Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L [In-Depth 2024 Review!]

Orlaigh Magennis
Written By:
Orlaigh Magennis
Last Updated:
May 15, 2024
Here's a full review of the Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L, a durable and rugged travel backpack with excellent features for use both indoors and outdoors.
Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L review

The Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L is a sturdy 25-liter daypack.

It’s large enough to fit all your daily essentials, impressively durable, and looks quite cool!

Overall, this is a great bag for travel and daily wear alike.

But what makes this such an excellent bag? Does it have any drawbacks?

I’m excited to be reviewing this Patagonia backpack today.

After having personally tested it and reviewed it for a while now!

From its build quality to materials and other features, I hope this review can help you decide whether or not to get it.

Let’s go!

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Who exactly is Patagonia?

Let’s be real. Who hasn’t heard of Patagonia?

Whether you’re an adventure climber or backpacker, most of us have at least come across, if not used ourselves, one of their products. No matter where in the world.

An American outdoor recreation apparel retailer and leading figure in the industry, Patagonia was founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973.

They’re a sustainable brand creating everything from jackets and pants to various outdoor gear.

They’ve also made efforts in activism and included an acknowledgment on their site, as well as programs like 1% For The Planet where they donate 1% of sales to environmental causes.

Where can you buy the Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L?

You can buy the Black Hole Pack 25L directly over on their website.

patagonia black hole 25l review

Patagonia ships their orders within two days and offers free Ground shipping for US addresses.

Exchanges, returns, and repairs are also possible, so you don’t have to worry about not liking the product!

Not to mention their Ironclad Guarantee policy, which allows you to replace or refund items you’re not satisfied with.

For addresses outside of the US, you can easily choose your region from the official site.

If you prefer to shop offline, they also have a Store Locator, with locations ranging from Australia and the UK to Japan, Italy, Peru, and more.

Oh, and depending on your location, there might be different color options for the Black Hole Pack.


Quick overview: Technical Specifications

  • Price: $149.00
  • Weight: 650 g 1 lbs 6.9 oz)
  • Dimensions: 22" x 10.5" x 5.5"
  • Noteworthy Materials: recycled polyester, ripstop with a TPU-film laminate lining, body fabric is certified as bluesign® approved, Fair Trade Certified™ sewn
  • Color Options: depending on your country, Black, Classic Navy, Wax Red, Friend Green, Perennial Purple 
  • Warranty: Ironclad Guarantee
  • Capacity: 25L

Who should get this backpack?

I’d recommend the Black Hole Pack 25L if you’re looking for a simple and minimalist backpack that’s both lightweight and durable.

It functions best outdoors. For example for short hikes, bike rides, and easy walks.

However, it also makes for a great gym backpack, work backpack, or everyday backpack. In short, most of what you might need!

patagonia black hole pack gym backpack

Who should not get this backpack?

This backpack is not for someone wanting a more supportive backpack. It’s not designed for long hikes and walks or tough adventures where you might require extra support and accessories.

While you can attach things externally and the backpack itself is light, there’s no real support. If you pack it too heavily, the straps may dig into your shoulders and the bag will be uncomfortable to carry.

Patagonia Black Hole 25L review

I was pretty pumped to try the Black Hole Pack because I love adventure and Patagonia has always been a brand I adore.

Before I got the backpack, I was slightly worried that the shiny material would make it look cheap. Thankfully, I realized later that it’s more glossy and actually gives the bag a certain uniqueness.

The backpack has enough features to give it a great aesthetic appeal.

I also find that the pockets are just the right amount for me as some bags tend to overdo it, although maybe not for someone who wants more organisation.

Let’s get into the details of this Patagonia bag…

How well-made is the Patagonia Black Hole?

Patagonia’s materials are what make their backpacks important and appealing, at least for me.

patagonia black hole pack well made

The bag itself is well structured. 

It’s not fully waterproof but is water resistant

This is because there are areas where the backpack is not protected with the TPU laminated shell, which means they can soak up any moisture like sweat or water.

The TPU material itself is easier to wipe down, but dirt and dust will collect on the rest of the backpack over time.

It’s made of 100% recycled polyester, which is how it’s so lightweight and great for travel adventures. 

Moreover, polyester isn’t as long-lasting as Nylon would be, but the backpack feels super strong overall. 

Still, this bag was for sure created with longevity in mind, as you can see from the Duraflex hardware and YKK zippers.

Patagonia Black Hole Pack ykk zippers

The material is that water-resistant vibe you get from a tent, which is great for cleaning. 

There’s no real reflective pattern inside the backpack so it’s difficult to see inside when packed. 

But when the bag is not full and depending on how much light there is, the interior gives off a slight transparent look that makes it a little easier to see your items inside.

