U.S. Army Duffel Bags

It is not exactly sure where the term ‘Duffle Bag’ came from or when it actually came about to the Army. Some history dates back during World War I 1917, E.E. Cummings was in the military as an ambulance driver. And while he was serving his time he would write letters talking about his experiences in combat. He mentioned his duffel bag a lot. The Army duffel Bag in World War I was called “The Doughboy Duffel Bag”, This bag was about 10 inches longs, made out of tan cloth from Duffle, brass rings, and rope. The bag was made like a knapsack, and not very well put together for traveling in combat.

After World War II the duffle bags in World War II were made with the same cloth but it was made 8 inches longer than the older duffle bag used in World War I. In World War II the bags were called “Barrack Bags” They were still made to look like knapsacks, and they were still not very sturdy while traveling in combat. In the years to come the bags would be made better.

In 1943 the Army made a lot of changes to the Duffle Bag. The duffle bag was made with olive drab no.3 canvas. This canvas was woven into a backpack that came with two web straps, which was made to carry heavy loads easier. It is a 37 inch wide bag, and is 12 inches long. The bag comes with all kinds of attachment rings so soldiers can carry more. The new duffle bag traveled well in combat, and the concept is used in the present day Army with more things added that made the duffle bag even better. To make identification easier, Army duffle bags get stenciled with the name and serial number of the soldier that is carrying the bag.

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Canvas Duffle Bags Are Great for Civilian Use Too

Canvas Duffle Bags are an Excellent Form of Canvas Luggage, for Contemporary Civilians too.

Of the many Bags & Backpacks available, the Canvas Duffle Bag is one of the most versatile types of canvas luggage around. They are made to last a long time, and have a high capacity. Canvas duffle bags have been standard military issue since World War II, and most members of the armed forces are permitted to take them home upon discharge.

Before that Barracks Bags were used by soldiers to carry their belongings around. These bags were made of a cotton canvas fabric, and had a drawstring to close the top. Most people today would look at a barracks bag, and think it was a just a laundry sack, this is what they are mainly used for, since the introduction of duffel bags.

Canvas duffle bags were a great refinement when introduced in 1943. They took on a more manageable tube shape, and the drawstring was replaced with a more reliable system. A series of flaps with metal grommets is pulled over a metal loop, and secured with a metal snap link, attached to a shoulder strap. The shoulder strap is the most obvious improvement, and makes packing heavy loads much easier. A carrying handle is also a common addition, making it possible to carry the bag like a suitcase. And some duffel bags have a double harness making it a rather large back pack. And a more rugged cotton canvas fabric is also used.

The versatility, and high capacity of canvas duffle bags, has lead many manufactures to produce commercial copies. They have dressed up the standard olive-drab of the military, with brass hardware and leather trim, making them more appealing to contemporary civilians. And there are chemical treatments, such as the waxed canvas duffel, that make them lighter, more resistance to moisture, stains, and discoloration from sun light. In some cases the cotton canvas is being replaced with more advanced fabrics available with modern technology, like nylon. But, canvas duffel bags are still less expensive, and can be found in larger sizes. And still offer the same variety of colors and options.

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History of Military Duffle Bags

Military duffle bags have a unique and lasting history. The name duffel, comes from the town of Duffel, Antwerp Belgium. In the fifteenth century the town of Duffel began the manufacture of a heavy cloth that was tightly woven. In 1611, they began to export the cloth by ship to Spain and Portugal. Portuguese and Spanish sailors first used the cloth to repair sails. then because of the tight weave, they began to make sea bags, for protecting their belongings from sea spray.

The Duffle Bag in World War 1 & 2

It was during World War I, that the term, duffel bag was first mentioned. The poet E.E. Cummings, was serving as an ambulance driver in France. He wrote a letter detailing his experiences with the military in 1917, and mentions the term, duffel bag. The actual date that the American Military started using the duffel bag, is unclear. It was during the beginning of World War I. The ‘Doughboy Duffel Bag’, was a tan color, with brass eyelets, and a rope cinch. They were shorter than the duffel bags of WWII, about 18 inches long. Hard to carry when loaded, they were often left behind by soldiers in the trenches.

After WWI and before the onset of WWII, the military issued ‘Barracks Bags’, for soldiers equipment and personal belonging’s. These were cloth bags, with rope closures. They were not very practical for traveling or combat.

The Updated Duffle Bag

In 1943 the military again made a change, the ‘Duffle Bag’ as we know it began to be issued. Made from olive drab (od) no.3 canvas. This canvas duffle bag was supplied with 2″ web straps, which made carrying heavy loads easier. It measured 37″ x 12″ x 12″. Closure was made easy by the placement of metal eyelets and a central grommet. It could either be locked with a padlock, or simply secured with end of the shoulder strap.

To make identification easier, army duffle bags are stenciled with the name and serial number of the soldier carrying it. For the Marines they were often stenciled with the Unit information also.

No matter the distance from military duty, the mention of the words duffle bag, will always bring on memories.

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Rolling Duffle Bags

Rolling duffle bags are very good for travelers looking for lightweight baggage with mobility. They come in many shapes and sizes. Most come equipped with a handle for pulling. Some come with shoulder straps for carrying. There are also rolling duffle bags that have straps designed for use as a backpack. This is very good for travelers walking long distances with their baggage. They come in many shapes, styles, and sizes. They are built with multiple compartments and pockets for storage. They also come with zippers for storing smaller items.

Hikers often use rolling duffle bags for long trips because they are durable and well equipped for storage. They can access their gear easily with built in pockets. Their items will remain dry in bad weather. They are very lightweight and hikers can fit a very large amount of gear and supplies inside. They are available in modern styles and can be taken on backpacking trips in the city or places with rugged terrain. They can also be checked as baggage at the airport.

The name originates from the town of Duffel, a town located in Belgium. This is where the strong cloth used to make the bags was originally created. They have been in use since the 1700’s with an original model built by Dooney and Bourke. There have been many models created since then. Many travelers have been using them for a long time to stay mobile while keeping their gear and accessories safe. Some models are fitted with locks to prevent theft of valuables stored inside.

They can be transported through busy environments such as airports and train stations quickly and easily. Travelers of all kinds will find them handy for commuting to school and from the workplace. Rolling duffle bags create a more comfortable traveling experience. They give the traveler added accessibility to their belongings. Those who travel frequently will benefit from the ease with which they can be moved too and from their destinations.

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