Black Diamond Speed 30 – Review

See amendment #1 here: Amendment. For more reviews see the Test Overview page: Test Overview

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Long promised, now I can finally put it together. The test for the Speed 30 by Black Diamond.

I have tested the backpack on several occasion with different tour characteristics each time. On Wetterhorn the pack was living up to its name (as outlined previously). By stripping all things off (plate in the back, top-pouch) it saves some weight. As you can see, the strips for attaching the top are taken of as well. Clever idea and improvement over the old BD Predator I own. 

You can also see in the picture above that there is a possibility to have the Camelbak available even though the top is rolled (this is nothing new, eh?). The back panel is venting and the S-shaped shoulder straps are really comfortable (BD has a patent pending for the system).

The most amazing part nevertheless is the flexibility of the carrying system. Compared to inflexible backpacks, the hip belt and shoulder straps allow for movement of the backpack, totally decoupling momentum of you and your back. This reflects in total control while moving on let’s say a trail or climbing route. Find the promotion video for the „Active Form Design“ below:

The Black Diamond Speed has got the reActive system. You can spot the trade-off right away: Go light or carry higher loads. The more stable reActive system is able to pack more stuff into the rucksack. So limit yourself here.

In terms of ventilation I do not expect too much of a backpack. It is inevitable that you sweat underneath it and some discomfort comes along. Luckily all tours undertaken were too cold to make me feel bad about it.

Attaching ice-axes has been called difficult when wearing gloves. This does not hold true for me. The next three pictures show the system overall and top- as well as bottom-end in detail.

So how much are 30 litres then? It is enough to carry a little bit of overnight-equipment and a rope. It is not enough to carry ice-climbing gear and a down jacket. Attaching the crampons on the outside is something I have not done so far, but I might be looking into this during winter times.

I am looking forward to take the pack to some ski-tours and update the review again afterwards. If you have any questions, please use the comment field below!

For more reviews see the Test Overview page: Test Overview

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