Stay tuned for a thorough test. By sunday I should have managed to write it down and post it. In the meantime check out Semi-Rad’s Gear of the Year 2012.
Review finally available: Review.
For more reviews see the Test Overview page: Test Overview
This backpack has been called a potential game changer I read before buying it. And I cannot stop wondering if it was. How does a single piece in many other change the game?
I guess it is because you habe to adapt some habits to the new set of options you are provided with. The Black Diamond Speed 30 is really, really light when stripped to the bones (actually you remove the bones as well). Thereby one starts packing a little different and leaves stuff behind that would turn out unnecessary anyway. For instance I did not take my beloved down jacket with me. Furthermore the game has been changed by the need for a backpack to carry all the stuff to the hut. With all the gear you need on the glacier and a rope the 30 litres are somewhat used. So the good old Lowe Alpine Backpack had his revival and the rolled Speed was attached on the side. On summit day the Speed can live up to his name. I was baffled by the purity and lightness.
The quality as such stands out. It does not come as a surprise that after loving my Black Diamond Predator (about 5 years old) I did not look into any other manufacterer of backpacks but Black Diamond. You simply know what you get. The details with the Speed are amazing. When you take off top the strings are removed as well. Attaching the ice axes works with a new system that is easy to handle and lighter than pockets for the axes. Nevertheless, being this tempo-oriented the Speed might not be as versatile as the Epic or Axis. I had both to check all of them. A mix of all three would be perfect.
Black Diamond, could you please do that?