Road trips, car camping, more road trips and more car camping — that is a perfect recipe for the new Patagonia Black Hole 90L duffel bag. With ample space and versatile carrying options, this bag just might be the ultimate travel bag.
Patagonia Black Hole 90L Duffel Bag Features:
- Polyester ripstop fabric with highly weatherproof TPU laminate
- Large, zippered opening to main compartment
- Two mesh pockets on inside lid
- Single zippered side pocket
- Stuffs into the side pocket for storage
- Padded, removable shoulder straps with reinforced haul handles for easy carrying
- Padded base to protect contents
- Daisy chains for lashing
- Internal compression straps
- Fabric: 15-oz 900-denier 100% polyester ripstop (50% solution-dyed) with a TPU film laminate and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
- Weight: 1417 g (50 oz)
- Price: $149
A wanderer’s best friend
Summertime is for wandering. It’s for loading up the car and heading out of town for a night or a string of nights. It’s for family vacations and solo camping expeditions. Hauling all the necessary gear to the airport or on other modes of transportation requires the right kind of luggage. As with all of Patagonia’s products, their goal is to make something that will last a lifetime — and the new Black Hole 90L duffel may outlast me.
My first trip using the Black Hole 90L was a two-week road trip for a family reunion in Madison, SD. We loaded up all the kids gear into their respective bags and then I gathered all my needed clothing, shoes and bike gear. As you’d expect, I don’t go anywhere without a bike in tow and the Black Hole swallowed everything in style. All my gear fit neatly inside — including my helmet, cycling shoes and trail running shoes with various items in the large zippered pocket.
As you can see, the bag features a criss-cross compression system to keep everything in place — in spite of the not-so-careful hands of the TSA or my young kids. In addition to keeping things in place, it compresses the bag for a more comfortable carry with the shoulder straps deployed.
Yes, this bag features three carrying methods: standard handle, webbing handle loops on either end and removable shoulder straps. With the load properly compressed, the shoulder straps turn this bag into a trekking bag that’s comfortable to haul for long distances. No, it’s not a proper backpack and you won’t want to carry it all day, but you certainly could if push came to shove. The straps are easily-deployed and offer a nice shape and sufficient padding for carrying comfort.
The exterior fabric not only looks great, but performs in spectacular fashion as well. It is a rubberized polyester shell that makes it highly water-resistant and very durable. I have loved the worry-free exterior and appreciated being able to throw it into the Yakima LoadWarrior without worring about a summer storm.
With the large side zippered pocket, you get ample room for toiletries, energy bars and/or tools. I typically stashed bike tools, nutrition, bike tubes, sunglasses and such in that pocket with room to spare.
Car camping champ
Another adventure was a multi-day car camping trip. Instead of going the backpack route, I used the Black Hole and loved how easy it was to haul around and the durability it provided. Once again, loaded up with all the necessary items, it simply swallowed it all. I particularly like the extra burly bottom and padding to protect your gear.
As you can see, this bag is quite at home atop the Subaru in the Yakima LoadWarrior. Should you need to haul it outside your vehicle, it’s easily lashed in place and withstands at the elements — within reason. A dry bag it is not, but the DWR finish on the polyester ripstop base and the TPU laminated upper fabric can hold its own during mild to moderate rain. If lashed to the exterior of you vehicle during a downpour, it’s going to leak through the zippers and may exceed the water resistance of the polyester fabric, so consider it highly weather-resistant.
Both of my trips were relatively weather-free, so I simulated a downpour by placing the loaded bag inside the shower. After about 5 minutes of that, the interior was quite wet and soggy. If the lid employed waterproof zippers, that might not have been the case. I’m sure it could have withstood that kind of water for a longer period.
- Durable exterior fabric
- High overall water resistance
- Flexibility of carrying as a duffel or backpack
- Interior compression straps keep things in place
- Padded bottom protects your gear
- Carries well as a backpack
- I wish the lid had a waterproof zipper
The Bottom Line: Patagonia Black Hole 90L
The Black Hole 90L is a fantastic bag for traveling or car camping. With a “just right” size, this bag can carry a week’s worth of gear with ease, does an admirable job withstanding the elements and can take more than its fair share of abuse. Having deployable backpack straps is also a huge bonus just in case.
Buy Now: Available at Patagonia.com