The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L is a stuff sack style ultralight backpack. The pack has a single main compartment that closes using a drawcord and a daisy chain hook. Inside the main compartment is a medium sized zippered pocket on the back panel. The entire pack can stuff into the pocket for storage similar to rain jackets that can stuff into one of their pockets. When stuffed into the pocket the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L is roughly the size of a Nalgene bottle. On the top of the lid is a small zippered pocket. On the outside there are two mesh bottle pockets. That is really all there is to the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L; simple and no frills.
Given the name it’s no surprise that the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L has a storage capacity of 20L which I have found to be a good place. So far I’ve used this pack mostly on short hikes, sub 6 miles, or on scrambles like Cabezon Peak. 20L might not sound like a lot and the pack looks rather small but it doesn’t manage to swallow up about all the gear you really need for shorter trips. This summer I also plan to use the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L as a summit pack for overnight trips were we have backpacked in and set up a base camp.
Patagonia claims a weight of 310g for the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L. On my scale it actually weighed 291g. You definitely can’t complain when the actual weight comes out below the manufacturers. The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L is offered in three colors: Black, Blue, and Red.
Size is perfect for short trips or scrambles
Fits way more gear than you would expect
Exterior water bottle pouches and daisy chain have room to increase load carrying ability
Supper simple pack with all you need and no frills
Stuffs super small
Surprisingly comfortable and stable to wear
Padded back panel is comfortable but be conscious of how you pack gear
The shoulder straps are too close together at where they meet the pack
The pack carries kind of funny and really high up on the back (not bad, just odd feeling)
I wish the daisy chain had an extended strip so that the pack lid could secure “overflow” loads
A little pricey at $80, REI has a similar pack for around $50
Summary There really isn’t a whole lot to say about the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L just like the pack itself. It delivers what you really need without any of the frills. The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L just works and works well for short hikes, scrambles, and as a secondary pack carried on a backpacking trip. The ability to stuff the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L into itself and make it pretty small is to me the key selling point of the pack. I do think adding the additional daisy chain would make carrying a rope at the crag or overflow loads possible. I would also like to see the straps widened at the attachment point to the pack which I think would improve the feel of the pack on the back. It isn’t really a problem but definitely an odd feeling.
At $80 retail I do think the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L is a little overpriced but it does the job it was designed to do almost perfectly. If you need a compressible pack there aren’t many better ones out there. I purchased the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L in BRIGHT red for purposes of this review and my personal use. I was not compensated for writing it.
The below link is to Patagonia’s page for the Ultralight Black Hole Pack 20L, it is not an affiliate link: Patagonia.com