• HEADWAY MLC, Black (BLK)
  • HEADWAY MLC, Oaks Brown (OKSB)
  • HEADWAY MLC, Smolder Blue (SMDB)
  • Headway MLC® 45L,
  • Headway MLC® 45L,
  • Headway MLC® 45L,
  • Headway MLC® 45L,

Patagonia Headway MLC® 45L





  • Black
    $189.00 BLK
    Black (BLK)
  • Oaks Brown
    $189.00 OKSB
    Oaks Brown (OKSB)
  • Smolder Blue
    $189.00 SMDB
    Smolder Blue (SMDB)
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HEADWAY MLC, Smolder Blue (SMDB)
Headway MLC® 45L,
Headway MLC® 45L,
Headway MLC® 45L,
Headway MLC® 45L,
45 L (2,746 cu in)

Additional Information

A rugged soft-sided suitcase that converts to a backpack, holds three to five days’ worth of gear and meets most carry-on requirements.

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Standing in line at the carousel is best left for the state fair. That’s why we designed the Headway MLC (Maximum Legal Carry-On)—the most versatile travel bag you’ll ever stuff into an overhead bin. This soft-sided carry-on bag holds three to five days' worth of clothes, opens like a book for easy packing and meets airline carry-on size requirements so you can get in and out as fast as possible. An internal, padded sleeve holds most 17" laptops and doubles as a clothing organizer. The main compartment features two separate pockets for easier packing, access, and organization. A second zippered pocket keeps shoes separate from clothing. Two exterior pockets organize the essentials and include features to hold keys, electronics, travel documents, wallet and phone. Multiple carrying options include a padded shoulder strap that can be worn on one shoulder or across the chest bandolier style; zip-away, ergonomic shoulder straps that convert the MLC to a backpack so you can easily make a sprint through crowds; and top and side handles for a briefcase carry. An integrated docking sleeve slides over telescoping luggage handles. Made from 9.25-oz 940-denier CORDURA® Ballistic nylon with a polyurethane coating and lined with 3.3-oz 200-denier 100% polyester. Both fabrics have a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
  • Superdurable CORDURA® Ballistic nylon for puncture- and abrasion-resistance
  • Main zippered compartment opens like a book and features two separate compartments for easy packing, access and organization
  • Second zippered compartment holds shoes
  • Two small zippered pockets organize essentials; third pocket with key clip provides easy access to tickets and passport; fourth pocket sits flat for documents and magazines
  • Three carrying options: backpack style with ergonomic shoulder straps that tuck neatly into a zippered compartment; shoulder-bag style with comfortable shoulder strap; briefcase style with two carry handles
  • Rear sleeve allows you to slip the tote on and off rolling luggage handles
  • Body: 9.25-oz 940-denier CORDURA® Ballistic 100% nylon with polyurethane coating. Lining: 3.3-oz 200-denier 100% polyester. Both treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 1425 g (50.3 oz)
  • Made in Vietnam.

Water Resistant

 (durable water repellent) fabric finish repels light rain and snow and decreases dry times. When DWR is used in conjunction with a waterproof/breathable barrier, the DWR finish keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated so that the breathable barrier can do its job.