Moving on to the side water bottle compartment: the overall structure of these is fine. They aren’t amazing but I feel like it goes with the outdoorsy style of the backpack. 

The elastics aren’t overly done but enough to secure a bottle (mine is 500ml), but I have to note that when the backpack is not fully packed, you’re left with wiggle room for the bottle or whatever you have in there to fall out if the bag was to topple. 

But the mesh of this part of the bag is nice as the colour difference gives it a little pop in design!

The only areas I would feel less protected are the bottom of the bag. There’s no padded bottom which might be risky if you have any valuables in there.

patagonia black hole backpack bottom

For the straps, the build feels like wear and tear would be able to set in over time.

Overall, I’d say that this isn’t a backpack I have to worry about in terms of marks or areas of default as it’s well put together and has held well through performance. 

Now whether this will remain over time, I will keep you updated!

How comfortable is the Patagonia Black Hole?

There is nothing worse than carrying heavy bags when you’re hiking. 

The Black Hole Pack 25L is perfect as a multifunction bag as it’s just the right size and weight. You can easily use it for general travelling, but it also translates well for hikes and the outdoors.

Of course, if you want to opt for something larger, you can go for the 32L version.

In terms of comfort, it’s quite decent as long as you don’t overpack it.

You have the padded back panel with an air mesh for some ventilation, plus the padded shoulder straps.

patagonia black hole backpack back support

Plus, there’s a sternum strap that can help distribute the load more evenly, which can be useful when you’re carrying the bag for a long time.

patagonia black hole backpack sternum strap

The main handle at the top of the backpack does the job for when you need to carry it with your hand, but note that there’s no padding here. So if you were to hold the bag with this handle for long periods of time, your fingers would get sore. 

Another unique detail is the back system where you can insert a water hydration bladder pack.

A huge benefit if you’re using this for hiking!

Furthermore, the bag doesn’t hold its shape when not fully packed.

While this doesn’t directly affect the comfort level, sometimes fabric that falls more naturally tend to feel more comfortable too on your back.

This could also be a drawback in terms of aesthetics for some people, but that’s just personal preference!

What makes the Patagonia bag a great backpack?

Below are some features that stand out from the Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L.

1. Durable, weather-resistant, 100% recycled fabric

I would say that one of Black Hole’s defining features is the quality of its material.

The body uses 8.7-oz 300-denier 100% postconsumer recycled polyester ripstop with a TPU-film laminate.

This includes the front side pocket that helps prevent any water from seeping in.

Patagonia Black Hole backpack front side pocket

The body fabric is certified as bluesign® approved too, which means the system ensures a safe process for the environment, workers, and customers.

Meanwhile, the lining is 3-oz 200-denier 100% recycled polyester with a PU coating.

This bag is also Fair Trade Certified™ sewn. Aka, the people involved in the manufacturing earn a premium for their labor.

2. Adjustable and padded straps

The straps on this bag are great.

They’re adjustable, including the sternum strap that you can arrange to your own build and height.

However, when you’re not carrying too much and don’t want the sternum strap, it’s easily detachable.

It’s also hydration compatible with a port at the top of the back panel, so you can use this as a hiking bag and integrate a hydration pack.

3. Simple yet functional organisation

The bag is fairly simple inside, which is a fantastic thing for me as I find that some backpacks can be too overwhelming with the amount of organisation.

There is a laptop compartment that can fit a 15-inch laptop, so the Black Hole Pack 25L still works really well as a work backpack.

It does the job but is not as secured and padded as I would like, as it is simply held down by this buckle.

Patagonia Black Hole backpack laptop compartment

Note that the back is protected, but not the inside. 

There’s a smaller pocket right in front of it for additional tech needs, such as your tablet or other accessories.

Not to mention a zippered top pocket for smaller items.

patagonia black hole pack top pocket
top pocket patagonia black hole

And of course, you have a front compartment too for easy-access items. There’s also a netted pocket for your loose items and a key lash inside.

patagonia black hole pack front compartment

4. Versatile daisy chain

The daisy chain on the front of the backpack is what makes it transformable from your day-to-day backpack into your adventure backpack. 

You can clip extra gear here in case you don’t have enough space inside, or simply want to have quick access.

I’m thinking of when you’re camping or hiking, you can hook a carabiner here and attach lightweight gear like a flashlight, drinking cup, small pot, or even a pair of flip flops.

It’s also great for carrying wet clothes that you may not want to keep together with your other stuff.

Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L Review

As for me, it’s been super useful to hang my headphone from!

5. Compact but spacious inside

I gotta say, this backpack packs very well!

It’s only 25L but with this top-loading style, you can get a lot into it.

Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L fully packed

On that note, I’d recommend putting things you need access to first at the top as you’ll have to dig around to the bottom otherwise.

