🔥 Get up to 20% off tomtoc • Join Pack Hacker Pro

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Review

The tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel’s helpful organization and plentiful space for travel, gym, and work gear make for a practical yet bulky package.

Our Verdict

7.7 /10
Good info






Unlock the Pro Summary

Save time. Get access to brief summaries of our reviews so you can browse and make decisions more efficiently.

Join Pack Hacker Pro or, Sign In


  • Extremely comfortable to carry, even with its bulky size
  • Durable materials protect our gear
  • Space for a laptop and tablet without encroaching on main compartment


  • Only exterior pocket is very large for small quick-grab items
  • Very large with no means of compression for small spaces
  • Wrap around handles occasionally pops open

Technical Details

31 %

Carry-on Compliance

View 45/145 Airlines

44 %

Like the Look

Polled on Instagram

  • Capacity


  • Weight (lb)

    2.61 lb (1.2 kg)

  • Dimensions

    11.8 in x 17.7 in x 9.45 in (30 x 45 x 24 cm)

  • Notable Materials

    rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), Polyester, YKK Zippers, Duraflex Hardware, YKK Buckles

  • Manufacturing Country


  • Tablet Sleeve Size


  • Laptop Compartment Size


  • Warranty Information

    tomtoc Warranty Policy

Full Review

Get up to 20% off tomtoc • Join Pack Hacker Pro

With all of the nickel-and-diming we’re increasingly encountering throughout the travel process, we don’t always want to spend a pretty penny on our luggage and gear just to go on vacation. So, if you’re looking for a brand to get your gear where you need to go without breaking the bank, you may consider tomtoc.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Outdoor
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | It has a clean looks and a lot of room for gear.

They offer bags that are often a fraction of the price of other brands, with many of the same durable materials and features. So, what happens when you pack it all up for a trip? Is the money saved worth it, or will we be left wanting more (and willing to pay for it)? Let’s find out!

External Components

The tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel is a bag that seems like it will live up to the brand’s promise to “Protect Your Digital Gear.” The exterior material is 1680D rPET, a recycled material made from plastic bottles; up to 30 of them, to be exact. As the high denier suggests, it’s thick and sturdy and has no problems handling it as we toss it into the trunk of a car for a road trip, pack it full of clothing for a vacation to Florida, and take it back and forth to the office. Due to its large size, it usually ends up on the ground wherever we’ve brought it, yet it still looks great, without any scuffs or marks to show for it. Dirt brushes off easily, or at least we assume it does since there’s nothing on the bottom at the end of the testing period, despite knowing it’s been on multiple dusty floors. There’s also no pet hair attached, which is surprising since it’s been used as a pooch pillow on multiple occasions.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Logo
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | The sturdy material is durable enough to take whatever you throw at it.

There’s a simple, rubbery tomtoc logo in the top right corner of the bag’s front, and that’s it for branding. It goes well with the simple aesthetic of the bag, as does the black colorway. However, you’re out of luck if you’re a more colorful creature, as there is no other choice of color. It’s black, black, and black.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Zipper
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | It’s easy to open with zippers that include cords and a plastic tab at the end.

We’re happy to see YKK zippers throughout the bag, which have cords woven through the metal pulls that end in plastic tube handles. This makes them easy to grab and gives us the vibes of another durable brand of bags we know and love—Aer. Coincidence? Perhaps. There’s nothing to say that manufacturers can’t use the same materials in the same color in a similar design—but we think the similarity is close enough to point it out. And hey, it’s nice to have options when you have champagne tastes on a beer budget.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Strap Clip 2
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | Swivel clips hook the shoulder strap to D-rings on either side of the bag.

While the product page calls out Duraflex hardware—and we’d be happy to see it—our product sample has YKK hardware, which we also like. It comes in the form of an adjustment slide on the shoulder strap and large swivel clips that attach the strap to the bag. They hook with a gatekeeper style to a D-ring on either side of the bag, and they’re easy to use, with plenty of clearance for the hook to get on and off the ring.

We’re confident you’ll have a similar experience with whichever brand of buckles ends up on your bag, and the YKK ones are working great on ours. With a swivel clip system, you’ll get some twisting and turning of the strap, but that’s a factor of the design more than an issue with the brand. That same style allows you the flexibility of movement we’d have to forgo for a more static attachment. No thanks; we’ll take the good with the slightly annoying.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Top Handle
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | A padded wrap keeps the carry handles together.

