Black Diamond Super Chute Review
Cons: No small pockets, single shoulder strap
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
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Black Diamond Super Chute
|Price||$49.95 at Amazon||$60 List||$70 List||$47 List||$37.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Fits a ton of stuff, easy to roll up rope, big tarp||Large removable tarp, comfortable backpack straps, useful compression straps||Large carrying capacity, comfortable backpack straps, padded back panel||Works as a cragging pack, padded shoulder straps are suprisingly comfortable, big tarp, nice zippered pocket||Easy to roll up rope, big tarp, compressible|
|Cons||No small pockets, single shoulder strap||Thin fabric, not as durable as other models||Awkward to pack with too little or too much gear, lacks adjustability||Packability||No smaller pockets, not as nice to carry for long distances|
|Bottom Line||The Super Chute features a large usable tarp that is easy to roll and pack into the bag||Excellent rope bag for cragging and long approaches||The Crag is a well-padded bag with plenty of space for a full day of cragging||The Speedster does its job as a rope bag well, while also functioning as a basic small cragging pack||An improved version of an older version of a rope bag, with a much larger tarp|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Super Chute||DMM Classic||Mammut Crag||Metolius Speedster||Metolius Ropemaster HC|
|Carrying Comfort (25%)|
|Rope Protection (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond...||DMM Classic||Mammut Crag||Metolius Speedster||Metolius...|
|Tarp size (inches)||48" x 57"||43" x 51"||60" x 48"||52" x 58"||52" x 58"|
|# of shoulder straps||1||2||2||2||1|
|Metal or plastic buckles||Metal||Plastic||Plastic||None||Metal|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Packability is one of the highlights of the Super Chute. It's among the easiest of the traditional "burrito" style rope bags to pack a rope away. We liked its spacious main pack, and could easily fit a fat 70m rope, harness, shoes, and 14 quickdraws for long days of climbing. Like the other burrito bags, it has two compression straps that cinch down to reduce dead space. There are more competitive models when it comes to packability but among the models with single shoulder straps, the Super Chute performs well.
The Super Chute features a single padded shoulder strap that our testers found comfortable with a 70m rope for about 25-30 minutes. After that, most folks thought it was nicer to carry it in a secondary cragging pack. For shorter more route-to-route moves its voluminous main bag helped to move to routes less than a couple of minutes away but it wasn't as nice as bags that had smaller handles to make these moves even more convenient. For longer approaches, the Super Chute isn't nearly as comfortable as models that feature two padded backpack straps.
The Super Chute features a 48" x 57" tarp that is slightly below average among rope bags in our review. We did think its tarp size was still fully functional, but flaking ropes required a little more care than with other models we tested, and we must admit we liked bags with bigger tarps better. The Super Chute, more than other burrito style rope bags, further lost some surface area of its fixed tarp as it funneled closer to its bag. We think this design might marginally help the Super Chute to pack up more easily, but it comes at the cost of some tarp real estate. The main bag of the Super Chute is made from thick nylon and we always felt confident that it would keep our rope safe while traveling.
Ease of Use
The Super Chute comes in a few colors and has some neat small features that make it easy to use. We liked the metal buckles, which stay put on approaches. Another feature that is sometimes overlooked but super helpful is having two small color-coded loops to tie the ends of your rope to. This helps keep the ends of your rope from getting lost, which speeds transitions between routes. The clear plastic window on the outside of the pack can be helpful if you have multiple ropes and can't remember which one is in your rope bag. The Super Chute has no pockets for easy-to-lose items, making it less convenient as a standalone pack. When it comes to ease of use, the main downside of the Super Chute is that it lacks a removable tarp. The fixed tarp can be annoying to move around if you use the main pack as a place to store miscellaneous items that you don't want to carry while climbing.
While it isn't among the most expensive models that we tested, the Black Diamond Super Chute is somewhat pricey given its simple design and lack of carrying features. We did like its spacious main pack but the single carrying strap makes it far less versatile than comparably priced models that feature comfortable backpack straps and comparable amounts of space for gear.
The large volume of the Super Chute is its biggest selling point, making it a great choice for folks who want to cram as much as possible into their rope bag. It doesn't disappoint, but other models get the job done a little better, utilizing larger rope tarps, comfortable backpack straps, and extra pockets for organization.
— Ian Nicholson and Steven Tata