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Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 Review

Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2
Best Buy Award
Price:   $140 List | $110.47 at Amazon
Compare prices at 1 resellers
Pros:  More durable and weather resistant than the previous model
Cons:  Wish it was available in one volume larger, Shoulders straps are good but not great,
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Helly Hansen
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor
Sunday

Our Verdict

The Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is the updated version of the Helly Hansen Duffel. It keeps the same basic design but makes a major fabric upgrade that seems far more durable and way more weather resistant. Adding to the increased durability, the stitching around the shoulder straps also seems far more reinforced compared to the failure-ridden older version. The only downside of the new bag? It's no longer a killer deal, it's not more expensive than most of the other duffels in this review, just in line with them; whereas the previous model was around $30 less. Despite the price increase if you are looking for a 90L or smaller travel bag the Helly Hansen holds it own and is a solid contender in all of our performance categories.

New Colors - January 2017
Helly Hansen has changed up their color options for this season's Duffel Bag 2. Keep reading to check them out!


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Travel Duffel Bags of 2017

up to 5 products
Score Product Price Actual weight of a 90-110 liter model Size options Volumne size options (liters)
89
The North Face Base Camp Duffel $145
Editors' Choice Award
4lbs (L) 6(XS-XXL) 33, 50, 69, 95, 150
85
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel $129
Top Pick Award
3lbs 4 (45,60,90,120) 45,60,90,120
85
Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled $350
Editors' Choice Award
8lbs 10 oz (120L) 2 (45L, 120L) 45, 120L
84
Gregory Alpaca Duffel $149
4lbs 1oz (L) 4 (S-XL) 40, 60, 90, 120
83
The North Face Rolling Thunder $319
9lbs 14 oz (30") 19", 22", 30", 36" 33, 40, 80, 155L
82
Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 $140
Best Buy Award
3lbs 15 oz (90L) 4 (30, 50, 70, 90L) 30, 50, 70, 90L
75
Mountain Hardwear Expedition Duffel $125
4lbs 15oz (M) 3 (S-L) 50, 90, 130
70
The North Face Longhaul 30" $300
10lbs 4 oz

Our Analysis and Test Results

New Colors for 2017


While this bag is not currently available in the red color that we tested, we couldn't find any other changes or updates to this bag. For this season, the Duffel Bag 2 is offered in Black/Green, Evening Blue, Racer Blue, Black, and Sunburned Purple, seen below left to right.
Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2
Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2
Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2
Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2
Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2

Hands-On Review


See the chart below to find out where the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 ranked amongst its competition in our duffel review.


Ease of Transport


Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 features two backpack style straps that were above average in our comfort comparison for carrying the duffel for extended distances. We did really like how easily these straps unclipped and tucked away into their own specific pocket (very similar to most haul bag designs). This meant we never had to look for them once we picked this bag up off the luggage carousel or at a train stop. These straps weren't quite as comfortable as The North Face Base Camp Duffel which used a nicer foam and softer feeling face fabric. This difference was even more noticeable when we had on a tank-top or a thin shirt.


Check Out the Duffel Bag 2 Size Options
Helly Hansen Duffel
Hally Hansen makes this great duffel in a variety of versatile sizes. Check out all the options that come in the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2; 90L, 70L, 50L, 30L. Whatever size you need, this duffel has got you covered for whatever adventure you're on.

The backpack-style shoulder straps on the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 were average in comfort compared to most other duffel bags we tested but they are far nicer than not having them at all.
The backpack-style shoulder straps on the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 were average in comfort compared to most other duffel bags we tested but they are far nicer than not having them at all.

The two grab loops on either end of the HH Duffel Bag 2 are easy to grab and help facilitate dragging the bag anytime it's needed. Like all the other duffels in the review, there are also two shorter briefcase style carrying straps that are fairly thin and attach with plastic buckles that didn't break during our testing of this duffel, but don't seem super beefy.