We’ll get back to the strap shortly, but it’s not the only way to carry this duffle bag. Thanks to a padded wrap sewn to the rear handle, we can hold the two satiny webbing handles at the top together. It snaps around the front handle, keeping the pair together and making it more comfortable when we want to carry the bag that way.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Side Handle Use
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | More carry handles on the sides give you options for pulling it out of the overhead bin.

Two more carry handles—which include more built-in cush—are located at either side of the back panel. They make it easier to pull the duffle out from the overhead bin on the plane, whichever way you slide it in, or to hang it on a hook in the closet when you’re not using it. There’s also a luggage pass-through on the back to slide it over the handle of some rolling carry on luggage if you need to bring more than one bag.

That back panel has some nice padding because it’s where the laptop compartment is. It’s enough protection for your computer and cushy enough that you don’t really feel your device bumping against your hips as you trek through the airport or up the stairs to the office. How much you stuff the bag impacts that; we feel it more when it’s packed fully than when it’s not. However, getting this bag fully loaded takes a lot, as we’ll get to later on.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Side Strap Use
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | A long section of padding slides along the strap for comfort.

Now, back to the shoulder strap. It’s made with the same smooth webbing as the top carry handles and, like them, feels like a seat belt. However, it includes a long piece of padding that slides along its length so that we can put it exactly where we need it, and it’s lined with breathable mesh to stave off a sweaty shoulder when things heat up. The sleeve on top that allows the strap to slide through is large enough to accommodate the adjuster slide, so we’re not stuck with it remaining on one side of the padding or another. That adjuster is also easy to use while keeping the strap length exactly where we put it, which we really like.

Fit Notes

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Side by Side
Left: Eric Hergenreder, Height: 6’0″ (183 cm), Torso: 18.5” (47 cm) | Right: Kristyne Defever, Height: 5’5” (165 cm), Torso: 17” (43 cm)

As we mentioned, there are a few different ways to carry the bag; which you choose will depend on how much you have packed inside and how long you need to carry it. The top handles are plenty comfortable for making our way to and from an airplane seat and picking it up to set it into a vehicle. However, we prefer to use the shoulder strap when carrying the tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel for longer distances.

Whether you want to swing it over one shoulder or wear it crossbody, the padding does a good job of supporting the weight—as much as a single strap can, of course. Here at Pack Hacker, we’re a little divided, with some of us preferring to carry it over one shoulder and feeling like it pulls a bit at the neck crossbody, and others with a definite preference for crossbody carry. Luckily, we think you’ll find at least one right for you!

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Handle
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | Using the top handles is easier when you’re in tight situations, like boarding the plane.

While this bag has a nice, clean aesthetic and design, there’s still no mistaking that it’s a duffle and probably geared toward more casual situations than formal ones. It’s fine for the office, and we like to use it to carry gym clothing and shoes along with our lunch and laptop to and from work each day, but you may stick out at a business lunch—and it will be harder to find a spot for it under your chair than with a slimmer laptop bag.

Also, pack your patience if you plan to take crowded public transportation because we need a bigger personal bubble when using this bag. It’s hard to be the last one squeezing onto a rush-hour subway car with this bag; that’s all we’re saying. On the other hand, you can keep someone from getting in your face simply by carrying it across your front.

Inside The Duffle

Ah, now for the fun part. There’s a lot going on with this bag, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the tour!

At the front of the duffle is a horizontal zipper. It opens to reveal pretty much the only quick-access pocket on the outside (emphasis on pretty much), but it’s not designed to hold your phone, wallet, and keys. Instead, it’s a water-resistant place for your workout gear or damp clothing. We really like that it keeps your sweaty duds separate from the rest of your gear.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Pocket
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | The front pocket is water-resistant to keep your damp clothing separate from the rest of your gear.

There’s quite a bit of room inside, as it spans nearly the entire front of the bag, both above and below the zipper, so it can easily accommodate a T-shirt and workout pants or a swimsuit if you’re taking this on vacation and want a last dip in the pool. Loop tabs on either side of the zipper track give you something to grab if you need help opening and closing this pocket, but we didn’t need them. When not heading to the gym, we use it as a regular quick grab pocket, mostly for a phone.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Shoe Compartment
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | A built-in shoe compartment keeps your dirty kicks separate from other items.

On the right side is a zipper that opens an upside-down U-shaped pocket. But you may be mistaken if you think this is where you should slot your phone. Sure, it opens to a pocket, but this one expands far into the main compartment to hold your travel shoes.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Socks
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | This mesh pocket can hold the material of the shoe compartment if you don’t need it, or socks when you are using it.

