Top 15 Best Black Diamond Backpacks in 2020

A good backpack is like a best friend: one that supports you in need, has got your back and never lets you down. While backpack manufacturers and Top 15 Best Black Diamond Backpacks in 2019designers are a dime a dozen on the market, there is a reason why Black Diamond backpacks have stood out amongst the crowd and are immensely popular among outdoor enthusiasts.

Founded in the late 1980s and headquartered in Utah, United States, the company specialises in the design and manufacture of products for climbing, skiing and mountain sports, including accessories such as carabiners, harnesses and helmets, as well as products such as tents, shelters and lighting.

True to their outdoor philosophy, the company places importance on recycling, making use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power and supporting environmental non-profit organisations. Top that with a proven track record for quality and safety assurance, and it is no wonder that Black Diamond backpacks are much sought after in the outdoor community and beyond.

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Key Features To Look Out For

If you’re ready to upgrade to a Black Diamond backpack from mediocre backpacks that leave you high and dry, hereTop 15 Best Black Diamond Backpacks in 2019 are some key things to consider.

Usage & Type

Versatility is one of the brand’s strongest points, and Black Diamond backpacks come in every form and design to cater to different needs. Each category comes with specific features catering to activities such as day hiking or overnight hiking, alpine climbing, mountaineering, traditional climbing, trail or trail running and travel, or for more general purposes such as urban setting or gym use.

For general rock climbing, a normal backpacking bag is sufficient, but more serious climbers might want to go for a crag pack, which is made especially to carry bulky climbing gear up steep terrain. As the approach may be rough, crag packs typically utilise tough material such as ripstop nylon or tarpaulin that is able to withstand abuse. They often come with many handles so you can move them around easily. If you’re a hardcore climber using rope, dedicated rope bags will help to minimise wear and grime on the ropes, and prevent potential knots from forming.

For alpine packs, the design and build normally accounts for climbing in different terrain and conditions, such as rock, snow and ice. They typically include bungee cords or loops to attach ice climbing tools and crampons, and are made of lighter fabrics to minimise weight, with simple closures that are easy to handle even with gloves on.

Haul bags are another common type, and as the name suggests, are ideal for pulling up a wall behind the climber via a rope across a rock face. They are therefore extremely tough and durable, made from fabrics such as vinyl coated nylon and urethane. The shape is also streamlined like a bucket to make it easier to pull. For short, quick excursions, summit packs make perfect companions, being extremely small and lightweight. The summit pack is for climbers who carry most of their climbing gear on the harness loops, and are suitable for carrying smaller items such as waterTop 15 Best Black Diamond Backpacks in 2019 and snacks.

Design & Features

Depending on your intended usage, your Black Diamond backpack might come with certain features to make it more convenient and comfortable for the user. For example, backpacks for urabn use might have laptop sleeves and padded interi

ors to protect your electronics from bumps and knocks, while travel backpacks may include high density foam around the back and shoulders to provide cushion and support, since you will be carrying it for long hours. Hiking backpacks should be extremely lightweight and roomy, with plenty of air flow to minimise sweating. If you’re into ice climbing, you might want to go for a backpack with a special pocket for ice picks and a nook for ropes. Some Black Diamond backpacks come with reACTIV suspension, an award-winning, patented design that adjusts to the user accordingly and helps to reduce the load on your shoulders.

Nothing is more dampening for the spirit than having to sleep on a wet sleeping bag, so some Black Diamond backpacks are water-resistant, so your things stay nice and dry even in wet environments. Volume is another point to consider when purchasing a backpack, so if you need a large space to pack your belongings, the Black Diamond offers backpacks that can carry over 70 litres.

Aesthetically, the Black Diamond brand has made a name for itself thanks to its minimalist but stylish approach, which often features block colours accentuated by straps, clean, bold lines and neat compartments. These are backpacks that are not only functional but also good looking, and will definitely attract some compliments whether you’re using them at the gym or the workplace.Top 15 Best Black Diamond Backpacks in 2019

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Loading and Opening Styles

The whole idea of having a backpack is to keep your valuables secure, especially when hiking or climbing, since you might not have full use of your hands. Knowing that your items will not fall out of the backpack when you’re scaling an ice wall means there is one less thing to worry about. As such, Black Diamond offers several types of opening designs. Top loaders are common, as they are simple and straightforward, but the opening tends to be small and it might be difficult to get to items at the bottom of the bag. Other classic opening styles are the duffle, drawstring, clamshell or suitcase, which makes it easy to access all your gear at the crag.

