Waterfield Designs Essential Duffel Review

We use affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links on this page, we may earn a commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

EXAM – If you’re unfamiliar with Waterfield Designs (aka SFBags), they make some of the best bags and gear, hands down. I still have laptop sleeves from over 10 years ago that have held up well. This time I got my hands on their lovely new Essential Duffel, which I was looking for!

What is that?

The Waterfield Designs Essential Duffel is part of the Waterfield Essentials Collection and is made in San Francisco.

The Waterfield Designs Essential Duffel bag is available in green, black, blue and red. I chose green.

Hardware specifications

Black 1680 denier ballistic nylon and Forza nylon.

Dimensions & Weight:
11″ (h) x 15.5″ (w) x 7″ (w); 1.8 lbs.
27.94 (height) x 39.37 (w) x 17.78 (w) cm; 0.82kg
Volume: 19.56 liters

Handle (top of bag to top of handle):
11 inches (27.94cm)

Design and features

The first feature that struck me was that the Waterfield Designs Essential Duffel bag STANDS TALL on its own without excessive swearing. It’s a kind of black magic… I’ve never seen a bag capable of doing that.

There is a horizontal strap on the back designed to slide over the handle of your rolling luggage.

Take a good look at the zipper: it is one of those that seals in such a way as to offer resistance to humidity. Did they have to? No. But there it is !

Each end has an open pocket, perfect for bottles. I got a little crazy and found a full size glass bottle of sparkling water. Adapt it.

Let’s take a look inside the front zip compartment. Yes, it’s a gold/bronze fabric flash designed to make things easier to find. There are internal dividers, as well as a lanyard for easily lost items (keys, thumb drives, etc.).

Waterfield even thought about the handles. You will notice that they have a flat profile and rounded edges which reduce fatigue.

Don’t like handles? I was sent the optional Supreme Suspension Strap ($49) which has a nicely padded, grippy shoulder liner. It’s so adherent that you can see the link it’s collected. The clips are spring-loaded and have a nice Waterfield branding.

But wait, where do you attach the strap? There are no typical D-rings that you would normally see. Again, the Wizards of Waterfield have hidden four attachment points behind the handle strap points. They blend well!

The interior of the Waterfield Designs Essential Duffel does not disappoint. It is gold/bronze wall to wall for easy visibility and pocket organizers.


It’s not every day, but it occurred to me: I wonder how many rolls of paper towels this can hold?

Gobble Gobble, the answer is THREE. The bag still closes well.

What I like

  • Unparalleled build quality
  • Simple, no-fuss design
  • Made in the USA
  • Contains three rolls of paper towels. You never know

What I would change

  • Expensive, but you definitely get what you pay for.

Final Thoughts

I admit I would be hesitant to spend so much on a gym bag, duffel bag, or sleepwear item. I feel like the Waterfield Designs Essential Duffel is the kind of item you only buy once, unless a family member claims it for themselves and you have to to buy another.

Price: $179 (bracelet $49 as shown)
Or buy: Water field
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Waterfield.


Comments are closed.