I'm not sure how I stumbled across this free pattern from Noodlehead, but I'm glad I did. My version is much much simpler than her version, but I'm really happy with how it came out. I read a lot of various blogs and reviews before I started sewing mine.
I was totally inspired by Coconut Robot's Cargo Duffle. Her version is beautiful. And though I used a lot of her modifications and I love the look of the quilting, I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much time on it.I expanded the width of my bag using the measurements Kacia provides. In the original pattern the finished bag is about 5 inches wide whereas this version ends up being closer to 9 inches wide. I would definitely recommend adding the width as I can't imagine it being narrower. This size is perfect.
I also chose to leave off the front snap pockets and opted for a zip pocket instead. Adding the zip pocket was a lot easier and I like the look better as well.
Another change I made was making the handles out of upholstery vinyl. I just cut a 4 inch wide strip, folded it in half and sewed down both sides.
To finish off the bag, I added a lining and used a heavy weight sew-in interfacing on the side and bottom panels. The bag ends up having great structure, but is still lightweight. I took this bag on an overnight trip recently and it was the perfect size for all of my husband and my stuff.
I'm so happy with how this bag came out and happy with all the changes I made. If you give it a try, I'd love to hear what you think.