First Look Gear Review
Street Price: Varies from $119 - $160 | Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros: Beefy padding, light for how comfortable it is, stream lined, removable top and waist
Cons: Shoulders a little unfortable with repetitive climbing movements
Best Uses: Climbing, overnight back packing, light weight backcountry travel
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
This climbing pack has a simple light design with a relatively comfortable suspension. It is not the absolute lightest pack, but is pretty light for how comfortable it is with 20-30 pounds. If you jam it full of heavy stuff, it is not has comfy. When I recently used it on a one-day ascent of Mt. Watkins in Yosemite, we took the lid off to make it even lighter. My only complaint was that the straps cut into my shoulders while jumaring if I did not have the chest strap adjusted just right. However, that is something to be expected from most packs with beefy padding: they are more comfortable to carry but not as comfortable to climb with. Overall, this is a great balance of comfort and weight. However, since I am obsessed on weight, I might also look for a pack that is a little lighter with less padding. The material was nice and durable: you don't have to baby this lightweight pack. I liked the beefy plastic coated clip in point at the top of the suspension. This made it fast to hang the pack on the anchor and inspired confidence. All the straps are pretty steam-lined so they don't get hung up on stuff. For non climbing applications, I would consider the Vapor Trail because it has 50% more volume and is lighter (but it is not as durable and appropriate for climbing).
— Chris McNamara
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 3, 2012
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