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Black Hole® Mini MLC 30L ReviewsWrite Your Review
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Love the bag. I can do weekend trips with this and if its The only thing that I dontLove the bag. I can do weekend trips with this and it fits under a standard airplane seat. The only things to improve- the key retaining clip is in a bad position and digs into your back if you put a key on it. The other thing is that the sternum strap max low posit... Read Moreion is still way too high. It is almost by my neck. I am 5-8 and yes I know how to use a sternum strap correctly.
New size too big for "personal item"
The previous version was able to fit the "personal item" requirements for international air travel. Adding 4 inches to the length of this, means it's too big. VERY disappointed. Otherwise would be perfect for travel. Why not shave off those 4inches on the design. Then it would be the perfect travel back.
Response from PatagoniaMarch 15, 2023
Hi Danielle, we apologize for the inconvenience regarding size. Please feel free to begin a [return or exchange](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) at any time.
Just about perfect
This bag is excellent. I have another 30L bag from another company that has a very poor layout, so I was wary of getting a similarly sized bag. This bag, however is extremely well thought out and capable of carrying everything I need and then some. The flat open option is also extremely helpful.
Great carry on bag
Bought this for my carry on bag. If using this in combination with a roller carry on, its a little overkill, a smaller backpack may suit better. This could hold everything you need for a 3 day trip but not much more in my opinion, and I use packing cubes so Im pretty efficient.
Excellent Travel Backpack
This is the best carry-on travel bag I have ever owned. I bought it last Fall to replace and upgrade my 13-year old Patagonia MLC of similar size and design. I have since used the new model on multiple trips, both for business and pleasure. It is well-made and elegantly simple in its design. It fits easily in airplane overhead bins and even under t... Read Morehe seat, when I'm the last stand-by passenger and those bins are all full. It has served me well on trips up to four days, with ample room for clothes in the large compartment, and for work stuff, laptop, chargers and small electronics in the smaller brief case compartment. The top zipper pouch works well for sunglasses, snacks or small items that need quick access. For me, this the perfect size and configuration for shorter trips. The zippers work smothly and feel sturdy. Patagonia products are built to last. My old MLC has a lot of miles on it but still works just fine, by the way. Although, it won't see much action because this new one is a big improvement. Very happy with this purchase!
Size and dimension question
Is this a 30L bag or 26L bag? The title calls it 30. The video of features call it 26. The dimensions calculate out to 1680 cubic inches which is 26L approx. But right under the dimensions if says 1830 cubic inches which is 30L. Would like to buy but not sure what size bag I would be getting. BTW, the regular MLC bag has same issues of inconsistenc... Read Morey between dimensions and volume claims.
Response from PatagoniaFebruary 16, 2023
Hey, David, thank you for this question! You're certainly not going to be the only customer puzzled by this name change. We recently changed the marketing name of the Black Hole Mini MLC from 26L to 30L to better align with its true volume. Future inventory should have up-to-date hang tags, but for a while you may see some of the older "26L" tags and references online to this other designation. Please feel free to reach out if we can help with any other questions!
Great Travel Bag
Great travel bag that fits the strict personal item size all airlines have. As long as your bag isn't completely overpacked it will fit in the size requirements no problem. Can easily fit 4 days worth of clothes in it and is great for extended weekend trips. Quality of construction is great and should last for years to come. All the zipper loc... Read Moreations and pockets make it easy to stay organized while on the go. Only critique so far, is the water bottle holder is quite high on the bag making it hard to grab your water with the bag on your back.
Lives up to it's name, and then some
Wow, this bag swallows up a lot. Just returned from a 4 day trip with it, and every time I thought I had it crammed full, there always seemed to be just a little bit more room for something else. 16" Laptop, 11" iPad, headphones, chargers, toiletries, 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of Jeans, 4 button down shirts, socks, sandals, undies - and s... Read Moretill had room to stuff a few more items acquired en route. ac couple of small outer access pockets would be nice - but that's one tiny complaint about an overall excellent travel bag.
