The word classic gets thrown around a lot these days, so much so that it’s easy to be cynical about it. However, with the iconic Base Camp Duffel by The North Face we think it’s time to put some of that cynicism to one side and anoint the product a design classic.
Proof that sometimes a simple approach to bag design is best, the Base Camp Duffel offers large storage solutions inside an extremely durable bit of gear. Kick it, throw it, drop it, kick it again; this thing is tougher than the world’s most well-done steak. Seriously, when the world ends we’re fairly certain it’s going to be a battle for supremacy between an army of cockroaches and The North Face’s Base Camp Duffel bags. You heard it here first.
How come it’s so durable? Well, that’s largely down to its laminate ballistic nylon construction (bit of a mouthful, we know). Other ingredients that elevate the bag’s resilience to its near-legendary status are the extra bartacks and double stitching. It’s clear that every effort has been made to make the bag as rugged as possible, without sacrificing usability, and that’s the kind of thinking we can really get on board with.
“These are indestructible. When the world ends, it’s going to be a battle for supremacy between an army of cockroaches and The North Face’s Base Camp Duffel bags."
It’s not just its durability that makes this super-tough adventure bag such a winner though. The 95 litres of capacity, for example, means there’s more than enough space here for all your bits and bobs.
The bag’s updated ergonomic shoulder straps minimise twisting, and ensure you can comfortably carry it round for hours at a time. What’s more, the new padded side handles serve as both duffel and haul handles for those times when you fancy giving your back a breather.
Another nifty feature on the Base Camp Duffel is the side zip pocket that’s perfect for storing your wallet, your phone, and other items you like to have close-at-hand. Shout out also for the zippered mesh pocket inside the main compartment, ideal for keeping things a little more organised, and the D-zip opening with weather-resistant zipper flap.
Something new for this model, that we particularly dig, is the end-cap zippered compartment that allows users to store wet clothes, dirty shoes, or extra gear separately from the bag’s main storage area.
Various members of our test team have carted these around the world for years - from Colorado to Kyrgyzstan and everywhere in between - and they’re still going strong. Is this the ultimate travel bag? We think it might be.
The North Face Base Camp Duffel Large