There are thousands of different way to carry gear on a trip, however a solid duffle will never let you down. I recently got back from hunting over my Thanksgiving break. Knowing that I was traveling up to our family’s cabin in the North-woods of Lake Nebagamon Wisconsin and the current state of my travel bag situation I decided to pick up a new duffle bag. After some research online and stumbling across a nice coupon on Backcountry I picked up the Patagonia Black hole 120L duffle.
After the research I had narrowed down my selection of duffle bags to either the Black hole or the North Face Base Camp duffle. At this point I would have been happy with either of these (and at some point I will purchase a Base Camp to also review) but the sale that Backcountry was offering made the Black hole come in much lower in price, so naturally I opted for it in red. I knew that I needed something big enough to store all of my boots and shoes with room for my outer layer hunting jackets and pants. I figured 120L was plenty of room and it was. During my trip I had 2 hoodies, 4 different sized jackets, 1 large heavy carharrt jacket, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of sweat pants, my carharrt insulated bibs, 2 pairs of boots, and 2 pairs of shoes. This bag absolutely swallowed everything with room to spare. Even with the load out I had in the duffle it remained comfortable to carry with the two shoulder straps.
Now on to some specs of the duffle. The duffle is 120L Capacity and made from a 1200D Polyester with a TPU-film laminate and Durable Water Repellent Finish. If you have ever read any other of my blog posts you will know I am a huge fan of anything Cordura, however knowing this was going to be a bag that will carry all of my clothes, socks, long johns, and other things I would rather not have wet while I throw it around in the back of my truck and inside the hunting cabin I wanted something a bit more waster resistant. The bag comes in at 3 pounds empty and is31 x 15 x 14 inches.
The top of the bag opens in a U shaped fashion and is very easily accessible. On the inside of the bag there are straps that can be used to harness anything you have inside down. On the lid of the bag there is one large mesh pocket that is split in the middle that is plenty big for toiletries or items of the nature. On my trip I loaded this pocket with my toiletries bag, gloves and socks.
There are a few options to carry as well. There are 2 original straps, two padded side handles, and there are also removable, padded shoulder straps if you want to carry like a backpack. I found the backpack straps just ended up getting in the way and decided to remove them.
On the front exterior of the bag there is a zip pocket that is surprisingly large. During my hunting trip I loaded up this pocket with all of my chargers, hard drives, and other electronics.
One major addition to this bag that for me, set it apart from other duffles was the padded bottom. I have owned countless smaller duffles that I have trusted with my computers, cameras, guns, knifes, and other important and not so burly items. Having this pad will no doubt give me some peace of mind when in moving the bag in and out of the truck.
Overall I was very impressed by this duffle and it will continue to be my large travel duffle for whatever I need. The padded bottom and weather resistant material is a must have for a larger outdoor explores duffle bag. Patagonia is a great company, although this bag is made in Vietnam not everything I buy can be American made. Everything that Patagonia makes is backed by their Ironclad guarantee which is just like a lifetime guarantee. Sorry for the lack of pictures of this duffle loaded out on my trip, my memory card in my camera decided to retire half way through the trip.