Perfect bag with one flaw
I am a backpack fanatic and I have all kinds, It's an amazing bag. Perfect amount of organization. I have used and owned all types of Premium bags like AER, Tortuga, Nomatic and it beats them all. It is a perfect bag but, I have one major issue with this as my daily carry to work and that is Gigantic brand logo in front. It looks very tacky ... Read Morein professional environment. Patagonia please listen, do something subtle like your Stealth back pack, a small stitched logo on top or bottom. And you have winner that will beat everything in the market in this segment. :) I will wait for the one with small logo! and order all the colors as soon as you make this small tweak.
Been waiting for this bag all my life
Have gone thru many work bags in the 25-35L range. This is the one I've been looking for. The zippers are fast and easy. All the different mesh see-thru compartments for my work gear. And the not see-thru for my unmentionables when traveling. The external water bottle sleeve was a must have. The sunglasses/quick pocket is large enough for phon... Read Moree and sunglasses and gum container with room to spare. Fits my 17" laptop. Lots of padding on the electronics side, no need to pack cords in a separate padded bag. Bag itself has no hard structure, makes it easier to stuff under the small seats of regional jets. Love the external loops for all my carabiners and lashing down my big coat. Thanks for making this bag in the 30L size.
Great work travel bag, very
Great work travel bag, very functional. Some debate about moving the access pocket from the front to the top. all about how you use the bag; if its a backpack, new pocket spot is an improvement. I might consider improving the zippers to the panel closest to the back. But these are ridiculously small things - I love it, very happy!
Functional Work/Travel Backpack
Compartments are excellent to get organized around anything work related. Laptop pouch protects the device from damage. Really thought out with pouches for passports and compartments for cables. Main compartment can be zipped. For the ones that pack efficiently and travel lightly, you can easily use this for a 4-5 day trip. Only thing that I woul... Read Mored change are the available colors. Its too bad the classic blue/red isn't available.
Great travel pack
Excellent travel pack that fit my needs after I was consistently disappointed by Patagonia's recent backpacks. This item has great organization, a flap to load that opens flat. Convenient top pocket for keys/phone. The only thing that might be lacking is padding in the straps, but that is pretty marginal. I'd definitely buy this again.
Awesome with on small complaint
This is a really great bag. I just used it on the its first trip and it performed very well. I love the flexibility of how many ways it can be used. My one complaint is the sternum strap. It is too high, even at its lowest setting. It is uncomfortably near my neck. Maybe its because Im a big guy but there seems to be no reason for this. Its not ... Read Morea deal breaker for me, but it is annoying.
Response from PatagoniaJanuary 18, 2023
We really appreciate your feedback on all aspects of this bag, Caleb! If you ever find that the sternum strap is a dealbreaker, please reach out to our Customer Service team and we'll be happy to discuss your options. Thanks for taking a moment to review it!
Dislike this product & might send it back if I cant get used to it after a few adjustments! It is too big, cumbersome & uncomfortable. Had to swing on & take off. It could Abe that I am too old for this type of product. I will call asap for advice!mkh
Response from PatagoniaDecember 21, 2022
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review, Martha. We also want to extend our sincere apologies for the disappointment in this item. Please feel free to reach out to our [Customer Service Team](https://help.patagonia.com/s/?_gl=1*1dz5br8*_ga*MTQ5ODEyNDA3OS4xNjUyMjExNDc2*_ga_1SYPSJZYJ5*MTY3MTY1ODU5NC4yODIuMS4xNjcxNjU5MzIzLjAuMC4w) and we will be more than happy to help with advise or a return.
Perfect weekend travel bag
This is the perfect weekend travel bag for a simple trip away. It can easily accommodate two outfits and an extra pair of shoes. It has a place to store toiletries and associated items, plus a separate place to hold electronics. This easily fits in an overhead compartment or under the seat. If you need more than that, then buy the bigger sized back... Read Morepack.
