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Backpacker Magazine – March 2012

Gear Review: The North Face Base Camp Duffel

A staff favorite, again and again.

by: The Backpacker Editors

The North Face Base Camp Duffel (Courtesy Photo)
The North Face Base Camp Duffel (Courtesy Photo)

Rollers, Duffels, & More
See all our adventure travel luggage reviews
Winner of our 2009 Editors’ Choice Gold Award, the XL version of this classic expedition duffel remains our all-time favorite for hauling gear to the far reaches of the globe. The thickly coated (with TPE for durability and water repellency) 1,000-denier polyester has proven virtually indestructible over a collective decade of testing, and the contoured, padded shoulder straps let you carry it in backpack mode much more comfortably than its competitors. Go to for a full review. $160; 155 liters; 4 lbs. 15 oz.;

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Reader Rating: -


Mar 04, 2012

I am glad I bought mine 14 years ago...they took out the internal side pockets on the newer ones which are super handy for smaller items that would just get unorganized and lost floating in the main compartment. Still going strong though.

i think a simple integrated waist belt would take this bag over the top. I have had this bag stuffed with heavy clothing and gear and hauling it in the airport down long endless hallways with the flimsy should straps will do a number on your shoulders not recommended. A simple hip belt would not encourage people to use it hiking! just make it sensible for not straining YOUR BACK! I wish the design and marketing departments could coordinate a solution to this bag! seriously this is a bomber bag made to haul a lot of stuff..that creates weight it could be designed better!

Feb 21, 2012

I love mine. I carried it to 20 different countries in Africa, crossing borders by train, boat, taxi, and plane during the past year. Its even been to the top of Kilimanjaro. Its easy to grab & throw on your back when the pavement comes to an end and you gotta walk some miles to get to your destination.

Feb 21, 2012

I've had one of these for over 10 years & have taken it stuffed full of pointy climbing gear & everything else to Alaska (4 times), Nepal (twice) Bolivia, Canada, and all over the US. It's ridden on yaks, buses, planes, mules & backs. It's quite dirty but still works as good as new. Highly recommended!


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