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When you can't find your favorite, branch out to one of these underrated picks.
Everyone knows Patagonia. The paragon of the outdoor apparel and gear is known by most, beloved by many, reaching icon status years ago within and beyond the space.
Patagonia's Black Hole bags are insanely popular: they're durable, come in a variety of sizes and colors, are weather resistant and made from recycled materials. They're burly and roomy, and great for everyday use as well as epic adventures.
They're also mostly sold out. The classic 40l duffel, for example, is not expected to be available until March. So, rather than waiting for a restock, we've taken it upon ourselves to provide you with some alternative gear haulers. These duffel-gangers are excellent, available now and often more affordable too.
The Migrate duffel will have you wanting to do just that: pack your bag and hit the road. It's roomy at 60 liters, without feeling overdone. Constructed with Bluesign approved material, the Migrate is friendly on the environment, and with its ability to convert to a backpack, it's easier on your shoulders and back as well. The outer material is 900D heavy-duty TPU, which is insanely durable, makes for easy clean-up (just hose it off) and is similar to the shiny sheen of the Patagonia Black Hole 55L Duffel.
A mid-size duffel is ideal for weekend trips, overnighters and light packers. This option from Backcountry is a great swap for Patagonia's 40 liter version. Constructed with 300D tarpaulin face fabric and 210D waterproof nylon for the pocket linings, the All Around Duffel is an all-around win: easy to clean, colorful enough to keep track of and rugged enough to withstand challenging environments (and baggage handlers).
Small duffels are great for gym days, when you need a bag that's going to be easy to clean after having smelly gym clothes in it, but the right one can hang at the campsite too. At a 32-liter capacity, the Go-Bag Mini isn't much smaller than the Backcountry option above, but it's still lightweight, agile and able to carry a couple days' clothes at a moment's notice. We love the bright colorways and simple design for everyday use.
Patagonia's Black Hole Pack 25L is popular, but don't sleep on Matador's Beast 28 Technical Pack — it's got three extra liters of space, a flexible frame suspension system for comfort on the trail and a waterproof UTS coating that's 30 percent more potent than traditional polyurethane coatings. Unlike Patagonia's version, it's also hydration bladder-compatible, and compresses into its included travel sack when not in use.
Wheeled bags provide travel convenience, but traditional options don't live up to the rigorous standards the outdoors require. Our top pick for a durable roller? The Big Agnes Stagecoach 45L rolling duffel. We've taken it to Baja, Mexico, Copper Mountain, Colorado, and everywhere in between, and this thing has maintained its durability, and looked good doing it. Featuring a waterproof membrane and welded seams, as well as convertible shoulder straps to make it a backpack, this baby is hard working and hard wearing.
Functional, relatively small while still being more spacious than other shoulder bags, the tote is the casual workhorse of the bag community. If you can't get ahold of Patagonia's version, try out Osprey's contender. The Arcane is made from recycled polyester fabric and coated with PFC-free DWR, making it long-lasting and responsibly constructed. Featuring a 16-inch padded laptop sleeve, internal organization, zippered top and additional shoulder straps for multiple carry options, the Arcane is anything but.
Slings are gaining popularity, and it's no mystery why. We love their hands-free fun attitude: fill it with the essentials and slip it on, and you'll forget you're even wearing a bag. Cotopaxi's Chasqui 13-liter option initially caught our attention thanks to its unique colorway but won us over with its intuitive design. A padded shoulder strap keeps things comfy, while multiple grab handles and a zippered, top-access pocket provide convenience. Recycled, weather-resistant materials make this sling the complete package.