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Patagonia Black Hole® MLC® Briefcase Backpack 45L
Great bag! I used this for a quick weekend trip, and really like it. Plenty of room, lots of storage, and zippered compartments, to keep items where you want them. If you pack judiciously, I dont see why you couldnt get away with a weeks worth of items in this bag. My favorite aspect of this bag is the carry/handling options. I typically carry a ba... Read Moreckpack as well when traveling, so I really like the shoulder strap carry option with the MLC. The bag is well built, and definitely has the bomb proof feel that you would expect from this series of bags.
Great travel companion
I just got back from a 5 day work trip and used this pack as a carry-on so I didnt check luggage. This bag worked great except I had a difficult time getting the pack in the overhead compartment in smaller planes. The pack fit under the seat in front of me so I still made it work. I do wish that the second zipper on the bag went back a little farth... Read Moreer back so the compartment would be easier to open. I also wish the backpack straps could be removed from the pack so I wouldve had a little more room in the pack.
Lots of pockets
I was looking for a carry-on bag for a recent trip to the UK. I decided on the Patagonia Backpack Brief case after much research. I liked all the pockets which are easily accessible and I liked that you could use as a back pack or shoulder bag. Couldn't be more happy with the bag, durability and clean style.
Not right for me
The bag is exceptional in its quality. If I needed it for an overlarge computer tote bag; then I would be thrilled. I ordered the bag for its multiple pockets and shoulder strap. However it was too small to be useful for myself. I needed a good weekend travel/car camping bag. I think the pictures/videos on website make the bag look larger than real... Read Moreity. The bag would be perfect if larger and had side pockets.
Thanks for your review, Elizabeth! This bag is designed to be the maximum legal carry-on for plane travel, but you may prefer the Black Hole 55L Duffel, or Planing Duffel for car camping. If you haven't already returned it, please don't hesitate to reach out. We'll be happy to [help](https://help.patagonia.com/s/)!
Best Bag Ever for Single Bag Travel
An amazing bag. Everything I expected and wanted. I had my eye on this bag for a little over a year after seeing one at REI, but was holding off on purchase due to the price point. Finally gave in and bought it for myself as a college graduation gift and so glad I did. I use it as an all in one travel bag. I went back and forth about whether to pur... Read Morechase the smaller version or the 45L, but ultimately chose the bigger size. It easily holds enough stuff for two-three weeks of travel (I am a little bit of a minimalist though) plus all my entertainment supplies/laptop. Quality it strong and the clamshell design is everything I ever dreamed-- nothing worse than fishing around a standard backpack bulk pocket. Highly recommend!
Great bag. Amazing service.
Love the size and weight of this bag. Super light, holds a ton and fits into an overhead bin. Even better, I messed up on the timing of my shipment. Customer service went above and beyond to make sure I got it before my trip, after the fact, even though it was totally my fault. Super impressed with the quality and service of Patagonia.
Bought this for my fiancé as a wedding gift. I have had this bag for years and have used it for international trips! My favorite part is that Ive never had to check it! Stuffed in and always used it as a carry on (some airlines may make you check it but Ive never had any issue with international travel!) I will say - getting the bag from OnTrac w... Read Moreas the worst shipping experience Ive ever had! But everything about the bag - perfection!
The Ultimate Travel Bag
I just purchased this as a gift for a friend headed overseas to college. The size and strap configuration make it perfect for all sorts of trips. The interior pockets are very thoughtfully designed, too. I own a Black Hole duffel which has kept my gear dry on many a wet excursion! My friend will enjoy this piece for a long, long time. I have the or... Read Moreiginal version of this from the early nineties, and it is still a great piece of luggage! This current version is truly wonderful.
Perfect and so many pockets
This is our 5th black hole and we love it. We have two other 45 L black holes and they are perfect for weekend trips, we wanted another 45L, the style had changed by having mesh dividers throughout the bag which is so nice to be able to keep things organized. We didnt think we could love our black holes more than we did until we bought this one. So... Read More many pockets too, we love it.
