Customized Duffle Bags: Your Swag Upgrade Solution

April 22, 2023

An on-brand personalized duffle bag can be a fun, unique, and sustainable addition to your swag collection! See tips for designing one with staying power!

If you’ve been considering adding personalized duffel bags to your custom merch portfolio, you can feel good about your future investment. As a sustainable swag option, customized or even monogrammed duffle bags are a practical option today that recipients can continue using on repeat. 

Here we take a look at the many different options available, ways to add customization, and the latest trends, so you can pick the one that works best for your audience. In addition, you’ll discover sample bags that you can use for inspiration when creating your own bag, or as a blank slate to design your own. 

What makes a good duffle bag for customization?

Almost any bag can be customized, however, if you want to make sure you’re customizing a bag that your recipient will actually use, there are important features that you should take into consideration, After all, what’s the point of personalizing gym bags or custom duffel bags if no one wants to use it? 

Shown: AsColour Contrast Duffel Bag  

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Bag for Customization

1. Material 

Look for a duffel bag made of a material that can easily be embroidered or printed on. Canvas, nylon, and polyester are popular options.

2. Color

Duffel bags come in a slew of colorways, as well as neutrals. While white or black bags can be a good option for customization, since they provide a blank canvas for your design, it’s important to think through what your recipient would like to use as well as your branding. 

For instance, while white is a great choice for branding, it may not fare the best for commutes since it will show dust and dirt faster. Therefore, finding a style that is on-brand and practical us important. 

3. Size 

Consider the size of the duffel bag, and choose one that is large enough to accommodate the personalization you want to add. A bag with a large surface area will offer more room for your design. In addition, you will want to consider your budget, and the size and style should play into that.  

4. Design

By finding a modern, simple style that leaves room for customization, you can ensure that your design has the room it needs to be seen. 

5. Quality

Choose a high-quality duffel bag that will last for years to come will give your branded swag more marketing power. A well-made bag that holds up to wear and tear of travel and everyday use, is more likely to be passed on to new recipients as time goes on. 

Should you include duffle bags in your swag kit?

Including duffle bags in your swag bag can be a great way to engage with your recipient while building brand recognition. Depending on your target audience and the purpose of your swag kit, you’ll want to take into consideration the following tips. 

3 Tips for adding your bag to a swag kit:

1. Relevance. 

The great thing about a custom bags are that you can tailor them to a wide variety of people and interest groups since they are so versatile. For your swag bags, think through how our recipient will use it. 

Do they travel frequently? If so, maybe personalized rolling duffle bags will be most appreciated. Or possible, they will use it for commutes to work in, in which case features like laptop sleeves and tech options would be most valuable. Or, perhaps weekend getaways or everyday outings is more your speed. In that case, maybe all you need is a padded shoulder strap and inside pocket. 

2. Cost. 

While relevance can help determine your duffel bags place in a swag kit and what features you may want to lean toward, it shouldn’t supercede your budget. And, depending on all those “extras,” just like any other product, the price per piece can add up. 

Luckily there are countless options available from  more inexpensive custom styles to luxury corporate gifting options. So for the best investment, consider the budget allocated for your swag kit and weigh the cost of duffle bags against other items that could be included. By working with a company like Gemnote, you can also get amazing product  recommendations in your budget. 

3. Branding 

Because duffle bags offer ample space for branding and customization, they are a brilliant way to show off your logo. To get the most out of your custom merch and increase the recognition and exposure for your company, make sure your designs  are on-brand. 

4 Types of Personalization for Duffle Bags 

Here are four popular options to consider when customizing your bag.  

1. Screen printing

Screen printing is a popular option for customizing duffel bags since it is durable, cost effective, and versatile. With screen printing, you can customize your bag with a wide range of designs, logos, text, and images from simple to complex. 

Photo courtesy of A24 Films; Shown: Online Ceramics x X Pearl Duffle

2. Embroidery

Another durable option for creating custom bags is embroidery. This type of customization is a popular option creating monogram duffle bags, but can also be used for text, logos, and images.

