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Black Diamond Infinity 60 & Innova 50 Backpack Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Black Diamond Infinity 60 & Innova 50 Backpack Review on 12/14/2010 15:15:46 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Black Diamond Infinity 60 & Innova 50 Backpack Review

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Loads on 12/14/2010 18:12:23 MST Print View

Ive tried this pack with 30 lb loads ... I found the load pulls away from the back ... Was not overly impressed

its also heavy compared to a lot of the packs reviewed in the recent bpl state or market report

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Heavy on 12/15/2010 11:04:14 MST Print View

Man, that's a lot of weight for such a narrowly targeted feature set. I think Will should have said more about the advantages the articulated suspension. Does it just buy me a little comfort? Does it allow me to do something that isn't possible with a rigid suspension? I really don't know what I'm getting for the extra pound or so. For all I know, it's just a marketing gimmick.

Other packs in the recent survey, are lighter, have an excellent feature set and outstanding, abeit rigid, suspensions. I need to know why I wouldn't rather have one of those.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Not a new idea on 12/15/2010 13:24:25 MST Print View

I once owned REI's original UL backpack, the UL 60, which had a similar connection between the shoulder straps. It was a narrow nylon tube webbing that ran through flat webbing loops and had a travel limit built in. It worked VERY well for loads up to 40 lbs. When forced to scramble and reach for a hold this pack was extremely comfortable.

Unfortunately the bag's light silnylon fabric began letting go at the seams even though my loads never exceeded 32 lbs. so I returned it to REI. Their next pack, the Cruise UL 60, lacked this shoulder strap flex feature but had Spectra reinforced Dyneema fabric and more robust seams. I still use this 2nd gen. REI UL pack and it is a good fit for me. Too bad they dropped the original shoulder strap configuration.

Edited by Danepacker on 12/15/2010 14:53:50 MST.

aarn tate
(aarndesign) - MLife
Interlinked shoulder straps to give Freedom of movement. on 12/15/2010 14:13:55 MST Print View

This is not a new idea at all. In your reviews of the Aarn Featherlite Freedom and Liquid Agility, you and Ryan praised the benefits of the Freedom of movement and stability of the Aarn system.

John Murtiashaw
(murda) - F

Locale: Ashvegas and beyond
MORE OF THESE ARTICLES PLEASE on 12/15/2010 20:04:25 MST Print View

The flaws of these BD packs aside, I am so psyched to see an article about a PACK, not another high priced sleeping bag. I love my Lafuma unlimit 900g bag, and love showing it off, don't get me wrong. But it's what I wrap up in at night, and I chose it because it was the best down bag offered under my pro deals. I get zero use out of all these top end sleeping bag articles, and I think most BPL members will agree. A round-up of what's new a couple times a year is fine, but I was getting extremely frustrated considering I paid for the privilege of using this website. No, $20 is not a lot of money, but it's about respect for your customer. Your new trip report is wonderful as well, a return to the sweeping and stunning reports that were here when I first subscribed. What I use most when I'm in the woods are rain gear, shelters, stoves and packs. I WANT TO SEE ARTICLES ON THESE! I don't spend all my time sleeping or staying warm in downy stuff. Do you have a mainline to every down manufacturer in the nation, or what's the deal? Those how-to articles are wonderful as well. And while we're at it, UPDATE THOSE PODCASTS. Or take em down, but don't keep my hopes up by keeping a fake section stocked with the same old 'casts on an ultralight niche pursuit most of us don't have the resources or time to get into. Ever read the magazine Mental Floss? You get six issues a year, dedicated to trivia, travel, just a bunch of interesting stuff. It costs $22 a year, and I highly recommend it. I don't highly recommend BPL to anyone. Unless something changes, that's where my money is going next year. Maybe ya'll don't care, I don't know, it seems you have a bunch of people who will always subscribe. It's just too bad, because UL is the future of camping, and this sight has a lot of potential, very little of which I have seen fulfilled.

Sam Farrington
(scfhome) - M

Locale: Chocorua NH, USA
"Black Diamond Infinity 60 & Innova 50 Backpack Review" on 12/15/2010 20:40:10 MST Print View

Guess you might like to hear something positive at this point?
Your reviews are almost always very helpful, and provide a lot of info unavailable anywhere else. Nothing else around of the same caliber since Kemsley sold BP. IMO, even though I thought that in recent reviews, the Spot and BSI single-wall were
way over-rated. So long as you keep making as careful and objective evaluations as you have in the past, BPL will continue its current popularity, because there is a need-to-know, big time.

As far as the pivoting hipbelt is concerned, the idea goes back to Warmlite's packs and TNF "Back Magic." None of these ideas survived, which suggests that people didn't find them to be much of an improvement. Part of the problem may be that the more moving parts between the pack and the wearer, the more customized the fit must be to be comfortable. OK for the MYOG crowd like moi, who has used pivoting hipbelts since first seeing them in a Warmlite catalog (hard to focus). Maybe not for the mass market, but there's no harm in trying to be innovative.

Nate Powell
(powell1nj) - F

Locale: North Carolina
re: more articles... on 12/15/2010 20:50:53 MST Print View

I don't know John, I think on average I get $25 worth of information and enjoyment from this site in a couple of weeks tops. I mean it 25 bucks - that's a burger and a few beers - I don't see how it can get any cheaper for the level of quality information this site provides.

Also, just my two cents, but I appreciate the fact the BPL takes time to do in-depth reviews on higher-priced, top quality items like several of the recent ones on sleeping bags. If I'm in the market to make a larger purchase like that I want as much information as possible. Say what you will about BPL, but you're not going to find more informative and detailed reviews of gear anywhere else.

Whatever works for you though - just thought I'd chime in with another point of view. Sorry bout the thread drift... Happy hiking.

Edited by powell1nj on 12/15/2010 20:51:55 MST.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: re: more articles... on 12/15/2010 21:40:05 MST Print View

There is a letter to the editor option...

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Black Diamond Infinity 60 & Innova 50 Backpack Review" on 12/16/2010 05:57:01 MST Print View

"They are lightweight considering their technology, comfortable, and full-featured."

Hmmm. This all sounds like gimmicky feature creep to me with very little reason. There are many other lightweight packs currently available that have new and innovative features for evaluation that I think the BPL membership might find more palatable (ie. ULA Epic, Ohm, SMD Swift, heck... even the BPL Absaroka)

"We are neutral on the benefits of the freedom of movement feature while hiking on a good trail. It’s nice, but it doesn’t make the load any lighter or easier to carry."

The ergoACTIV suspension systems unique "...advancement in internal frame technology" was the basis for this review. If the point of spotlight wasn't really beneficial to the reviewers then what's the point of reviewing this 3.75lb. pack? I suppose to discover again that many of the features available in these packs are gimmicks. Freedom of movement comes from not having to rely on an 8 inch wide bear hugging hipbelt and pivoting hub suspension system to move with you. Pack light and move freely, loosen you hipbelt and lest ye not be burdened.

BPL Above Average recommendation?

Edited by Eugeneius on 12/17/2010 08:56:19 MST.

Gordon Bedford
(gbedford) - MLife

Locale: Victoria, Australia
Free pivot idea on 12/19/2010 15:02:59 MST Print View

Macpac of New Zealand used this free pivot idea back in the late 70's and early 80's. I used there big Torre mountaineering pack with the feature for years.
Their whole advertising campaign revolved around the benefits of the free pivot. However it slowly disappeared from their range. Having used it I don't think it made any difference to comfort. In fact it was probably a bit of a problem when ski touring. Anyway Macpac discontinued it and my old rucksack eventually wore out after many years of hard use.