Great Travel Bag
The Blackhole MLC Backpack 45L is a great travel bag. I had an earlier version that I used for business and personal travel for 20 years before it finally wore out (after replacing several zippers and sewing up rips). The heavy blackhole material should last even longer and stand up to all that the airlines can throw at it. I don't think I... Read More7;d trust it packed on the roof of a vehicle in a storm (unlike my original blackhole bag) since the zippers aren't waterproof, but otherwise this is about as bomber as it gets. It does go a little overboard on the zippered compartments and could definitely be simplified, but I'm sure there's someone out there that needs or at least thinks they need that many separate compartments. Definitely a great bag/pack.
The Perfect Bag
This bag is amazing! Ive been looking for a bag thats the perfect cross between a duffel bag and a backpack and this is it! I have the 45L and its great for me. Its perfect for long weekends and when I fly I use it as a carry on and its great! Definitely recommend this bag to anyone!
Prefer the 40L duffel
I used one of these while bouncing around Asia for a few months before ultimately living out of it in Spain. Being Black Hole, the material is great. But the backpack straps are terribly uncomfortable, position the weight uncomfortably on the one's back, and seem ready to break off the bag. When the bag isn't full, it loses its rectangula... Read Morer shape, looking droopy (if visual appeal matters to you). When full, getting anything out of the side pockets is difficult. If you can do with 5L less, I'd recommend the 40L Black Hole duffel. I've been living out of it for 8 months now, feeling I've made a stellar purchase. The straps are great and it doesn't put stress on my back.
Perfect for Traveling
This bag was recommended to me by someone who travels frequently and doesnt like to check bags, but packs quite a bit for work. The recommendation was spot on! It fits all of my work equipment and everything I need while traveling to avoid having to check bags. Its also durable and stylish.
Perfect as a carry on - and I don't want wheels
I travel frequently for week-long sprints. I don't want to have to check in luggage, nor is wheeled luggage the best to get me from here to there. This backpack is great: I can store 2 laptops in the padded sleeve; the other compartments let me organize the clothes that I need when I get there, and work/books/electronics/etc stuff that I may w... Read Moreant to access at any time during travel. I found that the shoulder strap really is helpful when lugging around ~30 lbs. Is it expensive? yeah. Do I think it will last pretty much forever and protect the contents under any weather conditions? yeah.
Best Travel Bag!
I love this bag. It is fantastic for business trips as well as weekend adventures. The pockets are perfectly placed and I really enjoy how durable the bag is overall. This is my 4th bag in the black hole collection and I´ve never been disappointed. They are my go-to travel bags.
Long Weekend Size
Long weekend size bag that feels bigger than the advertised 45L. I went from a 70L to this for ease of travel. Everything fits AND its more organized than my 70L duffel. Theres literally a pocket for everything snd tons of storage areas. I fit 3-5 pairs of pants, shirts, underwear, socks and toiletries and everything fits just fine, including a lap... Read Moretop! Wears like iron with the durable fabric, yet is soft and pliable.
Perfect gear for travel bug
As expected with Patagonia- the Black Hole oozes with build quality. The material is super tough, zippers are over built for when you try to jam too much stuff in. Two options for straps makes for easy carrying. Slip away stowage of those straps allows for a last minute fit in any jet overhead. Its the perfect light packers 3-5 day bag when you jus... Read Moret dont want to have to check it.
Handle not comfortable
The bag is nice BUT the handle is flimsy. I bought the larger bag and its functional but if you choose to carry it the handle is extremely good uncomfortable. Im sad.
Thank you for the review on our MLC Briefcase Backpack. We're sorry to hear that the handle was not comfortable for you. We've taken note of your feedback. There are a multitude of ways to carry the bag luckily, with the backpack and shoulder straps, however, if you find that you're still not satisfied feel free to [send it back to us](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html).
great bag--plan to use it for years
Well, I bought this during the pandemic and haven't yet the opportunity to travel... but I checked it out thoroughly upon delivery and it is going to be awesome. I anticipate using it for all sorts of trips and I know it will last a long time. I love it and look forward to using it.
