Somewhere between a drawstring cinch backpack and a large dopp kit you’ll find the ditty bag, an easy to carry, easy to use and easy to stow piece of luggage that you should be using if you’re not already. Said to have originated with sailors in the early 18th Century, the ditty bag was originally made with sailcloth and designed to store all the sailor’s personal effects. What is a ditty bag for now? Camping. Traveling. Commuting. Working out. Any time you need a general use bag that can be slung, hung or used to separate gear in a larger bag, the ditty bag is there. Here are our favorites:


Liberty Mountain Ditty Bags

The most basic options on this list, Liberty Mountain Ditty Bags are made with 210D oxford cloth that’s lightweight but still heavier than other cloth options. They come in five different sizes ranging from 4″ x 7″ to 13″ x 16″ and a variety of assorted colors. The closure is a simple drawstring run through a tunnel at the top with a plastic cordlock to cinch it closed. These aren’t the most interesting ditty bags on the market, but they’ll durably store your gear in a bright package you won’t have to worry about losing. $6


REI Co-op Ditty Sack (Package of 3)

If you don’t want to settle for a single size ditty—or you have too much stuff to cram in just one bag—you’re going to want this REI Co-op Ditty Sack set of three. With a green 2L, red 3L and blue 7L included in the set, these nylon ditty bags are perfect for separating clothes from gear and shoes when you’re camping or organizing your suitcase for travel. They cinch closed with a traditional drawstring closure and weigh a whopping 2.5 ounces for the entire set. $17


Sea Bags Ditty Bag

Maine-based Sea Bags built an entire business around transforming recycled sails into bags, and one look at their recycled sail ditty bag is all it takes to see why they’ve been so successful. Each Sea Bags Ditty Bag is handcrafted from a recycled sail bag with a color randomly chosen from blue, black, red, green, grey or yellow. The 10″ high x 8″ wide bag works like any other ditty bag but looks far more contemporary than its waxed canvas counterparts. Best of all, it’s machine-washable so you can easily clean it after using it. $25


Camp + Crew Ditty Bag

We’d like to think that the crew at Florida’s Camp + Crew had an original, centuries old ditty bag on hand when they started designing theirs because it just feels like it’s old-school construction with modern materials. 100% hand-crafted with #10 Martenix waxed canvas. Lined with contrasting cotton canvas. Accented with leather loops and a leather slide closure. Even the logo silk screened onto the light denim is done by hand. If that’s not unique enough, each handmade ditty bag will wear and distress differently over time. $60


Sword & Plough Ditty Bag

Built with a 15oz cotton canvas and military surplus woodland camo, the Sword & Plough Ditty Bag is the perfect example of a modern take on a storied classic. The contrast between the olive cotton canvas and the woodland camo print further pops with the addition of bras grommets, a brass boat clip and a black cotton rope for carrying and securing. Each one-of-a-kind ditty bag is Made in America and measures 20″ tall with a base diameter of 10″. $79


Best Made Waxed Ditty Bag

Best Made makes every one of their products true to their name. The Best Made Waxed Ditty Bag is no different. The naval inspired, reinforced waxed canvas ditty bag has a 10 liter capacity and is made with 10 ounce waxed army duck canvas. It cinches closed, attaches to things or hangs off your shoulder with a hand-spliced and hand-whipped rope lanyard run through solid brass grommets and fit with a bronze spring snap hook at one end. It even comes with a tin of Best Made wax to keep it protected long term. $128
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