Brand: Black Diamond Equipment
Model: Blitz 20
Our take This daypack weighs less than a pound, but carries loads better than many burlier packs we tested this year. Credit the tapered design, which centers the load in the small of your back without a bulky hipbelt. The pack got high marks for supporting up to 20 pounds, and the shape never interfered with high steps or arm swings while alpine climbing. “The barely-there silhouette let me slip through narrow slots and tight trees,” a tester says. The packbag is made from a single piece of lightweight material that wraps around the bottom, which eliminates seams and helps the Blitz achieve rock-bottom weight. Bummer: no external bottle pockets.
The details The 210-denier nylon with Dynex ripstop is 10 times stronger by weight than steel. It held up to crampons and granite, but it’s so light it floats. A PU coating enhances waterproofing, as does the lack of seams, but the pack isn’t submersible. We appreciated the top-loading mouth with a true one-handed pull cord for easy opening and closing. Need more room? The Blitz also comes in a 28-liter model ($100).
Trail cred “This is a minimalist’s pack in every way. Right down to the removable closed-cell foam backpanel that does double-duty as a sit pad,” said one tester after trips up the Grand Teton and in Jordan’s Wadi Rum.