- reActive XP suspension system blends fixed shoulder straps with an ultra-responsive, floating hip-belt that responds to your body's movements for greater comfort and stability
- SwingArm shoulder straps link each shoulder strap to the other by cable, which allows you greater arm mobility when placing a tool and greater load stability during your approach
- Thermoformed, vented back panel helps keep you comfortable when things heat up during the approach
- Roll-top closure with removable top pocket allows you to throw in last-minute essentials like another layer
- IceLink ice tool attachment and welded crampon patch help you efficiently lug your ice gear through the approach
- Hydration compatibility means you don’t have to fumble for a frozen water bottle at camp
- Slip your water reservoir into the inner sleeve for hands-free, on-the-go beverage-ing (reservoir not included)
- Removable top pocket helps shave weight for your summit push
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Share your thoughts
This new model is a testament to BD's tendency to innovate and listen to customer needs and suggestions. I own the previous model and have had the pleasure of using this current version. The greatest improvement is the back ventilation. The old models ventilation left something to be desired, but that was okay as the pack was advertised as a minimalist alpine pack. This new model goes to show that you can have comfort and performance in a low weight, sleek package.
The next improvement was the upgrade to a more durable fabric. While my 2010 model hasn't worn out, I can tell that it will as it is looking quite ratty. It seems they have buffed this pack up, while still keeping the weight relatively low.
Although it is not something I saw as lacking in the first model, I really enjoy the new roll top closure and the gear loops on the belt. Generally, I remove the waist belt for alpine climbs, but if I didn't, those gear loops would be greatly appreciated. The roll top is great for keeping out the spindrift.
I would guess that many of these improvements have been made to compete with the Deuter 35+ guide pack. Black Diamond has surely done well and this model will compete. I would have liked to see the price stay down around the $100-$120 range where the first model was. If that was the case, this pack would blow the Deuter out of the water. As it stands, the only advantage this pack has over the Deuter is the fact that the lid is removable (a feature I have found to be essential).
I purchased this pack for long, multipitch or multi day climbs. It has served well in this role. It also has glowed as my ultralight solo backpacking/camping pack. I have found this pack will sustain me for several days, no problem and is comfortable enough for long, tough hikes. It is a little too big for area climbs ("cragging") or for short day hikes.
I would recommend this pack and will likely purchase it again. In my mind, it is a Black Diamond classic.
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This is in addition to my post below. A decent overall pack. While roomy enough, it's weak for side/back-country skiing due lack of organization...OK if you aren't getting in and out of the pack all the time. A single compartment makes it simple and light, however, access to a shovel and probe aren't that convenient due to the roll top. Also, there is potential for getting stuff wet w/ snow from your shovel or skins (unless you're using a skin bag).
I am continuing to use the side straps for A-frame ski carry, even though they aren't meant for that. It works pretty well, but you could cut the straps with your edges (as Keelan says below). Again, a pretty versatile pack that can do a lot...
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
i use this thing a lot for cragging (sport, trad, or ice), but i also don't hesitate to bring it along on longer alpine days-- it climbs extraordinarily well for a pack of its size, and the hipbelt is awesome for lugging crap on long approaches.
im knocking a star off for durability (mine starting wearing significantly after some scrambling around on rock) and the lack of a good crampon attachment system. i lash my crampons to the outside with some p-cord but its way less than ideal.
This pack is great! It's one big tube with a roll top so you max it out and pull the drawstring at the top haul bag style. Perfect size for gear, rope, and bivy gear for quick day/overnight alpine missions.
I did a few long climbs in the Tetons with this pack where we carried our bivy gear in (loaded up the pack) and then left it behind Compressed the crap out of the pack) for the climb. It worked as both an overnight hauler and a summit pack.
The material seems as if it ought to last a good long time though it definitely adds some weight to a "light" pack.
I love the kangaroo pocket, the hidden rope tie down strap, the very capable yet slim hip belt, and the overall comfort of this thing both full and empty. You can feel the ReActive shoulder straps sliding back and forth as you move, but I can't say as whether this feature felt better than a pack with a solid attachment or not.
I'm not a big fan of the axe attachment points however. I bent one of the thin chincy pieces of aluminum and ended up clipping a biner through the loop to ensure I didn't lose my axe while I was climbing. The cord itself is mighty thin. Be careful scraping that stuff up and down the rocks.
Otherwise I would highly recommend this puppy.
BD Video of Conrad Anker climbing at Hyalite. 2:45 into the film, Anker and his partner are shown wearing the BD Epic and BD Speed, respectively. I am rather dissapointed at the lack of media related to the BD Backpack line and this is one of the "better" ones. Respect to Zappos.com for the effort. Backcountry, you are still my favorite, though.
Streamlined and simple. Way good.
There are only 2 things I would change on it:
1: The clip for the rope strap is in this really little pocket. When your pack is full, it is super hard to get your fingers in there to clip or un-clip the rope strap. Add 2 or three inches to the webbing that the clip is on!
2: I would like to see reinforced ski straps like on the Mission 50. This would prevent the side straps from getting beat up when hauling your skis in an A-frame.
Both of the things I would like to see changed are super minor and I still give this pack 5 stars.
Where can I store my Black Diamond Transfer 3 avy shovel on this thing? I have my ice axe on one of the IceLink storage things, but I can't figure out where to store my shovel while carrying my skis.
You could store it inside the bag. Or you could use shock cord and string it through the eye loops on the back creating a mesh of sorts. Only problem is that its not nearly as secure as just putting it in the bag.
I got this pack looking for something that I could use for overnight ski trips as well as light backpacking. I wanted something in the 40L - 60L volume range that would compress well when not very full for skiing. This pack does that excellently. Fully expanding this pack involves leaving the roll-top open and cinching a large nylon collar that the lid goes over. In this configuration, it has got to be very close to a 60L pack. It also compresses very well, especially when ditching the lid. The minimalist design also allowed me to use the pack as a decent sleeping pad on an unintended overnight. My only reason for knocking off a star is the pack's limited durability. Lightweight vs. durable is always a trade-off, but the material showed significant wear after just a few miles with skis strapped on the sides. I will be rigging up a diagonal carry to deal with this, and once I do this should make for a great do it all pack.
Is this pack supposed to come with an attachable crampon patch? That's what the description makes it sound like, and the four tucked away rings on the outside of the pack seem to be there for that reason, but mine did not come with one.
It says "welded crampon patch" (not a pouch or pocket etc.) meaning the tougher material welded to the center front of the pack where one normally attaches crampons. BD has provided the tougher material and attachment points, you provide the crampons and lashing.
This is a great pack. The reActiv suspension/swing arm do exactly what they say...they move with you. Used it climbing in the Tetons...hiking up, scambling to base of climb, hiking down...it moved with me, carried the load great and didnt give me any sore areas on my hips. Doesnt have a bunch of stuff you dont need and the rope strape under the top pocket is a nice touch to hold a rope in place. I wasnt sure if I would like dealing with the roll top closer but I like it, especailly if you take the top pocket off.