Photo: Jessica Hughes

This Duffel Bag Is Perfect for Ski Trips, No Matter Your Level

by Jessica Lynn Hughes Nov 14, 2023

Planning a ski trip is a fun experience – until you realize all the gear you’ll need to bring to make it a success. Upon this realization, packing can be a bit stressful. As an avid skier and frequent traveler, I want the packing process to be as stress-free as possible. Because of this, I rarely ever travel with a traditional suitcase. I am almost always sprinting from one place to the next with a backpack or duffel. So, when it came time to retire my old backpack after years of weekend warrior trips from Denver to Breckenridge and Keystone, I decided to upgrade to the redesigned Alpaca Duffel from Gregory.

We hope you love the Gregory Alpaca Duffel! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to make a purchase.

From inside and out, the features of the Alpaca Duffel are everything you need for an easy-to-pack ski weekend. To start, the duffel’s U-zip opening from the top makes it easy to access all your gear with one zip. On either side of the duffel, the full-length daisy chains offer a myriad of lashing options for extra gear. If I am road-tripping to the slopes, I find this feature handy for attaching my helmet or other bulky items.

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Taking a ski trip? Check out Matador’s ski gear guides:

Perks of the Gregory Alpaca Duffel

gregory alpaca duffel open

Photo: Jessica Hughes

New features inside make this duffel a ski traveler’s dream with an expandable zippered end pocket to keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones. I loved the exterior zippered side access so I could easily put my dirty clothes or shoes away without having to open the entire pack. Plus, two mesh interior lid zippered pockets to help keep my other essentials organized and close at hand was a favorite feature for me.

To prove its packability and functionality, the updated Alpaca Duffel also now comes with its own packing cube. As a frequent traveler, I am a big fan of packing cubes. So, it was nice to see this duffel come with one. I used it to pack my toiletries and smaller items I wanted to keep in one place. When empty, the duffel folds into the packing cube for effortless storage and with an exterior handle it’s easy to carry.

What I packed in my Gregory Alpaca Duffel

gregory alpaca duffel packing cube

Photo: Jessica Hughes

The Alpaca Duffel comes in four different sizes — 45L, 60L, 90L, and 120L. I chose the 60L, which is just enough space to fit everything you need for a ski trip. I didn’t have to think too hard when packing this duffel. Inside the main compartment, I was able to pack my bulky ski pants and jacket, two sets of base layers, two pairs of jeans, two sweaters, a pair of ankle-height boots, a couple of t-shirts, lounge pants, a beanie, a balaclava, and goggles. I utilized the packing cube for my toiletries, bathing suit (for snowy nights in the hot tub), underwear, three pairs of ski socks, ski gloves, and my book.

Another big win for the Alpaca Duffel is that I never had an issue zipping it up with its oversized T-grip zippers. So many times, I have had to crunch, squish, and cringe as I tried to close other bags, but not this duffel. It was smooth zipping all the way. Because of the T-grip, I could get good leverage when closing even when the duffel is stuffed.

The Gregory Alpaca Duffel vs. other duffel bags

gregory alpaca duffel with helmet

Photo: Jessica Hughes

While you can certainly find other duffels with similar features, one thing that stood out to me was the brand’s commitment to sustainability with the making of these duffels. Using a life cycle analysis tool, Gregory was able to reduce the carbon footprint of each new duffel by 56% (Alpaca 60). The best part, it didn’t seem to compromise on fit or function.

Matador has tested other duffel bags including weekenders from Patagonia and The North Face. The Gregory Alpaca Duffel is better than these two for ski trips, due to the strapping, U-zip opening, and T-grip zippers. It’s equally durable and weatherproof.

Optimal durability: Opening the bag, I instantly felt the tough construction with the water-resistant TPU coating and 40% recycled 900D polyester. I feel confident flinging this bag in my trunk with skis, boots, and other gear resting on top. Plus, with its abrasion-resistant bottom with added foam, I am confident setting this bag down anywhere even on snow and ice. I also know I won’t have to worry about getting caught in a snowstorm or something spilling on it with its water-resistant exterior.

Ease of transport: When you have other big gear to worry about, such as skis and boots, easy transport of everything else is essential. That’s what I love about this duffel, you can haul it around however you choose. Use it as a backpack with its removable shoulder straps, carry it briefcase-style, or sling it over your shoulders with the two reinforced haul handles. I also loved the dual handles at either end, making it easy to quickly lift and drag the duffel anywhere you need to go.

Downsides or negatives: While I found no significant weaknesses with the Alpaca Duffel, the 60L size when fully packed is too big as a carry-on. I like this bag for its size, big enough to fit what I need but small enough that I can manage it on my own. But because of its durability and lifetime guarantee, I don’t worry about checking it for a flight and sending it through baggage claim.

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Shopping for a travel duffel bag? Check out Matador’s detailed duffel bag reviews:

Gregory Alpaca Duffel specs

gregory alpaca duffel open

Photo: Jessica Hughes

Capacity: Available in 45, 60, 90, and 120-liter sizes


  • Main body: 900-denier diamond rip-stop polyester with TPU coating
  • Bottom panel: 630-denier nylon


  • T-grip zipper for easy zipping, even when stuffed
  • U-zip opening to reach everything on the inside
  • Removable backpack straps
  • Padded grab handles
  • Internal mesh pocket
  • Compression straps
  • Daisy chains for attaching additional gear
  • Weather-resistant materials
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Taped seams


  • 45L: 3.57 lbs
  • 60L: 3.95 lbs
  • 90L: 4.35 lbs
  • 120L: 4.78 lbs


  • 45L: 13.8″ x 29″ x 14.6″
  • 60L: 15.4″ x 30.3″ x 16.2″
  • 90L: 17″ x 32″ x 17.7″
  • 120L: 18.5″ x 33.5″ x 19.3″

Color Options: Varies by size

Warranty: Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects

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