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The Park Place of alpine packs.
If you're the sort of person who beats little cousin Ricky at board games by robbing the bank when Ricky's in the kitchen getting another ginger ale, you're probably also into expedition-style climbing, where you pay someone else to do all the work while you get a sweet summit photo. If you prefer to whip Ricky the old-fashioned way by using your cunning, savvy, and ruthless exploitation of community chest cards, you're probably more of an alpine-style climber, and you need a fast and light backpack like the Black Diamond Speed 40 to get you up in a hurry.
Weight becomes the central focus if you're lugging all your own gear, so Black Diamond put the Speed on a serious diet, including only the features you're sure to need, like Micro PickPockets for your ice tools, removable crampon straps, and a three-point haul system. You can trim it way down by removing the floating top pocket and padded hip-belt, but you'll still be able to carry your rope in the tuck-away rope strap, and stay hydrated thanks to the bladder-compatible design. Best of all, the Speed has a reActiv hip belt that pivots and flexes with you as you move, and floating SwingArm shoulder straps that connect via an internal cord, allowing them to shift position without unbalancing your load and tipping you over.
- ReActiv suspension and SwingArm shoulder straps
- Thermo-formed back panel
- Micro PickPocket ice tool pockets
- Removable 20mm crampon straps
- Tuck-away rope strap
- Three-point haul system
- Removable top pocket and padded hip belt
Share your thoughts
BD Speed Series
Use. Design. Engineer. Build. Repeat.
High expectations, disappointed
- Gender: Male
I was really excited to see the second generation of this pack come through as I really liked the first generation, but I couldn't buy it because I couldn't stand the ice tool attachment system.
This pack was what I was hoping for:
-removable lid, straps, frame, waste belt
-easy ice tool attachment system
-easy to rig A frame and diagonal ski carry systems
But here's why I've returned it and why I won't buy it because I won't use it.
-Swing arm shoulder straps. Bad news.
I didn't know what these were by the description, but basically the two shoulder straps are not fixed to the pack on the lower end. Instead, they are connected to one another with a cord that runs through the lower section of the pack. What this does is it allows for super fluid movement of the shoulders?. too fluid. A pack is supposed to support the load. And when this pack is loaded to 25 lbs, it is unstable and floppy because of this "swing arm" feature.
It get's even worse for the Speed 55. With a bigger pack and a bigger load, the swing arm feature causes the pack to be unwieldy.
I'm not sure why all the pack makers these days want something that will "move with you." I want one that will stay with me and support itself and not toss me around like an uneven weighted barrel. I clean pack with a slim design will move with you without tricks.
So? in the end I'm super disappointed and giving this 1 star simply because I can't use it.
This is a message to BD. Please create a clean alpine pack that also has a clean SUSPENSION. No swing arms. No ergo active nonsense. Just a simple design with the attachment features on this pack and you've won me over.