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Headway Mlc is rated 4.705882352941177 out of 5 by 17.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfect Carry-On I bought this bag specifically for a 3 week long trip overseas between the US, Middle East and Europe. I am usually a habitual over-packer so I wanted to travel light and completely carry on for this trip. This bag was perfect for what I needed. I used this along with some mesh packing cubes from REI and I could not have been more happy. Everything fit perfectly and I never had any issues with fitting it in overhead bin space. There are plenty of additional pockets and zippered space for all that you would need and the additional shoulder and backpack straps make carrying a cinch. Honestly there was nothing that I would change.
Date published: 2016-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous bag We bought two of these bags and used them as our carry-on luggage on our recent trip to London. They have a million pockets and organizers, hold a lot of stuff, and are easy to carry. We bought them in part because we could throw them over our shoulder and because they would fit over the handles of our spinner suitcases, and we knew that because of road closures we'd have to take the tube to our hotel from the airport and didn't want to wrangle a bunch of spinners. They worked great, and I expect they'll get a lot of use in the future.
Date published: 2016-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Almost perfect I have now bought 6 of these bags for family and friends so I am obviously a big fan. Definitely the best travel bag out there. I've beaten up mine on trips to deserts in Namibia, frozen it on Fogo Island Newfoundland, squashed in 4WDs in dusty places, dropped in a stream in Scotland and soaked in British Columbia and the list goes on. It is strong. Being a soft bag makes it great for squashing into very tight luggage spaces such as trains, tiny car trunks, small private flights, helicopters and boats where hard suitcases are always frowned upon and sometimes not allowed. A few changes would make it even better. I definitely prefer the cordura finish (vs. shiny nylon on the latest version), metal fixtures would be good, slightly stiffer support to stop the bag sagging over time, the hidden luggage tag is useless and sometimes the zippers catch the interior lining. These shouldn't deter you but are nice to haves. This bag + the Patagonia Black Hole 25L will get you around the world both in business and extreme travel.
Date published: 2016-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great bag My wife has taken her MLC bag around the globe: Africa, Turkey, Bali, Mexico, Cuba and countless flights and car trips along western US. It's so practical I had to buy one for myself. I have two Black Hole Duffle bags, MLC wheelie and the MLC burrito. The new headway MLC is the first bag I go to for 1-4 day trips, replacing all other midsized luggage. It feels great on the back, plenty of interior room and the contrast inner color really helps me find my gear. The zippers are smooth and glide easily, a huge improvement IMO. The mesh panel in the main compartment is very thoughtful. Using this bag is a real pleasure and it feels like it will last for the long haul.
Date published: 2016-09-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Business Travel My goal with this purchase was to minimize my travel luggage. Tired of the inconvenience of a two bag travel outfit: a roller bag and a laptop/backpack, I wanted one bag to do both and this bag performs beautifully. I used it for a ten day business trip to China, a 15 day combination pleasure/business trip to Washington DC and Switzerland and a couple of four and five day business trips. Even on the longer trips when packed full, it always fit in the overhead compartment. If your travel consists of car to plane to hotel to office then this is perfect. If your trip will involve walking longer distances to your destinations or perhaps museum hopping on the way to the airport, this bag when fully packed will not be very comfortable to wear. Although it is a backpack, it does not afford the comfort of a more traditional backpack and I woud not use it for say hiking hut to hut in the Swiss Alps. It's not the do everything pack, but for business travel this product is a home run. It would have gotten five stars if it was a little more comfortable to wear when fully loaded.
Date published: 2016-09-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Inferior in some respects to older versions Have an MLC from about 10 years ago and wanted to update to get zippered cover in main compartment and laptop sleeve in back. But I noticed that Patagonia has cut several corners on the new version: 1. Plastic, not metal hardware on new version 2. Old version has heavily padded contoured shoulder strap, new one very skimpy on the padding. 3. Old version has leather padded grab handles, new one skimpy web handles that will hurt the hands if carried a long distance that way. 4. Old version has storm flap around main zippers, new versions zippers exposed. 5. This is probably the deal breaker for me: there is really no way to tuck away the backpack attachment clip on the bottom corners of the bag. There is a tiny garage but it is so tight that it is impossible to get the clip into it. The old version has a well-designed reinforced clip garage. This is important because even with just gate-checking you can't have stuff hanging off your bag--it will get caught in the conveyor belt that loads luggage. I can't believe Patagonia designed something so poorly. I was eager to get the laptop sleeve and zippered interior, but I'm not sure they outweigh the compromises in these other areas. May return new version and keep using old one until these things get fixed.
Date published: 2016-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So far so great Trying to simplify my travel process and decided on the Headway. So far I've used it for a few weekend trips and one carry on trip to Vegas. The compartments are nice and easy to access while the bag is in the overhead storage. I'm impressed by how much I can fit in the bag and still use as a backpack. I'll be taking this to Vietnam very soon and expect it'll serve me just fine. It fits perfectly in the overhead compartment on the plane. Very satisfied.
Date published: 2016-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Bag This bag is very roomy and the backpack feature is great to leave your hands free at the airport. The bag will also slide over the handle of a checked bag as well. Depending on the length of your trip, this bag may be all you need. The fabric is super durable and waterproof and stays clean and new looking.
Date published: 2016-05-28
  • 2016-10-24T12:29CST
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