I’m here to talk about the lululemon On My Level Barrel Duffle Bag 16L, which is a duffel bag I’m currently testing out for size, quality and style.

Most of the time I review duffel bags for travel purposes, but this cute duffel is more of a lifestyle and casual (gym) duffel that would make a good addition to a road trip, if you wanted to make it into a piece of luggage.

Other than that, I think this duffel from lululemon is true to the LLL brand in that it’s stylish, fun and has functional pockets and features for everyday use.

Read on to see what I think about it, and how I’d employ it for getting on the road.

Main pros and cons

  • Pro: Smooth zippers, good-sized handles and elastic holder to keep adjustable strap neat
  • Pro: Excellent flat zippered pockets inside, and mesh pocket organization panel
  • Pro: Lightweight and comfy to use or wear, even for short people like me
  • Con: Doesn’t have travel features like a luggage pass-through (it’s mainly a gym bag)
  • Con: No smaller organization pockets inside the exterior pockets nor interior pockets

Why I got it: lululemon On My Level Barrel Duffle Bag 16L

Many would call this a gym bag, but in my lifestyle, I don’t hit the gym! I work out at home by doing yoga, going for walks and doing the occasional bike ride. “Gym bag” isn’t really in my vocabulary.

But I wanted a cute and more petite duffel, because a lot of the travel duffels are bigger, boxier and bulkier. This duffel is a cute one I want to bring out for a day trip or maybe even use as a pool bag by throwing in a rolled-up towel and some flip flops, zipping it up the way duffels allow me to.

Summary of this LLL duffel

lululemon makes quality products—I mean, I love my LLL leggings, the black lululemon hat I wear nearly every day in nice weather and my lululemon belt bag.

This duffel holds 16L, which is comparable to a lot of the backpacks I know and love. That being said, it’s a good size for someone petite like me—I’m 5’2” and 110 lbs. Bigger backpacks and bigger duffels look plain silly on me, and I’m always on the hunt for a useful bag that looks cute and stylish when I’m using it.

The duffel is built with cool features like a well-sliding zipper on the main cavity, an adjustable crossbody strap, interior organization and exterior access pockets.

Best features (in my opinion)

The best features that I got excited about are listed here:

  • Neat elastic slider on the crossbody strap that keeps the two sides of the strap held together (I like this feature on backpacks, too).
  • The flat interior pockets with zippers: great for valuables.
  • The mesh interior pockets: for less-valuable stuff that I’m okay with floating around, this is where I stash random bits like accessories or things that come in tubes like sunscreen, body lotion, lip balm and hand sanitizer.
  • Water-repellent fabric that’s crucial for the gym, of course, but also good for the pool, lake or beach. Plus, it’s all-weather-proof, making it a year-round duffel for taking out on trips.
  • Removable strap: I’ve discussed in other duffel bag reviews how because I’m short and my body runs narrow, I mostly use duffel bags with the grab handles, rather than slinging them around my frame. I like stowing away the shoulder strap for convenience.

Handy features for travel days

I’m thinking of bringing this duffel on a road trip or use as an overnight bag, so here is what I’m excited about:

It fits a packing cube and a pair of shoes, plus some toiletries, if you are traveling light. And if I want to have workout essentials with me while I’m on the road, I can pack travel-sized workout products in there with little issue.

Exterior zipper pocket is where I’d put anything I want to access in a jiffy without getting into what’s inside, like my top road trip accessories

It’s small enough to carry around if I’m out and about, meaning I could put “daypack things” in there and use it like a day bag.

Room for improvement

This barrel duffel is great for what it does best, suiting me as an everyday duffel for being out, on a day excursion, being in the car and going somewhere or out at the pool. I’ll comment below on how it’s not really built to go on a big trip with you, nor store your tech.

No trolley sleeve

I was eyeing this bag originally as a potential travel duffel, and that’s why I chose it. After seeing that it isn’t meant for storing a laptop (something I’d take on a flight in my personal item, and the size of this duffel would make the cut), and that it lacks a trolley sleeve for suitcase “stacking,” I now see it more as an activity duffel or a road trip luggage product.

No tech organizer

A lot of duffels I’ve used have had more organizational panels inside a zipper pocket where you can store smaller things like headphones, charging wires or pens. This duffel is not meant for that, because the focus is on being a bag for athletic activities, sports or gym. That’s what it is—so I’m not able to judge it for something it’s not.

Good for travel?

If you plan on taking the On My Level 16L Duffle on a flight, I’d probably tell you to think again, if your focus is on airport use.

But overall, because of the strap, the build and the strong nylon materials (plus the two zippered pockets inside!), you could take this bag anywhere. I’ll be taking it on road trips because it’s functional and I like the size, just like my slightly larger Patagonia Black Hole Duffel.

Good as a gym bag or pool bag?

Bigger yes here. I will probably take my lululemon duffel bag to the pool, or to an exercise class, as practical uses for a bag of this size and shape. If you have a thin pool towel, that should fit inside, if you fold it or roll it to the shape of the bag. You can also fit a small change of clothes, and flip flops.

For going out to a yoga class, this is a bag I wish I had a year ago, when I was taking a tote bag on my shoulder to class. Having a barrel duffel would’ve made a lot more sense, for having a zipper and the crossbody option for wearing and styling it.

I can keep my keys and phone in the interior zipper pockets, and I can fit essentials like a quick-dry sweat towel, a jacket or sweatshirt that I’ll want to take off after warming up, a water bottle, and accessories like sunglasses, my lululemon baseball cap and a snack.

Worth it?

I’ll stand by the fact that the best buy to date from lululemon is the Everywhere Belt Bag, and most other products from LLL are a little on the expensive side. For a gym bag, you may be looking at duffels that come a bit less pricy.

But if you think the price point for the On My Level Duffle is appropriate, then you won’t be disappointed at how this 16L bag remains fashion-forward and won’t go out of style anytime soon.

How to buy it

I always get my lululemon products directly from the lululemon website, where you get free shipping AND returns (this is important).

You can check the availability for this bag at the On My Level Barrel Duffle Bag 16L product page.

More thoughts on lululemon

lululemon is a brand I caught on to in the past few years, as I embraced athleisure, staying fit and traveling. I’ve capitalized on a lot of the products from the brand that serve me for convenience and comfort, like my Everyday Belt Bag in the 2L size. I’m wearing it right now (I wear it around the house sometimes after getting out of the car).

lululemon products are good quality, in my experience, so I’m glad to recommend them. The designs also rarely go out of style, mostly because they’re close to activewear styles that are purposeful and functional. As for the non-clothing products from LLL that I’ve tried, I like to place them first among my favorites in luggage, fanny packs, purses and accessories.