Great carry-on bag
Just used this bag as my carry-on for a Western ski trip. I take everything I need to ski (minus the skis) on my person so I can still go out even if my checked bag goes missing. I was able to carry my ski boots, knee brace and full ski outfit along with an iPad and a few casual clothes without over-stuffing the bag. It fit easily into all overhead... Read More bins including the narrow Canadair Jet. I was never asked by the flight crew to check it plane side. The MLC has many well designed storage options to help organize your stuff. Im very happy with the bag and would buy it again without hesitation.
Very useful bag for travel
I love this bag! I use it frequently for travel and it performs great. The rucksack straps are good for on public transport or carrying longer distances. Inside the mesh pockets are great for smaller items like socks or knickers and I use the larger pocket for things to be washed. The whole bag is strong and sturdy.
Great bag, I feel made for taller people
I took this bag across Europe for 6 months and it withstood spills, cargo areas of planes, beach, mountains, scratching / dragging on dirt/rocky road. No holes, no rips, spills, leaks, malfunctioning zippers. This bag is 100% adventure ready. The only downside is that as my bag was filled with gear, it got a bit heavy and there was no waist strap ... Read Moreto help me redistribute the weight, resulting in the whole bag resting on my shoulders and become very uncomfortable, resulting in my the dragging bag down the road (it withstood that abuse). The proportion on the bag to my height of 62inches, the bag went from top of my shoulders to the middle of my butt. This I feel was the only downfall of the bag, but other than that it's a solid bag.
Laptop sleeve is wasted space
This is a great travel bag (if you are a light packer). The one thing I hate about it is the laptop sleeve - big waste of space. I don't take a laptop on trips and even if you do, the laptops sleeve is GIANT. I can fit a jacket and two pairs of pants in the sleeve easily but i would rather that the pack just didn't have the laptop sleeve ... Read Moresection. Because of its pocket-like shape, it's not a good way to pack for clothing. Get a neoprene sleeve for your laptop and put it in the front pocket already.
Best Bag EVER!
Im a medical provider, working night shifts in rural Midwest hospitals and ERs. In the past, Ive had to carry 2-3 bags with all of my clothes and gear for a stretch of night shifts. I spent a ton of time researching bags and comparing measurements and purchased the 40L MLC black hole bag. It is PERFECT! Can be carried as a messenger bag or a back... Read Morepack, it carries my laptop and all of my clothing/supplies for 3-4 nights easily. The compartments and pockets allow you to separate clothes from documents/computer and there are a TON of pockets. Seriously considering purchasing the 26L for everyday use!
Best travelling backpack!
Best travelling backpack! I've received this as a birthday present and I'm totally in love with it! It's really comfortable to carry as backpack, also convenient to carry on a shoulder and it fits well on top of a wheeled suitcase. It's super light and fits perfectly on overhead lockers on plane. It's perfectly organised w... Read Moreith plenty purposed built zipped compartments, which are great to pack and divide clothes, from electronics, books and magazines. This allows keeping everything tidy even during a week-long trip (in the past I had to unpack and repack everything almost on daily basis) and being able to find where everything is! The front pocket is great to keep small items, such as passport and wallet for quick access and the side/ back compartment is perfect for storing a laptop. The only down side is that it doesn't have an external pocket for a water bottle, which looks like could fit on one of the sides (hopefully Patagonia can add this to future models!). It's also waterproof and made 100% in recycled fabric (love Patagonia!). Can't wait to take this backpack to the next trip :) Last, but not least, big thanks also to the guys working in Trento (IT) store for their expertise and friendliness.
Useful carry on. Fits overhead bin without drama.
Not too heavy, but well divided to keep items organized. Laptop sleeve saves trouble passing airport security. Fits 16" Dell Mobile Workstation, older and bulky, with big screen borders. Zippers are robust where needed and smaller in low stress areas.
Best carry on!
