Founded by American mountaineer, Matt Brooks, Brooks Range is a small, California-based company focusing on gear for the mountaineering and backcountry crowd. An invariable part of the experience of starting a trip is getting to the trailhead (or helipad as the case may be). Sometimes a rubbermaid tote will do the trick of carting around gear but oftentimes you need something a bit more portable. Enter the Brooks Range duffel bag. This review is for the medium Brooks Range duffel bag which has a 70 liter carrying capacity.

Medium Duffel Specs:

  • 24″ x 15″ x 15″ (61 cm x 38 cm x 38 cm)
  • 4200 Cubic Inches (70 Liters)
  • 3 lbs 8 oz (1600 g)
  • MSRP: $117.50

Construction and General Comments

The Brooks Range bag is built tough. There’s no other way to put it; you could drive a truck over it and you’d be checking the truck for scratches and dents. Waterproof laminate coating; tubular, thick webbing for straps; big fastex buckles; industrial zippers; double (and what looks like triple in some cases) stitching this bag is made with ridiculous overkill in terms of material and care.

Here’s some other general comments on the Brooks Range  medium duffel bag:

  • Spacious interior compartment
  • Straps to carry it like a backpack (backpack straps can be detached)
  • Standard carry straps on the side
  • Reinforced webbing loops and daisy chains adorning the exterior
  • Large top-loading door with reinforced zippers so you can get to the contents easily

The Good

  • Subtle black color won’t stand out in a crowd
  • Tough as nails
  • Water and elements resistant
  • Spacious beyond its rating
  • Easy to clean
  • Backpack straps are a nice feature

The Bad

  • Subtle black color won’t stand out in a crowd (not so good if you’re frantically searching for your gear in a Kathmandu bus station)
  • Not light (that’s the price of toughness)
  • No exterior compartments
  • The medium size is just a hair too big to fit as carry on luggage for most airlines

Bottom Line: Brooks Range Medium Duffel Bag

A duffel bag should carry a load of gear and protect it from the elements (as well as from pointy, sharp objects). It should be strong and durable. My last duffel bag lasted over 10 years and went on many trips before encountering a bad end at the hands of some poorly packed ice screws. I’ve got a strong suspicion that my relationship with the Brooks Range duffel bag will be similarly long and prosperous.

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About Author

Guest blogger Lee Lau is an avid skier and outdoorsman embarking on many adventures with his loving, and sometimes concerned wife, Sharon. He has over 15 years of experience skiing, ski-touring and dabbles in mountaineering. In the “off-season” he is occasionally found working in his day job as an intellectual property lawyer when he is not mountain biking. As a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, Lee’s playground extends mainly to Western Canada, including South West B.C. and the Selkirks.


  1. We just started selling Brooks-Range gear. The duffels are so nice and they do hold a ton of gear not just for hiking or climbing but a friend of mine is actually using one for his hockey equipment and just thinks it’s the best duffel bag around.

  2. Pingback: Brooks Range Medium Duffel Bag | 7summitsgear - Explore the outdoors

  3. I have a couple of these. I have used them to haul gear to the trailhead and ski resorts, to travel to other continents, and road trips through the U.S. They are bomb-proof.

    One note: Bigger is not always better with these bags. The straps are designed to allow you to carry it as a backpack for short distances. This is a great feature for bus and train travel. However, it functions much better with a full pack. As with many things get the size you need, and then pack efficiently.

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