Patagonia Black Hole Cinch Pack Review


Coming in at just 1 lb .9oz, the 20L Cinch Pack is the perfect bag for anyone who’s always on the go and loves embarking on quick, unforeseen adventures. This bag is part of Patagonia’s newly released Lightweight Black Hole Collection, and currently comes in four different colorways. Today, I will be taking a look at their Sporty Orange option.


To kick things off, let’s go over what gives this bag the ability to be lightweight while staying waterproof and durable. The magic is all in the material pictured above. This is Patagonia’s ripstop nylon which is coated with a TPU-film laminate and a DWR finish. Essentially, this is a thin, slick, flexible but strong material that will keep every drop of water out in some of the worst weather conditions. With almost every panel of the Cinch Pack sporting this material, I have complete confidence that my gear won’t get wet. I also love being able to throw this bag down on a rough rock after an exhausting hike, and not having to worry about it getting torn or scuffed up.


The bottom of the Cinch Pack uses a slightly different material than the front/sides. It’s still the ripstop nylon, just without the TPU-film and it’s a bit thicker for increased durability. I wish the bottom had the TPU-film because it would add an extra layer of protection from the elements. If you are doing an activity in the rain and happen to set your bag down with the bottom facing the damp ground, there’s a possibility of water soaking through and getting your gear wet because it lacks the TPU-film. Granted, it would take a reasonable amount of time for this to occur, but it is something to note when purchasing this bag.


Moving to the sides, you will find micro daisy chains that provide up to six lash points per side. I’m super happy Patagonia incorporated these into this pack because the possibilities are virtually endless with what you can do with them. Some ways I like to use mine are for latching my Nalgene, holding a pair of gloves, or even threading paracord through like shoelaces to hold a sleeping bag. Besides the functional aspect of these lash points, I also think they help give the bag a very sleek look.


On the front side, you are equipped with a large pocket which spans from edge to edge. The opening to this pocket uses a water-resistant zipper which is excellent at keeping water out. I usually put my most important items in here such as my phone and my map because it’s separate from the rest of the bag, and I’ll always know where they are.


The inside of the Cinch Pack is a nice and spacious 20L that can hold everything you could possibly need for most day-long adventures. Besides hiking, climbing, and going around town, this bag also makes for a great carry-on when traveling. On the inside, there is a zippered pocket, and below it is a catch-all pouch. Just like the front pocket, this pocket is a great place for important items as it’s super fast and easy to access. I like to store my trail snacks in here such as these yummy Honey Stinger Energy Chews.


Without a doubt, my favorite feature of the Cinch Pack is the cinch mechanism itself. It’s incredibly smooth, fast, and it always works. Patagonia was very efficient with their design by using the zippered pocket from inside as the cover flap for the top. The handle on the Cinch Pack is made from not one, but two strips of fabric which provide reinforcement when side-carrying this bag.


Finally, we arrive at the most important part of all, the shoulder straps. When buying any new bag whether it be for school, climbing, hiking, skiing, etc., it’s crucial that it meets your personal level of comfort. Trust me, nothing is worse than being mid-activity and discovering that your gear is what’s causing you pain in a certain area. Luckily, the Cinch Pack passed my personal level of comfort, and it’s likely to pass yours too. Patagonia did a great job by adding padding where it was needed and were very strategic in their seam placement to make it curve to the arch of your back. However, I think they could have added a slightly thicker layer of padding on the shoulder straps to help with heavier loads.


With all that’s been said, I think it’s safe to conclude that Patagonia’s new Cinch Pack is a reliable bag to have around. Its convenient top-loading design makes it fast and easy to access, so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing just to get something out. Whether you’re looking for a new daypack, a bag to commute to work with, or a bag to hold your yoga gear, this bag is ideal for just about any application you throw at it. If this does not look like something of interest, you may still want to take a peek at Patagonia’s other pieces in their Lightweight Black Hole Collection; they share many similarities to the Cinch Pack such as packability, durability, and waterproofness.

Click here to purchase the Black Hole Cinch Pack on Patagonia’s website for $79


3 Comments Add yours

  1. joesph says:

    I can’t believe that the backpack is only 1lb.


  2. This bag is not waterproof and it is stated by Patagonia as well.


    1. Correct. The shiny grid-like material on the bag is waterproof, however, the bag as a whole is not.


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