I love the black hole bags and have a bunch of them for various different gear. This ones for travel though, and pretty easily fits three or four days of clothes and stuff. I can even get in my aero press and a bag of coffee so I don't suffer bad coffee when I travel. Another great bag. Love it.
Perfect Travel Pack
The 26L Black Hole Mini MLC fits me just like a Patagonia hiking pack (like a glove!), but is set up to hold 3+ days of clothes, my laptop and extras (overnight kit, books, chargers, etc.) perfectly. I can not explain how convenient this pack has already been for me - thanks!
I got this bag because
I got this bag because I was going on a two week trip to Uk and I did not want a wheel bag for trains planes and automobiles. I got two weeks of clothes into this very small bag. All I can say is it is fantastic! It opens like a suitcase and Carries like a back pack. Its beautifully made. Sturdy, and tough. Its exactly what I hoped it was and more.... Read More I highly recommend
Black Hole Mini 26L - Oh No!
I ordered this pack after checking out the original pack owned by a family member and reading online reviews (including recommendations made to Patagonia for improvements). When I received the pack, I was very disappointed to find that Patagonia had incorporated most recommendations made by owners BUT, in exchange, they had eliminated the front zip... Read Morepered section that was so useful when using in sling mode. Yes, the added top pocket will be useful in backpack mode - but my primary use is as a sling style airline carryon for digital nomad tech equipment. Elimination of the front zippered pouch was a blow to my hopes to carry the unit in sling mode with quick and easy access to my passport, phone, and travel documents. Kudos for upgrading version 2 based on buyer feedback - but it is disappointing those upgrades came at the expense of other critical features. I'm trying now to figure out a last minute workaround that will allow me to stay within the airline limits for carryon travel.
My every-day bag
Positives: I like the utility of this bag as my every-day work bag. The "work section" of the bag has enough pockets for my laptop, a few folders, my notebook, mouse, earbuds, charger, and a few miscellaneous items. It may seem small, but the double zippers allow for easy top-side access when the bag is on the floor or hanging on the back... Read More of a chair. The brain is large and holds my keys, wallet, and anything else I don't feel like carrying. The main pocket is perfectly sized for extra items I always find myself carrying - bike helmet, gym clothes, jacket, etc. and I suppose it'd be great as a weekend travel-bag, too. The straps are comfortable, and the backpack mode doesn't feel like an afterthought. I like that the bag keeps it shape when NOT full. I also appreciate the very deep water-bottle sleeve on the outside. Admittedly, I don't use this for a bottle, but to quickly drop items in. The depth makes me feel very comfortable that they won't fall out. Negatives: 99% of the time I don't use the mesh cover over the main compartment. I keep it unzipped and scrunched into the bottom of the bag. I was told the pouch underneath was to store it out of the way, but the pouch isn't centered, and I cannot figure out how that might work. My guess is that this isn't what the pouch is for, and if it is, the execution is poor. Overall: I'd recommend this bag to anyone looking for a solid weekend travel bag, or daily carry backpack that wants suitcase-like access.
This meets the standards to fit under the seat in front of you, that airlines reference. Also finally a water bottle pocket! Use your packing cubes and you can easily get a weekends worth of clothes in this. I love the technology sleeve, waist buckle and fabric. Tough, lots of pockets and very practical. This will be my primary travel backpack alon... Read Moreg with carry on roller, because who checks bags anymore?
End of the holy grail messenger bag
So, I prefer the previous generational design. The sharp contrast of shiny added an extra stand out appearance. This is a good bag to be certain, but it's no longer functional as a messenger bag. The front quick stash pocket and extra layer of organizational pockets is severely missed. I'm confused about why patagonia chose to make this i... Read Morento a backpack.
Great Travel Backpack
I bought this first in grey w/Blue/green trim and my wife fell in love with it. I ordered the olive green color, which I wasn't sure I would like but is really nice. Just took it on a week long trip. Fits great under seat-not much extra room though. The pockets and inside are fantastic and used it hiking and it was super comfortable. Great tha... Read Moret you can store away the straps if you just want a travel bag and goes nice on the suit case. It's just a super well though out bag that really does everything I wanted. A little big, but in use it seemed fine and my wife loves it too!
