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Light and fast for the Y axis.

Some packs sit on your back like a pillowcase full of rocks, but the Black Diamond Axis 33 Backpack rides as smoothly as a finely-tuned sportscar, thanks to its ergoActiv suspension that moves with you, eliminating hot spots and allowing for more natural movement so you can cover more ground with less effort. Of course, the Axis is designed with vertical endeavors in mind, but just imagine how many ice or rock pitches you could knock out in a day without your pack pulling you back to earth.

The Axis has a fat-free design, forgoing the unnecessary bells and whistles in favor of ultra-functional features like PickPocket ice tool holders, crampon straps, and a three-point haul system if you end up pulling it up behind you. The SwingArm shoulder straps distribute the load evenly, and the vented, thermo-formed back panel keeps you cool and comfortable when you're pulling through the crux. Incorporate a tuck-away helmet holder, rope strap, and hydration compatibility to keep you well-watered on longer approaches, and you've got the fully-featured but remarkably trim Axis.

  • ErgoActiv suspension
  • SwingArm shoulder straps
  • PickPocket ice tool carry system
  • Hydration compatible
  • Three-point haul system
  • 20mm crampon straps and rope strap
  • Removable, padded hipbelt
  • Tuck-away helmet holder

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Black Diamond Axis 33 Backpack - 1892-2136cu in

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Here's what others have to say...

2 5

Good ideas but poor delivery

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

I've been looking for a new alpine pack to replace my aging BD Sphinx from 10 yrs ago. I thought I would give this a go.

I thought the active suspension was a good idea but in reality I didn't find it helpful whatsoever and in some cases it felt worse. For example while boulder hopping, there would be a delay in weight shift just before and after the jump, which was super annoying as that unexpected delay would tend to tip you over. And during normal hiking I didn't really notice any improvement in comfort and seems like too many moving parts to be a reliable system.

The other functions of the pack seemed pretty standard but I ended up returning it as it really just seemed like a worse pack compared to my old one and why pay money for something that doesn't work as well?

The ErgoActiv suspension is a huge disappointment in my opinion, take it out!

Oh and I bought this straight from the BD store in SLC and they gave me a ton of flack for wanting to return it because it had been used once. Terrible return policy, I will avoid that place from now on.

2 5

basically good, but failed all the way

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I really like this backpack for several features it introduces as well as the way its made generally, BUT, there are 2 things that make me super angry about it. I tried to convince myself it's not as BAD multiple times, but it never worked...

1. ergoActive system is a good idea, and others seem to copy it now, BUT the way its made is absolutely ridiculous. Hip belt pivots on some kind of stiff bolt, that makes unbearable pressure on a tiny spot of your back. After several hours its so irritating you want to torn this backpack apart with bare hands. In winter, with thick jacket... and low weights.. its good enough... but for such use I'd go for a carefour bag.. Sorry BD, you failed here all the way

2. its too long, its thin, but it's sooo high, that there i no way, you could look up wearing a helmet... and thats exactly what I do while climbing.

3. already watching the presentation movie, try to imagine yourself doing all that stuff in thick gloves... ex. clipping the helmet holder in gloves... good luck, not sure what designer actually wanted to achieve.

Would love a recall on those from BD, as this product clearly should never leave the test phase

4 5

Excellent Design

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

I bought this as a Christmas present for my girlfriend, and so far she loves it. I tried on the pack and loaded it up with all of my climbing gear and my initial impression was that the swivel hip-belt would make backpacking and long approaches easier. It really does move seamlessly with your torso, and I imagine it would make scrambling and even climbing with it roped up easier than with a normal pack. It allows for more freedom and mobility of your upper body. I really like the design of the ice tool attachments, even though we have not had a chance to use them yet. I went with this pack over the Speed 30 because I like the zipper top access as opposed to having the draw string top access. I tend to cinch them up too tight and ware out the strings until they break, and it is always a pain trying to re-thread them.
The only reason I give this pack 4 stars instead of 5 is because when you have a rope strapped on top, you are unable to get into the smaller top compartment, whereas on the Speed 30 pack, you can still access the small compartment because the rope is strapped down underneath it. One great feature though is there is a helmet cover/holder that works directly on top of the pack, or if you have the rope attached, it also works directly below the rope on the back of the pack. Over all, I would recommend this as a great, all around, mid sized pack. My girlfriend is 5' 8" and I got the small size, and it fits her spot on.

5 5


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

Perfect pack for my needs. Really like how it opens up and swallows gear. Comfortable--I'm 6'7" and the L fits pretty well.

Anyone know if this pack is small enough...

Anyone know if this pack is small enough to be used as an airplane carry-on?

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Alex,

Most airlines follow the loose rule of 45 liner inches for a carry-on. This pack is about 11 x 7 x 24 so you should likely be fine.

Responded on

Once I was stopped by lufthansa to return my hand luggage (axis 33) as a registered one. To the employee amazement it fit into the 'size check' container without any troubles, and I was let in with it.

5 5

Not Just for Climbers

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

I haven't used this back extensively yet, but wanted to put in a plug from the non-technical crowd. I moved to this from the BD Octane for my go-to backpacking pack. My Octane was 28 liters and I really needed the extra 5 liters for cold weather trips/bear country trips/photo equipment. After tasting the sweetness that is the ergoActive suspension I couldn't go back to a "normal" pack, and I really like zippered packs as opposed to top loading compression style (which you have to move to to get extra space in the BD backpacking lineup - Boost Pack). This fit the bill and if you get creative all those special features for climbing come in very handy for other things. For example, I always hate taking up so much space in my pack for my Bare Boxer, but the hideaway helmet holder is perfect to fasten it to the top of the pack. No extra webbing, and awkward positioning. Just perfect. I don't use crampons, but the crampon holder is perfect for a water bottle or camp chair. Lots of possibilities. Not as light as some backpacking options but I prefer a few extra features and durability to a few less ounces. Obviously mine is the previous model, but I think they are pretty similar for what I just described.

Not Just for Climbers