How to Turn a Duffel Bag Into a Backpack?

How to Turn a Duffel Bag Into a Backpack

Duffel bags are a great tool often used by runners and travel enthusiasts. Essentially, a duffel bag is a large bag with a strap that you carry over your shoulder. The strap makes the bag easy to carry while walking through a busy airport and the bag’s size makes it easy to pull out your laptop, undies and toothbrush when you arrive at your destination. However, it’s not always convenient to carry a duffel bag. It’s bulky, can be heavy and takes up a lot of space in your car. By turning your duffel bag into a backpack, you can make it much easier to carry and will be able to travel with it for longer periods of time. This article will teach you how how to turn a duffel bag into a backpack.

Why Do They Call It a Duffel Bag?

A duffel bag is a type of large, cylindrical bag that is typically used for carrying sports equipment or other items that are too large or bulky for a regular suitcase. The word “duffel” is believed to be derived from the Belgium city of Duffel, where the bags were first made. Duffel bags are often made from durable materials such as canvas or nylon, and they often have a shoulder strap for easy carrying. Some duffel bags also have wheels and a handle, which makes them even easier to transport. Duffel bags are a great option for those who need to carry a lot of stuff with them on a trip. They are also usually more affordable than other types of luggage.

How to Turn a Duffel Bag Into a Backpack?

A duffel bag is a versatile piece of luggage that can be used for carrying a variety of items, but it can be difficult to carry for long periods of time. However, sometimes a duffel bag is not the most convenient option when traveling. If you find yourself in this situation, there is an easy way to turn your duffel bag into a backpack. Here are some easy steps to follow in order to turn your duffel bag into a backpack that will be much more comfortable to carry.

  1. Gather the necessary materials:
    • Duffel bag: Choose a duffel bag that has sturdy handles and is made of durable material.
    • Backpack straps: You can purchase backpack straps online or salvage them from an old backpack.
    • Webbing or fabric: You’ll need this to reinforce the attachment points for the backpack straps.
    • Sewing machine or needle and thread: Depending on your sewing skills and the material of the bag, you can use either a sewing machine or a needle and thread.
  2. Assess the bag: Examine the duffel bag to identify suitable attachment points for the backpack straps. Look for reinforced handles, metal rings, or other sturdy points where you can attach the straps.
  3. Measure and cut the webbing/fabric: Measure the length needed for the backpack straps. They should be long enough to comfortably fit over your shoulders and provide proper weight distribution. Cut two equal lengths of webbing/fabric for the straps.
  4. Reinforce attachment points: If the attachment points on the duffel bag are not strong enough, reinforce them with additional layers of webbing or fabric. This will ensure the straps stay securely attached to the bag.
  5. Attach the straps: Position one end of each strap on the backside of the duffel bag, aligning them with the chosen attachment points. Sew or stitch them securely to the bag using a sewing machine or needle and thread. Make sure the attachment is strong to bear the weight of the bag.
  6. Adjustability: To allow for adjustments in strap length, you can attach adjustable buckles to the straps. This will enable you to modify the strap length according to your preference.
  7. Test the backpack: Once the straps are securely attached, put the bag on your back and adjust the straps to ensure a comfortable fit. Ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and the bag sits securely on your back.
  8. Additional modifications (optional): Depending on your needs, you may want to consider adding extra features such as additional pockets, padding, or a waist strap to improve the backpack functionality.

By following these steps, you can successfully convert your duffel bag into a backpack and enjoy the convenience of carrying it on your shoulders. Remember to choose durable materials and reinforce the attachment points to ensure the bag can handle the weight and use it’s subjected to.

How to Add Backpack Straps to Duffle Bag?

If you’re looking for a way to add some extra carrying capacity to your duffle bag, you might want to consider adding backpack straps. This can be a great way to make your duffle bag more versatile, and it can also help distribute the weight of your belongings more evenly. Here’s a quick guide on how to add backpack straps to duffle bag:

  1. Prepare the duffle bag:
    • Empty the bag and ensure it’s clean and free of any items.
    • If the bag already has existing shoulder straps or handles that you want to replace, you may need to use a seam ripper to carefully remove them. Skip this step if your bag doesn’t have any existing straps.
  2. Measure and mark:
    • Determine the desired length for your backpack straps. Measure from the top of the bag, where the straps will attach, to the desired position on your back.
    • Mark the spots on the bag where the straps will be attached. Make sure the marks are symmetrical and at an appropriate distance from each other.
  3. Attach the backpack straps:
    • Take one backpack strap and position it on one of the marked spots on the bag.
    • Using a sewing needle and heavy-duty thread, start stitching the strap securely to the bag. Begin by sewing a few anchor stitches to hold the strap in place.
    • Sew back and forth across the strap attachment point, creating a secure and sturdy stitch pattern. Make sure to sew through multiple layers of the bag’s fabric to ensure strength.
    • Repeat the same process to attach the second backpack strap on the other marked spot.
  4. Reinforce the attachment:
    • After attaching the straps, reinforce the attachment points by sewing additional stitches around the perimeter of the straps’ attachment area. This will provide extra strength and durability.
  5. Test and adjust:
    • Once you’ve attached both backpack straps, test the bag by putting it on your shoulders and adjusting the strap length to your preference.
    • If necessary, make adjustments to the strap length or attachment points by repositioning and re-stitching as needed.
  6. Trim excess thread and secure loose ends:
    • Trim any excess thread and make sure all loose ends are securely knotted or stitched to prevent unraveling.