Price

For the quality they offer, the brand’s pricing is pretty affordable. Specialty backpacks that come with lots of extra features, such as those used for hiking, might cost more, but they also have a wide range of prices for every budget.

Top 15 Best Black Diamond Backpacks in 2020

Picture

Name Feature Price

Rating

Picture

Name Feature Price

Rating

1. Black Diamond Creek 50 Backpack
full-length side zipper $$$ 4.8
2. Black Diamond Element 45 Outdoor Backpack
lightweight multi-day  $$ 4.8
3. Black Diamond Street Creek 24 Backpack
15-inch dedicated external laptop sleeve $$ 4.8
4. Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Pack
Claimed Weight: 2 lbs 5 oz $$$ 4.7
5. Black Diamond Unisex Bbee 11 Daypack
Zippered panel opening and internal stash pocket $$ 4.7
6. Black Diamond Unisex Blitz 20
Ultralight Dynex construction. $$ 4.6
[ 7. Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack
Easy-to-remove 20 mm webbing hip belt $$ 4.6
8. Black Diamond Touchstone Haul Bag
Simple drawstring top, convenient access $$$ 4.6
9. Black Diamond Unisex Creek Transit 22
Internal zippered storage pocket $$ 4.5
10. Black Diamond Stone 42 Duffel Pack
Very durable and tough $$ 4.5
11. Black Diamond Crag 40 Backpack
Ideal for cragging $$ 4.4
12. Black Diamond Magnum 20 Backpack
Breathable back panel $$ 4.3
13. Black Diamond Speed Zip 24 Backpack
Breathable back panel $$$ 4.2
14. Black Diamond Onyx 65 Internal Frame Pack
ergoACTIV XP suspension system $$$ 4.0
15. Black Diamond Nitro 26 Backpack
Trekking pole and ice axe attachment loops $$ 4.1

1. Black Diamond Creek 50 Backpack

The Creek 50 backpack is a well-loved favourite among rock, alpine, bouldering and climbing enthusiasts, and one of the brand’s Black Diamond Creek 50 Backpackbest selling series. As a testament to its quality, the backpack won the 2015 Editor’s Choice award in Climbing Magazine. While not exactly new on the market, the pack’s superior functionality as a crag pack or haul bag means that it has retained its popularity through the years.

Design and Features

Tough and durable, the cavernous top-loading design is built with a drawcord skirt closure to keep your valuables secure as you climb – ideal for gear-intensive cragging sessions. You won’t have to worry about fumbling with your bag as well, as a full-length side zipper provides duffle-like easy access to its contents; similar to the brand’s Creek 35 model. Both the zipper and the top-load design come together to form a large, singular opening should you choose to open them up all the way. The 1,200d polyester fabric with TPU coating is treated to be water resistant and is able to weather tough and wet environments whilst keeping your items dry.

Meanwhile, padded shoulder straps provide good cushioning for the shoulders to help reduce fatigue, while a thermoformed back panel offers similar support for the lower back. A tuck-away rope strap and stowable rain hood doubles as a helmet and rope holder. It also comes with a dual-density hip belt to keep the pack securely in place and distribute weight more evenly, although the length can be a little short for those with larger builds.

Volume and Capacity

The Creek 50 comes in two sizes, namely the S/M at 48 litres capacity or 2,929 cubic inches of space, and the M/L at 50 litres capacity, or 3,051 cubic inches of space. This is sufficient to store a 60 metre-long rope, equipment such as draws and sling, helmet, clothing, smaller bag, shoes and water bottles. The bag on its own weighs roughly two kilogrammes, which is fairly lightweight. However, even with a board on the bottom to protect your items from the ground, the material is not rigid enough to stand up on its own unless when loaded and zipped up.

Pros

  • Tough and durable material
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Thermoformed back panel

Cons

  • Hip belt can run short for climbers with larger builds

2. Black Diamond Element 45 Outdoor Backpack

The Element 45 outdoor backpack is a versatile unit that caters to different needs, whether it’s the minimalist-minded weekendBlack Diamond Element 45 Outdoor Backpack backpacker, the enthusiastic hiker or the avid traveler. Although its price point is on the higher end of the spectrum, the backpack delivers on quality, comfort and performance, making it a worthy investment. It comes in a sleek black hue or Moroccan Blue for a rugged touch of colour.

