Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Review


Just a few months ago, I purchased the 60L Patagonia Black Hole duffel bag and let me tell you, they call it a “black hole” for a reason! Whether you’re going on a quick weekend getaway or a two week trip, this duffel is up for the challenge. I can easily fit a few pairs of jeans, several shirts, a light jacket, sandals, and a pair of running shoes with tons of room to spare. While it is very roomy and spacious on the inside, this duffel bag doesn’t get too bulky. The bag itself is very light and flexible, making it easy to store. So far I’ve taken this duffel on a week trip all over New England (NYC, Massachusetts, and Maine) and a weekend getaway to Mexico. It was perfect for both! The next adventure with my duffel, will be Thailand next summer! 

There are two small, mesh pockets on the inside flap of the main compartment. These zipper pockets are perfect for toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, and other small travel necessities. It keeps your stuff in one convenient spot, so you don’t have to dig all around your bag to find that one small thing. There is also a large zipper pocket on the front of the bag, which is where I normally store my phone and tablet chargers, because it’s easily accessible. 

The material of this duffel bag is extremely durable! It is tough and water resistant, with an added rain flap over the zipper of the main U-shaped compartment. The bag is also heavily padded on the bottom, providing extra protection from rough bag handlers. And my personal favorite part of the bag is the backpack straps! This duffel has two sets of carrying straps: normal handles AND backpack straps! Using the backpack straps means keeping your hands free, which is a blessing in disguise when you’re trekking through the airport, carrying coffee and boarding passes! Being able to throw my bag over my shoulder and be on my way, makes everything so much easier! Which leads into the final awesome thing about this bag… It’s carry-on size! Which means you can carry it onto the plane with you, instead of checking it. When I went to Costa Rica last December (before I bought my black hole duffel), my bags were lost by the airline and I went four days without luggage. This is every traveler’s worst nightmare! But now I will never have that trouble again! 

Patagonia carries a large variety of the Black Hole Duffels; smaller and larger sizes, some rolling duffels, etc. I am so, so pleased with this bag and if you’re an avid traveler, I highly suggest looking into one of these! 

Click here to buy the Black Hole Duffel

  1. adam s.
    adam s. says:

    Thanks for sharing! Did you have a laptop with you? If so, is there a laptop sleeve with the pack? Or did you just bring your own and toss it inside the duffle?

    • Joseph Hallgren
      Joseph Hallgren says:

      Hello Adam!

      Ferryn did not have a laptop with her cat the time, and there is no incorporated laptop sleeve in the bag. Depending on what you pack in the bag, there could be room to fit a laptop in a third party sleeve though if you do not want to bring a second bag.

      My recommended bag if you are looking for one that can hold your laptop is the SOVRN Republic Drifter HD. It holds up to a 17" laptop and can carry a good amount of stuff with you, making it a great second bag. You can read our review here:

      Thank you for your comment, and we hope you are enjoying the website.

  2. Louise
    Louise says:

    Hey Joseph!
    Really liked your article. I am going to do a road-trip in Asia for 4 months and looking for a good carry-on duffle bag with shoulder straps. I was about to buy the 45liters but found your article and realized the 60l might be able to pass the carry-on limits. Is it actually bigger than the maximum carry-on bag..? I’m afraid Asian companies might be strict on the size of the carry-on baggage. North Face is selling a 50l duffle bag and I’m not sure if I should play the safety card and buy it or go for the 60l from Patagonia and take a small risk?
    What do you think?

    Sorry about all the questions and cheers for your awesome blog, love it !

    Merry Christmas and thank you very much,


    • Joseph Hallgren
      Joseph Hallgren says:

      Hi Louise!

      Thanks for the comment, and be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter during your trip, we would love to see them!

      To my knowledge, Ferryn has never had an issue getting the bag onto any plane as a carry on, and I know I have not had an issue with similar sized bags, although I believe it is slightly larger than the TSA/Airline measurements of HxWxL that a carry on is supposed to be. That being said, I have noticed that most everything seems to larger than that unless you are brining a laptop case or a small bag. I think the risk is perfectly fine, especially if you know you’re not going to be on any tiny planes, where I have had an issue even getting the smaller 45L bags on (sometimes just due to the boarding order, and being closer to the last few).

      That being said, I was also in this dilemma with an upcoming trip, and was going to buy this bag for myself. Instead I opted for The North Face’s Base Camp Duffel – Medium. Its a 70L bag, and from looking at it, its not much bigger in how it looks than this Patagonia bag. I will be flying to Europe with it next week, so if you would like I can post a comment once I land if I get it on a plane (luckily it has shoulder straps, so that will help getting it on). Although obviously for either of these bags, the size of the plane will greatly impact your ability to get them on as a carry on bag.

      Merry Christmas to you too, feel free to comment with anymore questions or concerns,

      and as always, Safe Travels.