When it comes to durable and stylish duffel bags for your adventures, the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag and the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag are two top contenders. These bags share a similar aesthetic and size, making it challenging to choose between the two.
In this review, we will delve into the details and features of both bags to help you make an informed decision.
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag (40L)
The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag I own is a 40 liter bag that’s perfect for organizing my gear for a weekend getaway or an extended trip. What sets it apart is its commitment to sustainability, as it is made from 100% recycled body fabric, lining, and webbing, and manufactured in a Fair Trade Certified™ factory.
Specs & Features
As I mentioned, it’s made of 100% recycled polyester ripstop, featuring a TPU-film laminate that makes it weather and abrasion resistant. As for the Base Camp, the main compartment is easily accessible through a top zipper, allowing quick access to all your essentials.
Moreover, when not in use, the duffel bag can be stuffed into its very own pocket for compact storage (if you manage to do it; to me it’s super complicated even after watching many step-by-step tutorials on YouTube). In fact, it features a zippered side pocket accessible from both inside and outside of the bag (but it’s one = it’s the same), along with a mesh interior lid pocket for keeping essentials.
The bag comes with removable, ergonomic shoulder straps that allow you to carry it like a backpack.
North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag (50L – SMALL)
The North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag has earned its iconic status as a trusted companion for adventurers. Practicality is a priority, and this 50-liter bag – bigger than Patagonia’s 40l- comes packed with thought-through features that make it an explorer’s best friend.
Specs & Features
The Base Camp Duffel Bag is designed to be versatile: you can carry it as a duffel using the two padded side handles, or wear it as a backpack with the detachable ergonomic shoulder straps.
The bag opens wide, giving you a clear view of everything you’ve packed in its spacious main compartment, but it also has got a mesh pocket for better organization. If you tend to over-pack, the four compression straps come to rescue!
The North Face also emphasizes environmental responsibility, with their efforts to reduce landfill waste and the use of virgin materials. The durable water repellent finish further protects the bag from light moisture and fabric saturation, but also makes it easy to clean (and this is a life saver, I learnt it from my Kanken Backpack).
Furthermore, it’s designed to be cabin friendly on most airlines, but always double-check the dimensions!
Aesthetics and Style
Both the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag and the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag boast a rugged and sporty aesthetic, catering to adventure enthusiasts and urban explorers.
They have a clean and minimalistic design and feature the iconic logos. I love both of them, but I slightly prefer the North Face’s because in the black version it doesn’t have any contrast: it’s all black and this means that I KNOW that I’ll never get bored.
Durability and Weather Resistance
When it comes to durability and weather resistance, both bags are highly functional.
As we already said, the Patagonia Black Hole Duffel’s 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a TPU-film laminate ensures exceptional resistance to abrasions and harsh weather conditions.
Similarly, the North Face Base Camp Duffel’s water-resistant recycled materials provide reliable protection against light moisture and fabric saturation.
The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel comes with padded, easy removable shoulder straps that convert it into a backpack, providing a hands-free carrying experience.
On the other hand, the North Face Base Camp Duffel has detachable shoulder straps, however, they’re are more difficult and less immediate to remove! I usually keep them on all the times because I can’t be bothered.
Organization and Accessibility
Both bags are designed with internal organization features, allowing you to keep your gear sorted and easily accessible.
Both of them come with a zippered side pocket and a mesh interior lid pocket. The zipped pocket of the Patagonia Black Hole feels a bit more spacious, but personally I use these pockets for phone chargers and small items.
When it comes to environmental responsibility, both brands take the lead.
The Patagonia Black Hole showcases its commitment with its 100% recycled fabric and Fair Trade Certified™ manufacturing.
On the other hand, the North Face Base Camp Duffel Bag is also made of from recycled materials, playing a significant role in reducing landfill waste and lessening the demand for virgin materials.
In conclusion, both the Patagonia and The North Face offer exceptional durability, weather resistance, and style. I don’t see a real winner, they’re both valid options.
What would be your choice?