Top Gear #18 - Patagonia Black Hole Cube

9th Dec 2016

Black hole duffel

On my recent trip to Peru I was offered a couple of Patagonia's recently introduced Black Hole Cube storage bags to try out.  I've always been a big fan of Patagonia's long established Black Hole Duffle Bags and I'm also a fan of keeping my kit organised, so the Black Hole Cubes seemed like they'd be a great travel companion.  I've only been using them for about 3 weeks, but I am so convinced they are a packing game changer that I thought I'd rush a quick Top Gear blog post about them incase anyone wanted to treat their travel companion to one as a Christmas stocking filler.

The Black Hole Cubes come in 2, 6 and 10 litre sizes although I've only tested the 2 and 6 litre sizes. I was offered a 10 litre to try but thought it would be too big and I'm glad I turned it down as I think anything larger than the 6 litre would be too large to be useful for my needs.  The cubes are made from extremely durable and weather resistant coated polyester ripstop with exterior lash points and a grab handle.   The 2 litre is a simple bag shape with single zipper and interior mesh divider while the 6 litre model opens in a clam shell style with each side separated by a zippered mesh panel.

There are always so many little bits of equipment that need to be stored when you are travelling and these little beauties are genius.  The 2 litre could make a good wash bag or tool kit but for me on this trip it has been the place I've stored everything mini from pens to cable ties and duct tape to note pads.  The larger 6 litre has held everything that is a little larger - headtorches, guide books, chargers, spare toiletries, bits of tat and loads of other mid size items.  The combination of the two has meant I instantly know where all the knick knacks are and all that is left are clothes, shoes and all the other bigger bits of kit.

When I've arrived at a hotel room or pitched my tent, I pull the Black Holes out and instantly I have access to everything without needing to root around in the depths of my duffle.  This also allows me to be slick when packing the next morning.  If the room has a bedside table I just stick them on there and then I can reach for anything I need during the evening.  I've really never been so organised!

All the fittings and construction of the Black Holes are as chunky and over engineered as Black Hole duffles themselves and the handles and lashing points are really strong.  I haven't had any reason to lash them to anything or hang them up, but I have no doubt they would withstand anything you threw at them.  They won't be waterproof but they should hold off a fair bit of water - as a guide they are probably about as water resistant as a duffle bag. A nice touch is also that they are lined with light fabric which really makes things easy to see inside too.  

So, having used them daily for 3 weeks I am completely in love with these bags.  They are a brilliant travel companion and I just wanted (needed?!) to share my Black Hole Cube addiction as soon as possible. If I was going to pick one size I would go for the 6 litre as I think this is the most versatile, but having both has been the perfect combination.  The 6 litre cube costs around £27 and the 2 litre costs £24.  You won't regret the purchase and they'd be sure to bring a smile to any loved ones face on Christmas Day.

Posted by Paul

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