Great Travel backpack
The back handle and the straps wear away my shirts. I have really bad pilling on 2 of my brand new shirts from the abrasive materials used on the back of the pack. I also wish it had compression straps inside and a load lifter. Besides that its perfect for travel.
Great quality and design
This bag is designed well. Everything from the sholder straps the the interior pockets work great and were very well thought out. The bag is well made and should last a long time. We use it as a backpack to hike and for walking to the stores. Highly recommend.
I was looking for a bag that I could use for everyday commuting and overnight trips. This works perfectly. I love the dual configuration (backpack or duffel/briefcase) and found it easy to convert from one to the other. I also like having both a sternum strap and waist strap - something many commuter bags lack. The separate laptop area is nice beca... Read Moreuse I can pack and unpack my computer/work stuff with people around without having to dig though personal items in the other compartment. The construction is high quality and I'm sure will last for many many years!
I cannot believe how much I can fit into this pack! I love the organization features - everything has its place and I'm not having to pull everything out to grab something at the bottom of the pack. The laptop section is perfect for my work business trips. I'd definitely recommend this bag.
I've been on the prowl for a well-designed laptop travel bag for some time. Complicating the search, I travel with a 17-inch laptop, which most designs do not accommodate. After owning this bag for ~1 month, I'm confident my search is over; the design of this bag is nothing short of ingenious and I only wish I had found it sooner. I feel ... Read Morelike a salesman every time someone asks me about it, however, I can't refrain from demonstrating all its useful features. Backed by the guarantee Patagonia offers on all its products, and the business model the company has pioneered, I unreservedly endorse this product and highly recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit more spacious than a standard laptop briefcase.
I adore this bag!
I adore this bag! It is comfortable as a backpack or messenger-style bag, with easy access to the main compartment. Holds an amazing amount, in true Black Hole style. I took it recently on a four-day roadtrip when I challenged myself to pack in this single pack, practicing for future air travel in Europe with strict carryon requirements. The bag he... Read Moreld multiple packing cubes (the new MLC cubes are great in it) plus an extra pair of shoes, a 15 laptop and its paraphernalia (the laptop sitting against my bag when worn as a backpack, keeping that weight close to my body), and a toiletries bag. Such an easy carry as a backpack! I should note, at first I had thought the shoulder strap was missing, not realizing how the waist strap converts to the shoulder strap for a messenger-style carry. So handy, and saves weight! The product description has since been updated to clarify this process. At this size the lack of compression straps is not such a big deal. My only criticisms would be a) the waist/shoulder strap could be maybe 3-4 longer to allow for a more comfortable cross-body carry, and b) when the bag is carried as a messenger bag or by the side handle the water bottle sleeve is on the bottom, so you have to remember to remove any contents. All in all, really a hit!
20inch dimension is TOO BIG AS PERSONAL ITEM
No airline allows a 20inch personal item. Huge design flaw when the mini is designed for personal item size Other big flaw compared to the competitors are there arent any straps to compact the backpack which doubles down on my main callout on personal item size
Response from PatagoniaSeptember 30, 2022
The Mini MLC is designed to be a carry-on bag, rather than a personal (under-seat) item. At 20" x 12" x 7" it meets even strict carry-on requirements (though we always recommend you check with your specific airline, as requirements change). We're sorry if this bag was not what you were looking for. If you haven't done so already, we'll be happy to help you [return](https://www.patagonia.com/returns.html) it. If you're looking for a personal item, you might take a look at our sling packs, most of which fit those requirements for most airlines. Please feel free to reach out to our Customer Service if you'd like some assistance making a selection. Thank you for taking the time to submit this review, Tess!
Compartments, accessibility, versatility and a water bottle holder, Yes!
Compartments, accessibility, versatility and a water bottle holder, Yes! This is a great pack, and could easily hold 3 days worth of clothing, I travel for work sometimes overnight, or maybe up to 4 days. I can pack that into the MLC 26L. The new MLC 45L strangely and sadly doesn't have a water bottle pocket / holder, why Patagonia?
