Camp Trunks, Duffle Bags & More: How You Should Pack and Why

Camp Trunks and Duffle Bags for Sleepaway Camp

As your summer approaches, you’ll want to start thinking about the best way to pack in order to optimize space and comfort for your child at sleepaway camp. Depending on the length and type of camp your child decides to attend and the distance it is from your home, you may prefer to send your child with either a trunk or a duffle bag.

There are many different factors that go into choosing the right type of luggage for your child’s camp experience. For example, if your child is flying to camp, they may prefer a sleepaway camp duffle bag instead of something more bulky or heavy. Read on for a comprehensive guide to the camp trunks and duffle bags, and their different uses when it comes to attending summer camp.

Size and Weight of the Camp Luggage

It’s important to consider the size and weight of your child’s camp luggage, as they will have to be able to carry any luggage they bring. In addition, cabins usually have limited space for storage, so anything oversized or super bulky might get in the way. With that being said, duffle bags are great because they can easily be stored on luggage racks, in storage rooms, or fit under the bunk.

While camp trunks are more difficult for kids to lug around by themselves, they will help your child stay more organized throughout the camp session. Trunks are large enough to function as a mini dresser for your child while they are at camp. Look for camp trunks with wheels and handles to assure easier movement.

The best luggage option for your child may depend on the way the cabins are set up at your child’s camp. If each child has space near their bunk to store a camp trunk, then that might be the best option. Camp trunks are more bulky than duffle bags, but they may be sturdier.

If driving your child (or children) to camp, trunks may require larger transport space, so be sure to consider if you can fit your choice in your vehicle.


Price should also play a role in your deciding whether to get a camp trunk or a sleepaway camp duffle bag. Duffle bags are often cheaper than camp trunks, and you may already have one at home that you are willing to the wear and tear of camp life.

It’s also smart to consider the cost of shipping. Because of the weight of a trunk, it may ultimately be more expensive to ship or to bring on a plane.

Durability and Longevity

Does your child plan on attending camp for several years to come? Do you (also) have younger children that hope to attend camp some day? If so, you might want to invest in camp luggage that is more durable so that it can be used for multiple summers.

Camp trunks are generally more durable than duffle bags.  In addition, trunks are typically less susceptible to water damage than summer camp duffle bags.

Ease of Transportation

Duffle bags usually feature handles and sometimes also come with wheels, which will make it easier for your child to get around when transporting luggage is necessary. If your child is flying to camp, consider shipping their luggage so that they don’t need to haul it around the airport.

You may want to ask your camp staff whether kids will have help moving their luggage into and out of the cabins. If your child has to carry their luggage by themselves, you may want to practice moving and carrying luggage with your child ahead of time.

Camp Resources

It’s always a good idea to look into what your camp recommends and permits. Pali Adventures permits both camp trunks and sleepaway camp duffle bags. In addition, Pali Adventures has a well-stocked camp store that offers a Sleeping Package as well as many wearables.  Your child can literally show up with minimal items from the packing list, and purchase a bedding bundle, sweatshirts, pjs, and a 5-shirt T-shirt bundle for their stay.

You don’t want your child to have anxiety about packing, moving luggage, or having the right supplies. So make sure you give yourself plenty of planning time to ensure that your child has all the right luggage and gear to have a great time at summer camp. And make sure they know what items are tucked away in their trunk or duffle bag so it is one less thing to think about at camp.

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