Black Diamond Octane
Price Paid: $110
This pack in Great! The streamline bare bones aspects of this pack are fantastic! The only 'fancy' feature it has is the swiveling hip belt which is the most amazing thing ever!
It took me a while to find the perfect day/travel/bike commute/school bag and I have found it! Usually I am super biased towards a single brand and only buy that one brand...but I'm glad I stepped off and got this! I have had it now for around a month, great fit!
The swiveling hip belt is tremendous while bike commuting and while I haven't taken it in the mountains for any scrambling/hiking I know it will perform well for that and overnight campouts.
The only complaints I have so far and probably the only ones ever, it only has one hip pocket on the hip belt, which I find weird and the straps are kinda long and flap around since they have no velcro/folding action.
I have had this in warm weather and it performed well! No sweat on my back and has a little cross breeze. Finally got to try it out in heavy rain today and everything stayed bone dry (was out walking around for 30 mins) It is a solid pack.
The volume inside is only 28 L however it is a cavernous bag! With the addition of the mesh adjustable pocket on the outside it will hold anything that you need. I have heard that after a while the swivel belt with squeek, but that can be easily remedied with some dry graphite.
Great bag for the price! Great comfort! I am in heaven.
Design: clamshell top/panel
Size: 30 liters
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 25 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6'3"
Price Paid: $111
I recently bought two of these, a large for me and a medium for my son. We used them for climbing Mt Katahdin and daypacking gear in. We loaded them with 20-25 lbs. each including water. I liked the clamshell opening at the top. The top pocket was nice too (kind of replaces the "brain" on a top loader. The clamshell opening gave pretty good access to the contents.
What impressed me most was the suspension. I thought their ergoactive suspension would be an unnoticeable marketing gimmick but I was wrong. The hip belt swivels at your low back when you move. The shoulder straps also swivel move with your shoulders. You can tighten the straps and lock the swivel of the hip belt. I think this was most noticeable on the scramble.
The pack was very comfortable for both myself and my son. The hip belt and the shoulder straps were comfortable. I really liked the torso adjustment form the hip belt rather that the shoulder straps like most adjustable packs. This feature keeps the load lifter straps functional as they are disabled when the pack adjusts from the shoulder area.
The stretch pockets were nice and the compression straps seemed to work well if the pack was not full. I wish the pack had a few more points for strap-on gear, however I think it was designed to be simple. Some sort of trekking pole holder like Osprey has would be a great feature.
Overall, I am really confident in recommending this pack to readers. If I had to buy one again I would without hesitation.