On the flap that opens when you unzip you’ll find a mesh pocket, but its opening is toward the bottom, making it tricky to slide anything slippery inside. Instead, you can use this for small gym essentials like sweatbands or socks, and it also holds the liner material of the pocket if you don’t plan to carry shoes with you. Simply stuff the 210D polyester lining inside to keep it out of your way. We had no issue with it falling out of the pocket, and we found this an easy and elegant solution.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Water Bottle
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | A side bottle pocket holds wide and slim bottles well.

On the left side of the bag is a travel water bottle pocket. It’s as wide as the side of the bag and includes elastic at the top and a fabric gusset to accommodate wider bottles. We like bringing hydration when we travel and to the gym, so it’s a great inclusion, and tomtoc gets bonus points for making it lie completely flat when it’s not in use.

When you turn to the back panel, you’ll find a dual-sided zipper running across the top and about an inch down each side. It’s the entry to the laptop compartment, which we like because it gives us access to our devices without having to unbury them from beneath clothing or other gear.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Laptop Compartment
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | You have room for a large laptop, a tablet, and tech gear in the laptop compartment.

There’s a plush and padded sleeve against the back panel for up to a 17-inch laptop, with a quilted and padded sleeve in front of it for up to a 12.9-inch tablet. Across the way are three large mesh pockets topped with elastic where we slide cords, a mouse, and a wall charger, so you don’t necessarily need to pack a separate tech pouch if you don’t want to. That said, we usually have room to slide a slim one between the two sides for the other tiny tech essentials we bring.

Now, onto the spacious main compartment. What’s nice about the tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel is that it has a nice amount of internal organization, but not so much that you lose the entire reason you wanted a duffle bag in the first place.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Interior Mesh Pockets
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | Lock down smaller gear in mesh pockets so it can breathe.

Against the front panel is a large zippered mesh pocket. However, when we opened it up, we were surprised to see it divided into two very large sections. They’re a great place to pack socks and underwear, gloves and a hat, and other gear that you may not want to get lost at the bottom of the bag yet may need to breathe.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Interior Water Bottle
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | Another bottle pocket awaits you inside the bag.

The left side of the bag includes another water bottle pocket. It’s adjacent to the exterior pocket, but we don’t have any issue filling both at the same time; there is plenty of capacity for both pockets. We find this handy for a bag you may be taking to the gym since you can fill one with water and one with a recovery drink, coffee, or just more water—whatever works best for you.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Inside Pocket Zipper
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | There’s one more zipper pocket against the back side of the main compartment.

Lastly, there’s one more zipper pocket along the back side. It’s smaller and made with the liner material, so it’s a good place for your travel documents and extra cash. In here, they’re easy to find and access since the pocket opens closer to the top of the bag, yet they aren’t an easy target for thieves since the opening can be easily concealed by packing cubes and the rest of your gear if need be.

And after all of that, you still have plenty of remaining space in the main compartment. There’s a sturdy plastic flap covered in liner material that rests against the bottom of the bag to give it structure and help it stand straight for packing. If you’re not carrying as much, you can flip it up to compress the bag’s depth. However, since there are no compression straps, it doesn’t do much, and we leave it resting on the bottom most of the time.

tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel Stuffed
tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel | You can pack for days in this duffle bag.

Truly, there’s a lot of room here. tomtoc says this 30L bag fits enough for a 1-2 day business or weekend trip, but we think they’re being conservative. That, or they need to visit Pack Hacker more often! Indeed, by putting our minimalist packing tips into practice—which, of course, include using packing cubes—we have no trouble packing for a 5-day trip in this bag. Of course, that will depend on where you are going, the weather at your destination, and the size of your clothing. So if you’re a big and tall guy who likes cargo pants and is heading out to Denver, then yeah, you may only get a couple days in here. On the other hand, if you’re closer to average size, pack a travel capsule wardrobe, and you’re heading somewhere warm, you’ll fit in a lot more.

Usage Timeline

Initial Usage

Condition: Excellent

  • The laptop sleeve is super soft
  • It seems really big
  • Materials seem nice and sturdy
2 Weeks of Use

Condition: Excellent

  • Easy to pack for a trip
  • Really like the intuitive organization
  • There are a few loose threads on the wrap for the carry handles
By Kristyne Defever
Created January 2, 2024 • Updated January 2, 2024
Access the Pro Community Discussion

Get your questions about the tomtoc Navigator-T31 Travel Duffel answered from our team and the Pro Community right here on the page. Plus, join discussions with other members about gear, guides, and more.

Join Pack Hacker Pro or, Sign In