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When Patagonia first began manufacturing adventure equipment in 1973, it was primarily geared towards climbers. Today, it is one of America’s best-known outdoor clothing and accessory companies. The brand is often praised for its sustainable policies, which include donating at least one percent of sales to global environmental groups. Dominated by duffels and backpacks, Patagonia’s luggage collection is still designed with extreme sports enthusiasts in mind. In this article, we look at a few of the brand’s best products for 2018.
Best Overall: Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 70L
The Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 70L is a medium-sized case perfect for short vacations or adventures that require minimal packing. It’s made from 100 percent ripstop polyester for unparalleled durability, while a weatherproof TPU laminate coating and a water repellent finish give it good protection from the elements. The bag’s interior design is simple - a large, U-shaped opening to the main compartment, with mesh pockets sewn into the lid for organizing smaller items. Keep your passport in the zippered external pocket for easy access in between flights.
Weighing just seven pounds and eight ounces, the duffel has two sturdy wheels and a two-position telescoping handle that can be quickly adjusted to suit your height. The duffel’s main handles snap together to prevent entanglement in airport conveyor belts, while reinforced haul handles on either end come in handy at baggage claim. This 27.6” x 14.6” x 16.5” Patagonia-branded bag is available in strait blue, paintbrush red, ink black or standard black, allowing you to stand out from the crowd as much or as little as you like.
Runner-Up, Overall: Patagonia Ascensionist 40L
Embrace the brand’s expeditionist roots with the Patagonia Ascensionist 40L, a technical backpack big enough for multi-day hikes and camping trips. Designed to be rugged yet amazingly lightweight, the backpack is made from a ripstop nylon/polyester blend called Cordura. It’s tear and abrasion resistant, and coated in polyurethane for excellent weather protection. The bag makes packing easy with an asymmetrical spindrift collar, secured by a quick-close drawcord.
The high-density foam back panel is designed to increase structure and support, but may be removed to minimize weight as required. The padded hip belt is also removable, while compression straps on the side of the backpack allow you to keep everything securely in place even when the bag isn’t full. Daisy chain attachments on the outside allow you to lack on extra equipment. A zippered top pocket affords easy access to small items (think power bar, iPad or travel documents). Choose from ink black or Big Sur blue.
Best Budget: Patagonia Arbor Duffel 60L
Made from 100 percent recycled polyester, the Patagonia Arbor Duffel 60L is as good for the planet as it is for your wallet. The water repellent finish makes it suitable for inclement destinations, while the size is perfect for any short trip. With dimensions of 24” x 12.5” x 11”, the bag technically exceeds the carry-on limit for many airlines - although Amazon reviewers state that they have successfully stowed it into overhead compartments without issue.
The main compartment is accessed via a large U-shaped zipper. The contents inside are protected by the bag’s padded base, while the zippered exterior side pocket is perfect for packing toiletries or shoes separately. Carrying options include a set of top handles with a snap closure, and a pair of side grab handles. Alternatively, make use of the detachable, adjustable ergonomic shoulder strap. The bag is available in black or navy with paintbrush red straps.
Best Checked: Patagonia Black Hole 90L Duffel Bag
If you’re looking for a checked bag for longer trips, you’ll love the Patagonia Black Hole 90L Duffel Bag. With roomy dimensions of 23.6” x 15.8” x 15.8”, it’s particularly great for carrying bulky ski or snowboarding gear. The ripstop polyester material is sturdy, and protected from rain and snow by a laminate coating and water repellent finish. Although the duffel is wheel-free, carrying is made easy by removable padded shoulder straps.
The bag also boasts webbing handles with a snap closure and reinforced haul handles on either end. Use the zippered exterior side pocket or the mesh pockets on the inside of the lid to keep your essentials handy. Other thoughtful design elements include a padded protective base and daisy chain loops for attaching extra kit. Choose from a range of colors including black, craft pink and forge gray.
Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best checked luggage bags can help you find what you're looking for.
Best Carry-On: Patagonia Headway MLC
The “MLC” part of the Patagonia Headway MLC’s name stands for Maximum Legal Carry-On, and the 21.5” x 6” x 15” dimensions meet most airlines’ size restrictions. Made from Gorge Green 100 percent ballistic nylon and coated with polyurethane, it’s abrasion-, tear- and weather-resistant. Its main compartment opens like a book, creating two separate halves for easy access.
On the inside, there are several zippered pockets (including a separate one for shoes). On the outside, two more pockets include dedicated spaces for your keys, travel documents, wallet and phone. Use the dual carry handles for a briefcase-style look or transform it into a messenger bag using the ergonomic shoulder strap. When speed is of the essence, twin shoulder straps stored in a special compartment convert the bag into a backpack.
Check out our other reviews of the best carry-on roller bags available on the market today.
Best Backpack: Patagonia Black Hole Backpack 25L
The Patagonia Black Hole Backpack 25L stands out for blending good looks with faultless functionality. These factors make it incredibly versatile - and as suited to camping in the outback as it is to making an impression in the city. The bag is made from ripstop polyester with weatherproof laminate coating and a water repellent finish. The molded back panel, padded shoulder harness and sternum strap guarantee comfort.
The main compartment includes a padded sleeve designed to fit most 15” laptops (or a water reservoir, depending on your needs). You can keep your essentials in the zippered top pocket and your drink bottles in the secure stretch-woven side pockets. The backpack measures 14.2” x 5.5” x 19.7” and comes in navy, paintbrush red and elwha blue.
Best for Style: Patagonia Arbor Pack 26L
Created with retro fashion junkies in mind, the Patagonia Arbor Pack 25L evokes the old-school backpack designs that first made the brand famous. It’s updated with clever modern additions, however, including a padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment. This feature is cleverly raised off the ground for extra protection. There’s a zippered easy access pocket hidden beneath the bag’s flap (so that it doesn’t interfere with its beautiful fluid lines); while the Human Curve shoulder straps afford added comfort. In keeping with the current trend for sustainable fashion, the backpack is made from water repellent recycled polyester. Statement-making colors include monarch orange and sumac red.
Best Travel Tote: Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote Pack 22L
The Patagonia Lightweight Travel Tote Pack 22L is the ultimate day pack. Made of ultra light ripstop nylon, the bag is reinforced at the base and coated with weather-resistant polyurethane. Dual carry handles allow you to sling it over your shoulder, while tuck-away straps can be used to convert the bag into a backpack. Inside, the bag’s main compartment boasts side mesh pockets and a separate zippered pocket; while an external zippered organizer keeps your keys handy. It tucks away into the organizer for storage purposes and comes in a range of colors, including nouveau green, magenta and navy blue.
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