Black Diamond Speed 40 2008

A simple rucksack that’s been primarily designed for mountaineers, but hill-walkers will benefit from its no-frills design. At just 1205g it is ideal for lightweight backpacking as well as day trips. The back system is a simple padded affair that is great for scrambling or walking. There is enough padding to make bigger loads comfortable too. I also like the level of stiffness in the back as this makes packing easier. The body of the sack involves a main compartment and little else. There are compression straps on the sides so the load can be stabilised and you could stash extra gear on the front if needed. You get a good snow lock extension to main compartment and the lid can be removed if not required. Like other Black Diamond sacks, this feels a little bigger in capacity than its stated 40 litres suggests. But there are no frills, not even wand pockets, so it’s not easy to stash trekking poles to the sides. There is not much airflow around the back system, and there are even lighter options. The removable lid design may not keep water out quite as well as some other lids either. Some sacks are made from more durable materials too.
Capacity 40 litres
Fabric 420d nylon, 210d nylon ripstop
Features V Lite suspension back system; removable padded hip belt; removable lid; top tensioning straps; compression straps; internal and external lid pockets; twin ice axe/pole attachment points; hydration system-compatible
Weight 1205g
Made in Philippines
Stores in the UK no info provided
Use this for scrambling and mountaineering and lightweight hill-walking and it could be ideal, but some may want more features.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2008