Long Term Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 60L Review
Some might see the Patagonia Black Hole travel duffel bag 60L as a small addition to their baggage arsenal. I am here to tell you that you can live out of this 60L duffel bag. For years I have preached on my soapbox, “the more compact and light your travel gear is, the better”. As someone who has traveled to many different countries for varying weeks to years, I have had to carry all of my possessions on my back. Like a hairy pale soft-shelled turtle, I made my way around with this Patagonia duffel bag fixed to my torso.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel During Travel
Being the 60 liter Duffel Bag, this can fit in nearly all overhead compartments from Boeing 787’s to Nicaraguan “Chicken Buses”. This means that you don’t have to check bags and therefore go straight to your gate (after the free TSA X-ray & prostate exam). So the 60L bag saves you a bundle due to fewer baggage fees on flights. When you’re on sketchy buses, you can always keep the bag within eyesight.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel In The Field
The bag is setup with a thick polyester waterproof outer shell. If Patagonia would send me another then I would try stabbing the bag to truly test the strength. So far the bag has been thrown, beaten and dragged around Iceland, Ireland, UK, and Peru. These are all places of constant precipitation in every form. That is why I chose the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 60L due to its thick waterproof skin. Although the top zipper is not set up to deflect water, it has about a 1-inch poly overhang. This works fine if carried by the handles but might not keep out moister when in backpack form. While in Peru, I waited for a bus outside for 20 minutes while it consistently rained on me. All items inside were completely dry. The bag itself is not waterproof but will keep most everything out unless completely submerged. My bag got plunged into the bottom of a water taxi where bilge water sloshed back and forth and as I cringed at the realization, once again all items inside were completely dry.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Features
- Burly polyester ripstop with highly weatherproof TPU laminate and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
- Large opening to main compartment, zippered side pocket, mesh pockets in lid;
- Newer bags stuff into own pocket for easy storage
- Padded shoulder straps and reinforced haul handles for easy carrying
- Padded base protects contents
- Burly reinforced daisy chains for lashing
- Internal compression (On newer bags)
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Tips
- Going to some places I have been, it has been on the safer side to duct tape over the massive Patagonia logo on the side (plus you have some duct tape in a pinch).
- My electronics were wrapped by my clothes in the middle of the bag to prevent moister intrusion and g-force trauma.
- Keep softer items closer to the opening zipper as your back will be against it when in backpack form.
Maximize The Patagonia 60L Duffel Bag For Extended Travel
This is a breakdown of just what all I take with me (and that fits) during extended travels.
- 13″ Laptop
- UV SteriPen
- Sony A6000 w/16-50mm Lens
- GoPro Hero3+ w/extra battery & mounts & MicroSD card adapter
- 12000 mAh Dual USB Charger w/multi-connections cable
- Small Medpack w/ various bandages, bowel stoppers, and benadryls
- Small Toiletries w/ sunscreen & heavy-lotion (for chapped thunder-thighs)
- (2) Packable Pants
- (2) Swim-Friendly Shorts
- Flippy Floppies or Packable Shoes
- Boots on Feet or Attached To External Daisychains
- (3-4) T-Shirts (Usually buy more during travel)
- Lightweight Rain Gear
- Packable Jacket & Beanie
- (2) Swiftwick Socks
- (3-4) Old Navy Activewear Undies
- (10-20) Fun-size M&M’s & Kind Bars (For when buses break down and travel delays)
- Book and/or travel intel
- Patagonia Black Hole Mini Messenger 12L or Osprey Raven 10 Hydration Pack
- Travel Documents
- Adventure Monkey
All of these items as well as the clothes/items on you will suffice for extended travel. Most travelers forget that extra apparel and other items can be found in most places you go to.