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Backpacker Magazine – March 2010

Gear Review: Black Diamond Octane/Spark Backpack

With a snug fit and excellent compression system, this daypack handles up to 20 pounds and stuck like glue canyoning in southern Utah.

by: Kristin Hostetter & Shannon Davis

Black Diamon Octane Spark (Courtesy Black Diamond)
Black Diamon Octane Spark (Courtesy Black Diamond)

Verdict
This daypack handles up to 20 pounds on a hardware-laden dayhike or summit attempt. But it also has a killer four-strap compression system that lets you shrink it for shorter jaunts. The frame is a standard plastic sheet surrounded by an aluminum skeleton that connects via a ball and socket to the hipbelt. This creates a fulcrum in the lumbar area that rotates in all directions, creating a very dynamic suspension that stuck like glue when I was stemming through slot canyons in southern Utah. Pros: snug fit, excellent load support. Cons: heavy for its size; Allen key required to adjust torso length. bdel.com.

Best For
Anyone looking for a versatile daypack with excellent weight transfer and a suspension that adjusts to fit a wide variety of torsos

Tester Data
> Kristin Hostetter
> Other Tester Shannon Davis
> Duration May to Nov.
> Locales/conditions Canyoneering, glacier hiking, peakbagging; UT, MA, the Alps, Longs Peak
> “Once you dial in the torso size, there’s some hip swivel that actually makes loads feel lighter.”

> $140
> 3 lbs. (w’s)
> 28 to 30 liters
> 2 men’s and 2 women’s sizes

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READERS COMMENTS

RL
Jun 24, 2011

how is the ice axe/ treling poles attached at the top?

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