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Backpacker Magazine – 2010 Editors' Choice/Gear Guide

Gear Review: Black Diamond Infinity 60/Innova 60 Weeklong Pack

A dynamic suspension gives this pack all-day comfort.

by: Steve Howe

Black Diamond Infinity 60 (Brooks Freehill)
Black Diamond Infinity 60 (Brooks Freehill)

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All-Day Comfort
“A total a-ha! feeling as soon as you put it on,” exulted a tester after marching 50 miles through the Alps. Why the revelation? The dynamic suspension—a harness that moves with your body. It carries almost as well as the Editors’ Choice-winning Arc’teryx Altra (above), but in a lighter, smaller-capacity, and less-expensive package. Like BD’s Nitro (p. 58), the Infinity combines a simple packbag with a pivoting hipbelt and pulley-connected shoulder straps, allowing for unencumbered striding.

“The ride is incredibly smooth, since the load moves with your hips, eliminating the rubbing you can get with a static hipbelt,” said one tester after a trek through Wyoming’s Snowy Range. But while testers loved this pack for all-day trail hiking, it felt “too active and tippy” when hopping boulders, particularly with loads above 40 pounds.

Fit can be fine-tuned, thanks to an interchangeable hipbelt (comes in five sizes) that slides along a molded plastic track (but it requires an Allen wrench, so don’t lose the one that’s included). Innova is the women’s version. $220; 3,660 cu. in.; 3 lbs. 15 oz.

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