I originally got this bag for a trip before the global pandemic derailed all plans. I've used it twice for domestic flights and it's literally a black hole. I can fit multiple pairs of shoes, clothes for a week, a small dop kit, plus my laptop, a notebook, and all necessary chargers. With ample space comes weight and sometimes when on my... Read More back it does get a bit heavy. It is great for walking through the airport but definitely not for extended carrying. I also wish it had an external water bottle holder. I pair it with a Patagonia Atom 8L sling that I wear on the front and it's a great combo!
Best Travel Bag, hands down
I have now traveled to over 5 countries with this bag. If you are looking to be able to carry on and pack a lot into your bag this is perfect for you. The only downfall is that it doesn't have an external water bottle pocket. This fits all of my camera equipment plus days of clothes and still I can walk onto a plane with it.
Cant wait to try it out
So I bought the MLC bag to travel lite overseas, however with COVID-19 I havent had a real chance to use it the way I intended to. I have however packed it with 2 sweatpants, 3 jeans, and 7 tee shirts and some underwear. It still had room for toiletries and small random stuff. Ill update my review when I do travel with it.
This makes the perfect carry on!!
This is the best carry on ever! I got so many compliments on it and I was able to fit more than a weeks worth of clothes in it, plus more! I defiantly am going to get another one for my significant other! Highly recommend! It fits in the overhead bin of small regional jets! You just have to push kinda hard and squish it down. I love it!
Near Perfect Design
I'm sure my review will get lost in the other numerous good reviews of this bag. I don't often write a review of a product so soon after purchase, but this bag was worth it. Pros: -Compartmentalization -Easily fits in overhead luggage of a plane, and not be that annoying person trying to shove a bag that clearly doesn't fit -Comfo... Read Morertable carrying configuration Cons: 45L might be a bit large for a shorter person and all around use, and the only other option is a 25L MLC, which may be too small for travel, and daily activity. My recommendation, needs a 35L option.
Awesome plane bag
Great for work trips, easy to carry, easy to organize. Fits in the tiny overhead compartments for regional jets if you don't mind squishing it. As domestic airlines crack down on oversize carry-ons, this one becomes so much better than the usual suitcases, which rarely are legal. Great durability. Very efficient use of space and features. Than... Read Morek you!
Better than expected
I travel a lot for work and have been using a 60L black hole duffel for about 5 years now. I love the black hole but it just wasn’t compartmentalized enough. The MLC45 is perfect. Just the right amount of room for clothes and enough compartments for good organization. The designers thought of everything on this bag. Multiple ways to carry it, and s... Read Moretill fits in overhead bin!
For years I've traveled with the Black Hole 40L Duffel. Able to fit 2 weeks of clothes and necessities and small enough to never have to check it when flying. My only gripe about my 40L duffel was that I had purchased it years before the backpack straps were added. I always wished mine had them because the shoulder strap is useless when boardi... Read Moreng and deboarding a plane; unless you want to be the guy smacking each isle-seat passenger on your way back to the cheap seats. The MLC 45L is SO much better! Smart, thoughtful compartments to divide all your stuff. 5 more liters of space and still carry-on compatible. A sleeve to connect to my wife's wheeled luggage and so many other added details. If you're a minimalist traveler and hate checking bags, this bag is excellent! My only gripe is that I think the zippered compartment that conceals the backpack straps when not in use is a waste of usable space since you cannot zip it closed when the straps are out (Which mine always are). I'd have like to have seen removable backpack straps that were mounted on the exterior like on my 70L duffel and that would allow you to use that large existing compartment to stow your straps when not in use but also as extra pack space when the straps are in use. Other than this apparent design over-ambition I think this bag is absolutely perfect. Dare I say the R1 of travel bags.
Best bag ever
I travel for a living and wanted a “go bag” I could keep fully stocked so when work calls I can immediately hop on a plane with everything I need no checked bag required. This guy not only fits the bill but exceeded my expectations for any duffle bag I could have purchased. The clam shell design is perfect for separating bulky items from the rest o... Read Moref my stuff. All the individual pockets keep everything neat and tidy so I can find anything I need in a pinch. I especially love the outer zip pocket so I can keep wallet and passport close when passing through the airport but still secure. Couldn’t recommend this bag enough - two of my coworkers have already purchased since I’ve shown this bad boy off. Oh and it’s water proof as if you needed another reason to buy this!
