Thursday, July 7, 2011

Black Diamond's Speed Pack 30L

Black Diamond’s Speed Pack 30L was the perfect pack for my AMGA Alpine Guide Course, which included one-day “fast and light” ascents of alpine rock/snow in the Rocky Mountain National Park this Spring. The Speed Pack’s integrated hydration system was key and enabled me to stay hydrated while constantly on the move. Although I’ll admit that I did not quite “on-sight” how to attach ice tools on the pack initially, the Speed Pack’s IceLink tool attachments system is quite clever. Once you “red-point” the system for attaching the tools, they come on and off easily and eliminate slippage of tools from the pack. If 2 lb 11 oz (Size S) is not light enough, you can also strip the Speed Pack’s padded hip belt, aluminum frame & frame sheet and top lid to make it an ultra-light summit pack.

The pack’s SwingArm suspension shoulder straps took a little bit to get used to – in a good way. The Speed Pack’s back support system moves with you, whether swinging a tool, scrambling, or technical rock climbing, the pack suspension adjusts to your movements. I’ve never had such a reactive and un-cumbersome pack! Although many packs claim to have an active suspension system, the Speed Pack actually does something and you notice it right away! If you do not like the suspension system on your first date with the pack, I suggest giving anther try – you will grow to like it!

I have been using the pack since June. Now in July, we still have tons of snow left in the RMNP and the Speed Pack has been with me on every alpine ascent! Thanks Black Diamond for a comfortable and light alpine pack!

Norie Kizaki
AMGA Certified
CMS Guide

Check out their gear and packs at Black Diamond's web site:


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