My mom was the queen of canvas tote bags. She had a monogrammed L.L. Bean version for her groceries, a wide-mouthed tote for the weekly library haul, and one with a mesh liner for the beach. My grade-school self could imagine nothing more eco-glam than that collection of practical totes hanging from the front doorknob.
While mom may have been ahead of her time, we are all well-versed in the virtues (nay, necessity) of the reusable bag by now. And thanks to Patagonia’s new 100-percent recycled Black Hole Collection, now the same bags we use to prevent single-use plastic waste are the ones helping clean up the mess we’ve already made.
Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffel Bag was already our go-to workhorse for travel thanks to its extreme durability — the polyester ripstop and TPU-film laminate sheds dirt, rain, snow and spilled coffee like a champ. It fits everything you need for a multi-day climbing trip in the desert or just a jaunt up to Big Sur for the weekend, and you can keep yourself organized using the brand’s Black Hole packing cubes for that satisfying “I have a system” feeling. Plus, you get to field questions about it from tech bros every time you pick it off the baggage claim belt — I’ll let you decide if that’s a pro or con.
Really, the only way Patagonia could have improved on this design is by making it more sustainable. Enter the Recycled Black Hole collection, which diverted 10 million plastic bottles from landfills and into durable travel packs and pouches made with 100-percent recycled polyester and nylon webbing. It’s part of the brand’s initiative to completely eliminate its use of virgin materials in favor of renewable and recycled ones.
While I’ll always be loyal to the Black Hole duffel, the Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack 27L is the new star player on my doorknob. The tote features a large interior, a zippered stash pocket, optional mesh shoulder straps, and a drawstring cord closure. It’s a purse. It’s a backpack. It’s a book carrier. I take it to the farmer’s market and I toss my climbing shoes and chalk bag into it before heading to the gym. It stuffs down into its own pocket which solves that perpetual dilemma of what I’m going to use as a purse when I’m trying to travel light. And best of all, it has the same durable ripstop nylon of its older duffel bag siblings. The bag comes in bright hues of blue, red and green, and more subtle classics like black and khaki, and retails for $89.
Why It’s Radical by Design: There may be sleeker, sexier and more well-designed tote bags on the market, but nothing rivals the durability of a Black Hole bag. And with its 100-percent recycled material content, it’s helping push forth a more circular economy and give plastic waste a value. Can your book hauler do that?
XX Johnie Gall.