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Patagonia Black Hole® MLC® Briefcase Backpack 45L

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4.81 /5

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Patagonia Black Hole® MLC® Briefcase Backpack 45L

Kinda Large
September 2, 2020

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.

August 21, 2020

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!

July 7, 2020

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.

June 19, 2020

Versatile bag for travel

Love this bag

June 17, 2020

Super Versatile

Bought this bag to haul around my 16" MacBook Pro. Works perfectly for weekend trips when I want to pack light. Can fit about 3 days worth of clothes along with an 11" iPad and laptop comfortably

June 17, 2020

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.

March 12, 2020

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!

March 8, 2020

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.

February 20, 2020


Absolutely in love...the design is so sleek and the compartments make organisation incredibly easy! Highly recommend.

February 11, 2020

Perfect for a quick trip

This has quickly become my "go-to" bag for a quick trip away. With enough compartments to separate the items I need, as well as a huge main area to fill with enough for 3-4 days of travelling, it's a perfect over-the-shouder option.

January 20, 2020

Great cabin bag

A great combination of cabin case luggage and laptop bag. Easy to use zips, lots of functional pockets and a flexible size. Items inside are protected well with integral padding. A well thought out pack.

January 16, 2020

Bags of options

Bought the Black Hole MLC for all its options. I can back pack it through and separate myself from all those poncy rollie baggers !

January 15, 2020

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!

December 28, 2019

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!

December 20, 2019

Almost perfect!

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.

December 18, 2019

Black Hole MLC 45L

I've not used the bag yet, but planning to make a trek to Mexico for 2 weeks. There's plenty of room for everything I need to wear, place for 2 pairs of shoes, camera, passports, laptop, etc. So I'm excited.

December 17, 2019

Perfect pack / luggage for travel.

No need to check in luggage with this travel pack. Fits perfect in overhead storage and easy to carry around the airport. Really like how organized you can keep items in this pack.

December 16, 2019

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!

December 16, 2019

Perfect Bag

Needed something for my wife to use for freelancing gigs. She absolutely love it and we both feel good about the purchase knowing how Patagonia sources the material, labor, and work to make our planet a better place to live.

November 25, 2019

Perfect carry on

You can travel with this one bag alone. It’s perfect

November 25, 2019

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.

November 23, 2019

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.

November 21, 2019

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.

November 19, 2019


I purchased this bag for a weekend bag that fits carry on. No issues at all with carry on requirements. I did get about 1 million compliments on it, including the pilot of the flight. Great bag Patagonia, great bag.

November 13, 2019

Better than a roller!

I've been traveling for years and refuse to use a roller bag as a carry-on, they are clunky and obnoxious. Was so happy to find this bag, which holds MORE than a roller, is structured by flexible and easy to carry right on my back.

November 10, 2019

The bag is excellent, and

The bag is excellent, and exactly what I was looking for

November 9, 2019

Best duffle!

I love my black hole bags fits everything for a weekend away or a backpacking trip.

November 9, 2019

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.

November 6, 2019


Built with durability of the duffles but with MANY more organizing pockets and features. Great for airline travel carry on for many nights away.

November 6, 2019

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.

Response from Patagonia
November 26, 2019

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.

November 4, 2019


Found this great for a long weekend or as a compliment to a roller bag for extended trips. I love all the built in organization, something that is lacking from the black hole duffle. It’s a great carryon. I was able to fit it in all but the smallest of overhead spaces.

November 2, 2019

Perfect size

The MLC 45L is a great carry on for my business trips and weekend getaways. It’s thoughtful design compartments keep everything accessible and easy to pack and unpack.

November 2, 2019

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.

October 30, 2019

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.

October 23, 2019

Great Two Day Travel Bag (maybe Three)

I love the bag. Easy to pack and organize my clothes and self. The bag itself is so light compared to other things I have used it makes it so much more comfortable to use.

October 14, 2019


This bag is fantastic - so many great places to put things to stay organized, and it even fits under the seat in front of you...;o)

October 10, 2019

Love this bag!

Perfect for a carry on. Just dont over-stuff it or it will be too big.

September 18, 2019


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.

September 12, 2019

Star traveler

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”

September 5, 2019

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 :)

September 2, 2019

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.

August 30, 2019

Great little bag. Used for

Great little bag. Used for overnight summer travel and was very pleased. All the compartments are great to store different items. Going to use as a boot bag this winter. Wish they had a bigger size so I could store my helmet.

August 29, 2019

45L bag

Bag is unreal! Love it! Best piece of luggage I have purchased.

August 12, 2019

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.

August 12, 2019

Perfect do-it-all bag

I love this bag because it's big enough for an efficient packer to go on a week-long trip, but it's compact enough for shorter outings. It is an ideal carry-on size, and the straps are great if you have it loaded up.

August 10, 2019

Travel Worthy

I have used this case twice to travel out west in my teardrop trailer. It allows me to pack a week’s worth of clothing, electronic accessories and toiletries, towels, etc. so much space and different compartments to stash stuff. I am very pleased with it.

August 10, 2019

Great size and very versatile

Good size for carry on and can pack a lot of stuff. Perfect companion to my Black Hole roller bag as this bag has a sleeve so it can rest on the roller bag handle.

August 10, 2019

45 MLC

Best carry on luggage period. Very difficult to find anything negative about this product, except perhaps the price but the nonetheless, WELL WORTH IT!

August 5, 2019

Favorite bag

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.

July 25, 2019

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.

July 18, 2019

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.

Response from Patagonia
July 22, 2019

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]( that back to us. We are happy to [help]( with this process.

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