To say that I love my Patagonia Black Hole Duffel bags is an understatement! I have hammered the living daylights out of mine for years and they still look brand new!They are absolutely bomb proof! I own two 120 Liters Black Hole Duffel Bags, as well as a 45 Liters Duffel, and the 45 Liters Wheeled Duffel. I bring at least one of them on nearly all of my trips. Next on my list of gear acquisitions is the Black Hole Messenger 25L (that matches my 45L Wheeled Duffel of course) and maybe a Black Hole Pack. In my opinion they are the best gear duffel bags on the market!
What I Love
- A standard length Tenkara rod tube will fit in both the standard and wheeled 45L bags, but just barely (if the tube was 1/2” longer it wouldn’t fit). For the wheeled bag I had to put the Tenkara rod on the bottom and it didn’t fit end to end but rather corner to corner.
- The wheeled 45L bag works great as a carry on, which is what I bought it for. Despite my reservations at its size when fully stuffed it always fit in the overhead bins. On my recent trip to the US I took the 45L wheeled duffel and the airline staff never once forced me to check it at the gate due to its size. I was able to fit enough clothing and gear in the 45L Wheeled Black Hole Duffel for a wedding, Tenkara fly fishing, day to day clothing, and toiletries for seven days!
- The standard 45L Black Hole Duffel is perfect for holding a few changes of clothes and is my go to everyday carry for all of my skiing, hiking, Tenkara, ice climbing, rock climbing guided trips.
- The 120L bags are humongous and can swallow nearly anything that I need to carry. During my cross country move from California to Maryland I lived out of one 120L duffel for over 9 weeks! My wife loved mine so much I had to buy her her own for when we moved to Japan (hers is the blue one).
- I really dig Patagonia’s dedication to the environment, fair trade practices, Worn Wear, and earth first approach to sourcing textiles. It is a breath of fresh air in our consumer driven society. They offer a lot of other great bags, not just in the Black Hole category that you should check out.
- Patagonia products are tough. I’ve blown out other brands clothing in under one season. My Patagonia Zip-Off Pants have survived 5 seasons of brutal use and are going on their 6th. Seriously that is AMAZING! And don’t even get me started on my Patagonia Nano Air Hoody Jacket (which I would marry if I could… Okay that’s a little excessive but seriously it is the BEST jacket ever made). I fully expect the Black Hole duffel bags that I own to last a lifetime.
What I Don’t Like
- Unfortunately, my TenkaraUSA Ito rod does not fit in the 45L bags. My other Tenkara rods (in their protective tubes) barely fit. Besides the Tenkara Rod Co. Mini rods (of which I don’t own any) there really isn’t any carry on friendly Tenkara rods. I think that should change – not really Patagonia’s fault, just an observation…
- The only time I’ve run out of room with the 120L bags is when I’m packing ski touring equipment, including my ski boots, for an overnight ski tour trip (sleeping bag, tent, rope, etc…). It would be nice if Patagonia offered a 160L option (that big though would probably only be doable as a wheeled option).
- While I’m dreaming of other bags they could offer a Ski Boot Black Hole Bag (and maybe even a Ski-Board/Boot combo wheeled bag) would be awesome!
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Author’s Note: I received absolutely no compensation from Patagonia to write this review. I paid for their equipment and took it upon myself to review their product. All Fallfish Tenkara Gear Reviews are uncompensated and unsolicited reviews of my personal gear.