Whether you are in school or have a full-time job, you will likely need a bag with a decent amount of storage space. Two of the main bag styles that can fulfill your day-to-day needs are backpacks and duffle bags. Choosing either has advantages and disadvantages and below we have a look at some aspects that may help you decide which one to choose.


  1. What are you carrying?

Backpacks evenly distribute the weight of their contents, so if you have heavier, denser items inside, this is important to consider. Books and laptops usually fit better and are more comfortable in backpacks, which may even have dedicated compartments for these. However, duffle bags may be a better choice if you need to carry more, or odd shaped items such as gym shoes and toiletries. Consider the amount of time you will be carrying your bag too, as backpacks are usually a more comfortable option to carry for longer periods.


  1. Where will you normally be using it?

If you are planning on using it on your daily commute to work or while doing outdoor activities, this will define whether you’ll need a waterproof backpack or a non waterproof one. While backpacks are the obvious choice for hiking and such, there are even duffle bags out there with backpack straps, combining their larger volume with the comfort of a backpack. If you plan on travelling long distances and, for example, plan on using it as cabin bag in a plane, then be sure to find one that fits those cabin dimensions.


  1. What is your style preference?

Both types of bags have styles that vary greatly, from sporty looks, to functionality, to cleaner, more simplistic designs. It is therefore important to establish what style you prefer beforehand, in order to narrow down your search. While sporty and functional bags can be found from the big sports and outdoor companies, see understated but high quality designs from brands such as Rains, that combine functionality and simplicity.

Colours are also an important consideration. While bright coloured bags may not be the best option with a business suit, bright travelling bags may be better as you, and the bag, will be more visible.


  1. Do you need to access items quickly?

Duffle bags, generally, have just one large compartment and this could make items inside less accessible than say, a backpack with multiple dedicated compartments. Carrying around a duffle bag may not be as convenient if you need to constantly open it up and rummage through. This, however, is not only an issue with duffle bags. Backpacks with only one large compartment could also have this problem, as well as being more prone to pickpocketing seeing as the bag would usually be out of sight.