How To Add A Shoulder Strap To A Duffel Bag

You've just bought a new duffel bag and are excited to use it on your next adventure. But there's one problem: the bag doesn't have a shoulder strap. So how do you add one? We researched to provide extra help!

Adding a shoulder strap to your duffel bag helps to keep it from slumping over when carrying it. The bag often slumps when you load it with many heavy items. Attaching the shoulder strap is relatively straightforward and only takes a few minutes.

  1. Measure the dimensions of your duffel bag. 
  2. Get a strap of the correct size.
  3. Attach the strap to the duffel bag.
  4. Add a second strap if needed.

This blog will provide tips on determining the right size strap for your duffel bag and how to attach it. So, keep reading.

duffel bag travel case leather holdall valise fashion modern carry handle, How To Add A Shoulder Strap To A Duffel Bag

Is Adding a Shoulder Strap to a Duffel Bag Difficult? 

grey duffel gym bag for sport and fitness, an unbranded open bag full of clothes on the table with room background and copy space.

A shoulder strap makes it much easier to carry your duffel bag. Adding the strip to your bag is relatively easy. You only need basic sewing knowledge and a few tools. These tools include some webbing, a few rivets, and a strong sewing needle.

What are the Steps in Adding a Shoulder Strap to a Duffel Bag?

Green Canvas and Leather Duffel Bag

It's easy to overpack a duffel bag, especially when you're not sure what you'll need for your trip. But carrying the luggage when packed can be challenging if you don't have a shoulder strap. So, here's how you can add the strip.

1. Measure the Dimensions of Your duffel bag

You'll need to know the width and height of the bag to find a strap that's the right size.

2. Get a Strap of the Correct Size

Next, find a strap that's the right length and width for your bag. Make sure the strap is also comfortable to wear, as you'll be carrying the bag on your shoulder.

3. Attach the Strap to the Duffel Bag

Once you find the perfect strap, please attach it to the duffel bag. Most strips will have loops or D-rings that you can thread through the bag's handles. If not, you can always sew the strap onto the bag yourself.

Start by making the side strap tabs. Cut a piece of webbing that measures about 2 inches wide and 8 inches long. Fold the webbing in half lengthwise, and sew it together along the long edges. Then, cut two slits in the center of the tab, about 2 inches apart. These slits will help the tab grip the side of the bag.

Next, make the long strap. Cut a piece of webbing about 4 inches wide and 60 inches long. Fold the webbing in half lengthwise, and sew it together along the long edges. Then, attach a slider to one end of the strap. A slider is a small plastic or metal device that allows you to adjust the length of the strap.

Now you can attach the adjustable strap to the duffel bag. Thread one end of the strap through one of the slits in a side tab, then thread it through the loop on the slider. Pull on the free end of the strip until the slider is tight against the tab. Iterate this process on the other side of the bag.

4. Add a Second Strap, if Needed

Depending on how you want to carry your duffel bag, you may also want to add a second strap for added support. If so, simply repeat steps 1-3 with the second strap.

And that's it! Now you can enjoy hands-free carrying with your new and improved duffel bag. Just throw it over your shoulder and hit the road.

What Are Some of the Best Ways to Use a Duffel Bag With a Shoulder Strap?

Bag strap isolated on white background

Duffel bags with shoulder straps are versatile and can be used for various activities, from traveling to the gym or going on a day hike. They are also convenient because you can easily carry them, whether you use the handles or wear the bag over your shoulder.

Here are some of the best ways to use a duffel bag with a shoulder strap:

Airplane Luggage

Use it as a carry-on bag when traveling by plane. Duffel bags are the perfect size for carrying on to a plane, and the shoulder strap makes it easy to keep your hands free while maneuvering through the airport.

Gym Bag

Fill the bag with your workout gear and use it as a gym bag. The shoulder strap will make it easy to carry the bag from your car to the locker room and back again.

Out-of-town Bag

Use it as an overnight bag when staying with family or friends. If you are planning to stay at someone's house for a night or two, pack a change of clothes and toiletries in your duffel bag, so you don't have to lug around a bulky suitcase.

If you pack lightly, you can even use the bag as a carry-on for your flight home from vacation.

Outdoor Packing

Fill it with snacks and drinks for a day at the beach or hiking trail. Shoulder straps make duffel bags much easier to carry than coolers, so they are ideal for packing food and beverages for a day spent outdoors.


Use it as a storage option in your home. If you have extra blankets, pillows, or towels that you need to store somewhere, placing them in a duffel bag with a shoulder strap can be an easy way to keep them organized and out of the way.

Plus, shouldering the load will make it easier to move the bags from one location to another if necessary.

How Much Would It Cost to Add a Shoulder Strap to a Duffel Bag? 

Man Casual Fashion. Man walking street with duffel canvas bag.

There are several ways to add a shoulder strap to a duffel bag. One option is to purchase a bag that already has a strap attached. Another option is to buy a strap separately and attach it yourself. The cost of either of these options will vary depending on the bag and strap you choose.

But how much does this simple modification cost? The answer, of course, depends on the duffel bag in question.

You can purchase a basic duffel bag for as little as $20, while a more high-end model can cost upwards of $200. Also, you can find shoulder straps for as little as $5. But the price will vary based on the material and quality of the strap. For a mid-range duffel bag and strap, one can expect to pay around $30-$40.

See this shoulder strap on Amazon.

Ultimately, the cost of adding a shoulder strap to a duffel bag is relatively low compared to the overall cost of the bag itself. However, the convenience and comfort that a shoulder strap provides are priceless.

What are Some Benefits of Having a Shoulder Strap on a Duffel Bag? 

We often use the duffel bag for travel or sports. It typically has a rectangular shape and is made from a durable fabric such as canvas or nylon. Here are five benefits of having a shoulder strap on a duffel bag:

  • They make duffel bags more comfortable to carry, especially when the bag is full.
  • They help to distribute the bag's weight more evenly, making it easier to carry for long periods.
  • They make it easier to keep your balance when carrying a duffel bag alongside other bags or luggage.
  • They make it easier to store your duffel bag in a small space, such as an overhead bin on an airplane.
  • They can add extra security to your duffel bag, as they can help prevent the bag from being stolen.

Final Words

Now that you know how to add a shoulder strap to your duffel bag, it's time to put this newfound knowledge into practice! It's not as hard to add a shoulder strap to a duffel bag. With just a few simple supplies and some patience, you can easily convert your duffel into a more versatile piece of luggage.

Be sure to read our other posts for more tips and tricks on how to make your travel experience as seamless as possible:

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How To Pack A Suit In A Duffel Bag

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