If you’re looking for a decent carry-on bag that’s easy to lug around not just to-and-from the airport, but during the whole course of your travels, then the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 60L would be a very good choice.
Its capacity is big enough to fit plenty of kit for a week away, and even if you don’t tend to pack light, never fear, because the internal compression straps should help you out (and save you struggling with the zip).
The two removable shoulder straps have a reasonable amount of padding, they fit well and they can also be adjusted easily. Each one has a daisy chain strip on it which can be used to hang equipment, or you could even fix a chest strap from another bag onto this for an even more comfortable, backpack-like fit.
The main fabric used is a tough 900 denier ripstop polyester and there’s reinforcement and slight padding at the base to provide an extra bit of protection to the contents.
On top of the fabric they've applied a TPU laminate and water-repellent finish to make it capable of keeping out light to fairly heavy rain. It’s definitely not submergible though as the zips are covered but not sealed, and the seams aren’t taped.
As well as the shoulder straps, other carrying options include two webbing straps with a snap closure to make for a briefcase-like carry, plus two strong handles at each end – useful if you need to pull the duffel out from a heavily crammed boot or even haul it up a cliff face you’re climbing.
The D-shaped zipped lid has two mesh pockets in it that are useful for small items and documents. There’s also a zipped pocket on the outside that can swallow up the whole duffel and turn it into a package a little bigger than a loaf of bread.
Over the years, Patagonia have set good standards when it comes to sustainable production, and needless to say they haven’t dropped the ball with this item. It’s got Bluesign approval, an industry mark that recognises that there have been efforts to remove and reduce the use of chemicals in the production process.
Good news if you like the look of this duffel but need something bigger as it also comes in 90 and 120 litre sizes. It'd also good news if you like the look of this duffel but need something smaller as it comes in a 40 litre size as well.
The price you pay depends on the colour you choose. The Golden Jungle colour that's pictured is one of the cheaper options at £76 – that's a fair price for a duffel of this quality.
Patagonia Black Hole 60L Duffel
Price: £66 - £95
More info: patagonia.com
Available in 40, 60, 90 and 120-litre versions / 900 denier 100 per cent polyester ripstop / TPU-laminate and DWR finish / Bluesign approved / D zip lid / padded and removable shoulder straps / wedding handles with snap closure / 2 x mesh internal pockets / 1 outer pocket that doubles as a stuff sac / Internal compression straps / Padded base / Haul loops and daisy chains.