Where can I buy those huge American Army duffel bags in the UK?
September 19, 2012 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Where can I buy those huge American Army duffel bags in the UK?

I'm unable to find a clear photo but quite often when bands fly over from the US they bring merchandise in huge duffel bags, around 4ft long I guess. They have a zip across them.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3 (Imagine if this was just huge)

I am told you can pick them up in any Army Surplus shops in American however I was wondering if anyone knows if

A) These are available in the UK?
B) What is the correct term for them so I know what to ask/search for?

posted by rinsemedown to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total)
I believe this is what I'm on about


Does anyone know where I can get a couple of these in the UK?
posted by rinsemedown at 11:22 AM on September 19, 2012

How about http://www.transworldsurplus.co.uk/51-kit-bags ? Not US models and not quite 4 feet long (nearer 3), though. Searching for "kit bag" on UK army surplus store websites might be helpful.
posted by pont at 11:29 AM on September 19, 2012

Your third example is called a "holdall" in England, but the first two are typically not.
posted by Jehan at 11:50 AM on September 19, 2012

The Marines, at least, call it a "Sea Bag".
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:55 AM on September 19, 2012

The duffel bag in the first of your photos is not a zippered bag. I'm 95% certain it's the GI Type II duffel, which is a "top load" style bag. It has a fairly unique closure where the top folds down and then there's a ring that pokes through a series of grommets and then a clip that goes through the ring to hold everything together. It's much tougher and easier to repair than a zipper, but less convenient for getting stuff in and out.

The Germans, on the other hand, have a somewhat similar duffel with a side zipper. Perhaps that's what you've been seeing around, and what you actually want. It might be easier to get a German surplus bag in the UK than a US-surplus one, too.

If you don't mind the top closure, you can also look for US Navy "sea bags", which are similar to the US Army duffels, except they only have a single shoulder strap rather than two as the modern Army bags do, and I think they may be a bit taller. That design hasn't changed since WWII so there are a lot of them around.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:01 PM on September 19, 2012


I'm pretty sure I found what I was looking for on eBay, it this


Do you have any idea on what this bag is officially called/if it even is US issue?

posted by rinsemedown at 12:07 PM on September 19, 2012

I've seen those in every single army surplus store I have been in when back home in the UK. So its likely your local one will have examples of them.
posted by Brockles at 1:21 PM on September 19, 2012

I think those are the same as the ones sold here, which AFAICT are not actual US military surplus... though they do strike me as the sort of things that you can probably buy in a lot of military surplus stores. The only actual piece of issue gear that I've ever seen resembling that is a "parachute bag", but those are more square. (You can Google if you're interested, but here is one from a US retailer.)

I think what you are seeing is basically a big holdall made with military-style canvas fabric and hardware, possibly because the actual military design (with the top closure and, in recent incarnations, dual shoulder straps) is inconvenient for the desired civilian usage that most people want.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:51 PM on September 19, 2012

In the UK, most of the ones you will find in surplus stores are old British Army duffel bags, which are narrower than the US version. Seconding you probably want to try and find a German one.
posted by Happy Dave at 11:11 PM on September 19, 2012

posted by Dr.Pill at 3:54 PM on September 21, 2012

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