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Black Diamond Huey Duffel Review

Black Diamond Huey Duffel
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Price:  $150 List
Pros:  Very durable, easy to load, carries nicely
Cons:  Heavy, doesn't zip all the way around and is a pain to close sometimes
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 17, 2010
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85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • ease of Transport - 20% 8
  • Ease of Packing - 25% 8
  • Durability - 20% 10
  • Weight - 20% 7
  • Weather resistance - 15% 10

Our Verdict


This is the most durable duffel bag we tested but also one of the heaviest. It is better for burly expeditions and not as great for airplane travel. It is designed to be taken on extended trips where durability and longevity are more important than weight. It is made of the some of the beefiest fabric and features no corners on the zipper of its main compartment opening. It is also one of the most water-resistant duffels in our review. It wears as a backpack well, which makes dashing through airports a little easier, and we loved its X-shaped grab straps on either end.

It is also the most weather-resistant model we tested, making it a great option for extended expeditions, long-term travel or storage use. It is one of the nicer duffels to drag around by any of its options backpack style, briefcase style or grabbing the end loops and dragging it on the ground. Its biggest disadvantage is the fact that it is nearly heaviest duffel in this review, with only the Mountain Hardwear Expedition Duffel being heavier, and is a little harder to zip shut than others. So if you are looking to save weight you might want look somewhere else. But if you are looking for one of the burliest duffels you can buy, then look no further than the Black Diamond Huey.


Our Analysis and Test Results

Likes


The Black Diamond Huey is the most durable duffel bag in the review; no need to fear about random sharp tidbits poking through this burly bag. It is also one of the most comfortable to carry while in backpack mode. It has two zippers on on each side that allow a large opening for fitting whatever you might want to bring. Having no bends in its zippers extends the longevity of the zipper teeth. The Huey is one of the biggest duffels in the review; the only more voluminous model being the Gregory Long Haul Duffel. With our hosedown test we determined that the BD Huey is our review's most water resistant duffel. We liked its backpack straps as much as any duffel we tested and enjoyed how nice it was to drag its X-shaped end straps around. It features two mesh zippered pockets underneath its lid. It has a small clear information pocket that has a metal button to keep your information from accidentally falling out (a nice feature but we never noticed this to be a problem with other models). The Huey is one of the only models that allows the pad on the shoulder strap to be adjusted from both ends, allowing the backpack straps to be used as a single shoulder strap.

Dislikes


The main disadvantage is its weight; it is nearly the heaviest duffel in the review. Its pockets on the lid underside are a little small and inconvenient but most people will still use them and not think too much of it. It features large flaps that cover the zippers. These flaps help increase the water resistance and the longevity of the zippers, but sometimes they also make it difficult to zip the duffel closed when it is really full or nearly empty. The main opening doesn't zipper all the way closed; it uses Velcro on one end to seal itself. We never saw signs of an object forcing the Velcro open, but we were a little unsure of it. Some testers felt it might be easier for a thief to sneak their hand into the opening. After playing with this theory we found it somewhat unlikely it wasn't much easier than just opening the zipper. In our gut, we still didn't love the fact that it didn't zip completely shut, but this is probably because we are used to the full zip style.

Value


The Huey is about the same price as other bags with big D-shaped openings and backpack straps: The North Face Base Camp Duffel, Gregory Alpaca Duffel, and Mountain Hardwear Expedition Duffel. The Huey will probably outlast any duffel in this review, which makes it one of the best long-term values.


Ian Nicholson