This Patagonia backpack is great because it can basically adapt to how much you’ve packed.

It’s small and compact enough that it makes a fantastic everyday bag. At the same time, the space is all there when you need it!

Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L inside

6. Lightweight

At only 650 grams, the Black Hole Pack 25L is quite lightweight.

Especially if you consider its decent capacity and how much you can fit into it.

For both travel and everyday use, it’s always nice to start with a lightweight bag so it won’t add to the weight that you will be putting in it.

Cons of the Patagonia Black Hole 25L

There are still things I think could be improved on the Patagonia Black Hole 25L.

I’ve tested it out on a hike, but keep in mind that it was probably one of the hottest weeks in Ireland. Such weather is rare but was great to test out this backpack to see how it ventures in extreme conditions.

Sure, it wasn’t scorching hot, but I was still worried that the exterior would melt or be overly hot.

I immediately noticed that there isn’t really enough airflow on the bag. 

There’s some gap between the back padding for air to get through, but this actually jepordises the back padding. 

And for me, it kind of makes or breaks a backpack, especially when hiking! The last thing I want is back pain or not enough support from lugging a heavy pack. 

With that said, the overall padding is still well done for the size of the bag. Because I didn’t overly pack it, I found that the support on the main straps and sternum strap made up for the lack of support on the back padding. 

Still, it could have been nice to add a bit more on the back!

As mentioned because the bag itself is small, you don’t feel the weight as much as other backpacks.

Another drawback is that there’s no real anti-theft protection and your two front compartment pockets are exposed. The good thing is that the flap on the side pocket kind of camouflages that side. 

I’d recommend being smart with what you are packing in those pockets!

Finally, the thing to note is that when the backpack is fully packed, the top front pocket and even side pockets are compromised in terms of their space. 

This Patagonia bag also doesn’t come with a luggage slit as most other travel backpacks do. It doesn’t really bother me but some people might prefer to have one.

Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L: Performance over time

Here are my impressions in bullet points after using the Black Hole Pack 25L for the first time, and then one month later.

First use:

  • Unsure about the style and the materials
  • Top loading so your only access to get things is from the top, though not a problem if you’re not overpacking
  • Great everyday backpack 

After 1 month:

  • Love the style and colour!
  • Fits a lot of items for packing, a really great wee bag for a getaway
  • Fits nicely in the seat in front of you on a flight
  • I love the size of this backpack. It's lightweight and perfect for everyday use

Patagonia Black Hole Pack 25L VS 32L

The Black Hole Pack 32L is essentially the larger version, which is perfect for those wanting more capacity but still with all the features of the 25L.

This midsize 32-liter backpack is still excellent for daily commute, but tough enough to bring with you on worldwide travels.

Here are the specs:

  • Weight: 810 g (1 lbs 12.6 oz)
  • Dimensions: 22" x 10.5" x 6.75"
  • Capacity: 32L (1831 cu in)

All in all, you should get the 32L version if you’re travelling long-term or need a bag with more space.

Otherwise, if you’re simply looking for a day pack, a smaller backpack for weekend trips, or a compact hiking pack, you might be better off getting the 25L.

patagonia black hole backpack

Overall verdict: Are Patagonia bags worth buying?

Maybe you don’t have time to read the full review, but you’re wondering if this is the bag for you.

Well, you’re in the right section of this post.

Should you buy the Patagonia Black Hole 25L?

I would say yes, in most cases, you should.

This is a fantastic backpack that can hold much more than you think it can!

That’s probably how the Black Hole collection got its name…

With a casual yet surprisingly modern design, this backpack works well for everyday commute in the city and for adventurous trips outdoors.

It comes with enough organisation features without overwhelming you, including a laptop sleeve, front compartment, and some mesh pockets.

What else does Patagonia sell?

Patagonia’s products range from clothing to all sorts of outdoor gear, but today I’d like to highlight their Black Hole line!

Black Hole Duffel Bag 40L

This is the smallest Black Hole Duffel, which can be folded down neatly into a compact bag but fit up to 40L when in use. It features Patagonia’s usual durable materials and is a great carry-on size that will complement your travels.

Black Hole Tote 25L

For a more stylish option you can use as an everyday bag for errands or even sightseeing, the Black Hole Tote is perfect. It’s a packable 25L tote bag made of recycled materials that are weather-resistant and features a simple hook closure.

Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack 1L

Just as its name suggests, this is an ultralight cross-body bag that weighs a mere 100 grams! Still, it’s surprisingly roomy at 1L and can fit all your bare essentials.

That’s it for my review of the Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L.

Hopefully, you’ll have a clearer picture of how this bag fares for travel.

Have you ever used this bag?

Comment and let me know below!

Check out some of these other reviews:

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