Since the line of Black Diamond Speed Packs were introduced, I have been a fan. I have 2 generations of the 30L model and they have all performed great. My older Speed packs have served me well, from guided ascents of the Diamond on Longs Peak to multi day traverses in Washington’s North Cascades. I have been fortunate enough to use the new version of the Speed Pack, but this season, in the 40L size. I only hoped the new model wouldn’t disappoint. Needless to say, it didn’t.
The Speed 40L sports some new features this year including “SwingArm” shoulder straps to limit abuse on my shoulders during long mountain days. Also new is Black Diamond’s “reACTIV” Hipbelt system allowing the pack to move with your body, not against. These new features have made the pack much more comfortable than the older versions, especially when worn all day.
Some things haven’t changed that make the Speed Pack my favorite. The new design still features a removable hipbelt and top lid to strip the pack’s size when climbing. It comes with dual ice axe loops and external crampon attachment option as well as hydration system compatible. Best of all, the pack is still super light and maintains its stripped down minimalist build. I look forward to using the Speed 40L for most guiding objectives this year.