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The Art of Packing

Four travel bags from Patagonia, Dakine, Arc'teryx, and Osprey for the next trip

Planning a trip this summer? Need a new bag? Here are four luggage options that will get you where your need to go then double as your winter suitcase when the snow comes back.

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 120L
MSRP: $159
Patagonia.com

This bag is named the Black Hole for a reason. It will suck in every piece of kit you own with room to spare—perfect for trips where you don’t have to carry your own gear, like heli bumps into backcountry lodges or donkey-aided backpacking trips into the forest. Daisy chains make it easy to synch the bag down to whatever transportation you use, and shoulder straps help you schlep the load when you’re moving the bag from your pack animal to your tent or the heli pad to the lodge. Made from 1,200-denier fabric with a water repellent finish, this duffel is one of those pieces you’ll have for years.

Dakine Split Roller 65L 16w
MSRP: $200 (Available this August)
Dakine.com

Roller bags are the only way to travel when you’re sticking to places with paved roads, sidewalks, and elevators. My favorite, by far, is the Dakine Split Roller 65L. It’s just the right size for a 10-day summer trip, with room for a lots of hot weather clothes, or a week-long winter ski resort trip, with room for your boots plus long underwear, a puffie, and shell. If you’re skiing somewhere like Jackson Hole you can pack your avalanche shovel in an outside pocket so it doesn’t tear up your gear, or get nabbed by TSA in your carry on. Two outside straps are also perfect for synching down ski poles.

Arc’teryx Covert Case I/C/O
MSRP: $199
Arcteryx.com

The Covert Case I/C/O 50L bag is sized just right to slide into larger overhead bins on airplanes. And by just right, I mean that it actually slides in without much pushing so that you don’t become one of those people who works up a sweat trying to punch their bag into an open slot. Perfect for shorter trips, the bag splays open so it’s easy to access your stuff, and padding on all sides helps protect anything that needs a little TLC. Compression straps inside help keep the bag svelte, and lightweight, stowable backpack straps make the bag easy to carry when you’re running through a crowded airport to catch your next plane.

Osprey Waypoint 80
MSRP: $279.95
Osprey

When a roller doesn’t make sense and you need to carry your gear—up the steps of a hostel in Europe or down snowy roads in Japan—go for the Osprey Waypoint 80. Unlike a normal backpacking rig, where you have to pile through the top to reach your gear, the Waypoint 80 has a big zippered main pocket that peals back and gives you easy access. A beefy, adjustable suspension system rides nicely on your hips and a large daypack with a padded laptop and tabled sleeve zips off for shorter in-town missions. If you ever need to throw the bag under a bus or plane, the harness stows away under a protective covering so that straps don’t get tangled or caught.