Design and Features

The Element 45 features a streamlined build that is spacious enough for multi-day packing but lightweight enough for easy carrying. The backpack’s most impressive feature is the reACTIV suspension system, which is designed for maximum efficiency, comfort and load transfer. The shoulder straps and hip belt move together with the user’s upper body, matching their gait and maintaining a perfect balance at all times. As a result, the body moves naturally in any direction, so you are able to cover more ground quickly and comfortably. Even when the hip belt is tightened for maximum load transfer, the backpack still leaves space for the waist to move naturally in all directions, which gives you freedom of movement when hiking or climbing. Meanwhile, the Swing Arm shoulder straps avoid the loading and unloading feel of traditional backpacks, effectively preventing sores and bruises. Because weight is distributed more evenly across all muscle groups, stress on the knees and ankles are reduced.

The Element 45 features a classic top-loading access, with a large zippered sleeping bag opening – convenient for overnight trips. The top lid converts to a lumbar pack for quick side hikes, with the large zippered front pocket with elastic internal organiser pockets for keeping loose change, electronics or other small items. However, as it lacks a zipper, the items might fall up if the bag is tipped upside down. Quick-cinch side pockets and hip belt pockets come in handy for storing on-trail essentials such as water and snacks. The high-flow Open Air back panel is meant to encourage ventilation, although users might still feel sweaty on a particularly warm day. For ice climbers, the backpack comes with a retractable trekking pole or ice axe loop, as well as sleeping pad straps.

Volume and Capacity

The Element 45 comes in sizes of medium or large, with the large fitting an adult male’s torso length of 19.5 to 23.5 inches. While no weight capacity for the pack is specified, it should comfortably hold up to 45 litres of equipment and luggage. The backpack is fairly lightweight and is made from ripstop Nylon, which is very sturdy and tough. Aside from being tear resistant, it is also waterproof, so you can do away with packing rain covers. While light, it still maintains a good frame, giving the backpack more structure. The Element 45 also comes in a women’s specific Elixir series, which has all the features but caters more to smaller frames.

Pros

  • Excellent suspension system
  • Comfortable, good load transfer
  • Waterproof
  • Spacious and lightweight

Cons

  • Front compartment lacks zipper for securing valuables
  • Average ventilation

3. Black Diamond Street Creek 24 Backpack

Going back to basics, Black Diamond’s Street Creek 24 backpack is a simple but versatile model that works just as well for Black Diamond Street Creek 24 Backpacktravelers looking for a light but spacious piece of luggage that they can carry onboard the plane or gym-goers. Best suited for urban environments, the backpack is perfect for early morning runs to the gym, carrying simple equipment to the climbing centre or for late night bike rides back home after work. There are even three attractive colours to choose from, namely the black as well as the curry and nickel. The curry in particular stands out for its golden hue that resembles khaki or leather.

Design and Features

Like many Black Diamond bags, the Street Creek 24 pulls off minimalist with a dash of sporty. The haul bag-inspired construction offers convenience and comfort, with a quick access skirt to the main compartment. Designed for city dwellers on-the-go, the backpack features a dedicated 15” laptop sleeve that comfortably holds a Macbook Pro  for when you need to check emails quickly on the commute, or just hang out at the cafe after work. The 1260D ballistic nylon is study enough to hold up against the rigours of daily travel. While the material is not waterproof, the bag comes with an integrated rain cover pocket should you ever get caught in a downpour, and is stiff enough to stay upright on its own.

Keep items organised with a front zipped organisation pocket for peripherals and devices, or if you want them even more secure, utilise the internal security pocket for your wallet and keys.

The only minor drawback is that the front pocket becomes difficult to access if you have your laptop in the sleeve. Topping it off are the pack’s EVA padded shoulder straps and back panel, which provide maximum comfort and cushion while commuting. The anodized matte black metal closure buckle and expandable top not only looks attractive, but offers users the ability to over or underpack a little.

Volume & Capacity

The Street Creek 24 comes in one size only, at 24 Litres or 1,464 cubic inches. This is plenty of space for several days of travel or for commuting, without being overly bulky. It is also lightweight at just 2.65 lbs.

Pros

  • Ideal for urban settings
  • Front and internal storage compartments for better organisation
  • Haul-style offers convenience
  • Padded shoulder straps and back panel
  • Comes with rain cover

Cons

  • One size only
  • Front compartment space becomes limited when used together with laptop sleeve

4. Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Pack

Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy maximum freedom of movement on the slopes without having to worry about how to carry Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Packtheir equipment, thanks to the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol pack, a mid-sized backpack that works well for single-day ski trips, quick dawn patrols, powder days at the resort and car laps at the pass. Functional but with a dash of style, the packs come in three colours, including the classic black, black and white and the black and torch red.

