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  • Patagonia - Headway MLC 45L Bag - Black
  • Patagonia - Headway MLC 45L Bag - Gorge Green

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  • Patagonia - Headway MLC 45L Bag - Black
  • Patagonia - Headway MLC 45L Bag - Gorge Green

Patagonia Headway MLC 45L Bag


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    7 Reviews


    Headway in the overhead department.

    Say sayonara to your oversized rolling bag from 1999 that has a propensity for smacking your heels with a overused vengeance and say hello to the Patagonia Headway MLC Bag. Built with the extra-rugged Cordura Ballistic nylon and water-resistant treatment, the MLC (Maximum Legal Carry-On) is fashioned for superlative versatility and durability—so whether you're headed to Cabo or Montana, the Headway MLC caters to your every adventure.

    Specifically speaking, the Headway MLC opens like a book and can hold anywhere between three-to-five days worth of clothing and shoes. A large main compartment unfolds into two separate pockets for compartmentalized packing while a secondary zippered pocket keeps shoes independent of your clothes.  Additionally, the Headway MLC is equipped with two essentials pockets that are furnished with a key clip and comfortably hold travel documents, phone, wallet, and other necessities like a champ. While the pockets alone might be enough to sway your interest from Rolling Mcgee to MLC, this bag is also rigged with multiple carrying options—varying from a padded shoulder strap to a convertible backpack straps or briefcase handles. Not to mention, the Headway MLC comes complete with an integrated docking sleeve, so you can carry multiple bags with ease rather than worrying about your carry-on going careening off into the middle of the airport floor every 20 seconds. 

    • Cordura Ballistic nylon
    • DWR treatment
    • Main zippered compartment
    • Shoe pockets
    • Essential organization
    • Three carrying options (backpack, briefcase, shoulder strap)
    • Rear docking sleeve
    • Item #PAT01AE

    Tech Specs

    Manufacturer Warranty
    Recommended Use
    Claimed Weight
    53 oz
    1 main zippered, 2 shoe zippered, 2 essentials, 1 key, 1 magazine
    Backpack Carry
    45 L
    [body] Cordura Ballistic (100% nylon), polyurethane coating, [lining] 100% polyester, [body and lining] DWR treatment

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

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    Hidden Gem

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Everyone needs a minimum of 2 bags in their life. A 20-30L backpack, and a carry-on legal duffel. The backpack is up to you, but this should be your duffel. I've had mine for about a year, and can honestly say it's the best overall carry-on design you can buy. Most people who travel have realized you can fit more stuff in a duffel vs a similarly sized roller because you don't have to account for the wheels or handle. However, what separates this from the rest of the duffel world are the pockets, carry options, and clam-shell opening. Packing cubes take this to another level. Go with the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specters to save weight.

    1. The tiny exterior pocket will hold a pair of shoes or a couple pairs of flip-flops, keeping them separate from your clothes. Best option is wear the shoes, pack the flops.
    2. Small exterior pocket has organization for all your cords, wallet, passport, travel docs, etc. I always carry my phone, but found the padded pockets holds my Anker battery perfectly for emergency juice. Having this stuff accessible while not showing off the rest of your stuff is key.
    3. Large interior pocket will hold a variety of cubes. I recently returned from 8 days in Costa Rica and brought 2 large cubes, 2 medium cubes, 1 small cube, and a toiletry bag with room to spare.
    4. Two small interior pockets hold small items. I used one for socks, and the other for some emergency meds and a small travel camera.
    5. Behind the small interior pockets is another that's great for keeping items flat. It held my suit and wife's dress for a wedding we went to last summer without any trouble. Alternatively, you can keep this pocket empty and use it for dirty/clean clothes depending on where you are on your trip.
    6. Laptop sleeve. Want your laptop, but don't want to carry a second bag to keep it protected? Done.
    7. Tiny pocket with zippered bottom for sliding over a roller. I don't use a roller, but it's good for holding my kindle and pass while boarding.

    Carry Options:
    1. Two handles make grabbing it out of a trunk or overhead bin easy.
    2. Backpack straps are wonderful if this is only bag you bring. Otherwise, tuck them away, and the use the...
    3. Shoulder hardness for when you're also carrying that 20-30L backpack. You can remove this and stuff it into the backpack strap area when not in use.

    Having the bag split in half makes packing and accessing your stuff much easier than a traditional duffel. You'll come to love it when you can just open the bag on the floor in the hotel, and see everything nicely laid out.

    The Black Hole series gets all the recognition, but this is the better travel bag. Like everyone has mentioned, the 3-5 day suggestion is crap, and will easily get you through twice that. If you want to go full travel-pro, get one of those super compressible day packs (Sea To Summit, Osprey Ultralight, etc.) for all that Costa Rican coffee you're going to bring home...

    Phenomenal Bag

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    After a lot of research, I chose this carry on bag as my only luggage for a 9 day trip to France. It is very well made with a lot of pockets and features and provided all of the room I needed for a sport coat, several pairs of jeans/pants, multiple v necks, a couple of dress shirts, 2 lightweight sweaters, accessories, bathroom kit, iPad Pro, power cords, belts, etc.

    Would absolutely recommend this bag to anyone that wants an easy to transport, roomy, well made and designed carry on. Carry strap, backpack carry and handle carry all worked well. Add some cubes and you'll enjoy using this bag even more. My favorite luggage ever.


    Best bag ever

      I have been looking for the perfect bag for years and I have finally found it. This bag has tons of room to take off for a couple days or a couple weeks. Lots of storage , separate zippered compartments. Easy to separate clean and dirty or wet and dry. Extra outside pockets to tuck stuff away you might need to access quickly and easily. Two thumbs up!

      Exceeded my expectations

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I've used a (very nice) rolling carry-on bag for many years, but for as convenient as the wheels are on long flat surfaces the semi-rigid bag is always a pain to get in and out of the plane, if I'm honest about it. I wanted something that was a similar size, good for about 5 days worth of business travel, and easy to transport. I'm a big fan of duffel bags but I knew that wasn't the answer.

      So what was the answer? This bag! Man, the MLC nails it. Perfect size, TONS of organization and the backpack straps rock. I looked at Tom Bihn, Red Oxx, and others and am really glad I went with the Patagonia MLC.

      The list of features is as long as your arm, but my personal favorite is the zipper sleeve on the back that lets you piggy-back it on a roller. When closed it's perfect for travel docs/reading material, but unzip it and you have the ability to carry a lot of weight quickly. Awesome when traveling with small kids. I'm in love with this bag if you can't tell.


      • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

      I gave two of these to friends for their trip to Italy and here are their remarks. Picture is both bags in action. This bag is absolutely amazing. It is absolutely a beast. It easily held enough clothes for 10 days to Italy and had plenty of room for Vino to ship back! It keeps me organized and it lives true to its name. Maximum legal carry on.