The North Face Diad Pro 22 is a handy little pack…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $24
The North Face Diad Pro 22 is a handy little pack that's perfect for day hikes, or even a minimalist overnight trip. Its list of features make it seem a lot bigger than it is.
- Great external storage
- Frame sheet provides decent support and also folds easily
- Plenty of daisy chain lashing points
- Hydration sleeve is adequate for 3L bladder
- No waist belt as advertised
- No drain grommet for hydration sleeve
- Shoulder strap padding is paper thin
I'm somewhat lacking in small backpacks for three-season day hiking, my MH Snowtastic 28 is really pretty heavy for its capacity and my next larger pack is way too big, so when I saw the TNF Diad Pro 22 for $24 on S&C I scooped it up.
When it arrived I unwrapped it and was really surprised by how light it was. TNF says it's 14oz. I never weighed it but it definitely FEELS very light. Obviously, in order to make a pack this light you have to use less material, and that's what TNF did.
The fabric is a very thin nylon with a ripstop grid. Straps are minimal, the shoulder straps are approximately 2" wide with 1/8" thick padding and 5/8" wide lower portions. The sternum strap is of a decent length, the elastic isn't pulled tight on my 53" chest. There's a small whistle on the buckle. There are 3 thin (5/8") compression straps with ladder locks, one on each side and a third that secures the top flap. Inside the main compartment is a short strap with key keeper on it, and a hydration bladder hanger.
There's a single external zippered external pocket that makes up the top flap. It's large enough for a small first aid kit, spare pair of socks, and a few energy bars. A large mesh pocket with elastic opening is on the bottom of each side, and these are large enough to hold a rolled-up rain jacket—and not a micro-lightweight model, either, but my EMS Thunderhead—or my Marmot Odin down jacket when stuffed in its pocket.
Access to the main compartment is only through the top, with a drawstring and cord lock closure. The opening is approximately 8" in diameter. Storage is augmented by two daisy-chain web straps in an "X" configuration on the lower half of the pack, each with seven loops.
My favorite thing about this pack is how narrow it is. It rides nice and high between the shoulder blades and allows unrestricted arm motion. I bought it to replace a Camelbak brand pack with a lot less storage capacity, and for a lot less weight I have about three times the space. Mine is a nice orange color, a little darker than hunter orange but I'd still call it high-visibility. It definitely exceeds the 100 sq in rule most states have for hunting season.
Now for the few cons.
First of all, it was advertised as having a waist belt. It doesn't. I haven't loaded it heavily enough to need to take part of the load off my shoulders, but a waist belt would help stabilize it laterally.
Second, the shoulder strap padding is nowhere near thick enough to hold TNF's listed max capacity of 30lb. It seems to be about the same density as a kitchen sponge. I can't help thinking using 1/4" of high-density foam wouldn't have added an appreciable amount of weight. If you need to carry 30 lbs, this isn't the pack to use. I've had about 15 lbs in it on a quick overnight hike, and wouldn't want to carry too much more.
Lastly, I like having drain grommets in case my hydration system springs a leak. After pulling out the frame sheet I should be able to turn the pack inside out and add one at the bottom of the hydration sleeve and one in the bottom of the pack itself.
The TNF Diad Pro 22 just might be the perfect pack to keep stashed in your car for those spur-of-the-moment hikes, and it'll carry all one person needs for three seasons.