We’ve read the reviews across the web for the The North Face Base Camp 95L Duffel and summarize the results below:
Number of Ratings Reviewed: 154
Pros & Cons
Reasons to buy:
- Compression straps on sides of duffel help compress the bag.
- Bright color options are easy to recognize at baggage claim or in any public place.
- Outer material is easy to wipe clean.
- 4 side handles make it easy to grab from any angle.
- Material and stitching are extremely durable.
- Effectively water resistant (but not waterproof).
- Durable fabric safely contains sharp gear like ice axes and crampons without worry of items tearing through during travel.
- Fabric does a great job at keeping water out, although seams and zippers are potential leakage areas.
- Plenty of places to lash extra gear on the outside of the bag.
- Externally-accessed separate compartment helps with gear organization.
- Packs down well for storage in small spaces or other bags.
- Only a few ounces heavier than most comparable duffels out there, yet much more durable.
- Under-lid mesh storage compartment is great for storing smaller items.
- Large zippers are durable and easy to use.
- D shape of main zipper is easy to load and rummage through.
- Expedition ready, or perfect for a two day road trip. The only thing it can’t handle is submersion.
- 95L is a true expedition size, perfect for extended trips in the backcountry where the duffel will be strapped to a boat, donkey, sled, etc.
- Backpack straps are among the most comfortable of any duffel on the market offering this feature.
- Amazingly durable at a very reasonable price.
Reasons NOT to buy:
- 95L is too large for a carry-on size.
- Some users noted that more internal organization (dividers, etc.) would be useful, especially in the 95L size.
- Doesn’t come with a regular shoulder strap, but that might not be practical with a full 95L duffel anyway.
- More inner compartments, especially within the under-lid mesh pocket, would be useful.
- There are some lighter duffels out there offering similar protection from the elements, but for more money, of course.
The North Face Base Camp 95L Duffel might just provide the ideal combination of weather resistance, durability, and ease-of-use for an expedition or extended trip. While somewhat pricey and lacking many internal pockets, it has remained one of the most trusted expedition-grade duffels on the market thanks to its bomber zippers, thick and water resistant fabric, and reinforced bottom panel. The 95L size is ideal for those looking to pack bulky cold-weather gear, or multiple months worth of fair-weather clothes. This duffel might be the closest thing to invincible that money can buy.