|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – March 2009
The North Face Base Camp Series duffel is reliable through the worst dragging, zipper-yanking and rain.
Heavy-Duty Roller: Mountain Hardwear Juggernaut Series | Lightweight Roller: Granite Gear Ultraflight 115 | Classic Duffel: The North Face Base Camp Series | All-in-One: High Sierra Overpass Wheeled | Traveler's Daypack: Patagonia Scramble 35 | Camera Pack: LowePro CompuRover
If the journey includes schlepping loads off-road, atop buses, and on mules, we prefer giant duffels with shoulder straps. For bomber durability and smart design, nothing beats these bags; five editors have been abusing theirs for a combined 48 years with barely a blemish. The coil zips are fat and tough–we've never had a zipper failure, despite plenty of yanking, pulling, and overstuffing. The 1,000-denier polyester has a thermoplastic waterproof coating, and a giant D-flap opening makes it easy to dig around inside. The contoured, padded, adjustable straps work as a shoulder harness for short distances; stout handles at each end allow all manner of grabbing and dragging. $99-$149; 4 sizes, 2,500 to 9,000 cu. in.; 5 lbs. 1 oz. (XL); thenorthface.com. Reader service #115