Origins of the Duffel Bag

Small Town Beginnings

Everyone has one, and they come in so many different shapes, sizes, colors, and styles, but where did they start? Where did they get the name "Duffel Bag"? The ubiquity of the duffel bag in modern life is striking, as it has become an indispensable accessory for various activities. To understand its roots, we must journey back to the small town of Duffel in Belgium, where the bag's origin can be traced. The name "duffel" is not arbitrary; it is derived from the thick woolen cloth that was originally used to make these bags. The material, known as duffel fabric, was robust and resistant to wear and tear, so it was popular among sailors who used it as covering material for ships. The earliest versions of duffel bags date back to the 17th century, where Belgian soldiers used them to carry their belongings during military campaigns. Initially the term "duffel bag" referred to one specific type of bag, one that has a cylindrical shape and a zipper or drawstring closure on the top. Nowadays it is much more of a blanket name as it refers to any sort of carryall bag with a rectangular or cylindrical shape. 

Military Uses

The durability and resilience of these early bags made them a practical choice for the rigors of military life. However, it wasn't until World War II that the duffel bag gained widespread recognition, particularly within the U.S. military. Its utilitarian design and spaciousness made it an ideal companion for soldiers on the move, solidifying its status as a reliable piece of luggage. Post-war, surplus duffel bags found their way into civilian hands, leading to a surge in popularity. 

Adaptation to Modern Life

 As the duffel bag transitioned from military use to civilian life, it underwent stylistic adaptations to cater to a broader audience. This evolution in design and functionality transformed the duffel bag into the diverse array of options we see today, making it a versatile and iconic accessory for people from all walks of life. So, the next time you pick up your duffel bag, remember that its roots lie in the practicality of military campaigns and the sturdy fabric from the Belgian town that bears its name.


The ImOut Duffel pays homage to the classic shape and styling of the original duffel bag. With sturdy rolled-leather handles, a double layer base and sturdy shoulder strap, the ImOut is as straightforward as they come, with just one large main compartment. Coming in multiple sizes, there is sure one to fit your needs.

$195.00
$80.00
$25.00
$22.00

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