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Questions about Black Diamond speed 50

Original Post
Hayden Webster · · Estes park · Joined May 2016 · Points: 35

Hey everyone!
I've got a couple of questions on the Black Diamond speed 50. I've read a couple of mixed reviews about this pack, but right now it looks like it could be my dream pack for this upcoming season!.

-is the pack durable enough for alpine environments? Will sharp rocks shred this pack apart?

-how are the shoulder and hip straps? They don't look too padded and a little thin... do they dig into your shoulders more than normal?

- is there any other packs around this size that you would recommend for alpine environments? Would like to it to have ice tools and crampon areas.
Thanks for your replies everyone! I wish you all a fun and safe season coming up!

Max Forbes · · Vermont & Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 114

Can't speak specifically to the 50. I have the speed 22 and have dragged it through hell. Specially, miles and miles of densely vegetated bushwacking for work, as well as numerous alpine adventures. Hardly worse for the wear, I'm sure the 50 holds up just the same.

My big pack is the mammut trion guide 45+7. It's an awesome bag, beefy, durable and has comfy straps. Great alternative to check out.

SpencerB BB · · Pasadena, CA · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 79

I have the speed 40 and am very happy with it. Ice tool attachment works really well and the suspension seems pretty comfy to me for how low profile the shoulder and waist belt padding is.

In terms of durability, as you kind of expect, the lighter weight fabric on parts of the pack is not super burly though and mine has developed a few small holes. Nothing major or unexpected considering the fabric they used but don't expect it to be bombproof.

Alexander Stathis · · Athens, GA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 86

Edit: Nevermind, my comments weren't relevant as I got two different things confused.

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162

I have the Speed 30 and like it a lot. Any lightweight pack is going to be less durable than some huge beefy pack, but mine is holding up well.

MEC's Alpinelite series is good too, a bit heavier, but priced right and my 50 has served me really well.

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 483

If you have to climb many chimneys or haul it you'll likely wear holes in a speed on the sides. If you run a wrap of thin closed cell foam around the inside of the pack less edges poking out will help.
Any 210 denier side fabric pack will wear holes on sharp rock.

Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 183

I'll echo what others have said. I have the Speed 30, and it's burly and carries heavy loads comfortably. The weakness is terms of durability is definitely the thin side panels. The bottom however seems bomb-proof.

jaredj · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 165

I generally think that volume is too big for an alpine style pack. They're so big that you can load them up too heavily for their suspension system (note - I'm a pussy). All the raves for the the Speed series in this thread are for smaller versions of the pack.

I'd only consider alpine style packs that big for multday routes where you're literally multiple days on the route itself (like "greater ranges" stuff).

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 5

CCW packs are bomber if you're concerned about durability.…

I also have a speed 30. I think BD's Speed packs are reasonably light, climb well, and you can often find them for cheap. I would not think of the lightweight material as particularly durable though.

kalockwood · · SLC, UT · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 200

I took the speed 50 to Chamonix and the Wind Rivers (cirque of the towers) this year and it performed well.

- On Pingora, I dropped a loop of slack to haul the pack up during the offwidth pitch. Dragging the pack on the rough granite put a small hole in the side of the pack. Other than that incident, it has held up well.

- I didn't have an issue with the straps. I feel that the width of the strap is more important than the amount of padding. Plus, if you're carrying a lot of weight, it should mostly be distributed into your legs with the hip belt. Our packs weighed 40 lbs heading into the Winds for a 5 day trip and I was comfortable.

- The other brand I looked at was Cilogear. They make extremely durable packs, and they're made in the U.S. in Portland, OR.

Dylan Carey · · TX · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 145

I've had my eye on this beaut for awhile....…;cgid=luggage-backpacks#start=1

Aerili · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 1,970

I've been using this pack for around 2 1/2 years. I was hesitant to buy a "men's pack" after using women-specific packs more successfully for years. Unfortunately there isn't really a good, lightweight, no-frills, women-specific pack on the market and so...enter BD Speed.

I decided to get the 50 L because I needed room to take gear for the Creek. At the time I tried the pack on in the store (with added weight) it seemed comfortable and to carry well. Since then, I've decided this is not the case. Not sure if it's because I'm female, but I've carried this pack on exactly 1 alpine outing and it was sooo uncomfortable. Never again. It also doesn't carry well for me on long approaches, but I use it anyway since I can tolerate it for the time being.

The fabric is light but still pretty durable given what it looks and feels like. The hip belt is comfortable for me but the shoulder straps are the problem. The 50 L would probably be a bit hard to climb with unless it wasn't too full and you tucked down the fabric at the top.

DavisMeschke Guillotine · · Pinedale, WY · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 210

I've been using the Speed 40 for quite a while now, mostly for spring and summer skiing in the Winds. I can hold everything I need for a 3-day trip and it carries quite comfortably loaded down. It's not a meant to hold huge weights, as in over 30# or so (climbing with that kind of weight is uncomfortable anyways), but I found it to be quite comfy when I had bare essentials and skis.

Mine looks like it's been drug through a pile of ash but it is no worse for the wear except cosmetically. The side panels are a little worn because of the ski carry but I started carrying diagonal and haven't had any problems. No holes or weak spots. Very simple design, it's hard to go wrong with.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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