DamnDog Over Gear Box Duffel Bag Review
Overall Rating: 7.9
|The look of this bag is a perfect mix of rugged and refined. The canvas is no nonsense while the stitching and leather accents give the bag that quality craftsmanship look you expect from a duffel built for a lifetime of trips. It’s the perfect size for weekend or short travel trips and provides more organization than your standard duffel.|
|In contrast to most duffels, this bag is packed full of organization pockets and panels. They are all nicely tucked away and do not affect the general packability or accessibility of the bag. The bag is also incredibly comfortable to carry over the shoulder or by the grab handles. The only negative is the top closure which does not completely enclose the full pack, however when unzipped the wide opening makes for easy access and packing.|
|This bag is extremely well made and we expect it will last a lifetime of traveling, however, the application of this bag is somewhat narrow. A traveler who loves 3-5 day trips, particularly by road, would get the most value out of this bag. It's best on shorter trips when you’re not checking a bag and don’t plan on using it as your daypack once you get to your destination.|
Pros & Cons
|This bag is very attractive and will certainly make you look and feel like a travel professional.||The main top closure does not fully seal the entire top of the bag and represents an opportunity for theft or for items to fall out of your bag.|
|This bag packs a good bit of organizational support for a duffel and packing straight in from the top is incredibly easy.||The ideal application for this bag is a bit narrow. It’s incredible as a weekend duffel but you wouldn’t use it as a checked bag and it's not meant for day to day use.|
|The bag is light, comfortable and durable. Carrying the duffel for long periods using the shoulder strap is no problem despite the lack of a padded shoulder strap.||The canvas exterior, despite being incredibly durable, is not weatherproof and can show some signs of use adding a bit of personality and character to the bag.|
Who is this Duffel Ideal For?
This bag packs plenty of space and organization for 3-5 day trips like a work conference, a weekend beach trip or a quick road trip to the mountains. 33 Liters of packing space is plenty of room for your work essentials, 3-4 packing cubes, toiletries and more. Once you’re at your destination, it’s very easy to operate out of the pack each day as the full top opening allows all the space and visibility you could need.
This bag is certainly at it’s best when used exclusively for getting to your destination, especially, if you’re avoiding the airport all together. We’ve been reaching for this bag in combination with a laptop backpack for working trips so that we have the space and convenience of the duffel and still have a laptop backpack for work essentials and meetings once we’re at our destination.
Due to the top closure you do not want to run the risk of having to check this bag, even if it’s just gate check. Because the zip closure does not run the full perimeter of the opening, items in your pack can be at risk of falling out if the bag is mishandled. Although it hasn’t happened in our testing, for that reason, we do not recommend letting this bag get out of your own hands or car.
Full Review of the DamnDog Over Gear Box Travel Duffel Bag
Born from over 40 years of experience making quality bags, DamnDog is dedicated to creating high quality bags that show off the individualistic nature of each traveler and the adventures they’ve experienced. DamnDog aims to combine incredibly high quality materials and construction with thoughtfully developed and unique features. The Over Gear Box Travel Duffel certainly fits right into this mission.
The Over Gear Box Duffel clocks in at around 3lbs unpacked and has external dimensions of 14.6" H x 19.3" W x 10.8" D. This is a pretty comfortable size to handle for average to large people and fits nicely into most overhead compartments. For our smaller friends, this bag may be a bit large to comfortably carry for long periods.
Durable canvas and high-quality leather accents give the bag a sturdy shape and protect all of the contents. Inside, the duffel supports 33L of well organized packing capacity. The big top load opening makes it easy to pack all of your gear and easily access it once you reach your destination.
Speaking of the top load opening, a durable, high-quality zipper runs the length of the bag on each side of the opening, closing the bag from the top. This provides a convenient wide opening for packing the bag or getting necessary items out. Unfortunately, this zipper does not run the full perimeter of the opening with the two short sides of the closure simply folding down underneath the zipper when closed. When fully packed, the upward pressure from items inside the bag make this a relatively tight and therefore secure closure. When only partially packed though, or when being aggressively handled, this represents a serious risk of items falling out or being taken out of your bag as the bag is not fully closed by the zipper. This is the biggest downfall of this bag and why we never recommend that you check this bag at the airport.
The Over Gear Box duffel can easily be carried over the shoulder thanks to an adjustable and comfortable canvas shoulder strap or by the grab handles thanks to the canvas tow straps with handle style stitch and a leather hand pad. The shoulder strap is also removable thanks to the durable and beefy brass hardware. Three additional D-rings can also be found on the bag for easy use with clip-ons and carabiners.