Design & Features

The Dawn Patrol has a classic top zipper access and allows for users to carry their skis diagonally or A-frame style. Once you’re riding, the active, form-fitting suspension system hugs the body efficiently so you’ll hardly notice you have a backpack on. High-tenacity ultralight Dynex shoulder straps help to minimise strain and fatigue on the shoulders.

Despite its outwardly slim profile, the pack is fairly spacious, with a main compartment that can be accessed from a zippered back panel if you need to quickly reach for extra layers or avalanche tools. The downside, however, is that you will have to remove the pack entirely from your shoulders in order to access the main compartment.

There is a front compartment for carrying crampons, shovel, skins and other equipment, a goggle pouch for goggles, spare gloves, electronics and snacks, and another pouch on the right strap for storing other valuables. Further catering to skiers and mountaineers, the bag has thoughtful features such as a Hi-Lo helmet holder, dedicated avy tools organiser pocket and a loop for ice tools. It is also able to accommodate an Ava-Lung unit for added avalanche safety and a hydration sleeve, although these need to be added on separately. Build wise, the pack utilises Dynoma 840D nylon. While fairly durable for occasional use, we would not recommend them for regular mountaineering or alpine rock climbs.

Volume & Capacity

The Dawn Patrol is available in two sizes, the small/medium offering 23 litres or 1,404 cubic inches of space, and the medium/large offering 25 litres or 1,526 cubic inches of space. The estimated weight is just over 2 lbs. For larger-sized users, do note that the shoulder straps have limited adjustments and you might need to max them out in order to fit. Also, wider boards will be hard to accommodate in A-frame mode.

Pros

  • Good suspension system
  • Geared for skiers and snowboarders
  • Helmet carrier and loop for ice tools
  • Multiple compartments

Cons

  • Does not support larger boards in A-frame carrying mode
  • Has to be taken off to access main compartment

5. Black Diamond Unisex Bbee 11 Daypack

An affordable answer to weekend excursions, summit hikes and the daily commute comes in the form of Black Diamond’s Bbee Black Diamond Unisex Bbee 11 Daypack11 daypack, a unisex daypack that is compact, lightweight, versatile yet stylish – perfect for those who just need an extra layer of clothing and water while on long runs or doing ridgeline scrambling. They blend well into an urban setting, in classic minimalist colours such as black and ash, in addition to the more striking kingfisher and picante.

Design & Features

For its stated capacity, the Bbee 11 has a surprisingly spacious main compartment, accompanied by an internal sleeve for hydration systems, an outside pocket with zip closure and organisation panel. The contoured shoulder straps distributes load effectively, while the Open Air back panel provides increased ventilation and airflow. The pack is able to sit securely along the back with minimal jostling, and there is also a bike light slot and external daisy chain loops. Thanks to its 210D nylon ripstop, 400 nylon twill construction, the pack is relatively tough and easy to spot clean.

Volume & Capacity

The Bbee 11 is compact, measuring 7.5 inches wide,  4 inches deep and 15 inches wide. The strap length comes up to 30.5 inches, with a strap drop of 12 inches, a handle length of 7 inches and a handle drop of 2 inches. It weighs just 11.2 ounces, so you’ll barely feel it on your back. The pack offers a total of 11 litres of space overall.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Spacious main compartment
  • Internal sleeve, hydration compatible
  • External pocket for organisation
  • Contoured shoulder straps

Cons

  • One size only, smaller capacity

6. Black Diamond Unisex Blitz 20

Forget about heavy backpacks: stay on route with Black Diamond’s Blitz 20 approach bag. A classic haul-style pack, all you need Black Diamond Unisex Blitz 20to do is shoulder it on and let the bag do the heavy lifting. The bag is versatile enough for urban settings to fit in laptops, electronics, documents and stationery, but also doubles as a great summit hiking pack with features for rope straps and ice tools. It comes in white colour only.

Design & Features

Enjoy freedom of movement with the Blitz 20’s convenient one-handed top closure system, which allows users to keep the elements out from the spacious main compartment. The bag is compatible with most hydration packs and comes with a removable bivy pad, which makes it easy to roll up and fit into a larger gear bag. Utilise the internal zip pocket to keep electronics and valuables secure. Meanwhile, the waterproof zip pocket at the lid prevents water from seeping in. Thanks to ultra light but durable Dynex construction, users can expect the pack to last, as it does not scuff easily in rough conditions and can be wiped down.

