We found the Zion Haul Bag to be a solid but not particularly exceptional performer. We liked the comfortable suspension system and the fact that it is adequately burly. Overall, the Zion is very easy to use, but we preferred the Metolius El Cap Haul Bag because it's burlier and has a waterproof closure. The Metolius is one of the most indestructible haul bags we have used whereas the Zion is more just a solid performer that gets the job done.
Black Diamond Zion Haul Bag Review
Cons: No waterproof closure, not as burly as other bags.
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Our Analysis and Test Results
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 a decently priced bag and, if you get it on sale, it is a steal. That said, the Metolius bags are cheaper and we liked them a bit better.
— Chris McNamara