Weight distribution in the Over Gear Box is totally up to how you pack it. When packed level the bag is extremely easy and comfortable to carry. If your packing is a bit wreckless or you have 1 very heavy item throwing off the weight distribution, this bag can have trouble stabilizing that load and can have you fighting to keep things comfortable and stationary.
The Over Gear Box duffel also boasts 3 external organization pockets. There are two expanding external pockets (one on each end) with snap button closures perfect for quick access to items like your power bank, wireless headphones, or sunglasses (if they’re in a protective case).
There is also a large zip closing slip pocket in the center wall of the duffel that we’ve been using for our wallet, phone and passport.
The DamnDog Over Gear Box Duffel is available in Gray, Black and Green. We’ve loved the gray that we’ve been testing out, but the smaller Under Gear Box that we’ve been testing looks really sharp in green as well.
We really like the aesthetic of this duffel and it seems like our audience agrees as 100% of those polled said they liked the look of this bag according to our Instagram poll!
The Over Gear Box Duffel is made from durable waxed canvas and top shelf leather. The canvas material is tough and water/stain resistant while remaining lightweight. The leather is sturdy and has a deep richness to the color and texture. Contrast color stitching makes the leather accents really standout and gives the bag an amazing look and an err of real professional craftsmanship.
The bag boasts beefy brass hardware all the way around making it easy to attach or detach the shoulder strap or clip onto any of the 3 D-rings on the bag.
Good sized zippers are complemented by sewn leather zipper tags and the handles even sport some sewing and leather strips to make for a more structured and comfortable carry.
The look is great, the feel is sturdy and the material holds up well to use. That said, we believe this is a bag that you’ll want to take care of. Although the canvas is water and stain resistant it is still somewhat porous and could be susceptible to mud or liquid stains if they aren’t quickly removed.
As a true duffel, this bag can only be carried by the shoulder strap or the quick grab handles. There is no option to carry this bag as a backpack. This does limit the versatility of this bag and prevents it from being a solid daily driver, business bag or trailblazer pack.
Inside the Over Gear Box duffel, you will find plenty of room for 3-5 day trips. The bag boasts 33 liters of packing capacity in a bucket style pack.
Inside the pack, the bag is lined with a lightweight, yellow textured liner. The textured liner is soft to the touch and easy on the gear packed inside. The bright yellow color creates a solid contrast making it easy to locate and grab items even in low light.
Inside the main compartment you will also find two additional drop pockets and another zippered pocket for added organization. This adds a bit of organization, but the bag is at its best as a full bucket style pack filled with packing cubes and organization bags.
You’ll also find a removable bottom panel that adds structure to the bag, but can be removed to make the bag easier to clean and wash. There is also a hidden passport pocket tucked away underneath the bottom panel.
The bag does not have an organizational panel or padded area for a laptop or electronics. There is also no padded bottom, although the canvas bottom and removable panel does add some padding for items in the bottom of your pack.
Overall the inside of this bag is a blank canvas perfect for your own organization.
Testing & Ownership
We’ve been testing the Over Gear Box Duffel for a few weeks now and love the bag for its intended purpose. As an alternate carry option to a carryon suitcase or a travel backpack, the Over Gear Box Duffel is a great option for getting all of our gear to our destination. The bag looks great and we’ve been consistently getting compliments on the appearance of the bag. The bag is sturdy and holds its shape well making it easy to carry over the shoulder or by the grab handles. 33 liters provides plenty of open bucket style space for all of your items.
Once at your location, the Over Gear Box is not built to be your daily daypack. As a duffel, the inability to carry this bag hands free limits its best use to getting from one place to another. Additionally, the 33 liters of packing space may prove to be a bit small for extended trips of a week or more.
We have enjoyed the blank canvas, empty space of the bucket style main compartment. In combination with packing cubes, this makes organization and access to items packed in the bag a snap.
As digital nomads, the lack of a laptop compartment or organizational panel does set this bag back a bit. But a good laptop sleeve and electronics organizer can easily overcome this shortcoming and we’ve been using it along with a laptop backpack anyways.
From a durability perspective, the Over Gear Box feels built for a lifetime of adventures. The canvas is sturdy and weatherproof, providing some protection from the elements and making it relatively easy to clean.
Getting from A to B, the Over Gear Box Duffel is a good looking head turner that you can rely on for years to come. An additional daypack and packing cubes are likely necessary to go with this bag to round out your gear.
If you like the look of the Over Gear Box Duffel but are looking for an even smaller pack for overnight trips check out the Under Gear Box Duffel from DamnDog. If you’re looking for a duffel that can go off-road, with the option to carry as a backpack, check out the Ascentials Pro Vipr 3 in 1.
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