DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel Review
The DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel continues DB Journey’s innovative line of luggage. Duffel-shaped, the Roamer wears like a backpack, goes in hand like a duffel, and organizes as well as your favorite wheeled luggage. All that and it’s built to take a beating just like your favorite camp bag.
- Main fabric: 100% Recycled Nylon 840D Ballistic with face carbonate PU coating & back PU coating, GRS certified, PFC Free
- Lining: 100% Polyester 200D Mesh
- Back panel: 100% Polyester interlock
- Ribcage: Recycled Polyethylene Hardboards
- Weight: 2kg for 70L
- Size Tested: 70L
- Sizes Available: 50, 70, 90 liter
- Country of Origin: Vietnam
What is a Split Duffel?
The DB Journey Roamer is, unlike all other duffels, split right down the middle. When unzipped, it folds into two equal halves. No more digging all the way to the bottom of your duffel to find what you need as it’s now split and much easier to access. As an added bonus, there is a handle on the inside between the two halves. When you grab the handle and lift, the bag almost balances itself making it much easier to move when open.
As the name suggests, the DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel splits into two compartments when unzipped. As opposed to a conventional duffel where the entirety of the top opens, the Roamer has a two-way zip that unzips the bag right down the middle. You are then presented with two equal halves that are covered by separate panels. Both sides have zippered pockets that run the length of the bag inside them.
Each half of the Roamer is zipped shut by perforated nylon panels. This keeps the contents from falling out when you open the bag. The left panel is mesh on the top and solid nylon on the bottom. If you are packing something dirty or wet the nylon will adequately;y separate it from the right half. This panel also has two zipped pockets, one that is ¾ the length of the panel and the other ¼ the length of the panel. They are perfectly sized for single items or even books to be kept at the ready.
The right side of the duffel is covered by a perforated nylon panel to allow the contents a little more airflow than the left side.
Comfortable on the Back
Where a regular duffel has a large nylon flap against the wearer’s back, the DB Journey Roamer has a regular backpack pad-like material. It’s more breathable than a normal duffel bag’s nylon panel and therefore, more comfortable. Adding to this comfort is the Rib-Cage construction (see below) which creates a frame-like support allowing the bag to carry better than a regular duffel.
To build on the carrying comfort, the DB Journey Roamer has shoulder straps that would be great on a regular backpack. Well-padded, both straps feature a large range of adjustability for sizing.
Then, there are the full-size load lifters that help keep the Roamer close to your back. Thanks to the Rib-Cage construction on the back pad, the load lifters make a huge difference.
Finally, we have the chest strap. It adjusts in height via a hook and ladder system and closes with my favorite clasp, a Fidlock. Fidlocks are clasps that close via a magnet. Get opposing halves together and the magnets pull the clasp close. When it’s time to undo the buckles, simply rotate the buckle to undo it. Magnetic magic. It’s nice not to fiddle with a small buckle when a loaded-out 70L duffel is on your back.
Protection and Support from Rib-Cage Construction
The DB Journey Roamer, like all of their luggage offerings, features Rib-Cage Construction (herein RCC). RCC is strong and lightweight polymer ribs that take the place of other more traditional padding materials. It is lightweight and offers protection as well as adds structure to the Roamer bag. Thanks to that structure the Roamer is able to sit upright, just liek in the above photo, with absolutely nothing in it.
Hook Up System
Another one of DB Journey’s signature features is the Hook Up System. The Hook Up system is comprised of a nylon connection rail and a corresponding buckle, on a different bag. The idea is to be able to hook a non-wheeled bag such as the Roamer to a wheeled bag, such as the Hugger Roller Bag or Snowroller.
I haven’t managed to get my hands on these bags (yet!) but I have had to do some longer walks with the Roamer and Hugger Backpack as my hands were full. It worked surprisingly well. I had to lean a little extra far forward to keep the Hugger Backpack from bouncing too much, but the combo carried quite well. I can imagine when combined with a wheeled bag that the Hook Up system works very well.
Overview of the DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel
When I first received the DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel I really wasn’t sure what it was trying to be, a duffel bag or a regular piece of luggage. Fortunately, it manages to be both without making any sacrifices. I’ve taken it on flights to Bella Coola, Road Trips to the Rockies, and to Mexico. It’s been a fantastic girl hauler on all the adventures.
At 70L, the bag has more than enough room for a two-week trip. I am able to separate gear and clothing into halves without the need for extra stuff sacks to keep things organized. Gear on one side, clothing on the other. The pockets included on the panels keep smaller items organized such as belts, or in my case, books and other documents. The 50L would be great for long weekend trips and the 90L for anything much more than two weeks.
The more I’ve used the DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel the more I like it. I typically travel with a 90 or 120L duffel when I head out for work. The organization of the Roamer 70L has made all the difference. Gear stays in its place and the bag is easily adapted for different style trips. It’s strong and subtle in black (not so with the yellow Kotensburg model!). I’ll be bringing it to Europe with me this summer to continue testing its durability (taxi transfers on the TMB are more rugged than flight transfers)
Who is the DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel for?
The DB Journey Roamer SPlit Duffel is for travelers looking for duffel bag strength and versatility with luggage quality separation and features.
Black Sheep Adventure Sports was provided with a free sample of the DB Journey Roamer Split Duffel. This in no way affected our opinion and review.