Great one bag option
Great bag, I have really used my MLC 45 alot but needed something smaller to fit 1-3 day trips. This is perfect, though mine came without the shoulder strap shown so beware of that. It is just easier to have one bag for your laptop/notepad/etc and all your clothes. Less hassle, no worries if there is no overhead space. Everything is very accessible... Read More. Stylish enough to carry into a meeting if need be.
Response from PatagoniaSeptember 12, 2022
Hello Clark, thank you so much for writing this review! We noticed that you mentioned there was no shoulder strap when you received this bag. All of our Mini MLC should come with a shoulder strap within one of it's pockets. If there was not, please feel free to call [Customer Service](https://help.patagonia.com/s/?_gl=1*1fr3m2j*_ga*MTQ5ODEyNDA3OS4xNjUyMjExNDc2*_ga_1SYPSJZYJ5*MTY2MzAwMjA0Ni4yNC4xLjE2NjMwMDIyNDEuMC4wLjA.) and we will get that figured out for you as soon as possible!
Excellent carryon bag for travel
I really like this bag for traveling light or paired with my 45l black hole roller. Just got back from 2 weeks in Europe and everything fit well and stayed organized. The suspension as a backpack was comfortable to carry and I like the small mesh pocket on the side to keep a water bottle handy. Not much I would change, but a small document pocket w... Read Moreould be nice.
A Lot to Love
The new mini MLC 26L packs in a lot of goodness for its size and is ideal for rapid travel and quick getaways where all you need is a bag and a seat to toss it under. From the slick carry conversions to the sturdy strap structure to the wonderfully utilized packing space to its premium feel, this is a bag that offers a lot of versatility and qual... Read Moreity in a small package - which for me is perfect despite being a bigger guy. Being able to leave extra bags at home when traveling is key these days for taking on minimal packing - and this bag delivers. The slick zippers, well thought out space, and the neat small touches like tuck-away straps and water bottle holder make this bag stand above many others I have tried and returned. This is the ideal bag for me where Patagonia proves they are not standing still in the competitive bag game.
Response from PatagoniaSeptember 8, 2022
Thank you for such a thoughtful and thorough review, David! We appreciate your appreciation of the work that went into this redesign, and we're so glad it's a hit for you!
Patagonia Black Hole MLC 26L bag
My son has purchased two of these bags and loves them so I bought one. The black hole material is different then the typical black hole material. I am assuming it will be same or better quality and have the endurance as the old fabric. It looks great and is very versatile and holds a lot of items. I highly recommend it!
The Last Bag You Need to buy
I was looking to replace a canvas messenger bag for work. This canvas bag was one of my favorite bags and finally wore out. I had one goal in mind when looking for a bag and that was versatility. I needed a bag I could wear as a messenger bag daily to the office but throw all my kid's stuff in with laptop protection for a quick trip. This was ... Read Morea difficult search that led me to the Patagonia Black Hole® Mini MLC® Convertible Backpack 26L. The bag is a little bigger than I expected which made me a little nervous but still works well as a messenger bag. This bag offers the versitility I need to go from the office to the plane to the trails and more. Would highly reccomend.
This is a great bag, and I really like the redesign with the added water bottle pocket. I had a hard time initially finding the strap that converts the backpack to a shoulder bag-it is the waist strap used to secure the bag around your waist when you use it like a backpack. Its held in place using Velcro, so just reach in and detach it, pull it out... Read More, and convert it to a shoulder bag.
They Finally Did IT!
The new redesign of the MLC 26/45 is amazing. It finally has all the right things in the right area. They are a few clever new features, including Strech mesh on the bottom side, a waist belt that doubles as a sling carry strap, A hidden pocket on the bottom of the interior of the main compartment for apple tags, etc. Each compartment opens a full ... Read More240º and lays flat, and a quick access pouch on the top for sunglasses, wallets, AirPods, etc. This is the bag that we all have waited for ever since the launch of the MLC series. Outstanding Patagonia!
