North St. Bags Scout 6L Duffle Review
The North St. Scout 6L Duffle is a great companion bag for beach trips and weekend getaways—even more so with the optional bicycle kit.
- Made of durable, quality materials
- Available in a wide variety of colorways (including custom options)
- The perfect amount of organization
- You only get the stiffener sheet if you buy the extra bicycle or trunk kits
- The bag isn’t breathable, meaning it can trap some odor from smellier items inside
- Doesn’t pack as flat or wear as comfortably as other bags out there of a similar size
0.9 lb (0.4 kg)
6.5 in x 11 in x 6.5 in (16.5 x 27.9 x 16.5 cm)
If you’ve ever wanted a duffle, but have been intimidated by the large size—then you’ll be happy to meet the North St. Scout 6L Duffle.
All jokes aside, this 6L Duffle truly does look like a miniature version of its namesake. While we weren’t initially convinced that the world needed a cuter duffle, we’ve found it to be surprisingly useful in our three months of testing. It works great as a beach bag, gym bag (though it won’t hold clunky gym shoes), or for short weekend trips.
So let’s check it out.
Materials & Aesthetic
As we’ve said, the North St. Scout 6L Duffle looks like a duffle. Only miniature. And like all miniature things, it’s much cuter than its full-sized comrades (which we can definitely get behind).
It’s available in seven colorways at the time of this review. But, if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can actually make a custom colorway and choose from a huge variety of colors for the shell, straps, and cords. You can truly go wild here.
We’ve spent a good amount of time playing on the North St. website, clicking through a bunch of different custom colorways. Some of our best combinations? Bright red shell, orange straps, and yellow cords—a colorway we’ve dubbed “Majestic Sunrise.” Or a yellow shell, gold straps, and gold cords, we’ve named “Lavish Mustard.” If you’d rather go for something classier, we’ve also come up with “Harmonious Seaside” which is a teal shell, black straps, and baby blue cords.
We’ve been testing the simple and non-custom colorway, Burgundy. While we think it looks nice, it’s no “Lavish Mustard.”
The colorway you go with—or if you go custom—impacts the materials. You’ll either get a 1000D CORDURA® nylon lined with X-Pac sailcloth, or a waterproof VX shell lined with 210D pack cloth. Either way, this duffle is seriously durable and seriously water-resistant.
No matter what, the zipper is a #10 YKK AquaGuard®, which repels water with a thin coating of polyurethane.
We wouldn’t recommend swimming with this thing, but it’ll certainly protect your stuff if you’re ever caught in a rainstorm.
Now, this weather-resistance essentially seals off the interior. Which is a great thing…for the most part. But keep in mind that it’s not breathable. If you carry food or sweaty gym clothes inside of it, some odd smells can start to collect (not that we’re, uh, speaking from experience). Luckily, it cleans fairly easily.
One of the best things about the North St. Scout 6L Duffle is its versatility in terms of carry.
There are two top handles, so you can simply hold it in your hands. There’s also a detachable shoulder strap, so you can hang it over one shoulder or wear it crossbody.
If you purchase the optional bicycle handlebar kit, you’ll also have two velcro straps to mount it to your bicycle. We’ve found that it works really well attached to a bike. It sits snugly against your handlebars and doesn’t bounce around much. We definitely recommend grabbing the bike kit if your travels or daily life ever include a bicycle.
If you purchase the optional trunk kit, you’ll get velcro trunk straps that’ll connect to a larger bag and/or luggage. This is great for travel as you can leave your larger bag behind and bring the duffle on short excursions. That said, we don’t think this bag is the best companion for one bag travel (we’d recommend packable daypacks or sling bags instead). It doesn’t pack super flat or wear comfortably for long periods of time.
Still, we’ve used the trunk straps fairly frequently. It’s nice as a daily driver—you can attach this duffle to your work backpack and then take it off when you head to the gym at 5.
Inside the Duffle
When you open this sucker up, you’ll be greeted with, well, not much. Which exactly what we like to see on a duffle this small. Too much organization and it would chop up the usable space.
First of all, you’ll see the pocket where the “stiffener panel” (a frame sheet) sits. You only get this stiffener panel if you purchase the bicycle handlebar or trunk kits, which is a bit of a bummer. We think the stiffener sheet adds a lot of value, even when the duffle is not attached to a bike or luggage. It keeps the duffle from being a floppy mess and protects your stuff. We’ve thrown some food inside this thing—including a very fragile PB & J sandwich—and the stiffener panel has ensured the bread doesn’t get smushed.
There’s one other zipper pocket, which offers a nice bit of organization for your smaller items: phone, keys, wallet, things of that nature. It has a key leash, but we haven’t used it much as this pocket is so small you won’t have to dig around for your keys even if they aren’t leashed. But it’s there if you need it and doesn’t get in your way if you don’t.
We’ve also used this pocket as a place to store the detachable shoulder strap or handlebar straps when they’re not in-use.
The rest of the interior is a big, open space. As we’ve said, we think of this as a feature. It allows you to cram a good amount of stuff inside. We’ve thrown in a couple of changes of clothes for a weekend trip (flip flops, a bathing suit, and towel for a day at the beach) and our gym clothes for a post-work gym session.
We also like that the interior is a different, usually brighter color from the exterior, allowing you to easily see what you’ve got inside. It’s a feature we always praise. (Check out the Topo Designs Accessory Bags to see a product that’s taken it to the next level.)
Durability & Testing
We’ve been testing the North St. Scout 6L Duffle for three months now in Detroit, Michigan. It’s made of some tough stuff, so, as expected, we have no durability issues to report (not even a single loose thread). And we expect it’ll hold up for years to come.
One final thing to note—each duffle is custom made in the USA, so your order may take a couple weeks to make, depending on the colorway you choose. So keep that in mind and be sure to plan ahead if you want to use this on your next trip.
- Multiple ways to carry including shoulder strap and bike handle attachment.
- Waterproof materials keep everything dry.
- Stiffener panel adds rigidity to keep items from being crushed.
Still looking good.
Started to smell a little bit, but wiping it down cleared that right up.
Overall, we think North St. has done a nice job with the Scout 6L Duffle. It’s simple, durable, and hasn’t been compromised with excessive features or organization. While it doesn’t pack as small or wear as comfortably as some packable backpacks or sling bags out there, it works well for beach trips or weekend excursions. We think it’s particularly handy with the optional bicycle kit, which allows you to securely connect the duffle to your handlebars and comes with a stiffener panel that keeps the bag’s shape.
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