The Black Diamond Bolt is the heaviest sack in our test at 990g but it’s also the best-designed for hillwalkers and scramblers. It’s built around a reActiv back system, which allows your torso to move more easily, without the body of the sack rocking from side to side on every step. This is achieved by having the shoulder straps linked to one another via a cable that threads under the base of the pack. Other brands have used a similar system in the past, and I’ve always found it a great method as the pack’s weight stays well-balanced as you move. The back panel comprises of mesh over a corrugated padding panel and there’s a metal wire frame inside. This combination creates a stable, comfortable carry that doesn’t bow and barrel when in use. The hips fins are quite wide and comfortably padded, and again they’re linked to one another – like the shoulder straps – so they rock with your hips as you walk. Top tensioning straps are well-placed to stabilise the top of the Black Diamond Bolt, while the body of the sack is quite narrow, making it ideal for scrambling. There is one main compartment with a single-buckle lid, the pocket in the lid is wide enough for an OS map, while a useful front compression pocket is ideal for waterproofs. On the sides are stretch wand pockets that work well with the compression straps for stashing trekking poles.
Capacity 24 litres
Internal compartments 1
External zipped pockets 2
Wand pockets? yes
Hydration pocket? yes
Men’s/unisex back sizes S/M, M/L
Women’s back sizes none
The Black Diamond Bolt is an outstanding design for hillwalkers, peak-baggers, scrambling and via ferrata, with the only drawback being it’s a few grams heavier than some options. It won Trail’s ‘Best in Test’ accolade.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine August 2014