Black Diamond Sphynx
Review by: retro, 2007-09-12
This is one of my favorite packs and it happily pulls double duty with the summer trad rack and winter ice gear. I enjoy the features of this pack, as the design lends itself to multi-use without all the extraneous bells and whistles so often associated with a "do-it-all" pack.
The thing I most enjoy about this pack is the well thought out economy of design. This pack is neat, simple, lightweight and very straightforward. I have the 42L and can slip all my gear and then some with ease. Despite the lack of beefy foam in the shoulder straps and waist belt, it delivers a surprisingly comfortable ride!
I would have rated this pack a 4.5 as my only point of contention with this pack is the lack of an external crampon pouch, or crampon attachment system of some sort. Granted, this is hardly missed in the heat of July, but external attachments are incredibly handy on approaches when it is time to strap the spikes on; no digging through mounds of gear with frozen fingertips (as this is a traditional top-loader). But, I went with the 5 as this pack does not deserve a "4".
All said and done, this is a great daypack for rock or ice. If you are in the market for a relatively inexpensive alternative to lugging reasonable loads to your favorite crag or frozen drip in the woods, consider the BD Sphynx; you won't be disappointed!