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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.
black diamond spark backpackblack diamond spark backpack

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.

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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