Carry your load without feeling fatigued with the pack’s adjustable shoulder straps that feature webbing chest and waist belt, which distributes weight evenly. The dimensions at the waist fit people with larger profiles, so a smaller clip into the adjustable daisy would be much cleaner.  Ice climbers will find the PickPockets useful, as they provide more room for ice tools, and the rope capture strap on the top of the pack has great clutch. The fuss-free exterior means there is less chance of snagging.

Volume & Capacity

The Blitz 20 has a 20 litre capacity or about 1,220 cubic inches, and measures 14 inches wide, 5 inches deep and 21 inches tall, with a strap length of 30.5 inches, strap drop of 14 inches and handle length of 6.5 inches. It weighs a lightweight 398 grammes or just 14 ounces. While fairly spacious, users who intend to pack in a few racks might want to consider getting a larger size.

Pros

  • Versatile enough for both summer and ice climbing
  • Room for ice tools
  • Rope capture strap
  • Strippable, removable bivy bag
  • Tough material, easy to wipe down

Cons

  • One colour only

7. Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack

Sometimes, you don’t need fancy big backpacks to cater to your needs. As the name suggests, the Black Diamond Bullet 16 is a Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpacksimple, compact unit that is versatile enough to be used in a variety of environments, whether it’s a quick trip to the gym, up a crag, running trails, doing multi-pitch climbing or ski patrolling. As an urban bag for the commute, its angular shape is well suited to carrying items such as laptops, folders, files and books. Choose from five attractive colours to fit your lifestyle, including adriatic, black, curry, deep torch and nickel.

Design & Features

If you’re looking for a bag with extra add-ons such as ice axe loops, side mesh bottle pockets, daisy chains or rope strap holds, look elsewhere – the Bullet 16 is as simple as it gets. The clean lines and minimalist design exude elegant simplicity, aside from reducing the risk of snagging on surfaces. The design also ensures total freedom of movement, as the bag sits at the centre of the back – although this means that to retrieve items, it must be removed entirely. There is a hydration hose port and an external pocket, and users might want to utilise the inner mesh pocket for keeping valuables such as keys, small electronics, loose change and such. The spacious main compartment holds items snugly so that they won’t roll around, while the removable back panel can be taken out for more space. The 20mm webbing hip belt can be removed as well, while the shoulder straps are tuckable.

Volume & capacity

The Bullet holds 16 litres or 976 cubic inches, and weighs just over 1 lb. Another impressive thing about the backpack is the build. Made with a blend of 420d nylon and 1260d ballistic nylon, the material holds up to virtually any abuse you can hurl at it. Operation of the large zippers are also smooth and easy.

Pros

  • Sleek design less likely to snag
  • Hydration hose port
  • External and internal pockets for organisation
  • Removable back panel and hip belt webbing

Cons

  • Backpack has to be removed to retrieve items
  • Might be too simple for some users, no side pockets for bottles, daisy chains or add ons

8. Black Diamond Touchstone Haul Bag

A great option for climbing and cragging, the Touchstone is a mid-sized haul-style bag that lets users pack gear or items for a Black Diamond Touchstone Haul Bagquick weekend on the road. Scale cliffs and walls with ease knowing that your items are secure and within easy reach. It comes in a plain white colour which creative individuals can opt to customise.

Design & Features

Since the Touchstone is tailored for climbing, expect super tough material, ie waterproof vinyl-laminated nylon. The material is fairly rigid so the backpack can stand up on its own, but can get a little uncomfortable and stiff in cold weather if you’re carrying it.

The drawstring top is simple to secure, while the inside features a zippered pocket for carrying small items. The EVA foam padded hip belt and shoulder straps are comfortable and secure, and are able to hold up a good amount of weight. They can also be tucked away for when you need to haul the bag up.

Volume & capacity

The Touchstone measures 12.6 x 15 x 29.8 inches, with a capacity of 70 litres or 4,272 cubic inches, and weighs 5 lbs 4 oz. As it is quite tall, climbers and hikers can even bivy in the pack.

Pros

  • Designed for cragging and climbing
  • Haul-style backpack
  • Simple drawstring top, convenient access
  • Zippered pocket for organisation
  • Very tough and durable material, waterproof

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Rigid in cold weather

9. Black Diamond Unisex Creek Transit 22

Modern and sleek, the Black Diamond Creek Transit 22 is perfectly suited for trips to the crag or as a handy pack for the daily Black Diamond Unisex Creek Transit 22commute. It has a simple, no frills design – the absence of side pockets or hooks for tools means that the backpack is less likely to hinder movement or get snagged on things. Choose from the classic black, ash or sargeant, which is a cool shade of military green.