Checks All My Boxes (and there are a lot of them)
I have been looking for 4 years for the perfect airline under seat travel bag (I have gone through too many brands to list). I have a pretty long list of requirements: - Needs to bump right up against the size limits for an airline under seat bag (typically a 22-26 liter bag) to get as much usable storage space as possible for 2-3 day trips. - Op... Read Moreens up like a suitcase... top loading just does not work well for an overnight/travel bag. - Handles for suitcase style carrying. Handles cannot get in the way of opening the main compartments of the bag. Handles for both Horizontal and Vertical carry. - Shoulder strap for carrying like a messenger bag. - Be able to carry like a backpack, and able to stow away the backpack straps when not in use. - Small outer pocket for easy access to things like a phone or passport. - Luggage passthrough so it can be used with my carry-on luggage. - Easy laptop access for going through TSA. - Minimalist design... not lots of external compression straps, daisy straps, etc. - Waist strap that can be removed. I will be using this for light travel, not backpacking, and I find a waist strap useless for my purposes. - Some padding for when the bag is used in backpack mode, but not so intrusive that it looks silly when the bag is used like a messenger bag. - Bag must weigh under 4 pounds. - Side pocket for a water bottle. - Bag must be small enough that even my wife at 5'6" can manage it. - Internal storage compartments for the times that I want to use the bag for business travel. - A good amount of water resistance. - I want a bag that has a more rectangular structure to it, so that it does not look silly when carried over the shoulder messenger bag style. MY IMPRESSION: I have to say this bag does the best job so far at checking all my requirements. Although I personally don't see much use for a waist belt, I do like how this bag lets you use the shoulder strap as a waist belt and vice versa... pretty ingenious. I like how you can fully unzip one side of the bag suitcase style, exposing laptop storage, document storage, and other storage pockets. You can unzip that side of the bag just far enough to allow you to remove your laptop/tablet without having to open the entire bag. Unzipping the other side of the bag suitcase style exposes the main compartment that would typically be used for clothes, shoes, etc. That side also includes some basic storage compartments. The handle on the backside of the backpack also doubles as a luggage passthrough. Everything is well constructed, minimalist, and looks really good. NEGATIVES: I only have 4 minor complaints. The carry handles are pretty basic and lack any extra padding (almost non-existent when compared to other bags in this class). At least I do not have to fiddle with connecting two handles together with a clasp like with some other bags. The laptop sleeve does have padding in the bottom, but I wish it were a little more padded to protect my laptop from damage in case the bag is dropped on its bottom. There are no internal compression straps in the main compartment. My Tortuga Setout Divide has them and it is nice. Not a deal breaker for me, especially because it does add to the weight of a bag, and is might be overkill for small bags like this anyway. The water bottle pocket is very small and when the bag is fully packed it will only accommodate small bottles. An expandable water bottle pocket here would have made all the difference. FINAL THOUGHTS: The only other bag that also comes close to fulfilling all my requirements is the Are Flight Pack 3. It has YKK zippers which I do love. I believe Patagonia uses propriety zippers of their own making (although I could be wrong about that) and time will tell how good they are. The Aer is a 3/4 vertical open, not a full suitcase style like the Patagonia, and the Aer handles can get in the way when opening the bag (although its handles do offer more padding). Overall the Are and this Patagonia are really a close match, but I chose the Patagonia because of name reputation, suitcase style opening, and because I think it is a better looking bag. But it was a REALLY close matchup. I really do wish Patagonia had added an expandable water bottle pocket and better handle padding.. that would have moved the bag into a class almost it's own. Internal compression straps would have been nice although for a bag this size that might be overkill anyway.
Great Travel Bag!
Just got this in the mail and love the new redesigned feel of this bag! Lot's of new features and improvements such as the water bottle holder. Hard to see some of the new things from the pictures, but there's a good video on youtube. You know you've been wanting one!
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