Rated 1 out of 5 by Kenneth Want to love this pack, but too many problems
The suspension system is awesome. The hip belt on a ball joint is great. You can move around a lot and the pack stays put. The first thing I notice when wearing other packs is that this feature is missing.
Water resistance is great. Water beads right off in light rain or when walking through dewy brush. I use a rain cover in heavier rain.
The internal is very large. I can easily fit 7+ days of gear, food, water, and camera equipment in this pack.
There are mesh pockets inside the large front pocket and the main body of the pack. These are great for organization.
The fabric is high quality. My pack is often in the dirt and it doesn't pick much of it up or show wear easily.
The left shoulder strap has a bladder hose clip.
The whistle on the chest strap is LOUD.
The top zipper doesn't work great. I got some "zipper ease" (basically just wax) and it seems to help. For the most part if the brain is stuffed full you'll have a hard time closing the zipper. After my first pack replacement BD said this was fixed, but it seems that it wasn't.
"Water bottle" pockets on the side can't hold a Nalgene. Great for maps and guide books though.
The shoulder strap rubs against the hip belt and causes a significant wear.
The sizing of this pack is totally wrong. I am an average height of 5' 9" and have the large pack set to the largest setting. I don't see how anyone taller than me would be able to keep the weight off their shoulders.
THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH THIS PACK which makes it completely unusable in my opinion is that the aluminum stay that runs the length of the pack is held in place by velcro. I've gone through two packs where this velcro pops off when the pack is fully loaded, and once it pops it's impossible to fix. You can duct tape it in place temporarily but it's certainly not a long term fix. If you're on day 2 of 5 expect to have to stop and adjust multiple times.
1. The brain has a top and bottom pocket. The top pocket has a hook to hold a set of keys and not lose them. Either move this or add a second one to the bottom (less used) pocket.
2. Don't use velcro to hold the aluminium stay in place. It won't hold for a heavy pack (45+ lbs)
3. Fix the zipper on the brain.
4. Remove the divider for the "sleeping bag" compartment. This seems like a useless item that was included for the spec sheet. It's a waste of weight.
Overall I've had more problems with this pack in a year and a half than I had with my previous (non-BD) pack in 10 years. This pack is not ready for prime time.
For the record I do love all my other BD gear. Be sure to check out the Storm headlamp or any of their hiking poles!
June 8, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Nathan great suspension system
This pack has the best suspension of all the high class giant bags I've carried in the last 25 years. After using this pack everything else feels like a walking backboard evacuation. The shoulder and hip motion is great for balance in steep talus and promotes good circulation in your neck and hips when spending long days on the trail.
August 18, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Carlton Good Effort but no thanks
Returned with tags on. Waistband webbing much too narrow, all webbing used seems too thin. Excellent attachment feature with waistband at the back, freeing hips. Zippers stiff. The main bag is so narrow it barely holds a stuffed sleeping bag in the bottom. Pack appears best for very new light-weight small density gear. I'll stay with my 30 yr old internal framed older pack, ugly but honest....
August 2, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by Gunnlaugur good pack except for the zippers
I bought this pack 3 weeks ago to use on 5-6 day hiking treks and i have all ready done two as i am a guide in the Hornstrandir wilderness nature reserve in the north west of Iceland. I like every thin about it except for the zippers. It is nicely padded and it can carry a good load but the zippers... you really need to be in your best "Zen" mode to operate them, and you must avoid all tension on the zippers. so you can not really stuff it with your gear and just zip... zip with care and tenderness. i guess the idea with those zippers is to make the pack water proof but its not really water proof with a busted zippers. Luckily i have managed to fix them in the rain with counting to ten, and applying tender love and care and happy thoughts....
July 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Michael Very comfortable and functional
I just finished 25 miles in 2 days on a rough trail with this pack and it performed very well. As always with black diamond, the pack is well-made, design is well-thought-out and functional. Buckles and zippers work well. I'll never use another pack without the ergo suspension system ( I now own 3 BD packs).
May 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Michael Love it.
Love this pack. It carries exceedingly well, the stories of comfortable hips are true, compresses well, has classy features like the smooth webbing straps a sweet outer pocket, and full access to the inside through the outer full zip, and it does seem significantly water resistant thus far. The only weak point I've experienced is that the zipper on the brain/top compartment can split open if the brain is overly stuffed and you're not pretty tender with it. Not a deal breaker for me. Just makes me more graceful...
May 12, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by John Good back for 1 to 3 day hikes
I like the pack and how it fits. Very comfortable.
February 17, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Jason Heavy, but comfortable and rugged; zippers need work
I returned this pack without even taking it out on the trail for a real test run because the BD return policy didn't allow me to return for a full refund if the tags were even removed. But basically, it was a heavy but comfortable pack when fully loaded and jogged around the house. The main problem for me was the size was too small, the zippers were not easy to use (pretty hard to move), and I couldn't be 100 percent about the suspension system without a trail run.
February 1, 2014