User Review: Black Diamond Speed 30
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130
Great pack for everything from day hiking to alpine climbing.
- Huge amount of extra space
- Great suspension system
- Ice axe loops don't work
- Crampon pouch useless
I've had this pack for 3 years. I have climbed multipitch in summer and winter, used it on scrambles as a ultralight overnight backpacking bag and more.
For vertical sports it really performs well. The shoulder straps move with your body giving you consistent contact with the pack. As you move it always moves with you. In the alpine this is essential. The best pack is the one you don't notice, and climbing this fits that bill.
Hiking its comfort is so good you end up ignoring the sweaty back. It's not that bad and it hasn't chaffed at all yet. Because it is a roll top there is heaps of extra space, probably about 15 litres. It makes the pack a awkward height, but it can do it. Not so good for overnight backpacking, but excellent for the grocery store. The extra space does make camping easier though.
The main cons lie on the face of the pack. The ice axe loops do not function well. Had they been made out of bungee rather than cord, and used a bungee lash system it would have been revolutionary. Instead a useless plastic knob that always loosens has been used. This causes picks to clang together as you walk on the approach. It's annoying and reverberates through the pack.
The bikini crampon pouch is equally crap. On my older Speed (new generations the rings are larger and easier to access) the tiny metal loops are hiding away and near impossible to thread the thing in. Once it's on you discover it only covers a third of a pair of crampons. It can't even hold a jacket properly.
In fact I have you to find a item that it can hold. Water bottle? Nope! Helmet? No way! Literally nothing will stay in it. If BD's Toolbox crampon pouch had been made with four-way straps that it could fit into then perhaps it would have been useful, but alas, the bikini is a pointless addition and should be made of a daisy chain instead.
But I love it. Climbing is a dream and it's just simple enough I can mod the bugs out of it. BD tried to reinvent a system that didn't need to be changed, and completely and totally failed. But the suspension system (by far the most important system) is excellent. The roll top is a brilliant feature, and the whole simplicity of the pac can't be ignored.
A great pack, and I recommend it for summer use.