Black Diamond introduced their Infinity and Innova backpacks in spring 2010. These are dedicated backpacking packs, not climbing packs. A much expanded line of backpacks of all types will be introduced in spring 2011.
By lightweight standards, the Infinity/Innova packs at 3.75 pounds (1.7 kg, size Medium) are just above our upper weight limit of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg), but they are still lightweight considering the technologies they incorporate. What is remarkable, and why we decided to review the new Black Diamond backpacks, is their ergoACTIV suspension system. According to Black Diamond: most backpack manufacturers have now incorporated lighter weight materials and ventilated backpanels into their backpack line; the next innovation needs to be freedom of movement. In the ergoACTIV suspension system, the frame, shoulder straps, and hipbelt pivot and twist in concert with the hiker, allowing the backpacker to move unrestricted in any direction. The obvious questions from our standpoint are: does it really work, are the benefits useful, and if so, do they justify the weight of the technology?
- Suspension System and Features
- Field Testing
- What's Good
- What's Not So Good
- Recommendations For Improvement
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