While many people bring backpacks to Mt. Kilimanjaro, there are also some other bags that work well for going up the mountain. The North Face Base Camp Duffel is my personal favorite – and works well because it’s waterproof and very durable with great straps. You can also use the North Face Duffel on other types of expeditions, like rafting or desert trips. Take into consideration these types of waterproof duffels are not good for backpacking, but they are good for carrying gear up the mountain and on safari. They do have backpack straps, without a hip strap, so you can carry them on your back if needed. But I wouldn’t backpack with it for multiple days.
If you have an adventure in Tanzania planned, and don’t plan to travel much on your own (meaning you are on a tour), any type of waterproof duffel will work. If you use a backpack, make sure it’s waterproof or you have something to keep the rain and snow from penetrating and making your clothes and gear wet. The Osprey Packs Raincovers are affordable and can easily fit snug onto most backpacks.
Do you always need to waterproof your luggage on Mt. Kilimanjaro? No – not always, many operators put backpacks inside other canvas bags and it works fine. But sometimes it can make the difference between gear that is warm and clean for seven days, or dirty and wet.