I love the bag! Just one suggestion for improvement ...
I’m traveling with this bag now on a 10-day trip to Iceland & England. I love everything about the bag except one thing: I think it needs compression straps. I only brought this bag & a personal item, so everything I had for 10 days had to fit in this bag, and I had to buy a luggage strap to wrap around it so when I packed it full, it would... Read More still meet the carry-on requirements, which was sort of disappointing since it’s called the Maximum Legal Carry-On. Otherwise, it’s fantastic. I stayed organized; it has great pockets & compartments, but not too many; and it’s lightweight. Also, I love the shoulder strap, backpack straps & grab handles - it’s so easy to carry it different ways. I definitely recommend it since my one complaint is fix-able.
Awesome Flight Carry-On/Boot Bag
This a very well made and sturdy bag. My ski boots fit nicely in the main compartment with plenty of room for other necessities. The multiple carry options are a bonus. My favorite is the backpack option(leaves my hands free). Lost or delayed skis, gloves, and poles can be picked up at the mountain but my boots are irreplaceable.
Almost Perfect, with a Fatal Flaw
I've had several MLCs over the past 15 years, and while all were good bags, the latest iteration is the best. This said, there is one glaring flaw for frequent travelers--the bag only functions best when you pack it absolutely full. Although there are zippered compartments inside to organize things, there are no compression straps, inside or o... Read Moreut, meaning that if the bag is not full your clothes will slide and bunch up at the bottom (no matter how you are carrying it). I often travel exclusively with a carry-on, but rarely pack it all the way full, and the constant shifting and wrinkling is leading me to look for a new go-to bag. I don't want to buy a smaller bag, because I like the flexibility of having more or less space as needed. A couple of simple cinch straps on the outside would have made this bag perfect--maybe next generation? I can only hope.
Great Bag for travel! Highly recommend.
My husband and I purchased two of these 45L bags (plus an Atom Sling) prior to a two week trip to Italy at the end of August 2019. We flew into Rome, then took the trains to Florence, then to Venice and then to Milan during this time. We knew between using the train system and navigating uneven stone sidewalks at time to get to our hotel, that thes... Read Moree would give us a more nimble way to navigate. These were such a great solution! We loved them so much we even bought a pair as gifts for our son and his wife for their honeymoon in Portugal in October and they love them as well for the same reasons as they were traveling for two weeks. The pockets/compartments give lots of options for best ways to pack. We packed "just enough" clothes and it wasn't too heavy or awkward and much easier than pulling a wheeled suitcase along.
Bad shoulder strap
I bought this specifically for the shoulder strap but it’s been disappointing. The buckle to material design is bad. The shoulder strap simply comes undone and goes to full extension every time. I’ve tried to double it back in the buckle and it still failed. I’ve now going to stitch it down. The rest of the bag is great.
Hi Brian, we're sorry to hear about the troubles you're experiencing with your Black Hole MLC. We think there may be a defect, and we'd like to send you a free replacement strap. We'll reach out to you to get that started.
Great for quick travel
The perfect bag for one or two day travel, no complaints! Im a bigger dude (6’2 235) with bigger clothes and shoes; so I’ll push the envelop and ask Patagonia to make a version of this bag a little bigger maybe 55 or 65 while still trying to stay within carry-on size limits. Such an addition would make this THE perfect travel bag! Thanks for contin... Read Moreuing to make great products responsibly.
Great travel bag
I needed an in-between bag for two to four day trips. Very functional. I almost refuse to check a bag. Great for air travel to have one bag including my computer. I can either stow at my feet or above with no issues. Many compartments for all my cloths, shoes and toiletries. I love the back pack straps. I can go through the airport with my coffee a... Read Morend phone with no struggles.
