The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Sling 8L is a lightweight, ultralight backpacking backpack that can be used for many purposes. It is perfect for those who want to carry minimal gear and still have the comfort of carrying a pack. The Patagonia ultralight black hole 8l sling is a review of the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Sling. It is made from Dyneema fabric and weighs only 8 lbs, making it an excellent option for those who carry a lot of weight in their pack.
Patagonia’s Black Hole line offers bags in various forms, sizes, and styles, including that ideal for long-distance travel, daily use, and even small outings like a stroll or a fast shopping trip.
Quick excursions are when the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Sling 8L shines the brightest. Its one-shoulder carry isn’t ideal for lengthy journeys, but it’ll do if you’re going to the park for the day or need to run a few errands. And, at 8L, it offers enough room for everything you’ll need.
During our month of testing, we took this sling on various outings and errands, so let’s speak about it.
Aesthetics & Materials
The Patagonia logo can be seen on the main strap of this sling as well as on the bottom right-hand side of the front pocket. It’s a great, understated touch—people will notice you’re wearing Patagonia, but the logo doesn’t shout it from the rooftops. The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Sling 8L is available in five different colors at this review, and we’ve been loving the outdoorsy vibes of the Cobalt Blue colorway we’ve been testing.
The body of this sling is constructed of recycled 70D ripstop nylon silicone-coated on the front and polyurethane-coated on the back, much like the bags in Patagonia’s Ultralight bags Black Hole collection. It’s also bluesign® certified. The inner is made of 200D recycled polyester with a DWR finish and the same polyurethane coating as the body. We understand that this all seems to be very complex. But, as stated, this bag is rugged and water-resistant, so you should be OK in inclement weather—plus, it was made with the environment in mind, so you can feel good about using it.
We (unintentionally) put this material’s water resistance to the test with a water bottle leak inside the pack—it wasn’t a big spill or anything. Still, we’re pleased to report that water beads up instead of soaking through. It also dries fast (meaning you should be fine if you get caught in some rain).
To round out the materials, there are some YKK zippers on here with corded zipper pulls that match the bag’s color—the pulls are simple to grasp, and everything has worked well so far in our tests.
Components from Outside
To begin, we’d want to point out that the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Sling 8L packs into one of its pockets. So you’ll be able to save it for later use (either inside a giant travel bag or for storage at home). When it’s all packed up, there’ll be an image of the sling on the exterior and the Patagonia logo in white writing. On top of the pouch is a strap that may be hooked through a loop and used as a handle to carry or hang it from. This strap is also a critical clip when the bag is in use.
We’ve discovered that unpacking this backpack isn’t easy—though it’s much faster than the Patagonia Black Hole Duffle Bag 40L. We’ve kept mainly the sling out and constructed it because of this. We haven’t had to compress it frequently since it’s already fragile and light.
Now that we’ve got it out of the way let’s look at the outside, beginning with the shoulder strap. It’s well-padded—not so, but because it’s just an 8L bag, you don’t need much padding. It’s also lined with mesh, allowing air to circulate and keeping you cool. But the unusual form of this strap was one of the first things we noticed. This asymmetrical structure is intended to keep the sling close to the body by starting broad at the top of the bag, gradually becoming thinner in the center, and then widening again at the bottom.
One thing to remember is that this sling can only be worn over one shoulder at a time, so that it may get uncomfortable after a while. We’ve discovered that wearing it lower on our backs is more comfortable, but as a consequence, the bag often seems like it’s sliding backward or has to be readjusted. With Patagonia’s Atom Sling, we experienced a similar problem with being unable to switch shoulders. We mentioned it before, and we’ll repeat it: we’d appreciate a solution that lets us vary our carry now and again.
We’ve discovered that if you move this item to your left shoulder, you can rest your right shoulder. In specific ways, yes. Because you’re not carrying the bag crossbody, you’ll need to hook your thumb into the strap to keep it secure—think late-90s backpack straps over one shoulder. It works, but we wouldn’t suggest carrying it for extended distances this way.
