Black Diamond Touchstone Haul Bag Review
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Black Diamond Touchstone Haul Bag
Check Price at REI
|$249.95 at Amazon|
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Check Price at Backcountry
$249.95 at Amazon
$69.95 at Amazon
|Pros||Simple, light, easy to get in and out of, comfortable to carry||Bomber, great size, comfy, one of the most waterproof||Great closure, bomber, great as a crag pack||Durable, comfortable, water-tight closure, lots of volume||Lightweight, can haul outside of haulbag, no assembly required|
|Cons||Not waterproof, not as durable as other options||Takes some time to get in and out of top||Expensive||Hard to access the bottom, takes some time to get in and out of the top of the bag||Expensive, not completely air-tight|
|Bottom Line||It's comfortable, simple, lightweight, comfortable, and comes at a decent price||Our favorite haul bag for any climbing adventure you can dream up||One of the best haul bags that can be purchased in this volume||This big, burly bag is one of our favorites for carrying large loads||The best off-the-shelf poop tube we know of|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Touch...||Metolius Half Dome...||Metolius Quarter Dome||Metolius El Cap Hau...||Metolius Waste Case|
|Closure systems/Ease of Access (20%)|
|Carrying/Suspension System (20%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond Touch...||Metolius Half Dome...||Metolius Quarter Dome||Metolius El Cap Hau...||Metolius Waste Case|
|Volume (cu inches)||4272||7600||4200||9600||500|
|Weight||5 lb 4 oz||7 lb 7 oz||5 lb 1 oz||8 lb||10.6 oz|
|Main container material||37 oz vinyl-laminated nylon||Durathane||Durathane||Durathane||Durathane|
|Closure material||840 Denier ripstop||Ballistic nylon||Ballistic nylon||Ballistic nylon||Ballistic nylon|
|Sewn or welded seam||Sewn||Welded||Welded||Welded||Welded|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This bag has a very simple and clean design that makes it easy to get in and out of whether on the side of a cliff or at the crag. The process of opening it, accessing gear, and closing it, is about as fast as it gets. It is a great size. We take this on one-day El Cap ascents of routes with mostly aid. It is quick to get things in the bottom of the bag (you are not diving down head first to find things). As a crag pack, it is a perfect big size — it will fit everything and stand up on its own so you can access stuff easily. The suspension systems are one of the best and easiest to use when carrying the bag.
The top of the bag is not watertight. It's difficult to improvise a way to keep water out in a storm if the bag is hanging. You can try and use a trash compactor bag and accessory cord and "make a big version" of using a ziplock bag and rubber band on a mason jar when you close the lid.
While the haul straps are a nice length for big walls, they are a little long for a crag pack (they are more likely to get hung up on branches and snag). Because there are no big compression straps across the top it is not an ideal travel bag or a substitute for a bag like The North Face Base Camp Duffel. Although you can check it in on airplanes, you have to be extra careful about closing it up in a bomber no-snag way. By contrast, a bag with big compression straps and a "lid" like the Quarter Dome is much more travel-friendly.
This bag is a little more expensive than its Metolius counterpart and also a lot less featured. We would recommend the Metolius.
For most applications, this haul bag is too small for single haul bag use. It will likely need to be paired with a bigger model, such as the Metolius Half Dome Haul Bag, on steep routes.
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