Design & Features

Inspired by the brand’s larger haul bags, the Creek Transit sports a similar style, with a top loading main compartment and double zippers. This makes it easy to retrieve items by simply swinging the bag to the front over one shoulder, or when you are carrying it face forward. The internal zippered storage pocket is handy for keeping loose items, while an exterior-access laptop sleeve holds a 13-inch laptop comfortably. Padded shoulder straps help to distribute load evenly and keep the backpack centred, while a back panel offers additional comfort and cushion. Utilise the haul-loop handles on the top for easy grab-and-go functionality. You can keep the hipbelt or remove the webbing for increased ease of movement. Reflective daisy chains add visibility when night riding.

The Creek Transit is made from a waterproof shell fabric that is both rugged and durable, so you won’t have to worry about your items getting wet when you are caught in the rain. The bag itself is 100% nylon, blending 800d nylon and 1260d ballistic nylon which is easy to spot clean. If there is one drawback to the bag, it would be the stiff bottom panel, which can be uncomfortable for shorter people as it can cut into the back.

Volume & Capacity

The Creek Transit comes in one size only, offering 22 litres or 1,342 cubic inches of space. It is fairly lightweight at just over 1 lb, although some might find it slightly heavy for its size.

Pros

  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Removable hip belt
  • Internal zippered storage pocket
  • Easy access to main compartment
  • Dedicated laptop sleeve

Cons

  • Stiff bottom panel might cut into back of smaller users

10. Black Diamond Stone 42 Duffel Pack

True to the Black Diamond promise of function and form, the brand’s Stone duffel pack is a clean and simple cragging backpack Black Diamond Stone 42 Duffel Packthat also works well for a variety of other applications, such as the daily commute, for the gym, as a travelling bag, and more. It can be carried as a duffel bag with the handles on the top, or over the shoulders like a traditional backpack.

The pack comes in two colours, black and nickel.

Design & Features

Duffel bags are ideal for cragging, since they keep everything together in one place and allow users to easily retrieve items at the bottom of the bag. The Stone features full-length zipper access for ample accessibility to your gear, but is able to hold things in well even while partially unzipped, so you won’t have to worry about items falling down the wall. The lightweight framesheet features a foam back panel for comfort, while the padded shoulder straps and webbing hip belt offer superior weight and load distribution. These can be tucked away to keep things neat and organised for when you’re carrying the pack duffel-style. The bag comes with a removable 1.2 x 1.5 metre rope tarp for added functionality, and two internal pockets for keeping small items such as loose change, electronics, wallet and keys organised.

The Stone is a very durable backpack that will easily last several years even with regular use, thanks to its 800d nylon and 1260d ballistic nylon material that is easy to spot clean. The downside is that due to the sleek, smooth design, the pack lacks hydration sleeves or external pockets, which would have come in handy for snacks, food or guidebooks.

Volume & Capacity

The Stone allows users to carry up to 42 litres or 2,563 cubic inches of space – which comfortably fits a 70 metre coil of rope, quickdraws, carabiners, gloves, chalk bag, shoes, guidebooks and some extra layers. It weighs about 1.15 kilogrammes or 2 lb 8 ounces, which is fairly lightweight given its capacity. The size is also great for carry-on luggage while travelling.

Pros

  • Easy access to contents
  • Versatile
  • Comes with rope tarp
  • Tuck-away hip belt and shoulder straps
  • Internal pocket for organisation
  • Good weight and load distribution
  • Value buy for its price
  • Very durable and tough
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Lacks external pockets or hydration sleeves

11. Black Diamond Crag 40 Backpack

One of Black Diamond’s most highly rated crag and rock climbing backpacks, the Crag 40 is an impressive unit that also holds upBlack Diamond Crag 40 Backpack well to the rigours of travel. The simple, fuss-free design is streamlined for easy carrying, while the modern look works well in urban settings. The bag comes in nickel or black colour.

Design and Features

Sporting a top loading design with drawcord skirt closure, the spacious main compartment easily fits all your gear, be it rope, harness, hardware or helmet, with space to spare for water, snacks and guidebooks. A full length zipper on the side provides easy access, allowing users to reach items at the bottom of the pack without having to remove all the contents. Meanwhile, the internal pocket keeps keys, wallet and electronics organised, while a zippered front flap is perfect for stashing guidebooks. The hip belt and shoulder straps provide good support for extended approaches, and the bag comes with an integrated rope strap. Tough 840D nylon and 1260D ballistic nylon construction ensures the backpack endures rough conditions, such as being dragged across rocky surfaces.

