Duffel Bag

About a decade ago, I opened a checking account with a bank that doesn’t even exist anymore (NBC, bought by Suntrust (now Truist) in 2005). At the time, of course, I didn’t know it was going to stop existing. I just knew that it, conveniently, had a branch inside the Kroger I lived next to.

As a gift for opening an account, I got a medium-sized duffel bag. I didn’t even know I would get anything, and I chose the duffel bag mostly randomly (I don’t recall what other things I had the option of getting). The bag is red with black highlights and has a “Moke Sports” logo on one side.

This bag lasted me through 10 years of trips to four different continents, has been camping multiple times, has been to more airports than most of my friends have, has been on buses, trains, and in the backs of any number of vehicles, and has protected my stuff from rain, flood, snow, hail, insects, and one particularly curious and insistent raccoon. It’s quite spacious and flexible, yet squashes down to fit in the smallest overhead airplane bin. It has a shoulder strap (which I’ve replaced), handles on every side, and can be worn as a backpack in a pinch. It’s not the best duffel bag in the world, nor the highest quality (it’s coming apart at the seams a bit these days), but it has served me well.

What’s weird is that a search (with my usual level of diligence; that is to say, not much) did not turn up much information about the company that actually made the bag. I wanted to send them a note just to let them know that I appreciated their product, but I can’t find much of a storefront. Moke seems to be a brand of a parent company that sells watches and random travel accessories, but they also don’t seem to sell bags anymore. Or maybe I’m looking in the wrong place altogether.

So if you want a surprisingly useful and fantastic duffel bag, travel to 2005-era Blacksburg, VA and open a checking account at NBC. (And people say my stories don’t have useful moral lessons!)

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