First Impression: BAD BAGS

Will Taylor

Authenticity can be hard to define, let alone recognize, but when you hold a BAD BAG in your hands for the first time, you’ll know you’re holding the best—and that’s before you know the team at BAD (Best American Duffel) has been crafting quality luggage for over 25 years. The company’s duffel bags are made with such attention to detail, quality and design that you’ll immediately fall in love—and they’ll hold your love for the long haul.

How? It’s all about the details. The 1000-denier Ballistic Cordura that makes up the bulk of the bag is strong and durable, yet supple. The straps are soft in your hand and are made of the same durable material as seatbelts (we’re talking 6,000-pound break-test strong). The YKK zippers are beefy, buttery to open and close and inspire confidence that they won’t fail. And the nickel-plated, no-rust hardware means longevity during and after the nastiest journeys. For bags as sturdy as they are, they’re also surprisingly light.

The design for BAD BAGS has hardly changed since the founders perfected them some 25 years ago, and for good reason: they work. BAD duffels have a flat bottom that sits level on most surfaces, which means easy loading and unloading but also that your bag won’t take any unexpected tumbles. The zippered opening is a clam-shell U that flips open and allows easy access to whatever has been swallowed up inside. The straps and buckles are well positioned and built as solid as the bags themselves. And there are long, zippered interior and exterior pockets with the perfect amount of room to store small items but are not so big that you lose them.

Depending on the size of the duffel you choose, there are some intelligent added design features. A number of the duffels feature stow-able straps that allow you to convert your duffel into a backpack for long hauls. Others feature compression straps around the chest of the bags to tighten down your load and conserve space. The two smaller duffels even have a drawstring shoe bag built in to make it a perfect gym carrier. Plus, the duffels are Made In America.

If you’re drawn to a quality product at a fantastic price point that you know will last, you’ll instantly fall in love when you get your hands on a BAD BAG. And you’d better: you may just have it for the rest of your life.