BEST BAG AROUND
I absolutely love this bag! It is practical in so many ways. The straps to carry on the shoulder or across like a messenger bag, plus the backpack straps! It also holds a hefty amount of "stuff". I've used it for clothes during travel, work items on a long trip, and as a diaper bag when traveling.
The best hand carry bag ever. I love the different straps, how it’s set up to zip-and locate items with out having to dig and pull things out. The mesh compartments let you see what you placed in them. It’s soft and comfortable to sit on your shoulder and it’s easy to fit in the over head, not bulky at all. Greatest travel bag ever! I am a happy tr... Read Moreaveler and very happy with my “black hole MLC”
Surprisingly large, great organization, pack it full!
This bag is BIG! I've taken it for weekend travel trips as well as camping and it is plenty big. The downside of its size is that if it is not full, things tend to fall to one side and the bag becomes awkward. It would be great if there were compression straps and packing cubes could also help in place of straps. The shoulder strap is somewhat... Read More awkward if the bag does not have something inside to keep its shape, so I tend to use the surprisingly comfortable backpack straps. The main compartment access zippers are nice and big so they are easy to open. Inside the bag is split into two sides like a suitcase which is nice and ends up creating additional space for something rigid like a large laptop. The outside double zippers I find to be too small so they are difficult to unzip one-handed which may help with security but not convenience. There are tons of organizational pockets and the pass-through for a luggage handle works great. Depending on your airline and how strict they feel like treating you on your day of travel, I've gotten away with a 22" spinner plus my MLC under the seat (not packed full) for longer trips. I love the new matte finish on the Tres MLC 45L. Maybe in 20 years when this black hole wears out, I can get a new one :)
Last travel bag I’ll ever buy
I seriously love everything about this bag. Tons of pockets, laptop sleeve, backpack straps, quick access pockets, and maximum capacity. I go to a new different country at least once a year and it’s always troubling to wonder if my bag will fit in the overhead of a new airline, or take a small bag just to be safe and end up leaving essentials behin... Read Mored. I love the new green because it’s not boring gray/black/blue but it also doesn’t stick out in a crowd. It’s not the perfect bag for every single situation I encounter but it’s my #1 go to bag for travel.
Great for Storage...horrible to carry!
Fantastic pockets for organizing your things. The back pack straps are ok. The weight distribution on the pack is awkward. Very hard to carry with a 17" laptop and clothes for a week of work travel. It would be a fantastic pack if it would work more like a backpack.
Have used this bag for over two years on trips to Europe and locally. The soft sides make it infinitely flexible....i can always fit more stuff in there! Multiple compartments make organization a breeze. Built in back pack straps are invaluable, but i usually use the sleeves to hook onto a hardshell wheeled carryon if i need two bags. Buying this f... Read Moreor all my kids who travel, its a winner.
Exactly what I needed
This bag is awesome. I agree that it does not have much structure and at first I wasn't sure I'd like it but after a long trip to South America in and out of planes, cars and boats it fits tons of gear and always fit into tight cargo spots. It has tons of compartments which makes it easy to find things quickly and the flexible space allow... Read Moreed me to over stuff the main compartments when needed but always have what I needed at my fingertips. Its not waterproof but like other blackhole bags I own its stayed dry in the rain and on deck. I also dig that I can use it as a back pack, side strap or just grab by the handle.
Not enough structure
The black hole MLC fits perfect into the overhead of all planes I have been on in the last couple month, things are easy to organize, and it looks sweet; however, due to the lack of structure of the bag it ends up packing and feeling more like a weird shaped duffel bag. For this reason, I would rather have bought the duffel with the compression str... Read Moreaps. Also, as a commuter/travel bag, the computer seems to sit in limbo, not really secured in place, just floating around. I would not recommend the bag. The idea is cool, but it is just not working out.
Thanks for your comments about the structure of the bag and the storage. We are sorry to hear it's not working out for you and encourage you to [send](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html#searchterm=return) that back to us. We are happy to [help](https://www.patagonia.com/customer-service.html#searchterm=help) with this process.
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