Q. Which is better for camping, a duffel or a backpack?
– Thoughtful Theo, London, England
A. Well, Theo, it depends on what sort of camping you have planned. If you’ll be car camping, a duffel bag is the better choice since it has just one large compartment for easily stuffing things inside — think of it as a mobile closet for all your gear. On the other hand, if you’ll be backpacking (hiking miles to a backcountry campsite), a traditional backpack is definitely the better choice. Although some duffels do have shoulder straps, they aren’t designed to carry loads comfortably for long distances the way an internal- or external-frame backpack is.