Filson’s Ballistic Nylon Duffle Pack is truly the best bag ever made

Filson also thought it appropriate to provide an expandable, waterproof liner in one of the cavernous side pockets so you can separate wet gear from dry ones. If you’re away for the weekend, going to the gym or pool, going for a walk or dealing with the accidents of young children, this isn’t a bag, it’s a godsend.

Indeed, look everywhere in the Duffle Pack and you will see that care and love has been put into the little things that make a difference. According to Adam Hogarth, associate director of design at Filson, a regular top zipper was seen as insufficient. “We ended up using a 10-gauge zipper, which is not only super durable, but also functional. They don’t freeze easily,” he says. “If you take this to the field and it gets really cold, it will always work.” The brass zip pullers with leather loops have also been intentionally made larger so that they can be easily grasped with gloves on.

The designers have made the top opening extra wide, so that you can get things in and out in no time at all. Filson could have easily paired the handles with more ballistic nylon and some Velcro. But no. Here you get a quality bridle leather carrying handle, secured with metal fasteners, which will be stiff at first, but will age over the years to become buttery soft and pleasantly flexible.

“It’s always designed for field use,” Hogarth tells me. “But it has been adopted by the everyday carrier because it is so versatile. I have one too and I often use it as hand luggage when I travel.”

Stuff it stupid: the Filson backpack has a capacity of 46 liters.

Photo: Jeremy White

Me too. In fact, I eschew my more expensive wheelie bags in favor of this Duffle pack every time I fly. Low-cost, money-guzzling British airline Ryanair loves nothing more than charging you extra for even taking hand luggage on a flight, but backpacks are free (for now). I can easily fit more than a week’s worth of clothes, all my toiletries, my technology, adapters, cables and sunglasses in the Duffle Pack’s 46 liters of space – more than Away’s 40 liter hand luggage– then quickly get on the plane with the bag in backpack mode without having to pay an extra penny. Joyful.

At the airport and subway, I airily jump down stairs and escalators as the wheelie squad remains behind with their sliding suitcases, struggling to get them in line on anything other than a marble floor. I leave them in my wake to go through security first again.

And if my Duffle Pack ever lets me down, Filson has a lifetime warranty against failure or damage for “its intended use,” though I’m not sure what you can’t use this bag for.

Hogarth ends our conversation by reassuring me that Filson has no immediate plans to put aside this riveting marvel. “It will stay in line one way or another. It can be updated. And when I say updated, I mean it’s only getting better,” he says. Can’t if you ask me. For my money this is the best bag ever made.

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