Many companies choose to customize with embroidery because of its professional appearance. Thanks to the crisp and clean appearance of the precise stitching, you can achieve a very sophisticated look.

Shown: Cutter & Buck® 19” Cotton Weekender Duffel

3. Patches

A durable patch can be a great option for customizing a sustainable tote or duffle, since patches  can me designed in an array of sizes and colors. In addition, patches can be used to highlight a  minimal style or offer neutral ground against a busy print. 

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters; Shown Urban Outfitters Terra Thread Organic Cotton Gym Bag

4. Label 

Similar to a patch, labels are also a durable option that can be designed in a variety of colors. Furthermore, in addition to adding a label to the outside of your bag, labels can also be placed on the inside or even on the shoulder. 

This a great option for those looking to brand and sell their own custom design. 

Shown: State Weekender Bag 

Types of Duffle Bags

Just like sustainable totes, duffels are available in plenty of custom styles to appeal to your audience. Here we’ve listed some popular options.  

1. A Travel Duffle

Looking for something that’s perfect for those on the go? Travel bags or personalized rolling duffle bags are exceptional options. 

Nice-to-have features: 

  • Extra pockets 
  • Airplane compliant (for use as a carry on)

Shown: Timbuk2 Jet Set Travel Duffel Bag

2. Sports Bag Personalized

What makes these gym bags even better? Your company's personalization of course! Add your logo and branding to name brand athletic brands like adidas, Nike, Under Armour, and more or choose a blank canvas to make it your own. 

Nice-to-have features: 

  • Pockets for small items like a phone and keys 
  • Inside mesh pockets for sweaty duds

Shown: Adidas 3-Stripe Duffel

3. Custom Work Bag

Work means different things to different people since it can differ among industries. Luckily, is a hardworking duffel to accommodate them all. For jobs on site, choose a brand those known for its heavy lifting like Carhartt. Or for the office, a minimal silhouette and modern design, like Timbuk2, can offer an air of professional style. Plus, these also make ideals styles for monogram duffle bags. 

Nice to have features: 

  • Durable construction 
  • Multiple pockets 

Shown: Carhartt® Foundry Series 20” Duffel

Shown: Timbuk2 Authority laptop backpack

4. Weekend Bag 

Rain or shine, the weekend is coming, and a weekender bag should accommodate! 


Nice-to-have features: 

  • Pockets for small items like a phone and keys 
  • Waterproof shell 

Shown: Rains Weekend Bag 

5. The Hybrid 

Who doesn’t like options? Some of the best personalized duffel bags can convert into a backpack. Which in terms of swag, is like giving two custom gifts in one!   

Nice to have features: 

  • Durable construction 
  • Multiple pockets 
Shown:  Turtle Backpack Duffel

Duffle Bag trends in 2023

Sustainable materials

Many manufacturers are now using eco-friendly and sustainable materials in their duffel bags, such as recycled polyester like the one below. 

Shown: InCase A.R.C. Tech Tote

Extra Details

Inside and outside pockets, leather details, contrast stitching… adding that extra touch keeps these styles unique and memorable!

Shown: Port Authority ® Cotton Canvas Duffel

Multi-Functional Designs

Whether it’s a hybrid design that converts to a back pack or a separate compartment for shoes and or dirty duds, a bag that does more, goes farther!

Shown: Thule® Chasm 40L Duffel

Sports Bag Personalized

Custom gym bags will always remain a favorite thanks to their hard working design and as a workout essential. 

Shown: The North Face® Apex Duffel

Tech-friendly Duffels 

To the office or to the airport, with USB ports, charging stations, and RFID-blocking pockets, laptop sleeves… security and convenience is literally in the bag!

Shown: InCase EO Duffel 

Retro styles: 

What’s old always seems to be new again and that’s what makes retro styles a fun option for personalizing. 

Shown: Topo Designs Classic Duffel 

Browse our branded bags available for personalization

There are a lot more styles, brand, and colors where these from. For more stellar options, be sure to browse our bag collection to see how you can create the perfect  personalized duffle bag! 

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