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Gear Review

2 5

BD Innova Backpack

There are actually a couple of good things about this pack. It is a generous 60L (packs as much as my Osprey Ariel 65) and, for the most part, it seems to carry weight well, just not comfortably. I just got back from about 30 miles and 4000' (some off trail) and I have many nitpicks. The pack is best off trail, but the problems are noticible there as well. On trail there is no way to get the shoulder straps off your shoulders. Oh, you can move the pressure points from the tops of the shoulders to the front, but the load leveler straps do NOT move the weight of the pack off your shoulders. This gets tedious after awhile. Also, there aren't any lash points on the pack. I had my thermarest pad hanging off the ice axe loops which was fine since I didn't have an axe with me. But, for any sort of long journey where, say, you had to carry a bear cannister or something else large that needed to be outside the pack, there's no place to attach it. Also, I spent time all weekend adjusting the pack. Finally, when I was about 2 miles from the car I stumbled on a combination of shoulder straps, load levelers and torso length that was bearable, but not truly comfortable. One of the other issues is that the "open air" back panel is not ergonomic, so it hits against the throacic vertebrae unless you loosen the shoulder straps which makes the pack sit on the tops of your shoulders. I think BD needs to go back to the drawing board with this one. I'm 5'2", weigh 115 and have a relatively long torso for my size. If Backcountry won't take this pack back, I'll put it up on EBay or sell it locally at the used gear exchange.