Anonymouswrote a review of Black Diamond Slide Winter Pack - 1200-1831cu in on December 10, 2007
I've only had the pack for a month or so, but so far so good. I purchased the pack for multiple use, including day hikes winter backcountry, and day-to-day bike commuting.
Strengths: 1) ease of getting things in and out; 2) impressive suspension for such a small pack up to 25 -30lbs, in relative comfort, 3)plenty of space without being too bulky when empty; this makes it a good commuter/day-to-day pack. 4) What looks and feels like great quality; bomber main-zipper and tough fabric for it's weight. Of course this pack is only a month old, so time will be the ultimate test. 5) Price, for ~$80.00 there aren't too many other options for a multiple use pack like this one.
Weakness (minor): 1) only one size. I have a short torso (17inch) and wish that the pack came one to two inches shorter in the back panel. Though with most of my loads being under 30lbs this hasn't been too much of an issue. 2) Straps, I hate loose hanging straps and this pack scores a 7 on a 1-10 scale of annoying loose straps.
Hiking: as advertised the pack is easy to to things get in and out of. The 30L version has more than enough room to store day use essentials for me and my girlfriend: rain-shells, extra thermals, lunch, guide book, camera (pocket or SLR) and a liter jug of water. (it also has a hydration bladder pocket if you prefer). In all, a great pack for day hikes, though I would be very hard pressed to use it for an overnight trip.
Winter Backcountry: First, I have yet to take a backcountry trip with this pack. That said, it is designed specifically for backcountry skiing/snowboarding day trips, and so provides an outer pocket to store a shovel and probe that are accessible after releasing one buckle and lifting the overhanging flap. It can also carry skis (a-frame), snowboard/shoeshoes (with an extra webbing attachment) and has ice-axe loops. If you are a snowboarder, know that attaching snowshoes for decent will require their removal to access shovel/probe compartment. All of that said, I have not field tested any of these functions beyond the confines of my garage and cannot comment on functionality when having stiff fingers and frozen buckles.
Day-to-Day: Even though I purchased this pack for active pursuits I still needed it to double/triple as a bike commuter bag that can keep my laptop and office goods dry here in the rainy northwest. So far so good, though I don't know why Black Diamond abstained from using the urithan covered zipper and instead used the pre-2000 method of covering the main compartment zipper with a flap of overhanging fabric. Perhaps more technical reviewers have an answer, but like I said, so far it has stayed dry inside.
Take home review: Great pack that I'd recommend to any one looking for a semi technical pack that can be used for multiple purposes and not sit in the closet 9 months of the year.