Patagonia Black Hole Duffel
Most airlines afford us 50 pounds in our carry-ons, but guess what: That ubiquitous black bag you’re wheeling around LAX weighs about 10 pounds – before you even throw a pair of socks inside. At just two pounds, two ounces, Patagonia’s 60L Black Hole Duffel is the solution to that problem.
Also available in 45, 90, and 120L capacities, this duffel-backpack hybrid boasts a highly water-resistant, U-shaped main compartment large enough to swallow a long weekend’s worth of gear. The pack isn’t completely waterproof – the seams aren’t taped, so look elsewhere if you’re gearing up for a rafting trip – but for traveling around rainy climates from Seattle to Southeast Asia, it’s perfect. Ours weathered the storm, quite literally, after we left it outside during a summer sun shower (an iPod classic stuffed inside remained bone dry).
The padded removable shoulder straps are convenient and comfortable – 17 pounds of clothes, electronics, and toiletries packed for a three-day surf trip never wore on our shoulders, even after 20 minutes of walking. The lacquer-like sheen applied to the thick 1,200-denier polyester may not be for everyone – it’s borderline too shiny – but that’s exactly what you’ll be praising when you easily spot it in a line of similar looking packs the next time you’re at baggage claim.