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The North Face Rolling Thunder Duffel - 31'' Specs
7,325 cubic inches
1 + main compartment
31.5 x 16 x 14 inches
11 lbs. 10 oz.
Gear capacity (L)
Gear capacity (cu. in.)
Number of exterior pockets
The North Face Rolling Thunder Duffel - 31''
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The North Face Rolling Thunder Duffel - 31''is rated3.0out of5by2.
Rated4out of5byREI-EsqfromI Love This Monster of a Bag! Fits All.What a great find!
I have to tell you that I own 7 pieces of luggage from Samsonite, Eagle Creek, Delsey, Kenneth Cole & North Face, from my years of travel and really did not need an 8th one, but I am glad that I found Rolling Thunder Large.
It fills a void in my luggage wardrobe that no other piece of luggage can match. Taking up less surface space on the ground, narrow, and fits more.
This is the largest, or one of the largest travel bags on wheels that you will find that the airlines will allow you to check in without an oversize charge. NF squared off every edge to maximize the space without violating any airline rules.
How much can you put in it? How does it roll? How heavy? When I first got it, I conducted a number of tests to see if this is a keeper. One of which is depicted in the photo attached.
What I did is haul out a bunch of clothing, piled it in, weighed it, and took off to wheel it around the house and block. So you can see in the photo, I put in 11 Pairs of heavy men's Jeans (never would I travel with so much), 20 T-shirts, 8 Long Sleeve Shirts, 4 Sweaters, 1 Fleece Jacket, and 1 pair of shoes (not shown). I used my luggage scale to weigh the bag empty: 12 lbs 2 oz, and with all the above in it: 47.6 lbs. There was so much extra space--you could have fit another 15+ lbs in there but I did not want to exceed the 50 limit. Women's clothes are lighter and women can fit a lot more in than men I have seen. Feel a need to travel with your down comforter and pillow?—no problem—it will fit.
If I was car traveling--I would have been able to take everything I wanted from my attire without thinking if it would fit. I would use this bag if just for a weekend—just put in what you think you may need and sort it out later—no hassle—easy packing—it will fit. When in doubt—pack it in the Rolling Thunder.
Maneuverability: I am 5'10" and the handle height of the bag and angle was fine for my height and it was easy to pull on carpet in the house, airport, as well as on the sidewalk. You need to test it yourself. I was able to also simultaneously roll a carry-on in my other hand no problem. The Rolling Thunder is more stable than my suitcases, does not tip back and forth, and fits in narrow passages. It is also easier to pick up to put in cars than a suitcase, and because it's soft you won't get scrapped or bruised if you bump it. Because the pull handle is soft, pulling it is a lot easier than pushing it—plan to pull it mainly.
It does not have a stiff retractable handle assembly which would take up packing space inside, and add more weight, defeating the usefulness of the bag.
Weight: Buy a luggage scale if you are buying this bag! It is easy to go over the 50 lb limit if you fill it. Don't do it! Even the kindest airlines with free bag allowance will hammer you with fees if you go over 50 lb. It's cheaper to check in a 2nd bag than go over weight. But really, this bag allows you to not have to worry if everything will fit in your bag--it will!
Another great benefit of this bag is that because it does not open like a clamshell suitcase, it's easy to fit in small spaces and access your stuff. I can't tell you the many times I had to keep moving my other suitcases around hotel rooms or a friend's guestroom to find space to open them and then re-packing each side is a pain. And you can easily see everything in one area. It fits well on the hotel room luggage stand as well as in the truck of a compact car with other luggage. Hoist it by any two of the 4 side handles into the trunk or back seat--easy.
It seems well made, but time will tell how the material holds up.
The bag material seems like it would repel water but I did not test that.
It has an attractive silky red lining that protects your stuff.
It also has a few zippered areas including a padded compartment.
The 2 main compartments have zippers that come together and you can lock.(Buy a lock)
Not too many people have such a bag yet so it's easy to recognize on the airport baggage carousel—no one will mess with Rolling Thunder.
And best of all--you look plain cool with this piece--like you are going on a major expedition--even if it is just to Vegas.
I would check it out, especially if you are like me and like to take everything on the road.
Date published: 2013-11-03
Rated2out of5byTodd308fromBad handles, iffy durabilityI bought this for a long overseas trip because I had such good luck with the base camp duffles for years, but this trip required huge capacity and wheels.
First the bag is huge, so big in fact that be warned if you fill it with normal clothes, shoes etc, it will be well over 50lbs. The first time I packed it full with normal luggage it was 62lb and it was just full not stuffed. Part of that is the weight of the bag itself mine weighs in right under 14lbs empty. That's really heavy when you start comparing it to other bags.
Second the handles are very poorly designed. It does not have an extendable handle as most rolling luggage does, and the two strap handles they do give you are too low on the bag, So what happens is the bag ends up at too high of an angle when you are walking with it and either you have to stoop or it ends up tipping back onto the square end. It's also bad if you just want to pick it up, because the strap handles on one end are at the bottom of the bag but on the other end there's a molded handle toward the top of the bag, it makes it very awkward to pick up. It was way more struggle through airports than just about any other rolling luggage I saw was, and I'm only 5-11, if you were taller it would be ever worse.
Third is durability, I'd had such good luck with the base camp duffles surviving dozens of trips, but it appears they've skimped on the pvc fabric now, my bag went on four planes and just to and from two hotels and it already looks like it's about ready to fail in a couple spots.
Most likely I'll be returning it for something similar now that I've returned from my trip, I wouldn't want to do another trip with that bag again, especially considering the price. If it was more durable and the handles were designed better so you could actually use it as a roller bag I'd probably be pretty happy with it.
Date published: 2013-06-03
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The North Face Rolling Thunder Duffel - 31'' Customer Reviews