The Waxed Canvas Duffleback from NoBull

I always wanted to have a proper gym bag, one that was robust, had enough space and didn’t look like a little boy’s school bag. A bag that I could throw around without worrying, but overall it would still look great. I’ve searched the depth of the internet and couldn’t find anything suitable. Either they were too small, too flimsy, too expensive or they just didn’t look good. I wanted something that looked slightly military, rugged and that I could also carry on my back, yes like a common school bag. Just the strap around my shoulder wouldn’t cut it. After looking for so long I was close to just buying any bag, but then by chance, I discovered the new “Waxed Canvas Duffleback (Army)” from NoBull. I had been eyeing their “Traditional Duffle” (Army) for sometime now, but figured it would be too small for my purposes.

Costs and how to get the Nobull Duffleback

After looking for some extensive reviews for the “Waxed Canvas Duffleback (Army)” I couldn’t find a review that was able to answer all my questions. So I figured out I would have to do my own and here I am writing one. After a back and forth of wrestling with myself because of the high price tag, I finally bought one for 200 USD, plus 30 USD delivery charges. Within the U.S., delivery is free of charge but as I live in Europe I had to pay extra – and that was not all. I had to wait 3 long weeks and pay an additional whopping 70 USD import charges!!! Yes, you did read that right! I won’t be buying from the U.S. anytime soon! It still hurts now I have to admit.

Left: When it arrive, right after I added my stuff
Once the Duffleback arrived I was ecstatic to say the least. The moment I picked up the bag from the delivery man I knew this was made of some serious materials, as it was much heavier than I thought.

Once the Duffleback arrived I was ecstatic to say the least. The moment I picked up the bag from the delivery man I knew this was made of some serious materials, as it was much heavier than I thought. I ripped open the packaging, like a little kid opening its Christmas present. There it was, it looked and felt amazing.

I immediately began unpacking my old rucksack which I had been using for years as my only gym bag. It felt good and I noticed straight away that the “Waxed Canvas Duffleback (Army)” from NoBull had much more space and the layout allowed much easier access. A large zipper entrance to the Duffleback opens horizontally, allowing for one-stop easy and quick access.

One of the main reasons I got the Duffleback was the ability to open the bag horizontally, allowing for one-stop easy and quick access.

Ins & Outs of the NoBull Duffleback

The main zippers for the Duffleback are on the inside, so you can only access them when you take the bag off your back. This adds extra security as no one can access it from behind you on the bus or on a stairway. There are two external pockets big enough for smaller things, which I use for my padlock, coins and some keys. The zippers for these two bags are also located towards the inside, so they aren’t that easily accessible by someone unwanted. Additionally, there are two bottle pockets on both sides, which comes in very handy as you can quickly slip in your shaker before you head off to the gym.

There is a built-in, internally padded, 15″ laptop compartment and two tablet compartments. I use these for my battery pack, tissues and other “bigger” stuff. They are pretty solid and should fit most of your smaller gym equipment and accessories. All three are fitted with a zipper so everything stays in place and doesn’t shift around when you move.

Have a look: this is how the Duffleback looks from the front and the back. You can see the water mark on the left, towards the bottom of the bag.

Further, there is MOLLE compatible webbing on the outside straps and inside length of the bag. I haven’t found any usage for this, but I guess you can attach things to it which is nice to have if you need it. On the outside of the Duffleback you have 4 adjustable straps, 2 on each side, which allows you to adjust the width of the Duffleback and provide extra stability and support. This should come in useful if you have to carry something heavier.

My Experience with the “Waxed Canvas Duffleback” from Nobull

I have been using the “Duffleback” for some weeks now and I have to say that so far I am really happy with it. It has enough space for all my gym accessories, it is rugged and easily accessible. It looks really good as well and there is nothing that I have seen so far that even comes close.

The Duffleback from NoBull
The Duffleback allows me to pack everything I need for my sessions in the gym. There is enough space to fit all the accessories you might need.

It is sold as having a water resistant exterior, which is mostly true. However, when I placed mine on a puddle of water on the bench in the gym, it soaked up the water instead of repelling it. I might have to apply some wax of my own, but that is easily done. If it rains you shouldn’t have any issues and the zippers are also water resistant.

My Experience: The only bad thing…

The only negative I could find are the tiny zippers on the back which give you access to the Duffleback. These zippers are the reason why the “Waxed Canvas Duffleback (Army)” only gets a 9/10 and not a 10/10. The zippers are small and seem fragile, and if they break, the whole Duffleback becomes useless. Everytime I open and close the Duffleback (and this happens multiple times per day) I hope I do not break them or rip them out by accident. Not sure if the NoBull team thought of this or if they even tested their creation in a real life environment? This is the only weakness this Duffleback has and it could be a major one.

Here you can see the 3 bags on the inside (left) and the small zippers which do not look very promising.

For a bag that size and made out of such solid materials I would expect the zippers to match the rest and be equally durable and of similar quality. Another downside is the water resistance. If you claim your product to be water resistant, than it should be so.

My Verdict

After using the Nobull Duffleback for a few weeks I can say that it is well suited for its purpose. It is sturdy, looks good and has everything needed such as a spacious layout. It sits well on my back and feels comfortable. I would recommend it to anyone who wants something different and sturdy. The price tag of 200 USD is high but you get what you pay for. This is not your average gym bag, this is something bigger and better. You will be able to use it on your travels or when you go backpacking and it will not disappoint.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Looks very Good
  • Feels comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Good materials used

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not really rain resistant
  • Flimsy zippers which can break easily

16 Replies to “The Waxed Canvas Duffleback from NoBull

  1. I’ve been eyeing this bag for the longest time, but i’ve been hesitant due to it’s hefty price tag and the lack of reviews. After yours though, i think i’m going ahead to get one. Thanks!

  2. The review was very helpful and thank you for making it.

    For the record water resistant is different than water proof. Water proof material can be submerged and not absorb water. Water resistant means that water sprayed will run down and not soak in, such as rain.

  3. hi..so..after u used for sometimes…how’s the zippers performing?

    still tough?? as u mention the zippers cab break easily.

    thanks

    1. Hi Andy,
      Thank you for your enquiry. Zippers stronger than I thought and still going on without any incident.

  4. So, the only way to get to your stuff is to lay the bag down and unzip it? There isn’t a way to keep it upright and unzip a little to get to the inside? Not sure I’d like that for the gym. Thanks

    1. Hey there Michelle,
      you can unzip it upright as far as you want. I do it all the time to get to the pockets on the inside.

  5. Great review!!!

    Finally find this great review about this backpack.

    I love this faded waxed green canvas, looks very natural and comfortable.

  6. Hey,
    How much does it weight and do you have any photos of it on your back? Would be great to see the size on a body…
    Thanks for a great review otherwise!

    1. Hi Oskar,
      thank you for your feedback. It isn’t too heavy at all but still solid. I might take a picture tomorrow and add it, as I can understand your point of view.

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