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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