Volume & Capacity

The Crag comes in sizes of S/M at 38 litres or 2,319 cubic inches, or M/L which provides 40 litres or 2,441 cubic inches of storage. The pack is lightweight at just over 2 lbs. However, the pack’s shoulder straps and hip belt may be difficult to adjust for taller users, which can make it uncomfortable.

Pros

  • Ideal for cragging
  • Convenient access
  • Spacious
  • Tough and durable material
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Might be uncomfortable for tall users, adjustments vary

12. Black Diamond Magnum 20 Backpack

Enjoy efficient packing with the Black Diamond Magnum 20, ideal for day or overnight trips, or when you need something extra Black Diamond Magnum 20 Backpackfrom the bare essentials. It works well for packing food, water and extra layers, and has several additional features for trekking and climbing tools.

Select from three attractive colours, namely black, nickel and torch.

Design & Features

The Magnum comes with a spacious main compartment that is hydration compatible, with a narrow bottom that tapers out in the middle and top. While it can be used for the daily commute, note that the shape is rounded rather than rectangular so it does not fit books, folders or laptops as well. It is compatible with a hydration pack. The breathable OpenAir back panel minimises sweating in warm weather, and rather than being flat, features an ergonomic curve that works best when the pack is filled with softer items like clothing.

Contoured shoulder straps add comfort and work well with the hip belt to provide great ergonomics for carrying heavy loads. The 20mm webbing hipbelt can also be removed. Compared to cheaper backpacks, the straps are reliable and do not loosen on their own. Additional storage options aplenty, such as the soft internal stash pocket for keeping small valuables, a trekking pole or ice axe loop, bike light slot and side stretch pockets for easy access to water bottles – although these are shallow and the bottles can pop out if you lean down. The backpack is made from 210d nylon ripstop and 400d nylon twill which is waterproof against small showers.

Volume & Capacity

The Magnum offers 20 litres or 1,342 cubic inches of space, and weighs just over 1 lb. The fit can be awkward for tall people, which runs high up the back.

Pros

  • Hydration compatible
  • Removable hip belt
  • Internal pocket
  • Bike light slot
  • Lightweight, durable material
  • Breathable back panel

Cons

  • Awkward fit for tall people
  • Side stretch pockets are shallow
  • Expensive

13. Black Diamond Speed Zip 24 Backpack

Whether it’s for climbing on rock, snow or ice, Black Diamond’s Speed Zip is a go-to choice for many climbers. Highly functional Black Diamond Speed Zip 24 Backpackwith a sleek and modern look, the backpack delivers reliable performance in any season, and comes in either graphite or the eye-catching octane colour.

Design & Features

The Speed Zip 24 is a step up from the brand’s popular Speed pack, which has a proven track record as a technical pack for alpine climbing. The barebones design means it is less likely to snag, and the zippered clamshell top opening makes it easy to retrieve items such as climbing gear or extra layers from its spacious main compartment. The hydration compatible sleeve gives users dedicated space for water bottles or hydration packs. Meanwhile, a zippered top pocket keeps phones, wallets and keys safe and there is an exterior pocket for quick snacks. The thermoformed back panel allows for better breathability in warm weather.

Another improvement of the Zip 24 over the regular Speed pack is the redesigned shoulder straps, which are padded for additional comfort. These work together with the hip belt for amazing balance superior load distribution.

The hip belt can be shed if you need to trim any weight while climbing, and the frame sheet and foam bivy pad can also be removed if you need to make an unexpected stay on the mountain. Mountaineers will be happy with the micro ice tool PickPockets and snag-free 20mm crampon straps, which help to secure any mountaineering or ice climbing essentials. Durability is assured, thanks to the tough 210d ripstop main and 420d abrasion.

Volume and Capacity

The Speed Zip offers 24 litres or 1,465 cubic inches of weight, and weighs just 1 lb 3 ounces. It should comfortably fit a climbing rope, a few ice axes and walking sticks, helmet, crampons and other accessories such as attachment strips. The strippable design lets users shed even more weight by removing the hip belt, frame sheet, foam viby pad, crampon straps.

Pros

  • Secure clamshell top offers convenient access
  • Strippable, snag free design
  • Hydration compatible
  • Internal pocket for valuables
  • Durable material
  • Good load distribution

Cons

  • None

14. Black Diamond Onyx 65 Internal Frame Pack

Tailored for the ladies, Black Diamond’s Onyx 65 sports a women’s specific design  – providing a better fit, but with the full Black Diamond Onyx 65 Internal Frame Packfeatures of a regular backpack. While many backpacks suffer from over complicated design and unwanted pockets and extras, the Onyx 65 keeps it simple; making it the ideal companion for an extended weekend on the trail or a week camping in the countryside. The purple sage colour is also a refreshing change from the usual black, silver and brown tones.

