
Verdict: The volume of this bag is immense, I am really pleased with it. I can also use it as holiday luggage, fitting pretty much a weeks worth of clothes for a family of four inside, or I can pack all the beach stuff including several folded blankets and beach games. The handles are all really strong and well stitched in, they can take some load too, I can fit my 10 year old son in this bag and pick tit up (of course I didn’t zip it up, lol). One suggestion comes to mind, if it came in camo patterns it would 100% perfect for me, but a really useful bag nevertheless. At around £50 this bag is amazing value, you wont find a better made duffle bag anywhere for that price!