I received a small duffle and a travel kit today, and I thought it might be helpful to post my thoughts about the duffle. Before pulling the trigger, I wasn't sure if I needed the small or medium sized duffle. I'll be primarily using it for weekend trips, but would like to be able to use it for longer trips, too.
I saw the pros and cons as follows:
- Carry-on size (in US), even when full
- Size will make overpacking impossible
- Wide enough for the length of a pair of dress shoes (I wear 7.5) to fit the width of the bag
- Wide enough for length of Filson travel kit to fit the width of the bag
- Less expensive
- Potentially not large enough for weekend trips
- Almost definitely not large enough for longer trips
- Definitely not too small
- When full, too large for carry-on (US)
- Possibly too big for weekend trips - duffles that are too big large lead to wrinkled cloths, and the contents generally getting disorganized
- More expensive
In summary, I like to pack light, I'm small so my clothing is, too, and I don't have a lot of money. So I went with the small duffle.
I was disappointed when the travel kit & duffle arrived together in the same sized box that the 256 arrived in. The duffle - compared to my old gym duffle - appeared impractically small. So, before removing the tags, I tested the bag. I was able to fit:
- 1 pair of dress shoes, width wise
- Travel kit, approx 1/3 full (including all essentials), although it would probably be okay totally full (that would be an absurd amount of toiletries, though). Actually, the travel kit fits perfectly on top of the shoes. Combined, they take up about 1/4 of the interior of the duffle.
- 2 pair of trousers
- 4 dress shirts
- 1 longsleeve polo shirt
- 5 pairs of boxers
- 5 pairs of dress socks
- 1 cotton sweater
Plus, there's easily enough room across the top to fit the odds & ends that I throw in at the end, depending on the season/weather: reading material, an umbrella, sunglasses, an extra sweater. This is without the bag being stuffed to seams. So I am very pleased with my purchase, and I'm looking forward to breaking it in.