Design & Features

The Onyx 65 emphasises comfort and stability in its design, with a convenient top loading lid that offers easy access to main compartment. Keeping it simple on the inside, the pack sports a compartment divider and a floating top pocket to keep smaller gear within. A handy feature of the Onyx 65 is the large U-shaped front panel zipper, which offers easy access to the main compartment without having to open up the entire lid. The front, side and hipbelt pockets are great for storing small items that you need to reach quickly such as snacks and keys, and the pack design is hydration compatible. Other useful features include its retractable trekking pole and ice axe loop, as well as sleeping pad straps.

Like some of its most popular models such as the Element and Nitro series, the Onyx 65 features the brand’s award winning ergoACTIV XP suspension system, which uses a custom 3D pivoting hip belt and SwingArm shoulder straps for increased stability and dynamic load transfer. This not only reduces fatigue and stress, but also allows users unparalleled freedom of movement, ensuring the pack does not get in the way while you’re hiking or climbing, since the belt pivots and the pack moves reactively with the user as you walk. The OpenAir back panel provides better breathability and airflow, so you are less likely to sweat in warm weather. The pack is made from 400d polyester twill and 420d nylon twill. While the material is not waterproof, there is waterproof taping on the top and bottom to protect your items from mildly wet environments.

The bag, however, is not without its flaws and there are several issues that can be improved on. The position of the external pouches might rub on the forearms as one walks and cause hot spots. The biggest complaint about users are the zippers, which are flimsy and have a tendency to break.

Volume & Capacity

The Onyx 65 comes in either small or medium size, with the small offering 55 litres or 3,967 cubic inches of space and the medium 65 litres or 4,087 cubic inches of space. The medium measures 24 x 12 x 6 inches, and works best for those with torsos measuring 17.5 to 20.5 inches.

Pros

  • Women’s fit
  • Top loading
  • Hydration compatible
  • Retractable ice axe and trekking pole loop
  • ergoACTIV XP suspension system
  • OpenAir back panel

Cons

  • Flimsy hardware
  • External pouches might cause hotspots

15. Black Diamond Nitro 26 Backpack

Black Diamond’s Nitro backpack is simplicity and efficiency defined. A perfect companion for day hikes, it offers plenty of spaceBlack Diamond Nitro 26 Backpack for hiking or climbing gear, and converts to a handy urban backpack on weekdays. It comes in two colours, black or torch, which offers great visibility for activities such as rifle hunting.

Design & Features

Go on long, adventurous days in rugged environments, thanks to Black Diamond’s award-winning reACTIV suspension system. Designed for maximum efficiency, comfort and load transfer, the system ensures that the shoulder straps and hip belt move together with the user’s upper body for perfect  balance in a variety of situations. Movement is unencumbered and natural, allowing users freedom to climb or move however they want without the backpack getting in the way. Load is distributed evenly across muscle groups, effectively reducing stress on the knees and ankles. The hip belt is robust and thoughtfully designed, as it does away with bulky buckles typical of other backpacks, and can be adjusted from either side.

A clamshell opening and zippered panel access allows users to quickly retrieve gear, while front, side and hip belt stretch pockets provide better organisation for your items. The inside has a zippered, fleece-lined pocket to protect your electronics from the elements, and the backpack is hydration compatible with external-access hydration sleeve.

The material is 210d ripstop and 210d dobby. It is not waterproof, but users can opt to add a raincover separately and store it in the rain cover pocket when not in use. Also included are trekking pole and ice axe attachment loops, as well as a bike light clip for convenience. Due to its simple design, there are not too many external pockets, which some users might find inconvenient as they will have to store everything in the main compartment. The backpack features a high-flow OpenAir back panel, although the frame design is such that there is not much space between the pack and the user’s back, which can cause sweating in warm weather.

Volume & Capacity               

The Nitro offers a 26 litre capacity or 1,587 cubic inches of space. There is also an option for a smaller 24 litre backpack at 1,464 cubic inches. The pack weighs just over 2 lbs.

Pros

  • Clamshell opening
  • ReACTIV suspension system
  • Fleece-lined internal pocket
  • Hydration compatible
  • Trekking pole and ice axe attachment loops
  • Bike light clip

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Expensive
  • Back panel close to back, not as breathable as some other models

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