Duffle bags, carry-ons, saddlebags, suitcases, backpacks, smuggler bags; they are all just bags, right? Not if you want to sound more intelligent or avoid offending people who love fashion they are not! Zero in on two kinds of bags here for a second. One is a duffle, and most people know what a duffle bag is, and the other is a smuggler bag. Here are their differences and why it is important to know the difference.
Typically, duffle bags are oblong and/or rectangular in shape. Most duffle bags make the perfect carry-on bag on a plane because they conveniently fit in the overhead storage compartments perfectly. They may be basic, have lots of storage pockets, roll along on wheels, and/or have shoulder straps so that you can carry and wear them like a backpack. With the exception of oversized duffle bags (which can hold a child or small adult—that is how big they are!), all other duffles are the perfect travel bag.
Smuggler bags, so named because they resemble bags originally carried by smugglers or pirates, are generally oversized purses. Some duffle bag manufacturers call their bags "smuggler," but they are incorrect. A smuggler tends to be a little flatter, like a messenger bag, but with extra pockets or "secret" compartments for "smuggling" small treasures around.
If you googled something like "Designer Faux Leather Smuggler Bag," you would get some mixed results from everything like an oversized backpack to a dog purse to a satchel. The important thing to keep in mind is what a real smuggler's bag has always looked like, going back centuries. Then you can tell the difference among a real smuggler bag and dozens of other bags that have stolen the moniker but not the look.
Why Knowing the Differences Is Important
It is important to know the differences between a duffle bag (or any other kind of bag!) and a smuggler bag. One, you would not want to meet a fashion editor or designer and refer to your faux leather backpack as a smuggler bag. They would be appalled and refuse to hire you. Two, a true smuggler bag is small enough to be counted as a "purse or other personal item," which is a "free" item to carry with you onto a plane along with your duffle bag. Finally, three, you sound more intelligent (and therefore more impressive!) when you can tell the differences between various types of ladies' bags and travel bags.