One of our favorite features of the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is how nicely and conveniently the shoulder straps tuck-away into their own little pocket.
One of our favorite features of the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is how nicely and conveniently the shoulder straps tuck-away into their own little pocket.

Ease of Packing


Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 has a large "U" shaped opening that is easy to pack and search for items in. It features a long mesh zippered pocket under the opening which was handy for easily lost items, as well as a single internal zippered mesh pocket that our testers found extremely useful.


Overall we thought the HH Duffel Bag 2 was as easy to pack as any of the highest scoring bags and has near as good the amount of small additional organizational pockets.

The large "D" shaped opening on the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 was easy to pack and allowed for easy searching for more buried items.
The large "D" shaped opening on the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 was easy to pack and allowed for easy searching for more buried items.

The Helly Hansen Duffel also features a small zippered pocket on the exterior of the bag that is nice, but wasn't super easy to get into while the bag was all the way full.

The side zippered pocket on the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is nice but was a little tough to get into when the bag was full.
The side zippered pocket on the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is nice but was a little tough to get into when the bag was full.

Other Features


While a small thing, we do really like the small business card sized window to help identify your bag and make it less likely that someone else will walk off with it by mistake (Think it won't happen to you? It happened to us last year, but we did get it back once the person got home). The Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 also comes with a nice compact storage sack that helps it to fit in a relatively small place when not in use, great for folks in apartments or who just don't have a lot of room.

The Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 in its storage bag.
The Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 in its storage bag.

Durability


The Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is more durable than the previous model and is slightly above average among duffels we tested. We think it offers around the same toughness as the Patagonia Black Hole and is near as durable as The North Face Base Camp Duffel, but isn't as tough as the Black Diamond Huey.


While we think the new fabric has certainly proven itself as being more durable as well as the stitching on the backpack straps which we witnessed two separate failures with the straps blowing out. The new beefy reinforced bottom portion of the Duffel Bag 2 also has proven itself more durable and appears to be an improvement. While ours hasn't failed yet we do wonder how long the plastic buckles holding the primary briefcase style straps will last?

We think the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is far more durable than the previous version and is as durable as most of the bags in our review. The only thing we question is the plastic buckle holding the straps on. Our hasn't broken  but this doesn't seem too burly.
We think the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is far more durable than the previous version and is as durable as most of the bags in our review. The only thing we question is the plastic buckle holding the straps on. Our hasn't broken, but this doesn't seem too burly.

Weather Resistance


Just like with durability Helly Hansen significantly upgraded their weather resistance with the new fabric on the Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2. We think it's at least as water resistant as The North Face Base Camp duffel and the Patagonia Black Hole, and likely a little more so, and far more water resistant than the Wild Things Mule.


Best Applications


The Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is great for most travel applications or some expedition use. We think the largest size; at 90L, is a little small for bigger expeditions or extended trips. We found it to be the right size when we had a few heavy items like a 70m rope and rock protection plus clothing made it work fine, but if we primarily had bulky items like sleeping bags, boots or big down jackets it was a little small feeling before we hit 50 pounds.

Value


At $140 for the 90L size, $125 for the 70L, $110 for the 50L, and $100 for the 30L we no longer think this duffel is the amazing deal it once was as it is inline with most other similarly designed duffels. Compare the similar volume North Face Base Camp size Medium (69L 3lbs 8oz) that is even $5 less at $135 or only $10 more for the size large (95L (5797 in³) 4lbs) at $145.

Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 versus the older Helly Hansen Duffel Bag


The Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2 is more water resistant and after our testing seems significantly more durable. We had problems with the shoulder straps ripping out on a few of the

Conclusion


We think the Helly Hansen Duffel bag 2 is a sweet duffel and deserves as much considerations as much as other higher end duffel bags for expeditions and heavy-duty travel.


Other Versions


Helly Hansen Duffel Bag 2; 90L, 70L, 50L, 30L

Ian Nicholson
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