Review: The Halfday Garment Duffel Is Your Special Occasion Weekender

A few quirks aside, this hybrid bag wins on organization ability

February 27, 2024 11:25 am
Person carrying the Garment Duffel by Halfday
For $98, Halfday's Garment Duffel may solve your long-weekend travel packing issues

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For nearly a decade I’ve been using the same no-frills backpack for long weekend getaways. An out-of-production Jansport, the soft pack holds about four days’ worth of clothes, stuffs easily into overhead bins and offers multiple ways to lug it around (although 99% of the time I use the backpack straps, which tuck away when not in use). 

Advantages? It’s durable, surprisingly spacious and minimalist — two outside pockets and nothing else, except a couple of internal straps that offer some clothing compression. Disadvantages? The bag is rather forgettable looking and that structural minimalism means my clothes, shoes and gear often arrive worse for wear (literally). And it takes up a lot of space under my bed; I actually store smaller bags in it when it’s not being used for travel.

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I’ve been looking for something that would offer some protection for my nicer clothes and still work as a carry-on. I tried the Genius Pack Carry On, which features an integrated suit bag, but I found it a little small for a three-day trip. 

That’s when I discovered The Garment Duffel by Halfday. From the team behind the elevated shopping portal Bespoke Post, Halfday offers a hybrid bag that features protection for your nice clothes via an integrated garment bag, along with built-in shoe bags and a clever zip design that allows the bag to lie flat when not in use. Available in nine colors and two sizes, it’s also quite handsome.

I took the Garment Duffel out for a three-night, four-day spin to Cabo San Lucas. My immediate thoughts? There are some unexpected design decisions here that may frustrate you. But the bag’s versatility and strengths also present some ideal use-case scenarios — for instance, a long weekend spring wedding party where you need one nice outfit. We’ll get into the pros and cons below.

Packing the Halfday Garment Duffel in a gif
Packing (and unpacking) the Halfday Garment Duffel

The specs:

  • Original fits a full suit or dress plus 3+ days of clothes; Compact fits dresses and shirts, and up to 3 days’ worth of clothes
  • Carry-on friendly for most airlines
  • Two interior shoe pockets
  • Trolley sleeve on back for securing on suitcase handles
  • Exterior easy-access zip pocket
  • Polyester handles and shoulder strap
  • Reinforced hanger loops with velcro flap
  • Water-resistant 420D woven polyester exterior with Taslan lining
  • Weight: 1.8-2.3 lbs.
  • Duffel volume: 40-45 liters
  • Dimensions (Closed, Original): (L) 22″ x (H) 12″ x (D) 12″
  • Dimensions (Closed, Compact): (L) 20.5″ x (H) 11″ x (D) 12″

Pro: It’s excellent for organization

Being able to unzip the Halfday from the side means i could easily stack clothes and assorted gear as if I was putting things away on a closet shelf. By day two my bag is usually a wreck of new and worn outfits; here, I was able to keep everything compartmentalized and it was all easy to access.

A close-up on the garment bag part of Halfday's Garment Duffel
A close-up on the garment bag part of Halfday’s Garment Duffel

Con: That organization takes up space

I didn’t bring a suit, but the garment bag part of Halfday did indeed hold a long, bulky jacket. But I had to ditch the hangers, as I couldn’t properly zip and fold the bag into shape when I “hung” my clothes before packing. The shoe pockets claim to hold up sizes 11.5 (Compact) or up to 13 (Original) but neither of my 11.5-sized shoes fit well in those side compartments — and I was using the larger-sized Halfday Original. So my footwear ended up in a separate mesh shoe bag within Halfday’s main compartment, taking up unwanted space and messing up my clothing stacks.

Pro: It’s easy to store

When not in use, the bag folds flat. And you can also hang it like a garment bag (admittedly, you’ll have to bring your own hanger and take out all your other non-hanging clothes). 

A person from the waist down holding two examples of the Garment Duffel by Halfday
They look nice and they’re durable, but the bags are a bit longer than the usual carry-on

Con: The bag can be awkward to carry

The Halfday claims to be “carry-on friendly for most airlines” (our emphasis there) and, well, it made me nervous. JetBlue, for example, has a maximum carry-on size of 22″ L x 14″ W x 9″ H — both the Halfday Original and Compact’s dimensions get awfully close to those numbers. I spent a good portion of my time at the airport gate wondering if my bag was going to be flagged, and while it did end up getting checked last-minute on our return flight home, that was due to an unfortunate seating assignment (being the last people to board a full flight). No one at the airline batted an eye at the bag, which visually seemed longer and a little more voluminous than other carry-ons but seemed to fit just fine in the overhead bin on the way to Cabo; that said, the bag was a little awkward to lug around. Svelte, it’s not.


The Halfday Garment Duffel is a great organizational pack that’ll keep one nice outfit (dress, blazer, suit, etc.) in good shape. Given the bag’s size, I’d suggest it more for weekend car trips where you’ll need to look nice for a night or two at most. That said, if you’re not worried about a potential last-minute forced bag check, it’s a handsomely serviceable option for short trips by plane, and at $98, an affordable gamble.


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