Rarely do I use a product that so totally changes the way I function. When it came to travel, I was, like most people, a hard suitcase plus personal bag type of guy, but I’d heard about this Halfday Garment Duffel.
The whole marketing idea around the bag is that it’s the perfect bag for a wedding or other weekend away where you want to bring a nice jacket or full suit. Then I got invited to a destination wedding in Tuscany—10 days of travel, city excursions, country excursions, driving all over the boot, and a few formal drinks and dinners. It was perfect time to put this bag to the test.
Holy shit, it is perfect.
It Makes Packing a Breeze
Listen, I’m not usually a Travel Hacks guy, but this bag turned me into one. First, you don’t have to worry about folding a suit. In fact, I’ve already forgotten how to do that. Second, It packs way more than I thought it would. My original intention was to pack this duffel as a carry on and check a suitcase. But when I laid out all my clothes and necessities, the only thing that couldn’t fit in the duffel was my tennis shoes. Ok… What if I only brought this bag? I did some thinking, and consolidated a few things, and I had everything I needed (I think) for 10 days in Italy.
Post trip, I can say it actually packed everything I needed. I wore everything once, with only one hotel sink laundry session. I can’t process how I did it, but I’ve done it every trip since. I’m a one bag guy now, and this is the one bag.
It’s Surprisingly Durable
Part of being The Only Bag You Need means it should also be capable of being checked luggage too. As for the quality being able to survive that endeavor, I wasn’t confident at first. The outer material is 420-Denier, so I was a little worried the polyester wouldn’t look so great after. Still, I tossed it on the conveyor belt and walked through the airport with nothing in my hands.
When I got it back, not a scratch. Everything held up well. I’ve checked it twice since, and same deal. It hasn’t gotten any marks, the zipper, handles, and strap have held up. I’m really, really impressed.
The only issues I had with my bag were related though. The handles and strap weren’t super padded, and some of the hardware was a bit flimsy. But Halfday just released a brand new version of the bag that addressed all those issues. (The updated version is the one I’ve linked to throughout.) I already saw it in person, and it’s all spot on—the handles, the strap, the hardware, everything. I’m not on the fence about this thing anymore, you should buy it.
It Doesn’t Look Too Bad
Another one of the issues I had coming into this review was the look. Even now I’ll admit, this thing doesn’t look luxurious. It’s about on par with the duffels in its price range—which I’d say are from Patagonia or The North Face, and more outdoorsy brands. But honestly, I can’t fault it. It looks simple, but it’s inoffensive. The amazing design went into the functionality, not the form.
But again, they pretty much fixed this with the new version of the bag. Specifically, they introduced a more low-key all black version. It’s unassuming, and will blend in anywhere you go. But the hardware on the new version looks a little bit nicer, and it goes a long way.
To recap, Halfday makes a bag that looks pretty good, is way more durable than a $98 bag should be, and has space for a week’s worth of clothes if you’re smart. I literally cannot find fault with this bag. Why haven’t you bought it already?
Photography by Joe Lingeman. Prop styling by Andrea Bonin.
Associate Commerce Editor
Luke Guillory is the Associate Commerce Editor at Esquire.