Finding a travel bag that’s just the right size – not too big but not anxiety-inducing small isn’t easy but Patagonia’s Black Hole Wheeled Duffel comes close but doesn’t work where you might need it most.

You can watch the full review in the video above or read on.

Less Shiny But Still Glossed

The Black Hole is a long standing line by Patagonia and the wheeled version of this duffel is 70 liters and comes in several color options, black, buckhorn green, and touring red. Patagonia says this redesign of the Black Hole is less shiny then the previous versions but make no mistake, the recycled polyester rip-stop used here is noticeably glossy.

patagonia black hole wheeled duffel

The hard plastic back is covered with the same polyester but has a matte finish and contrasts nicely with the shinier elements. The Black Hole 70 liter version measures 70 centimeters by 35.5 by 30 centimeters and the use of polyester here makes it about 25 grams to a kilogram on average lighter than similarly sized luggage in this price range that uses nylon. The reduction in weight also comes with better weatherproofing since it uses TPU-film laminate.

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Keep On Rolling

The wheel bolts are placed on the outside and exposed which has lead to other users reporting damaged, dented, and misaligned wheels, especially when the Black Hole gets chucked about by baggage handlers. I haven’t had any problems and it might not be a problem for you depending on how you use this bag.

patagonia wheeled duffel 70l

There’s also a lack of handles on the Black Hole. Being a duffel, you have a large snap-able grip on the front that goes over the main opening of the bag but there are no other handles on the sides, making it difficult to get a hold of at certain angles. There’s a plastic handle on the bottom of the Black Hole but a flimsy fabric grip on the top, making for an uneven hold. In situations where you’re just throwing the Black Hole into a car trunk or back of a truck, it’s not an issue. For train overheads or airport luggage carousels though you’re going to miss those handles which are common on most other bags.

Spacious Gravity

Patagonia have really maximized the interior space giving you a large 70 liters to work with. There is one big bucket with no interior dividers and there’s usable space right into the corners. Internal compression straps give you a little more room if you pack softer items like clothing that can be tightened down.

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The interior space is good for gear or longer trips and it’s one of the roomier 70 liter bags I’ve come across (though from the outside it doesn’t look that big). To me, the Black Hole is a good back for hauling gear for fishing, skiing, or hiking, that’s going to go right into a car. It’s also good for family road trips but doesn’t have the best feature set for airports. Trust me, you’ll be looking for those side handles in a lot of situations so while the size of the Patagonia Black Hole 70 liter is spacious without feeling excessive, carrying all of that weight, at least on planes, will have to wait.