This strap has two loops, one at the top and one at the bottom. These may be used to clip on carabiner-compatible equipment, such as a water bottle. Although, unless your water bottle is very light, strapping it here will add to your weight (as mentioned in the Atom Sling article). So far, we’ve primarily used them to sling the bag forward when we need to get inside—slide your finger or thumb in and pull. (It’s a relaxed, cool-guy-like move.)
An elastic strap retainer is also included to assist us in achieving the DangleFreeExperience. The strap’s tag end is bent upward to prevent it from sliding out of the elastic (this has occurred to the keepers on other sling bags we’ve tried, making them unusable). This tiny yet clever design element is one of our favorites.
A mesh sleeve with elastic at the top fits an iPhone XS like a glove on the front of the strap, so it should suit most devices. We’ve discovered that having your phone in here virtually works as a counterbalance, balancing out the burden in your bag and giving you an equal carry.
The end of the strap has a plastic ITW buckle that you can easily clasp and unclip. In our testing, it has remained secure and enables you to swiftly put on and take off the sling without having to slide yourself in and out of it every time. But if you want to do it that way, that’s OK; we want you to know it’s there if you need it.
Finally, the mesh lining of the cushioned back panel is identical to that of the shoulder strap. There are no genuine air passages here, but we don’t need anything too intense for a backpack this small. While we can’t claim we’re constantly free of sweat, we’re also not drenched in it. The panel also helps to give the bag some shape, ensuring that it isn’t simply a sagging sack.
The Sling Inside
Inside this sling, there’s not much going on. The first is a medium-sized zipped pocket on the front, which is ideal for holding a notepad, your calendar, and maybe a snack or two. It also allows for easy access—slide the bag to the front, grab, and go.
When you open that pocket, you’ll see the smaller pocket where the bag is stored. When the bag isn’t compacted, this may store tiny things that you don’t want to mix in with your other belongings, such as keys and a wallet, providing some order. It also has a zipper to prevent items from leaking out.
We’ve generally simply left this smaller pocket open and relied on the main pocket zipper to keep our belongings secure—the pocket itself is tiny, so there’s not a lot of space to put things inside either. It’s also difficult to get inside, so even if you can put one or two items inside, getting to them will be a problem.
As previously stated, the clip that serves as a handle while the sling is compressed also serves as a key clip when the sling is opened. It’s made of plastic, so it won’t last as long as a metal clip, but it feels solid in the hand. It’s also inconvenient since you have to get to it via two zippers. And since the leash it’s attached to is very short, you’ll have to perform the uncomfortable bend over whatever you’re attempting to open. On the plus side, this pocket-inside-a-pocket keeps your keys safer than if they were in a quick-grab pocket on the bag’s outside (where it would be easier for the wrong person to grab them).
Now we’ll go on to the main compartment. It’s very large and has no internal structure, which is ideal for larger and heavier things. We were able to easily put a jacket and a drink bottle (or two) in here. You could also accommodate an umbrella, your lunch box, and your most recent library haul. However, we believe it might benefit from some more internal structure for minor tasks (which you can always create with pouches, too, if it works for your gear).
Testing & Durability
For the last month, we’ve brought the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Sling 8L on many lengthy hikes (three to five miles), as well as walks with the dogs and visits to the store—basically, it’s gone everywhere we went. We’ve discovered that after a time, the sling becomes unpleasant, which you have to push through since you can’t swap shoulders.
We appreciate that we can fit some larger things in here, such as a jacket or a water bottle, but this sling isn’t as good for smaller objects. You can still put your smaller items in pouches to provide compartmentalization, but we’d like to see some more organization built into the sling.
Everything is holding up well in terms of durability. There were no rips, punctures, or dangling threads to disclose.
- patagonia sling
- patagonia atom sling
- patagonia atom sling review
- patagonia ultralight black hole pack 20l
- atom sling vs black hole sling