Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Zion Haul Bag Review

Black Diamond Zion
Price:  $230 List | $187.46 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable shoulder straps, easy to get in and out of.
Cons:  No waterproof closure, not as burly as other bags.
Editors' Rating:   
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volumne (cu inches):  8848
weight:  9lb 8oz
Main container material:  37 oz vinyl-laminated nylon
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond

Our Verdict

The Zion Haul Bag is solid but not an exceptional performer at a good price. We like how the haul bag has a very comfortable suspension system and is adequately burly. Overall, the Zion is very easy to use and at $200 is $20 less than the Metolius El Cap Haul Bag. That said, we still prefer the Metolius because it is burlier and has the waterproof closure. The Metolius is one the most indestructible haul bags we have used whereas the Zion is more just a solid performer that gets the job done.

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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Chris McNamara

Last Updated:
November 18, 2016



This has one of the best carrying systems. The waist belt and shoulder straps are among the most comfy. They also tuck away conveniently and have a unique quick-release function. This means you can't lose the straps and can more easily transition from haul bag mode to backpack mode. This is especially helpful on routes with slabby finishes or ledge traverses like Lurking Fear on El Capitan.

While the fact that there is no waterproof closure is overall a BIG downside in a storm, it does mean it is pretty easy to access stuff. By comparison, the Metolius El Cap Haul Bag has a more waterproof closure that makes it a little harder to get in and out of. I have never been in a serious storm and so overall I don't mind the BD closure system. However, anyone who has been in a serous storm can tell you how much the best waterproof gear available is GOLD!


The closure system is not waterproof or very burly. The drawstring on the one I have used the most eventually broke. In addition, there are no beefy compression straps to use when the bag is overloaded.

This bag is durable, but not nearly as durable as a urethane bag like the Metolius or Yates.

A minor dislike: it is hard to clip stuff underneath the bag. The place for your biner is too small whereas most bags have big points to which you can clip multiple biners.


This is the least expensive bag that you can buy off the shelf — only Fish bags are less expensive but are usually just made to order. If you get it on sale, it is a steal. That said, the Metolius bags are only a little more expensive and burlier.
Chris McNamara

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Most recent review: November 18, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

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