Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Review
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For starters, we loved the name of this bag, The Black Hole! Patagonia allows you to select from three different sizes to determine how big your Black Hole needs to be to match your base camp and travel needs. We tested out the 60L version, however the bag is available in 90L and 120L with the same design and color scheme.
Fortunately, when you stuff items into this bag they do not disappear. Rather, the Black Hole duffel offers a few ways to keep yourself organized with an outer zippered compartment featuring water resistant zippers and a mesh two part zippered compartment on the lid. The remaining space can be packed with just about anything you can think of. For instance, I took the Black Hole for a weekend getaway to tropical Minnesota in February and was able to pack my laptop, clothes for 3 and a half days, running shoes, a puffy, personal effects, and 2 books with some room to spare. The 60L bag also doubles as a ski day bag with my boots, helmet, ski pants, goggles, hat, and gloves stuffed inside and thrown into the cargo box. The U shaped lid helps with not only throwing gear into the bag, but allows you to get a better look for that hard to reach item at the bottom of the Black Hole.
The Black Hole is easy to carry around the airport or town thanks to adjustable and removable backpack straps that are actually pretty comfortable. I’m 5’9″ and the bag sat just above my hips and hit at my lower back. Be warned, do not put anything sharp near the lid if you plan to carry it like a pack because your lower back will pay for it. If you like to carry your duffel like a true duffel, there are a traditional webbing handles with a snap closure. The outside of the bag also features 4 daisy chains or loops that can allow you to attach additional gear to the outside or attach a bag or two together. The 60L bag fits easily in the overhead compartment, even when packed to the max. There are two haul loops on each end of the bag that facilitates yanking your bag out of the overhead compartment, stuffed backseat, etc. Patagonia also states that you can link multiple bags together with these loops, such as when placing your bag on-top of a bus in South America!
Did I mention the best part about the Black Hole? The bag is made from made from 14.7-oz 1,200-denier polyester and finished with a TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) film laminate and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish to make this bag water resistant and ready to tackle some time on the roof of a vehicle, a drop into a puddle, or a week of being crammed under the vestibule of a tent during the rainy season. The zippers are also water resistant to maintain a tight seal all the way around. The bottom of the bag features a little bit of padding to help protect your gear from accidental drops, including those from our friends in the airline industry. For more information on the Black Hole Duffel 60L and other Patagonia products, visit www.patagonia.com or www.rei.com/patagonia.