The Black Diamond Speed 30 is a well-designed rucksack that will see you through summer and winter. However – though it’s light, 1006g design makes a good walking pack – its features are more suited to those at the mountaineering end of the scale rather than hill-walkers. The sleek cut (with no side pockets) and light weight sees to this, with a removable top pocket, hipbelt and back support to make it even lighter for quick summit pushes. Its medium back length and well-contoured straps fit a female frame well despite the unisex design. And, although expensive, it will see you through both summer and winter thanks to the crampon patch, pole or axe loops and rope strap. But the main, most worrying drawback of this sack is that when three quarters full or less, the lid obscures pole or axe attachments when clipped down. A front bungee would be useful for walkers, and the hipbelt wings were quite short, so they might not cover the hipbones of ladies with larger bums. It’s pricy, but you won’t need another sack for lightweight winter walking.
Fabric 210D nylon body and 400D nylon abrasion areas
Features medium back length; removable lid has top pocket plus mesh pocket within and underside pocket; large snow lock extension; hydration-compatible; vented foam back; well contoured straps despite unisex fit; reinforced crampon patch; 2 pole or ice axe loops; rope strap
Made in Philippines
Stores in the UK 20
Black Diamond – tel. (01629) 580484; www.blackdiamondequipment.com
Verdict: The Black Diamond Speed 30 has a high price but is good for summer and winter walking and mountaineering.
Review by Claire Maxted
First published in Trail magazine July 2009