With backpack straps added to your duffle bag, you’ll be able to easily carry it on your back, freeing up your hands for other things. This can be a great way to make your duffle bag more convenient to use, and it can also help to reduce the strain on your body when carrying heavy loads.

Can I Bring a Duffel Bag and a Backpack as a Carry-on?

If you’re wondering whether you can bring a duffel bag and a backpack as a carry-on, the answer is yes! You are allowed to bring one personal item and one carry-on bag with you on your flight. This means that you can bring a backpack and a duffel bag, as long as they both fit within the size restrictions for carry-on baggage. It’s also important to note that you may have to pay for bringing two bags instead of just one. Some airlines charge extra for bringing a second carry-on bag, so be sure to check the policies of the airline you’re flying with before packing your bags. If you’re only planning on bringing a duffel bag and a backpack, though, you should be able to avoid any extra charges.

How to Waterproof a Duffel Bag?

Waterproofing a duffel bag can help protect its contents from moisture, rain, or accidental spills. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to waterproof a duffel bag:

  1. Clean the bag: Before waterproofing, ensure that your duffel bag is clean and free from any dirt or debris. Use a mild soap or detergent and a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean the exterior of the bag. Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry completely.
  2. Choose a waterproofing method: There are several ways to waterproof a duffel bag, and the method you choose will depend on the type of bag and personal preference. Here are a few common methods:
    • Waterproofing sprays: Purchase a waterproofing spray specifically designed for fabric or outdoor gear. Follow the instructions on the spray can and evenly coat the entire exterior surface of the duffel bag. Pay special attention to seams, zippers, and other areas prone to leakage. Allow the spray to dry completely as per the instructions before using the bag.
    • Waterproofing wax: For canvas or waxed canvas duffel bags, you can use waterproofing wax or a wax conditioner. Rub the wax gently onto the bag’s exterior, focusing on the seams and areas that are more likely to absorb water. Use a hairdryer or heat gun to melt and spread the wax evenly. Be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by the wax manufacturer.
    • Liners or dry bags: Another option is to use waterproof liners or dry bags to keep the contents of your duffel bag dry. Place your items inside a waterproof liner or dry bag before placing them inside the duffel bag. This method provides an extra layer of protection against water infiltration.
  3. Pay attention to seams and zippers: The seams and zipper areas are often more susceptible to water penetration. Ensure that these areas are well coated with the waterproofing spray or wax, or consider using seam sealer to reinforce them. Seam sealer is a liquid adhesive that you can apply to the seams to make them waterproof.
  4. Test the waterproofing: After waterproofing your duffel bag, it’s a good idea to perform a water test to ensure its effectiveness. You can spray water on the bag or expose it to a light rain shower. Check the interior of the bag afterward to see if any water has penetrated. If water seeps through, you may need to reapply the waterproofing method or consider alternative solutions.

Remember that even with proper waterproofing, extreme exposure to water or submerging the bag may still result in some moisture penetration. It’s essential to understand the limitations of your waterproofing method and take appropriate precautions to protect valuable or sensitive items inside the duffel bag.


A duffel bag is a versatile piece of luggage that can be used for a variety of purposes, including as a backpack. While a duffel bag is not specifically designed to be worn on your back, there are a few simple hacks that you can use to turn your duffel into a backpack. In this article we have discussed how to turn a duffel bag into a backpack. With just a few supplies, you can transform your duffel bag into a comfortable and stylish backpack that will make traveling a breeze.


What Is Duffel Bag Used For?

Duffel bags are often used for carrying sports equipment or other large items that do not fit well in a suitcase. Duffel bags are also popular among travelers because they can be easily stored in a car or on public transportation. Duffel bags vary in size, but most are large enough to hold several days’ worth of clothing. Whether you’re going on a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, a duffel bag can be a great option for carrying your belongings.

Is It Safe to Check a Duffel Bag?

When it comes to deciding whether or not to check a duffel bag, there are a few factors to consider. The first is the size and weight of the bag. If the bag is small and light enough to be carried on, it’s probably safer to keep it with you. But if the bag is large or heavy, it might be better to check it.
Another factor to consider is what’s in the bag. If you’re carrying valuables or anything that could be damaged by rough handling, it’s probably best to keep them with you. But if the contents of the bag are mostly clothes or other items that can withstand some wear and tear, checking the bag might be fine. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not checking a duffel bag is safe.

Can You Wash a Duffel Bag?

Whether you’re using it for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, a duffel bag is a great option for carrying your belongings. But what happens when it gets dirty? Can you wash a duffel bag? The short answer is yes, you can wash a duffel bag. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before throwing it in the washing machine. First, check the care label to see if the fabric is machine-washable. If it is, then you can proceed to washing it on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. If the care label says that the fabric is dry-clean only, then you’ll need to take it to a professional cleaner.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *