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If you are planning on going for a holiday, you ensure that you make the best arrangements possible. Whether you’ll travel using air, road or any other means, you must think of where to pack your luggage. Worry not as the duffel bag got you covered. These bags have become extremely popular for traveling purposes. They are not only easy to pack and carry but are also made to take a beating. The following are the best duffel bags for your traveling, outdoor and weather convenience needs. Read on and get to know the available rolling and standard types to enable you to make an informed decision.

Top 10 Best Duffel Bags for Travel in 2019

Patagonia Black Hole

This bag tops my preference list. It is among the best travel duffel bags available in the market. Some of the features that make it stand out include; it’s extremely lightweight. This bag weighs 2.4 pounds only, making it among the lightest duffel bags. It has one big compartment plus several other pockets. The Patagonia bag is available in 45, 60, 90 and 120-liter sizes. It is very versatile and can be carried in many ways such as; a backpack or bag. All thanks to its padded shoulder straps.  Also, the shoulder straps are removable if you don’t need them.

The material that makes this bag is resistant 900D polyester with TPU laminate plus waterproof treatment. This makes it suitable for short trips and for holding your outdoor and climbing gear. The design of this duffel bag makes it fit for those who love stylish items. It is also available in different colors.

The Patagonia is a highly known brand. It has for a long time been making clothing and outdoor gear, therefore this company is well aware of its stuff.  Its bag is a testament of this due to its high quality coupled with tough resistance and versatility too. Over the years, users have highly praised this bag for passing quality tests with impressive results.

Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled

This is another wonderful bag. It is a suitable choice for any type of trip. The fact that it is wheeled makes it different from the previous type of bag. The presence of the wheel make is an advantage. You won’t have to carry it everywhere you go. This will make your trips even more enjoyable and comfortable. It is available in 40 liter sizes and has a weight of 7 pounds.

Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled bag lacks padded shoulder straps. The presence of the wheels also makes the bag heavier. You need to add weight by packing everything in the bag though. That notwithstanding, this is among the lightest wheeled-duffel bags in my list. Its design makes it suitable for weekend getaways and city trips.

The presence of the wheels means everything as transporting this bag becomes easier. It is also tough, resistant, and has a wonderful design. The material that makes this bag is reinforced 1200D polyester. Destroying such a bag is therefore next to impossible.

With such amazing features, the price tag on this bag is definitely quite high. In fact, it ranks highest in terms of price. This is the only known disadvantage of this heavy-duty bag. None other!

North Face Base Camp

This is another suitable travel bag use can buy and be proud of. For outdoor lovers, look no further. For many years, the North Face Base Camp bag has been the most preferred. It’s easy to pack, durable and lightweight nature simply makes it stand out. It is however not fully waterproof. Nonetheless, it can withstand harsh conditions and water for long periods. Provided you take great care of this bag, you need not to worry about water, much as I don’t.

It can also be used as a backpack regularly, thanks to its padded straps. The numerous pockets available in this bag come in handy when arranging your gear.  It is available in six sizes to serve your needs completely. A keen look at professional climbers atop the Everest, Annapurna will reveal the North Face bag. This is a testament of how superior this bag is.

Having been in the market for the longest time possible further adds of its high value. This should not be mistaken with obsolescence. Not the least! The producing company, North Face, takes pride in this bag. They are continuously adding features to better this bag’s quality even more. All this is with the aim of making it the most superb duffel bag in the market. It is available at an affordable fee and in many colors too.

Gregory Alpaca

This bag has comfortable straps and high-quality zippers, making it a well-designed duffel bag.  The materials that make this bag are also highly resistant. The design of this bag is intended to make it comfortable to wear and to maximize its’ inside space. Unlike the Patagonia bag which is partially waterproof, the Gregory Alpaca is completely waterproof.  This unique feature makes it suitable for outdoor activities. Other amazing features that make it convenient for such functions are its heavy-duty straps and handles. They also add onto this bag’s durability and resistance

All in all, the popularity of this bag has and is still growing. Its features and great design are what make it stand out to me. You’ll also agree with me on to the position of ranking this bag. It is available in 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 liters respectively. The weight of this bag is 2.8 Ibs and has four nice glowing colors.

B&B Duffel Bag

You can easily access your belongings from the B&B Duffel bag thanks to its several compartments. It is a wonderful bag with a unique design. Further, it has a U zippered compartment. It is ideal for keeping your wet gym clothes and shoes separately. The presence of two external pockets plus a small concealed interior pocket is ideal for keeping small personal belongings.

The B&B duffel bag has a modern design, solid construction which is all stylish. The material making this bag is of high-quality. It makes this bag comfortable, durable, and resistant.  Other quality features present in this bag include a reinforced bottom, padded shoulder straps, powerful YKK zippers and 420 honeycomb polyester of waterproof fabric.

For travelers, climbers, nature lovers, and athletes, the B&B duffel bag is your best partner. You won’t find any other lighter bag for your needs than this, weighing only 1.5Ibs. Its size is 80 liters. Be sure to get value for your money by investing in this bag.

Helly Hansen 2

Among the classic model, the Helly Hansen 2 is the most recent improved version bag. That said, you’ll want to know what is new. The Helly Hansen 2 bag has better materials despite the bag’s design being similar. This new model is more resistant to water and more long-lasting. The owner company maintains that the bag is also waterproof.

The Helly Hansen 2 duffel bag is very reliable and solid, thanks to its high-quality seams and reinforced straps. The presence of removable straps makes it usable as a backpack and more comfortable. Even though its padding is good, I doubt if it can match that of the Patagonia or North Face. It is not as good. However, that does not make it of less importance.

It can withstand any weather due to the resistant polyester material it is made from. It has zippered pockets on the inside and outside.  Further, you can reduce its space by packing it in a bag, making storing easy when you’re not moving. It is available in 30, 50, 70, and 90 liter sizes. This may not be the best bag for you if you’re looking for one to store more equipment. For most people though, this bag is fit for all your luggage needs. You won’t need to get a 120-liter sized bag.

Its affordability nature is another factor that makes it highly preferable. It is, in fact, the most affordable bag. Lastly, the Helly Hansen 2 duffel bag is versatile and water-resistant and thus extremely durable.

North Face Rolling Thunder

You’ll love this bag. Read on and attest to this.  This bag takes pride in its great strength thanks to its firm construction. It ranks way above other bags in durability due to the strong and well-designed structure.

It is almost similar to the North Face Base bag in design. The only difference is that the Rolling Thunder duffel bag is reinforced so that it’s wheeled.  The two models of bags are built from similar resistant material. They also have similar organizational features and pockets too.

This bag is no lightweight as it weighs 9 Ibs, 14 oz. The weight aspect plus its resistance and durability all come at a cost. Wheeled bags as earlier noticed are not lightweights, and we’ll all agree. If you are considering weight, then the North Facing Rolling Thunder duffel bag is not for you. It is available in 19”, 22”, 30”, and 36” sizes.

I conclude by saying that this rugged, incredible bag is perfect for your short trips, weekend getaways, and air travel. You love this bag, don’t you? I do.

Mountain Hardware Expedition

This bag features the most times on the list of duffel bags. The Mountain Hardware Expedition is the model that has the most number of pockets. Its versatile nature will help you maintain all items in an organized manner.

Other fascinating features associated with this bag include; internal compression traps and internal and exterior zipper pockets. Also, the special treatment offered by this bag is unique. This is so because of the water-resistant nature of this bag. It is among the most water-resistant duffel bags.

It is available in three sizes namely small, medium and large. Unlike previous duffel bag models which are available in different colors, this type is available in only one color. The only disadvantage of this bag is its weight. It is quite heavier than other duffel bags weighing 3 Ibs, 10 oz.

Finally, if you’re going for an expedition soon, make sure you have acquired this bag. It has a strong and firm design making it suitable for use as a move-on bag.

Marmot Long Hauler

We all love saving, don’t we? I’m sure most do if not all. If you are like me, the Marmot Long Hauler is the best offer of a duffel bag for traveling. You will get this bag with fantastic features at a very fair cost. It has detachable shoulder straps meaning you can use it as a backpack. This great feature makes this bag suitable for outdoor activities.

The material that makes this bag is 1000D TPE reinforced polyester. This helps it to stay intact even the weather conditions are unfavorable. It has numerous pockets on the inside. Both the straps and zippers are resistant and thick.

Its’ U-shaped nature gives you access to the key compartment. You can easily grab the handles on its end. The compression straps and end pockets come in handy when you want to keep valuable items. What makes this duffel bag a great choice is its solid construction which adds onto its durability.

The available sizes of this bag are small, medium, large, and extra-large. Its weight of 2Ibs makes is one of the factors that make this bag affordable.

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 90L

If you are looking for a lightweight bag with a variety of carrying options, this duffel bag is the best option. With a holding capacity of 90 liters, it is well designed and constructed to pack all your items.

It has been subjected to numerous tests and produced great results. Such include the water test. Its water-resistant nature makes it favorable for all your outdoor, travel and adventure functions. You can easily store this bag when you are not using it thanks to its packable nature.

Other interesting features that make me love the Eagle Creek are its U-shaped lid, easy to grab handles, padded bottoms, and detachable backpack straps that are padded. You’ll note that these features are common with other duffel bag models previously mentioned.

It weighs 2 Ibs, 2 oz, and is available in 45, 60, and 90-liter sizes.

How to Choose the Best Duffel Bag

Duffel Bag Types

Travel Duffels

A casual duffel bag is all you need for any type of travel. Be it an international trip or a weekend outing, you’re well sorted. These bags have many features. Such include backpack straps and a water-resistant finish. This water-resistant finish protects the bag from wet ground and light precipitation. Organization can also be done well depending on the bag size. A roller duffel bag is ideal for air travel specifically. This is because you can comfortably walk around the airport without carrying your bag or hauling it. Travel duffel bags offer a good mix of simplicity and convenience to travelers. More so them who don’t wish to subject their bags to certain elements for long.

Outdoor Duffels

 a majority of the travel bags on the above list comprise big outdoor brands. Such include the North Face, Marmot and Patagonia. The use of outdoor activity can vary from hardcore expeditions to throwing your bag at the back of your truck. Interestingly, the versatility of duffels is an advantage that can easily be noticed. This is during using duffels for general basic needs and more so to those with diverse carrying options. Also when there are appropriate organizational features such as multiple compartments or pockets and U-shaped opening.

A good example is the Patagonia Black Hole. This duffel bag is suitable for standard air travel and serious outdoor journeying. To get the best duffel bag, look for great fabrics containing water-resistant zippers, and DWR coating. Also, get one with lash points for connecting additional gear on the exterior or grabbing your bag. You can equally get better backpacks with carrying straps. Worth noting is that outdoor duffel bags keep your items dry when there is little rain. For very wet conditions, you will require you to explore for models further.

Waterproof Duffels

backcountry winter explorers, rafters, and fishermen are among the few people that prefer people waterproof duffel bags. Top quality bags for such people are SeaLine WideMouth and YETI Panga. The latter has a completely waterproof zipper and has the shape of an old duffel. The former looks like a dry bag and is roll-topped. Their built up nature makes them convenient for use in watery areas. Unfortunately, these bags have minimal straps and organization, are too expensive, and heavy to be used daily.

Other equally convenient duffel bags are the Hyperlite Dyneema and the Arc’teryx Carrier. They can be used in certain wet conditions.

Duffel Bag Capacity

There are three main capacities namely small, medium, and large.

Small

 it has between 25 and 50 liters. There is a bag suitable for your intended purpose and need as this range can accommodate 25 to 150 liters. For overnight and weekend outings, and for solo travelers, any duffel bag within a range of 20-40 liters is okay with you. Most of these duffel bags are carry-on attuned. You thus save on time spent looking for such bags and money too. There is no universal carry-on bag size used by US airlines even though the 22*14*9’’ bag is commonly used. These are the highest measurements for JetBlue, United, and Delta which were used during publication. Worth noting is that most carry-on attuned bags are usually advertised as above, though the cut-off mark is about 40 liters.

Medium

 these bags are of 50 to 75 liter capacity. A bag of this capacity is enough for any travel needing one but without huge outdoor gear. In fact, a bag with a 60 liter capacity is the most ideal for this category. It is good enough for almost all trips be they short weekend getaways or those lasting a week. The right choice though depends on the amount of stuff you intend to pack. That said a Patagonia Black Hole duffel bag of 60 liter capacity tops my preference list in this group.

Large

these are bags with a capacity of 75 liters and above. They are heavy movers and appropriate for many people, massive outdoor equipment, and longer trips. A perfect choice for this category is the 100-liter REI Co-op Roadtripper duffel bag. It can accommodate bulky footwear, several empty backpacks and many more items. Due to the large space inside bags of this category, they often get heavy quickly. You should thus keep a close eye on the total weight when packing your items. Most regular material and clothing should not exceed the 50 pounds check weight. However, packing any heavy material can otherwise be a major problem. For serious expedition and outdoor use consider getting the North Face Base Camp. This duffel travel bag can accommodate 150 liters.

Roller (Wheeled) vs. Non-Roller Duffel Bags

The roller duffel bags are quite popular, particularly among air travelers. You simply take out the bag from your car, wheel to your gate or check-in. If it is a carry-on, you are good to move. If you dislike packing your bag on your back, then roller duffel bags are ideal for you. They are also fit for bags within 40 liter range and below as they are carry-on attuned.

Roller duffel bags, however, have limitations. Hardly will these bags have any extra feature other than carrying handles. This makes it difficult to use these bags in places that lack enough rolling surfaces. They also lack backpack straps. Ultralight or cheaper duffel bags have a high likely hood of falling over when full. You should thus know this when purchasing. In my view, heavier models such as the Osprey Shuttle are worth buying at some extra cost as they never fall over. Finally, roller duffels naturally have many breakable parts. There are those whose wheels can be replaced even though the majority can’t. You can, therefore, lose all of your transport functionality easily and quickly.

In cases where you will be involved in a lot of traveling, such as backpacking via Europe, then non-roller duffel bags are the best. These bags are effortless to grab and put on your shoulder without worrying about the type of surface. You definitely understand this better if you’ve attempted taking roller duffel through a cobblestone street.  A roller duffel bag is equally a perfect choice for people who are largely air travelers. They mostly move their bags for long distances by car and benefit further from the harder side which protects their belongings. You can choose your favorite roller or non- roller duffel model from the list of duffel bags above.

Carrying Options: Backpack Straps, Shoulder Straps, Handles

Duffel manufactures have continuously enhanced their creativity by designing bags which can be carried in many ways. The main carrying options include backpack straps, shoulder straps, carry and grab handles. Also, there are other bags that are fully-featured that have all four combined thanks to their creativity.

Backpack Straps

These are ideal for people capable of throwing their bags on their backs and walking with them. Many high-end bags have backpack straps which are easily removable and lightly padded. One such example is the Osprey Transporter. It is very similar to the actual backpack and suitable for people planning to take longer distances. Note that the carrying comfort varies thus some bags rank higher than others. After detaching the straps, you can put them in the major compartment.

Shoulder Straps

These are less comfortable than the previous type for extended periods. Single shoulder strap bags are thus ideal for short distances. Ideally, these types of duffels should be used for smaller duffels whose weight is less than a ton. Worth noting is that not all duffels have shoulder straps. They are common on bags that have a smaller capacity and specifically traveling bags. It’s possible to streamline your duffel bag for transport as shoulder strapped bags are easily removable.

Carry Handles

A majority of duffel bags have carry handles of some kind. This is regardless of if it’s a simple padded handle or dedicated straps attaching backpack straps to one another. Carry handles are useful for carrying bags of small capacity in one hand. They are also fit for picking and moving a bag over short distances.

Grab Handles

These are mostly found on the side or at the end of the bag and stay near the surface. They are also used to swiftly slide or lift a duffel bag, just like carry handles. It is convenient to move around with your bag when you have a grab handle on either side.

Durability (Denier)

We all love getting a product that will serve us for the longest time possible. Denier is a measure of fabric strength and is the most used method. The higher the denier rating, the tougher the fabric is. Despite the variance in denier, you can have a rough idea of how two duffels pile up on one another regarding toughness. The North Face Base Camp has a denier of about 1000D and the Eagle Creek Load about 420D. Where possible, these rankings are availed to help you make an informed choice. Manufacturers at times refer to the various panels by providing two numbers. The highest being the bags’ bottom, and the lower number refers to the top sides. Numbers may not be the determining factor during purchase but are worth considering.

Water Resistance

This is the ability of duffel bags to keep your items sheltered from the soggy ground and light rains. Such models mainly cover their long-lasting ripstop fabric and a coating that prevents moisture from soaking inside.  A DWR treatment or something alike is usually used for this purpose. When travelling, you don’t know how long your duffel will be on the tarmac. A  DWR treatment on your duffel, thus, comes in handy during such outdoor use. Further, some zippers bags are covered by flaps and can be a weak point. Water resistant material usually has limitations, although it should function well in light to reasonable precipitation. However, the gear will eventually allow water to soak in.

You’ll note that some duffel bags are fully waterproof such as the SealLine WideMouth and YETI Panga. These bags can be completely submerged in water. Your items should remain dry but this is not guaranteed. Also, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Duffel has a Dyneema fabric which is water-resistant in nature. It thus plays a crucial role in this matter. All in all, waterproof duffels are a must have for adventurers who love water sports. For those who rarely visit watery places, this should not be a factor to consider when buying your duffel.

Weight

To some, weight is a determining factor and to others, it’s not, more so with heavier rolling models.  Non-wheeled duffels are easy to carry, store, or throw in the car as they are only a few pounds heavy. Rolling duffel bags are quite heavy. The 80 liter capacity North Face Rolling Thunder, for example, is 9 pounds 14 ounces heavy. This is already 20% of the required limit of 50 pounds for checked duffels. The Osprey Shuttle is another such model whose weight is 8 pounds 3 ounces and a capacity of 100-liters, which is a bit larger. It is available to 130-liter capacity.  Loaded Osprey Shuttle duffels of 100-liter capacity loaded with items such as shoes can almost reach 50 pounds. This is after being on occasions where I have experienced the above to be true after hitting highs of 40 pounds. Worth noting is that getting a 45-pound duffel bag into and out of your car or moving up the stairs is not easy.

U-Shaped Zipper Access

Ensure you are well aware of the kind of access you’ll need before you buy a duffel bag. Take into considerations factors like the bulkiness of the items you’ll store inside and how full you’ll load your duffel. Also, consider whether you’ll be unpacking after your destination or if you’ll live out of the duffel.

The simplest duffels to search through, pack, and unpack are those that have a big U-shaped opening. A good example of a U-shape designed bag is the Patagonia Black Hole. Its zippered flap extends to about three or four sides of the duffels top. After opening, you’re able to see almost all the content inside. Having such a designed bag in a tent, hotel or along the road is highly advisable. The Filson Field Duffel bag opens in a traditional conventional way and has a single zipper which extends through the top of the bags. Access to the bags content is minimal when the opening is small and when the bag is fully packed. This results in disorganization and rummaging.

If your main aim is getting convenience, consider acquiring a duffel bag like the Osprey Shuttle. It’s a large roller with a tough structure and has the largest packing and unpacking opening.  

Pockets & Organization

Before buying a duffel, consider the number of times you’ll want to access your items when traveling. The best-streamlined models those having a single large compartment without an internal organization like the REI Roadtripper duffel. More fully-featured designs have practical external pockets for tiny items or padded sections for computer or laptop storage. The Osprey Shuttle, a rolling duffel, is completely luxurious thanks to its exterior pockets. Its interior dividers help in organizing the clothing inside. The Shuttle also has a stretchable external pocket for separately keeping hiking shoes and dirty clothes. Having an extra pocket for separating your little basics is important for travelers.

Compression Straps

Both internal and external compression straps can compact a duffels pack more. Internal compression straps remove the zipper strain and compact the stuff inside the duffel. This reduces movement while on transit. The Hyperlite Mountain Gear Dyneema Duffel, and the Patagonia Black Hole have internal compression straps. External compression straps can either be on the side like the North Face Base Camp or at the end like the Gregory Stash. They squeeze the duffel once the zipper is shut. External compression straps are particularly important in large duffels that are not fully stuffed. They help keep your bag less disorderly during traveling. Besides, a model that has compression straps is highly recommended when carrying your duffel bag like a backpack. It is more comfortable having it so during your expedition.

Backpackers have increasingly adapted to cross-shoulder sling packs after moving away from the traditional day backpacks. This has caused the sling packs to hit the industry by a storm.

This is because sling packs not only keep items in an organized manner but also makes the items easily accessible. Further, breaking into these bags is difficult as they have extra security. With all these amazing features, which sling packs stand out in the market? And are sling packs the ideal bags for traveling?  This article serves as a review to help us answer the above questions in detail. It does this by giving ideas on the best sling packs for travelers. This detailed article will help you to pick the most ideal sling pack. Read on and learn more.

Top 10 Best Sling Backpacks for Travel 2019

Patagonia Atom Sling

This tops my list as the best traveling bag. Some of the features that make it the most ideal are its durability, simplicity and its ability to carry only the most essential items. You can easily acquire it for only $59. It is also light and weighs only 10.1 ounces and has a capacity of 8 liters.

Its single-strap design enables you to easily and quickly access the inside of its two pockets or main compartment by rotating the Atom towards the front.

It is also safe for carrying delicate equipment like iPads or Kindles, thanks to its large zippered major pocket. This pocket has a padded tablet sleeve on the inside that makes storage easy and secure.  Also, it has a stretch-mesh pocket located on the shoulder strap. This pocket can accommodate phone sizes of different varieties.  The fits on this sling pack are quickly and easily adjustable even as you move. Its exterior adjustable compression straps aid in managing loads of different sizes.

Lastly, this sling pack has strong fabric on the outside. This fabrics finishing is a durable water repellent coating. Items on the inside are thus protected from rain. This is undoubtedly an awesome travel sling bag for minimalists provided you don’t pack loads of items inside.

Patagonia Atom disadvantage: the main disadvantage is feeling off the balance when full. If the back is not adjusted well, your neck ends up carrying the most weight. Some users claim this bag is impractical because of its small size.

Pacsafe Stylesafe Anti-Theft Sling

This sling pack bag can carry almost the same quantity of items as the Patagonia Atom Sling. However, it’s quite smaller as it has a capacity of 6 liters. It is affordable, selling at $89.95 and has a weight of 11 oz. You can wear this bag in two ways either as a sling or backpack. Its highly security conscious feature is something you’ll really love.

Snatch and run theft is impossible with this sling pack. All thanks to its N Lock security hooks which enable you to attach the straps or the bag to a safe fixture. Its security measures are further enhanced by a concealed eXomesh mesh slash. This protects it from slash and run theft. Pickpocketing is also difficult because of the zipper pulls which are attached to discreet hooks.

Among the 3 exterior pockets and the main compartment is a hidden pocket at the back of this bag. It keeps the most important small materials close to your body. The RFID is a special bonus in this sling bag. Situated at a special pocket, this tool thwarts electronic identity theft.

This bag tops my list on the bags women should have due to its diverse security features. You’re sure to stay a step ahead in case of a security threat while retaining your vital tools safe.

Pacsafe Anti-Theft Sling Disadvantage: its small size which makes it suitable for carrying the essential materials only.  Though affordable, it’s a bit costly than the other available options.

Red Rock Rover Sling

This is a hidden carry sling bag technically speaking which means it is meant to hold a rifle inside. The sling bag has a capacity of 9 liters, weighs 3 Ibs, and sells at $39.99. It is, however, a burly, tough sling pack suitable for small hikes. Sling packs are essentially not meant for hiking purposes and therefore getting the perfect hiking sling bag is difficult. The best and most practical and comfortable hiking bag you’ll get after a long search is the Red Rock Rover Sling.

This sling pack has three large compartments. They are sufficient to carry water, a light layer, snacks, and other basics. Its external and internal pockets are amazing features which contain admin organizers and dividers. This sling bag has two exterior compartments which make it easy to quickly access vital items. You can get the bag of choice as these bags are available in different colors. This is all in line with the nice price deal offered for this hiking sling bag.

Red Rock Rover Sling disadvantage:  bearing in mind that this is purely a hiking bag, its 9-liter holding capacity makes it quite heavier than it should. There are plenty of hiking backpacks whose weight is way less. Further, it is also strange that the Rock Rover Sling bag can be used for hiding guns and bullets. This would make some keep away from it regardless of its awesome unique features.

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag

This is the most appropriate full-size sling bag for carrying laptops, thanks to its weight of 1Ib. 15.4 oz. Its holding capacity of 21 liters also enables it to carry all the items you require in a single day while visiting the city. This uncompromising on quality bag costs $99.

The Timbuk2 Classic bag has well-distributed pockets that balance the weight of the load inside, a very necessary factor. Digital nomads love this bag for its shoulder straps that are completely adjustable. They have air-mesh strap pads which make it very comfortable to carry. This bag is also easy to grab and walk thanks to its low-profile handle. Better still, this bag is fitted with partially hid SR buckles at the back of the flap. There is however a protected closure. Most importantly is the folding nature of the flap corners for perfect weather-proofing.

Look no further for the most ideal laptop bags if you are town dweller. The Timbuk2 Classic bag serves all your needs. It is simply one of its kind.

Timbuk2 Classic disadvantage: the extremely long straps which often rub on your legs. This friction can ultimately lead to chaffing and the experience is just annoying. There’s only one solution to the long straps. This includes cutting off the ends with a knife or razor.

Sadly, this bag also lacks distinct padding for your laptop section, despite the sling bag being padded. Users have criticized the poor customer service associated with this bag regardless of the other amazing products produced by Timbuk2.

Kavu Rope Sling

This bag has four pockets and the main compartment. It is thus the best low-key sling bag to store your items when attending a party or music festival. It’s practical, simple, and functional design makes it appropriate for such functions. The Kavu Rope Sling bag has two tiny Velcro stash pockets and two zip compartments for carrying your dance hall items. This bag is available at $50, weighs 12 ounces and has an estimated capacity of 6-8 liters.

It is expected that your bag will easily get dirty after visiting a party or festival. Worry not about the grit, dust, and beer stains on your Kavu Rope Sling bag. It is easily washable thanks to its cotton canvas material.

The Kavu Rope Sling bag can also be an appropriate traveling bag provided the stuff loaded are of considerable weight.

Kavu Rope Sling disadvantages: the design of this bag. Its original design allows you to only wear it on your right shoulder. Those who prefer using their left hand may find this bag unsuitable to them, and consequently, miss out on outdoor activities.

Unfavorable weather conditions such as rain and strong winds hinder ease of movement with this bag. This is because of its cotton canvas material. It is very vulnerable to the above weather conditions. Also, the straps on this bag have raised concerns from a number of its users.

Think Tank Retrospective 30

Look no further for your cameras as the Think Tank Retrospective 30 serves this purpose. Selling at $194.75, you are assured of getting the best bag for your equipment. It has a weight of 3.2 Ibs making it easy to carry around, and a capacity of 15”W * 9.5” H * 6” D. This is equal to 38*24*15.2 cm. Think Tank Retrospective 30 sling bag’s features offer more than protection for comfortably carrying your DSLR camera. This is made possible by the organizational and storage features found in the four-plus major compartments.

There is also extra storage space in this bag for photographers who have lots of equipment. Its 3.2 pounds make it convenient to carry on your shoulders despite its relatively heavyweight. The dimensions of this bag make it ideal for accommodating large camera systems such as the Fuji X-Series.

Should you have additional accessories, you’re equally sorted thanks to the available room in the extra pockets of this bag. Other fascinating features include a silenceable Velcro and a rain cover.

Think Tank Retrospective 30 disadvantages: the cost of this bag (app. $200) is very high regardless of all the wonderful features it has. It is also interesting that such a superb bag does not zip. Its weight also is quite high and made even heavier by the equipment inside. This makes it less comfortable being that it is a sling bag.  However, despite the downside of this bag, it remains the most appropriate for packing your cameras and accessories. You may also wish to research further and get competitive prices for equally good camera bags.

Waterfly Sling Pack

This is the bag with the most favorable price. It retails at a modest fee of only $ 19.99 and there is no reason why you should not own one, anytime. Its weight is negligible thus adding onto its carrying suitability therefore suitable. The Waterfly Sling Pack is easily marketable because of its water resistant nature with most referring to it as a waterproof sling bag. You can walk around comfortably during the rainy weather without fear of your stuff getting soaked.

This bag has a holding capacity of about 15 liters. This makes it the most preferred for urban exploration and day hikes. You can choose how you wish to arrange your items in its large compartment as you walk along. Even after wearing this bag for a long time, it still feels nice wearing it over and over due to its comfortable breathable strap.

Waterfly Sling Pack disadvantage: its durability in the long term is highly questionable and not guaranteed. This is, however, no big surprise considering its cheap price of only $ 19.99. Also, it doesn’t make sense to claim that this bag is entirely water resistant and waterproof at the same time. This sounds quite unreal despite its producers purporting so!

11 Tactical RUSH Moab 10

This bag costs $99.95 and is specifically made for heavy outdoor purposes. Its price symbolizes a versatile and durable product. It has a capacity of 18 liters, three plus main compartments and an adjustable strap.

This adjustable nature is a characteristic that makes adventurers to love the 5.11 Tactical RUSH Moab 10 bags. The straps also make it simple to instantly cinch the bag near your body. This is a bag that you can be assured will be of service to you due to the heavy-duty items that make up this sling pack. It is definitely the most ideal sling bag you’ll find in the market for your outdoor and hiking activities.

5.11 Tactical RUSH Moab 10 disadvantages: its straps can easily affect your neck if subjected to carrying a fully loaded bag. This is one of the complaints that have been raised by the users of this bag. Customer service standards offered by the 5.11 company are not up to the expected standards.

The 5.11 Tactical RUSH Moab 10 also has a very rough body. Besides the straps affecting your neck, some users have equally complained about lack of strap durability. They claim that the straps break in less than a year’s time. This has led to lower confidence levels of this bag among some of its users and prospects.

Pacsafe Vibe 325 Crossbody Sling

This is another sling bag that features in my favorite bag list. This is so because of the vast security conscious features available in this sling pack bag. Worth mentioning is that this is a minimalist bag. It is available at $69.95 and weighs 1Ilb. 3.8 oz. Some of the amazing safety features include a roobar AT locking system. This system prevents pickpocket pilferage and  enables you to protect your zippers. What’s more, the Pacsafe Vibe 325 Crossbody Sling pack bag has an RFID system. This RFID secure blocking material is built in one of the pockets within the main compartment. This helps safeguard identity and credit cards against electronic-scanning burglary. It’s a painful fact that we have to fret about such measures owing to high insecurity, but this is a fact.

Lastly and most importantly is its concealed eXomesh Slashguard stainless-steel wire mesh. It is implanted in fabric material to safeguard materials from slash and run robbery. Its holding capacity of 10 liters is another feature that makes this sling pack stand out.

Pacsafe Vibe 325 Crossbody Sling disadvantage: regardless of the feature recently mentioned, you must ensure you don’t stuff unnecessary material. This is because a few users have raised discomfort concerns derived from the straps plus the carrying effect of the pack.

Mountainsmith Descent Small Camera Sling Pack

This is another perfect camera sling bag. It is small, modest and ideal for a single DSLR camera. The Mountain Smith Descent Small Camera Sling Pack is therefore recommendable to all picture enthusiasts since the single DSLR camera suits you well.  It is available and affordable at $99.95, weighs 1Ib. 10 oz has a capacity of 6 liters and one major compartment.

The Mountainsmith Descent camera sling pack bag has simple clamshell access to the key camera holding docket. It also has an accessory organization pocket located at the front. When traveling across the city, you have no need to worry about the items in your bag. This bag has a secondary chest strap which provides extra security features.

The weather conscious design fitted in this sling bag adds onto its suitability. It has a water- resistant fabric material that’s found on the outside. This material is not waterproof. The Mountainsmith Descent camera sling is supplied with a detachable rain cover. There is thus no need to fear should the rain clouds appear. Simply get your rain cover in place and you’ll have your items remain dry.

Mountainsmith Descent Small Camera Sling Pack disadvantage: the cost of this sling pack is quite high compared to its small capacity. The cost should be proportional to the sling bag capacity and some extra features.  This pack bag is also not the best for those who wish to adventure with numerous lenses.

How to Choose the Best Sling Bag for Travel

Having had an overview of all the top sling packs in the market, you might get confused about choosing the best bag that suits you. We all appreciate that we have different needs, tastes and expectations when choosing our sling packs. That notwithstanding, a few valid questions arise which you need to consider before making any move. Such include:

  • Which is the intended purpose for my sling pack?
  • What is my buying power on a particular sling bag?
  • In what way will I mostly use my sling pack for?

After keenly considering and getting answers to the above questions, you can make an informed decision and find it easy to choose the best sling bag for travel. This decision will obviously be in line with your personal style of travel.

Things to Consider When Buying a Sling Backpack

It is important to know what you really want in a sling pack before buying one. Models are designed differently for various purposes and have varied features too. In addition, they carry different materials, some of which require special packaging. As such the following factors are worth considering.

Materials

Among the reviewed sling bags above, sadly none is waterproof but some are indeed water resistant. However, all have high-quality features to enable them to withstand harsh weather conditions and physical damage.

Size

This is an essential factor to consider. It depends on the purpose of your sling bag. Most importantly is buying a sling pack bag that can accommodate all your requirements. If you plan to use flights often, you should ensure your sling bag can be used for hanging luggage. It should also have some extra space that can house your laptop or camera. There’s no need to worry though as most sling pack bags are compact and meet the airline rules.

Design and Functionality

A well-design bag should be durable, comfortable, lightweight, and resistant. Other essential features to consider are color, size, and shape. Additional compartments may also be needed.  These are factors to consider especially if you’ll be carrying a camera or laptop.

Comfort

You may find it rather odd at first to pack a bag with a single strap if you’re not used to one. The bag you buy must not cause discomfort to your shoulders or ache your back. This is a bag you’ll use for months and perhaps years and you must, therefore, be comfortable when carrying it. A sling backpack with adjustable straps, wide and padded is highly recommended.

Price

This is among the very first considerations before buying anything, sling backpacks included. You should not worry as a quality sling backpack won’t cost you too much. Getting a good one will serve you more, therefore buy what you love and do so wisely.

Sling Bags vs Backpacks

Backpacks have two straps, enabling them to retain an even distribution of weight. They also help in transferring this weight to both shoulders. This is a major difference. Also, backpacks are the most ideal for people experiencing any back issues. They prevent back muscle pains when carrying heavy items making them the most suitable. Both hiking and regular backpacks are highly recommended for long-term travel.

Sling bags have only one strap. This is a challenge when carrying loads of items. They are lighter to pack as they are mainly compact and lightweight. This helps lessen the weight, and neck problems/back pains are avoided.  You can also quickly access your items by shifting a sling bag within no time. This is a great tactic you can use to avoid pickpockets mostly in crowded places.

Advantages of sling backpacks:

  • Cool design
  • Avoid pickpockets
  • Gender neutral
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy and fast access

Disadvantages of sling backpacks:

  • Not suitable for  heavyweight
  • Not enough room as regular backpacks

How to Avoid Back Pain from Sling Backpack

Since it is not possible to distribute the weight of sling backpacks, it is advisable to frequently change the sling backpack position. This will reduce the effect of weight on one shoulder. You can do this by shifting from one shoulder to another or by taking the sling backpack to the front.

Conclusion

We are now done with reviewing all the sling pack bags. You are now fully aware of the pros and cons of choosing certain travel bags. We sum up by agreeing that sling packs are wonderful travel companions. They are minimalist, compact, and practical to have during any backpacking adventure as well as for everyday use.

Having read through this guiding article, you know what and why to choose for your function. Picking the best sling pack thus ceases being a challenge, I believe so.

However, if you’re you still be spoilt for choice, I propose that you start off with the Patagonia Atom Sling. It tops my list of the best sling travel bag for reasons and superb features stated above.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. I’ve also been pleased to enlighten you!

 

Castel Sant’Angelo history

castel sant angeloThe beautiful Castel Sant’Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, has a fascinating history. The latter name derives from its founder; the roman emperor Hadrian.
The construction of this great building started in year 135 AD and finished just 4 years later.

This also included the magnificent bridge in front of the castle – excluding the angel statues which were added later. Hadrian never got to see his mausoleum completely finished, as he died one year before its completion.

The emperor’s ashes were placed in the mausoleum, together with those of his wife and his first adopted son who died at young age.

A mausoleum for emperors

castel sant angeloThe mausoleum became a resting place for not only Hadrian, but also several of his successors. The last one to be interred in the building was Emperor Caracalla in year 217 AD. While the original structural design of the mausoleum is uncertain, historians believe it was composed of a square base with a large cylindrical body, crowned by a statue of Hadrian riding a chariot.

Expansions

castel sant angelo nightHowever, as one can see today, the Castel Sant’Angelo neither consists of only a cylindrical body, nor does it have a chariot statue at the top. This is due to the fact that the building has been serving several purposes throughout its history. This has in turn which has lead to several expansions of the building.

Exactly how the mausoleum used to look like during its peak is hard to say, as the original design is still uncertain. However, a report from the 6th century which describes the building has made historians believe that only the Colosseum surpassed it in splendor.

Barbaric invasion

passetto di borgoThe first change took place when the mausoleum was turned into a fortress during the decline of the Roman Empire. The fortress could however not stop the barbaric invasions and the sacking of Rome in the early 5th century.

Unfortunately, the sacking meant that the majority of the mausoleum decorations were stolen and much of the tomb content became scattered. The mausoleum took further damage when Rome was sacked once again in the 6th century.

Strategically located

Up until the Middle Ages, Castel Sant’Angelo was owned by various Roman families until the Papal state acquired the fortress in 1377. The Vatican saw great potential in the old fortress, as it was strategically located at the northern entrance to Rome – close to both the Vatican City and the Tiber River.

Passetto di Borgo

castel sant angelo nightIt didn’t take long for Pope Nicolas the 3rd to convert it into a proper castle. The pope also connected the castle to St Peter’s Basilica with an elevated passage. The passage is known as Passetto di Borgo and still exists today. The passage is located on the west side of the castle.

Visitors will see it as a wall-like structure leading all the way to Vatican City. The fortified passage is located on top of this wall and allowed for a quick and secure passage between the two buildings, in case of an emergency.

A bloody place

castel sant angelo statueThe Papal state did not only use this structure as a castle, but also as a prison where many noted Italians have been imprisoned.  Several executions took place in the small inner square and sometimes the mutilated bodies were displayed on the bridge in front of the castle in deterring purposes.

Gunpowder adaptations

Throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, Castel Sant’Angelo kept serving as a military fortification. In order to adapt to the use of new fire weapons, several expansions took place.

castel sant angelo statueThe bastions located in each corner dates back to this period and was meant to house artillery for defensive purposes. The walls were also surrounded with a moat filled with water from the river Tiber.

Why visit Castel Sant’Angelo ?

Castel Sant’Angelo is a beautiful site, full of history. The castle is crowned by a large statue at the top. The statue was also added during the Renaissance and depicts an angel. This angel honors an old legend which has given the castle its current name.

The legend

The legend holds that the Archangel Michael appeared at the top of the mausoleum in year 590. After he appeared, he sheathed his sword as a sign that the plague which had tormented Rome finally had come to an end.

castel sant angelo statueThe original statue was made in marble, but was later replaced with the bronze replica that stands today. The original statue can however still be found at the open court inside the castle.

The museum

The castle really only lost its military function in 1925, when it was renovated and began to serve as a national museum, which it still does today. While the museum is certainly worth a visit, you should definitely explore Castel Sant’Angelo itself.

Lots to discover

The many different roles the castle has played are all here for its visitors to discover; all the way from the funeral passage of Hadrian to the beautifully-frescoed interiors from the Papal expansions as well as the defensive battlements of the Renaissance.

Anyone interested in history and architecture, will certainly enjoy a visit to Castel Sant’Angelo. It is also possible to access the top of the castle. It will give provide great view over Rome in general and the St Peter’s Basilica in particular.

Castel Sant’Angelo location

Castel Sant’Angelo is located on the banks of the Tiber in the heart of RomeItaly. The castle is situated close to the Vatican City. For the exact location of Castel Sant’Angelo, check out the location map to the right.

Castel Sant’Angelo Video

Castel Sant’Angelo history

castel sant angeloThe beautiful Castel Sant’Angelo, also known as the Mausoleum of Hadrian, has a fascinating history. The latter name derives from its founder; the roman emperor Hadrian.
The construction of this great building started in year 135 AD and finished just 4 years later.

This also included the magnificent bridge in front of the castle – excluding the angel statues which were added later. Hadrian never got to see his mausoleum completely finished, as he died one year before its completion.

The emperor’s ashes were placed in the mausoleum, together with those of his wife and his first adopted son who died at young age.

A mausoleum for emperors

castel sant angeloThe mausoleum became a resting place for not only Hadrian, but also several of his successors. The last one to be interred in the building was Emperor Caracalla in year 217 AD. While the original structural design of the mausoleum is uncertain, historians believe it was composed of a square base with a large cylindrical body, crowned by a statue of Hadrian riding a chariot.

Expansions

castel sant angelo nightHowever, as one can see today, the Castel Sant’Angelo neither consists of only a cylindrical body, nor does it have a chariot statue at the top. This is due to the fact that the building has been serving several purposes throughout its history. This has in turn which has lead to several expansions of the building.

Exactly how the mausoleum used to look like during its peak is hard to say, as the original design is still uncertain. However, a report from the 6th century which describes the building has made historians believe that only the Colosseum surpassed it in splendor.

Barbaric invasion

passetto di borgoThe first change took place when the mausoleum was turned into a fortress during the decline of the Roman Empire. The fortress could however not stop the barbaric invasions and the sacking of Rome in the early 5th century.

Unfortunately, the sacking meant that the majority of the mausoleum decorations were stolen and much of the tomb content became scattered. The mausoleum took further damage when Rome was sacked once again in the 6th century.

Strategically located

Up until the Middle Ages, Castel Sant’Angelo was owned by various Roman families until the Papal state acquired the fortress in 1377. The Vatican saw great potential in the old fortress, as it was strategically located at the northern entrance to Rome – close to both the Vatican City and the Tiber River.

Passetto di Borgo

castel sant angelo nightIt didn’t take long for Pope Nicolas the 3rd to convert it into a proper castle. The pope also connected the castle to St Peter’s Basilica with an elevated passage. The passage is known as Passetto di Borgo and still exists today. The passage is located on the west side of the castle.

Visitors will see it as a wall-like structure leading all the way to Vatican City. The fortified passage is located on top of this wall and allowed for a quick and secure passage between the two buildings, in case of an emergency.

A bloody place

castel sant angelo statueThe Papal state did not only use this structure as a castle, but also as a prison where many noted Italians have been imprisoned.  Several executions took place in the small inner square and sometimes the mutilated bodies were displayed on the bridge in front of the castle in deterring purposes.

Gunpowder adaptations

Throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, Castel Sant’Angelo kept serving as a military fortification. In order to adapt to the use of new fire weapons, several expansions took place.

The bastions located in each corner dates back to this period and was meant to house artillery for defensive purposes. The walls were also surrounded with a moat filled with water from the river Tiber.

Why visit Castel Sant’Angelo ?

castel sant angelo statueCastel Sant’Angelo is a beautiful site, full of history. The castle is crowned by a large statue at the top. The statue was also added during the Renaissance and depicts an angel. This angel honors an old legend which has given the castle its current name.

The legend

The legend holds that the Archangel Michael appeared at the top of the mausoleum in year 590. After he appeared, he sheathed his sword as a sign that the plague which had tormented Rome finally had come to an end.

The original statue was made in marble, but was later replaced with the bronze replica that stands today. The original statue can however still be found at the open court inside the castle.

The museum

castel sant angelo statueThe castle really only lost its military function in 1925, when it was renovated and began to serve as a national museum, which it still does today. While the museum is certainly worth a visit, you should definitely explore Castel Sant’Angelo itself.

Lots to discover

The many different roles the castle has played are all here for its visitors to discover; all the way from the funeral passage of Hadrian to the beautifully-frescoed interiors from the Papal expansions as well as the defensive battlements of the Renaissance.

Anyone interested in history and architecture, will certainly enjoy a visit to Castel Sant’Angelo. It is also possible to access the top of the castle. It will give provide great view over Rome in general and the St Peter’s Basilica in particular.

Castel Sant’Angelo location

Castel Sant’Angelo is located on the banks of the Tiber in the heart of RomeItaly. The castle is situated close to the Vatican City. For the exact location of Castel Sant’Angelo, check out the location map to the right.

Castel Sant’Angelo Video

Parc Güell history

parc guell lizardParc Güell, built between 1900 and 1914, was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site. The idea behind the site came from Count Eusebi Güell. The Count wanted to build a type of gated community for Barcelona aristocracy – consisting of 60 houses surrounded by an extraordinary park.

Antonio Gaudi

The designer of the park, Antonio Gaudi, was an Art Nouveau and Modernist architect situated in Barcelona. He was a master of combing color and natural shapes into something out of this world.

Arguably, no other architect in history has ever had such an absolute influence on a city as Antonio Gaudi has had on Barcelona. There are great works of his Modernist style all over the city and this beautiful park is one of his most interesting works.

A change of plans

parc guell viewThe gated community Count Eusebi Güell had planned for did not work out. Due to poor response from potential clients, only two of the planned 60 houses ended up being built – neither of them designed by Gaudi.

One of these two buildings was intended to be a show house, but as no buyers came, Gaudi decided to buy it himself. He moved in with his family together with his father in 1906 and lived there on and off until his death in 1926. The building is today known as “la Torre Rosa” or “Casa-Museu Gaudi”.

A public park

Even though the gated community became an epic failure, the park remained a private garden of the Güell family until the 1920s. By then, the family handed over the park to the municipality which transformed it into the public park we have today.

Why visit Parc Güell ?

parc guell natureAntonio Gaudi’s Parc Güell is a park which is truly one of a kind. Nowhere else is there a park where beautiful rough stone creations, ceramic tiles, and landscaping details creates such an amazing fantasy world, while at the same time not overpowering the natural setting of the park environment.

Inspired by nature

Throughout the park, Gaudi’s strong influence by natural shapes is evident. Here visitors can find walkways supported by twisting rock pillars that seem to be growing out of the ground like trees.

One can also find several animal inspired sculptures, the most prominent one being the dragon found at the entrance to the park. The dragon is adorned with beautiful colored tiling, called “trencadis”, which Gaudi often used in his creations.

Terrace area

The focal point of the park is however the main terrace, surrounded by a long bench shaped as a sea serpent. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a great social atmosphere for all the visitors.

parc guell mosaicMany people rate Park Güell as a must see when visiting Barcelona; not only to enjoy the park but the amazing panoramic view of the city from the main terrace area. In 1984, Barcelona’s most magical park became listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; a true testament to how extraordinary this fascinating site is.

La Torre Rosa

One of the houses that did end up being built – La Torre Rosa – is today museum. The museum has notable examples of furnishings designed by Gaudi and other personal memorabilia. This house is definitely a must see for everyone interested in Gaudi and his architectural style.

Parc Güell location

Parc Güell is located in Barcelona, in eastern Spain. The park is situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of the city.  For the exact location of Parc Güell, check out the location map to the right.

Parc Güell Video

Palau Nacional history

palau nacionalAs we all know, looks can be deceiving and many say that it the case for this grand palace. While the palace appears to be a very old building, the truth is it is actually rather young.

The cityscape on the mountain the palace stands on, Montjuïc, has undergone two major changes; the first one in 1929 when the World Expo took place in Barcelona and a more recent change for the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992.

The palace was built during the first of these two large events – the World Expo – as one of the event’s main attractions. During the Expo, the palace became a major success and people came from all over Europe to discover its beauty.

Design

palau nacionalThe designers, the Spanish architects Enric Català and Pedro Cendoya Oscoz, built it in the style typical of palaces that housed European royalty.

Some say this rather classical design was a reaction to the Art Nouveau movement in general, and Antonio Gaudi in particular, whose style had been dominating the Barcelonan architecture since the early 20th century.

Construction

palau nacional magic fountainMany structures constructed for a World Expo has been built with impressive speed and the Palau Nacional is no exception. The foundation stone was laid in 1926 and the mighty building stood completed just three years later.

Restoration

When it was decided that Barcelona would host the 1992 Olympic Games, a restoration program was put into place to refine and modernize some parts of the palace. The majority of the work was completed before 1992, but some restoration work carried on through the whole 90ies.

palau nacionalThe restoration of the palace was officially finished in year 2004, when the King of Spain officially reopened it.

Why visit Palau Nacional ?

Today, the Palau Nacional is one of Barcelona’s most impressive landmarks and a key feature on the Montjuïc. While the building itself is beautiful to look at, it is just as nice to be on the building and look out from it.

Visitors to the inside can get access to the roof terrace. It provides its visitors with a stunning view over the Magic Fountain and the rest of the Barcelona.

Museum

palau nacional nightAfter the World Expo, the palace became the host for the “Museu d’Art de Catalunya” – The National Museum of Catalonian – which it still hosts today. The museum offers lots of beautiful art. The art includes both old and new works, but with a general focus on Romanesque art.

The Romanesque art is a 11th to 13th century art movement characterized by vibrant colors, elongated forms, and expressiveness. The museum is actually considered to be one of the most, if not the most, important center for Romanesque Art in the world. This museum is definitely a must for anyone interested in art and art history.

Palau Nacional location

Palau Nacional is located in Barcelona, in eastern Spain. The palace can be found on top of Montjuic in central parts of the city, close to the Olympic area and Poble Espanyol.  For the exact location of Palau Nacional, check out the location map to the right.

Palau Nacional Video

Montjuic Tower history

Montjuic Communications TowerThe Montjuïc Telecommunication Tower was built for the Barcelonan Olympic Games in 1992. The construction started in 1989 and when the tower stood completed three years later, the tower was not only a functional TV-tower but also a beautiful centerpiece for the whole Olympic site.

Torre Telefónica

The tower is also known as “Torre Telefónica” or “Torre Calatrava”. The latter name comes from the fact that it was designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The design of the 136 meters high tower is also inspired by the Olympics, as it symbolizes an athlete holding carrying the Olympic flame. The base of the tower is covered with mosaic made of broken tile shards – a celebration to the Barcelonan architect Antonio Gaudi, who often used the same technique.

Giant sundial

Montjuic Communications TowerWhile the main functions was to transmit the coverage of the games to the world, a little fun fact is that the tower can also be used as a giant sundial which uses the Europa square to determine the time.

Why visit Montjuic Tower ?

Today the tower, with its dominating view over Montjuïc, is a much appreciated structure for its beautiful smooth shapes. Many people visit the tower together with a visit to Poble Espanyol and Palau Nacional as a part of their Montjuïc trip.

Montjuic Tower location

Montjuic Communications Tower is located in Barcelona, in eastern Spain. The massive tower can be found on Montjuic, in city’s Olympic area.  For the exact location of Montjuic Communications Tower, check out the location map to the right.

Montjuic Tower Video

El Peix history

el peixEl Peix was, together with much of the Port Olimpic, constructed for the Barcelonan Olympic Games of 1992. The fish have also gotten the nickname “Gehry’s Fish” from its creator, the American Frank O Gehry.

He is considered to be one of the most creative contemporary architects, contrasting space, materials and form to create unusual, lively artwork which El Peix is a great example of.

Design

This large sculpture, measuring 35 meters high and 54 meters long, came out of Gehry’s interest and fascination fish imagery and their often extraordinary shapes. The sculpture is made out of stone, glass and steel.

el peixThe colour of the fish actually changes depending on the sunlight. During bright day, the fish has a clear gold shine which shifts to a darker bronze like colour during the evening.

Why visit El Peix ?

El Peix, also known as “The Golden Fish”, is a well known site in Barcelona. Pretty much all visitors have seen it; either from the nearby Barceloneta Beach or from Port Olimpic. The beautiful Golden Fish, with its shiny metal plates, is immediately eye catching and hard to miss.

Port Olympic

el peixWhile El Peix itself is worth a visit on its own, the site surrounding it has even more to offer. Even though the Olympic Games only lasted for a couple of months, the traces it has left behind can still be seen all over Barcelona today.

The Port Olimpic has become one of the key areas in Barcelona, with tons of shopping opportunities and a vast number of restaurants.

Many say El Peix is the perfect centrepiece for the Port, not only for its modern and beautiful shape, but for its symbolism and connection to what it is constantly looking across; the vast Mediterranean Sea.

El Peix location

El Peix is located is located in central Barcelona, in eastern Spain.The spectacular Golden Fish can be found in Port Olimpic, in central parts of the city.  For the exact location of El Peix, check out the location map to the right.

El Peix Video Guide

Columbus Monument history

The Columbus Monument, or “Monumento a Colón” as it goes by in Spanish, has a rich history. Many people mistakenly think that “Colón” refers to “column”, but it is actually the name which Columbus goes by in Spain. As hinted, the monument is dedicated to the legendary Christopher Columbus.

Christopher Columbus

Columbus was born in the mid 15th century, presumably in Genoa, Italy. However, some historians claim that he was born in Catalonia, which is another reason why this monument is placed here. He was born in a middle class family and quickly developed an interest in exploring. He is said to have gone to sea for the first time already at the age of ten.

When he became older, he took part in sea convoys around northern Europe and became a skilled navigator. He left his home in Italy and moved away, first to Portugal and later he settled in Spain.

The voyages

During the 15th century, Europe had long conducted trade with Asia in general and India in particular, via safe land routes. However, troubling times in the east made these trade routes much more dangerous. Columbus had idea that it would be much smarter to travel to the Indies by sailing directly west, across today’s Atlantic Ocean.

Columbus presented his plans for the King of Portugal as well as for the Italian cities of Venice and Genoa, but none of them was interested in funding his voyage of discovery.

He then turned to the monarchs on the Iberian Peninsula; Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castille, whom he after two years of lobbying managed to convince. Columbus set out on his first of four voyages the very same year his plans were funded and reached land two months after his departure.

A fun fact is that as Columbus reached land, his first thought was that he had successfully reached India. When he met the native population, he called them “Indos”, believing they were from India. This has lived on and is why the Native American population is called “Indians” even though they have nothing to do with India at all.

Colonization

In contrast to popular belief, Columbus wasn’t the first European to discover America. The first ones were Vikings, led by Leif Ericsson, who discovered America 500 years earlier by travelling through Iceland and Greenland to the North West coast of today’s Canada.

Columbus was however the man who initiated widespread contact between Europeans and indigenous Americans and which was the start of the colonization of North and South America.

The monument

The idea to create a monument dedicated to Columbus was born in the mid 19th century. The idea didn’t become reality until Barcelona was chosen to host the World Expo of 1888.

A design completion was held which was won by the Catalan Gaietà Buigas and the construction of the monument began in 1882. It stood completed six years later, just in time for the World Expo.

Why visit Columbus Monument ?

The monument is beautiful piece, dominated by several striking statues – all full of symbolism. Surrounding the pillar, visitors can see four seated figures which represents the four realms of Spain: the Principality of Catalonia and the kingdoms of León, Aragon and Castile.

In between these seated statues stand four additional statues. These depict people who made the voyages possible or who participated in the expeditions themselves.  One can also find portrait medallions depicting people related to Columbus.

Bronze decoration

At the bottom of the monument is eight large bronze bas-reliefs located. These reliefs depict important scenes in Columbus’s first voyage; all the way from the first meeting with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to his arrival in the New World and his return to Barcelona.

In between the reliefs, visitors can find the coat of arms representing locations Columbus visited. This includes the coat of arms of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Santa Fe, Barcelona, amongst others.

The bottom of the pillar itself is decorated with four bronze sculptures of the Roman victory goddess, Victoria, each one taking flight towards one of the corners of the world.

The monument is crowned with a seven meters high statue showing Columbus standing on a globe, pointing towards sea – perhaps to encourage us to do some more voyages of discovery.

Observation point

What many people might not know is that it is possible to take a small lift to an observation platform at the top. From there, you will get an excellent view over the Marina, Montjuïc and Barcelona’s old town – Barri Gothic.

The landing site

This beautiful 60 meters high monument is not located at the center of Plaça de la Porta de Pau, the Square of the Gate of Peace, without a reason. This is actually the site where Columbus is said to have landed upon returning after his first voyage to America.

Columbus Monument location

The Columbus Monument is located in central Barcelona, in eastern Spain. The building can be found near the Barcelonan Marina, in central parts of the city.  For the exact location of Columbus Monument, check out the location map to the right.

Columbus Monument Video

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia history

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia is one of Barcelona’s largest religious buildings. The cathedral is also known as La Seu Cathedral based on its location in front of Plaça de la Seu. The site of the cathedral has long been a place for worship, as the first basilica was built already during the Roman occupation in year 343 A.D. This basilica was later burned and destroyed during a Moor invasion, but it didn’t take long until a cathedral was built in its place.

Construction

The construction of the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia started in the late 13th century, when the existing cathedral was demolished. The old cathedral included a chapel, known as the Capella de Santa Llucia, which was actually kept and incorporated into the cathedral of today.

Due to civil wars and the Black Death, which hit the city several times, the construction of the cathedral progressed rather slowly. The main building wasn’t completed until 160 years later. The massive façade didn’t stand complete until year 1889. The last part, the 70 meters high central spire, was completed as late as in 1913.

Even though some parts of the cathedral were built rather recently, the design of both the facade and the spire were based on the original cathedral design.

Architectural style

The cathedral is built as a typical Gothic cathedral. The most evident part of this is the magnificent façade. By taking a closer look at the façade, visitors will see that its spires, pinnacles and arches all are pointing upwards.

This typical Gothic feature was a way of trying to reach up to heaven and connect the cathedral with God. The cathedral’s main entrance is dominated by a statue of Jesus, surrounded by the apostles.

Why visit Cathedral of Santa Eulalia ?

The cathedral is one of the most stunning buildings in Barcelona.  However, while the exterior of the cathedral is absolutely beautiful, the same is very much true for its interior. The interior consists of one wide nave with more then 20 side chapels, each one dedicated to a specific saint or a catholic event. One of the more well known chapels can be found to the right, just as one enters the cathedral.

Dodgy statue

It is known as “Capella del Sant Crist de Lepant” and depicts the figure of Christ crucified. The statue was taken aboard on one of the Christian galleys who fought in the sea Battle of Lapanto in 1571.

When looking at the statue, visitors will see that Jesus has a rather strange, tilting pose. The legend has it that this pose was created when the figure of Christ slightly shifted to the right during the battle to dodge an incoming cannonball.

Santa Eulalia

The cathedral has gotten its name from the co-patron saint of Barcelona, Santa Eulalia. According to the Catholic tradition, Eulalia was a young virgin who suffered martyrdom during Roman times in Barcelona. She was killed at the age of 13 for refusing to dismiss Jesus as the son of God. In front of the altar, visitors can find stairs leading down to the cathedral crypt. Inside this crypt lies the actual, beautiful sarcophagus of Eulalia.

The cloister

This site has more to offer than the cathedral itself. Adjacent to it lays a 14th century cloister, which is what many people rate as the best part of their cathedral visit. The charming cloister courtyard is a lush garden where one can find different types of trees and a small statue of a mounted Saint George, the other patron saint of Barcelona.

Also located in the courtyard is a small mossy pond known as the Well of the Geese. The name originates from the fact that it houses a flock of white geese, whose ancestors have been living in the courtyard ever since its creation. The flock consists of thirteen geese, each one representing a year in Santa Eulalia’s short life. The courtyard has, quite fittingly, been called the “loveliest oasis in Barcelona”.

To the top

What some people don’t know is that it is possible to take a lift to the roof of the cathedral. Up there, special made walkways allows visitors to wander around while at the same time enjoying a great view over Gothic Barcelona.

While Antonio Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia may be Barcelona’s most famous landmark – and rightfully so – the Santa Eulalia still holds it own as one of the most impressive cathedrals in Spain.

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia location

The Cathedral of Santa Eulalia is located in central Barcelona, in eastern Spain. The building can be found in front of Plaça de la Seu in central parts of the city.  For the exact location of Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, check out the location map to the right.

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia Video