Black Diamond Mixed Master
Design: internal framed rucksack
Size: 3600 (size large)
Number of Pockets: top lid only
Max. Load Carried: 36 lb
Height of Owner: 6' 1"
Price Paid: $195 when I bought it
A rucksack designed for ice climbers and mountaineers. Ice tool tubes and a crampon pocket on the back make carrying this equipment easier than most packs. An add-on buckle and strap (included with the pack) allow easy attachment of a shovel for backcountry skiing. The pack body is made of heavy-duty ripstop nylon of about the same denier as packcloth, with a doubled bottom of Cordura. It has one long vertical zip opening that is very convenient. Shoulder straps and hipbelt are slim and die-cut foam padded; comfortable with the weights the pack is designed to carry, and unobtrusive when you're climbing. The plastic framesheet (with two aluminum stays on my pack) is easily removable through a zippered opening; the same opening gives access to a three-fold closed-cell foam pad that is long enough to use as a bivy pad, but is rather thin for sleeping on. I've carried the pack with both framesheet and foam pad as back support, and with the foam pad alone. The pack carries reasonably well with just the pad (better than other soft packs I've used), and is lighter and more flexible, but carrying heavy loads is much more comfortable with the framesheet in place. The hipbelt has racking loops installed. The floating top pocket is huge, and easily accessed through a long wrap-around zipper.
This pack has a carry nearly as good as more expensive sacks like Dana Designs' Bomb Pack or Osprey's Finesse, yet it has alpinist-friendly features like the tool tubes, crampon pocket, racking loops, etc. already installed. The size is large enough to carry an alpine load, the shape makes for easy working with the contents, and the carry is both comfortable and stable. The only things I would change are to add 1-2" extra length to the hipbelt padding, and to use a shorter but thicker foam pad in the back. Otherwise, a great pack.
Size: 44 Liters
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 20 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'7"
Price Paid: $50 Used
This pack is designed for mountaineering and ice climbing. The tool tubes are fast and easy to use. Not sure I really like the very thin shoulder straps, also this pack weighs a ton for its capacity, almost five pounds empty for a sub 3000 cu.in pack. Too many zippers and gadgets for an alpine pack in my opinion. The hipbelt is adequate. I wound up selling it after using it a few times.
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