This New Duffel Will Make You Look Forward to Packing

Matador’s Seg42 builds the organization of packing cubes into a drop-it-all-in duffel, leaving adventurers to choose the most efficient packing method.

matador seg42 quick review gear patrol lead full
Tanner Bowden

The Seg42 is the largest bag that Matador, a company specializing in outdoor-focused travel gear, has ever made. That’s not saying much, though, considering that the packing gurus in its design department figured out how to make a full-featured, waterproof, 32-liter backpack that rolls into a pouch the size of a can of CBD seltzer.

The Seg42’s proposition is one of packability though; the travel bag builds the organization of packing cubes into the architecture of a drop-it-all-in duffel, leaving adventurers to choose the most efficient packing method.

What We Like

Pockets of Every Size

Travel duffels are known for their pocket, singular, but the Seg42 has nine. The five to take note of are built into its lid, function as integrated packing cubes and come in different sizes: there are two six-liter sections, two 9-liter sections and one 12-liter section. The size variation is ideal because you can fill one with something like dirty shoes without wasting space, and they’re arranged in such a way that you can use only a few if that’s all you need.

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In addition to the cubes, there are also two end pockets for small items, and a separate laptop sleeve because, let’s face it, we all travel with computers and tablets now. And then there’s the big duffel pocket.

Exterior Access

I fully endorse packing with packing cubes, but it does create an extra step, or rather, an extra zipper to get into when locating a jacket, shirt or last clean pair of socks. The genius in integrating the cubes directly into the duffel’s lid is that you can access each one from the outside, so getting at whatever you’re carrying is easier than ever.

All of the Handles

Seriously, there are handles on every side of this bag. It isn’t overkill though; it just means that no matter how you reach for it, you’ll have something to grab onto.

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Tuck It All Away

Everything that you’d count as an obvious feature on the Seg42 has a way of making itself invisible. The packing cubes collapse into the duffel’s lid, and they stay there with a panel that zips over them (that panel also secures in a rolled position, so it isn’t flapping around when you are using the cubes). You can lose the shoulder straps too by unclipping them and sliding them behind the back panel.

Watch Out For

More Features, Less Space

It’s a given that splitting up 42 liters of space into five separate compartments (plus two end pockets and a laptop sleeve) means employing material to do that dividing. In this case, it’s a 100-denier Robic Dynatec weave, which is lightweight but, nevertheless, takes up space. The effect is that the Seg42’s 42 liters don’t necessarily feel like 42 liters. It’s still enough space for a long weekend or more (if you’re judicious in packing), but something to note.

More Zippers, Less Security

Multiple points of zippered exterior access equal multiple opportunities for a thief to slip one open. Of course, you can shield valuables by stashing them in the Seg42’s main compartment. All those compartments do present a mystery box situation and depending on how you pack, there’s a chance a pickpocket winds up reaching into the one reserved for your dirties.

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Is It for Me?

If you like the idea of traveling in a duffel-pack, but don’t possess the organizational expertise to handle the blank slate that such bags present, the Seg42 is for you. If you are already a packing pro, you’re likely already tantalized by everything you just read. Not into packing cubes? Have you tried them? If not, here’s our list of the best packing cubes available; start there before graduating to the Seg42.

Verdict

While nearly every gear brand now has its version of the rugged, backpack-style travel duffel, Matador’s Seg42 is genuinely unique. The way it stacks up organizational features makes packing something to look forward to, though it might lack the space needed by less deliberate packers. Then again, maybe they’re just packing too much.

Buy Now: $190

Matador provided this product for review.

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