Maxpedition Doppleduffel Adventure Bag Review
At a Glance
The Doppleduffel is a bag designed primarily for travel. It works well for everything from an overnight visit to about a five day stay. The multiple carry options are great when navigating crowded airports and streets, and the bag easily fits into a trunk. Plus, the bag is far tougher than a standard duffel bag, so your gear remains well protected while in transit. It’s easy to see why this bag is popular among truckers and frequent business travelers.
One of the largest groups of users is the military, especially those who travel often and have several different uniforms. The bag is strong enough for harsh environments and secure enough to store full uniforms without risking damage.
Maxpedition emphasizes the travel uses, but I was equally impressed with the Doppleduffel as an emergency bag (known as a Bug Out or Bail Out Bag). Here’s one bag big enough to hold a substantial amount of emergency supplies, yet small enough that any member of my family could grab it and head out. When not needed, the bag can easily sit out of the way in a closet, car truck or under a bed.
While a light, portable rucksack is important, many people also have use for a larger, heavier bag. This isn’t a bag you carry with you on a day hike. Rather, this is a bag used for travel, storage and emergency preparedness. Some common storage areas for a larger tactical bag are a car, barrack or other location. Although this bag might not be carried around every day, it still must be portable. After all, there’s no point to an emergency bag if you can’t just grab it and go when there’s an emergency.
The trick is to find a bag which can carry a lot of gear yet is still portable. Plus, while this is a large bag, you also need something compact. Space is often an issue, especially in military situations.
The Maxpedition Doppleduffel Adventure Bag is an attempt to merge size with portability. There aren’t a lot of bags directly comparable to the Doppleduffel – but I wasn’t sure if that uniqueness was necessarily a positive.
I used the bag for three weeks. I tested its strength, durability, portability and more. I mainly approached my tests from the perspective of military and LEO uses, although I did consider some civilians applications as well.
- This is a large travel bag which can be carried in four different ways. You can wear the bag as a backpack. You can wear the hide-away integral backpack strap across your torso. You can also choose from two different shoulder strap orientations: You can carry the bag horizontally, like a duffel bag, or vertically, like luggage.
- There are a variety of pockets and pouches for custom organization. The large main pouch can be divided into smaller sections. The bag also has space for a hydration reservoir which holds up to 100 ounces, although the actual container is not included.
- The bag is made from 100-Denier water and abrasion resistant lightweight ballistic nylon fabric. A triple polyurethane coating provides additional water resistance. The zippers and zipper tracks are YKK high strength. All zippers are dual directional. The high tensile strength composite nylon thread, which holds the bag together, is much stronger than ordinary nylon thread. According to a friend of mine, it’s actually strong enough to pull a car, although I haven’t tested that myself.
- Six color options are available: Black, OD Green, Khaki, Foliage Green, Dark Brown and Wolf Gray. For military uses, these colors should be suitable for a variety of theaters. Overall, the style of the bag is minimal but contemporary. While the style is on the tactical side, this bag also wouldn’t look out of place in an airport.
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The overall size of the bag is 14"(L) by 11"(W) by 25.5"(H). The total storage volume is 3500 cubic inches (57L). Empty, the bag weighs just under four pounds.
The main compartment is 13"(L) x 9"(W) x 24"(H). Inside, I especially liked the mesh zippered pockets. Located right under the top flap, they’re a useful place to store stuff you need to access quickly, such as ID, paperwork and so on. There are two on the inside front, each 9” by 7” (H).
The internal dividers were another of my favorite features. They provide secure organization and generally work well. There are two dividers total, each 12” (L) by 9” (H). If you need to store something large, the dividers are easily unzipped.
Each side has four rows of four-channel PALS webbing, one 23.5"(L) by 8.5"(H) zippered slip pocket, one 5"(L) by 5.5"(H) internal mesh slip pocket, and one 4.5" (L) by 5.5"(H) internal mesh slip pocket. The side pockets are easy to open no matter what carry style you’re using. Actually, the entire bag is very accessible with a full clam shell opening.
Methods of Carry
I found that the bag was comfortable no matter how I used it. The Tactical Shoulder Sling is made from 1.5” webbing with 1” quick release buckles. It also has a removable 2” shoulder pad and 12 channels of PALS webbing. The top of the bag has two D-Ring attachment points for the shoulder strap. While the strap is great for short distances, I preferred to use the bag as a back pack for longer journeys.
As a back pack, the bag uses integral, concealable 3” ergonomic shoulder straps. They have four elastic retention points. The sternum strap is made from 1” webbing and is removable. Underneath the bag are two D-Ring attachment points, for use with the straps. Also under the bag is a 13"(L) x 18"(H) zippered padded compartment. You can use this compartment to conceal backpack straps or as a three liter hydration reservoir with bladder hanger.
When carrying the bag, you’ll use the integrated padded grab handle, which is made from 1.5” webbing. I found the transition between the various modes of carry to be really simple. A few straps are either pulled from a side pocket or concealed away and you’re good to go. Switching can easily be done either in a crowded airport or under extreme weather conditions.
Durability and Product Life
The entire bag is made of high quality materials. The lightweight ballistic nylon fabric is tough enough for harsh outdoor environments. The high tensile strength composite nylon thread, taped and finished internal seams and YYK high strength zippers are all rugged and durable. This bag will stay together for a long time even under heavy use.
Inside, your gear will be protected with #AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material. All stress points are either double stitched, Bartacked or “Box-and-X” stitched. The zipper to the main compartment is lockable.
The Teflon fabric coating makes clean-up easy. Simply wipe the bag with a damp cloth. The bag is also tear resistant. All external straps can be easily stored within the bag, eliminating almost anything which could get snagged.
Maxpedition Doppleduffel Adventure Bag Review video
Comparison to Other Brands
There aren’t too many bags of this size with so many carrying options. If you’re looking for a small back pack or ruck sack for daily use, the Doppleduffel might not be your best choice. If you’re looking for something larger, the Doppleduffel is for you. Compared to a standard duffel bag or backpack, like you’d find in a sporting goods store, the Doppleduffel is also definitely superior.
The retail price is about $250. I thought this was more than fair, especially considering this bag can replace a back pack, a duffel bag and a piece of up-right luggage. Plus, if you don’t like the bag, Maxpedition offers a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
My Final Recommendation
I’ve never had any problems with a Maxpedition product and I’ve used quite a few. Normally, I might have overlooked this bag, since it is a rather unusual size for military use. After using the bag for a few weeks, however, I can’t imagine not having one around.
Turns out, the Doppleduffel Adventure Bag’s uniqueness is an absolute positive. As a travel bag, it works great. It’s secure, compact and easy to organize. As a storage bag for emergency preparedness, I think it’s also a good choice. The bag can hold a large amount of items yet is still portable enough to “bug out” with. One lesson I learned in the military was to “go with what works” and the Doppleduffel Adventure Bag definitely works well.